Jackie Greene (The One I Wanted to See)

And it was…

Jackie Greene was incredible last night. He played the songs that I wanted to hear. Bob Weir did not come out on stage. His new band is incredible.

I had seen them (minus the horns) at a small venue in Nashville (The Local) last month, but they were having sound problems and it was a short set and a small stage in the middle of the afternoon, etc. I think you get the picture. I wanted to go to their show at Mercy Lounge that evening, but I didn’t particularly like Mercy Lounge the first time I went there and I wasn’t prepared for another claustrophobic late night. I feel more okay with my decision after last night.

Last night was everything that afternoon show in Nashville wasn’t (except Bob Weir still didn’t show up and that’s a good thing!). The band was so large that I couldn’t get a picture of everyone on stage at once. Newer additions Shannon Sanders (keyboards) and Megan Coleman (percussion) combine well with Nathan Dale and they really make the band pop. This is no jammy Dead cover band. This is *my* jam!

And did I mention the horns section…

It was two solid sets of Jackie and it ended with Jackie on stage by himself singing ‘Sweet Somewhere Bound’ to me (and everyone else, but really…) and a very cool poster.

So what I really want to say here is that if you have a chance to go see Jackie Greene on tour with this band backing him, DO IT! You can thank me later! And you can thank Shannon Sanders later too cause I probably wouldn’t have bought the ticket last night if he hadn’t confirmed that the band would be backing Jackie in SF.

The bad news is that if you aren’t going to see him tonight in LA, I’m not sure if you have this opportunity again. It’s the only other show listed on Jackie’s website

ACL – Saturday,Wknd 2

I’ve ridden Lyft many times and never feared for my safety and maybe that’s why I was shaking when I got out of my ride halfway to the fest on the I-35 access road.

The vehicle was playing a rap song about “slap that bitch” and “fuck that clit”. Not loud, but that is a fact. I’m not sure that you can fuck a clit.

The guy opted not to get onto the freeway entrance very close to my house and took the access road. There was a police escort that looked like it could slow things down so fine, whatever. At this point I mentioned that you could get on there and take the upper deck. They 3 other guys I was with agreed but the driver did not. I guess that our driver didn’t like the correction and still wasn’t planning to follow the gps. He did not get onto the freeway and he ran a red light in front of St. David’s at the on-ramp . Then we were trapped in UT game traffic. Was this maybe his plan the whole time? Pick up a higher fare? IDK, it was a weird situation. He said we had been rude and would be leaving us here to get another ride. Seriously, he pulled over on the access road and told us to get out. So we called another Lyft and here we are, at ACL. That really sucked and made me feel unsafe, even with three dudes in tow.

The Wombats – A strong festival beginning as we get oriented.

Curtis Harding – Great soul rock and roll.

The Breeders – Kim Deal is the real deal, still. First the Pixies, then the Breeders. She still rocks.

Lucie Silvas – This was a surprise. I liked the bit of the show I caught. Her smoky voice would be worth checking out again.

Brandi Carlisle – The guitarist from Pearl Jam, Mike McCreedy joined the set for a jam. It was a lot harder rock than I expected from her show but still with plenty of soft spots. The rock and roll made it easier not to cry so that’s nice. I’ll take this any way it’s being served.

Trampled By Turtles – Their Music is great but their audience is a bro show and I didn’t really want to deal with it.

Chvrches – It surprises me how cute she is. Pink flowing dress on a tiny 20-something dancing and spinning. She has black eye mask makeup though so she’s clearly a badass. Right? This was also a bro show but in the gay fan-boy way. I ended up in a mass of dudes who were so excited to see her, which was kinda fun on its own.

Sylvan Esso – Taking the stage in a Beyoncé, Single Ladies onesie with fringe arms and platform boots she was both fun to watch and good to hear. The lighting (or lack of) made the show feel surreal and dreamlike, especially as nighttime started to take over.

Metallica – These old dudes still rock hard.

2018 Hardly Strictly Jammies

The winner is…. Darlingside

This is mainly due to the fact that on Sunday we both chose this as our favorite performance. That says more about the day and our music tastes than anything. Darlingside is a 4-piece boy band from Boston who sounds a bit like Bon Iver with Sea Shanty Singers. They are like Warren Helman in a variety of ways and that is our jam.

Friday Jammie Winners:

  • Patty Griffin (Andee) – great to see her sing so strong and beautifully, brought me to tears
  • Langhorne Slim and the Lost At Last (Jenn) – he engages the audience in such an honest connection, also brought the feels

Saturday Jammie Winners:

  • Glorietta \ Jeff Tweedy (Andee) – My hometown (Austin) supergroup was a mix of perfection and Jeff is my favorite
  • I’m With Her \ The War & Treaty (Jenn) – All of these voices are what this country needs right now

Sunday Jammie Winners:

  • Darlingside (Andee & Jenn) – A surprising win. They earned the audiences attention with beautiful harmonies and strings on a slow Sunday morning. Well done.

For the record, Langhorne Slim (Great American Music Hall on 10/4), Tweedy (Fillmore on 10/5), Ben Morrison and Lone Bellow (GAMH on 10/7) we’re not eligible for the Jammies. You might have already guessed but Jenn would pick Ben every time. Check out our YouTube channel for some great videos of these performances and thanks for reading!

Day 3 – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Sunday 2018

Updates and the Jammies on Monday. Submit your nominations now. Also accepting photos.

What we saw:

Emmylou Sound Check – This is always a special and intimate moment between Emmylou, her band and the crowd. Today, Emmylou let us in on the fact that she was suffering from a cold and while you could totally tell during soundcheck as she coughed and blew her nose, you would never have guessed in her performances (even her soundcheck performances). A consummate professional!

Vetiver – The last song was good. Overall, this local band does not excite this local girl. To be fair though, I’m pretty sure that both Crystelle and Teri liked them when we saw them before too so this may just be a case where they are “not my jam”. Andee did point out that they were slow and that was perfect to start a Sunday morning.

Darlingside – Stole my heart. Looks/sounds like the Beatles and Bon Iver. That’s Andee’s assessment. Jenn says this band healed my soul two years ago (though that was not the first time that I had seen them and I had liked them enough the first time I saw them — opening for Patty Griffin, I believe — that I remembered their name and jumped at the chance to go see them with Renee) and they continue to heal me every time I see them and I see them any chance that I get.

Aaron Lee Tasjan – Best dressed band of the day. Also good and rocking and I love his song ‘Bitch Can’t Sing’ which doesn’t sound like an ally kind of song but it totally is. You have to hear the intro story (or maybe listen to the lyrics) to see the way that it is supportive,  but it’s definitely there. Also I managed to get a delivery of IPAs and flourless, dairy free peanut butter cookies which were AH-mazing. Thanks Dennis!

Nick Lowe – Another legend! He was backed by Los Straitjackets who performed the entire set in luche libre masks in the sun. It seemed cruel, but perhaps it was meant to be kind. (See what I did there?). He played that as well as his other hits and asked the question (well, one of them) on everyone’s mind… What is so fucking funny about peace love and understanding?

The Lone Bellow – (Part one — because we went to see them at GAMH as well after the music ended in the park). They were really incredible. I loved them the way I loved them the first time I saw them (also at HSB). They might have gotten best of the day (instead of Darlingside) except that their show at GAMH was better than the performance in the park, so we felt we couldn’t award them the best of Sunday. One of the highlights of both performances was when they covered Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For What It’s Worth’, though ‘Cold As It Is’ is amazing around that one mic.

Emmylou Harris & The Red Dirt Boys –

What to say? This is how I’d like to end every music festival if I can’t have this every weekend which would be my first choice. As usual, just lovely!

Thanks for joining us!

Day 2 – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2018

Here we go again. Tweedy last night at the Fillmore was amazing in spite of the Kavanaugh heckler. We love you Jeff. Thanks for speaking out for women.

This is an awesome photo of Jeff and his wife at the Women’s March.

Feeling tired?

Acupuncture with Sophia – near Lafayette, California… wha. East Bay. She’s an original sponsor of this blog. Thanks Sophia. 925-268-0117

Shows today:

Glorietta – The Austin supergroup was exactly my jam. Loved them. This was one of those fleeting moments that was so beautiful. This band seems to be together for one tour only and that’s a little bit of a bummer though we were lucky enough to catch this one time only super-group. Some of us might be lucky enough to see them in December in Austin too.

Hurray for the Riff Raff – Her style is what my 13 year old self loves. T-shirt, pink skirt, sparkles and frilly socks. Someone said she seems angry. Fuck right she’s angry. Have you been paying attention? #fuckthepatriarchy

This passionate music inspires.

The Cave Singers – It was a little disappointing how much sound was computer-generated with this band.

I’m With Her – OMG! This was so good! Definitely vying for Best of the Jammies. Those yellow jumpsuits were awesome but the real treat is their sound. Jenn here adding my own shout-out! Seeing and listening to and watching these ladies was so good for me! It felt like a little bit of healing. I’m definitely with her (especially Sara Watkins)!!!

The Wailin’ Jennys – nice harmonies. Jenn, when are you going to put them on your radar?

Tracy Nelson (above) – a legend… but kinda wish I would have walked over to see Liz Brasher. I never made it to the Bandwagon stage. Our set up at Rooster was just too good and I found Andy and Carla with Banjo (not the stage, the superfan)!

Another update from Jenn: Liz Brasher was amazing. Again. I missed the beginning of her set cause I had to haul ass to get from the Towers to the Bandwagon. I got to walk past The Wailin’ Jennys but there was no time to stop (though they did sound good. I’ll put them on my radar)! They were my sacrifice for Liz! And I was able to make it back to the Rooster for some of Tracy Nelson who had Lillie Mae on fiddle.

So back to Liz Brasher.

She should be on your radar if you like a woman who can rock! She makes me happy. Chatted with a nice guy, Steve, who was in town for work and extended his trip to stay for HSB. He had just randomly walked up on her and earlier on Kevin and Dustin Welch (who I was sorry to have missed but not sorry to have seen Hurray for the Riff Raff instead. Tough first world choices!)

Molly Tuttle – She’s small in size and in energy so she provided a beautiful afternoon serenade with soothing strings.

The War and Treaty – woah! See them! Right now!

Not only are they fun to watch and put on a great performance, they sound fan-freaking-tastic! Also a solid contender for Best of the Jammies. So much good music in one weekend! So much good music in one day!

Jeff Tweedy – Do I need to say anything? It was a magical experience.

I was sad to have missed Jeff Tweedy after how amazing he had been on Friday night at the Fillmore but I was LONG overdue for seeing Ani DiFranco and am trying to support women whenever possible. Jeff Tweedy is a solid ally but Ani is a woman and so my decision was made. It was totally the right decision as she launched the set with ‘God’s Country’, one of my personal favorites and it just got better! What a way to end the night!

Day 1 — Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Friday 2018

We’re on our way after turning back for a cell phone. I won’t mention whose. Thanks Rod for driving and going back.

Banjo Stage – left of the sound stage is where we were!

This was a great setup from Mamma/Sister Betts at the Banjo, but we spent a large portion of the day at Rooster.

I (Andee) saw:

David Luning (from Santa Rosa?) – great singer/songwriter and tight band. Really enjoyed this!

Ana Tijoux – Spanish Fem Hip Hop. She was fun and great to see at a festival, but not something I typically think of as “my jam”. Jenn adds: Also the sound went out partway through. I was glad to hear my favorite song as her second song and I even got up and danced at that early time slot! Also, connected with my friends Tarah and Tom on my way back to the Rooster stage.

Langhorne Slim and the Lost at Last Band – oh damn. He’s so engaging and adorable. I love his affinity for the elderly. Jenn adds: He totally made me cry with his Sid story today. Also, this *is* the way we move!

Patty Griffin – She had her voice and her voice brings me to tears. Her new songs have some power in them. I’m looking forward to her new album after some rough years. Pain is a beautiful music maker. Also she’s a blondie now.

Did anyone go to see Sera Cahoone? I know Rod and I saw her in the past opening for someone at The Freight, but Did We Jam did not make it over to the Bandwagon on Friday despite the line-up including The Mastersons and Sera Cahoone.

Jenn went to Mavis Staples and Alison Krauss at this point in a Fuck the Patriarchy decision!

Jenn says: And it was a good decision!

Mavis really was great. She always is. She’s a powerful woman and she reminded me (as does this entire festival) that I have friends who love me. I really do!!!

And Alison Krauss and that voice. She is lovely! Great end to the park part of the day.

Back to Andee:  Gregory Alan Isakov – He’s great and I have a friend from college who writes with him so he’s got a special place in my heart. The show was great but I did have a twinge of regret for staying for all the male energy in stage. I tried to leave but at that point it was too much and aborted the mission. Party where you’re stuck. 😉 Which is a little like love the one your with (says Jenn).

Can someone send me a photo from Gregory Alan Isakov?

Trampled by Turtles – Danced, drank, was fun and merry! Also a bunch of white dudes on stage, surrounded by a bunch of drunk dudes. Again, they were great but Jenn was in my head and I was thinking of the Kavanaugh confirmation. Why is it so hard to just be equal?

Khalid ACL Taping

This guy was not on my radar but is definitely topping the pop charts. The taping was full of teens and young adults ready to dance. Khalid is originally from El Paso and has had a quick rise to stardom. I won’t pretend to fully “get” it. maybe it is age or maybe it is just not my jam. However, the show was really good. What impressed me most was the genuine joy and kindness Khalid has while he performs and talks to the crowd. In his hit song “Location” he calls out the 915, which is El Paso. It was fun to see a family in the audience go crazy when he sang about the Texas town that is as far from Austin as it is from Los Angeles. I also had a friend who brought her teen daughter to the show. It was her first concert that she wanted to see, rather than tagging along to see mom’s music. They both had an amazing night and her mom told me later that it was perfect. Even if it isn’t your jam, it is so much fun to see people enjoy a show so much. Hopefully shes hooked and will be a live music fan for life!

Hardly! Strictly! Bluegrass!

My facebook feed has been filled with memories of HSB’s past, plus I’ve been working on a little project that has me sorting through old photos. I’m looking forward to the new memories that I’m about to make, as well as the new people I’m about to meet (no Raymonds, please!) and the new music that I’m about to discover. There’s a whole host of amazing music scheduled, both known and unknown. I can’t wait to introduce my friends to new discoveries from RWR and Americanafest.  And speaking of friends… it doesn’t get better than this. Friends arriving for the weekend. Friends who live in the Bay Area that I only see this one time each year. LOLMs. It’s a little bit of all of my favorite things. I’ve been trying to behave this week so that I’ll be well-rested for the weekend. The plan was going better before the dispensary decided to offer free dabs from 4 – 7 last night.  Sigh! Consequently, last night was not as well-behaved, nor as productive as I might have hoped. But I did make cookies (and I didn’t eat them all), so I guess it could have been worse.

A couple recommendations from me for HSB18:

David Luning — Local and Lovely! He’s a great storyteller and he’s a great musician. Well worth checking him out if you aren’t familiar.

Ana Tijoux — Maybe not a recommendation so much as a ‘I’ve been wanting to see her for awhile now and hope to take this opportunity’

Langhorne Slim — If you don’t know him, you should. He touched something in me the first time I saw him and I *never* miss the opportunity to see him live. Proof: I’ll be at his show at GAMH on Thursday night.

The Mastersons — A SXSW discovery from many years ago, perhaps from my first SXSW.

Mavis Staples — Do I really have to give you a reason for this?

Glorietta — A ‘super-group’ that I heard about on NPR and then Andee reminded me who they were. I definitely want to check them out! Finally gonna see David Ramirez

Kevin & Dustin Welch — I saw them at the Freight once and this is a must see in my opinion.

I’m With Her — Speaking of super-groups… and in this current political environment, I welcome seeing these ladies (Sarah, Sara and Aoife) and all of their instruments.

Liz Brasher — She rocked it at Americanafest. Definitely recommend

Steve Forbert — Yes! Yes! Yes! If you don’t know him, look up ‘Romeo’s Tune’ and you most likely will.

Molly Tuttle — Americanafest Instrumentalist of 2018

The War and Treaty — RWR find and what a find. This couple is lovely! Their story is lovely as is their music and their stage presence. You won’t regret this!

Eilen Jewell — Loved her when I saw her at Kate Wolf and have been trying to see her since.

Courtney Marie Andrews — Nominated for 2018 Americanafest Emerging Artist. Lost to Tyler Childers. Saw her at the CCR show at Americanafest. What an outfit!

Jeff Tweedy — Duh! My favorite curmudgeon!

The Family Crest (from San Francisco) — This band was a SXSW discovery (ironic?) and they are a lot of fun.

Darlingside — If you haven’t seen these guys, you really must. They will make you feel better, at least they always make me feel better. I ‘found’ them at a time that I really needed healing and I felt like they provided it. Also, they tell funny stories!

Aaron Lee Tasjan — Everyone’s talking about him. His outfits/shoes alone demand the conversation but there’s more to him than sartorial flair.

The Lone Bellow — HSB is where I discovered them. They, too, have a great story and are really quite amazing.

I didn’t mention some of the truly obvious like Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss. Perhaps I should, but I think you know…

To summarize: It really doesn’t get better than this weekend. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is my personal favorite holiday for the past I-don’t-know-how-many-years cause I can’t remember when I started going to HSB, but it’s got to be 15 years by now. Looking forward to another one!

Decemberists in Austin play Whiskey River to thank the audience for showing up when Willie and Beto are in town

The opener Kacy & Clayton were slow and pretty. I was prepared to struggle in the dark seated theater. (For the record, this is the place that fired me as a volunteer because I didn’t wear pantyhose and am insubordinate. Hehehe) They were best when harmonizing. The female singer seemed like she enjoyed a few too many edibles before the show and told awkward jokes (at least I think they were jokes) but once they started singing it was great. Nice guitar rhythms and melodies with pretty male/female harmony. Yeah. I would see them again.

In 2005 Rob went to Cleveland to see the Decemberists with Slagor, Guich and two guys I don’t know. It was an epic night and this is one of his all time favorite bands so we had to go see this show!

When I bought the tix in June I didn’t know Willie Nelson and Leon Bridges would decide to have a Rally for political candidate Beto O’Rourke on the same night. The band thanked the audience for turning up and played Whiskey River. Check out the video!


They ended the show with the Mariners Tale and a giant inflatable whale floating around the theater. The audience screamed their heads off and it was fun. This band is getting older and they are changing but they remain as smart and creative as ever.

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