Thursday, January 31, 2013

Heard Any Good Music Lately ?

I sure have !  January was packed with it and what a start to 2013 !!

If you live in the East Bay, check out Sauce Piquante and/or Les Amis Zydeco the next time they play.   (Just try to sit still listening to them.)   Blair Kilpatrick and Steve Tabak are the core of the Sauce, and they play regularly at the Kensington Circus Pub.   BTW, their New Year's Day open house was a blast -- with the food and music, I thought I was in Big Mamou, that or died and gone to heaven.   Dwight Shackelford leads Les Amis Z and his birthday party this last month was quite an assemblage of players and dancers -- including Dorcas Moulton and me.

Speaking of dancing, there are zydeco dances at Ashkenaz every Tuesday night and at the Eagles Hall in Alameda every Friday.   Here is the SF cajun/zydeco website where you can find out what is going on.   If you want to learn zydeco dancing, take one of Lisa Lee's classes.   (Dorcas and I have been enjoying them for over a year.)  There is so much great cajun/zydeco music in the SF Bay Area, we really must be part of Louisiana

One more for you:  Andre Thierry is playing in Berkeley at Cloud 9 this Saturday, February 2nd.   Andre is one of the best zydeco accordionists around and the place will be jumping!! 

Ordinarily, I would miss a show on the first Saturday of the month because since November of 2011, I have played that night at Chester's Bayview Cafe.    We've known that a change of ownership was in the works for several months, and it is now finalized.  A lot of good music has been made at Chester's and I will miss hanging, listening and playing there.  Thank you, Fred Aryan, for being such a good host to so many local musicians.

And I have still more good music to tell you about.   Aireene Espiritu is a songwriter worth checking out.  I had the pleasure of hearing her at a house concert in Berkeley last Saturday, with Clyde Leland.  Here is one of her songs performed a couple of years ago.  Dorcas and I sat in with her on that one and on a couple of others at the concert.  Clyde is a good writer too, check out his OccuPie video.

Many of you know I am spending more time down in LA helping care for my mom  (95 this April).  I was down at the beginning of the month and my friend Peggy Glenn invited me to drop in on her songwriter "hang".   Seriously accomplished writers there and an honor to participate.  Also, went out to the Firefly in South Pasadena for the Wine & Song series run by Brad Colerick.   Dulcie Taylor was the featured performer and it was a treat to hear her again.   I met Dulcie at the Folk Alliance conference in Irvine last October, and she has quite a resume.   Here is one of her well crafted songs.  Good food, good music and a very nice evening at the Firefly, and I am going back tonight to hear Fur Dixon and Brantley Kearns -- and see if I can get a guest set there one of these days.  

I want to broaden my performing horizons as part of my trips south, and I am very pleased to have hooked up with Steve Key recently.  Steve is a talented writer and performer "in the business" for quite awhile.  Kathy Mattea picked up one of his songs and he has a lot of good ones worth listening to.   He lives near San Luis Obispo now and runs the Songwriters At Play series, with music three nights a week at venues in the Central Coast area.   I had a guest set with him last Sunday, at the Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles.   It was cool and a bit windy in the sculpture garden, but what a line up of talent !   Steve opened the afternoon, accompanied by guitarist Dorian Michaels.   I followed Steve, and then had the pleasure of more listening.  The featured artist was a duo out from Nashville, Burns & Kristy.   They are both pro writers and it showed.   Terry has a gorgeous voice, and Ron sings well also and sure can play that guitar.  Check out some of the videos and music on their website.

A whole lot of great music in January indeed.   But, I do have one regret.  I missed Claire Lynch at the Freight & Salvage.   She is one of my all time favorite artists, and I had a rehearsal.   Darn !!   I hope you come back soon, Claire.

Coming up in February is the 14th annual San Francisco Bluegrass and Old Time Festival.   I am not performing (I'm neither bluegrass nor old time :-), but I'll be MCing several shows, including the Casey Dreissen show on opening night,  February 7th.    Casey is a fiddler of the highest and most unique order.   I couldn't get the videos to work on his website, but listen to "Country Blues" on his 3D CD here.  Wow !!    There are too many other good shows at the SFBOT Festival to mention, so check out the schedule.

My only gig in February will be playing with Dorcas Moulton and Patty Hammond at one of my most favorite venues, the Kensington Farmers Market, on Sunday the 10th.    There is seating and good food, and it is such a pleasure to play for families and slip in a few kids songs.   Remember "The Wheels On The Bus" ?

Having only one performing date in February gives me more time for getting out to see other folks.   Certainly I'll be catching some cajun/zydeco, and I am planning on going to check out Stevie Coyle's new shop, Mighty Fine Guitars in Lafayette and the Teresa Tudury concert there on February 16th.    I am also hoping to catch Patty Hammond playing with one of her bands,  Kickin The Mule, or The Praline Trio, to mention just two.

That is a bit of who I have been listening to.  Your turn.  Who do you like to listen to and where you go to hear good music ?  (I need to know what my competition is doing :-)

Have a great and very musical February  -- 

Roy Zat