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Cops belt out the blues

Music helps band deal with stress

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By Katherine Schiffner / Herald Writer
Published:
EVERETT - Detective Wally Friesen hears the blues in the wail of a police siren.
He finds the blues sifting through the ashes of the arsons he investigates and on the memorial wall where the name of his former partner, officer Brian DiBucci, is etched.
Those blues became six songs recorded with two fellow Everett officers, the department's crime analyst and a Snohomish County deputy prosecutor.
Their band, Station House Blues, and its self-titled CD, was created as a musical memorial to DiBucci and the law-enforcement career he loved.
"The blues comes from people writing about hard times ... After Brian died, things were pretty hard," said Friesen, the band's lead vocalist. "I had a lot to draw from."
The band played Friday night in Olympia at a celebration of DiBucci's life. The Everett officer died while on duty, July 15, 1999, after a fall from the Hewitt Avenue trestle.
The music "is a great way of remembering Brian," said his mother, Donna DiBucci of Mukilteo, who visited the studio while the band was recording its CD in March. "It just touches my heart."
The band includes Friesen, deputy prosecutor John Adcock, crime analyst Doug Lindsay and Everett officers Matt Meyers and Joe Woods.
Their music ranges from classic blues in the title track to guitar-driven rock on the catchy "Never a Cop Around (When You Need One.)"
"Everyone in the band contributes to the songs," said Friesen, who can lift his Stratocaster guitar "Marilyn" behind his head and play. "I'll come up with the basic riff and some words and we'll all add to it."
The CD, which has DiBucci's picture on the back, features an acoustic version of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" as a tribute to him.
The group also covers classic tunes, such as "Framed" and "Mustang Sally."
"A lot of people think that cops don't really do more than be cops," said Woods, who plays bass and sings backup vocals. "Playing guitar is one of my hobbies, a way to relieve stress."
The band tries to practice once a week but sometimes is forced to reschedule when one of its members is called to an emergency, said keyboard player Doug Lindsay, who taught himself how to play.
"I used to play in a band back in high school, and I always kind of missed it," Lindsay said. "Playing music is the closest thing I have to pure fun."
Friesen, who started the band in October 2000 after visiting the national law enforcement officer's memorial in Washington, D.C., has played guitar since he was a teen.
Composing music inspired by DiBucci's life was cathartic, he said.
"We just try to show respect on this record the very best we could to Brian," he said.
Reporter Katherine Schiffner: 425-339-3436 or schiffner@heraldnet.com.

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