Langhorn Slim & the Lost at Last Band with the Harvest Thieves

It’s always a great time when Langhorne Slim comes to town! He has moved on from “The Law” and is playing with the “Lost at Last” Band but nothing has changed really. In the intimate space of Antone’s we shared a wonderful evening among good music lovers. Langhorne, a.k.a. Sean Scolnick spent a lot of the evening giving backstory to his tunes. You can easily see that the passion in his music is real and he wants his audience to know the why behind the song. This may at times exasperate his band. They had their version of the Jeopardy song they would start to play when his stories got a bit too long but it all seemed to be in jest. I might feel the same if I had heard the stories every night while on tour but as an audience member, I loved hearing the backstory about his vintage car and recovering it after it was stolen!Overall Langhorne still continues to deliver an engaging live performance. He joined the audience a few times, sang directly to many of his fans and even chose to give love to a heckler. Sobriety sometimes takes the edge away from an artist. Langhorne seems to be able to channel his sobriety experience into art, making it an even better performance.The opening band, Harvest Thieves is an Austin band that I cannot recall seeing before but I will happily see them again. They are very much a band Jenn Marks will love; a little dirty, a little greasy, great rock and good melodies. Did you hear that San Francisco? When they go on tour, go see this band!

The festival is over

UPDATE:  OMG!  How did I forget about Charley Crockett?!?  Awesome stuff.  Check out his World Cafe Live interview!

But I have new favorites… The War and Treaty! They made me cry but they also made me dance, even in the ridiculous heat.

And Kuinka, they were my other festival faves. Kuinka will be at the Marin JCC at the end of this month, Saturday July 28th to be precise, and they’ll be playing with the Rainbow Girls. Bonus!

 

And now for a digression from SF and Austin in the form of Red Wing Roots

So I just landed in DC. It’s my 5th year of RWR and I’m so excited. It’s the annual reunion with the college roomie. I’ll be hanging with some of the Mah Jongg ladies. There will be a newbie this year, arriving tomorrow. There will be some grandma Faine’s nickel rummy. There will be camping and beer and really good music. There will be the search for all of our returning festival friends while we also make new ones.

Did I mention the line-up? I’m With Her. The Secret Sisters. The David Was Museum (I’m wearing one of their non-v-neck tees right now.) Trampled by Turtles. Mipso. Dori Freeman. Josh Ritter. It goes on and on…

I can’t wait. Now if I can just got the June financials finished, the partying can commence. Getting home from the airport is the current challenge.

Lucas Nelson & the Promise of the Real – ACL Taping 7/2/18

Wow. Just wow. I’ve seen Lucas play with Willie, I’ve seen him play solo but damn, this was one for the books. It was fantastic.There was a lot of speculation about whether Willie Nelson, Lucas’ dad would show up. They’ve been touring together, played a show two nights before and plans to play two nights later. Willie is also the famed first artist to be on the Austin City Limits TV show. He is an ACL legend. However, he was not there and although I love him, it was Lucas’s turn to shine, and shine he did.Lucas has managed to leverage the Nelson name and his fathers way but still make it his own. With beautiful flowing locks, sparkly eyes, and that signature Nelson vibrato Willie will never die! But then, there is a freshness, a new groove, a bit more grit that fits the modern times. They played all of their hits, “I Hope you Find Yourself … before I find somebody else to be my lover” and “Help me Forget About Georgia”. They also played some great covers including Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes. The crowd went crazy. It was crazy and it was perfect.

Steve Poltz — Tonight at the Swedish American and tomorrow at the Hopmonk in Novato (Yes-vato)

As usual, I don’t know where to start… this time it’s with Steve Poltz. If you don’t know him and you haven’t seen him before, you really should! He inspires me to live my life to the fullest through his songs, his stories and his lifestyle. He tells his story on stage amidst songs. It’s not always the same parts of the story, because it’s his life story and he’s no spring chicken and he has songs to sing too. The gist for me is that he had a stroke (young it would seem, because though he is no spring chicken, he isn’t that old either and he had the stroke years ago) and doesn’t remember a lot of his life pre-stroke… things like co-writing a hit song with Jewel. When he tells his stories, they are funny and just a little bit sad and they make me want to do all the things on my bucket list but more importantly, they also make this cold, little black heart of mine just a tiny bit warmer and less black. It’s true! There’s just something about Steve Poltz that makes me so freakin-dammit-eggs happy. He makes me realize that I have a great life with great friends and though I don’t see all of them frequently enough, I try to stay connected and let them know that I love them and I try to be present and enjoy the moments when we are together.

Steve is also well connected in the local music scene so his shows tend to be a good time with special guests on stage and run-ins with your favorite local artists/celebrities off-stage. Local celeb, KC Turner, is promoting both of these shows.  For a full listing of KC’s current shows, go to his website at http://www.kcturnerpresents.com/. KC is how I ‘discovered’ Steve Poltz in September 2015 (and Birds of Chicago on the same night — what a night!!!!). I owe KC big time and not just for this; he’s instrumental in my live music journey and also turned me on to Darrin Bradbury.

So all in all, you should try to catch one of these shows…. but if you can’t make it to the Hopmonk on Sunday, there’s always Stern Grove with M Ward and Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

The Specials

Okay, to be completely honest… I got The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Specials confused in my head. This is not to say that I don’t like The Specials, because I do! They hold a special place in my heart and take me back to college and the days of the Deer Park and my roommate, Carla, and so much more.

But… when I asked my friend Cristy to buy the tickets for me (at the box office, so that we wouldn’t have to pay the fee), I really thought I was buying tickets for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  It was only when tickets subsequently went on sale for a Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ show at the Fillmore (which I also bought) that I realized what I had done. Whatever! It was totally worth it!

Initially I felt like Terry Hall was phoning it in, even though I was enjoying the songs and everyone else in the band seemed to be all in. After a little while, I realized that what I was seeing was his version of ‘resting bitch face’ or some such. The show was amazingly fun; the crowd was really mixed (age-wise) though it did seem to skew older. It was a good time!!!

Frank Turner! Oh yeah, and Lucero!

UPDATE: This was a great show. There’s a lot I could say about it but let’s just say that all four of the bands were great and the audience was too. “You should spend more time with the do’s then with the don’t’s”

Seriously, this is a two-fer.  Tonight (June 17th) at the Warfield.

I saw Frank Turner open for Jason Isbell last year and he was a total surprise. Blew me away! My friend, Jessica, too.  In addition, I have a mad crush on Lucero, the band and the lead singer, Ben Nichols.  They are working class rock-n-roll in my opinion and the fact that Ben is so easy on the eyes, just makes them a gimme. They have a huge catalog of songs, so I’m almost always left wishing they had played some song they didn’t play. Maybe that’s why I keep going back. Nonetheless, they always put on a great show and I’m overdue for a little Lucero.

I’ve been hearing some of Frank Turner’s recent album on WXPN or WERS or both. It sounds good. I can’t wait to see what he brings this time!

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