It’s another post about community

And gratitude attitude and a little bit about music too.

Awhile back, English Steve invited me to go see a band that he liked, El Radio Fantastique. Two bands were opening, one of which (Junk Parlor, pictured below) had previously been highly recommended to me by Pat and Teri.

I went to the show with English Steve and Lala and ended up being blown away by the second opener, Rikkha. This is not to say that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy all three bands, but Juliette from Rikkha totally had me from the minute she took the stage.

She is sexy and she tells a great story in her frenchified English which only makes her sexier. Mmmmh! I had decided that I was going to go to this show but figured I’d be going alone and had never been to the Ivy Room before so was not super jazzed about it. More like resigned… it’s a tough life I lead. 🤓

At Jill’s birthday party in Stern Grove, I must have mentioned Rikkha and the next thing I knew, Debbie was in. As a long shot, I mentioned the show to my friend, Catherine, who had also been at Stern Grove and had mentioned that she was sans kids for a bit. I didn’t expect her to say yes cause it was a school night, if you will, but she did! Then I mentioned it to Pat because he lives in the east bay and because Junk Parlor was opening and because Catherine was going so why shouldn’t he? He was not a definite but was definitely interested. Then I thought to text Lala who was already trying to get off work so she could go to the show (or at least that’s how I understood it).

Flash forward to the Sunday of the show. I’m exhausted, having spent the entire day before on a Tahoe/Truckee River float adventure (which was fabulous, but a long day in the sun). I really did *not* want to go to the show but I committed. So I go…

And shit am I glad! It was ah-mazing! I love the Ivy Room. Everyone shows! And… it turns out that my friend Karen’s niece, Rebecca (who I’ve met at random parties over the years) is friends with Juliette (and was in her cabaret in the past) and so was also at the show. And Lala brought Travlin! It was seriously awesome. Plus we had Junk Parlor in the audience with us. Good Times! And that’s why you should always go to the show!

And even though I have a buttload of work to do, I’m on my way to meet friends for another show in the East Bay. See you at Phosphorescent? At the New Parish if you aren’t sure.

Spoon, Cage the Elephant, Beck & Wild Belle @ COTA 360 Amphitheater 7.27.19

Wild Belle took the stage a 6pm. It was early and we were lucky to have been connected to tickets through our friend who is a venue regular. The lawn was filling up but many of the seats were still open.

Wild Belle was engaging. The female lead has a smoky voice with a flow that matched her outfit. Picture Melania Trump in the white suit and big black hat. Now try and clear your mind of that plastic model and picture a real human, with a microphone and a good groove. Wild Belle was fun to watch and sounded good… even in 90-something temps at 6pm.

Next, Spoon took the stage. Britt Daniel, the lead singer was donning a cowboy hat, fit for the Texas sun. They are Austin natives and while the more expensive seats up front were still filling in, the cheap seats on the lawn were packed for the 7pm show and the lawn crowd was loving them. Laurie Gallardo, the DJ “who rolls her rrrs” was also loving them. She was sitting near us and I enjoyed watching her jam to Spoon almost as much as I enjoyed jamming to them! They have a new album out called “Everything Hits at Once” and it is kind of a greatest hits album. That’s fine with me because I enjoy all their old stuff. My favorite, Underdog, was a fist-pumping jam that I loved every minute of.

Cage the Elephant was on stage next but didn’t spend a whole lot of time actually on the stage. The lead singer, Matt Schultz, came out dressed in a suit with a red cover over his face and a wide-brimmed hat. As the performance continued, he began to loose more and more of his clothing until he was in a flesh colored body suit, looking more like a rock climber or interpretive dancer than a rock star. He also continued to enter the further depths of the audience with each song and closed his set by climbing the sound booth and then an elevated platform, which was sandwiched between the seats and the lawn, while “We Are The Champions” by Queen played. It was fun to watch but felt a little too contrived and then uneventful. I suppose if you are going to play ginormous venues like these sandwiched between great bands like Spoon and Beck, you need to pull out out all the stops.

Beck didn’t need to do anything but play his hit songs. My God that guy has so many hit songs! I realized, watching him perform, that he has had a major hit song with the latest generation every 10 years  or so since he hit the music scene. What might be more incredible is that they don’t all suck and he is still a blast to see live. When he introduced his band, they each selected a cover and blew it up with their talent. At one point he was covering “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads and I was thinking, “I wonder if these kids know this is a cover or if they think this is just another Beck song?” Ha. Welp, I guess Beck is just timeless. On the big screen he also looks a little like Ed Sheeran, so that might help him mesh with the younger crowd too. Either way, this lady from Beck’s first generation of fans had a great time!

 

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

It sometimes pays off to take a look at the local music bookings when you travel. I was lucky enough to recently travel to Northern Ontario, a few hours north of Toronto to spend some time at a lake cabin. It’s a place I visit annually and one of my favorite places in the world. We’ve had so many good times that there is a curated soundtrack for it. Bahamas are one of the special bands on that playlist. They’re from the Barrie area, just north of Toronto so this was a show in their own backyard! I happened to see the band post about the show on Instagram and snagged a single ticket, splitting off from the group for one night and staying at a perfect little AirBnB with the most fantastic hosts, who were also going to the show!

The Bahamas last album features video of some of the music being played while visiting a very similar lake house cabin and I can’t help but feel that there’s just something in the water up there. I love it.

Watch this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P0aKRipsb9U

With more harmonies to carry the rhythm than rhythmic guitar beats, 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 and distorted as the show got started but by the third song or so they seemed to work it out. There was no opener, just the band. Alfie, the lead singer dude, played to the audience, talking about his kids 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. It was great.

RWRVII Highlights

TLDR: Gratitude Attitude and eventually highlights of RWRVII

So there is no Jammie awarded at RWR as the other half of DidWeJam is not represented. However, there are always highlights and we will get to those shortly.  Right now, it’s the day after the festival ended (okay it’s way past that now, but it was when I started this ramble). I’m already back in my own bed. I’m clean and more importantly, I’m chilly. I’ve returned to the loving embrace of Karl and I couldn’t be happier about that.

I’m also extremely grateful for this life I have and for these people in my life that I call friends. I woke up this morning feeling a little emotional; I’m not sure why today but it’s all wrapped up in the gratitude thing. There’s no guarantee that you’ll have a tomorrow and I see that more every day. There’s the friend that you thought you would visit this summer on the drive up to Washington as you pass through Portland that you learn you won’t be seeing — ever again.  There’s my cousin, Jamie, that I cannot believe is gone; Shovels and Rope announces a show at the Fillmore near my birthday and I’m immediately thinking of you. (Digression: I’m secretly considering this show a pretty even trade for the trip to Greece that appears to be postponed. Now I just gotta get to the Fillmore to get my ticket!)

And I could go on with my list of people I lost; we all could at a certain age… but what I really want to say is that I’m so grateful for Red Wings Roots and the connections that it has both re-established and the new connections that I’ve made. I feel like these connections become stronger because of this festival. It’s an annual ‘guarantee’ that I will see one of my former college roomies; that I will see her mom (who takes such good care of us when we come and invade her home with our camping stuff, some of which never leaves — yes, my thermarest now lives on the East Coast); that I will see her brother and his family (I still remember him from UD days when he would visit and trips to OCMD with the family; we were so young then); that now her sister (also a friend of mine) and our friend, Amy, will also make the trek across the country to join in the festivities; that I will see my new friends, like Burt and Eve (Burt and I met at Hayes Carll at RWRII — speaking of people that you should have come back to the festival, bring Hayes back!); and my WNRN birches, Susan and Rayn who became our friends at RWRIV when we arrived in a downpour on a Thursday night (just like this year) and began to set up our campsite in front of theirs. They say they knew we would be friends when they watched us throw up our Easy-Up, grab our chairs and some liquid refreshments and plant ourselves under the Easy-Up to await the end of the rain and watch others’ arrival antics. I’m still not sure what other people would have done. The fact that they ‘knew’ we would be friends didn’t stop them from later watching/judging/laughing at us as we erected our palatial tent (replaced this year by Big Agnes who is also palatial and has a welcome mat and a very sunny disposition — c’mon, she has a welcome mat!).

So I’m getting a little rambly here, but what I really want to say is that I appreciate the fact that I have a job that allows me to take an awful lot of vacation, that I have friends that I love and that love me in return (despite my quirks and flaws) and that I have a place to go to celebrate that love and that place that I go has all of this amazing energy and brings all of this fantastic music and these fantastic people together in such a beautiful space. Standing out in Natural Chimneys looking up at the almost full moon and seeing Jupiter glowing oh-so-brightly…. there really aren’t words, though I’m obviously trying.

So it’s a couple days later and I’m still feeling incredibly grateful, despite the fact that it was a tough week, work-wise. Every week seems to fit that description these days and I just have to remember that a contributing factor to the challenges is the amount of time that I like to not be working and that I love the flexibility that my job provides.

So this is a long-winded way of saying that I’m a lucky bitch and I know it and though I might complain, I know what I have. I count my blessings. I know there are no guarantees and I’m gonna live hard to make sure I take advantage of it while it’s here. And I’m gonna encourage each of you to do the same; within your means and your ability. Each day I deliberately think about one thing for which I am grateful. Today, it is Red Wing Roots.

And now for the complaining… boy was it hot! Chimney Ridge provided no shade in the am, nor did the main stages. The beer garden provided shade (and beer – I drank more this week than I have since SXSW; surprise! Also it turns out that I’m kind of a lightweight now, me = cheap date. One Hopwork Orange 🍊 did me pretty nicely for several hours. Two was all that I could handle in a day.).

So on Friday, I hadn’t acclimated and so I had to stay in the beer garden, venturing forward oh-so-briefly into the killer sun to see a few acts. But the visits were brief, just a little something to whet my appetite so that I’ll have to try even harder to see these bands in other places in the future.

Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves opened up the official festival and I definitely would have liked to hang with them and hear more of their songs cause what I heard I liked and could definitely be included in he ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist.

Then there were The Hollering Pines from Utah. I discovered them at a prior RWR but have not been able to see them again. And sadly, I could only handle a couple songs before I had to retreat to the protection of the beer garden blankets. It was good to see then again and I’ll continue to be hopeful that they’ll come to see me in SF one of these days.

Next up was Cedric Burnside but I just couldn’t. I saw him before and he’s not my jam; I think this probably coincided with my decision to have my first Hopwork. Mmmmm!

The Hush Kids were one of the bands that I wanted to see based on my pre-RWR Spotify listening preparation. The sun (my frequent frenemy) prevented much up-close and personal so will have to try again in the future.

The East Pointers sounded great from the beer garden and when I ventured forth to fulfill my pretzel mission, I stopped for a quick photo but that was the best that I could do.

Also isn’t the woman serving me my pretzel beautiful? Not only because she fed me, though it doesn’t take much…

Peter Rowan was up next and while I enjoyed him from the beer garden and I thought I would get a photo, instead I got my photo taken with Mandolin Orange. The sacrifices that I make. Thanks WNRN!

After the fan photo with Mandolin Orange, we darted over to Charley Crockett, who did not fail to impress. If you haven’t seen him, do yourself a favor and change this. He can dance. He can sing. He can play. His piano player also plays the accordion AND can play the trumpet at the same time he plays the piano. Swoon!

Then it was back to Mandolin Orange. I don’t even know what to say about Mandolin Orange. They always make me happy. I’ve previously said they saved my life the year that I discovered them at RWRII. In retrospect, I believe it was actually the amazing Adirondack chairs that saved my life, but Mandolin Orange certainly helped. Friday was Emily’s birthday so the audience sang Happy Birthday to Emily right before we waltzed about whiskey which many of you know is a favorite of mine.

The Lil’ Smokies were really good. I’m glad that I finally caught them and look forward to seeing them again when they return to my city by the bay.

While I was slightly disappointed in the lack of dancing By The Wood Brothers during their performance, I was *not* disappointed by their performance. Please keep inviting them back, RWR!

After The Wood Brothers, I found my remaining birches and we lined up for the trolley ride back to camp. And what a ride it was; I’ve definitely been trolleyed, even if I don’t have a shirt that says so! There is so much to say about this ride but let’s leave it with I had to hold a dude up by his belt loop to prevent him from falling into people or spilling his food onto people. He mistakenly took that as an invitation to follow us/me back to camp. Key word: mistakenly. We encouraged him to go find his own friends.

And then there was some discussion of highlights over snacks and beverages and then Day 1 was in the books.

Saturday started warm; every day started warm. Global warming is killing the music festival, a song that we are developing, practically wrote itself at RWR this year. Though the heat and humidity of RWR this year couldn’t hold a candle to Kate Wolf in 2017. And every other year that I went to KW; there’s a reason I stopped going to KWMF.

So musically Saturday started with Locust Honey and a little clogging. Quite enjoyable and then the bass player (John) left the stage and the fiddle player, Chloe, suggested that we join John under the tent at the Roots Stage next where she would be performing again.  Since I previously saw Jordan Tice both on his own and as a part of Hawktail, I felt good about this decision and skipped Jordan’s performance.

John R Miller and the Engine Lights were a good time. Chloe was a great Engine Light; I would go see them again.

After they finished, I wandered around (probably scrounging food) and then ended up in front of the Cedric Watson Trio. It was HOT, but I stayed because they were FUN! Cedric says he’ll be playing in the Bay Area in the new year, so I’ll be looking for him.

Lula Wiles was a part of my RWRVII mission: a band I had been told about before RWR, but had not listened to or investigated in any way. They played under the Roots tent and while I felt like it took them a couple songs to get their groove, they got it and boy did I like them. They did a cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around’ that was amazing. Maybe I’ll post that video on our youTube channel. They also performed a new song that I really enjoyed called ‘It’s Cool. We’re Cool. Everything’s Cool.’  Can’t wait til they record it. I was gonna go buy merch and meet the band, but then I decided I needed to carry on with my adventures and go see the little ones that had come to visit us in the beer garden. Merch is still needed!

I stopped by to see the Lonely Heartstring Band who were fantastic, but mostly I listened to them from the beer garden and socialized and tried to stay cool.

Della Mae was way better than I remembered them and I’ll stop talking about their mom jeans and instead talk about how much I want to see them again. I wish it hadn’t been so hot cause I would have loved to be right up there with them, especially for this song they sang that I can’t find on Spotify (but I did find a video on YouTube). The lyrics are ‘If it hasn’t happened to you, it will happen to your sister. And if it hasn’t happen to her, it will happen to another. You are a headlight in this dark night. They might not believe you, but I do.’ It was some freaking powerful stuff.  Their whole set was pretty powerful. I’m all about them now!

Feufollet was a part of the Cedric Watson Trio and they were also a good dancing time. Plus Cedric was in the audience dancing with us.

The Steel Wheels are a highlight for me because they only play the West Coast once a year if I’m lucky and I do think they are amazingly talented. I really would see them so much more if I could. Over they course of this weekend, they played their entire new album. It was the only purchase I made during the festival (besides food and a fan).

I didn’t go see The Fruit Bats. I was tired. I listened to them from the beer garden. I thought there was a woman singer, but halfway through the dude switched from singing in a falsetto. Fascinating!

I did stick around for Lucinda Williams. I’m glad that I did, but I won’t lie that I won’t pay to go see her again. As Susan and I discussed, watching her perform ‘Righteously’ with these super non-sexy hand and body movements was awkward and it was ever more awkward to have these tweens (maybe not even tweens) behind me singing and dancing along to lyrics ‘When you run your hand, All up and run it back down my leg, Get excited and bite my neck, Get me all worked up like that’. It felt wrong. That’s the best way I can describe it.

So the ride back up the hill was much less of an adventure since the trolley had been discontinued and we were now using golf carts to make the journey. Apparently this was not true for all of us, but it was for me and my late night crew.

After another evening of snacks, beverages and highlights, we retired only to be forced out of our tents early (some of us had to sleep next to the road on a blanket and hope that 3:00 didn’t come around and yell at us for having something other than a car ‘parked’ next to the road. There was some discussion of drawing wheels onto Amy, but we decided not to risk the wrath.)

Sunday is always my favorite day because it starts with the Gospel Set; it’s the best way to start the day. The Steel Wheels and friends, including The David Wax Museum, perform songs that they define as gospel and it totally works for me. Also during the gospel set, Lindsay Lou performed and almost knocked me off my feet. I’ve seen her before, but this was different. It’s like she’s come into her own and it made me really look forward to seeing her set later in the day (which I did not see).

This year, Sunday started with the WNRN breakfast where we got early access to the beer garden and free food from our friends at WNRN. I’m good with this change! Also WNRN might have saved my life this year when they gave away the bandana that were such a nice vehicle for ice and cold water. Here’s a pic of me with my life-saving bandana, reunioning with Burt.

After the gospel set, we had Dead Horses and boy do I love this duo. They are mellow and pretty and soft and oh-so-wonderful. I can’t recommend them enough and have been following them since I saw them open for Elephant Revival years ago!

Next up was Sean McConnell. I missed this story, but apparently he arrived without his band and without his equipment. I still enjoyed his set, so I’d see him again. He was a bit curmudgeonly and told people not to clap. I know another singer that I love who has scolded his audience for clapping and singing and he just announced a date in the Bay Area (Justin Townes Earle — November 1st at August Hall). I’d check Sean McConnell out again.

I was worried that I had talked up Birds of Chicago too much, but no… they brought it, just like they always do. My friends loved them. I loved them. I can’t wait to see them again. We got our picture taken with them afterwards (thanks again WNRN) and got to talk to them. Go see them if you haven’t.  Really!!!! Please keep bringing them back RWR!!! They belong here.  Their song ‘American Flowers’ brought me to tears (not for the first time, but I was still surprised).

Tim O’Brien seems a bit like a misogynist asshole. I might be wrong about that, but there were enough other things to do at the festival that didn’t involve watching him, so I didn’t and I didn’t feel a loss.

I was going to go check out Lindsay Lou, but the timing and location was a conflict with the Birds of Chicago photo op and additionally, the band playing at the Roots Stage (closer to photo op) had been recommended by Chuck and Judy. I thought I’d catch the end of Lindsay Lou and so I followed Susan to the Roots stage for Fireside Collective. I’m so glad I did because these boys were rocking!! In some ways (all stringed instruments and 5 young guys), they reminded me of The Brothers Comatose. They had the audience dancing and they were fun! We had to stop watching them so that we could go in for our photo op, but we could still hear them and they were a delight! I’m hoping they’ll make it to SF one of these days. Also, in case it wasn’t clear, I never made it to see Lindsay Lou and now I’m gonna have to make an effort to see her when she tours out here because she really was impressive both during the Gospel set and then during the Tribute set as well.

The Tribute Set was next and instead of tributing a person this year, they tributed an album by Tony Rice, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman called ‘The Pizza Tapes’. I thought it was an amazing tribute and I truly enjoyed the songs and the bands that performed them.

Though there is always a band after the Tribute Set, I rarely catch that band. So it was back to the beer garden for The Gibson Brothers, coming out at the end to catch the last songs and to catch The Steel Wheels come sing us home with Red Wing. We made our way back up to our camp (some of us singing Red Wing in our head all night) and used our new fire pit to burn the ‘wood’ we collected over the weekend. We did our best to finish everything in the cooler. I ate a lot of carrots but despite my carrot-eating, I’m pretty sure that next year I’m not going to be allowed to buy carrots.

And that’s my story about the festival. The highlights. The gratitude. The heat and humidity. The people and the friendships. The memories and so much laughter in such a beautiful setting! Yeah, I’ll be back again next year! Maybe I’ll see you there!

 

 

 

 

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…

RMF-Poster-web

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.

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