Camp Fire Relief Benefit Concert — Sunday, December 2, 2018

KC Turner is organizing a Camp Fire benefit show at the HopMonk Tavern in Novato. The show is scheduled for Sunday, December 2nd. Doors will open at noon. Music starts at 1 and will continue until 10 pm. 100% of ticket proceeds will be donated to the North Valley Community Foundation.  I’ve included some information about the Camp Fire Relief Fund from NVCF’s website at the bottom of this post.

The following artists have already been announced and there will be more according to the website.

  •  Alejandro Escovedo
  • Dan Bern
  • Megan Slankard
  • Heather Combs
  • The Sam Chase
  • T Sisters
  • Bobby Jo Valentine
  • Josh Brough
  • Kate Lardner & The Branson Rock Band
  • DJ Bothsides (spinning between sets)

Tickets are available at KC Turner Presents. Because this is a benefit, there are different prices for tickets, but the tickets are all the same. It’s a give what you can situation. Minimum cost to attend this event is $50 and I don’t think I need to say this, but the money will go to a good cause.

I don’t really feel like I need to say much about these artists to ‘sell’ this show as that’s not the real reason that most of you will probably attend, but look at that line-up. After seeing Alejandro Escovedo in Nashville, I would possibly consider going just for him and there’s so much more there.

This is what NVCF’s website says about the use of funds.  They will keep 1% to cover their own administrative costs. The remaining 99% will be distributed.

Distributions from the Camp Fire Relief Fund

For short-term immediate financial needs, the North Valley Community Foundation has formed an internal committee of board members and service providers that consider requests and approve grants on a daily basis. However, our more important role will be to work with community leaders to determine needs and best uses of funds once the fire is out and attention turns to recovery efforts. That phase will be evolving over the next few months and will include collaboration with key funders, local and regional agencies, and direct service providers.

Separate from the Camp Fire Relief Benefit, I wanted to mention that the SPCA in SF has gotten an influx of rescued pets from the Camp Fire. The intent is to reunite these pets with their owners, however the SF SPCA needs to make room for all of these furry survivors, so they are currently waiving adoption fees. If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet, you can take the $ you’ll save (I’m just guessing here that you can’t adopt an animal for less than $50) from the adoption fee and use it to go see some live music and further support the Camp Fire victims. It’s like multi-tasking that improves your karma! Just sayin’

Bohemian Rhapsody (the Queen film)

First, watch this video of Freddie Mercury’s performance at LiveAid in 1985.

The movie is fantastic. It captures both the changes of the times and the changes of Queen’s music. There was a time that being gay was scary because not only were you “not normal” but especially if you were a gay man, you had the AIDS virus to fear. Freddie was so ahead of his time and left so tragically. The film is only kinda-sorta accurate in timeline. There are artistic liberties taken for sure.

I grew up in these times. I remember the AIDS quilt and LiveAid. I was youngish but I remember. It was scary. Starving babies with potbellies. Humans dying from an unknown virus and gay being a “horrendous sin”. We’ve come a long way and then I wonder how far we’ve really come with Mexican border camps and the “Just Grab Her Pussy” Administration.

Anyway, the film captures the times really well and tells a good story. There’s more music in the film than I expected! I wanted to stomp during We Will Rock You and wished that I could have been in the audience. This film made me feel like I was at a Queen show. That’s the best compliment I can give!

Walker Lukens @ Mueller Lake with KUTX

It was cold last night in Austin, TX but that didn’t stop us or the throngs of young children from hitting up the free Friday night show at Mueller Lake featuring Walker Lukens. When I say young, I mean toddler to 8yr olds. They danced on the stage, separated by some orange cones and a string. It was cute, then it was weird. I forget how crass he can be with lyrics like “Baby, let’s make a baby. I’m tired of all this fucking for nothing.” Yeah, that went over most of their heads (and the parents heads too I guess.)

The space was too open and lighting too off to truly appreciate Walker Lukens performance but hey, it was free. There was free Kona Brewery beer too! I’m glad I went. Even in this imperfect place. The band puts on a decent performance.

Utopia Fest 2018

We made it!

We’re currently waiting with all our camping gear. A shuttle should come in the next hour or so to take us to the GA campground. It’s a small cluster but Easy Like Sunday Morning is playing and it’s 70 and sunny outside. We’re going to miss Dawn & Hawks but Patty Griffin and Rubblebucket are playing later. We won’t miss that!

We’re on the bus! Gotta watch out for black cows cause somebody left the gate open. 🙂

Waiting in line was fun. We met John, Leah, and her husband (forgot his name). We’re on our way now! It’s still a total cluster.

Camp is set up and we found Casey’s buddy Bird! Also John from the line is our camp buddy. We’re near the point and the bridge and we’re told it might be a party. We were warned! The kid friendly camp is up the hill and the car camping is across the water.

Kalu and the Electric Joint (Austin)

This band is like a fine wine. Every song they played was better than the last. Groovy, gravely, funky, a little soulful but not too slow.


Lisa LeBlanc (Montreal/ soon to be NOLA)

French Canadian female rocker, with a banjo! I love Canadians and Canadian Bands! This one is Acadian Canadian. 🇨🇦


The Deer (Austin)

Someone said their female lead needs more force behind her voice. I didn’t understand until he leaned over and said, like that at the Wild Child show. Still, their harmonies and performance was worth watching and I have high hopes for the future of this band.


Wild Child

At home, singing songs in the Hill County on a perfect November Saturday. Damn, that was good.


Keller Williams

I didn’t actually watch a lot of this, but I heard it. All Tom Petty and it was great.


I hurt my leg last Sunday on an epic kayaking trip, almost broke it. It’s black and blue so by this part of the night I was pretty beat but needed to hang in there. The great thing about Utopia fest is that stages don’t overlap. When one is done, the other starts and they are close together so even if you don’t migrate, you can still take in the music.

Patty Griffin

Ahh Patty. I love you. Her voice wasn’t as strong as it was at HSB but she carries a strength and wisdom in her performance like a strong Oak tree. She’s seen some shit.

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real

At one point shortly into the set, the Clarke Kent looking Lukas thanked everyone on his crew, followed by “we may have all just taken mushrooms, at least I think that’s what it was”. (The next morning I heard someone talking about the enormous amount of chocolate shrooms he gave Lukas.) I guess being Willie Nelson’s son, it takes a bit more to shake ’em because the performance was great. He’s at the top of his game right now with A Star Is Born doing so well at the box office. Did you know Bradley Cooper worked with Lukas on the movie to perfect his singing? Haven’t seen it but I hear it’s great! Congrats Lukas!


One of my favorite lyrics: “It’s amazing, I came out of a lady hole.” This dance, pop, smart-modern band will make you smile, think and dance it out. They still have the fun moves and great dance party vibe but this band is maturing into a beautiful work of art, like a St Vincent performance.

I hobbled back to camp and passed out. There was live music all night thanks to our neighbors with the fire pit. Again, we were warned. Fortunately it was pretty good with a song I particularly enjoyed at 8am, “I’m Drunk and I’m Drinkin”.

DAY 2 – Saturday

Rob found Shaun so we went to see her camp and meet Chelsea and Austin. Chelsea and Shaun know each other from college. When we went back to our camp, Bird got out of his tent and we discovered that he was also part of this old college crew. Festival magic. Our friends were already old friends.

I ended up hanging at camp for a bit to rest my leg and listened to the show from across the lake which was perfectly delightful.

SA Pipes – bagpipes for breakfast

Progger – Prog Rock?

Trouble in the Streets – NOLA Brass?

Particle Kid – I liked this sound. They got me motivated to move.

Hikes – harder rock than I expected but good female led rock and roll



I really didn’t expect to love this band as much as I did but they were so good! Hailing from Sweden, the three gals sing folk rock, mostly in English but their traditional Swede bar ballad was beautiful and super fun! The female banjo player has a kick drum! Catch them if you can!

Hard Proof – Local Austin Jam Band

Choir!Choir!Choir! – A good idea in concept was too much for a late night stage. Hopefully many festi-goers took this opportunity to batten down the hatches. A lightning storm was on the horizon.

The duo invited Kelsey from wild Child to sing Hallelujah after spending 30min teaching the audience the harmony. It was tedious and the outcome questionable but I love singing harmony and had enough whiskey to make it fun.


Valerie June – I find her kinda kitchey sometimes but really enjoyed this performance. She is a solid musician and has a beautifully weird voice, look, and personality.


Calliope Musicals – Damn. They really nailed this performance. This band is ready for a big festival like Bonnaroo or Coachella. They sounded great, were so much fun to watch and really filled up the space.


I walked home to Medeski Mad Skillet. Stopped and hung with Shaun for a bit as we strategized the coming lightning storm. Went back to camp, battened down the hatches and listened to STS9. The rain started pouring as the last song ended!

Getting out in the morning was a little tricky with the mud. The guys caught a ride from Bird to their cars and then we hiked our stuff out rather than wait for the shuttle. It wasn’t too bad and we got to hang with our friends new and old, one more time.

Thanks for the good times Utopia Fest!

The Reputations @ KUTX Studios

“This band is one you need to see” said Taylor Wallace, the KUTX DJ who introduced the band on the radio. That’s right, they are a sight! We were lucky enough to score a couple of the coveted Concert Club tickets to see this band play in the studio at the 98.9 radio station.

Local Austin band, The Reputations are a sight to see. The lead singer, Rockyanne Bullwinkel’s orange halter top with no bra, red spandex, zipper front bell bottoms and fantastic 80’s glam haircut took center stage with others in the band trying to keep up with her style. They did a decent job but it’s hard to compete with that look! It also feels very reminiscent of Sweet Spirit both in demeanor, sound, and performance. I read somewhere that Seth Gibbs who started the band is Sabrina Ellis’ (Giant Dog / Sweet Spirit) ex-husband. Yep, that seems about right. The lead singers give a very similar in-your-face performance. Unfortunately it appears that Gibbs has had to step out of the picture, being diagnosed a few months ago with a rare form of metastasizing stomach cancer with a 1% chance to live beyond a year and a half. We wish you peace and strength in your fight Seth.

The Replacements are entertaining. They have some room to grow but they played a new song they are working on for their next album and it seems promising. I’ll keep an eye on this Austin band as they grow…even if it feels a little like cheating on Sweet Spirit.

Their new album, Electric Power comes out on November 9th.

Parker Millsap at The Chapel Tonight, Tuesday October 30th

This is a show that I truly believe should sell out. I know it’s not going to sell out, or at least it hadn’t on Sunday when I was at The Chapel for The Sadies show, but it should!

I was looking up something recently and I came across this Rolling Stone article about Parker Millsap, 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: March 2016. I really liked the first two things the writer said about Parker. It’s accurate and I couldn’t have said it better if I tried.  David Menconi writes about Parker Millsap:

‘Sounds Like: Saturday-night hellbender spirits meet Sunday-morning evangelical fervor, as sung by a young man who spends his days riding the rails

For Fans of: Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell, John Fullbright, Tom Waits, salvation, sin (though not necessarily in that order)’

Parker Millsap is the reward for going early to see the opening act. He was opening for John Fullbright at The Chapel. As an aside, John Fullbright is also really impressive if you don’t know him; I believe he may have been the reward in the beginning too. I believe I discovered him when he opened for Patty Griffin at the Fillmore.

Parker Millsap totally amazed me (and Pat, Jill, Teri and Jessica), especially considering that I think he was under 21; he was a great supporting act for John Fullbright and we (all of us from the year before +1) went to see him again when KC Turner hosted a small private concert in Noe Valley.

Again, he was really amazing and it was such a tiny intimate venue. If you haven’t been to one of KC’s shows, you should definitely check out his offerings. Michael Rose was playing bass with him at both of these shows. Michael Rose is Parker’s childhood friend and has been playing with him for years and he’s worth checking out too in my opinion. So maybe I’ll see you tonight where you too can be amazed by his songs and his voice and all of it. The show is at 8 and tickets are only $20 at the door.  How can you go wrong?




Joshua Hedley at The Chapel on Friday October 26th (tomorrow)

Okay, so I was totally planning to go to this show.

I was first introduced to Josh Hedley when he played fiddle for either Justin Townes Earle or Jonny Fritz. I believe it was JTE first and then Jonny Fritz (back when he was still Jonny Corndawg Fritz) at Communion in the Redwoods in Big Sur. I bought Josh a drink and made him pass a drink to Teri at the same time. (I thought I was very amusing. I often do in those situations and I often get into those situations when there is alcohol involved, especially at live music events.) As a side note, Communion was a great festival and I was sad that there was no repeat. It may have been our best celebration of Teri’s birthday. Though there was Amsterdam in 1999; that was pretty epic! And now I’m digressing from my digression.  So… Communion was also pretty epic and is where I discovered The Brothers Comatose in 2011. It’s is also where I saw Pete Bernhard (of The Devil Makes Three)* play solo, though solo did include fellow TDM3 member Cooper McBean. There were other great things as well about the Communion festival, but that’s a story (or ten) for another day; this is a blog post about Josh Hedley and I haven’t even gotten to the part about how I’m not going to see him because I got gifted a ticket for a sold-out Brian Fallon/Craig Finn show.  (Thanks Kat!)

As I was saying before my digressions, I first saw Josh playing fiddle for JTE and Jonny Fritz and I really liked him; I generally do like a fiddle player, and an upright bass player, and a… (insert whatever instrument/singer/songwriter/etc you’d like here)

During SXSW, I had the opportunity to see him perform at the Waterloo stage and he also did a meet and greet afterwards. I have to confess that mostly what I remember about this was how hot it was outside and how nice and cool it was inside and how fabulous Josh’s jacket was. I would like to see him again under better conditions, but it won’t be this time.

As seems to happen more and more frequently to methese days in SF, there is more than one show that interests me. I’ve been conflicted this entire time about which show to attend. Sometimes not making a decision is a decision, as the Brian Fallon show sold out. So it was decided that I was going to the Josh Hedley show. But then, I got a message from Kat saying that she had an extra ticket for the Brian Fallon show and then a second message gifting the extra ticket to me. And so it goes; it would seem that I’m going to the Brian Fallon show. It was gonna be a win either way for me, but a free show is always a good show and I do like Brian Fallon.

For you, there were still tickets available for Josh Hedley last I checked. If you like a little fiddle and a snazzy dresser, go check him out.

*The Devil Make Three happen to be playing this Saturday at the Fox Theatre in Oakland. They are one of my top five favorite bands. Opening for them is Erika Wennerstrom from Heartless Bastards. Here’s a link to my earlier blog about her.


The Steel Wheels, Sunday 10/21 at the Freight

What a way to end your weekend? If you don’t know this band, you should! For one thing, they are responsible for my favorite music festival, Red Wing Roots, in Mt Solon, VA. If you haven’t heard of it and you like roots/bluegrass music, you should really check it out.

For a second thing, I think these guys are great musicians in their own right. I can never seem to convince people to go to see them; the few people who have gone at my suggestion continue to attend their local shows if they can. Worth noting, they only make it out here at most once a year so consider checking then out tomorrow.

If you aren’t sure, here’s a little snippet.


The show is at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley.  Doors at 6. Show at 7.  Tickets are $24 at the door, plus a $2 venue fee, I believe. You’ll be home at a reasonable hour. It’s a fairly inexpensive show. Why wouldn’t you go support live music?

ACL – Sunday Wknd 2

On the bus, so there’s no fuss.

Heading to catch Mt Joy if we hurry. They just started.

Mt. Joy was great! That’s the band that sings about Jesus driving an Astro Van and Drugs, Women, Wine and Weed. As if that wasn’t enough, they also sound great.

ARIZONA (all caps b/c the internet)

Yeah, they’re cool. I have to come back to this.

Bahamas are up next.

In the last two weekends I have seen some of my top favorite bands/singers in the world. Damn I am lucky.

Patty Griffin, Jeff Tweedy, Langhorne Slim, Glorietta (a supergroup of some of my fav bands) and Bahamas! Bragging.

Bad boys need love too y’all. (If this is your first time listening to Bahamas, they don’t really rap. This is just a tribute to loving deadbeat dads and a verse about climate change. They go together, it works.)

That’s the end of the Bahamas current tour. Catch them next time hopefully. They didn’t seem totally in sync today, like maybe being on the road and performing every night is getting a little old. I hope they’re just in need of a break. They bring out the groovy jams and funky harmony like very few can. I like Afie, the dude, on his own but the whole band with Felicity Williams, the female singer, is what makes the band.

They closed with “I’ve Got All The Time”. Then we went to see Houndmouth who played “Sedona”. Both of these songs are on a playlist from a special time in my life. It’s funny how just a few songs can recall a distant time or place.


I keep missing this band but finally saw them! They were actually much better than I expected. A lot of fun energy and a good sound.

Shakey Graves

He covered Something In the Way by Nirvana. See video on the YouTube channel.

He’s really a great musician. It’s wonderful he “made” it because this guy earned it. His new album veers away from his old one-man-band beats and tambourine mix but it’s still something you want to listen to and really hear.

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