Apr
22
3:00 PM15:00

Con Fuoco - A Fire Relief Benefit

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A Fire Relief Benefit for Santa Rosa High School students, featuring Lucinda DeNatale and friends: talented young string players from around the Bay Area.

Lucinda DeNatale, a cellist and Maybeck High School junior, is a former SRHS student who moved to Berkeley in the fall of 2017. While living in the North Bay, she enjoyed serving as a principal cellist with the SRHS String Ensemble and performing with the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra for four years, including a tour of China. 

Witnessing the effects of the devastating Sonoma County fires on her fellow students, friends, and teachers prompted Lucinda to bring her fellow musicians together to support the SRHS Foundation Fire Relief and Support Fund with this special event. 

The wonderful line-up of performers includes violist Sophia Valenti and cellist Avery Reed, both from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Program, and Lucinda's quartet from the Crowden Music School. Miles Graber will be performing on piano.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
26
8:00 PM20:00

Melissa Cruz presents Peña Flamenca ''La Bahía," Episode 2

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This show is the second episode of a series of presentations, grouping Bay Area flamenco professionals who do not typically work together, with the goal of presenting unique and rarely-seen collaborations. The curated group of artists will create and rehearse one unique ensemble piece to present in the show, requiring them to truly "collaborate" together.     

After a series of shows, we will curate one larger show presenting the unique pieces each group created for their episode, with the mission of maintaining continuous and creative working relationships in the rich and diverse pool of flamenco artists in the Bay Area.  

The cast of Episode 2 is: 
Azriel “El Moreno” - flamenco singer
David Paez - flamenco guitarist
Mizuho Sato, Roberto Aguilar and Melissa Cruz, dancers

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Carol Denney

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Carol Denney is one of the Bay Area's most respected songwriters, earning admiration from a community who knows her as a musician, comedian, and activist. Her guitar style is unique; her use of the English concertina adds powerful depth to beautifully tailored songs. Her writing stretches the spectrum from ballads to political comedy in a spread Canadian folk artist Ian Robb simply calls "brilliant," and local editor Pat Delaney once called "Berkeley's I. F. Stone."

Her parodies are used on KPFA's TwitWit Radio, her poetry is included in the anthologies of the Revolutionary Poets' Brigade, her commentary is found on National Public Radio's Perspectives series and newspapers from Street Spirit to the Chronicle, her cartoons are featured in the Berkeley Times, and her paintings are included in local galleries. Her songs have been included in textbooks and used as soundtracks in film. 

But the performances of her music are a warm, funny, story-telling experience with sing-alongs that go right off the edge. Her unique, percussive guitar style arrests attention from serious students of finger-picking, but it's her way with an audience that will melt your heart. This is songwriting and performing at its finest, presented with humor, wit, and soul.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
28
8:00 PM20:00

Emily Zisman

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Emily Zisman is a Folk-Americana singer-songwriter born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, trained in New York City, and well-weathered and inspired by her travels and a restless heart.

Since picking up the guitar at the tender age of eight, Emily’s musical journey has taken her all over the world. She has graced stages up and down both sides of the United States and has performed internationally at festivals in Europe. As a writer, she takes her cues from artists like Dar Williams, Joni Mitchell, and Ani DiFranco. Emily Zisman sings about our vulnerabilities and fears, love and conflict, and crafts her lyrics into song with a soulfully folk voice evocative of Emmylou Harris.

Emily finds the most joy when she connects the stories of her writing to her music, and loves to bring audiences in on the secrets of her songs. She has a following of committed regulars who bring a sense of camaraderie and familiarity to all her shows. She always takes the time to greet people she knows and make introductions between strangers over personal anecdotes. Crafting a sense of community and shared engagement is the sort of unique experience she strives to create at every performance. 

When asked what she loves about playing live, Emily replies, “I love the shared energy between the audience and the performer. When it’s there, the interplay can create an experience unique to a given space and time. It’s hard not to get carried away in the moment.”

Tickets are $12 in advance/$15 at the door general admission, $10 students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
29
7:00 PM19:00

kei slaughter

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Join New Orleans' own kei slaughter (and maybe even a few special guests) for a night of acoustic soul freedom sounds, musical storytelling, and community healing! 

ABOUT kei:
kei slaughter [they/them] is a Soul-Folk Sonic Storyteller conjuring bokou magik from deep New Orleans roots.

A Queer Black Singer, Songwriter, Flutist, Multi-instrumentalist, and Music Therapist, kei weaves together genre-bending, soul-stirring sounds with powerful lyrics and rich storytelling. kei’s music has been described as inherently healing, and so it is. Their dynamic vocals, engaging musicianship, and soulful delivery have been compared to that of Lianne La Havas, Emily King, and Me’shell N’degeocello. Still, kei offers a unique sound all their own. kei's early influences come from the music of the Black Church and beyond. From the hum of their grandmother’s organ to the singing coming off the drums in Congo Square. Like a big pot of gumbo, there’s a lot in the mix! Expansive in genre and gender, kei brings the gospel of freedom frequencies to listeners becoming participants in their own radical authenticity. Learn more and listen: keislaughter.com.
 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
1
8:00 PM20:00

Tony Furtado

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Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef (he’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story). All of the music of America is in Tony’s music. Relix hit the nail on the head when writing of Tony: “True talent doesn’t need categories.”

A native of Pleasanton, California, who now makes his home in Portland, Oregon, Tony Furtado took up the banjo at age 12, inspired by the Beverly Hillbillies TV show and a sixth grade music report. He first attracted national attention in 1987, when he won the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Not long after that, Tony opted for the life of a full-time professional musician, joining Laurie Lewis & Grant Street. A second victory at Winfield, in 1991, bookended his years with Grant Street.

In 1990, Tony signed a recording deal with Rounder Records, one of the country’s preeminent independent record companies. Beginning with Swamped in 1990, he recorded six critically-acclaimed albums for the label, collaborating with such master musicians as Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, Kelly Joe Phelps and Mike Marshall. During this period, Tony also performed and recorded with the band SugarBeat and the Rounder Banjo Extravaganza with Tony Trischka and Tom Adams.

Beginning in the late 1990s—influenced by such musical heroes as Ry Cooder, David Lindley and Taj Mahal—Tony added slide guitar, singing and songwriting to his musical toolbox and began leading his own band. He is a tireless road musician who performs in a dizzying variety of formats: solo, in a duo or trio or with his full five-person band. He especially values the opportunities he has had to tour with such legendary musicians as Gregg Allman and with such esteemed slide guitarists as David Lindley, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth.

Tony has performed throughout the world at top venues and appeared at such prestigious music festivals as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Jazz Aspen, Kerrville Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival and countless others. “I love playing live,” he says. “All my energy is focused on the love of playing music and rolling with the moment. It’s a give-and-take from the audience to the stage, and back. And the music that is created is something that otherwise might not occur without that flow.” 

“Tony Furtado is a major musical force without a doubt. He has his black belt in voice and bottleneck guitar and his banjo playing scares the crap out of me.” – David Lindley, musical adventurer

Tickets are $20 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
3
8:00 PM20:00

Elizabeth Strong & Dan Cantrell, with Michelle Alany & The Mystics

The Back Room presents a night of captivating belly dancing with the amazing Elizabeth Strong and her dance troupe, the enchanting virtuosic music of Dan Cantrell and his “Orphaned Anthems,” with Michelle Alany & The Mystics, featuring Sephardic & Balkan soul music. 
  
Dan Cantrell is an Emmy award-winning composer and multi-instrumentalist known for his innovative film scoring approach, and his virtuosic abilities on the accordion, piano, and musical saw. For this performance, Dan will present a delightful pairing of his World Music-inspired masterpiece, Orphaned Anthemswith the scintillating dancing talents of his wife Elizabeth Strong and her troupe of astonishing dancers. Dan and Elizabeth have been collaborating since they met almost two decades ago and the result is breathtaking and deeply powerful.   

Dan’s original music, which the San Francisco Bay Guardian described as “hauntingly beautiful…quirky and energetic,” will feature piano, strings and Middle Eastern percussion. “This is Bulgarian-dance-music-meets-Mr. Bungle-meets-Carl Stallings-meets-Erik Satie-meets-a-boggled-mind (yours, that is, when you hear how it all holds together).” - Paul McNees, Lacuna Music. 

Violinist and vocalist Michelle Alany is an internationally touring ambassador of world folk traditions, specializing in Sephardic, Mediterranean & Eastern music. Michelle Alany & The Mystics perform traditional and original energizing, soulful music, and the band features Bay Area luminaries Dan Cantrell on accordion (Kugelplex), Misha Khalikulov on cello (Rupa & the April Fishes) and Faisal Zedan on percussion (Stellamara, Qadim Ensemble). Journey through exotic lands with this fiddle-driven caravan of Sephardic, Klezmer, Balkan & original music. 

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
4
7:30 PM19:30

6th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Faculty Concert

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The 6th Annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Faculty Concert features:
Karen Mueller
Steve Eulberg
Deborah Hamouris
Holly Tannen
Dusty Thorburn
The Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra.

Karen Mueller bridges many mountain dulcimer traditions to formulate her own dynamic style. She started playing the dulcimer in 1979 by learning the innovative tunes on the Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project record, featuring Neal Hellman, Force & d’Ossche, and Bonnie Carol. From there she began adding traditional Appalachian and Celtic music to her repertoire, and developed her own arrangements of these styles as well as pop, jazz, and original material. 
Karen grew up in Winfield, KS, home of the Walnut Valley Festival, and was introduced to the dulcimer and autoharp there.

She has been a finalist in the National Mountain Dulcimer competition, and first place winner in autoharp, both at Winfield in the mid-1980s. Today she is a full-time performer and instructor, and has travelled throughout the US and England teaching at major workshops and festivals. She has also performed the challenging Blackberry Winter dulcimer concerto twice with Minnesota orchestras.

Steve Eulberg & Deborah Hamouris are Co-Directors of the Berkeley Dulcimer Orchestra, as well as the Artistic & Executive Directors of the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, respectively. Steve travels nationally to perform & teach, and is an active member in the Musician’s Union Local #1000. Deborah teaches dulcimer at the Freight & Salvage and directs community singing groups.

Holly Tannen is a well-known folk musician and humorist, offering traditional and original takes on familiar songs, accompanied by dulcimer.

Dusty Thorburn, founder of River City Dulcimers in Sacramento, is a long-time guitarist and occasional mandolin player who discovered the dulcimer several years ago and has been obsessed ever since.

All will be teaching at the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering on May 5th at the Freight & Salvage.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
5
3:00 PM15:00

Nzuri Soul

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An electrifying stage presence, personality, and a whole lot of soul describes powerhouse singer Nzuri Soul. She is a true entertainer and has performed at Yoshi's, Oakland's Fox Theatre, House of Blues Los Angeles & Vegas, Fenix Live Supper Club, Empress Theater, Bay Area Juneteenth Festival, First Fridays All White Party 2017, and the Shine Lounge Sacramento, just to name a few. 

With a passion for performing and music, Nzuri Soul's shows are high-energy and filled with tributes to the greatest in R & B, Rock, Pop and Soul. The show will feature her captivating band members Lamar Green (music director and keyboards), Eddie Wroten (bass), Chris Brochard (lead guitar), and DJ Tolefree (percussion). 

Nzuri Soul's debut album Love Story XIX, is out now.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
5
8:00 PM20:00

Stadler Gibbons Band

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The Stadler Gibbons Band features the fabulous singing and playing of Mike Stadler and Mary Gibbons. Chuck Ervin drives the bass and Jon Mitguard butters it all up with steel. 

Seasoned musicians all, they travel the common ground between early country and bluegrass, great storytelling and picking. Along with classic material from the past, they include original songwriting and great works from other writers toiling today to produce tomorrow’s classics. The result is a soulful blend. The band features the clean, intricate harmonies of Stadler and Gibbons set on the firm foundation of Gibbons’ guitar and Ervin’s bass. In the spaces between, Stadler and Mitguard intertwine stunning melodies and improvisations whether on guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar or dobro.

"... a typically eclectic set on any number of instruments; [Michael Stadler] is one of those musicians who believes you don't have to be flashy to be good -- and he's much better than good." - Larry Kelp, East Bay Express 

“[Mary Gibbons] is a strong, stylish singer, whether burning through some bluesy bluegrass or wearing out a country weeper.“ - Bluegrass Unlimited  

Now ain’t that what Country music is all about?

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
6
3:00 PM15:00

Sam's Corner, featuring Bobby Black and Wendy Burch Steel

Please join us for Sam's Corner, our monthly concert featuring Sam Rudin, the owner and creator of The Back Room, for an evening of piano wizardry.

Appearing with Sam is the legendary virtuoso of the pedal steel guitar, Bobby Black. Bobby has played and recorded with traditionally-minded bands throughout the state, but it was his alliance with Asleep at the Wheel, Commander Cody, and the New Riders of the Purple Sage that caused his name to be synonymous with the resurgence of western swing.

The repertoire will, of course, lean heavily toward country, rockabilly, and western swing...and who knows what sort of arrangements will come out of this unprecedented piano/pedal steel duo. But that's not all! Joining these guys for 5 or 6 tunes will be Wendy Burch Steel. If you haven't heard her yet, you have at least read about her on this website. She appears frequently at The Back Room with her band Redwood, and she has a beautiful, pure, country-flavored voice, and a personality that can only be called joyous.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
6
7:00 PM19:00

The Hillbillies from Mars: a benefit concert for Matt Garber

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The Hillbillies from Mars revisit the Earth to play a concert to benefit Matt Garber, whose heart attack in December and subsequent home care have left him and his family with a pile of bills.

Based in the Bay Area, the Hillbillies from Mars have been rocking out in the traditional music and dance scene since 1982. Drawing from Appalachian, Canadian, Celtic, and European repertoire, their trademark sound features powerful fiddling interwoven with mandolin, flute, accordion, and bagpipes, all with rock-solid polyrhythmic backup. Individually, the Hillbillies have studied the traditional music of many cultures, and they bring together these influences, along with their own roots of contemporary American music, to perform music that is as soulful as it is unique. Their concerts include songs, stories, and always a few surprises. 

The Hillbillies are: 
  Ray Bierl: fiddle, guitar
  Kevin Carr: fiddle, bagpipes, accordion
  Paul Kotapish: mandolin, guitar
  Daniel Steinberg: piano, flute, banjo

"This band could probably get dead people to dance." - Danny Carnahan, Roots & Rhythm  

"I don't think there is a band quite like the 'Billies in this country, nay, in the world. The Hillbillies impart their sense of fun with music and the music is eminently danceable."  - Kerry Blech, The Old Time Herald  

Tickets are $15 and additional donations are warmly welcomed. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
10
8:00 PM20:00

New World String Project

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New World String Project features Stuart Mason, John Weed, Lisa Lynne & Aryeh Frankfurter.

The Bay Area has long served as a creative hothouse for adventurous-minded roots string players, and New World String Project is the latest gorgeous hybrid to emerge from this fertile soil.

Something of a hybrid itself, the ensemble brings together four mighty players who weave a shimmering sonic tapestry from Celtic, Nordic and American folk traditions. Fiddler John Weed and guitarist Stuart Mason also play together in the long-running Celtic band Molly’s Revenge. And Celtic harp master Lisa Lynne, who gained international renown via recordings and tours with the label Windham Hill, often performs in a duo with NWSP-mate Aryeh Frankfurter, an expert on harp and Swedish nyckelharpa. Together, these intrepid string explorers take audiences on a thrilling, melodically exuberant musical ride.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
11
8:00 PM20:00

Linsey Aitken & Ken Campbell - Folk Music from Scotland

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Linsey Aitken and Ken Campnell's story weaves together their many creative musical threads and influences from Celtic traditional roots, classical, baroque, orchestral and contemporary Scots music, where historically all genres were interlinked to form Scotland's musical identity.

Linsey, a highly-regarded cellist, singer, pianist and composer, crosses the genres of classical to traditional, using her cello very much up front - unusual as a lead instrument - with a deeply lyrical and sensual tone. Her distinct, warm vocals bring a round balance that compliments Ken's own distinctive voice. Linsey studied at the RSAMD and has performed professionally all over the UK, from the Royal Albert Hall to Calgary Bay, Mull and overseas, and established The Loch Lomond Ukulele Orchestra in 2014. 

Ken is a Scottish singer/songwriter and instrumentalist with five albums to date and a well-established pedigree of over 30 years. Starting with the Glasgow band Molendiner, and then a much-commended duo with Chris Miller, he later established the highly successful Ideal Band. He subsequently toured as a solo artist and with Cauld Wind piper Hamish Moore, cellist/singer Wendy Weatherby, and Blair Cowan (Lloyd Cole & the Commotions), before reforming the Ideal Band.

Linsey joined The Ideal Band and in 2010 she and Ken commenced touring as a duo. For more information please visit their website here

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
12
8:00 PM20:00

Australian Bebop Ragas

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Australian Bebop Ragas ( also known as ABR) was originally formed with Teed Rockwell on the Touchstyle Veena, Stephen Kent on didgeridoo, and Sameer Gupta on drums. It featured original compositions based on Hindustani Ragas that Teed learned from over a hundred classes with Ali Akbar Khan, and from dozens of classes with Sitar Maestros Shahid Parvez and Habib Khan. Teed is the only person in the world to play in this musical tradition on the Touchstyle Veena, a unique customized instrument which has a guitar-like fretboard played by tapping the strings simultaneously with both hands.

The first ABR performance, at the Caffe Trieste in Berkeley, had one of the largest crowds in that venue’s history, with people filling the streets and peering through the windows. There were several KPFA radio hosts in that audience, who later featured ABR on their shows. ABR played numerous concerts across the state and country, including three shows at the Freight & Salvage. They also recorded an album called Snakes and Ladders, which sold thousands of copies through a variety of distributors, has over a hundred listener-created stations on Pandora, and is widely listened to on Spotify.

The members of the original Australian Bebop Ragas have since moved on to a variety of exciting projects. Sameer has moved to New York, and is running the Brooklyn Raga Massive project. Stephen is now working with an Indian Vocalist in the popular dance music group Baraka Moon. Teed’s group Bollywood Gharana combines traditional Hindustani ragas with Bollywood film tunes. He is also working with the world dance music ensemble DyaTribal, which has built up a large following in Sonoma County, and who played at Ashkenaz in Berkeley last March.

Andy Graham, the drummer in DyaTribal, plays drums and didgeridoo simultaneously, using a unique rack mounted system that he designed and built himself. Andy and Teed begin practicing the Australian Bebop Ragas material during DyaTribal rehearsals, and soon realized they could do this material as a duo. Even better, it would now be possible to create a whole new trio format by adding a saxophone, thanks to their discovery of an extraordinary local talent. 

Jesse Sheehan is one of the very few saxophonists trained in the Hindustani musical tradition” says Teed. “He understands that keeping the rules of the raga gives a special kind of freedom that is as powerful, but importantly different from, the freedom of jazz improvisation. I've never played with any melodic instrumentalist who had a better sensitivity to the ABR material.” Jesse has had extensive experience playing saxophone and tabla professionally around the world with artists such as the Violent Femmes, Hot Buttered Rum, Steve Kimock, Melvin Seals, Candelaria and the Ethiopian funk psychedelic group Sun Hop Fat. His interest in Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music led him to India four times to study Tabla with living legend Pandit Nayan Ghosh for years, and also perform with many of India’s finest musicians. While living in Mumbai, Jesse performed frequently with Louiz Banks, who arranged and produced for the great Indo-Jazz fusion guitarist John McLaughlin.

You can hear the original Australian Bebop Ragas album here.

If you want hear the same music re-conceived and transformed by this new collaboration, come to The Back Room on May 12.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
13
4:00 PM16:00

The Noel Jewkes Quartet, featuring Kay Kostopoulis

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Noel Jewkes is one of the premier saxophone players in Northern California. He has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 35 years, and has earned a distinguished reputation with lovers of Jazz.

Listening to the majestic phrasing and harmonic adventurousness of Noel Jewkes is almost like hearing the entire history of modern jazz in a single evening. No wonder he is revered by musicians, critics, and music lovers alike as the premiere Saxist-by-the-Bay. Some years back, Phil Elwood, the legendary jazz critic, said of Noel, "I don't know of a better contemporary modern saxman anywhere."

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And Kay Kostopoulis is not only one of Northern California's finest singers, she is also a great friend of Noel's, and their on-stage partnership exudes a rare chemistry and musical rapport.

This performance includes Chris Amberger (bass) and Jack Dorsey (drums). Both of these guys have appeared at The Back Room before and have been part of Noel's legendary stable for years.

Rounding out the quartet, and contributing a few songs of his own, is our own Sam Rudin at the piano.

Please join us for a perfect Mother's Day afternoon!

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
16
8:00 PM20:00

The Lonely Heartstring Band

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The Lonely Heartstring Band combines soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies, nourished in the deep roots of traditional American music to create a style beyond any genre-specific title. With their 2015 IBMA Momentum Award and the recent release of their debut full-length album on the legendary Rounder Records, this band is showing no signs of slowing. 

Though Deep Waters is the Lonely Heartstring Band’s debut album, it nonetheless feels deep, with a maturity and wisdom far beyond what one might expect from a first release by a relatively young band. Having come together officially only four years ago, the Lonely Heartstring Band has already been hailed by luminary Tony Trischka as having “carved out a fresh niche in modern bluegrass,” and similar accolades not often accorded a debut outing. 

Since their beginnings in 2012, whether it’s a festival stage, theatre, or intimate listening room, The Lonely Heartstring Band has always delivered a dynamic, diverse, and heartfelt performance, bringing crowds to their feet and generating a devoted following of music lovers. Made up of George Clements, Patrick M’Gonigle, Gabe Hirshfeld, Matt Witler and Charles Clements, The Lonely Heartstring Band is forever eager to hit the road to bring their memorable performance to audiences across the country and the world.

"These guys are as close to the real deal as it is possible to get. They made my hair stand on end." - Darol Anger, Republic of Strings, Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music

"Always true to the soul of the music, played with imagination and attention to detail in every way." - John Cooper, Acoustic Artisans

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
17
8:00 PM20:00

Reed Turchi

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Raised in the Swannanoa Valley outside of Asheville, North Carolina, Reed Turchi grew up playing piano, focusing on boogie-woogie and New Orleans styles before becoming infatuated with slide guitar.

While learning Hill Country Blues (RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Mississippi Fred McDowell) firsthand in North Mississippi, he founded his blues-rock trio “TURCHI,” which released its debut album Road Ends in Water in 2012. Called "everything a blues fan could want" (LA Examiner), the album featured guest Luther Dickinson on three tracks.

During a series of national tours, TURCHI released Live in Lafayette in early 2013, and exploded on the blues-rock scene, notably earning high praise from Living Blues Magazine ("for all of their communion with the past, TURCHI sounds vital, alive, and essential"), landing on the cover of Buscadero (Italy) and being showcased in a five-page feature in Il Blues Magazine (Italy). At that point, TURCHI’s national touring grew to include Europe, highlighted with a headlining spot at Mojo Festival (Rome) in June 2014 after the release of Can’t Bury Your Past, which expanded the trio with keyboards/organ (Anthony Farrell) and saxophone (Art Edmaiston).

Also in 2014, stemming from his tours in Italy, Reed began collaborating with renowned Italian guitarist Adriano Viterbini, leading to Scrapyard, an intimate, minimal, duo-guitar album recorded in Memphis and in Rome. Called "a marvelous example of talent and simplicity" (Bluebird Reviews, UK), the album earned a editor’s feature from iTunes ("blues chemistry overflowing with earthy delta slide and dark pulsing electric guitar"), and a spot on Tidal’s “editor’s playlist.”

After touring in the US and Europe behind Scrapyard, and continuing his search for new sounds, Reed moved from Western North Carolina to Memphis, where he immersed himself in the trademark grooves of soul and blues of the region. It was a time of personal and musical change, leading Reed to disband TURCHI with the release of sendoff EP We Spoke in Song, recorded at an old JC Penney in Richmond VA, amidst their final performances in October 2014.

Introduced to Tuareg music (Tinariwen, Bombino, Terakaft) by Adriano Viterbini during the Scrapyard tour, Reed began to write songs with a new sound in mind, combining influences ranging from Stax to Saharan blues, and started recording at Ardent Studios in April 2015. The result, Speaking in Shadows, was released in March 2016 on Devil Down Records and was immediately recognized as a new and successful step, with Pop Matters describing the shift as, “Dialing back the blues a bit and getting some Memphis soul grooves that lend these songs a funky quality," and Maximum Volume Music heralded it as “... a wonderfully eclectic affair...If Beck, Steve Earle, and T-Rex got together for a jam, it’s a fair bet it might turn out like this.”

Fresh textures abound, from the carnival of sounds on tongue-in-cheek “Drawn and Quartered,” to the heartbreaking vocals of Heather Moulder on the spare, haunting lead track “Pass Me Over.” As a songwriter, Reed confidently mines the classic blues/rock vein in "Offamymind" ("Well I can barely walk, so I guess I oughta/ Get behind this wheel and drive”), effortlessly shifts gears to the satirical "Everybody's Waiting (for the end to come)," and turns introspective in "Looking Up Past Midnight." 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
18
8:00 PM20:00

Kayoko Tachibana CD Release Concert, A Tribute to Nori Tachibana

Kayoko Tachibana and special guest Yutaka Hosoi (from Tokyo) invite you to celebrate the release of her new CD, S-M-I-L-ing Face, a tribute to her late husband Nori Tachibana. They will be joined by Berkeley Jazz guitarist Hideo Date, as well as Morgan Maudiere on piano, Gave Case on bass, and Natsuhiro Maruyama on drums.

Kayoko will be singing her original songs from her recent album, along with Jazz and Bossa Nova standards for this special evening.

Kayoko Tachibana is an El Cerrito-based vocalist, artist, and jeweler with a humble mission: to celebrate love through music. She was born in Fukuoka, Japan, where she first developed her passion for music. She listened to The Carpenters, Lita Coolidge, Carol Bayer Sager, Sergio Mendes, and many movie soundtracks in her youth. She started creating original songs with a friend in high school.

In her first year at Fukuoka University of Education, she met her beloved husband Nori Tachibana through a band: Kayoko as their new lead vocalist and Nori as their lead guitarist. They soon began composing music together and began participating in and won many amateur song contests in the late 1970s. After some member changes, they formed the legendary Fukuoka band Kaja (pronounced "Kaya"), who won the “Best Song Award” at the 19th Annual Yamaha Popular Song Contest and then performed at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo in 1980.

In 1981, Kaja professionally debuted two single records before the group disbanded. In 1983, Nori and Kayoko got married and she gave birth to their only child, Misao, in Tokyo in 1987. Nori, Kayoko, and Misao moved to Brooklyn, NY, in 1989, before settling in San Francisco in 1992. Following their artistic passions, they started a jewelry business called Kayoko Designs, crafting and selling jewelry throughout the Bay Area, while Nori continued developing his music, recording three CDs in recent years.

This beautiful life was upended suddenly on May 21, 2015, when Nori unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. He was 60 years old. Over the next two and a half years, Kayoko’s passion for music would blossom as a way to celebrate the memory of her husband. In her first solo album, S-M-I-L-ing Face, Kayoko pays tribute to the life of her beloved husband, with original lyrics in Japanese and guitar recordings from Nori’s life, including their unpublished songs written almost 38 year ago. The title song was written just before Nori’s passing, and this album reveals Kayoko’s unique voice as an emotional and soul-stirring artist.

S-M-I-L-ing Face is not only a celebration of Nori’s music, and not just a tribute to his memory, but a deep expression of the love they shared and a statement about the love that continues to connect them now, even though they are currently separated by time and space. Kayoko’s voice is gentle, soothing, soft, and sultry - an absolute salve to the soul.

Yutaka Hosoi is a Japanese arranger/composer/multi-instrumentalist who provided Kayoko the support needed to create this loving tribute, and is the founding member of Sentimental City Romance, the longest-running rock band in Japan, celebrating its' 45th anniversary this year.

Tickets are $15 general admission and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
19
8:00 PM20:00

Yolandra Rhodes, Rod James

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Newly-signed Sony Music/MPRE/Orchard Records recording artist Yolandra Rhodes is a Jazz songstress, uniquely interpreting works by jazz visionaries such as Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Rachelle Farrell.

She has performed with both local and nationally-known performers, including Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes at Kimball's East, where she brought down the house with her interpretation of Sharon Paige’s “I Hope That We Can Be Together Soon." 

Other appearances include Yoshi's, The 57th Street Gallery, The Fenix and Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, and she has sung our country's National anthem at Golden State Warriors games and for the U.S. soccer team.

Rod James is a native of San Francisco who began performing in local clubs with several vocal groups in the mid-'60s. In the '70s, he joined Talk of da Town singing a cappella and has performed in the U.S. and Europe. 

In 2002 he became a member of the iconic group Natural Four, performing with them at the Monterey Blues Festival, the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Seattle, the City of Oakland's 150th Birthday Celebration, and Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco. Recently, Rod expanded his vocal chops to include his passion for Jazz, as he's currently attending the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. If you like the smooth baritone of Johnny Hartman, Gregory Porter and Will Downing, you're going to love RodJ's style!

Tickets are $15 until May 1, then will be $20, and are available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
20
8:00 PM20:00

Michael Menager

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California-born singer/songwriter Michael Menager has an ear for the common threads in our human experience: pitfalls and disappointments, insights and epiphanies. After singing and playing his way through coffee houses and bars around the world, Michael is now based in Candelo in the Bega Valley, where his debut album, Clean Exit, was recorded in 2014.

With a folk ethos and a blues gospel feel, Michael delivers Clean Exit with the authority of an early John Prine, his guitar style reminiscent of the late Reverend Gary Davis. Michael’s upcoming second album, Not the Express, was produced by Candelo’s Heath Cullen and recorded in LA with an all-star cast.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and $15 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
24
8:00 PM20:00

Berliner + Schwartz + Watson + Greenberg

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Berliner + Schwartz + Watson + Greenberg features four accomplished jazz musicians in their own right, touring as a quartet for the first time. The band is:

Sasha Berliner (NYC)
Sasha is a BlueHaus Mallets endorsing vibraphonist and drummer, bandleader, and recording artist. "She desires to speak out about political and social justice through her music, something her Bay Area upbringings and instrumentalist background have passionately yielded." - from sashaberlinermusic.com.

Max Schwartz (Miami, FL)
Max Schwartz is a Downbeat Award-winning bassist and composer now living in Miami, FL, and is highly-acclaimed as both a bluegrass and jazz musician. He is a two-time member of the GRAMMY® Jazz Combo and was the bassist in the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, which toured Japan in the summer of 2016 and played at the Monterey Jazz Festival the same year.

Tim Watson (Miami, FL)
Tim Watson has received high honors from the YoungArts Foundation for his guitar playing and composing, and is the author of decodingmonder.com, a blog dedicated to "decoding" the music styles of guitarist Ben Monder (recently featured on David Bowie's album  Blackstar, as well as Maria Schneider, Lee Konitz).

Pele Greenberg (NYC)
Pele Greenberg is a percussionist and bandleader based in New York City and is an aficionado of Cuban traditional music. He had the chance to study Cuban percussion techniques on a trip to Havana in 2016 with the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble. Pele has had the privilege of being tutored by some of New York's most highly sought-after drummers, including Kendrick Scott, Andrew Cyrille, and Rodney Green.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
25
8:00 PM20:00

Mile Twelve

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Mile Twelve is a fresh, hard-driving young band beautifully walking the line between original and traditional bluegrass.

Quickly gaining recognition for their outstanding performances in bluegrass and folk circles, Evan Murphy, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Nate Sabat, BB Bowness and David Benedict write captivating songs and daring instrumental pieces from diverse influences. Banjo luminary Tony Trischka says, "Mile Twelve is carrying the bluegrass tradition forward with creativity and integrity."

Since their formation in the fall of 2014, Mile Twelve has quickly been on the rise. They’ve performed extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, including sets at major festivals such as Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, FreshGrass Festival, Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival, and Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. Their music is in rotation on the Bluegrass Junction Sirius XM channel, and their rendition of the Stanley Brothers classic “Our Last Goodbye” was featured on a Spotify "Fresh Bluegrass” playlist. The band was the winner of the 2017 Momentum Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and in October 2017 released their debut full-length record Onwards, produced by Stephen Mougin.

"In recent years, Boston’s Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory have added extra fire to that city’s already churning cauldron of traditional string players. Out of this spicy soup jumps Mile Twelve, a group of five accomplished bluegrass musicians who write, sing, and play like the wind. Serious players who have serious fun, Mile Twelve is a group to watch in the coming decade." - Tim O’Brien

Tickets are $12 in advance/$15 at the door and $10 for students with ID Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
27
8:00 PM20:00

Rachel Ohnsman

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Rachel Ohnsman is taking on the Miami music scene with her powerful vocals and tasteful keyboard playing. Whether performing as a solo artist or backing others, she brings thoughtful musicality to every project. 

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Rachel's upbringing was in classical and musical theatre, but she developed a serious interest in Jazz and R&B after moving to Miami. Now she infuses her original music with these various styles and influences like Joni Mitchell and Emily King to create a sound of her own. In addition to performing regularly, Rachel works as an arranger and studio musician. She currently teaches private lessons in both voice and piano.

Rachel has performed with such artists as Becca Stevens and Ira Sullivan across the globe in Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Vienna, and more. She also collaborates with music organizations like Sofar Sounds, Backroom Sessions, and Young Artist Initiative.
 
Rachel's debut record, Lovers EP, will be released in Spring 2018.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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May
31
8:00 PM20:00

Eve Marie

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Former Tonight Show soloist and Billboard recipient for “Outstanding Original Song,” Bay Area Singer/Songwriter Eve Marie returns to The Back Room performing blues, jazz, contemporary classics and original music.

 “ A voice of great sincerity and beauty.” - Celebrity Cafe

“A talented singer/songwriter.” - Andrew Gilbert, Mercury News Group 

Joining Eve will be talented Bay Area treasure, guitarist Mike Williams, who draws upon his versatile background in both Jazz and soft Rock. Sam Rudin, owner of The Back Room -   and a fabulous pianist - will also be sitting in on a few selections. 

Listen to music from Eve's EP, Believe, here.

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

 

 

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Jun
2
8:00 PM20:00

Mission Blue

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Mission Blue is a new band consisting of Dana Frankel on fiddle and her dad, Avram Frankel, on guitar, along with a rotating cast of special guests.

Long-time veterans of the Bay Area bluegrass scene, they deliver hard-driving traditional bluegrass laced with their special brand of father-daughter harmonies. Dana has grown up in the Northern California bluegrass community and is recognized as one of the most promising young up-and-coming California bluegrass fiddlers. She is thrilled to be a part of this new project, along with her other bands The Dim Lights and Pacific Drive. With Mission Blue, Dana and Avram are both excited to branch off and play in a new configuration with a variety of special guests at every gig. For this show, they will be joined by a cast of wily local bluegrass veterans: Zach Sharpe on bass, Billy Moore on banjo, and Jesse Appelman on mandolin. This will be a special show – please join us. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jun
3
1:30 PM13:30

Viktorija Gečytė & Gene Perla Quartet

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Paris-based Lithuanian singer Viktorija Gečytė and veteran double-bassist Gene Perla and his trio have been enchanting audiences for the past 10 years, touring the US and Europe. Their music springs from the Great American Songbook, including jazz standards, original compositions, folk songs from Lithuania, and rarely performed musical gems. Their May through July shows are part of the band's 10th annual tour. “Grab your coat and get your hat,” and come out to join the festivities!

Viktorija Gečytė (vocalist)
Gene Perla (double-bassist)
Sean Gough (pianist)
Jon Arkin (percussionist)

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jun
10
2:00 PM14:00

Michael Blum

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Michael Blum is a guitarist, songwriter and vocalist whom jazz author Scott Yanow calls “a [musician] who will clearly have an important future in jazz…He has an attractive sound, a melodic style, and a thoughtful approach to improvising.” In June 2015, Blum was named the “Rising Star Guitarist” in DownBeat Magazine's 63rd Annual Critics Poll. 

Blum was raised in a musical home in the suburbs of New York City. He started his musical studies on the piano and alto saxophone at age 6 before eventually moving onto guitar at age 9. His father, a classical guitarist, was his first guitar teacher. At age 19, Blum began traveling over 150 miles weekly to study with world-renowned jazz educator and Berklee School of Music professor Jim Stinnett.

In January 2017, Blum released his fifth album, The Reservoir, his debut album as a singer/songwriter. While The Reservoir is a departure from Blum’s prior jazz releases, it nonetheless evidences his roots in the jazz tradition, as well as his influences from artists such as James Taylor and Stevie Wonder.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door for general admission, and $10 in advance, $15 at the door for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jun
16
3:00 PM15:00

OC Bay

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OC Bay is an all-original band that combines Neo-Soul, Rock, Rap, Gospel and Pop musical styles, bringing Orange County and the Bay together musically. They write songs that come from the soul, featuring lyrics that are unique, memorable and filled with life's fundamentals. Combining the beauty of the Orange County oceans with the diversity of the Bay Area.

OC Bay started as garage band, and went on to perform at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go, followed by several performances at the Melrose Ave. venue AMPLYFi in Los Angeles, as well as local malls, bars, cafes, festivals, and church events.

Dana De Guzman and Stephen Hargrove founded the band in 2014, with Dana’s amazing guitar skills and Stephen’s high vocal range the duo became OC BAY.

Their musical influences include Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Journey and Whitney Houston. OC Bay’s music encompasses lyrical original tunes that inspire to funky guitar rhythms that move you to let loose and jam with them. These songs will fill the space with powerhouse vocals and subtle but complex harmonies. It will take you from high-energy rock songs, pop dance hits, to soulful ballads and songs that tell a story.

In Jan 2018 OC Bay will debut their first album Music Forever, Music from the Soul, featuring all original music and a special appearance by the Ben Gospel Choir. 

Tickets are $10 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the day of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jun
20
8:00 PM20:00

Ben Rosenblum Trio

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Described as an "impressive talent" by All About Jazz, Ben Rosenblum is a jazz pianist, accordionist and composer based in New York City, and a recent graduate of the joint program between Columbia University and Juilliard School of Music.

His work has garnered numerous awards, including the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award and two Downbeat Student Music Awards for composition and arrangement. Ben was a finalist at the 2015 American Jazz Pianist Competition in Melbourne, Florida, and at the 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. He has played with the Bachiana Brasileira Orchestra at Lincoln Center (conducted by Joao Carlos Martins and featuring Dave Brubeck), as well as in Delhi, India, and at the Masten Jazz Festival (Buffalo), Richmond Jazz Festival (Richmond), Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival (Maryland) and Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival (Manhattan). He has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Allen Room at Lincoln Center, Ryles Jazz Club, Webster Hall, Symphony Space, The Blue Note and a host of other locations throughout the northeast.  

Ben has worked extensively with such jazz luminaries as Curtis Lundy, Neal Smith, Winard Harper, Wayne Escoffery and Deborah Davis, and he has shared the stage with Houston Person, Dave Stryker, Steve Nelson, TS Monk and many others.  Ben is currently celebrating the release of his debut album, entitled Instead. The album has been released to critical acclaim, including 4 stars from Downbeat Magazine.

Ben Rosenblum will be joined by rising Bay Area star Kanoa Mendenhall on bass and drummer Ben Zweig. 

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jun
30
8:00 PM20:00

The George Cotsirilos Quartet

The George Cotsirilos Quartet, featuring George Cotsirilos on guitar, Keith Saunders on piano, Robb Fisher on bass and Ron Marabuto on drums, celebrates the release of their widely-acclaimed CD Mostly In Blue with this performance at The Back Room.

Mostly In Blue has spent weeks among the top 25 CD’s on the National Jazz charts, accompanied by excellent reviews:

“Four stars. A pleasure.” — Howard Mandel, Downbeat

“With his perfectly round solo and chordal tone, Cotsirilos weaves a tight, swinging fabric...bop, beautifully performed...sounds like it is straight out of Blue Note in the 60s, but all tracks are original, and there isn't a dull track amongst them. — Tom McCarter, KZSU 90.1

“After three acclaimed trio albums since 2006 with bassist Robb Fisher and drummer Ron Marabuto, they hooked up with pianist Keith Saunders. The results are astounding.” — Miles Jordan, Chico News & Review

The quartet performs primarily original modern jazz compositions along with some gems from the jazz canon. It includes:

George Cotsirilos: Guitar
"George Cotsirilos' meticulous and tasteful guitar work is marked by remarkably subtle shifts in accents, and minute changes in expression and dynamics. He displays an impeccable sense of timing especially in revealing the hidden rhythms of complex melodies. His approach to harmony is whimsical, but patently beautiful at all times." — Raul D'Gama Rose, All About Jazz

Originally from Chicago, Cotsirilos has been a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Jazz community for many years and has performed with a wide variety of artists, from San Francisco jazz fixtures like Eddie Marshall, Mel Martin, Pharaoh Sanders and Mark Levine to internationally-recognized Blues singer Etta James, Bill Evans' bassist Chuck Israels, and the jazz/soul vocal group The Whispers. He has recorded six prior CD’s as a leader and he co-led the San Francisco Nighthawks with venerated drummer Eddie Marshall, bassist Robb Fisher and pianist Paul Nagel, who recorded for Monarch Records. His three prior trio CD’s on OA2/Origin Records with current quartet members Robb Fisher and Ron Marabuto received wide, critical acclaim (“Sublimely fluid jazz guitar skills...this is about as tight a jazz trio as you'll ever be lucky enough to hear with eloquent bass lines and delicately nuanced percussion.” — David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle). Cotsirilos’s most recent trio CD, Variations, was chosen by erstwhile Washington Post jazz critic and Jazztimes editor, Royal Stokes, as one of the most notable jazz instrumental CD’s of 2013. 

Keith Saunders: Piano
Keith Saunders spent his formative years in Los Angeles where he studied with Charlie Shoemake and later, with Horace Silver. He worked extensively in L.A. with such well-known artists as Eddie Harris, Roy McCurdy, and Bill Watrous, then moved to New York City in 1984
where he worked and/or recorded with a wide variety of musicians, including Richie Cole, Frank Wess, Ralph Lalama, Joe Lovano, Hank Crawford, and Mickey Roker. In 1991, Keith became the leader of The NY HardBop Quintet, which had begun as a cooperative unit. As such, he wrote and arranged music recorded by The HBQ for the TCB Montreux Jazz label, as well as numerous television spots including promotions for VH1 and ESPN. Now residing in the East Bay, he is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most in-demand jazz pianists. 

Robb Fisher: Bass
For over six years, bassist Robb Fisher toured and recorded with the legendary Cal Tjader, anchoring Cal’s Grammy Award-winning album, La Onda Va Bien, and Grammy-nominated album, Gozame Pero Ya. He has also worked extensively and recorded with such Jazz and Latin luminaries as Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Carmen McCrae, Tania Maria, Clare Fischer, and Rob Schneidermann. Additional recordings on which he can be heard include San Francisco Nighthawks, featuring Eddie Marshall, on Monarch Records, Jeff Pittson’s Invisible Love as well as On The RebopPast Present, and Variations by the George Cotsirilos Trio, all on OA2/Origin Records.     

Ron Marabuto: Drums
One of the San Francisco Jazz community’s most highly-regarded drummers, Ron Marabuto has resided in both San Francisco and New York and has worked with a long list of jazz luminaries, including Pepper Adams, Roland Hanna, Tommy Flanagan, Steve Grossman, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Mark Levine, Bruce Foreman, Buddy Montgomery, Rob Schneiderman, and Warren Gale, among many others. A San Francisco Area native, he is the son of noted jazz pianist John Marabuto and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He can be heard on a wide variety of recordings, included all three CD’s on OA2/Origin Records by the George Cotsirilos Trio.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jul
15
7:00 PM19:00

Get Set Go

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Get Set Go is perhaps best known for their presence on the hit ABC series, Grey's Anatomy. Over many seasons of the show, the band's music appeared repeatedly. Additionally, two of Get Set Go's songs were featured on three of the show's soundtracks.

However, with 13 full-length albums, two EP's, and multiple side-project albums, the band's principal songwriter, Mike TV, has penned and performed thoughtful, beautiful, and, at times, hilarious music with a breadth and scope unmatched by many of his contemporaries and peers.  

Armed with only an acoustic guitar and an oeuvre of thousands of original songs, Mike TV will be performing solo, playing the songs that introduced his band to the world. Combining one part storytelling to three parts music, this show is a deep dive into the heart and head of the creative force behind Get Set Go's music.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Jul
20
8:00 PM20:00

Aki Goes to Bollywood

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Aki Goes To Bollywood is a highly entertaining act fronted by dynamic, charismatic and hard-hitting blues singer/harmonica player Aki Kumar. It delivers true American cross-cultural music by blending Retro Bollywood hits with Delta blues jams and ferocious blues harmonica.

Though some instrumental albums and DJs have attempted to rearrange Bollywood music mixed with other genres, never before has an Indian blues musician fronting an American band so triumphantly recorded songs by the Indian film industry’s biggest stars. 

Born and raised in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, Kumar has long established his mark on the West Coast blues scene as a top-notch blues vocalist, harmonica player & entertainer. A master of the hugely influential Chicago blues sound, Kumar inherits his style from the harmonica legends of the 1950s and 60s. Aki has a unique voice in the genre, blending elements of blues harmonica pioneers of yesteryear with a signature sound of his own. With the launch of Aki Goes To Bollywood, Kumar is pushing the blues into exciting new directions with his brand new "Bollywood Blues" sound. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Aug
11
8:00 PM20:00

Chappell & Dave Holt, BiG WiDE GRiN

Chappell & Dave Holt are singer/songwriters who, with piano, guitar and voices, offer an unusual musical statement – a crossroads where jazz, blues, folk and gospel meet to create something both familiar and new, both traditional and unconventional.

BiG WiDE GRiN…good singing. Great songs and the hardest-working band in folk music.”
- Keb’ Mo’ 

This bi-coastal duo of Elaine Dempsey & Karl Werne bring diverse backgrounds, an array or instruments, award-winning songwriting, and a positive message together to form a rich blend of character and harmony which is BIG WIDE GRIN.

They play anywhere: festivals, concert tours, listening venues, house concerts and have shared the stage, collectively, with artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Tim Reynolds, Janis Ian, Harriett Schock, Lowen & Navarro, Richie Havens, and toured with legendary blues man Keb’ Mo’. Their most recent seasonal CD, Holiday, features arrangers and studio musicians from across the country, proving to be the most diverse self-produced musical endeavor from this group so far.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Aug
25
8:00 PM20:00

Mark Hummel & Deep Basement Shakers

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A new collaboration is taking place between Mark Hummel & Deep Basement Shakers, as the two entities have locked forces to commit themselves to rockin' away the pre-war blues & boogie-woogie styles in this piano, acoustic harmonica/vocal & washboard trio. 

Grammy-nominated, two-time Blues Award winner, harmonica master, blues singer, bandleader, author, and entrepreneur Mark Hummel has been active since the early 1970s, when he moved to Berkeley from LA. Hummel has over thirty CDs to his credit and also is the creator of the Blues Harmonica Blowouts, which he started in 1991.

Hummel's mastery of the blues genre, mixed with a knowledge of where the music comes from, is rare in this idiom. Mark has recorded/toured with Snooky Pryor, Lowell Fulsom, Eddie Taylor, Brownie McGhee, Barbara Dane, Jimmy Rogers, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Huey Lewis, Lazy Lester, Anson Funderburgh (his co-partner in his latest project, Golden State/Lone Star), Charles Brown, Willie Big Eyes Smith & many more. Hummel has been steadily touring around the world since 1984.

Specializing in primal, joint-rockin' barrelhouse blues n' boogie, the Deep Basement Shakers are an East Bay trio with a stripped down but powerful sound, featuring Aaron Hammerman on piano and guitar, and local percussion legend Dave Eagle on washboard, spoons, suitcase, train whistles, animal calls, etc. Known for their floor-stomping appearances around the Bay and beyond, the Shakers bring to life good-time, steady-rollin' grooves from the deep musical traditions of days of old!

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Sep
21
8:00 PM20:00

Dirty Cello

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From China to Italy, and all over the U.S., Dirty Cello brings the world a high-energy and unique spin on blues and bluegrass. Led by vivacious cross-over cellist Rebecca Roudman, Dirty Cello is cello like you’ve never heard before. From down-home blues with a wailing cello to virtuosic stompin’ bluegrass, Dirty Cello is a band that gets your heart thumping and your toes tapping!
 
"Dirty Cello’s music is all over the map: funky, carnival, romantic, sexy, tangled, electric, fiercely rhythmic, and textured, and only occasionally classical." - Lou Fancher, Oakland Magazine

"The band plays every style imaginable, and does some fantastic covers. (Their rendition of 'Purple Haze' is incredible.) But what is most spectacular about them is hearing the depth of soul in Roudman’s playing—it goes beyond what most people would expect from the instrument. She plays it with so much heart, you’ll wonder why more bands don’t have a cellist." - Good Times Santa Cruz

"The group seamlessly careens from blues to bluegrass and rock in a way that really shouldn't make sense but somehow does." - LA Times

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Oct
21
7:00 PM19:00

Bill Staines

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Anyone not familiar with the music of Bill Staines is in for a special treat.

For more than forty years, Bill has traveled back and forth across North America, singing his songs and delighting audiences at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs, and coffeehouses. A New England native, Bill became involved with the Boston/Cambridge folk scene in the early 1960's and for a time, emceed the Sunday Hootenanny at the legendary Club 47 in Cambridge. Bill quickly became a popular performer in the Boston area.

From the time in 1971 when a reviewer from the Boston Phoenix stated that he was "simply Boston's best performer," Bill has continually appeared on folk music radio listener polls as one of the top all time favorite folk artists. Now, well into his fifth decade as a folk performer, he has gained an international reputation as a gifted songwriter and performer.

Singing mostly his own songs, he has become one of the most popular and durable singers on the folk music scene today, performing nearly 200 concerts a year and driving over 65,000 miles annually. He weaves a blend of gentle wit and humor into his performances and one reviewer wrote, "He has a sense of timing to match the best standup comic."

Bill's music is a slice of Americana, reflecting with the same ease his feelings about the prairie people of the Midwest or the adventurers of the Yukon, the on-the-road truckers, or the everyday workers that make up this land.

Many of Bill's songs have appeared in grade school music books, church hymnals, and scouting campfire songbooks; he is one of only a few songwriters to have eight songs published in the classic song collection, Rise up Singing. Composer David Amram recently described Bill as "a modern day Stephen Foster…his songs will be around 100 years from now."

Over the decades, you have heard Bill singing on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, HBO's award-winning series Deadwood, and Public Radio's Mountain Stage. Additionally, his music has been used in a number of films including Off and Running with Cyndi Lauper, and The Return of the Secaucus Seven, John Sayles' debut as a writer-director.

In 1975, Bill won National Yodeling Championship in Kerrville, Texas. Another important recognition was given to him in 2007. Presented by the Boston Area Coffeehouse Association, The Jerry Christen Award recognized Bill's contribution to New England folk music. 

Bill has recorded 26 albums; The Happy Wanderer and One More River were winners of the prestigious Parents' Choice Award, taking a gold medal and silver medal respectively. His songs have been recorded by many artists including Peter, Paul & Mary, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, The Highwaymen, Mason Williams, Grandpa Jones, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough and others.

As well as recordings, over 100 of Bill's songs have been published in three songbooks: If I Were a Word, Then I'd Be a Song, Movin' It Down the Line, and Music to Me, the latter published by Hal Leonard Corporation. His song, "All God's Critters," has been recently released as a Simon and Schuster children's book with illustrations by Caldecott honor-winning artist, Kadir Nelson.

"Folk music is rich in the human spirit and experience. I've always wanted to bring something of value to people through my songs." With these thoughts, Bill continues to drive the highways and back roads of the country year after year, bringing his music to listeners, young and old. 

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
21
8:00 PM20:00

Wendy Burch Steel & Redwood

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WENDY BURCH STEEL & REDWOOD play a unique cross-section of genres incorporating all the good and sweet aspects of folk, old-time, country, bluegrass and blues. Bluegrass icon Laurie Lewis produced, played and sang on Wendy’s debut CD Open Wings in 2012, which has received rave reviews nationally and internationally, airplay and interviews on various radio shows, and Americana and Bluegrass publications.

Wendy Burch Steel is known for her deft angelic voice and spiritually touching original material. She was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year for the past three years by the Northern California Bluegrass Society.

"Wonderful lyrical irony, flawless vocals and lush instrument arrangements combine to make this Americana Blues song an instant classic." - Akademia Award-winning Happy Song Blues

Her band members include some of the best Bluegrass and Americana players and singers in California and beyond: Butch Waller (mandolin and vocals), Glenn Dauphin (guitar and vocals), and Allegra Thompson (bass and vocals). The two-to-four part harmonies are something they've become well-known for, as well as great original songs and picking.

"Wendy's vocals have a warmth and presence that filters through the song lyrics. She can put a bluegrassy purr into a song and her 'Happy Song Blues' has an attractive bounce with bass and fiddle along for the ride….Her 'If I Had Wings' has a magical guitar accompaniment that floats under her lilting vocal." - Brenda Houff, Bluegrass Breakdown

"Wendy Burch Steel's voice is a joy to listen to, and her songs speak from the heart. It was a pleasure to help expose Wendy and her music to a larger audience through the recording of Open Wings. She has been one of the Bay Area's hidden gems for too long." – Laurie Lewis

“Music flows through Wendy Burch Steel like the clear water of her home country of upstate New York. Whether she is writing something that is destined to become a "great old song" of the future, or singing a selection from the great American song bag, Wendy's beautiful, true spirit shines through.” - Joe Newberry

Wendy's songs have been played live and with CD plays on radio shows all over the country, and the world, including KPFA, KQBM, KKUP, KALW, World Wide Bluegrass, OzCat Radio, and many others.

Wendy Burch Steel and Redwood have recently played at the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival, The Back Room in Berkeley, Armando's in Martinez, Sutter Creek Theatre, First Street Cafe, Vern's Stage at the CBA Father's Day Festival, Parkfield Fiddle Festival, Berkeley Bluegrass Festival and others, and in the past years, she's sung at the Freight and Salvage many times, and many more wonderful venues.

Tickets are $15 advance at the link below, or $20 at the door the night of the show. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
20
8:00 PM20:00

The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc

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The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc is a fiddle trio that masterfully blends the traditions of Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands. Olav Luksengård Mjelva (Norway), Anders Hall (Sweden) and Kevin Henderson (Shetland Islands), have swiftly gained a reputation for their gripping and unique blend of fiddle music since the inception of the Bloc in early 2009.

They maintain a firm focus on the traditions of their home while developing a sound that has been described as “meaningful,” ”intense,” and “invigorating.” Their clever use of harmony, rhythm, riffs & bass lines creates a sound that leaves the listener enthralled but at the same time dumbfounded that the sound only comes from three fiddles. 2016 saw the release of their eagerly-awaited second album, Deliverance, following their eponymous debut album released in September 2011 to great critical acclaim.

“Seldom before can three fiddlers have sounded so well matched as the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. And seldom before can three fiddles have sounded so much like four and at times five instruments without using electronic trickery.” – The Herald

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
19
8:00 PM20:00

James Lee Stanley

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An evening with James Lee Stanley is a complete joy. A folk singer with strong ties to rock, jazz, and blues, he is an internationally-known veteran with 31 albums to his credit.

Possessing a remarkable voice, extraordinary guitar orchestrations, songs that run the gamut from political outrage to romantic ballads, and a sense of comedic timing that engages every audience, James Lee Stanley provides an unforgettable experience.

“So where have they been hiding James Lee Stanley? We could say that James Lee Stanley is probably the last great undiscovered singer-songwriter in America. But true as that may be let’s say something else, let’s say that a diamond has been smuggled into the wasteland…and here is where the wasteland ends.” – Tom Robbins, Author of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

“It is simple, really. With James Lee you get great songs, great guitar playing, great voice and a gifted comedian as well. You are in for a very entertaining evening.” - Village Voice

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below or you may purchase your tickets at the door on the day of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
15
8:00 PM20:00

Moonshine Jelly, Erica Hockett & Friends

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Power-house acoustic duo Moonshine Jelly consists of violinist and vocalist Lee Corbie-Wells and guitarist and banjo player Kent Kessinger. Other members for a fuller ensemble include Margaret Marie on mandolin and harmony vocals and Zina Pozen on accordion. The band adds contemporary context to ancient folk songs and tunes of Eastern Europe, Celtic countries and the Americas.  

Lee Corbie-Wells:
Lee Corbie-Wells has been playing violin since the age of 6. Her parents, both music teachers in San Francisco (Lee’s hometown), taught her Celtic and American tunes by ear, fostering her love of folk music. Since adolescence, she has played in numerous Celtic and Americana bands. In her early twenties, Lee became passionate about learning Scottish Gaelic as well as other Celtic languages and became dedicated to learning songs from all different Celtic language traditions. Although she primarily plays Celtic and North American fiddle music, Lee has taken her years of experience in Blues and Folk improvisation and branched out into explorations of Jazz, Swing, Ragtime, and Latin genres. Currently she plays fiddle and sings in a Scandinavian-Bluegrass band called Kaptain Bottletop.  

Kent Kessinger:
Kent Kessinger is from around Durham, North Carolina. He used to be a cook, and he got to cook a mid rare filet mignon for Doc Watson at one point. He became interested in migration issues and made some films around the subject. He is heavily influenced by the music of Doc Watson, Philipp Glass, Jose Gonzales and Reverend Gary Davis.  

Zina Pozen:
Zina Pozen is a familiar face in the Bay Area and Seattle Balkan music scenes. Originally from Ukraine, she grew up in a family of classical musicians, playing piano from a tender age. As an adult, Zina picked up the accordion and started playing traditional Eastern European repertoire. She is a founding member of Seattle’s infamous Bucharest Drinking Team. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2015, Zina has been playing klezmer with Orchestra Euphonos, rembetika with MetaNastys, and old Soviet songs at so many after-parties and impromptu jams.

Margaret Marie:
Margaret Marie (or Margie) is Lee Corbie-Wells’ older sister. Although they grew up in the same house, Margie had a very different musical experience growing up. She has been in several punk bands, traveling all over the states and Europe. She is a self-taught musician, with a superb harmonic intuition, playing mandolin, guitar, and piano. She has done many murals around the Mission District of San Francisco, and also does tattoos. Currently she has gotten involved in a folk band of Greek musicians, singing and writing songs in Greek, English and Arabic.  

Opening the show will be Erica Hockett and Friends. Erica and Friends bring you folk music from The British Isles and Ireland. They perform a mix of jigs, reels and pub songs and sweet ballads with vocal harmonies, fiddle, whistle, guitar and accordion. The group features Anne Goess (Violin/Vocals/Tin Whistle), Erica Hockett (Vocals/Bodhrán), Chris Hammond (Guitar/Vocals), and Troy Dillinger (Accordion/Vocals).

ickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
15
3:30 PM15:30

Five Spot Jazz Quintet featuring Mike Greensill

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The band features five musicians who have a deep feel for the jazz tradition. All five could be leaders in their own right. Together the band is even better than the sum of its parts.

Hailing from Dursley, England, pianist Mike Greensill might be best known in the Bay Area as resident piano player on Sedge Thomson's weekly Public Radio show, West Coast Live, as well as his role as musical director to vocalist Wesla Whitfield, with whom he's recorded more then twenty albums. Not just a superlative pianist, he's also a gifted composer. The band showcases Mike's compositions and some tasty vocals too.

Saxophonist Charlie McCarthy's comes from a musical family: his father was an accomplished trombone player in the Bay Area. His playing experience includes many of the greats in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, George Shearing, Stan Getz, Joe Williams, and many others. He's contributed some adventurous arrangements to the repertoire. He's featured on both tenor saxophone and flute.

Joe Cohen, featured on alto saxophone, is one of the most in-demand players in the Bay Area, with a busy schedule performing locally and on tour as well as studio work. Always the right note at the right time with an impeccable rhythmic feel. In addition to playing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, Joe plays piano, flute and clarinet. A partial list of notable players he's worked with includes Bobby McFerrin, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Idris Muhammad and Lavay Smith. As well as a distinctive voice on saxophone, Joe contributes to the repertoire.

John Clark, on bass, studied with Ray Brown and Buster Williams and has extensive performing and recording experience both locally and nationally, appearing with Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, Frank Jackson, the Hot Club of San Francisco, Denise Perrier and Jackie Ryan among many others. 

Drummer Jack Dorsey is a first call in the Bay Area and has performed and recorded with Etta James, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lavay Smith and many others.

For this gig, the band has put together a program of original tunes that you won't hear anywhere else and new arrangements of jazz standards. The essence of jazz is originality no matter what the style.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
14
8:00 PM20:00

Little Buffalo

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Little Buffalo is the ongoing musical powwow between songwriter Eric Burkhart and a stable of talented players, singers and creative collaborators. LB's songs come from a lifetime of hearing American music in it's many incarnations...If you can imagine original tunes that fall somewhere between country, acoustic rock, folk and blues, with a nod to the sounds of Tulsa, New Orleans and Funky Kingston, then you'll be somewhere in the neighborhood. Some might call it Americana .... you can call it whatever you like.

Little Buffalo has finished a debut album and is busy recording new songs, making videos, and gigging around the local music scene.

LB's current performing lineup includes:
Doug Ashcraft - drums, percussion
Eric Burkhart - guitars, vocals
Steve Epstein - pedal steel, guitar
Guy Lento - live sound mixing
Alan Novidor - bass
Melissa Phillips - vocals, percussion
John Prichard - keyboards, vocals

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
13
8:00 PM20:00

Henry Grace EP Release Show

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Henry Grace
Henry Grace began his music career in Los Angeles while at university. He started out playing small clubs in Venice Beach before moving on to play venues along the Sunset Strip and across California. In 2016, he released his debut EP, Crash The Moon, and was picked by Guild Guitars as one of their "Artists to Watch." In 2017, he continued performing across the UK and America, all the while completing his undergraduate degree in English Literature from UC Berkeley. He released his second EP, What We Took From the Mountain, this March. His music roams the genres of Folk and Blues, taking inspiration from the likes of Bon Iver to Nick Drake and everything in-between, but ultimately Henry's sound is very much his own.

"A young man from England who is capable of silencing the room." (LA Weekly)

"Listening to Henry Grace’s music, you would never guess that this UK native was young enough to still be in college. His lyrics, his playing, his debut EP, Crash The Moon, seem to be a part of a musician with years of writing and touring under his belt." (Guild Guitars)

Joshua Barnhart
Joshua Barnhart is an Oakland, California-based songwriter who first became known as a member of the acclaimed Bay Area band Port O’Brien. In the years since Port O'Brien's break-up, Joshua has played with multiple bands including Release the Sunbird, Two Sheds, and Sparrows Gate.

In 2016, Joshua made his debut as a solo-artist, releasing the album Turn Out The Light. His harmony-drenched, psych-pop sound is centered on the experience of living on the coast of California. In September 2017, he released Dance with Me, the new single from his forthcoming follow-up album.

"Barnhart is a tenor Fred Neil (stately and controlled, an entity unto himself, though inseparable from the music as a whole)." - armchairjournalism.com

"Dance with Me feels like dropping acid in a poppy field. He takes the warm, fuzzed out sound of the mid 60s garage rockers, adds just a bit of Their Satanic Majesties Request menace, and artfully polishes the twist off with a tinge of Beach Boys melody." - punknews.org

Marcus Lee
A Bay Area native, Marcus started out playing in a wide range of groups including full jazz ensembles and four piece rock bands. Now inspired by the acoustic sounds and soulful lyrics of folk music, Marcus combines his love for the big band energy with the intimacy of an acoustic set in his own music.

Kayla Flores
With a guitar and R&B-inspired vocals, Kayla began to pursue a music career during her first year of college. She continues to add to her store of original songs, and plans to record and release these on her social media accounts next year. 

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
12
7:30 PM19:30

Pearlman / Sherry

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Combining the rich histories and cultural resonance of traditional music with the raw expression of improvisation, the piano and saxophone duo Pearlman / Sherry are celebrating the release of their debut album, Friendly Spaces.

Musical friends since their teenage years growing up in southern Maine, Neil Pearlman and Dylan Sherry have finally come together to create an album which explores their varied musical and cultural backgrounds, celebrating both the universality and individuality of music.

Pearlman (“a tremendous pianist” – BBC Radio Scotland) has built a career as one of the most distinctive and innovative voices in Celtic music today. His unique sound blends a love of jazz and improvisation with a deep familiarity of the Scottish traditions, gained from his childhood playing and dancing in the family band Highland Soles.

Sherry, meanwhile, has become a strong part of Boston's avant-garde jazz scene over the past decade of living in the city. Their duo Pearlman / Sherry has been a long time coming and showcases the kind of artistic connection that can happen when musicians have known each other and played together since childhood.

An homage to the universality of music and humanity, the Pearlman / Sherry debut album Friendly Spaces explores the emotional power inherent in music traditions from Armenia to Scotland. “I love the beauty and the power in the traditional melodies I've heard,” Sherry says. “It's rewarding to be around something which has brought people together and stood the test of time. Hearing these songs makes me want to be part of their stories.”

Join the duo and become a part of those stories yourself! 

Tickets are $15/advance, $18 at the door for general admission, and $12 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
8
8:00 PM20:00

Jack Tempchin's Peaceful Easy Feeling 45th Anniversary Tour

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"He's a great songwriter. He paints pictures with simple words. He’s just really good at it."
–Don Henley

Jack Tempchin is perhaps best known for his five multi-platinum Eagles songs, two of which are on the RIAA Certified Best-Selling Album of the 20th Century, Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975. Jack’s "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Already Gone" (co-written with Rob Strandlund), are also featured in the recent History of the Eagles documentary by Alex Gibney. Other cuts are on Hell Freezes Over and Long Road Out Of Eden.

During the Eagles 14-year "vacation," Jack Tempchin took the Don Henley seat next to Glenn Frey, as well as co-wrote radio hits for Glenn Frey's solo career, including "Smuggler's Blues" and "You Belong to The City" from the Miami Vice TV soundtrack. Other Tempchin tunes have been covered and/or sung by George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, Glen Campbell, Chris Hillman, Jackson Browne, Dwight Yoakam, Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Randy Meisner, Tom Rush, Kate Wolf, Richie Havens, Dave Edmunds, Vince Gill and My Morning Jacket. Tempchin also had a Top 10 hit with rocker Johnny Rivers: “Slow Dancing Swayin’ To The Music." 

For 2018, Jack continues his PEACEFUL EASY FEELING 45th Anniversary Tour with a new album: Peaceful Easy Feeling – The Songs Of Jack Tempchin, out now on Blue Elan Records. Jack pays tribute to partner and pal Glenn Frey with his own version of a dozen popular tracks they wrote together. It features special guest vocalists Rita Coolidge, Janiva Magness, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen. Learn more about Jack Tempchin at www. PeacefulEasyFeeling.com

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
8
4:00 PM16:00

The Jones Gang

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The high-octane Americana band, The Jones Gang, is like a VW van with 310,000 miles rolling out of the shop, but is still truckin'.  

The Jones Gang is a collection of misfits and malcontents who, like a Hippie Transformer, assemble into something much greater than the sum of its parts. The group is an insane collection of Rock, Funk (Motown and Louisiana), Gospel, Blues, Folk and Country musicians with experience that spans from the Beau Brummels to Oral Roberts, with detours into Johnny Adams and Peter Rowan.

The band covers a musical history the size of the United States of America, all this and more in a tight and soulful style. The Gang includes Travis Jones, the Soul Mountain, on lead vocals; Henry Salvia, the Motor City Misfit, on the piano; Josh Zucker on bass; Peter Tucker (the only drummer officially approved by the Northern California Bluegrass society); and Sean Allen, the Master of the Telecaster, on lead guitar and lap steel.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support! 

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Apr
7
8:00 PM20:00

Danny Click & the Hell Yeahs

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Until a few years ago, Danny Click was one of Austin’s best-kept secrets, a musician’s musician who’d won the respect of some of alt-country’s biggest names but hadn’t yet found widespread recognition. 

That changed when Click's CD, Life Is A Good Place, was released in April 2011 and spent more than 12 consecutive months on the Country, Pop, and Americana radio charts. 

The first single, "Wait My Turn," reached #1 on Nashville’s Indie World Country Chart, and the second single, “I Feel Good Today,” topped out at #14 on the NMW national Country chart alongside Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where Click now resides, he's built a large and passionate fan base that includes musical greats Carlos Santana and Elvin Bishop, both of whom have joined him on stage for impromptu jams. 

Click and his band The Hell Yeahs, featuring a round-robin roster of top-shelf musicians, have played more than 300 sold-out shows over the past two years, as well as opening for legends Taj Mahal, Cake, Robert Plant, Mavis Staples and Sonny Landreth. 
 
What's causing all the buzz? First, there's Click's sound - a refreshing return to smart, sassy blues-inflected country rock. Think Tom Petty crossed with Wilco, spiced with the southern tradition of Lucinda Williams and John Hiatt. Add to that Click's searing guitar, reminiscent of Stevie Ray and David Lindley, and you've got at least part of the picture. 
 
Then there are Click's live shows: an anything-can-happen mix of stellar songwriting alternating with blistering blues-rock. When Click brings it down with the strings-inflected "Blue Skies," you can hear every breath in the room; when he launches into the infectious "Wait My Turn," there's not one person who can stay seated. 
 
Lastly, there's his songwriting. Continuing in the tradition of the Texas greats, Click pens wide open songs deeply rooted in a life well-lived. Growing up in a small farm community outside Indianapolis, Click was the youngest of nine children in a working class family. He was gigging in his older sister's country and western band before he was out of high school.
 
Click then moved to Austin, where his three-piece alt-country outfit, Danny and the Hurricanes, was a local phenomenon. He went on to spend three years with Americana artist Jimmy LaFave. 

Life Is A Good Place is the payoff, putting Click squarely in the upper echelon both musically and lyrically. From its radio-perfect songs to the sparse stories taken from real life, it leaves you filled with hope and a new respect for the human condition.

Fast forward to 2013. After four previous records and literally hundreds of gigs on the road, Click's single, Baptize Me Over Elvis Presley’s Grave, went to #9 and stayed in the top 10 for the entire month of October 2013. The music video is on CMT and is a viral share online.
 
In 2014, Danny became a regular guest at Grateful Dead legend Phil Lesh’s club, Terrapin Crossroads, and released a ripping live CD, Danny Click & the Hell Yeahs! ~ Captured LIVE! 
 
In  2015, Danny and band finished a brand new studio album, Holding up the Sun, with legendary producer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, etc.), which was released worldwide on Sept. 18 and is still on radio charts and DJ playlists across the country. The title track reached #1 on Indie Country radio in June 2016.

Hell Yeah indeed. 
  
"Click’s new album, Holding up the Sun reinforces the fact that Click is one of the best alt-country artists of this century.” - Robert Leggett / No Depression Magazine

“Danny Click writes songs that could rescue anyone.” - Greg Victor / Parcbench.com 

“A hidden gem…a scorching guitarist with a potent roots rock sound.” - Andrew Gilbert / SF Chronicle

Tickets are $20 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
6
8:00 PM20:00

Clara Blume

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The Austrian singer, pianist and songwriter Clara Blume recently moved from her hometown of Vienna to Berkeley, where she will start pursuing her musical career in the U.S.

For the past fifteen years, Clara has been writing her own songs and performing with renowned musicians from all over the world to international recognition. Her songwriting in English and Spanish culminated in her critically-acclaimed and award-nominated debut album, Here Comes Everything. While promoting her music, Clara appeared several times on national television and was invited to tour through Europe and the U.S. For her first concert in Berkeley, the artist will perform pieces from her first album as well as Spanish songs from her soon-to-be released second record. 

Tickets are $10 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
5
8:00 PM20:00

Peter Case - Solo Birthday Show!

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One of the most well-respected singer/songwriters of his generation, Peter Case is an artist whose eclectic body of work embraces rock & roll, contemporary folk, blues, and a number of points in between. As a songwriter, Case has shown himself to be a master storyteller with a special understanding of underdogs and lost souls, and his direct, passionate style as a singer and guitarist has served him well in both electric and acoustic contexts.

Case was born in Buffalo, New York on April 5, 1954, and grew up listening to the rock & roll and R&B records his older sisters collected. While Case's mother got him a ukulele when he was four years old, he didn't begin taking music seriously until he heard the Beatles and Bob Dylan in the mid-'60s. In 1965, Case wrote his first song, "Stay Away," and in 1967, he discovered the blues through a Mississippi John Hurt album he checked out from the local library.

The early stirrings of punk and new wave in California reawakened Case's passion for rock & roll, and with Paul Collins and Jack Lee he formed the Nerves, a band that played lean but tuneful and energetic pop music. Years before the D.I.Y. ethic was common, the Nerves recorded and self-released a four-song EP in 1976 (one of the EP's tunes, "Hanging on the Telephone," was later covered by Blondie.) Case then went on to found the acclaimed power pop group The Plimsouls in 1979, who performed their best-known hit, "A Million Miles Away," in the Nicolas Cage film Valley Girl

He has collaborated with Lucinda Williams, T Bone Burnett, Mitchell Froom, Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Joe Henry, Ben Harper and many, many others.

Come and celebrate Peter's birthday and enjoy an intimate evening with one of our finest singer/songwriters. 

Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Apr
1
7:30 PM19:30

Sam's Corner, featuring Noel Jewkes and Kay Kostopoulis

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Join Sam Rudin, the owner and creator of The Back Room (and yes, some of you know him as Hurricane Sam), for an evening of piano wizardry. 

Joining Sam tonight for an evening of mostly classic jazz is the great saxophonist Noel Jewkes, and his good friend, the wonderful singer Kay Kostopoulis. Noel is the dean of Bay Area horn players, and tonight is the first step toward seeing if we can put together a regular series, perhaps a residency, anchored by Noel, featuring Kay, and other singers, and attracting some of the great players in the area to sit in.  And speaking of that, the East Bay's indispensable bass player, Aaron Germain, will be joining in as well.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
31
8:00 PM20:00

Alice DiMicele

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Alice DiMicele and her band Force of Nature celebrate the release of Alice's new album, One With the Tide. Force of Nature features Alice's longtime bassist Rob Kohler and drummer Nick Kirby. Hopefully the owner of The Back Room, Sam Rudin, will sit in on piano on a few tunes as well.

Alice is a singer/songwriter and acoustic guitar player that seamlessly works jazz/blues phrasing and R&B and rock & roll rhythms into a broadened Folk/Roots/Americana sound she calls "Organic Acoustic Groove." Whether playing solo or with her band, Alice brings her wide-ranging vocal prowess, humor, and distinctive guitar style to festival stages, theaters, clubs, and house concerts.

For over 30 years Alice has been a grassroots trailblazer in independent music. Bucking the advances of record labels early in her career, she has self-released 14 albums on her Alice Otter Music label including 2018's One With the Tide. DiMicele has stayed true to herself and her mission: to create music that connects people and inspires them to take a stand for the earth and for justice in the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, and firmly transplanted since 1986 in the fertile Southern Oregon soil, DiMicele's music encompasses both city savvy and country innocence.

Alice has played at many festivals including Strawberry Music Festival, Kate Wolf Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Joshua Tree Music Festivals, Oregon Country Fair, Northwest String Summit and many, many more. She's shared stages with some of music's finest, including some of her musical heroes like Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, JJ Cale, David Grisman Quintet, Steve Winwood, Ferron, Peter Rowan, Richie Havens, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and the list goes on. Bonnie Raitt said, "Alice's music has that great combination of earthiness and groove that keeps it funky from the inside out. She's for real."

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for students with ID or accompanied by a parent. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
31
3:00 PM15:00

The Nathan Bickart Trio

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The Nathan Bickart Trio, featuring Owen Benjamin (bass) and Michael Mitchell (drums), invites you to celebrate the release of their album at The Back Room.

The trio writes and performs original music informed by their eclectic musical education, building upon the jazz tradition with folk-song melodies, rich harmonies, and a deep commitment to rhythmic unity. The result is warm and welcoming, evoking the landscapes of the band's Bay Area roots. The band has a monthly residency at 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley; individually, they can be found playing with groups in a diverse array of East Bay music scenes. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
30
8:00 PM20:00

Leftover Dreams

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Leftover Dreams is Patrice Haan and Tony Marcus singing gems of the great American songbook with stunning harmonies and burnished accompaniment. Tony Marcus is a veteran of such groups as Cats & Jammers and the Cheap Suit Serenaders and plays guitar with style and wit while singing in a voice that has been called "The definition of mellifluous" (Derk Richardson in the East Bay Express). Patrice Haan's voice has been described as a "velvety alto/tenor" (Kerry Parker in the Folknik), and her intimate delivery of lyrics never fails to reach audiences.

The two of them present a sampling of the best of the classic songs of Jimmy Van Heusen, the Gershwins, Harold Arlen and such mixed with lesser known delights that haven't seen the light of day for decades. As for the playing, "Marcus spins out dazzling and emotionally evocative solos" (Derk Richardson again). 

Tickets are $15 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
28
8:00 PM20:00

Nick Baker Presents! Josiah Johnson and Brady Gill

While eating a latke at Saul's Delicatessen, Bay Area Storyteller Brady Gill and The Head and the Heart's Josiah Johnson realized that they were trying to do the exact same thing, in very different ways. Both were committed to creating work that revealed our universal connections and experiences while honoring the beauty of how different we all are.

Josiah was doing this through his expanding solo work: deep and soulful ballads that paint our imaginations with rich and emotional landscapes of love, loss and transformation. Brady was doing the same through his Modern Fables, a series of stories that pay homage to the styles of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein, while addressing the joys, challenges and lessons of today. As the last bite of potato pancake was devoured, they pondered what it would look like to combine forces. They decided there's only one way to find out.

Join Brady and Josiah for an unique evening of stories and songs. Together we will explore what brings us together and what is keeping us apart. As we travel between the counterbalancing styles of these two artists, we will be given full access to our shared experience. While this is a performance, it's also a conversation. Throughout the night, the audience will be given opportunities to share with each other and to contribute to the artistic exploration on stage. Come if you have questions to be answered, a heart to be opened, or simply the desire to walk out of a performance feeling completely connected to everyone that you shared it with. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
25
3:00 PM15:00

Jazz Search West 2018: The Bay Area’s Annual Jazz Talent Search

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Jazz Search West 2018, the Bay Area’s Jazz talent search for adults and teens ages 15+, brings their exciting competition to The Back Room on Sunday, March 25th at 3pm.  

Contestants will perform in front of a panel of prestigious judges chosen from Bay Area Jazz professionals and a supportive live audience. At the end of the competition, three lucky finalists will be selected to move on to the exciting Semi-Final at the beautiful Freight & Salvage. From there, eight Finalists will move on to the Grand Finale at Yoshi’s Oakland, the East Bay’s premiere Jazz club. 

Four top winners will be ultimately chosen, with the help of audience voters, and will win valuable prizes designed to enhance their musical careers, including a scholarship to the California Jazz Conservatory, full tuition to Jazz Camp West 2018, a professionally-produced demo, recording studio time at Live Oak Studios, and a performance slot at Piedmont Piano Co.

Jazz Search West is an incredible opportunity to gain exposure and visibility, and to move to the next level. Our panel of judges is made up of some of the Bay Area’s most outstanding Jazz performers, including The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, Terrence Brewer, Jeff Denson and Tiffany Austin. A professional rhythm section trio will be provided with well-known Bay Area Jazz musicians, including Walter Bankovitch, Peter Barshay and Mark Lee. 

Contestant Fee: $40
General Admission: $10

To enroll / attend or for more info, please visit: livingjazz.com.

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Mar
24
8:00 PM20:00

Sylvia Herold Ensemble

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THE SYLVIA HEROLD ENSEMBLE  - Vintage Songs and a Voice That Sparkles, with Mike Wollenberg (lead guitar) and Chuck Ervin (bass)

Bay Area singer, guitarist, and song sleuth Sylvia Herold mines the motherlode of American jazz and popular song from the 1930s through the 1960s. Songs of wit and romance by composers Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, and Harold Arlen are lovingly rendered in a voice the San Francisco Examiner calls “mesmerizing.”

Herold was a member of the swing vocal trio Cats & Jammers and The Hot Club of San Francisco. Currently, she tours and records with Wake the Dead, The Lonestar Retrobates, and The Sylvia Herold Ensemble. She has appeared on more than 25 albums, including five solo recordings. Herold is a resident teacher at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, Calif., and teaches guitar and voice at adult music camps across the U.S.

She will be joined by renowned Bay Area jazz guitarist Mike Wollenberg—who has performed with such greats as Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Juice Newton, Jethro Burns, and the David Grisman Quintet—and by Chuck Ervin, an in-demand bassist in the Bay Area’s vibrant jazz and acoustic-music scenes. He teaches upright bass at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
23
8:00 PM20:00

Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines

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Macy Blackman and The Mighty Fines are universally regarded as the Bay Area’s premier New Orleans R&B/boogie band. 

On their latest release, Shoorah Shoorah - The Songs of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, Blackman and his veteran band pay tribute to the genius of the Soul Queen and King of New Orleans. 

This marks the sixth CD release for Blackman, who formed The Mighty Fines in 2003. Blackman, who has accompanied Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John) and also backed up such national acts as The Coasters and The Drifters during his illustrious career, features a highly accomplished band. 

The Mighty Fines include saxophonists Nancy Wright (John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elvin Bishop) and Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs (Neville Brothers, The Band, Temptations, Gatemouth Brown), bassist Bing Nathan (Lavay Smith’s Red Hot Skillet Lickers) and drummer Larry Vann (Martha Reeves, Elvin Bishop, Charles Brown, Buffy Saint-Marie). 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
22
7:30 PM19:30

Steve Seskin and Nina Gerber

Steve Seskin and Nina Gerber are performing together for the first time in almost 20 years, and it promises to be a fabulous reunion. She will be accompanying him as well as playing some of her amazing instrumental pieces. 

Steve Seskin is an electrifying performer. "His voice has a natural lilt that can't be learned," writes Joel Selvin in the SF Chronicle. He's "a really exceptional talent," writes Alan Lewis in the SF Bay Guardian. And "the presentation is simple, affective, and effective," writes Jim Carnes in the Sacramento Bee. Few performers can face an audience with only an acoustic guitar and hotwire its emotions. But that's what happens at Steve's concerts.

A Steve Seskin concert will have you wiping away a tear one minute and laughing out loud the next. His songs all have messages that touch the hearts of everyone: from the feelings of a little boy missing his father, to growing up and being true to yourself, to one of his most well-known themes of being considerate to and respectful of one another as expressed in “Don’t Laugh at Me."

After carving a career out of what some might call the shadows, guitarist Nina Gerber is at last beginning to dare the light. Her first album as a leader, Not Before Noon, follows two decades which brought her to prominence without ever placing her name on the front of an album cover. Since her accompaniment of Kate Wolf first earned her recognition, her acute skills as performer, producer and arranger have continued to deepen. Her contributions to acoustic music have earned her a following as loyal as for the numerous high talents she has accompanied - proving the shadows equal to the spotlight in the creation of honest, powerful, and beautiful music.

Nina has a unique ability to completely free herself within an eclectic range of styles. Presented with folk, country, bluegrass, rock, or blues, she is able to fall into leads which have rare reverence for the true feeling of a song, always emphasizing taste over technical display. She seeks to express through her hands, rather than gain attention, and it is this integrity which makes her expressions worth intent listening.

That kind of intent listening will reveal Nina's melodic touch in more places than many realize. Nina has performed and/or recorded with Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O'Brien, Dave Alvin, Rosalie Sorrels, Laurie Lewis, Terry Garthwaite and many others. Her soulful enhancement of their music easily explains why several return the favor by appearing on Not Before Noon and Good Music with Good People.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door, and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
21
8:00 PM20:00

A BENEFIT for CIVIC (Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement) featuring David Rovics

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David Rovics was born in New York City, and as a guitar-slinging singer/songwriter now based in Portland, Oregon, has toured in over two dozen countries, including at mass protests throughout North America and Europe.  

When President Bush came to Berlin in 2002, David entertained the 100,000 or so folks who came to protest, and at the TTIP protest in Berlin in 2015, he sang for 250,000. He was also a featured performer at the G8 protests in Rostock in 2007, the G8 protests in Scotland in 2005, the G20 in Pittsburgh in 2009 and the G20 in Toronto the following year. Other countries where David has played at protests for thousands of people include England, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan.

In addition to his musical involvement with the anti-capitalist movement, labor, environmental and anti-war movements internationally, he has shared the stage on a number of occasions with Tom Morello, founder of Rage Against the Machine, who also recorded a lead guitar track on David’s 2012 album, Meanwhile In Afghanistan. He has also shared the stage with Billy Bragg, Chumbawumba, Joan Baez, and Pete Seeger, and has toured extensively with Attila the Stockbroker, Robb Johnson, Anne Feeney, Tracey Curtis and Alistair Hulett.

CIVIC
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) is the national immigration detention visitation network, which is working to end U.S. immigration detention by monitoring human rights abuses, elevating stories, building community-based alternatives to detention, and advocating for system change. Locally, CIVIC volunteers visit immigration detainees at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, and work in collaboration with the detainees to monitor conditions, educate legislators and the public, and change policy.

Tickets are $15 general admission, and $10 for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
18
7:00 PM19:00

Tim Eriksen and Susan Brearey in PUMPKINTOWN: Songs, Stories and Magic Lantern Projections From an Imaginary New England Village

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Three-time Grammy nominee Tim Eriksen will be joined by internationally-recognized painter/projectionist Susan Brearey in a down-home multimedia presentation featuring ballads, gospel songs, guitar, banjo and fiddle tunes, accompanied by repurposed and reimagined magic lantern projections, all relaying the curious history of the imaginary Pumpkintown.

Considered “the best traditional American ballad singer of his generation” (BBC), Tim Eriksen is a multi-instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, and performer/consultant on the award-winning soundtrack for the film Cold Mountain (2003).

"One of the best voices in music." - T Bone Burnett

"Otherworldly harmonies." - Barbara Kingsolver

“Eriksen is an uncompromising performer, ethnomusicologist, Sacred Harp singing master, musical adventurer and punk-folk pioneer.” - The Guardian, UK  

"Susan Brearey's wolves and stags glance back at us from the liminal realm. This is a place on the edges of the forest, the edges of the imagination. We stare back at these images and enter that realm captivated by their invitation - like readers of a fairy tale who enter a magical kingdom." - Ann McCoy, Artist, Professor at Yale University

Tickets are $15 advance/$20 at the door for general admission; $10 advance/$15 door for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
18
2:00 PM14:00

Carolyn Arnold and Leanne Tallis

Carolyn Arnold is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Berkeley, California. She writes songs in an alternative pop style, similar to Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant and Tori Amos with rich and sweet high soprano vocals and lyrics full of metaphor, human connection and fantasy. Friends have described the quality of her voice as “angelic.” 

From a very young age Carolyn was surrounded by music. She sang with her family, studied classical piano, violin and voice through her youth, and began writing songs at age 22. Her roots are primarily in folk music of various kinds: Southern Appalachian, Blues, Folk Revival artists of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, and Eastern European folk. She played fiddle, guitar and banjo in several folk and bluegrass bands from 2005-2011, and has also studied 1930's Jazz extensively, as well as Broadway show tunes. Currently she is studying opera.

Carolyn’s latest project is a full-length album that was made from live recordings of five house concerts she did in January and February of 2017. This album is currently in the mixing stage and will be finished spring of 2018.

Leanne Tallis is a singer-songwriter born and raised in Los Angeles, and currently based in Oakland, CA. Leanne trained in musical theatre before coming back to her first love of songwriting, releasing her first EP, Smoke and Mirrors, in 2014. Her voice is strong and expressive, reminiscent of vocal greats such as Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny. She writes melody driven folk songs, with meaningful lyrics. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, general admission, and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
17
8:00 PM20:00

Joel Dorham

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Joel Dorham has been part of the Oakland jazz scene for decades. He doesn't perform very often anymore, so when he does a show it's a real event. For this performance, he will be bringing his Latin Jazz Octet, complete with three percussionists, three horns, bass, and vibes! 

The younger brother of the late trumpeter Kenny Dorham, Joel is a notable percussionist and bandleader in his own right. The Bay Area native is a tireless advocate for broader recognition of jazz - a fight he took all the way to congressional hearings. His passion for music is made tangible, and eminently enjoyable, with his long-running Latin Jazz Octet.

"Bandleaders come and go, but Joel Dorham rolls on." - Herb Caen 1993

Joel Dorham is one of America's most prolific and electrifying Latin Jazz timbale players and percussionists of our time, and a pivotal force in Latin Jazz. Joel organized his band in 1963, and has become the pre-eminent outspoken critic of the mass media for its suppression of Jazz. For his efforts he was nominated for a Pulitzer prize in 1981.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
17
3:00 PM15:00

Pianist William Beatty / Countdown featuring Lloyd Williams - Double CD Release

Join us for an afternoon of Jazz and Soul at this double CD release concert, featuring pianist William Beatty with bassist Aaron Germain, drummer Deszon Claiborne, and special guest vocalist Nicolas Bearde, followed by The Countdown Band featuring vocalist Lloyd Williams.

William will begin the show with selections from his recently recorded CD, The Path of Green Stones, and a piece or two just off the presses. 

Back in the early 1990's The Pasand Lounge in San Francisco and their location in Berkeley featured live music every night. The Countdown Band rotated weeks between the venues with two other house bands, backing the premier vocalists of the Bay Area. Lloyd Williams and Countdown performed for capacity audiences of listeners and dancers, honing a very tight sound over their years together.

Lloyd's stellar vocals are heard as the singing voice of Otis Day and the Knights in the classic movie Animal House, singing "Shout" and "Shamalama Ding Dong." Lloyd's vocal career includes performing with The Undisputed Truth, George Clinton and Parliament Funkedelic.

After a reunion gig at the home of Chef Kurt Koessel (in the backyard on a beautiful day in early summer, with red beans and rice ), Countdown and Lloyd recorded a CD at Bellboy Recording Studios in Richmond California. The arrangements came together like it was yesterday. Latriece Love and Ahsah-Ti Tyehimba Ford iced the cake with their vocals!

Countdown is:
Archie Williams - guitar
Bill Beatty - piano               
Aaron Germain - bass
Mark Lee - drums  
Latriece Love and AhSahti Tyehimba Ford - vocals

Special guest artists: vocalist Nicolas Bearde and guitarist Clyde Childress.

*PLEASE NOTE: This is a matinee performance. Doors open at 2:30pm and the show starts at 3pm.

Tickets are $20 and are available by clicking here, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the day of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
16
8:00 PM20:00

HowellDevine

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HowellDevine, the massively talented NorCal trio, became the first blues band Arhoolie Records (Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton) signed in 27 years. Triple threat talent Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, voice) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past.

HowellDevine breaks from the norm, providing rich and complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago.

Joshua Howell (Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica)
Within three years of starting harmonica at the age of 14, Joshua was sitting in with many of the San Francisco Bay Area's blues bands. He quickly became the desired house harmonica player in clubs such as Eli's Mile High and Your Place Too, though his under-age status limited his exposure to only those clubs that could circumvent the age restrictions. During this period, he took up guitar, intently focused on learning the techniques of the Mississippi greats such as Fred McDowell, Bukka White, Robert Johnson and RL Burnside. While living in Santa Cruz, Joshua pursued a successful career in guitar making, developing the Howell & Forsyth Guitar Company. Though he continued to focus on playing music and gigging locally, music as a profession took a back seat to lutherie. It wasn't until he moved to Thailand that he dedicated himself entirely to musicianship, taking on over 15 gigs a week as a solo artist. After three years playing professionally in Thailand's mountainous north, Joshua returned to the U.S. and continued to perform in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he crossed paths with drummer and percussionist Pete Devine, they recognized their similar influences and musical sensibilities. Their common approach effortlessly generated a powerhouse combo of inspired and unaffected blues.

Pete Devine (Drums & Washboard)
Originally from Maine, Pete started playing drums when he was six years old. Since his move to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, he has gained a national audience while playing with bands such as Bo Grumpus and Devine's Jug Band. From one of the founding members of Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers to a 20-year stint with Mal Sharpe's Jazz Band, Pete's musical range is extensive. He also kept busy as drummer for the Jug Town Pirates as well as the gypsy jazz band, Gaucho, for nine years, the latter voted "SF's Best Jazz Band of 2009" by the SF Weekly's reader poll. His ongoing recording career spanning the last 20 years has yielded over 32 records, including a recent recording with Maria Muldaur's Garden of Joy Jug Band, an album that was nominated for a Grammy Award. Pete's unique 'old time' drumming and jug blowing styles have taken him around the country, performing at venues such as SF's Great American Music Hall, SF's Davies Symphony Hall, The Danny Kay Theater in NYC for the JVC Jazz Festival, The Louisville Kentucky National Jug Band Jubilee, The LA Classic Jazz Festival, The SF Jazz Festival, The Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Missouri, and the famed Astoria Hotel in NYC, just to name a few.

Joe Kyle, Jr. (Upright Bass)
It was during the Great Swing Wars of early-1990s San Francisco, when gigs were plentiful, public cigar smoking was legal, and vintage clothes were still cheap, that Joe was fortunate enough to have been drafted into musical service. Since that time he has become an in-demand player known for his superb feel, musical agility, and adaptability. Joe has been touring and recording with the Waybacks since mid-2001, and in such capacity has shared the stage with a host of notable roots music heroes including Bob Weir, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Joan Osborne, Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Danny Barnes, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Grace Potter, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Jim Lauderdale and Bela Fleck. He might be the only bassist to have played with Martin Denny, Al Kooper AND Pinetop Perkins, although not at the same time, sadly. 

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below or at the door on the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
15
8:00 PM20:00

Barwick & Siegfried

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From the stage of the Strawberry Music Festival in California to pubs and concert halls throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, the acoustic duo of Kathy Barwick & Pete Siegfried has delighted and enchanted audiences with a distinctive blend of bluegrass, old-time country, traditional Irish and folk, creating an engaging Americana fusion showcasing Pete’s exceptional lead vocals, Kathy’s amazing guitar work and their sterling duet harmonies.

The two musicians combine years of experience into a compelling, highly entertaining duet sound that extends from the “brother duets” of the 1930s to such iconic modern partnerships as Buddy and Julie Miller.

The duo’s first album, The Trestle, was released early in 2015 by FGM Music. The CD does a superb job of capturing the special blend of Barwick & Siegfried, with material ranging from Gene Autry and Flatt & Scruggs to Jean Ritchie and T Bone Burnett, with a pair of Siegfried originals anchoring the song list. The Trestle received international radio airplay and has been met with widespread critical acclaim. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called the album a “sublime blend of two voices and two instruments creating a greater whole,” and “an excellent debut release by two like-minded lovers of song who’ve found musical gold in their pairing.”

Barwick & Siegfried’s second album, Long Time Gone, was released in June 2016, also to widespread distribution and critical acclaim.

Barwick & Siegfried have performed extensively throughout Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, Colorado, and at such prominent festivals as the Strawberry Music Festival and such prestigious California venues as the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, the Palms Playhouse in Winters and the Monkey House in Berkeley. The duo successfully toured Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2014 and 2016, and was a featured main stage performer at the California Bluegrass Association's annual bluegrass festival, also in 2016. 

Kathy Barwick, a native of Sacramento, has been widely hailed over the past 40 years as one of California’s most versatile acoustic musicians, known for her work in bluegrass, Americana and traditional Irish music. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist who’s adept on guitar, banjo, dobro, bass and mandolin, Barwick was a founding member of the All Girl Boys, a popular all-female bluegrass quintet, and has also worked with such bands as Nine-8ths Irish and the Mike Justis Band, as well as with Pete in the bluegrass band Mountain Laurel. Her first solo album, In My Life, was released in 2011 by FGM Music. Her second album, Braeburn, was released to critical acclaim in 2014.  

Pete Siegfried, a Pennsylvania native who has lived in Grass Valley, California, since the 1970s, founded the bluegrass band Mountain Laurel in 1988 and sang lead vocals and played mandolin in the popular quintet until it disbanded in 2011. Mountain Laurel performed widely throughout Northern California and Nevada, playing most of the leading festivals in the region, earning Pete a reputation as a peerless, distinctive singer with a soaring and expressive tenor voice. Mountain Laurel recorded three albums: Another Sunny Day in California, Trouble in the Mine and It’s About Time

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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Mar
11
7:30 PM19:30

Matt Davis

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New York-based jazz guitarist and composer Matt Davis will be joined by bassist Shimpei Ogawa. The duo will be performing some of Matt's award-winning original jazz pieces, as well as unique interpretations and arrangements of a wide array of jazz classics. 

Matt is a jazz guitarist, teacher, and composer, hailed as “Inspired” by Downbeat magazine, “incredible” by the Philadelphia Daily News, and “eloquent” by JazzTimes Magazine. Matt performs regularly in and around the NYC area, currently serves as Adjunct Associate Professor of Jazz Guitar Performance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and is on the guitar faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college program. He is also a teaching artist for the New York Pops in New York City. In addition to having studied under the notable jazz educator Dennis Sandole, Matt also earned his bachelors degree in jazz guitar from Temple University in Philadelphia, and his Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music.
 
Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!

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