Aug
24
8:00pm 8:00pm

Jenna & the Charmers - CANCELLED

8/23: We are saddened to hear that, due to a family emergency, Jenna & the Charmers will not be able to perform at this show. Our thoughts are with them, and we will reschedule as soon as we can. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Hailed as one of the leading women of jazz/pop crossover by Jazziz Magazine for three years in a row, vocalist Jenna Mammina teams up with drummer Jeremy Steinkoler (of Mo’Fone renown) for their latest collaborative project, Jenna & the Charmers, exploring an eclectic range of their favorite pop and jazz tunes from the past few decades, in addition to performing original compositions. They'll be joined by the formidable Ryan Lukas on bass (The Real Nasty, Brian Patneaude), and dynamic Steve Bissinger on guitar (Christie Winn, Mr. Lonesome & the Bluebelles).

Tickets are $20 and are available 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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Aug
25
8:00pm 8:00pm

Sam's Corner

Sam's Corner
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. 

Blues, jazz, swing, rock, bluegrass - who knows? Sometimes solo, sometimes with guests of all stripes - this is the very first in what will be an ongoing, monthly event.

Up until several years ago, when he became obsessed with the idea of creating the ideal small performance venue, Sam was best known as a performer, both with his band (Hurricane Sam and the Hotshots) and solo at the piano. His solo work took him to fairs and festivals throughout the state, and to a handful of conducive clubs (most prominently the Freight and Salvage versions 1 and 2) that catered to serious listeners and smaller crowds.

The Back Room was, of course, designed for that very same purpose, and now that we are well into our second year, Sam feels the time has come to put himself regularly on the calendar. And so you will now find, once a month...Sam's Corner!

Sometimes that will feature his old band mates, but there will be other musicians of all sorts who will come to sit in, or to guest star. Truthfully, we don't know what direction Sam's Corner might take. Certainly it will include a fair amount of that signature solo piano that was Sam's stock in trade for so long. And that is exactly how we will kick off the series.

And if you're not sure what to expect, here is a vintage promotional paragraph that will probably get a lot more mileage before we're through.

Sam Rudin is one of the most exciting pianists you are ever likely to hear. Sam attacks and caresses the keyboard, romping through the whole range of 20th century American music. He can evoke the spirit of Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Mose Alison, and Jerry Lee Lewis... sometimes all at the same time. He is also a compelling vocalist whose rough-hewn voice conveys both drama and humor.

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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Aug
26
8:00pm 8:00pm

The Dim Lights

The Dim Lights are a Pacifica-based traditional bluegrass band featuring the family of Avram (guitar), Vicki (bass) and Dana Frankel (fiddle), accompanied by Larry Cohea (banjo) and special guest David Thiessen (mandolin).

The band has a loyal following, playing all over the Bay Area and Northern California at a variety of venues, and is often hired to perform at various California festivals. They recently released their first CD and are a high-energy bluegrass band that formed after a local plumber figured out they were bluegrass musicians and recommended them to the Pacifica Moose Lodge for a gig. Well, they got the gig, and have been performing ever since.

You’ve might've heard Vicki’s infectious laugh around a festival campground, or caught Larry and Avram up late picking or performing with other fine bands - but it’s Dana’s traditional fiddling and clear tenor that garner the compliments - she’s the star. Over 50 years separate the oldest and youngest band members, and bluegrass sure has a way of bringing the band’s three generations together. 

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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Aug
27
2:00pm 2:00pm

Benji and Rita + special guests - CANCELLED

This show reflects the intimate musical interplay between Benji Kaplan and Rita Figueiredo. Benji is a native New Yorker and Rita hails from São Paulo, Brazil, and their two musical worlds collide as one in this fascinating Brazilian/Jazz duo encounter. Rita's theatrical yet subtle voice blends perfectly with Benji's understated guitar and his colorful palette of poignant harmonies. Together the two venture through their original compositions reminiscent of Villa Lobos’, Gershwin, Cole Porter and Chico Buarque all rolled into one.

Benji Kaplan is one of the most exciting new vibrating forces on the contemporary Brazilian/Jazz and Chamber Music scene today. His music video, "A Gente se Manifesta," was featured in the March 2017 edition of Billboard Brazil. Benji has been heralded by the great contemporary Brazilian composer Guinga, as "the greatest composer of Brazilian music, coming from the United States, that I have heard...He is a genius."

Benji's 2016 Album, Uai Sô, featuring his guitar and vocals, has been highly acclaimed for its lyrical compositions, lush harmonies, and unorthodox arrangements for winds, strings and brass.

“Sophisticated yet sensuous.” - Jazz Weekly

“…what the whimsical Dr. Seuss might’ve composed, had he been a musician and ridiculously talented at it…the degree of intelligence sunk into the deepest corners of every beat and measure of this treasure tells us that no matter what his pursuit might otherwise have been, the result would’ve been simultaneously unearthly while uniquely terrain.” - Mark S. Tucker,  Veritas Vampirus

"Benji Kaplan, whose performance infectiously realizes both great virtuosity and credible emotion and lyricism to the generously proportioned melody… this is actually a bigger deal than could ever be imagined or expressed in a five-hundred-or-so (word) review.” - World Music Report

“Benji Kaplan's Uai Sô is so unexpected that it cannot be pigeonholed. The music flows beautifully and oscillates between Brazilian song and new classical so rapidly as to truly meld together as one unprecedented newness." - Gapplegate Music Review

Rita Figueiredo is a multi-artist from São Paulo, Brazil, and is a true force to be reckoned with. In addition to being a well-established Animation/Illustration artist for over 20 years, she is a highly regarded composer, lyricist, and vocalist. 

She was pre-selected for the 2013 Latin Grammys, competing in three categories: Artist Revelation, Best Singer Album, Composer and Best Brazilian Music, with 6 nominated tracks. 

"Her album Brasilis is the birth registry of an uncommon artist, a skillful composer and irreverent interpreter. Rita Figueiredo surprises the listener by her good taste in creating her first album." - Ed Félix, Embrulador

"The first album of Rita Figueiredo, Brasilis is the portentous debut of a talented artist who has everything to subvert the logic of contemporary women's Brazilian popular music." - Tiago Ferreira, Na Mira do Groove

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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Aug
28
7:30pm 7:30pm

Kill Bossa, Karina Deniké - NEW DATE!

Kill Bossa plays the music of the Tropicália movement from Brazil - a music of passion, protest, and innovation whose main progenitors were the monumental musicians Os Mutantes, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Tom Ze.

Incorporating equal parts samba, American rock & roll, avant-garde lyrics and a deprecating sense of humor, this revolutionary music pushed the boundaries of what was possible both musically and politically during a repressive military dictatorship in late-sixties Brazil.

Kill Bossa is an American band playing the music of Brazilians who were in turn influenced by American music, especially the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. The result is a meta-look at International cross-pollination and the unexpected scope of pop culture, with a danceable samba beat! 

This Bay Area supergroup features Roger Riedlbauer, Aaron Novik, Eric Perney, Dave Mihaly, Melody Jeune Ferris and Dina Maccabee.

Karina Deniké
SF Bay Area resident Karina Deniké is a versatile vocalist, songwriter, collaborator and band leader who moves fluidly from intimate torch song chanteuse, to soul singer, to vocal powerhouse. 

"Denike possesses a voice so rich and luxuriant she sounds like she was born to sing any song that comes her way." - KQED’s California Report

Born in England to Czech dissidents and Berkeley-reared, Deniké original, reflective songs call upon her many influences and styles. 

"Echoing the timeless sound of Rickie Lee Jones' classic jazzy early efforts, Under Glass mixes elements of noirish torch songs, Eastern European lullabies, doo-wop, cabaret and finger-snapping '60s soul in a travelogue that journeys across San Francisco.” - KTVU.com

Performing works from her album Under Glass and beyond, her sextet features local musicians/composers in their own right: Aaron Novik on bass clarinet, Michael McIntosh on piano, James Frazier on guitar, Meryl Press on vocal harmonies, and Jason Levis on drums. Deniké and her band have toured New York, Japan, dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel Germany and have been presented locally by SFJAZZ, The Contemporary Jazz Museum, SF City Hall Centennial celebration, UnderCover Presents, and the Flower Piano series among others. Under Glass was named one of the "TOP JAZZ ALBUMS OF 2015" by KQED.

In addition to her self-titled group, Deniké has released over 30 albums as a solo artist, band member or guest, and has been on several major and independent labels (MCA, Warner, FatWreckChords, etc.). She has toured extensively worldwide and had her work on many soundtracks and compilations. She is also a current member of NOFX, The Cottontails, Marc and The Casuals, Mr. Lonesome and the Bluebelles, and a past member of Dance Hall Crashers, Stara Nova, and Ralph Carney's serious jazz project among others. 

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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Sep
3
5:00pm 5:00pm

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or 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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Sep
7
8:00pm 8:00pm

The Way Down Wanderers

Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act The Way Down Wanderers draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity.

Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show, and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores and propensity for performing self-titled “restSTOMPS” - free acoustic sets at rest & truck stops along their tour routes.

The band’s self-titled debut album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is available now, wherever music is sold.

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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Sep
8
8:00pm 8:00pm

Holly Bowling

Texture, nuance, and a gift for dexterous high-wire improvisation are the hallmarks of San Francisco-based classically trained pianist Holly Bowling, who infuses jam band music with a technically advanced, emotionally rich style.  

After studying piano performance at SF State University, Bowling has turned her agile mind and interpretive prowess to the works of Phish on 2013’s Distillation Of A Dream album and the newly released Grateful Dead-focused Better Left Unsung. Her instantly compelling playing, and unerring ability to successfully collaborate with other musicians in an impressive array of styles, has brought her to the attention of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, and other luminaries who’ve asked Bowling to perform with them.  Already a rising star on the festival circuit, Bowling plans to expand her solo touring in 2017 and beyond.

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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Sep
9
8:00pm 8:00pm

JuSusan

JuSusan is a unique inspirational/gospel/jazz composer, writer and jazz vocalist who began singing in the church at age 4, and sang opera while receiving her education at California State University, Los Angeles.

Founder and CEO of Soft Sound Music, she recorded her first gospel jazz CD, entitled God’s Love Ballads in 2008. She has performed as an actress, singer and composer for numerous musical stage plays, and is currently preparing for her second music release.

She has been asked to perform at innumerable community events sponsored or organized by the City of Berkeley, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley High School, Oakland Mayor’s Office, Black Fireman’s Assoc., NAACP, Oakland City Council, Oakland Police Dept., City of Richmond, City of Pittsburg, 100 Black Men of America, San Francisco Redevelopment Dept., Los Angeles Parks & Recs., Faith Fancher Foundation, Bridge The Gap Assoc. & many others.

She sings a wide spectrum of Jazz songs out of a love for the music and performs songs that inspire others to live and love. JuSusan will be performing with her band, My Company - a strong collection of some of Bay Area’s own greatest, seasoned jazz musicians, including Luther Van Spratt, a flamboyant vocalist and showman. 

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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Sep
10
5:00pm 5:00pm

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or 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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Sep
15
8:00pm 8:00pm

True Life Trio and Ghost Note Ensemble

True Life Trio weaves sumptuous vocal harmonies and sultry rhythms from Eastern Europe, the Americas & beyond. This innovative trio explores the creative possibilities of cross-fertilization of different traditions with unlikely timbres connecting Bulgaria to the Bayou.

TLT’s improvisation-laced repertoire includes original songs and folk tunes from far-flung lands such as Macedonia, Louisiana, Albania, Ukraine, Poland, Italy and Georgia. Featuring the powerful vocal talents of three dynamic performers whose musical collaboration was forged in Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, the trio delves deep into a vast array of folk music, massaging and expanding the boundaries of these traditional styles to create its own unique sound.  

The result is a sweet, sonic explosion that melts in the listener’s ear. Since its inception in 2010, TLT has enchanted audiences from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest. Performances include the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival, The California Christmas Revels, the Berkeley World Music Festival and collaborations with Portland’s Aurora Chorus, The Knights of Revery, Edessa, MWE and NYC’s Black Sea Hotel. In 2014, True Life Trio was awarded a grant from the East Bay Community Foundation Fund for Artists to create a performance piece on memory.  Inspired by this commissioned work, TLT released its first full-length recording, Like Never & Like Always in 2015.

Like Never & Like Always is a collaboration with instrumentalist Gari Hegedus and sound designer Eric Oberthaler. True Life Trio features Leslie Bonnett (voice, fiddle, percussion), Briget Boyle (voice, guitar, percussion), and Juliana Graffagna (voice, accordion, percussion).

"True Life Trio has created a unique musical journey...each song is a small auditory work of art meant to be intently listened to."  - Ginger Murray, SF Weekly 

Ghost Note Ensemble was founded in 2012 at Klezcalifornia's Yiddish Culture Festival. Since its inception, Ghost Note has sought to weave the musical threads of the Hungarian, Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Jewish folk traditions into a tuneful time-traveled tapestry, a requiem for borders of future past. A Ghost Note concert is then much like a musical tour through the times and places of our lost worlds, with the ghosts of song coming alive to dance and sing, in the fullest joy and sorrow, once again. Ghost Note Ensemble features Travis Hendrix on bass, Jack Hanley on mandolin, furulya, and poyk, Mattias Kaufmann on button accordion, and Joshua Laurenzi on fidl and furulya.

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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Sep
16
8:00pm 8:00pm

Owen Roberts

"Owen Roberts has a knack for creating visceral lyrics. He writes about community and the social conscience, something he attributes to growing up in Berkeley. Elements of nature find their way in the subtle layers of his songs. Water, avalanches, fault lines." - San Francisco Chronicle

Owen's 2016 EP Mama Sun is a concise and melodic reflection on his first years as a father. The album shines a light on his dynamic and soulful voice, a penchant for experimenting with meter and rhythm, and a distinctive ability to weave poetry with music.

KQED calls Unfold, a 2012 full-length album with his band Shady Maples, "perfectly Californian." He has toured the coasts with the band and as a solo artist and continues to write, sing his heart, and raise bars, glasses and children.

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!

View Event →
Sep
17
4:00pm 4:00pm

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or 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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Sep
17
7:00pm 7:00pm

Kenny White

Kenny White comes to the world of the touring singer-songwriter following a long and successful musical journey.  Long List of Priors, his aptly named new album, is the latest collection of original songs: snapshots of the human condition, from heartwarming to humorous. Radio favorites are “Cyberspace” and “A Road Less Traveled,” featuring David Crosby on harmony vocals.

Born in New York City and raised across the river in Fort Lee, NJ, Kenny began his career in the 1970s, touring exclusively as the keyboard player for Jonathan Edwards and Livingston Taylor, with whom he opened Linda Ronstadt’s legendary “Living in the USA” tour. He then became a fixture in the NYC studio scene throughout the 1980s and 1990s, producing and arranging literally hundreds of commercials for TV and radio. Commercial work enabled Kenny to direct artists as renowned and varied as Gladys Knight, Mavis Staples, Ricky Skaggs, and Aaron Neville. White has worked on many film soundtracks as a contributing writer/musician, including Message in a Bottle, Where the Heart Is and four films by Indie-director laureate John Sayles. Kenny also appears on dozens of recordings of other musicians, including Marc Cohn’s platinum debut.

After being hailed by reviewers from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle for his “thrilling” and “unique” piano playing, in 2001 Kenny chose to devote himself to making his own album, one that not only showcased his talent as a musician, but also as a lyricist. Friends such as Cheryl Wheeler invited Kenny to tour as an opening act on behalf of his first album, Uninvited Guest. Judy Collins signed him to her own Wildflower Records label, releasing Symphony in 16 Bars in 2005. She often invited Kenny to open her concerts.  The standing ovations he received in those large concert halls encouraged him to record Never Like This, followed by Comfort in the Static, which was released in 2010 to wide-ranging praise, landing on many “Favorite Album of the Year” lists.

Kenny White’s record producing credits include Shawn Colvin’s Grammy-nominated song, “I Don’t Know Why,” as well as the last four solo CDs for Peter Wolf, formerly with the J. Geils Band. Their second album, Sleepless, was named one of Rolling Stones “500 Greatest Albums of All Time." The productions with Wolf afforded Kenny the opportunity to work with an array of guest artists including Mick Jagger, Merle Haggard and Keith Richards.

Kenny’s music has also been discovered in the UK and Europe. He was awarded the International Songwriting Award at the Premio Ciampi music festival in Livomo, Italy, and just returned from a European tour in April, having performed 14 concerts in 8 countries in 22 days.

He still occasionally tours with Judy Collins throughout North America and performs the duet “Veterans’ Day” on her Bohemian album. He often shares a stage with his good friend Cheryl Wheeler, appearing on her live recording, Greetings, which he also produced. And though he has all but given up his days as a sideman, in 2014 he accepted an offer by none other than Tom Jones to play in his "soul quartet" for a sold-out, three week U.S. tour.

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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Sep
20
8:00pm 8:00pm

David Grier

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1961, a family move to Nashville at age 3 fully immersed David Grier into the bluegrass music world, and at age 6, he began playing the guitar.

Today, he is regarded as one of the premier acoustic guitarists in the world, along with his early influences Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and family friend Clarence White.

Recognized by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 2000 as one of the Artists of the Decade, and named Guitar Player of the Year three times by the International Bluegrass Music Association, Grier has played on four Grammy Award-winning albums (True Life Blues: A Tribute to Bill Monroe; The Great Dobro Sessions; Alison Brown’s Fairweather; and Amazing Grace 2: A Country Salute to Gospel). Having released four albums on Rounder, beginning in 1988 with Freewheeling, Grier launched his own label, Dreadnought Recordings, with the 1998 debut release, Hootenanny, with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien (“endlessly inventive and tasteful” - All Music Guide).

His most recent release, Evocative (Dreadnought 2009), featuring 10 original tunes and a rich complement of collaborators (Victor Wooten, Paul Franklin, Stuart Duncan and more), has been hailed for its “deep musical introspection” as well as its “unmatchable mastery of the guitar” (Martin Mull). Other Dreadnought releases include the highly-acclaimed Live at the Linda (2007) and I’ve Got the House to Myself (2002) (“unfettered explosive invention” - Tim O’Brien). 

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
22
8:00pm 8:00pm

Sam's Corner with special guest John Schott

Sam Rudin.jpg

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. 

This evening, Sam will be joined by jazz guitarist John Schott

Up until several years ago, when he became obsessed with the idea of creating the ideal small performance venue, Sam was best known as a performer, both with his band (Hurricane Sam and the Hotshots) and solo at the piano. His solo work took him to fairs and festivals throughout the state, and to a handful of conducive clubs (most prominently the Freight and Salvage versions 1 and 2) that catered to serious listeners and smaller crowds.

The Back Room was, of course, designed for that very same purpose, and now that we are well into our second year, Sam feels the time has come to put himself regularly on the calendar. And so you will now find, once a month...Sam's Corner!

Sometimes that will feature his old band mates, but there will be other musicians of all sorts who will come to sit in, or to guest star. Truthfully, we don't know what direction Sam's Corner might take. Certainly it will include a fair amount of that signature solo piano that was Sam's stock in trade for so long. And that is exactly how we will kick off the series.

And if you're not sure what to expect, here is a vintage promotional paragraph that will probably get a lot more mileage before we're through.

Sam Rudin is one of the most exciting pianists you are ever likely to hear. Sam attacks and caresses the keyboard, romping through the whole range of 20th century American music. He can evoke the spirit of Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Mose Alison, and Jerry Lee Lewis... sometimes all at the same time. He is also a compelling vocalist whose rough-hewn voice conveys both drama and humor.

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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Sep
23
8:00pm 8:00pm

The Gold Souls

The Gold Souls are a Sacramento, CA-based original soul/blues band. Drawing from a variety of influences and backgrounds, they deliver compelling lyrics and fresh arrangements over a vintage sound. With backgrounds in jazz, hip hop, blues, funk, and folk, The Gold Souls' original music is innovative and captivating. 

Led by the dynamic Juniper Waller, the group is made up of young talent hailing from the Bay and Sacramento areas. They released a self-titled five song original EP earlier this year and went on their first tour down the California coast soon after. 

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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Sep
24
5:00pm 5:00pm

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol is one of the premier vocalists of her time. Her unique style and gift of connecting with her audience is astonishing. This Bay Area living legend is a recipient of countless awards and honors inducing 2014 Bay Area Jazz Hero Award, 2016 City of Berkeley Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015 induction into the Oakland Blues Walk of Fame, and four Cabaret Gold Awards.

After beginning her career with gospel music, Ms. Carol was an integral part of Oakland's innovative funk scene in the 1960s and later went on to form her own trio. She soon built a reputation as a daringly versatile and consistently creative vocal stylist arranging standards and popular songs in her own unique way.

She has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Albert King, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Billy Higgins, Charles Brown, Bobby Hutchinson and Pharaoh Sanders. Now established as a world-class artist at the top of her craft, she continues to dazzle and delight audiences at home and beyond. She will be accompanied by Joe Warner on piano.

"Faye Carol is one of the greatest singers on the planet...There is nobody singing the blues and jazz like she is." - Charles Brown

Tickets are $20 and are available in advance at the link below, or 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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Sep
28
8:00pm 8:00pm

Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell is a singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C. With roots in jazz, a cappella and folk, Be composes a soulful blend of genres into what she calls queer pop. In her live performances, she utilizes loop pedal vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be's self-produced albums feature her earnest lyricism, proud LGBTQ content, unapologetic silliness, and the art of the simple love song.

As she pursued her career in music, she began a career in film. Shooting and editing her own music videos, Be combined her love of music with narrative film.  In 2014, Be completed an MFA in film from Howard University. This year, Be was selected to be a 2016 Strathmore Artist in Residence. The D.C. Commission on the Arts awarded Be the Artist Fellowship for 2016. Be is currently touring her music and screening her film Vow of Silence (2014)
internationally.  

Ticket are $18 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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Oct
6
8:00pm 8:00pm

John Schott's Actual Trio

John Schott’s Actual Trio, featuring Dan Seamans and John Hanes, is “one of the Bay Area’s most brilliant diamonds,” according to Jazz Times.

All acknowledged masters on their instruments, the Actual Trio have spent years playing together in the studio and on the road, forging a singular group voice in the crowded world of modern guitar-oriented Jazz. Schott’s compositions put groove, free improvisation, humor, melody, and harmony into a blender, and bring out the stellar musicianship of bassist Dan Seamans (New Klezmer Trio, The Lost Trio) and drummer John Hanes (Henry Kaiser, Fillmore Slim, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions).

The group has had a five-year gig at the Actual Cafe in Oakland, tours on the East and West coasts, a festival performance at SFJazz, and a critically acclaimed debut CD on John Zorn’s Tzadik label. 

Paul de Barros of the Seattle Times writes, “With a bright and bold, slightly twangy sound, Schott grazes rock, blues, Thelonious Monk and James 'Blood' Ulmer with lithe, original, single-note lines full of swing, surprise and humor. If you like swinging jazz guitar with a zany, eccentric bent, see this threesome.”

Tickets are $15 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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Oct
7
8:00pm 8:00pm

The pickPocket Ensemble

From the street corner to the concert hall, the pickPocket ensemble have created a unique and original contemporary chamber cafe music. Based in Northern California, the ensemble has toured internationally  and released 6 CD's of original music, which also has been featured in  several films, on NPR and public television.

To listen to the pickPocket ensemble is to embark on a journey. Speak to audience members after a performance: one will have been to Bogota, one to Prague, one to Paris. Yet for all its wide-ranging inspirations, the pickPocket ensemble's music remains intensely personal and immediately engaging, an invitation to listen in on an intimate  conversation.

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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Oct
11
8:00pm 8:00pm

Bob Lind and James Lee Stanley

Together for one lyrical, passion-filled night: two veteran singer songwriters whose phenomenal creativity and guitar/vocal chops have only improved over the years.

Both carry the ‘60s acoustic-folk tradition in their DNA. But they haven’t stopped there. Their music has continued to evolve. They’re at the top of their game. You may think you know them from their critically acclaimed records and CDs. But if you’ve never seen them in person, you don’t know them at all.

Bob Lind is always unpredictable and disarming onstage – making you laugh one moment, bringing you to tears the next. Music critic Walter Savinski writes, “Come see why this engaging poet/philosopher/guitarist/singer/wise-ass has endured in the sometimes-cruel and always-fickle music business for [five decades]. But be prepared to feel emotions you might not have let yourself feel in awhile. His songs hit the heart like a wrecking ball.” (Bob Lind photo by Henry Diltz)

James Lee Stanley combines hilarious stories with riveting music. His wonderful compositions and his heartfelt interpretations of songs by other great writers make him a unique and amazing performer. Famed novelist Tom Robbins says of him, “A diamond has been smuggled into the wasteland…And here is where the wasteland ends.” Believe The Village Voice when they say that when you come to hear James Lee, “You’re in for a very entertaining evening.”

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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Oct
14
8:00pm 8:00pm

Bill Staines

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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Oct
15
8:00pm 8:00pm

The Novelists

An elderly couple stands precariously on the railing of a 17-floor balcony…two teenagers unknowingly choose a murder scene for their parking date, and a young man throws off the shackles of a bullish culture. These are just a sample of the scenes in which you’ll find yourself immersed when you listen to The Novelists.

Equally comfortable acoustic or electric, The Novelists showcase cliffhanger storytelling, multiple lead singers, and their signature four-part harmonies. The Novelists have become a mainstay on the West Coast festival, college and house concert circuits and are planning several national tours throughout 2017. They've shared the stage with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, John Prine, and Daryl Stuermer (Genesis). Notable performances include the Sail Across The Sun Music Cruise Festival (hosted by Train), Cowboy Stadium (Dallas, TX), Strawberry Music Festival (Camp Mather, CA), California Wordfest, (Grass Valley, CA), Americana Music Festival (Virginia City, NV), The Knitting Factory (Reno, NV), Shank Hall (Milwaukee, WI – w/guest musician Daryl Stuermer of Genesis), Swallow Hill (Denver, CO), and The Living Room (NY, NY).

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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Oct
21
8:00pm 8:00pm

Wendy Burch Steel & Redwood

WBSteel & Redwood.jpg

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 with 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 has 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.

And now, Wendy Burch Steel and Redwood will be producing a new album, Ambrosia, with producer Alan Senauke at Megasonic Sound Studios! The Kickstarter campaign to fund this wonderful album of brand new songs and covers, will begin in September, 2017.  Don't miss this preview of all-newly recorded original songs and covers!

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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Oct
22
7:00pm 7:00pm

Mary Scholz

Internationally touring singer/songwriter Mary Scholz is a live circuit favorite. Touring all over the US, Europe and the UK, the Philadelphia-born, Los Angeles-based artist is best known for her warm, lyrical voice, her folk/rock melodies, her thoughtful guitar work, and her personal connection to her audience on stage.

Much of Scholz’s material addresses transition, with bittersweet melodies and lyrics that speak of the importance of knowing yourself, and the strength it takes to trust your intuition – to always move forward. Her 2014 release, The Girl You Thought You Knew, laced folk with pop to walk through the struggles of ending a significant relationship (aka divorce). The record included the HMMA nominated song, "Bridges We Burn." Her upcoming record, California, is a dive into the more raw, organic side of Scholz’s songwriting, which has garnered her the nickname “Folk Explorer” with musicians in town. It was recorded live, in one room, to an Ampex 8-track tape machine, and will be her first vinyl pressing. It is about moving forward. Continuing the journey.

A graduate of the University of the Arts, Mary has toured with a message of Love, Strength and Hope (in the “be your own champion” way) for the past eleven years.

“You are your own best compass. Know one can forge your path for you, and no one can see it better than you can. Trust yourself.”

Joining Mary on this tour on electric and acoustic guitar is Zachary Ross. Ross is a Kansas-born, Los Angeles-based musician who has toured the country with various acts, playing large arenas and intimate blues clubs all over the US. He appears on various records, including Scholz's California. Also a vocalist, writer and film composer, Zachary has had a multifaceted career. Before hitting the road as a the steady right-hand-man, he was frontman of his own projects, and works often in film and television. 

Scholz and Ross have been playing as a guitar duo for a year and a half, performing shows all over the US. 

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 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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Nov
11
8:00pm 8:00pm

Macy Blackman & the Mighty Fines

Macy Blackman and The Mighty Fines, universally regarded as the Bay Area’s premier New Orleans R&B/boogie band, are celebrating the release of their new CD, Shoorah Shoorah – The Songs of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint.

On their latest releaseBlackman 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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Nov
18
8:00pm 8:00pm

Natural Rhythms

L-R: Becky Reardon, Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite

L-R: Becky Reardon, Elise Witt, Terry Garthwaite

NATURAL RHYTHMS
Whether it’s a polyrhythmic groove on juju magic, a playful musing on the rhythm of the heartbeat, a march about the mating season of tarantulas, a swing on spring fever, or rockin’ and rollin’ with a ride on the happiness train, Terry GarthwaiteBecky Reardon & Elise Witt cook from the minute they hit the stage.

Imagine Laurie Anderson, Janis Joplin, and Edith Piaf taking a turn from Starhawk and then from Dr. Seuss, and you’ll have some idea of the mad and moving musical adventures created with the rhythms of the natural world and experiments with language and sound. Bringing three uniquely different voices to the blend, Terry, Becky & Elise’s harmonies spread a web of joy and the delight of singing together. The threesome’s concerts are also famous for getting the audience singing, and even self-professed “non-singers” find themselves part of an impromptu glorious chorus!

Becky Reardon is a singer, composer and guitarist whose rounds and songs are popular with community choirs, song circles, and singing classes internationally. She travels widely to share her music in concerts and singing workshops, and is currently writing a musical about a women’s song circle.

Elise Witt’s music is a gumbo that spans styles, countries, genres, and times--fine music to the ears. Her concerts of Global, Local & Homemade Songs™ and her Impromptu Glorious Chorus™ workshops create and connect singing communities around the globe. Elise was born in Switzerland, raised in North Carolina, and has made her home in Atlanta since 1977. She speaks five languages fluently, sings in at least a dozen more, and has eleven recordings on the independent EMWorld Records label. Recipient of the William L. Womack Creative Arts Award, Elise currently serves as Director of Music Programs at the Global Village Project, a school for teenage refugee girls in Decatur GA.

Terry Garthwaite inhabits her songs--passionate rhythmic affirmations that pulse in the bones, seeding comfort and joy.  With the improvisation of jazz, expression of blues, textures and tones of world music, and the heart of a healer, Terry makes music that opens you to the joy of living. She has been creating infectious music since the late ‘60s in the Joy of Cooking, and has numerous recordings and songbooks of her own works, as well as a book of vocal games and explorations (“Joy of Sound”), gleaned from her years as a workshop leader and singing teacher.  She is an internationally known singer, songwriter, composer, producer, and teacher. 

Tickets are $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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Aug
20
8:00pm 8:00pm

Fred Frith - Miya Masaoka - Larry Ochs (aka Maybe Monday)

Photo credit Heike Liss

Photo credit Heike Liss

Maybe Monday features Fred Frith (guitars, effects, etc.), Miya Masaoka (Dan Bao, electronics), and Larry Ochs (saxophones).

Maybe Monday performs entirely improvised music. The group performed for the first time at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco in March 1997 at the suggestion of Fred Frith, who at the time was in residence at Mills College, Oakland. A tour in 1998 allowed the group to focus its musical territory; the tour went to Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Chicago with a later concert in San Francisco.

The music was well described in this review from the '97 Great American Music Hall concert: "The trio of Fred Frith, Miya Masaoka, and Larry Ochs is one of those groups that look unlikely on paper but once heard has an emotional logic that suggests they've always been there, doing that.... No strangers to each others' music — Frith and Ochs have been associated, via Rova, for many years, Frith has toured Europe with Masaoka (and Tom Cora), the musical lives of Ochs and Masaoka have intersected on several occasions — the trio enables these strong and instantly recognizable voices to re-invent themselves, finding quite other solutions in each others' company to those they might arrive at in other contexts. The delicate mesh of electric and acoustic, ethnic and urban, tradition and experiment sets up a tension in this music which places it apart from the high energy/noise-oriented confrontation that characterizes a lot of contemporary improvising. It's a tension, however, that is sometimes most ingeniously resolved. Contradictions abound — in the ferocious lyricism of Ochs, the placid aggression of Masaoka, Frith's passionate detachment — but the result, rather than shocking or unsettling the listener, is as familiar as breathing, as inevitable as fire." — Piet Schaap, June, 1997

Maybe Monday performed at least annually until 2007. This Back Room show will be the first trio concert since February 2011.  

Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 with student 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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Aug
19
8:00pm 8:00pm

Ramana Vieira - An Evening of Fado Inspired Music & American Classics

Ramana Vieira and her group will perform traditional, ballad-style fados that pay homage to the “Queen of Fado” Amália Rodrigues, along with up-tempo compositions from their 2015 album, Fado Da Vida, from which three songs were nominated for the International Portuguese Music Awards.

Her new work captures influences from all the countries of Portuguese language and cultural heritage in a musical tapestry that ranges from whispering, haunting ballads to collaborations featuring the works of famous Portuguese-Canadian poet Euclides Cavaco.

Ramana’s ensemble includes Brad Bivens on guitar, Ela Polak on violin, Steve Fowler on acoustic bass and Stephen La Porta on percussion.

"...new age sensibility." - The NY Times 
"...breathes new life into Fado." - SF Chronicle 
"Fados with a contemporary spin." - The Boston Globe

Tickets are $17 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
18
8:00pm 8:00pm

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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Aug
16
8:00pm 8:00pm

Dylan Connor & Benjamin Cartel

This summer, acoustic rockers Dylan Connor and Benjamin Cartel are teaming up to bring their original, hook-laden, Rock ‘n’ Roll music to the West Coast.

Dylan and Benjamin figured they should join forces based on the fact that they can both quote the film This is Spinal Tap verbatim. Dylan used to front San Francisco power pop band M.Headphone, but moved back east in 2004 and made a solo record called Plug In with indie rock producer Bryce Goggin of the Lemonheads, Ramones and Phish fame. His latest release Spirit Glue, which was funded by his fans, has been compared to The Shins and Jeff Buckley. “Connor has a broader worldview than most songwriters. He’s got an easy way with a pop hook and can be a ferociously incisive wordsmith.” - New York Music Daily 

Benjamin is sometimes half of the indie rock duo Kasier Cartel, whose songs have been featured on the HBO series Bored to Death and the Josh Radnor film Liberal Arts, and who have a record deal with Bluhammock Records. Benjamin, who sounds like John Lennon fronting Wilco, released his first solo LP, Gothenburg, in 2015. He has toured relentlessly since, and is currently in the studio working on his next LP. “If you care about fine, incisive songwriting, you’ll be happy to identify with Benjamin Cartel. Musically speaking, a particularly captivating captor.” - American Songwriter

Benjamin and Dylan will be backing each other up on tunes from their respective records, and who knows…they might throw in a Spinal Tap cover or two.

Tickets are $15 general admission, or $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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Aug
15
7:00pm 7:00pm

A Night of Gypsy Blues Music with Nathan & Jessie, Shine Delphi, Lawson Navarro

Fresh off their Southwest and East Coast tour, Nathan & Jessie return to the Bay to perform a night of gypsy-blues-swingin-folk music. Together, these two make for an unforgettable performance! The duo has traveled all over the world sharing their music on streets and stages with their unique sound. A fusion of jazzy folk and blues on resonator guitars and accordion, along with interesting interplay between male and female vocals, make their performances unlike any other. 

Shine Delphi of New Orleans mixes elements of traditional jazz, country blues picking, and folk storytelling. He has performed with the likes of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band.

Bay Area native and ukulele virtuoso Lawson Navarro transcribes classic tunes on his uke that captures emotions from his own life stories. 

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
13
7:00pm 7:00pm

Music Against Malaria

Music Against Malaria is a benefit concert organized by Oakland Tech High School student saxophonist and clarinetist Nathan Nakadegawa-Lee, who has been awarded two Outstanding Soloist Awards at the Reno Jazz Festival.

He is joined by five other Oakland Tech High School students: 
- Railey Stern-Yen, saxophonist and clarinetist with an Outstanding Soloist Award at the Reno Jazz Festival.
- Satchel Birch, former Oakland School for the Arts guitarist. He has performed for the San Francisco school board and also has an Outstanding Soloist Award from the Reno Jazz Festival. 
- Mary Nguyen, pianist, has performed in various venues around the Bay Area and has two Outstanding Soloist Awards from the Reno Jazz Festival.
- Nick Reeves, classically trained cellist and jazz bassist, has performed at the White House with his string quartet The Perfect Fourth. 
- Gus Hurteau (not shown above), Oakland School for the Arts percussionist and vibraphonist, has performed at Davies Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and received the 2014 Downbeat Award for Outstanding Young Soloist.   

100% of the proceeds from this performance will be donated to the Against Malaria Foundation. The Back Room is also donating half of its share. The Against Malaria Foundation is an NGO (non-Government organization) that uses all of its funding to purchase and supply anti-malaria nets in countries in Africa and South Asia that are devastated by the potentially lethal disease. It relies completely on donations and sponsors.

Tickets are $10 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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Aug
12
8:00pm 8:00pm

Jenny Maybee

Jenny Maybee’s “eloquent and heart stopping” piano playing and vocals have been hailed as “expertly balanced,” with her voice described as “exquisite” and “in the same league” as Billie Holiday, and her piano stylings have been compared to Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner and Cecil Taylor.  

Jenny co-produced and arranged her latest, nationally-charting album, HAIKU (2016), with veteran Grammy-recognized Jazz producer and trumpet player Nick Phillips (Karrin Allyson, Nnenna Freelon). HAIKU was lauded in the press as "a thrilling, intimate, very delicate dialogue...close to perfection," and Jenny’s composition “Winter Butterflies” was selected as one of the Top 10 New Songs of 2016.

Jenny’s trio will bring an evening of innovative music to The Back Room. Rooted in the jazz and classical traditions, yet always breaking new ground, the trio will present original compositions and arrangements of favorite jazz standards.

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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Aug
11
8:00pm 8:00pm

Hollis Peach & Late for the Train

Join us for a night of acoustic duo Storytelling & Folk music featuring Late For The Train and Hollis Peach.

Late for the Train is the folk duo of David Pascoe and Laura Benson, two songwriters and multi-instrumentalists sharing traditional and original music.

Hollis Peach is a musical duo from Ashland OR that draws from diverse influences ranging from John Hartford, Joanna Newsom, Pete Seeger, Jim Henson and Townes Van Zandt. They weave evocative, mischievous and deeply personal stories in the American vernacular of song and story. This unassuming yet highly original duo is currently touring in promotion of their debut release, Sometimes We Feel the Same. Founding members of the rootsy folk orchestra Patchy Sanders, songwriter and guitarist Dan Sherrill, along with his singing partner Jacqui Aubert, create a finely nuanced musical pairing.

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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Aug
10
8:00pm 8:00pm

Hannah Judson, Tom Heyman

Sultry, raw and original, Hannah Judson is a folk/rock singer/songwriter active on the Paris scene, telling stories that question and surprise to her growing tribe.

Judson’s Chicago roots are present but not defining qualities in recent Parisian performances. The lyrics are subtle, evocative and tell stories influenced from both sides of the Atlantic. She leads with one foot rooted in folk storytelling tradition like Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan. Her vocals have been compared with Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Elliott Smith, Cat Power, and The Cranberries. Hannah worked her way up the ranks of the Chicago indie scene, collaborating extensively with many musicians including Jim Pogozleksi (Mint Aundry), Leslie Santos (Stump the Host) and Brian Burkhard (Echolalia), as the lead singer and songwriter for Sweet Bridget and Kite Club.

In 2011 she released Underbelly, an album poking a stick at contemporary culture, politics, and habits in love. Underbelly was produced by Epic and Polydor recording artist Michel Esquelin and the release was supported by a 16 week concert series at Les Décharguers.

"Underbelly's songs serve as stories where a sequence of characters, male and female, fall, leap, love, lie, argue, explain and hope. Judson brings a sense of hope and humor to these stories." - Rising Magazine, September 2011

Her music has been featured on Women’s Radio “Monday Monday,” WLUW 88.7 “Live from the Heartland,” and she has been a guest performer on Balcony TV Paris.

The worlds of indie rock iconoclast John Vanderslice and alt-country godfather Alejandro Escovedo rarely intersect, but in Tom Heyman, they most certainly do. The San Francisco-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has toured and recorded with artists of most every stripe, from Chuck Prophet and John Doe to cult favorites Girls and a whole lot more in between.

Heyman recorded his third solo record, That Cool Blue Feeling, in Portland, Oregon with Mike Coykendall (M. Ward) producing and Rusty Miller (Kelley Stoltz, Jason Lyttle) and himself covering the musical bases. The intention was to create a sound that combined the loose, late night, low down groove of JJ Cale with the bittersweet melancholia of late period Nick Lowe and the melodic storytelling of Heyman’s hero Gordon Lightfoot. The record was written mostly at night, after long shifts nights tending bar and is an examination of the loneliness and alienation of the nocturnal life, and the true cost of love.

Heyman started playing and recording in the late 1980s with the Philadelphia based band Go To Blazes. He wrote songs, played guitar, and the band released 5 full-length records and toured the US and Europe extensively before breaking up in 1997. After relocating to San Francisco in 1998, he began working as a sideman, eventually joining local favorites The Court and Spark, as well as Chuck Prophet’s band. All the while he was discovering his voice as a solo artist and bandleader. His second solo record Deliver Me was critically acclaimed, receiving 4 star reviews in both Mojo and Uncut magazine, and songs from the record were heard in the TV shows True BloodJustified and Damages

While he often works in a band context, Heyman primarily considers himself a folksinger whose job is to tell stories that draw the listener in to his world.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 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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Aug
6
8:00pm 8:00pm

Ben Rosenblum Trio

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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Aug
5
8:00pm 8:00pm

Molly with Charles, Simon Lunche

Six months after their debut, Molly with Charles are back with a four song EP entitled the Paris Tape, recorded entirely during a March week in the city. The music revisits familiar conceptual territory for the duo; in essence, the endlessly beguiling ambiguity of romantic relationships, past and present. 

Sonically, the duo has expanded their territory: the velvety soul whispers of q+m remain, but — to their credit — the band’s sense of scale and dynamics has increased. The project introduces itself with a restrained Satie-inspired gymnopedie, and climaxes with an epic rock/soul aria that recalls some of the grandeur of the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Tying each song together are musique concrete recordings of Paris, presumably a nod to another French great, Pierre Schaeffer. - Miles Rednik, 1922 ARTS/CULTURE

Simon Lunche is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Berkeley, California. For nine years he was the creative force behind The Blondies, which he formed at age 9. He is Gibson Guitar’s youngest endorsed artist in its 114-year history, has self-produced 3 albums, and The Blondies were named one of “eight essential artists to watch” by LIVE105/CBS FM Radio San Francisco. All of this by the time he was 18 years old.
 
“His singing and songwriting induces the sort of emotion that leaves you speechless.” - Samantha Stevens, PennsEyeView 
 
Simon’s music has been compared to The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, The Kooks, and other well known artists. You’ll hear hints of Jeff Buckley in his velvety voice, and the melodic sensibility of The Beatles in his songs. Simon brings an articulate, sophisticated voice to experiences of his generation. His influences are broad, ranging from John Mayer to Bob Dylan to John Williams. “I use my music as an emotional outlet, and try to make something that is real to me; something human." It is fresh, original music, which recalls sounds you know and love.
 
Simon is a passionate and driven artist. His first solo album is the culmination of countless hours writing lyrics and refining his sound. Expect the release in late 2017. Simon’s live band includes The Blondies drummer Elias Williams, and other talented musicians he will be introducing and is excited to bring on stage.

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
4
8:00pm 8:00pm

Rupert Wates

Rupert Wates was born in London and has been based since 2007 in New York City and Colorado.  His material is acoustic, melodic art/folk, with flavors of jazz and cabaret.  

He is the winner of well over 30 songwriting and performing awards. In the last two years alone, no less than two tribute albums to his material have been recorded by artists in Nashville and Los Angeles. He averages 120 live shows a year, in every state in the U.S., in Canada and in Europe, and he is delighted to be playing The Back Room.
 
"This is one gifted s.o.b...If you're not hip to this guy you're missing a lot." - F.A.M.E.

“Sublime folk hymns.” - Colorado Central Magazine

"I was overwhelmed by how good he was." - Circle Entertainment, NC

"Rupert Wates is about as talented as it gets." - Comfortable House Concerts, MD

"These songs will go straight to your heart." - Empty Nest House Concerts, NJ

"An inspirational artist." - Leith FM Radio, Scotland

“The most talented singer-guitarist we have traveling round the country today.” - Rick Leigh Music, WI

"A prime figure in American music." - Folk And Acoustic Music Exchange

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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Aug
2
5:00pm 5:00pm

Douyé

Join Nigerian born, Los Angeles-based vocalist Douyé and her trio for an evening of great jazz songs from the American songbook - reinvented and made new again, in her Bay Area debut which celebrates her new CD release, Daddy Said So! 

Douyé's trio features Leon Joyce, Jr. on drums, Glenn Pearson on piano and Hashima Mark Williams on bass. 

After the performance, Douyé will autograph copies of her new CD, about which All About Jazz says: "After two successful and well-received classic R&B CDs, singer Douyé is on a career path that has taken an unexpected but ultimately logical turn. Douyé (pronounced Doe-Yay) has re-emerged as a very talented jazz singer on her impressive new recording Daddy Said So."

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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Jul
29
8:00pm 8:00pm

The Pittson Family Band

The Pittson Family Band brings together three accomplished performers with a forward-looking view into the future of jazz music.

Vocalist Suzanne Pittson is widely acclaimed for her groundbreaking albums of the music of John Coltrane and Freddie Hubbard. Multi-keyboardist Jeff Pittson brings solid skills honed through playing with such artists as Maynard Ferguson, Ruth Brown, Larry Coryell and many others. Evan Pittson presents a modern direction for the post-Coltrane language on the Electric Viola, with influences including Jean-Luc Ponty and Michael Brecker. The Pittson Family Band presents an eclectic array of material that explores a diverse spectrum of sonic colors.

Suzanne Pittson
Jazz vocalist Suzanne Pittson is recognized for her musicianship, phrasing and technical facility as an improviser. All About Jazz states: “More than just a singer, Suzanne Pittson is a jazz musician,” and Jazz Inside says, “Some controversy exists over just what makes a jazz vocalist. Listen to Suzanne Pittson and you’ll know.” Ms. Pittson has performed and/or recorded with John Patitucci, Buster Williams, Dave Liebman, Mike Clark, Steve Wilson, Jeremy Pelt, Harvie S, Mark Soskin and others, and has released three critically-acclaimed CDs: Blues and the Abstract Truth, Resolution: A Remembrance of John Coltrane, and Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard. Suzanne is Assistant Professor of Jazz Vocal Studies at the City College of New York, where she directs the BFA jazz vocal program.

Jeff Pittson
Jeff Pittson is a dynamic force in the world of jazz piano, having performed with such luminaries as Joe Henderson, Ruth Brown, Eddie Henderson, Buster Williams, John Patitucci, Steve Wilson, John Handy, Jack Walrath, Craig Handy, Larry Coryell, Ruth Brown, Maynard Ferguson, Kenny Garrett, Buster Williams and many others. He brings a deftness of touch, a virtuoso technique and a poet sensibility with his fine originals, jazz standards and imaginative arrangements of the Great American Songbook. He is the leader on his two highly acclaimed releases, Go Where It's Dangerous and Invisible Love on Vineland Records. The late Phil Elwood, a quintessential jazz critic, wrote in the San Francisco Examiner, "Jeff Pittson is a superb pianist!”  

Evan Pittson
Evan Pittson presents a modern approach to the viola in contemporary music. With his own voice as an improviser on the electric viola and 5-string violin, Evan brings a new musical context to these instruments, from a modern jazz sensibility, to a funk, to atmospheric sound design. Playing viola since the age of 12, he also plays bass guitar and keyboards. Evan also works as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in print & digital layout, illustration, and fontography.  

This performance will also feature Peter Barshay on bass and Dave Meade on drums.

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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Jul
27
8:00pm 8:00pm

The Anne Sajdera Quartet

This newest incarnation of The Anne Sajdera Quartet offers up incisive and poignant compositions from modern jazz masters like Herbie Hancock, Kenny Kirkland and Stefon Harris, as well as Sajdera’s original pieces and compositions from other brand new composers, in a dynamic and provocative concert featuring Greg Johnson (sax), Anne Sajdera (piano), Gary Brown (bass) & Deszon Claiborne (drums).

Pianist/composer Anne Sajdera has long been an invaluable part of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene — as leader of her own ensembles and performing with artists such as Alexa Weber Morales, Terrence Brewer and Sandy Cressman. Her outstanding debut Azul (JAZZIZ Magazine 2012 Top Ten Critic's Poll, Latin Jazz Corner's Great Latin Jazz Albums of 2012), released on her own label and co-produced by Ray Obiedo, highlights her exquisite touch, rhythmic acuity, and melodic resourcefulness. Her newest project is a collaboration with two of Prague's finest jazz artists, trumpeter Miroslav Hloucal and alto saxophonist/bassist Jan Fečo. Sajdera is currently working on her next release.

Greg Johnson is quickly becoming recognized as a luminary figure in the Jazz community. Equally at home in multiple musical genres, Greg has developed a unique musical style that combines Jazz, Classical and Popular music. As a saxophonist, Greg has appeared in concert and on mainstream recordings with Jazz greats Curtis Fuller, Billy Taylor, Dick Oatts, Alan Pasqua, Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer and many more.  He has appeared on stage with Pop & Rock acts such as Saint Motel, Robin Thicke and Barry Manilow at some of the biggest festivals and venues in the world. As a composer, Greg’s music has been heard and performed around the country and the world in both Jazz and Classical contexts in small group, big band and symphonic formats. Having lived in Los Angeles for the past five years, Greg is now the Director of Jazz Studies at the Marin School of the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Greg has released three recordings; InvisibleGJ3 and City People, and has contributed to dozens more. Recently, Greg was added to the 2017 Grammy ballot in the category of "Best Improvised Jazz Solo" for his work on Aarón Serfaty's In the Game.

Gary Brown is a skilled and versatile bassist on both acoustic and electric instruments. His clear, solid foundation, as well as his melodic rainbow of color and counterpoint, established him as a much sought-after artist for major recording, performance and production projects around the world. While enrolled in San Jose State University's Art/Design/Music program, Gary came to realize that music was his true calling and made the decision to make it his life and his career. He has brought a unique sound and approach to each and every endeavor he has been involved with. In the past 30 years, Gary has recorded and performed with such notable artist as Flora Purim & Airto, Steve Winwood, George Duke, Santana, Lyle Mays, Azar Lawrence, Narada Michael Walden, Gregg Rolie, Dianne Reeves, Roy Ayres, Ernie Watts, Jeff Beck, Torninho Horta, Larry Coryell, Pharoah Saunders, Eddie Henderson, Andy Narell, Pete and Sheila (Sheila E.) Escovedo, Bernie Worrell, and Patrice Rushen. Gary has composed music for film and television with Pray for Rain, a film and soundtrack production team whose credits include work for major cable networks HBO, Lifetime, Showtime and Cinemax, as well as for the major television networks ABC, NBC and CBS. Credits include the cult film Sid & Nancy, The Linguini Incident (starring David Bowie), Straight to Hell, Trust Me, Zandalee (with Judge Reinhold and Nicholas Cage), and the Fox television series Key West, to name a few. Currently dividing his time performing with Gregg Rolie, Narada Michael Walden, the Rebeca Mauleon Group, Akira Tana, and Babatunde Lea, Gary continues to compose, perform and produce with various artists and is writing music for his first solo project.

A native of the Bay Area, Deszon Claiborne began his musical career at the early age of ten. Virtually self-taught in the beginning, he went on to study with world-renowned drummers such as Richard Peterson, Rick Quintinel (Chuck Brown school of Drumming), James Levi, Billy Cobham and Kenneth Nash, an experience which provided him with a strong foundation in jazz, rhythm & blues and world music. He has had the pleasure of performing or recording with the following artists: Peter Apfelbaum, Don Cherry, Charles Brown, Angela Bofill, Les McCann, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Robben Ford, Boz Scaggs, Greg Howe, Henry Butler, Giovani Hildalgo, Kai Eckhardt, John Handy, Taj Mahal, Donald Harrison, Rodney Franklin, and many others. In addition to his performing and recording credits, Deszon is also an educator. He has taught both private and group lessons to students of all ages and levels, youth to adult, and beginning to advanced. Deszon has also participated in music education programs in the Bay Area over the last 20 years, including Berkeley Jazz School, Jazz Camp West, Stanford Jazz Camp, Lafayette Summer Music camp, Moody’s Jazz Camp, Just Say Jazz, and Adventures in Music.

Tickets are $18 advance/$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
23
2:00pm 2:00pm

James Lee Stanley

An afternoon 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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Jul
21
7:30pm 7:30pm

Folk Fights Back: Bay Area Benefit for LGBTQ Rights

Folk Fights Back Bay Area is proud to present Hattie & Joe Craven, Quiles & Cloud, Evie Ladin, Maurice Tani, Shelly Doty, Brandon Godman & the Side Porch Gang, and Mike Rufo

This show features an amazing lineup of Bay Area talent supporting LGBTQ Rights and the work of Oakland’s Pacific Center. Pacific Center for Human Growth fosters and enhances the well-being and self respect of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer youth, seniors, and adults through the delivery of LGBTQ competent mental health and wellness services, and through the cultivation of a strong community of LGBTQ-proficient mental health care professionals. Founded in 1973, Pacific Center for Human Growth is the oldest LGBTQ center in the Bay Area, the third oldest in the nation and operates the only sliding scale mental health clinic for LGBTQ people and their families in Alameda County. Pacific Center provides direct services for over 3,000 people a year. 

Folk Fights Back is a nationwide musician-led organization that seeks to raise awareness for critical issues in today’s political climate and fund local organizations actively fighting for social and political change through fundraiser concerts simultaneously in cities across the U.S. 

Folk Fights Back was founded by Rachel Baimen, Kaitlyn Raitz and Lily Henley. Volunteer-powered every two months, supporting a needed cause, FFB Bay Area is spearheaded by Michael Rufo and Evie Ladin. Let us know if you want to help produce the FFB Bay Area events!

Hattie & Joe Craven
Stunning young vocalist Hattie Craven is joined by her father, award-winning multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven. Hattie has built a reputation as one of the finest young performers on festival stages across California, while Joe is a creativity educator, former museum curator, camp director, poet/storyteller, fashion consultant, coast to coast music festival emcee and recipient of the 2009 Folk Alliance Far-West Performer of the Year.

Quiles and Cloud
Maria Quiles (vocals and guitar), Rory Cloud (vocals and guitar), and Oscar Westesson (upright bass) have a sound characterized by soulful melodies, close harmonies, and interweaving guitar lines that owe as much to jazz and classical music as to folk and bluegrass. 

Quiles & Cloud have played hundreds of shows, won the 2014 FreshGrass Duo Award, and caught the attention of Grammy Award-winning banjo player Alison Brown, who produced their third album, Beyond The Rain

Evie Ladin
Evie is a banjo player, step-dancer, singer, songwriter and square-dance caller with a lifetime of experience in traditional American cultural arts, even as she brings an urban edge and contemporary vision to her original work. The polyrhythmic funk of her clawhammer banjo, resonant voice, real stories and rhythmic dance have been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Celtic Connections, and from Lincoln Center to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. 

Maurice Tani
Maurice is a veteran of the California Americana scene, known for his wry-to-romantic songwriting, agile guitar style and expressive singing. He has released six critically acclaimed albums of original material over the past dozen years. Maurice uses the term “Supercalifornographic” to describe his particular flavor of Americana. While rooted in country music, Tani's writing is centered on an urban, West Coast perspective.

Shelly Doty
Shelley is an East Bay gem, considered one the best independent performers in the business. She sings with passion and plays with an authentic raw energy, and with jubilant imagination and freshness. Masterful guitar playing, soulful vocals and a charismatic stage presence on both acoustic and electric guitar, she also writes songs of swagger, tenderness, and joy. 

Brandon Godman & The Side Porch Gang
Brandon has been a professional fiddler in the national roots music scene since the age of 17. Fresh from Nashville, TN, he is living in San Francisco and touring with the acclaimed Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, while also running his own business in the violin trade called The Fiddle Mercantile. Brandon is an award-winning and sought after fiddler as well as a prime mover in Bluegrass Pride.

Mike Rufo
Mike's songs build upon poetic lyrics, captivating vocals, and enticing melodies to explore emotional depths and personal and social transformation. Mike delivers gripping, resonant songs, from Folk to Americana to Blues-Rock, that leave listeners entranced, enlivened and fired up. Songs from his latest folk CD, Nothin' But Now, have been featured on KALW and KPFA. Mike also co-fronts the Bay Area rock band No Exit.

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
8:00pm 8:00pm

Pele Greenberg Group & Matt Stoloff Group

(L-R): Matt Stoloff, Pele Greenberg

(L-R): Matt Stoloff, Pele Greenberg

These two drummers grew up playing music together starting at the age of seven, and last year graduated as the two drum chairs in Berkeley High School’s acclaimed band. They have both returned from their first year studying music on the college level to play here at home with groups of their own.

Berkeley-born drummer and composer Pele Greenberg is currently attending The New School for Jazz in NYC, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Performance under the guidance of musicians such as Andrew Cyrille, Jimmy Owens and Amir Ziv. A graduate of the Berkeley High School Jazz program, Greenberg has become an active member of both the Bay Area Jazz and Indie Rock scenes, performing at venues such as Yoshi’s, The Freight & Salvage, Slim’s, Birdland Oakland, Cafe du Nord and the Fox Theatre. In high school, he also attended summer workshops, including the Centrum Jazz workshop and summer programs at Berklee College of Music, studying with masters like Jeff Hamilton, Wycliffe Gordon, Paquito D’rivera and Claudio Roditi.

He has returned to California after his first year in New York to play with a group of talented young musicians from the east bay for a night of music, combining swinging standards with modern original compositions.

Born and raised in Berkeley, Matt Stoloff is a student of Jazz icon Billy Hart and is currently attending Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He has had the privilege of learning from masters including George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Gary Bartz and Robin Eubanks. Earlier this year, he was recognized by the National Young Arts Foundation. Stoloff is also a part of a trio consisting of Miami-based pianist Roberto Acosta and New York-based bassist Dan Finn, which will tour in 2018.

For this performance, Matt leads his own group composed of skillful young Bay Area musicians, some of whom attend Oberlin as well.

Tickets are $15 and available in advance at the link below, or you may purchase 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
19
8:00pm 8:00pm

Albanie Falletta, Ben Rainer, Ted Case

Albanie Falletta is a native of Monroe, Louisiana, and in her formative years she was exposed to the local music there: the sounds of Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Gospel music at festivals and backyard parties. Albanie began her love and study of early American Jazz as a freshman in high school in Wimberley, Texas, when she first heard the Parisian Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt. Listening fervently to recordings of Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, and other such great figures of jazz, she began to develop her feel for Swing. Soon she was performing alongside mentors and other players of the Austin scene where she lived and performed in the years after high school. In the summer of 2013, Albanie relocated to New Orleans, where she is currently living and performing with various traditional jazz and swing ensembles. Since the summer of 2015, Albanie has also been doing solo performances featuring her original songs.

Ben Rainer has been writing and performing music since he took up the guitar at age 13. He has since developed into a seasoned songwriter and musician, and his lyrical content has matured from impressions of teenage angst and fantasy into sincere observations of relationships and personal growth, with an eye towards the consideration of one's place in a complicated world. Originally from Santa Rosa, CA, Ben recently moved to Los Angeles,
where he works as a freelance musician and singer. He is thrilled to be sharing his music with new audiences around California.

Ted Case is a pianist and songwriter. His band Purple Crayon earned praise from Okayplayer as “a scrumptious synthesis of Motown studio band chops and music school technicality… something of an anomaly in the contemporary soulmatic R&B landscape.” Ted also leads Serotonin, a collaboration with two other vocalists; LA Weekly writes wryly, “Their honeyed voices will make you forget all about that little bottle of Zoloft in your glove compartment.” On June 26, 2017, Ted released his debut solo EP, Of Course. He has performed at the
Blue Whale, El Cid, WitZend, the Mint, Bar Lubitsch, and many other Los Angeles venues.

Tickets are $12 advance/$15 door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase 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
16
6:00pm 6:00pm

The Pamela Joy Quartet Plus One

Songs You’ll Probably Like

Praised for her warm, velvety sound, her cool, laid-back style, and her droll wit, jazz vocalist Pamela Joy has performed in the Bay Area's premier music venues, including The Plush Room, Jazz at Pearl’s, the Herbst Theatre, The Rrazz Room, the Sound Room, Feinstein’s and the Fillmore Jazz Festival.

Her CD I Thought About You, dubbed “a very fine debut album” by KCSM’s Jesse “Chuy” Varela, has been re-released in Japan, and her recordings have been included on five jazz compilations alongside tracks from the likes of Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan and Frank Sinatra.

For her Back Room debut, she will sing jazz standards and more, accompanied by a stellar combo: the very versatile, Grammy-nominated John R. Burr on piano, Bay Area favorite Dean Muench on bass, and the inimitable multi-instrumentalist/troublemaker Kelly Park on drums. And sitting in, just back from a 2-month gig at Quincy Jones’s jazz club in Dubai, the effervescent Jim Briggs on guitar. This is going to be fun.

Tickets are $15 and available in advance at the link below, or at the door the night of the show. Doors open one 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
8:00pm 8:00pm

Peter Case, Wayne Haught

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.

On his most recent release, Peter put his focus back on acoustic music for his 2015 album, HWY 62, which features guitar work from Ben Harper. It is Case's first album for Omnivore Recordings, which brought out an expanded edition of his solo debut in time for its 30th anniversary in 2016.

Opening the show is Wayne Haught, whose new album Fingers was produced by Peter Case. Love and death are the big themes on the record, along with horseshoe tattoos and chewing tobacco. Plus blind mariachis, Memphis, Black Moses, and fried chicken. Rhubarb pie too. The simple, open-hearted, spiritual music slipping through Fingers will most certainly bring Wayne’s songwriting and singing to a bigger audience, and he’s looking forward to seeing new places and making new friends.

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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Jul
14
7:30pm 7:30pm

7th Annual Shasta String Celebration

This All-Star concert will feature Folk master Jody Stecher, 5-time Grammy winning percussionist, inventor & composer Roy (Futureman) Wooten (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), Bluegrass guitar legend & composer Scott Nygaard, Appalachian music masters John Herrmann and John Engle, jazz/bluegrass/Bengali folk banjoist and composer Ben Krakauer, and many special guests, for the 7th annual Shasta String Celebration.
 
A host of musical masters and innovators young and old will convene, fresh from a week of inter-generational musical exploration, embarking on a journey of collaborations to be heard nowhere else. This show is the musical fruit of the 13th annual Shasta Music Summit, where seasoned musicians commune with colleagues from neighboring (and sometimes distant) traditions, while nurturing a host of creative young string players.
 
Grand National Fiddle Champions and Northern California natives Tashina and Tristan Clarridge have grown up in the company of these musicians, making literally dozens of Berkeley appearances with Darol Anger, Crooked Still, Laurie Lewis, Bill Evans, Scott Nygaard, Mike Marshall and their own trio The Bee Eaters.
 
“My sister and I were privileged to grow up in an unusual way, which prepared us for the way this event unfolds. We’d backpack for weeks at a time, or drive 2500 miles to go meet some musicians and get a lesson and go to a fiddle camp. It was a really simple and beautiful way of life, and we want to bring to others something of what we've experienced,” says Tristan. “This project isn't a business, it's a community. These are some of the musical friends we've made as we travel through life.”
 
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Roy [Futureman] Wooten is a modern day Renaissance man, a groundbreaking drummer, an inventor, composer, and a five-time Grammy Award-winning member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Audiences first became curious when he appeared in 1988 playing a "Drumitar" – his own invention, using a unique hand drumming technique which allows him to play the drum set electronically with his hands and fingers instead of drum sticks.

Futureman's rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and symphonic explorations led him to compose a new kind of music and a series of large musical works. With this new approach to melody, Futureman created his own original ballet dedicated to the many stages of Matriarchy, entitled "Evolution d' Amour," along with a prequel Symphonic work dedicated to Le Comte de Saint Germain, "The Secret of Kings." He composed an "Aesthetic Mathematics" translation of Pi and the golden ratio into a rhythmic and symphonic musical message, and also an 8-movement symphonic work and a screenplay for his passion project, "CHEVALIER - To Play & To Fight," a story celebrating the extraordinary life and times of a mixed-raced 18th century composer, conductor, virtuoso violinist and sword fighter who rose from slavery to legendary status.
 
For the past half century, Jody Stecher's deep and vivid music has inspired four generations of musicians and music lovers on five continents. A renowned singer and multi-instrumentalist regarded as one of America's leading traditional Folk artists, Jody has collaborated with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Peter Rowan, Alasdair Fraser, Krishna Bhatt and Kate Brislin, to name a few. His Grammy-nominated, Indy Award-winning recordings span bluegrass, traditional old-time and Indian classical music. Jody is known for his ability to capture the essence and core of traditional music and to crystalize the spiritual essence of a song while making it his own. He has been called "a creative master," "achingly expressive" and "a national treasure." David Bromberg said, "Jody Stecher was basically my teacher. He opened my ears to more beautiful music than anyone else ever did... more than I ever knew existed. He is also one of my favorite musicians on Earth to play with. I have never known anyone so intensely and completely enveloped in music. It's my suspicion that if you drained all the music out of Jody, you could carry what was left around in an eye dropper."  

"A high, hotly honed voice, sometimes cutting through melodies like a scythe, sometimes unfolding like fine old velvet, warm and worn just right, beyond his years. His guitar, fiddle and mandolin playing are the stuff for which the critical cliches 'soulful' and 'masterful' were invented. Singing like the ghost of himself, lost in the foggy ruins of time and dreams, Stecher lands the most elusive catch of all – the truth." - No Depression
 
Scott Nygaard is highly regarded as one of the most inventive and original guitarists in bluegrass and acoustic music. His solos, a seamless amalgam of bluegrass, folk, and jazz influences, shift easily from breathtaking virtuosity to soulful melodic musings and his accompaniment is always intriguing, supportive and propulsive. 

“As adept at creating magnetic rhythms as he is knocking off stunning solos, Nygaard is possibly the best acoustic guitarist to come along in bluegrass music since Tony Rice.” —Edmonton (Alberta) Journal  

“Nygaard’s flat-picking is so fluid and clever the crowd keeps squinting at his hands, checking to make sure there are only two.” - Oakland Tribune  
 
Ben Krakauer is a phenomenal banjoist and composer with a strikingly original style, drawing on his deep love of bluegrass, new acoustic music (he toured with David Grisman), jazz, and traditional Bengali folk music. 
 
A true master of Appalachian mountain music, John Herrmann has traveled the world performing for over thirty years, with extensive touring in France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass and guitar, he has recorded at least fifty records on labels such as Rounder, County, and Sugar Hill (most notably with Art Stamper and Ralph Blizard), and performed numerous times at the Smithsonian Folk Festival, and the National Heritage Award Ceremony.

North Carolina fiddler John Engle is a master of the fiddling style of the legendary Tommy Jarrell and others.
 
At the forefront of a folk-cello revolution, Tristan Clarridge has been steeped his whole life in the musical traditions of Bluegrass, Baroque, Jazz, Irish, and Appalachian mountain music.
He is a member of internationally acclaimed Crooked Still, and The Bee Eaters, who are known for their uniquely blended tapestry of sound, which the Boston Globe described as, “chamber music's finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass's playful virtuosity and pop music's melodic resourcefulness." He has also toured with Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins, Natalie MacMaster, Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky and as a longtime member of Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings.

Tickets are $26 in advance and $30 at the door. Youth 25 and under are ½ price!

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
13
8:00pm 8:00pm

Pacific Drive

Pacific Drive is a traditional bluegrass band with a youthful twist, consisting of four college students and a high school student about to enter college.

With David Thiessen on mandolin, Dana Frankel on fiddle, Jesse Fichman on guitar, Helen Foley on bass and Sam Reed on banjo, they carry a hard-driving groove, with Helen and Jesse sharing lead vocals, and the harmony parts sung by Dana and David. David, Jesse, and Sam grew up in Sonoma County, and David and Jesse began playing bluegrass music at around 7 years old, while Sam began playing banjo in later years.

David also sits in with a less traditional band called One Grass Two Grass, and Jesse is in another band called Blue Summit. Helen grew up in Los Altos Hills and plays guitar as well as the bass. Dana is from Pacifica and began playing the fiddle when she was 5 years old. In addition to Pacific Drive, she also performs in the Dim Lights Bluegrass band with her parents and Larry Cohea.

The members of Pacific Drive became close friends around the time of the Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival 2015, and over time they discovered that their music brought them even closer, and they decided to create a band. It took them a while to decide on a band name: Pacific Drive encompasses each of their paths - from where they each grew up, to the hard driving bluegrass feel of their music.  

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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Jul
2
8:00pm 8:00pm

Freddy & Francine

Freddy & Francine is an Americana-Soul duo comprised of Bianca Caruso & Lee Ferris. With voices reminiscent of Aretha Franklin & Van Morrison, their songs blend Soul, R&B, Folk, and Americana with a modern, yet timeless appeal to all ages.

“Ferris and Caruso have found their respective vocal soulmates, the kind of perfect harmonies that send a gripping shiver down the backbone of the listener,” says The Deli Magazine.

No Depression says, “Freddy & Francine currently top my list. There is definitely a palpable chemistry between these musicians, with their vocals blending like milk and honey.”

Freddy & Francine have released 2 EPs & 3 full length records since 2008. Their latest, Gung Ho, was produced by renowned producer Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Anais Mitchell) and featured members of Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright, and Andrew Bird’s touring bands. 

National audiences continue to be drawn to the duo as they “bring it all out on stage from a lullaby so sweet you’d swear a choir of angels were harmonizing just for you; to gut-busting, foot stomping tunes befitting a New Orleans gospel choir.“ - Daily Sun (Flagstaff, AZ.)

With featured sets scheduled this year at the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Festival and past headlining performances at Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Sisters Folk Fest and Madison Square Park, the sky is the limit for Freddy & Francine.

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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Jul
2
2:00pm 2:00pm

Five Spot Jazz Quintet featuring Mike Greensill

The Five Spot Jazz Quintet 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. He regularly appears with the best Bay Area players and tours nationally. 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. Charlie is simply a superb musician.

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.

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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Jul
1
7:00pm 7:00pm

Vincent Anthony Furia: Van Gaux Lives! eBook Launch Party/Performance

This one-time free event will feature refreshments, readings from the book, and live musical performances.

Author and musician Vincent Anthony Furia will celebrate the release of his multimedia eBook, Van Gaux Lives!with a one-time only Launch Party and Performance. The author will read from the book, sign posters, and perform two sets of original music from the story. The event is free, but seating is limited. Access to a VIP section can be reserved by emailing vangauxlives@gmail.com on a first come, first served basis.
 
Van Gaux Lives! is a multimedia novel combining poetry, prose, and music. It presents the story of Van Firenze, AKA Van Gaux, a not-overly-successful singer/songwriter who died an untimely death in 1996, then became a posthumous cult phenomenon on the strength of some previously unreleased recordings. But is he really dead? Through his songs and stories, Van Firenze presents an American landscape familiar to most of the Baby Boomer and X generations. The reader is able to instantly hear Van’s music via the enhanced features of the eBook, connecting directly to SoundCloud playlists and a dedicated website.
 
Vincent Anthony Furia has been writing songs and stories since he was four years old. Inspired by writing the anecdote “Stealing Anna’s Pain” for the magazine Morbid Curiosity in 1996, he began work on Van Gaux Lives! later that same year. He worked for years to publish the novel until finally deciding to self-publish in 2015. He has also completed the screenplay for his original rock opera The Artist and co-wrote with novelist Alysia Helming a teleplay for an un-filmed television pilot titled One Degree of Separation. Under his given name and as Vince Charming he has been writing and performing original music for thirty-five years. He has written nearly three hundred original songs. He has released three solo CD’s and performs regularly in Northern California as a solo artist and backed by his band.
 
For more information please call the author at 510-684-4479 or email him at vangauxlives@gmail.com.  

This event is free and open to the public. Doors open one half hour before show time. 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
8:00pm 8:00pm

Sound Underground

Sound Underground is a compact trio with an expansive imagination. Saxophonist David Leon, trumpeter Alec Aldred and guitarist Jonah Udall draw on a broad array of influences from Cool Jazz to Americana, to Bulgarian folklore and the avant-garde, to distill a unique and deeply personal voice.

Hailed by AllAboutJazz.com as “a fresh sound... uncluttered and open... capable of grabbing a listener's attention and holding it indefinitely,” Sound Underground steers through inventive textures far beyond the limits of their unconventional chamber instrumentation. At once serious and whimsical, thought-provoking and smile-inducing, the trio spins colorful stories that ring immediately true.

Sound Underground released its self-titled debut in 2014 with a tour of Eastern Europe, performing at major international jazz festivals in Bulgaria and Serbia. Now based in Miami and New York City, they have been on the rise ever since, touring on across the U.S. as well as returning to the continent. Their sophomore album Quiet Spaces was released in September 2016.

Tickets are $10 for students, $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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Jun
29
8:00pm 8:00pm

Tablao Flamenco Night

Join us for an intimate Tablao Flamenco night, featuring dancers Clara Rodriguez and Estefanía Narvaez, singer Jose Blanco, guitarist David McLean and Marlon Aldana on percussion. After the show, guests from the Flamenco community are invited to join us on stage for a fin de fiesta!

Cante (Voice): Jose Blanco
Toque (Guitar): David McLean
Percussion: Marlon Aldana
Baile (Dance): Clara Rodriguez and Estefanía Narvaez

Tickets are $20 general admission/$15 with student 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
25
7:00pm 7:00pm

The Onlies, Vivian Leva

(L-R): The Onlies, Vivian Leva

(L-R): The Onlies, Vivian Leva

The Onlies (Leo Shannon, Riley Calcagno, and Sami Braman) are prominent young interpreters of old-time Appalachian music. They have also developed an individual sound, with original songs that “demonstrate an enviable ability to move beyond the immediacy of their lives to touch at deeper truths, and...covers of traditional songs and tunes (that) harken to the original but are unleashed with the kind of wild, free abandon that only youth provides” (Kithfolk).

Their albums have charted on radio stations around the country, and they have had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with Elvis Costello, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Laurie Lewis, Altan, Tristan Clarridge, and John Herrmann. In recent years, The Onlies have found a musical center in Old Time Appalachian string-band music, and their fiddle, banjo, and guitar playing have become a fixture in a generation of young people who are studying and engaging with the old time tradition.

This year, The Onlies are teaming up with Vivian Leva to put together a whole new sound. Vivian Leva is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Lexington, VA. She grew up singing and playing traditional Appalachian and country music, while also attending fiddle festivals with her family. When she was nine, she began performing with her father, James Leva, and at age 15, she was featured on her father’s album, All Over the Map. The Onlies and Vivian Leva have become a powerful force in the present and future of folk and traditional music.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 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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Jun
25
4:00pm 4:00pm

Melanie Ida Chopko, M'Gilvry Allen

Melanie Ida Chopko writes and performs, according to one reviewer, "with wit, acuity and grace.” Her songs on guitar and piano feature poetically astute lyrics and melody, and fold together modern folk and blues with a big crush on jazz. In the tradition of the citizen artist, she is as interested in the complexity of the world around her as the one within herself, exploring both with artistry, intimacy and humor. She blurs the line onstage between musician, storyteller and audience, making listeners laugh out loud and then cracking their hearts open.

M’Gilvry Allen is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter from Sebastopol, CA. For the past three years he has been writing an album of original music, while performing as a fiddler, DJ and vocalist in a host of other projects. Those who have heard his music have described it as “psychedelic gospel folk” and “post-apocalyptic railroad blues.”

While this captures the unique and edgy flavor of his music, it still falls short of fully encompassing what is truly magical about his work. The music itself could be described quite simply – he plays guitar and sings. But the best reaction thus far was quoted from one listener who described it as “listening to something really old. Like something that bubbled up from deep inside your bones. Almost like something my great-grandfather would play. Something familiar, but at the same time like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Totally unique and exciting.”

This will be the first official performance by M’Gilvry Allen and the M’Gilvry Allen Trio and humbly - “Not an experience to be missed.”

Tickets are $12 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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