What's Up, Chuck?
Raining, Pouring From country to blues to contemporary folk and beyond, this week's a music lover's dream.
Thursday, September 17, 1998
They say when it rains, it pours. And you''d be hard pressed to find a musical weekend that proves the adage more succinctly than this one does. Let''s take things in order--and briefly.
First, tonight, Thursday, McGarrett''s plays host to the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmy Vaughan''s old blues outfit. It''s true that the group isn''t what it once was--only harp blaster Kim Wilson remains as one of the original members of the group--but by all accounts the group hasn''t suffered much from the changing personnel.
The group, still touring in support of their 1997 album High Water, has been getting high marks throughout the country and in Europe for their high-energy blues, rock and r&b.
With the big dance floor--but relatively intimate confines--at McGarrett''s this ought to be an excellent way to get your musical weekend started.
Fabulous Thunderbirds, Thursday, ??pm. McGarrett''s, $??, 646-9244.
Thenthere''s the Monterey Jazz Festival beginning on Friday and going through Sunday. And we''ve written lots about that already (see the cover story and Backstage.)
Also on Friday, singer/songwriter Annie Gallup and Jim Page play the Media Room. I plugged Gallup''s 1998 CD, Courage My Love, between my ears this week, and heard something that resembled a country (OK, technically North Carolina) version of Joni Mitchell; the two share a gift for strong, story-telling lyrics, and a sultry, jazz-informed guitar style. Courage My Love is a really good, thoughtful, emotive offering from someone who is obviously as much a wordsmith as she is a musician. And it contains the only song I''ve ever heard that contains the word "platitudinous" (in describing the Grand Ole Opry). Page, another singer/songwriter, is described by Phil Elwood in the San Francisco Chronicle as "A marvelously inventive folk poet. More reminiscent of the Woody Guthrie I heard as a boy than anyone I''ve listened to in the intervening years." Yeah, you''ve probably never heard of Annie Gallup or Jim Page, but if you''re into something a little less frenetic than the rest of this week''s offerings, get yourself down to The Media Room on Friday.
Annie Gallup and Jim Page, Friday, 8pm. The Media Room, $10/advance; $12/door. 373-7379.
Let''s move to Saturday, but stay at The Media Room, where English songwriter/guitarist Steve Tilston is playing. His 1997 album, Solorubata gives some insight into his music. There''s certain poetic vision revealed in his lyrics ("the steel gaze of the blue heron''s eyes...I see no mercy in that gaze"), but the music is maybe even more arresting--a sort of cross between Martin Simpson and Leo Kottke, with a strong, emotional delivery that somehow conjures remembrances of Gordon Lightfoot.
Steve Tilston, Saturday, 8pm. The Media Room, $12/advance; $14/door. 373-7379.
And there''s the inaugural Salinas Country Music Festival at the Salinas Sports Complex on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe the most important thing about this festival is that it''s the first (or at least biggest) of its kind in these here parts and it features some top names in the genre. Although country music may have slipped a couple notches in popularity over the last couple of years, it''s still one of the biggest styles of popular music and it amazes me that it gets such short shrift on most local stages. This festival might go a long way toward redirecting attention to the country music in MoCo.
On page ??, we have an interview with headliner Clint Black and a thumbnail sketch of all the big-name performers, so I won''t get too bogged down with the festival here. Suffice it to say that, if you''re one of the millions of mainstream country music fans around the country, you''ll want to have your butt in the bleachers at the Rodeo Grou.er.Salinas Sports Complex.
Salinas Country Music Festival, doors open 11am Saturday and Sunday. Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 N. Main St., Salinas. Advance tickets: $29.95/both days; $17.50/Saturday only; $16/Sunday. At the gate: $21/each day. 1-800-SALINAS.
Also on Saturday night, at Doc''s Nightclub, blistering blues guitarist Michael Locke makes his debut appearance in MoCo. In the past, Locke has been compared--favorably--with Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Of course, it''s no accident that Locke was getting those kind of comparisons--earlier in his career, he virtually imitated the late, great SRV--down to onstage costume and act. ,Then, a couple years ago he decided he needed to step out from that shadow. ,He packed his bags, moved from Florida to the Bay Area, and linked up with producer Johnny Nitro.
Locke''s 1997 You Done Did It is ample testimony to both Locke''s roots and where he''s gone from there. ,There''s lots of SRV in the music, but you can hear other influences, too--the Alberts (Collins and King), a little dirty George Thorogood in the vocals, and some Dick Dale sorta surf rock riding high. In short, Locke''s more than an SRV clone; he''s got his own style, with as many influences as any other musician.
Saturday night''s concert also features Locke''s producer, S.F. guitar-man Johnny Nitro, to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Dino and Carolyn Pulgarin''s ownership of Doc''s. And the party''s just in time, D&C have apparently sold Doc''s, and they''re having their farewell party next Saturday. (See Backstage, for more details on the sale.)
Michael Locke and Johnny Nitro, Saturday, 9pm. Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.
And on Sunday, there''s a benefit concert/potluck for KAZU programmer Tam Paterson, who''s struggling with medical bills associated with his bout with cancer.
Paterson, the host of the Saturday morning Celtic show "The Eagle''s Whistle," also was a frequent host of the station''s Tuesday evening show "The Celtic Connection."
Both of those shows (if you hadn''t already guessed) focused on Celtic music, past and present. And the guests scheduled to perform at Sunday''s ceilidh reflect the Celtic community''s appreciation of Paterson''s efforts to keep the music alive--and heard on the radio.
Scheduled to perform are fiddlers Deby Grosjean and John Taylor, pipers Jay Salter and Karen Guggehnheim Machlis, pianist Paul Machlis, guitarist William Coulter, Standing Stones (a fiddle-and-guitar duet from San Jose), storyteller Mara Freeman, Lars Johanesson, Barry and Shelley Phillips, and the Cachagua Playboys (who will play, uh, CeltiCajun music?). Sounds like a pretty cool mix.
This is a potluck party and jam session, so remember to bring your own.
Benefit Ceilidh for Tam Paterson, Sunday, 6pm. American Legion Hall, $10/donation. 373-7379, 393-0193.
And that''s all, folks. Good luck catching it all.