Updated: Apr 27
“Put Your Records On” is a campaign about the healing power of music. Musicians take care of us, so let's take care of musicians. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and all month long, we are sharing community features on musicians and music lovers about their go-to tracks for their mental health and more. It is also Give Big, a statewide fundraising campaign where individuals and organizations come together across Washington to invest in our communities. Give Big in support of musicians' mental health today!
Meet Trey Busch, Co-owner & Winemaker of Sleight of Hand Cellars. Their love of great wines from around the world, and their love of music, have inspired their vision of Sleight of Hand Cellars and their support of SMASH.
Where did your passion for music come from?
It certainly came from my parents, listening to the car radio in Atlanta, GA on drives, listening to Z-93, 94Q, and 96-ROCK. My father was your classic Beatles and Stones guy, and my mom loved Elton John, Billy Joel, and disco! So I was exposed to a ton of different types of music growing up. In the early 80’s, I fell in love with heavy metal. I remember being in 9th grade and camping out at Tower Records for tickets to see Motley Crue in 1984 or 85; that was an event! The community and camaraderie surrounding that singular event of seeing a concert and sharing that love and passion for a band stuck with me and set me off on a path of being a music lover for life. It helped me as a kid and helped me to this day.
Dead or alive, if you could see any artist live, who would it be and why?
I’d have to say Stevie Ray Vaughn or Prince. Both are guitar gods, and I missed seeing them both.
What is your current favorite local band or artist?
Oh wow, that is so hard! I loved Tomo Nakayama’s last album that he released. Brittany Davis’ solo work and her work with Painted Shield are phenomenal. Planet’s in the Ocean is a new band that I recently saw and loved. F!RES out of Ballard are ridiculously good… just so many! I’d be called out for not mentioning Pearl Jam, my all-time favorite band and why I moved to Seattle in 1992!
Are there any upcoming shows or music festivals you are excited about?
We are super excited to see THING! Festival in August this year, and My Morning Jacket will also be playing in Bend, OR, in August! Hoping to catch Built to Spill at the Stanley Music Festival in Stanley, ID. And, of course, we have some amazing shows at our SODO space! On May 6th, we have Brittany Collins with her full band and Brittany Danielle opening. And on June 2, we have New Sensation, an INXS tribute band performing! We’d love you to come and enjoy some great wine and amazing music with us!
What is your go-to song for when you feel low or need a pick-me-up?
I always go to Shawn Smith when I am in my head about things…he is one of my favorite singer-songwriters, and I still can’t believe he isn’t with us anymore.
How do you hope Sleight of Hand Cellars impacts our local music community?
Oh my gosh, in SO many ways! Our love of music at SOFH spilled over into philanthropy for the music industry almost immediately. From our inception in 2007 and through today, we have supported so many organizations in and around the PNW as well as places like Memphis and Austin, including but not limited to KEXP, Sub Pop Records, Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy Foundation, SMASH, SMooCH, Black Fret (formerly Sonic Guild), STAX Music Academy, the Vera Project, and countless others that I am sure I am forgetting! Needless to say music is ingrained in the DNA of Sleight of Hand Cellars.
Why do you support SMASH?
Ben London, who helps curate SMASH, approached me about hosting Sonic Guild shows at our tasting room location in SODO a few years ago. We’ve been hosting live music at our space since we opened that location 6 years ago, and it was a no-brainer for us to say yes to Ben. For us, using our philanthropic arm to support organizations like SMASH and Sonic Guild that provide a better life for others, especially musicians, makes sense in so many ways. I know the impact that music has had on my life. I can’t imagine a world without live music, so keeping our musicians healthy is paramount to that.
Why do you think it is important to offer healthcare to musicians?
Basic healthcare should be a fundamental human right of everyone on the planet. Unfortunately, our current system in the US isn’t there yet, leaving millions of people uninsured or underinsured, so we need stopgaps (like SMASH) to fill that void. Musicians, for the most part, are uninsured because they are self-employed and can’t afford even the most basic of insurance. In some ways, musicians represent the most vulnerable of our population. If they get sick, they can’t work. But without insurance, they either choose to avoid getting the help they need or become straddled with crushing medical debt. It’s the worst Catch-22 ever. SMASH gives these musicians the basic help they may need (mental health, dental, annual checkups at the doctor, etc).
Is there anything about Sleight of Hand you want people to know I haven’t asked you about?
We are a safe place for all genders and sexual orientations. When you visit us in SODO or Walla Walla, we want you to have a fun and laid-back wine-tasting experience while listening to your favorite artists and songs. We have a huge collection of vinyl in both tasting rooms that you can choose from to pick out your soundtrack to wine tasting! And if you are a vinyl lover, we started our very own VINE(YL) Club for our wine club members.
About Sleight of Hand Cellars: Sleight of Hand Cellars was founded in 2007 by Trey Busch, Jerry, and Sandy Solomon. Their only goal from the outset has been to make world-class wines while having the most legally possible fun. Their love of great wines from around the world, and their love of music, have inspired their vision and growth of Sleight of Hand Cellars and helped them reach a customer base with the same passions as they do.
Sleight of Hand Cellars has been named one of "The Next Generation" of up-and-coming wineries in Washington State and one of "The Next Cult Wineries" by Seattle Magazine. In addition, they have been featured in Wine Spectator magazine and had numerous wines in various of the industry’s “Top 100” lists. They were recently named to the 2018 Wine Spectator Top 100 for our Levitation Syrah.
In 2011 the winery moved from a storefront location to its current property in southern Walla Walla, where they continue to focus on the goal of making wines that compete with the best in the world from a combination of Estate vineyards and non-estate vineyards in some of the top vineyard sites in Washington State. In 2016 Sleight of Hand Cellars opened their tasting room in the SODO area of Seattle, where you can stop in Thursdays through Sundays for a glass (or bottle) of wine, shop their vinyl record shop, as well as for their live music series. Great wine, great music, and lots of fun—that’s the recipe for the Sleight of Hand lifestyle.