Blues, Bagpipes And Bluegrass
No matter whether you're from Abilene, Texas or Aberdeen, Scotland we got your soul music.
Thursday, July 22, 1999
Probably the biggest bang for your musical buck is at the Summer Fat Fry Music Festival in Aptos Village Park this weekend. The two-day festival features headliner Merle Haggard with Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider, Laura Love and Kelly Joe Phelps on Saturday. Sunday''s headliner is Taj Mahal with openers David Grisman, Dar Williams, Mumbo Gumbo and the Young Dubliners.
Saturday is particlarly strong with the nearly legendary Haggard leading the lineup. Haggard, is probably best known for the controversial "Okie from Muskogee" from 1969. Performed at a time when the dividing line between redneck and hippie seemed to be clear cut and there was no doubt which side country music was on, the song both mocked and celebrated trailer trash culture. It was, to say the least, a gutsy song for Haggard, an ex-con and rising country music star, to record. The move paid off, however, and Haggard developed into one of the most recognized country music stars of all time.
Just preceding Haggard, Texas balladeer Robert Earl ("The Road Goes on Forever," "Gringo Honeymoon") Keen takes the stage and just before Keen, Todd ("I''m an Alright Guy") Snider will do his energetic roots rock. Keen has made umpteen appearances at previous Fat Frys and in Santa Cruz, and this is Snider''s third or fourth time around. As anyone who''s seen these guys in the past knows, if it weren''t for Haggard, either one could be headlining this show. (In fact, it''s going to be interesting to see how Haggard holds up in the wake of Snider and Keen.)
Both festival days are strong, but if you have to choose only one, choose Saturday.
KPIG Fat Fry Summer Music Fesival, Saturday & Sunday, 11am-7pm. Aptos Village Park, off Highway 1, Aptos. Advance: $25/day; $45/two days. Day of show: $29. 420-2800. www.lovelightconcerts.com.
Bluegrass singer/songwriter/guitarist Bob Amos is appearing courtesy of Nina Kelly and Grass in the Grove Productions. Although many of the arrangements on his 1999 album, Wherever I Go, lean heavily on tradition, Amos delivers a contemporary sound that incorporates elements of pop, country and the soul-searching, singer/songwriter angst that one normally associates with performers who hail from Boston or New York. It''s pretty interesting stuff, with an appeal that stretches beyond bluegrass'' usual confines.
Depending on what happens in the next couple of weeks, this may be one of the last concerts at The Media Room (see story, page 10). Hopefully the owners of the space and the city of PG will be able to work something out; The Media Room is a unique and damn-near perfect venue for smaller musical acts. It would be a shame to lose another venue this year.
Bob Amos, Wednesday, 7:30pm. The Media Room, $16.50/advance; $18/door. 372-5641.
Bagpipe music isn''t for the fainthearted. It''s big music--loud and proud and soul-stirring. To prove that, all you have to do is go see The Wicked Tinkers at the opening concert for the Scottish Games and Celtic Festival on Friday. For me, there''s something about hearing bagpipes that lifts my kilt; I don''t know if it''s some sort of genetic memory or echoes from a past life or what, but I love ''em. So, whether the rest of the office liked it or not, I''ve been playing the Tinkers'' newest album, It''s Not About Pretty a lot for the last week. If the pipes do it for you, too, check out piper Aaron Shaw and percussionists John MacAdams and Warren Casey on Friday.
The Wicked Tinkers, Friday, 8pm. Monterey Fairgrounds, $10/door. 484-2834.
And don''t forget that Sista Monica is headlining Seaside''s Sunday Blues in the Park concert. Opening for the good Sista is the Broadway Band. The whole shebang starts around 1pm at Laguna Grande Park. It''s free, and if the sun is out, there''s no better way to laze away the afternoon.