In its 25 years, the Freddy Pink band has seen the inside of quite a few 747s, played for esteemed corporate, casino and large festival crowds and endured a near complete lineup changeover.
And now, to celebrate its quarter century birthday, the Pink is coming back to its stomping grounds — Kitsap County.
The nine-piece, self-described “rock and soul” band will pop the cork with a two-night set at the Clearwater Casino, starting at 9:30 p.m. May 4 and 5.
It’ll be their first time back in Kitsap since the Bight of Poulsbo’s 2005 Mudstock.
Twenty-two years before that, the band was more or less born in North Kitsap with a Bainbridge Island/Bremerton horn section and Seattle singer Gordon Yancey at the helm.
Since snagging its first steady gig in the area — back in the days of Sinbad’s venue on Viking Avenue in Poulsbo — Freddy Pink branched out into Seattle and beyond, conquering the Western Washington casino scene and most recently scoring a corporate sponsorship.
That household corporate sponsor won’t let the band name names, but it’s taken the Pink’s music to audiences across the country.
Before all that, at its first show in the Emerald City circa 1983, the Pink opened for Sly Stone.
“We owe (our) longevity to two things: we would play everything and anything literally, just to keep us working, but really it’s the talent itself,” Yancey, the band’s leader and oldest member, said of the group’s composition.
With all Northwest artists — including Art Bromage on guitar, Bennet Pullen on bass, Terry Smith on drums and former Olympic College director of music Ron Cole leading the horn section — the Pink plays R&B, soul, funk and classic rock cover songs, sneaking in originals as much as possible.
Playing on the corporate and casino circuits has largely relegated the band to songs which people already know, and that kind of mentality is something that is also apparent in the Pink’s original songwriting.
“High power, kick a– rock and soul,” Yancey said of what audiences can expect at the Clearwater this weekend. “Definitely make you shake it and also a little trip down memory lane.”
The Pink prides itself on its covers which audiences probably haven’t heard live in quite some time like Little Feet’s “Let It Roll,” Tower of Power’s “Don’t Change Horses” and Sly Stone’s “Dance to the Music.”
And after 25 years of rocking steady, keeping work by playing covers and selling 10,000 copies of its first record “In Search of Blue Water,” Yancey said the Pink is on the verge of another creation.
“What’s next?” he said. “Original music.”
The group will be in the studio later this summer, aiming for a Christmas release date on its next album called “The Bridge.”