Three quarters of the way into Speed’s opening track, “Little Too Late,” guitarist Larry Keel continues a scorching bit of lead guitar soloing underneath the near shouting vocals of frontman Keller Williams and bassist Jenny Keel, and the Nicki Bluhm cover gets an excitingly intensifying ending—and the album never really lets up from there. Somehow, all of the single word titles to Keller Williams’ albums end up perfectly encapsulating their essence.
Music, imagery, and delightful anecdotes from San Francisco’s so-called Summer of Love intertwined in charming, profound fashion at the city’s newly renovated Nourse Theatre on July 22. The multimedia concert spotlighted Joan Baez, Nicki Bluhm, the T Sisters, and a host of other burgeoning Bay Area players and singers.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band displayed in Oakland, California, why its stock has vaulted the group toward the top echelon of touring outfits and headlining roles at many-a-music festival. Anchored by a couple of blues-rock stalwarts, each with a consummate musical pedigree, the husband-and-wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks presided over the 12-piece ensemble’s performance on Sept. 8 that was all at once brilliant, exhilarating, wide-ranging, and classy.
There was a decidedly day-glo hue to the bluegrass played at this year’s Northwest String Summit (July 16-19). Many of the musical merry-makers, and deadicated patrons alike, appeared to still be basking in the warm fluorescent after-light of the “Fare Thee Well” experience. The haunting presence of the now officially departed Dead continues to populate and positively inform a new generation of musical/spiritual adventurers.
Nestled in the Sierras at the base of Squaw Valley Lodge, Winter Wonder Grass opened its door for the first time on the West Coast to deliver a top notch line up of Bluegrass music. The previously only located in Colorado festival spread its wings to expand to another Grass loving area in Tahoe. Billed as a Beer and Music festival the bill, did not lie. Every major brewer on the West Coast was in attendance from Lagunitas, Tahoe Favorite 50/50, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Green Flash and many, many more!
I’m searching for phrases to describe Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival. It began as a dark side of the moon, but that was just a phase. As an audience, our hackles were already up, howling at the moon before the weekend ever arrived. Through no fault of the Phases organizers, RatDog had to cancel their appearance. Bobby Weir’s lightening is lazy.
When the sun peeks over the hillside, and you hear music wafting through the air coupled with the lilt of a family of birds you’ll know you’re in the right place. There will likely be a few groups of people stumbling by, chatting and laughing. Your tent will become a sauna as the sunshine fills the clear sky. You’ll crack open your first beer of the day, sip your breakfast wine or wander along the few paved paths to find some food. Golf carts will whizz by as you stop to take in the scenery, suck in a deep, clear breath and get ready for the days ahead.