Jade Bird, Tonight (9/6) at The Chapel

Again I haven’t been writing as frequently as I intend to write.

This week, I really meant to write about Bishop Briggs but #StopKavanaugh has been taking up too much of my head space. I’m taking a break from everything for a minute to write about Jade Bird.

She’s British though I swear she sounded Australian. She’s 20. She’s tiny, but she has a big voice. She describes some of her songs as “shouty” but I would describe them as rocking. I saw her a couple weeks ago when she opened for Brandi Carlile at the Mountain Winery. I’m looking forward to seeing tonight as the headliner. I had wanted to see her at SXSW, but something happened. I think it might have been when I found out that my grandmother died. Or I might have been drunk. Hard to say… it was SXSW; not remembering things is to be expected. There’s a lot to remember.

Anyway, tickets are only $18 at the door. I can’t see why you wouldn’t go. It’s a Thursday night. What else do I need to say? #jadebird #didwejam

Brandi Carlile

This isn’t so much a review of last night’s show as it is a review of Brandi Carlile. I have no idea how many times I’ve seen her, but I can’t think of a time that she didn’t wow me.

There was the first time when I didn’t even know who she was and she actually yodeled. To be fair, it was more of an interview with some songs than it was a show; it was an eTown performance with Marc Cohn that was taped at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins. She and the twins hooked me there.

The second time I saw her she literally brought the roof down. Okay, she may not have had anything to do with it; it may have been the ridiculous amount of liquid that had been falling from the skies that winter in Fort Collins. And it may not have been the roof so much as parts of the Aggie ceiling that started to fall into the crowds while we watched her perform. The firepeople had to come in and cordon off certain parts of the floor. It was interesting to say the least!

Then there was the time that I took my mom and dad and two of their close friends to see her in PA at the Sellersville Theatre. 4 new enthusiastic fans! I bought all 3 of her CDs (that’s how long ago it was, there were only 3 CDs) and got one signed for my mom which she listens to incessantly in her car. Flash forward, my niece knows all the words to Brandi Carlile’s ‘Give Up the Ghost’ album. She loves Brandi Carlile!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I end up flying to PA in June 2013 and Brandi Carlile is playing this festival in NJ. (Coincidentally it’s also her birthday. Happy Birthday Brandi!) My dad already has tickets for him and my mom and my niece and then gets two more for me and my cousin, T, who drives down from CT to meet us. We all take H to her first concert, a music festival at Appel Farm (where Low Cut Connie is the opening act of the day — not a bad day AT ALL!) To add to the fun of the day, I reunited with a college friend that I hadn’t seen in ~20 years. Not a bad day AT ALL! It bears repeating.

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Then there was last year in April when I flew to Austin to celebrate Andee’s birthday with an ACL show. She played ‘The Story’ from beginning to end and pretty much from the first note til the end of the show, I had tears streaming down my face. I’m not gonna name names, but I wasn’t the only one. Two things to note here: 1) There had been a lot of free alcohol and not a lot of food in my day as Andee had won tickets to Rock Your Taco and in typical Andee-fashion managed to convert those into free tickets for the entire day of the Austin Food & Wine festival and; 2) ‘The Story’ was the CD that I probably listened to the most the year that I was ending my 14-year relationship. It was on constant rotation in my car and I listened to it at least twice every time I made the six hour (round-trip) drive to PA to escape from cohabitation with my ex in our little condo in CT. Many needed reprieves until the lease ended and I could afford to return to my city by the bay.

Then there were performances at both Kate Wolf and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in 2017, so that was three times seeing Brandi in 2017 alone. It is entirely possible that I’ve seen her more than any other performer. I may have to go back and try to figure out how many times I’ve actually seen her, but the real point here is that she NEVER disappoints. I’ve seen her with the twins. I’ve seen her with a little band. I’ve seen her with a full band, including strings (last night). I’ve seen her alone. She NEVER disappoints.

Last night was amazing! The setting (The Mountain Winery) with the pretty (albeit smoky) views. The company; I love my LOLMs. The price of the tickets ($0 for 9th row essentially). The song choices: the new album has some good stuff on it; and then there was a cover of Joni Mitchell ‘A Case of You’ that brought me near tears; and then Aretha ‘Do Right Woman Do Right Man’.

 

The only negative I can find is that now that she has such a large catalog of music, I often don’t get to hear the old favorites that I still love. I miss hearing ‘What Can I Say’. It’s the song that started it all for me.  Well that song and the yodeling…

It’s probably best that I didn’t hear ‘Turpentine’ last night. Near tears would have become certain tears. ‘The Story’ was enough of a challenge and was only a win in the end for me because the tears were not streaming. And if my biggest complaint is that I didn’t get to hear all the songs that I love, then I’ve really got no complaints. To further offset that ‘complaint’, in the pro column I’d have to list Brandi’s ability to pick great openers.

Last night it was Jade Bird. She was adorable. I loved her stage presence and her description of some of her songs as shouty. I would say rocking vs shouty, but she’s British so maybe it’s a translation thing. Regardless, I am planning to go see her at The Chapel after seeing her last night. In the past, Katie Herzig stands out as an opener. She just recently came through San Francisco and I couldn’t go (too many choices and only one me — lucky for everyone, I’m sure). Though I’m not sure if The Secret Sisters have opened for Brandi, she has been instrumental in their story and I think they are marvelous. Thanks Brandi! You’re the best!!!!

And if you are still following along, go to our other blog post from Andee about Brandi Carlile.

TLDR: If you have a chance to go see Brandi Carlile, you should do it!

Walker Lukens & the Future Thieves @ Antones

Poppy and altogether, I would see this band again.

Future Thieves

Then there’s this Walker Lukens character.

He has great hair and genuinely looks like he loves making music. That’s refreshing.

Then there was this cover…

Say a little prayer for Aretha. May she Rest In Peace.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at the Fox

UPDATE:  Show last night was amazing. All the more so cause the opening band was Tank and the Bangas.  Who knew?!?  Apparently, not me and not one of my friends….

This is a must! I’ve been looking forward to this show for months now. Not a lie. Tickets were purchased in January. Then I saw him again at SXSW, which was an adventure in and of itself, and I was so glad that I already had another show lined up. This one!

I won’t lie that I’m thinking about buying tickets for tomorrow night’s show too since they still appear to be available. We shall see. I have to go to the box office anyway so it will be perfectly convenient…

I can’t imagine anything better than the Night Sweats backing up Nathaniel Rateliff’s vocals and keyboardist, Mark Shusterman’s playing and cheerleading. It’s going to be a good dancing night. They don’t have a bad song.

Come see for yourself!

Tonight (8/11) it’s Wild Child at Cornerstone

It just seems like the right thing to do for so many reasons…

  1. Andee would want me to go to this show. And, in fact, she does. We spoke this morning before she headed to the New West Fest and she encouraged me (again) to go see them
  2. I’ve wanted to see Wild Child for awhile now because of Andee’s recommendation and because one of their songs has been in my Spotify playlist for a bazillion years, but it’s never worked out for a variety of reasons
  3. I’ve never been to Cornerstone for music and it seems like if I’m recommending shows at Cornerstone, I should probably check out the venue
  4. When I went to Spotify to listen to Wild Child, similar artists included Mt Joy who I like (well, I like the one or two songs that I’ve heard and I’ve been trying to see them). Digression: I missed them at SXSW and couldn’t go see them the last time they played the Bay Area because I was going to a different show (and I was not unhappy with my choice). That show ultimately sold out (which is awesome). The next show was announced at a larger venue (The Independent vs either du Nord or the Swedish — can’t remember which) and I stupidly waited to buy tickets and they sold out. I’m totally bummed! If anyone has an extra ticket to Mt Joy at the Independent next Friday night (8/17), let me know. I’ll totally take it off your hands and give it a good home. I promise!
  5. I get a ride to and from the show
  6. I haven’t been to a show in over a week!
  7. I don’t have plans to go to a show until this Sat* (8/18 — Nathaniel Rateliff) so it would be over TWO weeks if I did’t go tonight
  8. I don’t have any other plans this weekend (and while I don’t like to have plans on the weekends, it’s good to force myself to shower and leave the house occassionally)
  9. The show is $19 at the door. It’s hard to say no to a show that’s under $20 which reminds me that Parker Millsap tickets went on sale yesterday for The Chapel on Tuesday, October 30th. That show is also under $20 and it should sell out. That is not to say that it *will* sell out, that is to say that it *should* sell out. I’ve got my tickets plus 5 friends already. I can think of at least 4 more who will be going. He’s great; it’s gonna be a good time. You should buy your tickets before the show sells out; learn from my Mt Joy mistake!

Of course not all of the reasons listed above will apply to you personally, but perhaps some of them will or perhaps you can come up with one or two of your own to replace the ones that don’t apply to you. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

*unless someone offers me that Mt Joy ticket that is discussed in #4 Digression, then it would be exactly two weeks

 

SHEL at New West Fest in Fort Collins, CO

Sometimes you need to get out of town and sometimes the world blesses you with a free festival just a few blocks from your AirBnB where a band you love is playing. Oh, hi there SHEL!

These 4 sisters, from the Fort Collins area have recently moved to Nashville to record an album. It was a real treat to see them on their home turf with hometown fans. The show was the opening act for Saturday, starting just before noon. In spite of the early start time, it was well attended.

The gals harmonize like only sisters can. Also like any group of siblings, they are each very different from each other but the familial tie that binds them is obvious and adds to their allure. The folks in Colorado already know that this is a band to watch!

Israel Nash @ Scoot Inn with Curtis Rousch and Feverbones

July 27. Israel Nash, the tall, scraggly teddy bear releases an album tonight. He kinda reminds me of the dude, super chill and probably full of sage advice, like what color rug I need to tie my room together.

The opener, Curtis Rousch (also from Bright Light Social Hour) was already playing when we arrived at 8pm. Sadly many folks missed him. They got to see Feverbones, which just doesn’t really do it for me. Their music isn’t bad and at times sounded like Jim James but it just wasn’t my jam.

On the other hand, Roush puts on a great live show that took me on trips, zoning out during the guitar solos and watching the dusk sky and clouds. Did I mention that it was 100 something today in Austin, Tx?

So one thing that I can’t help doing is overlaying songs in my head that sound similar. Like the song in the video above from Curtis Roush, Space is Empty, with this one from Sharon Van Etten, Every time the Sun Comes Up. It’s a weird habit but once you hear it you can’t go back. Sorry, not sorry.

Israel Nash is next and I would guess it’s about 95 outside. There’s a breeze sometimes and the venue isn’t overly crowded. It’s full but there is space for a foot between everyone so we’re not a sweaty mess!

“The Neil Young of Texas” is what I heard one of our group say at the end of the night. I guess he is in a way. He certainly has the sound down. He also seems to have a talent for being together great musicians and bringing out the best in them. He also brings together good friends! Thanks to Rob, Cathy, Brian, and Bryan who joined me at the show.

The warm evening was perfect with tunes just chill enough for the summer breeze. Congrats to Israel on the new album.

Lifted by Israel Nash is out today.

Your plans for Sat night should include a trip to Marin

ShinyRibs will be performing at the Sweetwater. Why this show isn’t selling better is a mystery to me.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this is Kevin Russell of The Gourds with an incredible band backing him up. I had to steal the following blurb from their website cause I couldn’t say it better. ‘A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party.’  And it is! They are the funnest!!! I really can’t recommend this show enough! It’s a performance and they give it everything.
For those of you who were lucky enough to see The Trishas, you might recognize one of his back-up singers, Kelly Mickwee. I’d like to take a moment here to say just how much I miss The Trishas and I hope to see them again some day but in the meantime, I get to see one of them continuing to perform.
Also, I might have a thing for the keyboard player.
Kevin performs for the entire show. He dances. He sings (of course). He plays stringed instruments. Sometimes there’s a conga line. His band is incredibly talented and fun. It’s really not to be missed. I would be there, except for a ‘wifely’ duty and a lack of wheels.

The other thing that makes them fun is the covers they choose to reinterpret and cover. They did a Bowie cover (‘Golden Years’) when I saw them last and that was AWESOME! And ‘Thrift Store’… yeah, they’re pretty much amazing!

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