Bahamas – July 3rd in Huntsville, ON. Canada, eh!

With more harmonies than rhythmic guitar, this Canadian Jack Johnson is one of my favorites. After a few days of soaking up the cold Canadian Waters and striking sunsets I dropped into Huntsville, Ontario’s Algonquin Theater for their summer series with Bahamas.

The theater was tiny! 500 seats maybe.

The sound was a little loud as the show got started. There was no opener, just the band. Alfie, the lead singer dude, played to the audience, talking about his sippy cup or gallon jug choice of water vessels and that reuse and recycling are important, eh. ( I told you Jack Johnson, right.)

It was an incredible night and I was lucky to share a drink with a crowd of wonderful new Canadian friends at the local pub after the show!

Red Wing Roots VII

And suddenly it’s a week away…

Anyone who has met me in person knows that I talk incessantly about this festival. It’s pretty much the perfect festival for me. I mean, sure I ‘complain’ that the coffee place won’t open until 11 am or some ridiculous time, but the truth is that I have my own coffee connections thanks to Rayn and Susan and also, I’m pretty darned resourceful when it comes to the drugs needed to make the experience.

And of course I ‘complain’ about the sun and the heat and the humidity, but I have friends who will have staked out a place in the shade in the beer garden and I will go there to collapse (and drink a delicious local beer, perhaps) and recuperate (and still listen to the music). Also, I will have my annual chance to see fireflies (which were called lightning bugs as a kid growing up in PA); they’re not something that I get to experience in my SF life.

I don’t know how it’s suddenly a week away. I feel like I just bought my plane tickets. I feel like I’m not ready but Spike has sitters and what do I really need besides our tickets (in email) and a valid form of ID to board the plane and some ear protection? Mags will make it super simple for me, as always, by having our palatial albeit a bit dilapidated tent and an EZ-Up and chairs and sheets and pillows and all those things. My thermarest decided to live in Gaithersburg, MD (thanks Doll!) so I will reunite with it there. So I’m ready, I guess, besides work deadlines (always — have you met me?).

So today I finally start to look at the final line-up and the schedule and I was like wha?! What craziness is this…

Friday, we have:

  • The Hollering Pines — I’ve been wanting to see this band since the last time they played at RWR (2 years ago?).
  • Charley Crockett — My first introduction to him was also at RWR, but I’ve seen him since and he is impressive. If you haven’t checked him out yet, you really should!
  • Mandolin Orange — Also a RWR find from my first year at RWR.  This band may have saved my life the first year because I *was* that guy that first year, but I have learned my lesson (sort of…). They are awesome, if you haven’t listened to ‘Waltz About Whiskey’, you should!
  • The Judy Chops — A local VA band that I’ve been introduced to via RWR; they’re always fun and do some interesting covers, though in the moment, I can’t think of any specific other than I know they covered a Doors song (which one — I couldn’t tell you; only that I liked it which basically covers every Doors song ever)
  • The Lil Smokies — They’ve played RWR in the past, but I don’t believe I’ve managed to see them. I look forward to seeing them this year.
  • The Wood Brothers — Anyone who knows me knows how much I love The Wood Brothers. This is AWESOME. Downside is that Larry Keel is playing at the same time and I think that he’s someone that I’m ‘supposed to’ see, but never do…

Saturday, we have:

  • Locust Honey — I’m pretty sure they were at RWRII and I’m pretty sure that I liked them
  • Jordan Tice — He will be a nice way to get the day started
  • Lula Wiles — Highly recommended by my co-Americanafest attendee, Andrea, I’m looking forward to this one!
  • Della Mae — I know I’ve seen them before and I know I liked them but I’m not sure where.  Maybe The Chapel; maybe they were the band that made me realize that high-waisted jeans were coming back oh-so-many years ago.  Maybe at a festival on the East Coast. Maybe seeing them at RWRVII will help me remember…
  • The Steel Wheels — The local VA band that puts this festival together. This is a highlight for me EVERY year.
  • Lucinda Williams — It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her in anything other than a song circle. I’m looking forward to seeing her again after all these years.

Sunday, we have:

  • The Gospel Set — This is a perfect way to start off Sunday and I always look forward to this — The Steel Wheels, joined by various friends
  • Dead Horses — One of the few bands that I discovered elsewhere…. they opened for Elephant Revival in SF years ago and I’ve seen them numerous times since then. They always satisfy and are really nice people!

  • Birds of Chicago — I cannot recommend this band enough! Seriously!!! They are unbelievable and I *cannot* wait to see them again, especially since I’m gonna have to miss them when they are in the Bay Area next as I have a prior obligation/engagement. Thank you KC Turner for this introduction! Also, could not be nicer people!

  • Lindsay Lou — Another RWR introduction. The first year she played, I didn’t see her set, but she got up and sang ‘Morning Time’ with Ben Morrison/The Brothers Comatose and she did an excellent job. Since then, I’ve seen her perform at RWR with the Flatbellies and in Nashville at Americanafest with a different band. I like her!
  • The Tribute Set  — Though this isn’t actually the end of the festival, this is always a nice way to bring things together at the end. Last year, the tribute was Tom Petty and it was the best since Guy Clark (which brought me to tears — what a loss and I’m so grateful for EVERY time that I saw him at HSB and in other venues). I had a very ‘you never know what someone else is going through’ moment with another woman during this set and it made me emotional for months after when I tried to talk about it.

That segues into my usual ‘support live music!’ rant; it really does make a difference in the lives of so many people. It has given me hope and I genuinely believe that it saved my life! If it didn’t save it, it made it worth living!

It’s gonna be so much goodness! I’m even trying to talk my parents into coming… and this doesn’t even cover all new music that I’m going to be introduced to this year! Oh my!

The Redwood Mountain Faire

This is where I’m heading today…

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It seems like a gimme with a line-up like that. I mean, music outside in the Santa Cruz mountains, among the redwood trees and the hippies. The weather looks like it’s going to be beautiful. It’s a benefit for local non-profits AND it’s only $30 (if you are a slacker like me and didn’t get your ticket in advance) to see two of your (my) favorite bands, The Brothers Comatose and Dustbowl Revival. Make sure to bring your lampshade; you can use it as a hat!

Chances are I’ll like some of the other bands as well; they’re just unknown at this point. Tomorrow’s line-up holds a few knowns that I’m planning to see as well, including Jesse Daniel, The Rainbow Girls and Elliott Peck (Midnight North).

Bring your own pint glass for $2 off!

Icing on the cake, hanging with my SIL and seeing my BIL who I haven’t seen in a dog’s age!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Crude tonight (May 25th) at The Chapel

The real question is… why wouldn’t you?

My introduction to Sweet Crude this year at SXSW almost won them the SXSW2019 Jammies award. They were *that* good. And there was fried chicken! They were entertaining AF and quite talented to boot.  This band, hailing from NoLA, mostly sings in French and everyone in the band seems to play drums. Their music makes you want to move (both in a dancing way and in a ‘why don’t I live in NoLA?’ way). I don’t think you’ll want to miss this show.

They are opening for a band about whom I know nothing except the name and what The Chapel wrote about them.  The Teskey Brothers is the band and this is what The Chapel wrote… ‘Honouring that old school Motown sound and working it into something of their very own, the band have received widespread acclaim for their gorgeous debut album Half Mile Harvest. A raw combination of soul and blues, the record has warmed the hearts of listeners everywhere with it’s melancholic, analogue tones.’

Sounds good, right?  And you know what? If they aren’t my jam, I’ll be fine paying $20 to see Sweet Crude open for them.  See you by 9 at The Chapel tonight?

 

Joseph with Haley Johnsen at the Paramount Stateside 05.04.19

Haley Johnsen has these wooden tape decks at her merch table with download codes on the cassette liners. Do her fans even know what a tape deck is? Well yes, cause I’m a fan, and I had a tape deck in my car up until 2011.

Despite her youth, Haley’s voice is strong and her lyrics deep. She was on American Idol, making it to the top 24. No surprise, American TV didn’t appreciate her talent. The audience tonight did however! With a Brandi Carlisle like voice, she really was a pleasant surprise.

Jospeh is a band of three sisters. One plays guitar and seems to have the rhythm/melody voice. The blonde one seems to be trying to let her demons out, in a good way. The third is cute, with a kinda gravelly voice and told is she is touring with her Irish boyfriend who plays the fiddle sometimes and sells merch the rest of the time. It really works for them. I love sibling bands. These gals have major similarities with First Aid Kit and that’s not bad at all.

Brett Dennen at UT’s TX Union Theater 05.03.19

It’s storming on a Friday night in Austin but I’m out solo tonight to see Brett Dennen, the tall redhead who rocked my socks off at ACL years ago. That show was also in the rain so maybe it just fits that it’s pouring tonight.

Raina Rose opened. She’s an Austin staple. A female folk singer who’s paid her dues. She’s the real deal and if you’re into singer-songwriter female warbles, this might be tour jam. She sounded great tonight and told a story about her porch at her old place on e 9th was built from tombstones.

Brett took the stage and sang all the hits with stories and reflections peppered between. I sat near some of his high school buddies and these bros had so much love for their guy. It was sweet.

It would have been cooler if they hadn’t been dipping and spitting into water bottles. The guy sitting next to me actually offered me a pouch. He really honestly did and I don’t think he was aware of what was going through my head. I just calmly said no thanks and that’s kinda gross.

Anyway, the crowd was great. Full of love all around and in this small of a theater, that can really make a performance a show. The sound was beautiful and interaction with the crowd was heightened. Nothing like you might have in a dark, former porn theater, as Brett suggested to the audience.

Go Pray, It’s Sunday (aka Reverend Hylton @ Hotel Utah)

I should have posted this sooner, but then as Andee and I were ending our call, she asked who I was going to see today and I said Reverend Hylton and she said ‘Oh yeah! Go pray. It’s Sunday.’ and we both laughed and that inspired me to FINALLY write this post.

The last time I saw Reverend Hylton, which was also at Hotel Utah, he was opening for Gill Landry and I don’t know what it was, but I really liked him. I mean, I often like the opening band, but this was different. This was like when I saw Darrin Bradbury and felt like he knew me because he knew where I came from, both geographically and culturally.

I bought Reverend Hylton’s CD while we were talking to him after his show. I’ve been following him ever since, though I haven’t seen him perform again. He’s made in near SF a few times, but hasn’t made it back here until now. I’m all in!

The show starts at 6 pm and he’s the first performer. I don’t even know if I’ll stay for the other bands. To be fair, this is my last weekend before leaving for my annual NYC/PHL journey and I have much to do, including cleaning and packing. Daylight’s wasting! See you at 6?

Sweet Spirit Tonight (4/2) at BotH and Low Cut Connie on Sat (4/6) at GAMH

Killing two birds with one stone today cause I need to tell you about these amazing bands that are playing in SF this week and I also need to work (so that I can make the money required for this rock-n-roll lifestyle)

Sweet Spirit hails from Austin. TX. Andee had told me about them when I visited for her birthday in 2017. She asked Alexa to play ‘The Power’ for me (many times!) and we would dance around the house shouting ‘I got the power here inside of myself’ which is a great girl-power anthem. ‘The Power’ has been a lead tune in my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist (which is really just female voices, but sometimes there are anthemic songs like this one).

So I got back to SF, added them to my ‘What I’m Listening to Right Now’ playlist (because it was before my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist was needed) and realized that they were playing in SF 2 weeks later at Brick and Mortar. I convinced Rod that we needed to go see this band. (It didn’t take a lot of convincing…)

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It was a great night at Brick & Mortar. I still have no idea who the opening band was, but they were so much fun. The dude put on this giant rabbit head towards the end of the show. When I was looking through my pics, I couldn’t understand why they were all out of focus, and then I realized they were all photos of the rabbit head on stage (and not the band).

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Then Sweet Spirit took the stage. They killed it. Sabrina Ellis, the lead singer, is a cheerleader on stage, but she’s a cheerleader that you would like.  She’s the bad cheerleader…

As for Low Cut Connie… I’m going to ping back to my original post about them.  It’s short, sweet and to the point… you don’t want to miss them.  They are always a good time and I love me a good Philly band!  Plus I think we might have a crew for this show!

SweetParty UtopiaFest Day 2

I slept pretty well and made it up in time for yoga. It was a nice, relaxing class taught by a local Utopian. Perfect way to start my day!

The weather is cloudier, windy, and a bit cooler than yesterday. The weather isn’t bad, we just need more layers.

SAPD… bagpipes 🙂

Emora

Jenny Parrot

Ley Line

Shane Cooley – we missed this show accidentally while hanging with these friends. It happens!

Sucka Please!

Mamahawk

The Deer

SirWoman

Commonheart

Superfonicos

Ley Line @ Good Times

Kelsey Wilson @ Good Times

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