The 2016 avalanche of legendary musicians passing on from this mortal coil now includes Bay Area figure and Mill Valley resident Dan Hicks, leader of the long time laidback roots and western swing band Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, who died on Saturday, Feb 6, at his home. He was 74.
The cause of death is reported as liver cancer, according to Hicks’ widow Clare. Though he had been battling the disease for some time, Hicks and his outfit still regularly toured around the North Bay and beyond, performing in Napa last December and scheduled to perform at Throckmorton Theatre next month.
Born in Little rock, Ark. and raised in Santa Rosa, Hicks was a contemporary of classic rock icons like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. And though he may not have sold millions of records, his toe-tapping revivalist roots country rock was a popular staple of North Bay music lovers for over 40 years. He will be missed.
Also next month, the group takes their crunchy riffs and exuberant energy on the road for a massive tour that brings them to Santa Rosa on April 24 in the first show put on by new Sonoma County concert booking venture Shock City, USA. Sounds like a perfect pairing. For more details on the upcoming show, click here.
Yesterday, a flurry of rumors surfaced that country music legend Merle Haggard had cancelled his upcoming appearance at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa due to illness. Well, now the good news has come in that Haggard’s recent bout with double pneumonia will not keep him from the stage and his recovery is such that his show is BACK ON!
Haggard’s management released the following statement this morning-
The Merle Haggard show scheduled for Feb. 10, 2016 in Santa Rosa, CA will now take place as originally planned. Mr. Haggard received some medical care earlier this week, responded positively to the treatment and looks forward to seeing his fans next Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.
It’s great news to hear that Merle is healthy and ready to play. Tickets were temporarily put on hold yesterday as the venue monitored Haggard’s situation, though they should be back on sale by the end of the day today. Call the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts box office at 707.546.3600 with any questions.
Ohio-born singer and songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield first came to my attention last year when she collaborated with Seth Avett (the Avett Brothers) on an album of Elliott Smith cover songs that showcased Mayfield’s graceful voice and delicate guitar playing.
Her mastery of the emotionally-tinged music comes as no surprise to her fans. Mayfield’s been active as a solo artist from the time she was 15, playing guitar in bedroom recordings. Since 2008, her career has blossomed with albums that have transitioned from acoustic folk origins to electric and stylized garage pop wonder.
Tonight, Mayfield continues on her current solo West Coast tour with a show at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol. Sonoma County native Alison Harris opens the show. For more details, check out the HopMonk website. And click on the videos below to get a glimpse of Mayfield’s singing/songwriting power.
The photo says it all. 2016’s BottleRock Napa Valley now has a lineup set for individual days throughout the three-day weekend, taking place May 27-29. Stevie Wonder headlines on Friday night, while Florence + the Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers round out the headlining spots on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Single day tickets go on sale tomorrow, Feb 2, at 10am. For more info, visit BottleRockNapaValley.com.
Last night, at the otherwise awesome Ty Segall show in Santa Rosa, someone decided to tag the brick bathroom walls at the Arlene Francis Center with spray paint. It was a destructive and costly act, and one that local promoter and concert booker Jake Ward took offense to. Here, Ward writes and rants on why this vandalism is harmful not only to the venue, but to the Santa Rosa music scene overall. It’s a real and powerful wake-up call, and one that is worth reading in its entirety.
Well this is frustrating. Last night somebody vandalized the restroom of the Arlene Francis Center. I’m not even gonna address what they wrote, but I will say a couple things.
One, this is why we can’t have nice things. We live in a town where people complain about a lack of venues for cool music and art happenings, and yet when one of our few beloved local institutions for hosting events opens its doors to hosting an all ages rock show, someone goes out of their way to disrespect the space. How can we complain about the scene when we have no respect for it?
Two, this is brick. Brick is extremely porous. Spray paint on old brick does not come off easily. The only full time operators at AFC are in their 60s. Are they expected to clean this off? There’s also no surplus funds at this space to buy special cleaning products. This was super rude *and* destructive.
Three, this is not a punk venue, this is a non profit community center. The morning after the show this happened at, the classroom was rented out for a weekly event called Mini Music where parents bring their toddlers to learn to sing. There are all sorts of important political, educational, and arts activities happening at this space. Who really thought this was a place that deserved to be vandalized like this?
Sonoma County songwriter Neem Wood mixes together shimmering electronics, soulful guitars and heartfelt lyrics for a compelling, emotional blend of indie rock and pop under the name Become the Villain.
Wood has a new album due to be released this weekend with a show at HopMonk in Sebastopol, and he has a preview of his latest work in the form a new single, “Slip Away,” that’s available to listen to right now.
Stylistically and sonically sophisticated, “Slip Away” features Wood’s soaring vocals and dark percussions with strong pop hooks and a cathartic chorus. Click on the track below; and catch Become the Villain tomorrow, Saturday Jan 23 at HopMonk, with other local luminaries Lungs and Limbs, Horses Heaven and Charley Peach. Details are here.
Attention music makers in the North Bay and beyond. NPR’s popular music performance series, Tiny Desk Concerts, is once again looking for the next best band to feature live in the intimate office space. And, once again Lagunitas is fueling the fun.
Hosted by Bob Boilen from NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” the Tiny Desk Concerts feature all kinds of musicians playing folk, rock, pop, soul, hip-hop, and more from the confines of Bob’s desk. Every year, Boilen sets his eyes on discovering new, untapped talents by offering the Tiny Desk contest to any unsigned musicians. Simply record a video of yourself playing an original song, preferably at a desk, then upload it to YouTube and fill out the form by the Feb 2 deadline.
A longtime partner of Tiny Desk, Lagunitas Brewing Company is once again involved in the fun. You can view their favorite entries from years past by clicking here. If you’re interested in submitting a video for consideration, get all the contest details by clicking here. Below, check out Sonoma native and popular North Bay performer Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra’s entry from last year.
Last November, we went deep into the mind of alternative songwriter and longtime Sonoma County local John Trubee who’s spent a lifetime making music on the fringes of popular culture. Since the early 1980s, Trubee and his band the Ugly Janitors of America has challenged the masses and expressed an outsider view of a sick sad world with hilariously avant garde lyrics and sophisticated rock and roll melodies.
Living a self-prescribed heretic lifestyle in Santa Rosa, Trubee regularly records albums of material, yet he rarely performs live. So, it’s exciting to hear that Trubee will be emerging from his hideout and playing with the Ugly Janitors of America live, on the radio.
Stanford University radio station KZSU hosts the Ugly Janitors of America tomorrow night, Wednesday, Jan 20, for an in-studio performance that’s being billed as “Nifty Space Music & Outasight Surprises for the NOW GENERATION!”
Tune into the station via the world wide web at 9pm PST to hear Trubee and his cohorts get weird and wild. Unfamiliar with Trubee’s irreverent rock and roll? Get a taste by clicking on the box below.
Trubee Records can be found at johntrubee.com. To contact John Trubee about anything, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send snail mail to PO Box 4921, Santa Rosa, CA 95402. Trubee reliably answers all inquiries.
Prolific rock and roller Ty Segall just can’t stop. In addition to playing in excellent garage rock outfits like FUZZ and Sic Alps, Segall’s massive solo output has been a wide array of experimental hard rock.
This month, Segall releases his tenth solo record, Emotional Mugger, on Drag City. It’s a super fuzzed out and darkly glammed collection of awesome weirdness. And you can hear it now, before it’s Jan 22 release date, by clicking on the link below, via NPR.
Ty Segall will be in the North Bay next week as well, blowing the roof off the Arlene Francis Center on Sunday, Jan 24, with his new full band the Muggers. Details on that show, which marks the final concert hosted by Sonoma County’s Pizza Punx, are here.