Tonight: The return of Stephanie Johnson, Nicole Torres and Heidi Stoermer

By Bobble Tiki on February 11, 2012


Bobble Tiki demands no more birthday parties or album release shows. Cake has destroyed half of his six-pack abs! 

OK, there's a big party tonight at the Northern Pacific Coffee Company, so Bobble Tiki will go and eat cake.

It's sort of a local singer/songwriter hat trick show: Stephanie Johnson will celebrate the release of her new album, Heidi Stoermer will perform solo for the first time in a while and Nicole Torres is back in town after years in Colorado and California.

Throw three candles on that cake!

There are many female musicians around the South Sound, and exactly one of them has a distinctive, instantly recognizable sound (think Tracy Chapman): Stephanie Johnson. Her voice doesn't need her guitar skills - it's an instrument unto itself. 

"Stephanie's been working as a session musician for cruises all over the western hemisphere and singing with the Seattle Opera - everybody knows this girl has a voice, but she's in top form right now," says Stoermer. "What I have heard (off Johnson's new album) is leaning more toward the blues spectrum, and I'm loving it."

Stoermer's voice is sweet and endearing without being so cutesy Wonka would try to brand it. She sings with passion. She controls her voice like a seasoned violinist. Stoermer successfully attacks heartache, loss, and betrayal; her voice is husky, melancholy, and achingly charming.

"I'm leaning more toward the Americana and folk flavor these days," says Stoermer of her music. "Tonight, one of my band mates from 1928 - Marc Bordelon - will be joining me on a couple songs. He's a phenomenal steel guitar and banjo player."

How did Torres become involved with tonight's show?

"Nicole got in touch about a month ago and said she was coming up for a visit, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a reunion," says Stoermer.

Multiple Midwest rags have described Torres as Ani DiFranco's musical twin. "They share both slow funk rhythms and spoken-word vocal stylings. ... She also has a deep alto voice with shades of Tracy Chapman, as well as faint rhythmic influences from her parents' native Cuba," say the Wheat Ridge Transcript.

This show is a perfect pairing of three talented singer/songwriters, who also happen to be great friends.

Bobble Tiki will access his inner JoBeth Williams and grip the wall to prevent the Cake Poltergeist from sucking him in.

[Northern Pacific Coffee Company, Saturday, Feb. 11, 8 p.m., $4, 401 Garfield St. S., Tacoma, 253.537.8338]