Alan Doyle going strong post-Great Big Sea (Playing Fri. 1/19 at GAMH with Donovan Woods)

For longtime fans of Newfoundland combo Great Big Sea, frontman Alan Doyle has some good news and some bad news. On the upside, he has a rollicking new solo effort out, his third — the Bob Rock-produced “A Week at the Warehouse” — which captures Great Big Sea’s kinetic Celt-rocking spirit. On the downside, when the band’s original member Sean McCann left in 2013 after two decades, he and co-founder Bob Hallett discussed amicable ways to continue without him. “We couldn’t come to an agreement so there was nothing left to do but move on,” says Doyle. “So it’s all good, everybody seems to be quite happy doing what they’re doing, and the door is still wide open.”

Click HERE for his interview with the SF Examiner!

Breakout band Wallows kicks off headlining tour in SF (Playing Wed. 1/24 at GAMH with Hazel English – Goldenvoice Presents)

There’s an ease that comes across when you talk with Wallows, the Los Angeles alt-rock trio fronted by “13 Reasons Why” star Dylan Minnette. As befits friendships that have lasted since school days, there are inside references and attempts to crack each other up. If there are nerves about the band’s launching its first nationwide tour — as the headliner, no less — they’re nowhere to be seen.

“It’ll be the first time we’ll be playing a show knowing that tomorrow we’re going to have to drive 10 hours to another city,” says Cole Preston, the band’s drummer. “But I think all of us, more than nervous, are really excited. We’ve all been friends since we were pre-pubescent booger weirdos, so it’s about time we all pile into a van.”
Click HERE for the SF Chronicle interview with the band!

Guitar Player Presents Tommy Emmanuel January 11 and 12 at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco—Win Tickets!

Tommy Emmanuel graced the cover of GP’s August 2017 issue celebrating the top acoustic players of all time, so ’nuff said about his otherworldly ability. Tommy is the cat tons of players turn to for inspiration, and there’s no better way to appreciate Emmanuel’s ninja-like technical precision and exhilarating execution than to catch him live. He’s currently on tour heralding a star-studded record of collaborations, Accomplice One [CGP/Thirty Tigers], which will be released on January 19th, and GP is proud to present a pair of shows in San Francisco on January 11th and 12th.

The first glimpse we got of Accomplice One was Emmanuel and JD Simo putting their stamp on Otis Redding and Steve Cropper’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” and Simo happens to be the opening act on this leg of Emmanuel’s tour, so it’s likely they will perform “Dock of the Bay” and more together during this two-night stand at the historic Great American Music Hall. A Guitar Player Presents promotion will be in effect onsite Thursday night—January 11—with free magazines and D’Addario goodies available at the GP table. Tickets are nearly sold out for these special seated shows at the Great American, so get yours right now here. - Guitar Player

It’s time for the sixth annual Western Winter Formal in San Francisco (with The Easy Leaves this Sat. 1/6 at GAMH)

If it’s January – which, believe it or not, it actually is – then it’s time for The Easy Leaves to perform in San Francisco.

The Northern California country-rock act hosts its sixth annual Western Winter Formal at the Great American Music Hall on Jan. 6.

So grab your tuxedo and Stetson hat (or, whatever else sounds like proper Western Winter Formal garb to you) and get ready to boogie with The Easy Leaves.

To get a taste for the band, we recommend checking out “Get Down,” which is our favorite Easy Leaves number.

The evening’s lineup also includes Western Centuries, Alison Harris and DJ Golden Graham. - Jim Harrington / The Mercury News

Win Tickets to John Brothers Piano Company (Sat. 1/13 at GAMH)

The John Brothers Piano Company are John Thatcher Boomer (piano, clarinet), Arlo Perlstein (piano, trumpet), Jimi Marks (drums, piano) and Dustin Smurthwaite (bass, trombone). That’s a lot of piano. And let’s not forget the fifth member of the Company: The Audience (described on the band’s website as being, “the primary inspiration in the development of their sound.”) That sound–

Come see and hear “early jazz meets stride and swing, waltzed through a Barbary saloon, laid to rest on a bed of rambunctious roses.” Piano poetry.

FunCheap has your chance to win! Click HERE!

Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven Close Out 2017 in San Francisco (Sat. 12/30 & Sun. NYE at GAMH!)

We absolutely dig Camper Van Beethoven, the great indie-rock act responsible for such ’80s gems as “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon” and, of course, “Take the Skinheads Bowling.”

We also adore Cracker, the alt-rock juggernaut behind such 90s classics as “Low,” “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now),” “Get Off This” and “Euro-Trash Girl.”

Thus, not surprisingly, we highly recommend those two acts’ co-headlining tour, which rolls into the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco Dec. 30-31.

The busiest man in the house, of course, will be David Lowery, who is a member of both bands. And that’s cool with us, since we’re always in the mood for a double dose of that terrific singer-songwriter-guitarist. - Jim Harrington / San Jose Mercury News

Scott Amendola and Orchestra di Pazzi Ready to let Fly at Slim’s (Sat. 12/30)

One of the Bay Area’s indispensable musicians, drummer Scott Amendola can often be found in stripped-down settings, duking it out in his long-running duo with Hammond organist Wil Blades in Amendola vs. Blades or investigating spacious soundscapes in his new duo with bassist Zach Ostroff, Turning Into a Butterfly.

But as one year gets set to metamorphosize into the next, Amendola is assembling a formidable collection of improvisers in Orchestra di Pazzi (which could translate as crazy orchestra), which includes vocalists Aurora Josephson and Pamela Z; guitarists Henry Kaiser, Fred Frith and John Schott; ROVA saxophonists Larry Ochs, Jon Raskin, Bruce Ackley and Steve Adams; vibraphonist Mark Clifford; cellist Crystal Pascucci; violinists Alisa Rose and Christina Stanley; and percussionists William Winant, Robert Lopez and Jordan Glenn. Whether splitting up into various smaller configurations or playing all together, the ensemble is conceived as a vehicle for impromptu exploration of sonic textures, dynamics, and interplay.

The gang will perform Dec. 30 at Slim’s in San Francisco. - East Bay Times

SF Weekly: Two Shows to See This Weekend: Ekali and Myles Parrish (See Myles Parrish Fri. 12/22 at Slim’s!)

25-year-old Myles Parrish has been top-charting in the pop-rap scene for more than three years now. The Bay Area-born singer-songwriter is best known for his work years ago as a duo with Kalin White called “Myles and Kalin.” That ran its course in early 2016, and since then Myles has released the youthful, energetic mixtape Vomac and toured alongside house-name rappers Hoodie Allen and Luke Christopher on the recent “Hyphy Holidays Tour.” (For those who don’t know, “Vomac” refers to the name of the street that Parrish grew up on as a kid in Dublin, Calif.) On the introductory track of the same name, he raps about where he came from and where he is now, hoping his listeners also walk in the direction of their dreams and pursue what they love. Each track has a kick-back-and-relax feel alongside themes of reflection and an appreciation for the challenges and payoff Parrish has received during his career. The road ahead is only becoming brighter for him as we continue to see both his fan base and album listens across streaming services grow. - SF Weekly

***Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Mistah Fab's Toy Drive!***

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!