If last weekend’s Roots Roadhouse left you jonesing for more blues, alt country, and Americana (or if, sadly, you missed the swell shindig thrown by Grand Ole Echo promoter Kim Grant), check out these off-the-beaten-track venues where the artists/songwriters sing songs of big lives lived small on back roads and in bypassed towns.
On August 4th, “Brad Colerick’s Wine and Song” at WineStyles in South Pasadena scores a Big Ticket coup with headliner Freebo who played a decade of bass for Bonnie Raitt and also backed up artists from John Mayal to Crosby, Stills & Nash to Dr. John before turning to full-time (and award-winning) singing and songwriting. Music Connection, Los Angeles notes that Freebo creates “a provocative and haunting landscape which beautifully balances biting criticism, strong patriotism and a sense of whimsical optimism.” (Second act TBA) Come to hear a folk-rock/blues icon and drink good wine (from sponsor Donati Family Vineyard) in a living-room-like setting.
On August 5th, Arnie’s Cafe presents “Pocket Goldberg and Friends” featuring singer-songwriters Nicole Gordon and Marty Axelrod‘s Songs of Shiloh: an “emotionally affecting cycle of pop songs about a waitress named Shiloh ” according to Pasadena Weekly, which also notes that the duo “paints vivid, believable portraits of thwarted dreams and cautious hope” buoyed by the “shivery beauty of Gordon’s voice”. Back-up singer Zoe Axelrod lends her high, clear soprano to the mix. Valley Scene describes headliner John Zipperer (Jethro Tull and Vanilla Fudge) and Friends‘ music as “a cross between folk/acoustic/jam that brings to mind lazy summer afternoons lazing back on green grass and sipping a cool beverage.” Both acts are backed by the kick-ass house band: Pocket Goldberg, Debra Dobkin, Nick Kirgo and Dave Fraser. Come early (to get a seat) and to see soulful songsmiths, singers, and musicians perform in a so-close-you-can-touch-them cafe.
You’ll get the full SoCal summer evening experience at Wreck N Sow‘s performance at the Farnsworth Park Summer Concert Series on August 7th. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says “Their sound’s foundation is bluegrass, but it reaches into alternative folk and other Americana genres, along with warm harmonies and a big dash of humor.” The Altadena-based band, featuring Pierre Dupuy, Randy Cochran, Mike Stave, Andre Dupuy and “ghost performer” Dan Leahy, also contributed two songs to Divided We Stand: A Road Trip through an American Election (2006). Come to experience Americana under the stars.
You’ll be breaking out the moonshine by Monday….
Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….