Song Premiere: “Fireflies” by The Minnesota Child (Playing Thurs. 2/1 at GAMH)


The Minnesota Child is the moniker of Oakland, California-based, multi-faceted musician Ethan Buckner. His songs channel classic songwriters like Paul Simon and Justin Vernon, while not giving into overt nostalgia. Instead, The Minnesota Child transforms indie folk into something new, something larger and more immersive for their listeners. The production on “Fireflies” is lush, adding a sweet, delicate feel to their thoughtful instrumentation. The Minnesota Child is just getting started with “Fireflies” and it will be exciting to see what’s next for the inspired folk mastermind.

““Fireflies” is a call to remember that we all have the strength to get through whatever life in these crazy times throws at us. It is so common to feel broken, isolated, and alone, despite living in a time when we supposedly are more connected than ever. “Fireflies” is a reminder that we are actually not alone, that many have dealt with similar challenges before us, and that we can find our way in the darkness”, states Buckner.

The Minnesota Child will be releasing a new EP, titled Fireflies, on February 1st. - The Big Takeover

 

Songs of Praise and Generosity from a Beloved Bay Area Institution (Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir Ensemble Performs Christmas Eve at Slim’s – 2 shows!)


The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir’s December concerts are a Bay Area holiday tradition with a lot to say about why we love it here. The choir welcomes people of all faiths, colors and gender to sing the gospel of praise and generosity. The choir just got back from a tour of the South where they joined the San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus for concerts raising money and awareness for LGBTQ equal rights — so these holiday shows should feel like a triumphant homecoming. LeVar Burton, former host of the PBS series Reading Rainbow, emcees the concert Dec. 2 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. They’re also doing two shows with the San Francisco Symphony, one with the Oakland Symphony, another show at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, and capping it off with a Christmas Eve show at Slim’s. - KQED The Do List

The Barr Brothers Are the Pride of Providence (Playing Wed. 12/13 at GAMH)


The Barr Brothers are originally from my hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, which has not been a hotbed for music other than the Talking Heads. So I have to thank Brad and Andrew Barr for writing an album of indie songs about their misspent youth in Little Rhody. They probably had more fun than I did, but we both left (with the Barr Brothers living in Canada). Their new album, with indispensable harpist Sarah Page, is a model of lo-fi indie folk-rock, folk-blues, and other hyphenates, sounding a bit, as my co-host Jeffrey Edalatpour notes, like Lord Huron or Sun Kil Moon. Good company. - Cy Musiker / KQED's The Do List

Watch I’m With Her Perform “See You Around” (Playing Tues. 4/3 at GAMH)


I’m With Her’s debut album See You Around is easily one of 2018’s most anticipated releases. The project of Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sara Watkins, I’m With Her combines the myriad talents of three of roots music’s most beloved musicians to a result far greater than the sum of its already impressive parts.

Ahead of the album’s February 16 release, the trio has shared a handful of new tunes, including the arresting title track. In many ways, “See You Around” condenses all that’s great about the trio — intricate vocal harmonies, delicately crafted acoustic arrangements, thoughtful lyricism — into just under four minutes, serving as an intriguing teaser for the rest of the album’s forthcoming tracks.

“‘See You Around’ was one of the first songs we wrote together in Los Angeles in July 2015,” Watkins says. “It encapsulates a lot of what this band is about: moving through the world with a certain boldness and looking forward to the future.”

Watch a clip of I’m With Her performing “See You Around” live on the recent American Acoustic Tour. - American Songwriter

Ismay Announces ‘Songs From A River’ EP and Premieres the Track “River Of Light” (Playing Sun. 12/17 at Slim’s)


Coming from the coastal hills of Northern California, Ismay is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the American West. With an ear for an old-time aesthetic and artistry of indie folk, Ismay blends inventive songwriting, ethereal vocals, and dynamic fingerpicking on her new EP, Songs From A River.

The creation of her debut EP began with a river. After dropping out of college, Ismay (Avery Hellman) wandered from California to New Mexico and up through the Pacific Northwest. During this time, she sought out a place of natural significance through which to explore her passion for the arts and the environment. Eventually, she found herself on the banks of the Klamath River in far Northern California. It was in this country that Ismay became entranced by the intricate cultural landscape of the Klamath. In the following two years, she embarked on a horseback trip to document the river through film, photography and audio recordings. In addition, she wrote and recorded five original songs, both along the Klamath with an old cassette tape machine and in a studio above the Pacific Ocean.

Working with producer Tim Bluhm (Sarah Lee Guthrie, Johnny Irion) and engineer Robert Cheek (Band of Horses, Chelsea Wolfe) at Panoramic Studios, the field recordings were produced by Eric Drew Feldman (PJ Harvey), and string arrangements in Nashville with Brad Jones at Alex the Great Recording (Justin Townes Earle, Nancy Griffith, Yo La Tengo).

Weaving natural symbolism into this coming-of-age story, Ismay’s EP, Songs from a River, explores the way in which a connection to place shapes and parallels songwriting and recording. Today, Ismay shares one of the tracks from the EP, “River of Light,” a delicate string-fueled ballad highlighted by Ismay's serene vocals. - No Depression

Listen to the track HERE.

Q&A: Patterson Hood On Drive-By Truckers’ Angry Political Anthem “The Perilous Night” (Playing GAMH on Wed. 2/7 & Thurs. 2/8)


Like many of us, Patterson Hood is mad as hell and has been for a while now. The Drive-By Truckers co-frontman has spent the past year-plus watching the rise of Donald Trump and all its attendant consequences with horror and frustration. Yet even coming off an album as overtly political as 2016’s American Band, for months he struggled to put his feelings into words. And then white supremacists marched through Charlottesville and murdered a counter-protester, and the president had the gall to say there were some “very fine people” among their ranks. Very quickly after that it all came pouring out.

The resulting song is called “The Perilous Night.” It’s a raucous barroom rocker with pessimistic lyrics expressing the frustration many of us have felt while watching so many Americans — including people we love — bend over backwards to justify the unjustifiable. The Truckers started performing it on tour immediately. Now, on the first Election Day since last year’s debacle, they’re releasing a studio version as a reminder to get out and vote.

Click HERE for the rest of the Stereogum article!

Track Premiere: Cannibal Corpse, “Red Before Black” (Playing Tues. 11/14 & Wed. 11/15 at Slim’s)


We haven’t had a chance to dive into the lyrics of the title track from Cannibal Corpse’s new album Red Before Black yet, but we would like to imagine that Corpsegrinder and crew are suggesting that red, and not black, is the most brutal color of all. Cannibal Corpse know a thing or two about being brutal — this is the band that popularized death metal and once named an album Kill (all other bands should just stop trying; that is THE definitive death metal album title, QED) — so perhaps we should listen to them and just start wearing all red all the time instead of black. Black is so boring anyway!

MetalSucks is pleased to premiere “Red Before Black” to the world today.

Take a listen HERE!

Phoebe Bridgers On World Cafe (Opening for Noah Gundersen at GAMH on Thurs. 11/9)


Phoebe Bridgers has one of those voices that can make a rowdy arena crowd go silent and then leap to its feet. I saw it happen when she joined Conor Oberst on stage this past summer at the WXPN XPoNential Music Festival. I can't imagine many people in the crowd knew who she was before they heard Conor invite her on stage for a duet. By the time she was done — standing ovation.

No surprise that when Ryan Adams heard Phoebe sing, he invited her to come to his studio the very next day and ended up producing her debut EP Killer, which came out in 2015. Apparently, that involved being showered with a lot of snacks from 7-Eleven, and being gifted a guitar that Phoebe still uses — in fact, it's the one she's using for our session to play songs from her debut full-length album Stranger In The Alps. She starts us off with a live performance of "Motion Sickness."

Click HERE for her NPR performance!

SoCal Stoner-Rock Pioneers Return To San Francisco (Fu Manchu Play Slim’s Tonight – 11/7)


Along with fellow late ’80s and early ’90s East Coast heavyweights Monster Magnet and Palm Desert heroes Kyuss, Southern California quartet Fu Manchu helped foster the downtuned, psychedelic style of heavy stoner rock that rose to popularity during the 1990s and remains influential to this day.

While the Orange County band got it’s start in the mid-1980s as a hardcore punk outfit called Virulence, a number of personnel changes would lead to a shift in sound that incorporated elements of classic rock, metal and proto punk that nodded to everything from Hendrix and Black Sabbath to Blue Cheer and the Stooges. With longtime guitarist Scott Hill taking over on lead vocals shortly after the band changed it’s name to Fu Manchu and released it’s first single in 1990. Hill quickly developed into a commanding frontman, leading the group through the recording of several more singles before they produced their debut album No One Rides For Free in 1994.

Click HERE for the rest of the CBS preview!

Midnight North Adds Bob Weir To Guests Including Phil Lesh For San Francisco Show (TONIGHT – Fri. 11/3 at GAMH)


Tonight (Friday, November 3), Midnight North will play a guest-filled hometown show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. A number of guests had already been announced and now Bob Weir has been added to the list of those expected to sit-in.

Midnight North had previously performed a handful of times with Grateful Dead band mates Phil Lesh and Bob Weir and both will be on hand tonight. Other confirmed guests include Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey of Twiddle. - Jambase

Rock harmonies of Midnight North come to SF for final tour date (Fri. 11/3 at GAMH)


This is not your parents’ jam band.

In fact, Midnight North isn’t a jam band at all. But they’ll be hard pressed to avoid being viewed as one, having emerged from the fertile Marin County scene centered around Terrapin Crossroads, the restaurant, nightclub and concert venue founded by Phil and Jill Lesh of Grateful Dead fame.

The club was originally envisioned as a gift to music fans of central Marin and a place for Phil to perform as he began cutting back on touring after decades on the road. It has since grown into an incubator for up-and-coming North Bay talent. Numerous local acts have benefited from this arrangement, but none more than Midnight North, who play the Great American Music Hall on Friday, Nov. 3.

The San Francisco show is the final stop in a busy summer of touring highlighted by an appearance at this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. The old hippies have passed the torch to the next generation and Midnight North is poised to attain national prominence.

Click HERE to read the rest of the San Francisco Chronicle's article!

On ‘Murmuration Nation,’ Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers Goes Solo (Playing GAMH on Sun. 11/5)


Emily Saliers is perhaps best known as one half of the Indigo Girls. She's been performing with Indigo Girls' other half — her musical partner, Amy Ray — for over 30 years. And while that collaboration is still going strong, Saliers is now trying something new: putting out her first solo record.

Murmuration Nation, which comes out today, maintains the earnestness that Indigo Girls fans might expect — but it also borrows from some surprising genres, like R&B and hip-hop. Saliers spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about what inspired this record, and how it feels to strike out on her own at this point in her career.

Click HERE to listen to / read NPR's profile!

Noah Gundersen Ponders On The Modern Existential Crisis With ‘Dry Year’ (Playing GAMH Thurs. 11/9)


“Dry Year” is a gut-wrenchingly honest and confessional view at thoughts that make up an existential crisis in today’s age. With a melancholic stripped-down acoustic guitar Noah vulnerably asks questions like, “are these my feet going through the motions/ are these my feet learning how to dance?” showing us the balance of dwelling in the mundane while still trying to inflict change. The culmination of all of these thoughts and observations leads up to the one of last lines, when Noah sings “tell me where all of this is going to?” As you listen to this song, you begin to ask your own questions or just realize that you have the same ones as he does, which is one of the many reasons we love Noah Gundersen so much. - The Wild Honey Pie

Take a listen HERE!

Red Fang Return To Rock Slim’s (Sat. 10/21)


Over the course of more than a decade, Portland, OR-based quartet Red Fang has established itself to be one of the most talented, hard-working bands in heavy rock. Since first coming into wider recognition with the release of their eponymous Sergeant House Records debut in 2009 — and the viral Dungeons-and-Dragons inspired video for “Prehistoric Dog” that featured the beer-shotgunning band clad in 12-pack armor battling wizards (it’s been viewed over four million times on YouTube) — Red Fang has earned a sizable international fan base with its relentless touring schedule.

Click HERE for KPIX CBS's preview & catch them in action this Sat. 10/21 with Once and Future Band & War Bison!

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