Feb
23
8:00 PM20:00

John Schott's Actual Trio - CD Release Party

happy speakers.jpg

Guitarist/Composer John Schott’s group Actual Trio celebrates the February 23rd release of ACT II, the group’s sophomore release, with a special concert at The Back Room in Berkeley.

They will joined by Jayn Pettingil (alto), Myles Boisen (guitar), Alan Williams (trombone), and a special guest on sax, to form a once-only powerhouse septet that will tear the roof off. 
Ranging from joyful tributes to Sonny Rollins, Lee Konitz and the Golden State Warriors Draymond Green, to an anguished response to the 2016 election, the disc solidifies and deepens the Bay Area trio’s singular identity.

Bassist Dan Seamans (New Klezmer Trio, Lost Trio), and drummer John Hanes (Henry Kaiser, Victor Krummenacher) provide the foundation for Schott’s adventurous-but-accessible compositions, marrying deep pockets and joyful swing to wayward harmonies and spontaneous excursions.

As with their Tzadik debut, the new album was produced by Hans Wendl, whose production credits include Don Byron, Charlie Haden, Ravi Shankar, and Bill Frisell, and recorded at Berkeley’s legendary Fantasy Studios.

Fans who have followed Schott’s work in the groups T.J. Kirk, Junk Genius, and in projects by John Zorn, Tom Waits and Steven Bernstein, will recognize the guitarist’s personal alchemy of blues, jazz, funk, and experimental improv.

For the evening's second set, the group will be joined by David Boyce (tenor) and Alan Williams (trombone).

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! 

View Event →
Feb
24
8:00 PM20:00

OC Bay

OC_Bay.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are $10 and are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the 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 →
Feb
25
2:00 PM14:00

S.E. Willis and the Willing

SE Willis and the Willing.jpg

S.E. Willis and the Willing first formed in 2011 when Ruth Davies joined Bobby Cochran and Steve Willis as the rhythm section for the Elvin Bishop Band. The group is S.E. Willis, piano, vocals, harmonica and accordion; Bobby Cochran, drums and vocals; and Ruth Davies, bass.

On this show they will be joined by saxophone great Nancy Wright, also on vocals. The Willing perform a wide variety of blues-based Americana, largely written by Willis and Wright, including traditional Blues, Jazz, Country and Zydeco. Their shows are always entertaining, danceable, and generally a lot of fun.

Besides Bishop, these musicians have performed with artists such as Charles Brown, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, John Lee Hooker, Lonnie Mack and many more. Join the Willing for a Sunday afternoon good time!

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!

View Event →
Feb
25
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

Faye.jpg

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 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 →
Mar
2
8:00 PM20:00

Eve Marie and Motoshi Kosako

Internationally-acclaimed Jazz harpist Motoshi Kosako will perform compositions that include unique techniques he invented which make the harp sound like a guitar. Motoshi utilizes virtuosic authentic harp techniques and large spaces for improvisation. Joining Motoshi is Bay Area singer/songwriter Eve Marie Shahoian, a former Tonight Show singer.

After her January NY tour, she returns to the Bay Area for this appearance at The Back Room, where she will debut some new music from her EP, Believe. Together Eve Marie and Motoshi will perform Jazz classics and original compositions. 

“ A voice of great sincerity and beauty.”  - Celebrity Cafe
“A talented singer/songwriter.” - Andrew Gilbert  
“ Weekend Top Ten.” - Randy McMullen, San Jose Mercury News

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

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

 

 

View Event →
Mar
3
8:00 PM20:00

The Quitters (Glenn Houston & Stevie Coyle) with Laura Zucker

Glenn & Stevie at Mighty Fine Guitars -jpg.jpg
Laura Zucker.jpg

Singer-songwriter Laura Zucker wins audiences over with a hard-won perspective and a positive spin. The powerful imagery of her songs and stories ring so true you might think she’s read your diary – and you’ll find yourself humming her infectious melodies for days to come. Laura is a “recovering lawyer”, a New Jersey native transplanted in California; Laura returned to music after a 20-year hiatus, and now--she’s a 2 time Kerrville New Folk finalist, 5 time West Coast Songwriters Association Best Song of the Year, a 2013 Official Showcase artist at SWRFA, an Emerging Artist at the 2014 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, with an international following. With four CD releases to her credit, Laura continues to impress with incisive yet sensitive lyrics, evocative melodies and arrangements that cut straight to the heart.

[From the Strawberry Music Festival]: "Stevie Coyle and Glenn Houston make up the dynamic guitar duo, The Quitters. Having each quit some of the best bands in the business, both are late founding members of The Waybacks and each have performed at Strawberry in other configurations. Stevie Coyle has a long and illustrious career as an entertainer that began well before birth and Glenn Houston's well decorated history in music is best known to berry heads for his founding role of powerhouse Americana quintet, Houston Jones. As individuals, both are renowned players in music circles. Now they have joined forces, to the delight of California audiences, to become a right-handed, right-side up fingerpicking and left-handed upside down flatpicking twosome. Mostly acoustic. Some electric. Much serendipity."

Stevie Coyle (late of the whiz-bang string band The Waybacks) is one lucky bum. His dad ran a radio station in Southern California and brought home all the promo LPs that didn't fit the Spanish-language format. The Ventures' Guitar Freakout and Alvin & The Chipmunks Play The Beatles’ Hits both came home on a single fateful day. It didn't hurt, either, that string-meister David Lindley played in a bluegrass band that rehearsed right next door and gave Stevie his very first lessons, or that his dear Granny was a pianist in the heyday of vaudeville, or that his sainted mother was a whiz in mandolin orchestras of the 1930s. Not even several years of playing Folk Masses on Sundays could quash his musical spirit. After securing degrees in Theatre and Theology at Santa Clara University he hit the road for 3 years with The Royal Lichtenstein Circus. 

Once back home, he signed on as actor/stage manager for The San Jose Repertory Co. He announced killer whale shows. His best friend was an elephant. He and pal Roy Zimmerman worked closely in several collaborations over the years, including folk tribute/parody band The Foremen and comedy duo The Reagan Bros. The boys were regulars at The Comedy Store and The Improv. Stevie appeared on Cheers, in many television commercials and had a recurring role on The Young And The Restless. Hey, wake up!! We're almost done.

Safely back in the Bay Area, he continued his acting career, doing commercials, voiceovers and films, and played in the folk duo The Frontmen. Along with Glenn Houston, he co-founded The Waybacks in 1999 and fronted that band through 2007. They released 4 albums in that time, played major festivals like Merlefest, Grey Fox, Floydfest, Strawberry and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, toured Australia and collaborated with Lloyd Maines, Michelle Shocked and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead.

Stevie's gone feral and solo now. He owns and operates a snooty, high-end acoustic guitar shop called Mighty Fine Guitars, in Lafayette, CA. He has released a solo CD, Ten-In-One, produced by guitar guru Walter Strauss. And he’s pleased as Punch to be reunited with Glenn Houston.

Glenn Houston (nee Pomianek) has been voted Best Guitarist by the Northern California Bluegrass Society, is a past judge of the National Flatpicking Guitar Championship Competition in Winfield, Kansas, and was the founding lead guitarist of the Waybacks, co-founder and long-time lead guitarist for Bammie (Bay Area Music Award) winners Hearts on Fire, and co-founder and long-time lead guitarist for the powerhouse Americana quintet Houston Jones.

Originally from New Jersey, Glenn’s guitarist influences range from Albert King and Michael Bloomfield to Doc Watson and James Burton. These influences show in his well-balanced mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar. Over the years, Glenn has shared billing with such luminaries as Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, the Tubes, the David Grisman Quintet, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bela Fleck, Tim O’Brien, Hank Williams Jr., Steve Earle, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, Doc and Merle Watson, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Delbert McClinton. Glenn has been the lead guitarist for country great Johnny Paycheck, and has performed and recorded with Grammy winner Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. With his strong background in electric blues, Glenn has performed with blues legends Mark Naftalin (Paul Butterfield Blues band) and Nick Gravenites (Electric Flag), in tribute to Mark and Nick’s late band mate, blues great Michael Bloomfield. Glenn’s classical music background includes choral vocal performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Zubin Mehta conducting, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, at Carnegie Hall and the United Nations General Assembly [the U.N.’s 25th anniversary celebration]), and the Boston Symphony (Erich Leinsdorf conducting, Brahms’ Requiem, at Carnegie Hall).

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

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

View Event →
Mar
4
7:00 PM19:00

Sam's Corner

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. 

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 & the Hotshots) and solo at the piano. His solo work took him to fairs and festivals throughout the state, and to a handful of clubs (most prominently the Freight & 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!

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!

View Event →
Mar
9
8:00 PM20:00

Roberta Donnay & the Prohibition Mob Band - CD Release Party!

Roberta Donnay.jpg

Join us for this historic, educational and highly entertaining show!

~ The Prohibition Mob Band pays homage to Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven Band early recordings ~

Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Roberta Donnay is that rare species of musician who almost lives in another time: she and her Prohibition Mob Band exist to revive the Jazz Age of America. Performing tunes reminiscent of Satchmo, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and more, this group is a festival favorite. With a Downbeat Magazine “Best Album” listing for 2015’s Bathtub GinMy Heart Belongs To Satchmo will be released March 5, 2018 on the Blujazz label. The record features John R. Burr, Sam Bevan (bass), Deszon Claiborne (drums), Rich Armstrong, Sheldon Brown, Mike Rinta, and Matt Baxter.

This show will feature John R. Burr (piano), Simon Planting (bass), Alan Hall (drums), Rich Armstrong (cornet/trumpet), and Mike Rinta (trombone).

The group has appeared and headlined shows, festivals, and performing arts centers including Las Vegas PACS, Exit Zero Jazz, Monterey Jazz, Whiskey Fest, San Jose Jazz, Jacksonville Jazz, guest artist Montreux Jazz (Switzerland) and The Hague Appeal For Peace (Netherlands).
 
Donnay’s interest in roots jazz music was inspired from the radio, performing with Dick Oxtot’s Golden Age Jazz Band, recording with legendary jazz producer Orrin Keepnews, researching lost and obscure material from the Jazz Age, and touring 10 1/2 years as singer/percussionist with Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks. 

As a performer, Donnay has opened for, or performed with, George Benson, Bob Dorough, David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Bruce Foreman, John Hammond, Herbie Hancock, Dr. John, Christian McBride, Maria Muldaur, Lewis Nash, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Leon Russell, Bonnie Raitt, Rickie Lee Jones, Lee Ritenour, Booker T. and Tuck & Patti.

"Roberta Donnay is a Jazz Age preservationist, guardian of Depression-era sounds, and extender of traditions, but her music isn't covered with cobwebs or dated in any way. On Bathtub Gin, this singer-composer puts a new coat of paint on the songs of the '20s and '30s, contributes originals sympathetic to the sounds of those times, and conjures thoughts of life during prohibition." - All About Jazz, 2015

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!

View Event →
Mar
10
8:00 PM20:00

Rova Saxophone Quartet

L-R: Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs. Photo credit: Peter Gannushkin

L-R: Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Jon Raskin, Larry Ochs. Photo credit: Peter Gannushkin

Think of the human voice in music. The most primal of instruments, it can melt you or move you to tears on the spot. Then it’s the saxophone, one-step removed from the human voice, and the next most powerful messenger in music. Johnny Hodges, Albert Ayler, Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders, Oliver Lake, King Curtis, Tim Berne, John Butcher - to name only a few of the many singular voices on the instrument who, with one short phrase or even one sound, can take your breath away, or excite and inspire you to great heights. 

Multiply that power, that capability, times 4, and you have a saxophone quartet. Rova Sax Quartet: a group that can move you the way an Eastern European choir of voices can move you, but also a group with force, a force that can feel as if it's tearing the walls of the listening space down, or that can simulate the complex sound of a machine, or one of nature’s wild phenomena, or conversely, the almost-silent overlapping sound patterns heard with eyes closed in a field in the wilderness.

Rova Sax Quartet's musical goal has always been, since 1978, to instigate, to challenge, and to inspire. The group explores the synthesis of composition and collective improvisation, creating exciting, genre-bending music. Rova:Arts, formed in 1986, acts as the umbrella organization for the musicians, facilitating the goals and productions and tours, the collaborations and special projects.

Rova is one of the longest-standing groups in the music movement that has its roots in post-bop, free jazz, avant-rock, and 20th century new music; Rova draws inspiration from the visual arts, contemporary poetry, contemporary dance. We listen closely and deeply appreciate both the traditional and the pop music styles of Africa and Asia. And then there is the blues; always a key.

Tickets are $20 general admission and $12 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

View Event →
Mar
15
8:00 PM20:00

Barwick & Siegfried

Barwick & Siegfried.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
16
8:00 PM20:00

HowellDevine

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 4.00.03 PM.jpg

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!

View Event →
Mar
17
2:30 PM14:30

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
18
2:00 PM14:00

Carolyn Arnold and Leanne Tallis

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
18
7:00 PM19:00

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

Tim Eriksen.JPG

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

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

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

"Otherworldly harmonies." - Barbara Kingsolver

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
21
8:00 PM20:00

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

David Rovics.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
22
7:30 PM19:30

Steve Seskin and Nina Gerber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
23
8:00 PM20:00

Macy Blackman and the Mighty Fines

Macy_BH.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
30
8:00 PM20:00

Leftover Dreams

Leftover Dreams.jpg

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

The two of them, along with reed player extraordinaire Jeff Sanford (leader of the Cartoon Jazz Orchestra), present a sampling of the best of the classic songs of Jimmy Van Heusen, the Gershwins, Harold Arlen and such mixed with lesser known delights that haven't seen the light of day for decades. As for the playing, "Marcus spins out dazzling and emotionally evocative solos" (Derk Richardson again). Jeff Sanford has performed with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Regina Carter, Stan Getz and Tootie Heath, and brings his delight at playing music to all his performances.

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!

View Event →
Mar
31
3:00 PM15:00

The Nathan Bickart Trio

The Nathan Bickart Trio.jpg

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Mar
31
8:00 PM20:00

Alice DiMicele

Alice Dimicele.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
5
8:00 PM20:00

Peter Case - Solo Birthday Show!

PeterCase.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
6
8:00 PM20:00

Clara Blume

ClaraBlume.jpg

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
7
8:00 PM20:00

Danny Click & the Hell Yeahs

Danny Click 2018.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
8
4:00 PM16:00

The Jones Gang

Jones Gang.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
8
8:00 PM20:00

Jack Tempchin's Peaceful Easy Feeling 45th Anniversary Tour

Jack Tempchin.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
14
8:00 PM20:00

Little Buffalo

Little Buffalo.jpeg

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
15
3:30 PM15:30

Five Spot Jazz Quintet featuring Mike Greensill

Mike Greensill and Five Spot.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
15
8:00 PM20:00

Moonshine Jelly

Moonshine Jelly.JPG

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

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

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

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

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

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!

View Event →
Apr
21
8:00 PM20:00

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 by the Northern California Bluegrass Society.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
27
8:00 PM20:00

Carol Denney

Back RoomCarol 2017.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Apr
29
7:00 PM19:00

kei slaughter

kei slaughter_photo credit_Chris Deville.JPG

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

A Queer Black Singer, Songwriter, Flutist, Multi-instrumentalist, and Music Therapist, kei weaves together genre-bending, soul-stirring sounds with powerful lyrics and musical storytelling. kei’s music has been described as soulful, intelligent, and healing, ever emerging from a place of center. Their rich vocals and engaging musicianship have been compared to that of Lianne La Havas, Emily King, and Me’shell N’degeocello. Still, kei offers a unique sound all their own. Their early influences come from the music of the Black church and beyond. From the hum of their grandmother’s organ to the singing coming off the drums in Congo Square. Like a big pot of gumbo, there’s a lot in the mix! 

As an artist and healer, kei believes in the power of music to bring about transformative change in our lives, our communities, and in our world. They are deeply committed to using their gifts in service of our collective liberation. Expansive in genre and gender, kei brings the gospel of freedom frequencies to an audience becoming participants in their own radical authenticity. 

New to the Bay Area music scene, kei invites you to join them for a night of acoustic soul sounds, storytelling, and community healing. 

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!

View Event →
May
3
8:00 PM20:00

Jimbo Scott

Jimbo Scott.jpg

Jimbo Scott is a performing songwriter who was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Oakland, California. Steeped in traditions of folk, roots, country, bluegrass and rock, Jimbo has developed a unique, soulful sound. With a rich and powerful voice, Jimbo sings songs dedicated to a vivid world full of passion and color. His keen sense of introspection makes each song both revealing and resonant.

Over the years Jimbo has received recognition for his music in the Bay Area and beyond. His song “Something Good For Me” was a finalist for Best Song by an Oakland Solo Artist in the Oaktown Mayhem Fest in 2014. Jimbo was a featured interviewee in the critically acclaimed documentary Free in Song about his mentor and teacher, Melanie DeMore. Jimbo’s song “River Don’t Sleep” was included in a collection of art and music dedicated to the Mokolumne River, which winds its way through the California gold country. The collection, called River Reflections, was commissioned by Amador Arts, the Calaveras County Arts Council, Foothill Conservancy and the East Bay Municipal Utility District. In 2015, Jimbo Released “The Parklands."  The song was inspired by the National Parks and features Tim Snider on strings. It is a meditation on our impact on the natural world and the need to preserve open spaces.

Now, Jimbo is focusing on releasing new material that reflects his increasingly acoustic sound. His latest release, 2017's Good and Kind is his anthem to kindness in the midst of chaos. But to capture the full experience of Jimbo Scott's music, you must attend the live show. With the power of his voice, the detail of his lyrics the evening is bound to be memorable.

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!

View Event →
May
5
8:00 PM20:00

Stadler Gibbons Band

Stadler Gibbons Band.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
May
17
8:00 PM20:00

Reed Turchi

Reed Turchi.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
May
25
8:00 PM20:00

Mile Twelve

Mile Twelve.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →
Jun
10
2:00 PM14:00

Michael Blum

Michael Blum.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

View Event →

Feb
22
7:30 PM19:30

Comedy Night with Matthew Banks & Hanna Evensen

Matthew Banks, one of the SF Chronicle's “Comics to Watch,” recently moved to the Bay Area from Mississippi, where he frequently had run-ins with horrible snapping turtles, water moccasins, and other exciting critters. He started doing comedy in NYC before coming to grace the biggest stages in the Bay Area with his southern flavor. He also hosts the Matthew Banks Podcast - tune in for his hilarious chats with other top comics in the region. 

Hanna Evensen is a Bay Area native who launched her comedy career in Vienna, Austria, which many well-meaning Americans confuse for Venice, Italy. She opened for several top comics on their European tours, headlined some of the top stand-up shows in Austria and debuted her own 45-minute comedy special. Now she’s back in the Bay, making waves with her quick wit and likable personality. 

Tickets are $12 in advance and $16 at the door. Advance tickets are available here, 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 →
Feb
20
8:00 PM20:00

Gangspil - Folk Music of Denmark

Gangspil.jpg

Sonnich Lydom (accordion, harmonica) and Kristian Bugge (fiddle) will take you an entertaining and variated journey through the traditions of Danish folk music.

This lively duo, known as Gangspil, performs old dance tunes and songs from every corner of their Scandinavian home country - from rural islands like Læsø to the metropol Copenhagen - and they'll perform a few of their own compositions as well. Expect everything from wild polkas and jigs to lyrical waltzes, fiery reels and happy hopsas, plus the exotic “Sønderhoning” dance tunes from the famous Island of Fanø, and long forgotten songs from all over the country. It promises to be an unforgettable live experience spiced up with humor and stories from their many years on the road.

The group received the "Tradition Award" at the Danish Music Awards (Danish Grammy) in 2016 and have performed in more than 50 concerts around North America, as well as a good number in Denmark too. Sonnich is a master of Irish, French-Canadian, and especially Danish traditional tunes. During the last 25 years he has led the revival for diatonic accordion and harmonica in Danish folk music. Sonnich holds a special place in his heart for the music from the Western Island of Fanø, where his family is deeply rooted. He is best known for his work with the ULC trio and later quintet (adding jazz pianist Peter Rosendal and bassist Mads Vinding). ULC received the Danish Music Award (Danish Grammy) in the category "Folk Album of the Year" in 2001 and 2004.

Kristian Bugge has specialized in the strong Danish folk music traditions, and is very active on the Danish and Scandinavian folk music scene as well as in the rest of Europe and North America, both as a musician and teacher. His debut CD was awarded "Danish Debut of the Year" and "Danish Folk Instrumentalist of the Year" at the Danish Music Awards 2006 (Danish Grammy). At the same occasion in both 2012 and 2016, Kristian was awarded the ”Danish Folk Artist of the Year”!

Both Kristian and Sonnich were amongst the first twelve musicians to receive the honorary title ”Danmarks Rigsspillemænd” (National Danish Folk Musicians) in 2014. This evening they will also talk about the traditions from back home, how they learned and how the music lives on today and is part of the famous Danish hygge! The musicians have been members of various groups, including Baltic Crossing, Habadekuk, Jensen & Bugge, ULC, Marianne Green Band and Dronningens Livstykke. They released their first album, Gangspil, in the summer of 2015. The U.S. release took place at the great Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA in the first week of July of that year.

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

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

View Event →
Feb
18
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

Faye.jpg

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 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 →
Feb
17
8:00 PM20:00

Adrian West Band, Rachel Efron Ensemble

Two uniquely engaging singer-songwriters team up for the first time at The Back Room for this wonderful evening of music.

When asked what kind of music The Adrian West Trio plays, Adrian sometimes answers "Yes." Or if he's feeling cocky, he'll answer "Good."

The long answer is that the Trio offers up a quirky-but-infectious mix of original songs and instrumentals that explore the space between acoustic rock and World music. They have drawn such diverse comparisons as Paul Simon and Nelly McKay, artists not often mentioned in the same breath. Adrian keeps it lively, moving between guitar & violin and making cool but tasteful use of live looping. He's not afraid to tackle tricky topics in his songwriting; "Safe Streets" is about police violence, "Close Your Eyes" is about the beauty bias in the mass media, and "Random Serenade" is about the meaninglessness of life. Featuring vocal harmonies, guitar, electric violin, bass, drums, and live "looping,” with Scott Keller on drums & vocals and Kevin Goldberg on bass. Find samples and more at www.adrianwest.com.

Singer/Songwriter/Pianist Rachel Efron writes timeless melodies and captivating lyrics from her unique post amidst the genres of classical, jazz, and pop. Her latest release, Angel No More, was produced by Jon Evans (Tori Amos, Sarah MacLachlan) and played on over 45 radio stations nationwide and beyond. Efron is the songwriting teacher at California Jazz Conservatory, has headlined such local venues as Yoshi’s and Freight & Salvage, and has toured extensively on both coasts. She is currently hard at work on a new album to be released in 2018. Her set will feature Aaron Germain on upright bass and Jeremy Steinkoler on drums.

"Balancing fragility and strength, introspection and unblinking observation, Oakland singer, songwriter, and pianist Rachel Efron sets her lambent, poetically charged lyrics to soft, caressing melodies.” — SF Chronicle

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door for 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!

View Event →
Feb
16
8:00 PM20:00

Noel Jewkes' Legato Xpress

Kay and Noel Stanford.jpg

Noel Jewkes' septet will perform a collection of Jazz standards and original compositions, and will be joined by guest artists who will interpret Noel's musical catalog dating back to his original septet, Legato Express. 

Noel Jewkes is one of the premier saxophone players in Northern California. He has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 35 years, and has earned a distinguished reputation with lovers of Jazz music. Listening to the majestic phrasing and harmonic adventurousness of Noel Jewkes is almost like hearing the entire history of modern jazz in a single evening. No wonder he is revered by musicians, critics, and music lovers alike as the premiere Saxist-by-the-Bay

Featured musicians:
Dave Bendigkeit (Trumpet & Fleuglehorn)
Rob Ewing (Trombone)
Charlie McCarthy (Saxes)
Keith Saunders (Piano)
Chris Amberger (Bass)
Mark Lee (Drums)
Kay Kostopoulos (Vocals)

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

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

<
View Event →
Feb
15
8:00 PM20:00

Zeena Quinn

Zeena Quinn.jpeg

Zeena Quinn has shared the stage with Mel Martin All Star Big Band, Chalo Eduardo (Sergio Mendes) with Santana, Noel Jewkes, Cab Calloway Orchestra (Calloway Brooks), Marcos Silva, and John Lee Hooker.

She has performed her own style of jazz & swing all over California. Because she loves the music and costumes of the 40’s era, she also created a second band, Zeena Quinn & her Swing Warriors, a sextet jump-swing band. As a vocalist, her charisma, vocal range, coloring of words, and textural meaning in any of her performances derives from all of her many artistic skills. An elegant singer whose voice is inspired by the golden age of jazz, Zeena pays special homage to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Jeanne Lee, Ruth Brown, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Earnestine Anderson, Anita O'Day, and, Annie Ross.

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!

View Event →
Feb
11
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

Faye.jpg

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 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 →
Feb
10
8:00 PM20:00

Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) & Band: Album Release Party for “I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined”

LisaB ColePorter-cover 1138px-564 kb.jpg

Jazz singer and poet Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) and her trio celebrate her brand new release, I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined. Be among the first to hear these bold new takes on the great songwriter’s work!  

In her sixth record as a leader, Lisa B offers fresh interpretations of ten tunes by Cole Porter, one of the finest of the lyricists and composers (unconventionally, he was both) who created the Great American Songbook. The album is her first on the Jazzed Media label, home of a number of Grammy-nominated records.

Lisa’s band is:

Frank Martin, keyboards
Fred Randolph, bass
Kelly Fasman, drums

plus special guests

I Get A Kick: Cole Porter Reimagined offers a new musical arrangement for each song, spanning bebop, beguine, bossa, ballads, sultry funk, and more. As for the lyrics, each tune includes almost all of Cole Porter’s words, from the introductory verses to the choruses to the once-censored parts. Lisa B adds her original improvised vocalese on two tracks and spoken word segments on three others. In the 1950s, some poets gave public readings accompanied by jazz music. Lisa B turns that paradigm on its head, integrating her original spoken word passages into selected songs, creating a multidimensional effect.

 “A polished, accomplished cabaret take on Cole Porter classics with her own interstitial material added to make it a whole show…affection is poured into every note. Jazz vocal fans can throw up their hands and rejoice.” – early review by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“Although all of the songs heard here are familiar, they are made fresh by the always engaging and intriguing treatment they are given…through the arrangements and the singer’s emotional commitment.” – early review by Bruce Crowther, Jazz Mostly

“With the freewheeling control of the raw materials that only the finest jazz practitioners possess, B takes possession of Porter’s witty, poignant stories. She deploys her considerable interpretative vocal gifts to deliver the message…illuminates the lyric with luminous timbre and precise articulation…melds straight interpretation with pure imagination.” – from the liner notes by Ted Panken, Jazz Journalists Association 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Lisa B produced and arranged the record with her longtime collaborator, James (Jim) Gardiner, who has garnered two Grammy nominations and 42 gold and platinum designations as an engineer. 

Lisa B has performed at more than 80 venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Her five previous full-length CDs received radio play and charting on hundreds of trade-reporter stations and excellent reviews in All Music Guide, Jazz Times, Jazziz, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and more. An Oakland resident for more than two decades, Lisa B was nominated for a 2014 Oakland Indie Award. Her music video “Holiday in Oakland” went viral locally. Her poems have appeared in more than 60 literary magazines and anthologies, and her poetry book The Transparent Body was published by the prestigious Wesleyan University Press. She has won creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and others. 

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!

View Event →
Feb
9
8:00 PM20:00

Michelle Jacques

Michelle Jacques.jpg

Michelle Jacques, who has “solidified her rep as Oakland’s Queen of New Orleans music,” will be performing a night of jazz and R&B, with the musical talents of Steve Carter on piano, Leon Joyce, Jr. on drums and Aaron Germain on bass.

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!

View Event →
Feb
8
8:00 PM20:00

Bloom, Beauzasso

tesla_bloom_sm.jpg

Bloom
Bloom is the new solo project from Tesla M., local Berkeley scientist, radio DJ on KALX 90.7 FM, and long-time professional musician. Reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney, Neutral Milk Hotel, and the All Girl Summer Fun Band, Bloom draws on memories of rainy days in the Pacific Northwest to create a loner grunge-pop wall of sound. Balancing simple hooks and jazz-blues vocal riffs with lo-fi distorted guitar, Bloom makes every day a rainy day. 

Tesla got her start with professional a cappella group The Wildcats at Princeton University and has since played in bands across the Northeast and in the Bay Area. Five years after her San Francisco band, neo-soul piano pop group The Sunset Warriors, scattered members across the country, Tesla is back with her new solo project Bloom. Bloom's performance at The Back Room will debut several new tracks off the upcoming album, Mimulus. Recent performances include events for the University of California, Berkeley, and SPACES in Palo Alto.

Playing with Bloom at The Back Room is Beauzasso. 

beauzasso.jpg

Beauzasso is a brand new musical project from Berkeley newcomers and fellow biologists Kwasi Wrensford and Sarah Guth. Sarah, a washed-up athlete and former pianist for a small Boston apartment, is producing music from outside her shower for the first time in her life. Kwasi, former lead guitarist for Connecticut-based rock band Flight of Silence and small mammal enthusiast, is returning to his musical roots, drawing from experiences playing jazz, rock, gospel, and R&B to confuse and stupefy a brand new audience of music lovers. Together, they've joined forces to bring their own musical voice to their new town, while also performing their own spin on songs by their favorite artists. While drawing from a stripped down indie pop aesthetic and a neo-soul affinity for harmony and rhythm, their eclectic and gripping sound can only truly be described as...Beauzasso.

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!

View Event →
Feb
4
8:00 PM20:00

Sam's Corner

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. 

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 & the Hotshots) and solo at the piano. His solo work took him to fairs and festivals throughout the state, and to a handful of clubs (most prominently the Freight & 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!

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 Allison 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!

View Event →
Feb
4
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

Faye.jpg

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 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 →
Feb
4
2:00 PM14:00

Jaron Lanier, Barbara Higbie, Scott Amendola & Zachary Ostroff: Dawn of the New Everything Ensemble

This is all-new melodic, improvised/composed instrumental music with some of the East Bay's musical luminaries. Virtual Reality pioneer/multi-instrumentalist Jaron Lanier, multi-instrumentalist Barbara Higbie, percussionist Scott Amendola and acoustic bassist Zachary Ostroff will take musical flight, inspired by Lanier's new best-selling book, Dawn of the New Everything.

Lanier and Higbie were lauded by the New York Times for their performance at New York's Bang-on-a Can Festival. They now join forces with virtuosos Amendola and Ostroff to create an almost orchestral four-piece ensemble. Jaron, a world famous computer scientist and musical adventurer, is known for his pioneering work in Virtual Reality and his best-selling books, Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget. Barbara is a Grammy-nominated, Bammy-Award winning composer who has appeared on over 100 albums, and was the first woman signed to Windham Hill Records. Scott Amendola, considered one of the finest Jazz drummers in the country, is known for his work with Charlie Hunter, Bill Frisell and Nels Cline. Zachary Ostroff has worked with Joshua Bell and Esperanza Spaulding among many others. Zach is a Stanford educated climate scientist, with a focus on arts and climate health.
 
This is a VERY RARE, once-in-a-LIFETIME performance of four friends holding hands and taking a musical leap together: inspired, exploratory - a beautiful ride you'll never forget! Don't miss it!

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door 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!

View Event →
Feb
3
8:00 PM20:00

1 in 8 CD Release Performance: Songs & Stories of Cancer Treatment and Recovery

A theatrical presentation by DJ Hamouris, with music and monologues from her personal experience of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

DJ Hamouris - songwriter, vocals, mountain dulcimer
Mimi Fox - arranger, co-writer, guitar
Dan Feiszli - acoustic & electric bass
Michaelle Goerlitz - percussion

DJ says, "Breast cancer happens to 1 in 8 women annually. In 2015, I became one of them. This is my story in song – my fear, shame & anger; my gratitude, hope and compassion; even humor played its part in my healing. '1 in 8' expresses the message that creative response to a cancer diagnosis is one way through the fears, challenges, ravages, anxieties of treatment. 

Jazz guitarist Mimi Fox, a sister-survivor, joins me in collaborating on these songs, driving them into arrangements that bring true expression to each song’s meaning.

Both Dan Feiszli and Michaelle Goerlitz performed on the CD and are joining in this celebration of the recording."

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!

View Event →
Feb
2
8:00 PM20:00

Noah Zacharin

Noah Zacharin.jpg

Noah Zacharin is an acknowledged guitar master and writer of literate, deeply-felt songs. Decades of listening and learning enable him to move easily and authentically across the genres of Americana: folk, blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, and jazz—all are called upon as vehicles for his songs. Combining the linguistic skills of a published, award-winning poet and translator, with a singular accompaniment style, Zacharin’s songs are each unique diamonds. 

Over the course of his career, Noah Zacharin has recorded 7 CD’s of mostly original music, collaborated on several others (including one with renowned Canadian writer Ken Norris), and produced and/or performed on some 50 recordings by other artists throughout North America. His eighth CD will be released in early 2018, while a re-issue of 2007’s much-lauded Waiting on Your Love will be ready later in the year. The latter will include unreleased material from the original sessions and a DVD of beautiful ASL interpretation by David McCloskey.

In performance, Noah Zacharin firmly believes his job is to “dance on the tightrope.” Avoiding the safety of fixed arrangements, always reaching for new guitar and vocal moves (with a voice none other than Leonard Cohen called "very compelling"), Zacharin takes his listeners on a complex and enriching emotional journey. Often cited as a leader in his community, Noah Zacharin’s performances are not to be missed.

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!

View Event →
Feb
1
8:00 PM20:00

Beppe Gambetta

Beppe Gambetta.jpg

Beppe Gambetta started his activity in the U.S. more than 25 years ago and has a solid fan base all over the country. He is a singer, performer and composer, with a unique take on American and European roots music. 

In his communicative live shows Beppe brings an innovative mix of influences to the traditional approach where energetic grooves together with poetic expressions and stories from his wandering life are delivered with charm and irony. He has performed several times in the past in Berkeley (at both the old and new Freight & Salvage).

He is touring in support of his new CD, Short Stories, which was released by the Canadian label Borealis in October.

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!

View Event →
Jan
30
8:00 PM20:00

Danielle Wertz and Jonah Udall

Jonah Danielle.png

Vocalist Danielle Wertz and guitarist Jonah Udall, long-time collaborators now living on opposite coasts, reunite for a special evening of duo and solo performances. They visit a treasured shared language of jazz standards, as always with fresh ears.

Danielle Wertz was raised in Falls Church, Virginia, and is quickly gaining international recognition as one of the next generation’s leading voices in Jazz. She was named one of eleven semi-finalists in the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, took second place in the 2017 Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition, and was the inaugural winner of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival Young Artist Contest. Upon hearing her 2017 release, Intertwined, Dick Metcalf from Contemporary Fusion Reviews writes, "Many of the jazz vocalists I listen to have no idea about getting truly intimate with the listener, but Danielle has a talent like few others in this arena."

Jonah Udall is a composer and guitarist living in New York City. He tours internationally with the chamber-jazz trio Sound Underground, in addition to performing and collaborating with songwriters, modern and contemporary dancers, and acoustic ensembles from Dixieland to free improvisation. AllAboutJazz.com calls him “a versatile guitarist… [and] a captivating soloist, capable of grabbing a listener's attention and holding it indefinitely.” Raised in Berkeley, California, Jonah received a B.M. at the Frost School of Music in Miami before relocating to Brooklyn. He is an alumnus of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead and the Banff Centre.

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!

View Event →
Jan
28
7:00 PM19:00

Vadalma

Vadalma.jpg

Vadalma (“Wild Apple”) creates vibrant, intimate arrangements of Hungarian village folk songs, featuring the rich singing traditions of Transylvania, Moldva, Transdanubia, and other areas of the Carpathian Basin.  

Led by Zina Bozzay, with violinist Matthew Szemela and cellist Misha Khalikulov, these striking melodies, unique rhythms, and colorful lyrics are framed with both traditional and original accompaniment. Vadalma has collaborated with numerous artists from Hungary, including the Enyedi-Salamon Quartet, Berecz István, and Dűvő, and their engaging performances including song translations and cultural insights. Recipients of numerous grants for their work, Vadalma brings a new face to this beautiful heritage around the U.S.

Trained by master Hungarian folk singers in Hungary,  Zina has performed at the Táncháztalálkozó, Hungarian Heritage House, and National Theatre in Budapest. A soloist at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Golden Festival in New York, and the Kárpátok 50th Anniversary Gala in Los Angeles, she is also a regularly invited soloist for Hungarian community events around the Bay Area. Zina is founder and leader of the Hungarian Folk Singing Circle (Népdalkör) in San Francisco, and has coached members of KITKA, Janam, Stellamara, Zhena Folk Chorus, and Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble. She is the founder and leader of Vadalma, and brings the village source recordings, background information, and her original arrangements to the ensemble. Zina frequently returns to Budapest and to visit village singers across the Hungarian language area, and she is devoted to making this heritage accessible to people of all backgrounds around the U.S.

Praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” Matthew Szemela has toured the U.S., Europe, and Asia extensively, and appeared with artists as diverse as Sting, Susan Sarandon, Beyoncé Knowles, and Olivia Newton-John. He current performs with the Berkeley Symphony, Opera San Jose, Rupa & the April Fishes, Alta California, and other Bay Area ensembles encompassing a wide range of genres.

Cellist Misha Khalikulov, originally from Uzbekistan and raised in San Francisco, has toured 27 countries with his dynamic, passionate performances.  He also performs with the Blind Willies, Stringquake, and Rupa & the April Fishes, and is a dedicated music educator.

Tickets are $15 in advance/$18 at the door general admission, and $13 advance/$16 door for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

View Event →
Jan
27
8:00 PM20:00

Ramana Vieira and Quartet Present: The Haunting & Romantic Folk Music of Portugal, Originals, and American Classics

Ramana Vieira.jpg

Ramana Vieira and Ensemble present rapturous rhythms, and the passionate stirrings of fado, the folk music of Portugal. Fado, which literally means fate or destiny, is the most widely recognized genre of Portuguese music, dating back to early 19th century Lisboa.

Traditionally, fados are dramatic ballads expressing love, loss and redemption. Vieira captivates her audience with the haunting laments of the old world classics which she has infused with innovative instrumentation, creative layers, and soaring vocals. The ensemble also performs original compositions, American (Blues/Pop/Jazz), and universal classics. In short: sensual, soul-stirring World music.

The New York Times has recognized Vieira as an American at the forefront of the fado resurgence. Legendary fadista Amália Rodrigues popularized fado in the 20th century, but today it has witnessed a revival, and platinum-selling Portuguese singers are selling out concert halls in the US. Vieira was born in San Leandro, California with the beat of Portuguese rhythms coursing through her veins. Her parents had immigrated to the United States from Portugal, where her grandfather was a well-known musician and composer from Madeira Island. She grew up listening to American pop music and Broadway musicals, along with the traditional Portuguese music from her parents’ homeland.  

“During my childhood, I sang with my mother to Amália Rodgrigues and other fabulous fadistas that were part of her special record collection,” said Vieira. Early in life, it was apparent that Vieira possessed exceptional musical talent and went on to study at prestigious The American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) of San Francisco. But a spontaneous trip to Portugal shifted her professional vision and catalyzed an exploration deep into the world of fado. In Portugal, Vieira connected with her roots and found that fado ignited her spirit and set her soul aflame. She began to study intensively with local fado musicians and had the opportunity to perform. She was loved by her fans in Portugal; her authentic and individual style was refreshing and well-received.  

Vieira’s brilliant musicality and colorful heritage appeal to a global audience. In addition to the traditional fados, and her masterful original compositions, Vieira has now compiled a synergetic repertoire that reflects the full scope of her identity by incorporating her background of American theater, blues, and soulful classics into her sets. Through this multi-faceted fusion, Vieira has finally fulfilled her fado, fate. In her own words, “I love being Portuguese and singing my roots. I just feel now is the time for Ramana to embrace all of me – my American and Portuguese heritage. I am sitting at the precipice of something amazing and excited to see where this is going to take me and my group. Yes, it's time.”

Vieira has been described by Mundo Portugues newspaper as the “New Voice of Portuguese World Music.”  Her original composition, “Unido Para Amar,” was played at the opening ceremony for the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Recently, United States Congressman Jim Costa expressly invited Vieira to perform for the President of the Azores, Portugal. Vieira has also headlined the largest Portuguese festivals in the world. 

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

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

View Event →
Jan
26
8:00 PM20:00

Sweet Undertow

sweet undertow.jpg

Sweet Undertow is a blues-funk operation out of San Francisco with a brand new sound that you've never heard before. 

Long, wild years on the road, mixed with a deep base in roots and funk - imagine Tom Petty and Tom Waits had a baby that looked like George Clinton - shaped Sweet Undertow into a modern explosion of new sound. Sweet Undertow has played across America, India, Guatemala, Ukraine, France, Singapore and Vietnam and now consists of: 

Sweet Paul Hannah: Bass

Sweet Eddy Undertow: Guitar, voicebox

Sweet Shane Darcy: Drums

This will be a special unplugged slow and will feature special guest star musicians. 

Tickets are $15 general admission/$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!

View Event →
Jan
21
6:00 PM18:00

JuSusan with Sam Rudin

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 12.55.50 PM.jpg

JuSusan (Just Susan) is a unique, soul-jazz composer/writer and vocalist who began singing in church at age 4 and went on to sing opera in college. Founder and CEO of Soft Sound Music, she recorded her first gospel jazz CD God’s Love Ballads in 2008.

She has performed and composed for numerous musical stage plays, and is currently preparing for her second music release. She has been a featured artist for innumerable private and 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., and many others. 

Most of Susan's material is secular, and some of it is Gospel, but ALL of it is inspirational, a wide spectrum of soul-jazz songs to help us all to remember how to live and love.  She will be accompanied by pianist Sam Rudin.

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!

View Event →
Jan
21
3:00 PM15:00

Jenny Holland’s Secret World CD Release Party

secret world flier-01.jpg

Singer/songwriter Jenny Holland will play the songs from her new CD Secret World. Her band includes Kai Eckhardt (bass), Deszon Claiborne (drums), Jon Monahan (guitar), Isaac Narell (sax and keys), Larry Schneider and George Brooks (saxophones), and Kaila Flexer (violin). 

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!

View Event →
Jan
20
8:00 PM20:00

BiG WiDE GRiN

Big Wide Grin.jpg

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

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

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

Guest artists include ODU Jazz Professor John Toomey, former Kool & the Gang bassist Dana Silvercloud, and Dan Martier from Tim Reynolds’ TR3. BWG’s Live release is a collection of original and cover songs that have become trademark favorites of their live performances from the likes of Steve Earle and Tracy Chapman to Sly & the Family Stone.

Their debut CD, Live Simple, Breathe Deep (released under previous group name: “E.L.K.”), was produced by Clayton Gibb (of the Keb’ Mo’ band) and features Mark Andes (Spirit, Canned Heat), Rob Hooper (Jimmie Dale Gilmore), Cha Cha Friedken (Keb’ Mo’ band) and saxophonist Eddie Williams.

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!

View Event →
Jan
20
2:00 PM14:00

Flyover States, Marie Schumacher & the West Coast Players - Original Americana/Roots/Folk/R&B

Marie Band Photo.jpg

Flyover States is the musical duo made up of Aaron Elliott and Steven Patton. Aaron and Steven have been playing and singing together for over ten years in various choirs, bands, and vocal ensembles. While Aaron and Steven’s band Andrew’s Ave. lets them fulfill their rock needs, Flyover States was created to explore their folk interests, allowing for more complex vocal arrangements and harmonies. Aaron and Steven met in college in Des Moines, IA and immediately made a musical connection. Together they’ve toured extensively and moved across the country to Portland, OR where they have continued to make music, teach, and write together.        

Marie Schumacher is a seasoned vocalist, guitarist and pianist who writes lyrical, finely-crafted songs with rock, Latin, R&B and Americana elements. Her influences include the Pretenders, Aimee Mann and the Cowboy Junkies. Marie is backed by a rootsy, versatile band that brings mastery and expansiveness to her soulful, literary tunes. Originally from the Boston area and an East Bay gal in the 90’s, Marie is founder and artistic director of PDX Vox, Portland’s community a cappella program. Playing with Marie are beloved long-time collaborators Steve Gibson (guitar), Jeremy Steinkoler (drums), Steven Patton (keys and vocals) and Aaron Elliott (bass and vocals).

Personnel:
Aaron Elliott, bass/vocals
Steven Patton, piano/vocals
Marie Schumacher, guitar/vocals
Steve Gibson, guitar
Jeremy Steinkoler, drums

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 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!

View Event →
Jan
19
8:00 PM20:00

Old Morphine: An Album Release party for The Bow Ties

Old Morphine Bow Ties.jpg

A new 14 track LP from The Bow Ties is here and it's one for the ages! Produced by bluegrass veteran Sally van Meter, Old Morphine features a broad array of non-so-common bluegrass classics and instrumentals.

The album also features three originals: "Joyful Singing," written by Yoseff Tucker, "Tugboat," a banjo tune written by Billy Moore, and "Rodney Dangerfield," a mandolin tune written by Jan Purat.

You won't want to miss out on this intimate performance by one of Bay Areas best bluegrass bands.

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!

View Event →
Jan
14
7:00 PM19:00

Robinson & Rohe

Robinson & Rohe hi-res.jpg

Ask Robinson & Rohe how the duo was formed and they’ll look at each other as if to say, "Which beginning should we begin with?" The two have known each other for over a decade, developing a friendship as they pursued their separate careers — spanning everything from playing Brazilian jazz gigs to composing orchestral scores.

Over those years, the two grew into powerhouse performers. Liam Robinson honed his wide-ranging skills as an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning play “Warhorse,” as musical director of Anaïs Mitchell’s Off-Broadway folk opera “Hadestown,” as a composer in the Red Light New Music collective, and as a member of the Becca Stevens Band.

Meanwhile, Jean Rohe began touring and recording with her band, Jean Rohe & the End of the World Show, honing a honeyed, far-ranging voice and collecting accolades along the way (“a sure-footed young singer-songwriter,” says the New York Times.) Rohe also garnered attention for her unflinching alternative anthem for the United States, “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!,” which continues to be performed and recorded by choirs and bands across the country, and was published in the Rise Up Singing songbook sequel.

Despite long days and separately flourishing careers, the two found themselves with a musical itch they hadn’t yet scratched. One afternoon, they sat at Robinson’s kitchen table, swapping harmonies as they sang some of the old folk songs both of them had grown up with. At the end of one song, says Rohe, “we both sat there in silence.” Stripped down to their two voices, they could hear the potential for something big: “It’s a magical thing to phrase with someone like that,” says Robinson, “to breathe together and land language in time, in tune, even pushing and pulling tempo together.”

They started exchanging lyrics and music — Robinson taking a fragment of writing from Rohe and delivering it back to her married to a melody. The collaborative process was the start of what would become their debut record, Hunger. It was also the start of their love story.

Robinson recalls writing a love song about Rohe early on in their relationship. He knew it didn’t belong on any other instrument but the banjo. The only problem was that he wasn’t a proficient enough banjo player for the music he had written. For him, the solution was simple: “I had to learn how to play it for those songs,” he says. “It took a while.” Rohe echoes this uncompromising drive to deliver whatever the songs demanded of them, saying that over the past few years, her guitar-playing has entered a new realm: “It all came from this necessity of expressing these songs the way they need to be expressed.”

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!

View Event →
Jan
13
8:00 PM20:00

AZA - Music from North Africa

AZA.jpg

AZA unites traditional Tamazight (Berber) music, indigenous to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, with the global influences of its diverse members.

Evocative of Saharan-African blues, yet with an original style that truly defies categorization, AZA’s stirring performances feature deep, danceable rhythms, intricate string melodies, and soaring, soulful vocals. Visually dynamic and engaging performers, AZA has been inspiring international audiences for more than 15 years. 

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!

View Event →
Jan
12
8:00 PM20:00

Pele Greenberg Group, Adam Briere

Pele Greenberg.jpg

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 Kendrick Scott, Rodney Green, 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 local venues including Yoshi’s, The Freight & Salvage, Slim’s, Birdland Oakland, Cafe du Nord and the Fox Theatre. 

He's back home 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.

Adam Briere?.jpg

New York-based drummer, student, and Bay Area native Adam Briere started playing the drums at the early age of five, influenced by the works of greats such as John Bonham, Elvin Jones, Mitch Mitchell, Stewart Copeland, and Philly Joe Jones.

At an early age, Adam quickly became immersed in the San Francisco music scene, playing everything from Rock to Jazz and Fusion. Adam is currently in his final year at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he has had the pleasure to study and work with influential musicians Adam Nussbaum, Allison Miller, Johannes Weidenmeuller, Henry Cole, Billy Harper, Matt Wilson, Ingrid and Christine Jenson and Oz Noy. Adam co-leads a trio with New School alums, that performs regularly in New York, throughout the Northeast and California.

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!

View Event →
Jan
11
8:00 PM20:00

The Ethan Ostrow Trio

Ethan Ostrow.jpg

Coming off of a sold-out fundraiser at the Freight & Salvage, Ethan Ostrow is preparing to release his debut album, Confused, in 2018. Ethan is a jazz pianist from the renowned Berkeley High Jazz program. He has studied with the great Alan Broadbent, Bay Area legend Susan Muscarella, and Max Cowan of Atta Kid. 

Ethan’s goal is to make music that is complex, yet accessible to a wide audience. Having led a double-life as an actor for many years, Ethan understands the power of storytelling, and brings it to his music every performance. The Ethan Ostrow Trio plays a wide variety of music including originals, re-arrangements of Jazz Standards, and covers ranging from Green Day to Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder to Stephen Sondheim. Ethan also composes, and has won numerous awards for his compositions at Jazz festivals across the West Coast.

Tickets are $15/advance and $18/door for general admission; $10 in advance/$13 door for Students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

View Event →
Jan
7
7:30 PM19:30

Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots

Sam Rudin.jpg

Sam Rudin, who is of course the creator and owner of The Back Room, is also 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 Allison 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.

Rudin’s first gig under his own name as a bandleader came when he was 24 and it proved to be ill-fated. He and his group had been hired to play on a cruise ship. They’d been at sea only a day when a hurricane struck off the North Carolina coast, destroying all of the band’s equipment.

After that incident, some of Rudin's musician friends, referring also to his high-energy, can't-sit-down performing style, started calling him Hurricane Sam. Eventually he embraced the moniker and launched a career as a solo performer, earning a reputation for bringing the rhythmic intensity of an entire band, and for utilizing every possible genre of American music "from blues to be-bop and from ragtime to rock & roll," as some early publicity put it. When he formed a band several years later to concentrate on that blues/jazz borderline, they were "Hurricane Sam and the Hot Shots."

From 1990 to 2008, the band could be found in clubs, concerts, and jazz and blues festivals throughout the state, and was a particular fixture at Berkeley's late, lamented Anna's Jazz Island. But the financial troubles of 2008 made the festival gigs a lot harder to find, and Anna's closed down, and other life events intervened...so Sam started performing less and less, and the band not at all, and Sam started thinking about the ideal music venue, and wouldn't it be nice if he could put something like that together.

And now here we are, years later, and The Back Room is a reality.  It is definitely time for the Return of Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots!  

And who are these Hotshots?

Jeff Ervin (Sax)
Years ago, Jeff was playing classic rhythm & blues with the Zazu Pitts Memorial Orchestra. More recently, he has been touring the West Coast and Europe with the classic swing of Stompy Jones. Along the way he has recorded with Bill Withers and Taj Mahal, among others. He’s a versatile pro, but more than that—Jeff knows how to wail. When he steps up to the mike he blows the house down, and there are plenty of folks who say he is the most exciting saxophonist they’ve ever seen.

Jimmy Hobson (Drums)
Jimmy spent his early years carving out a name for himself in the highly competitive world of Los Angeles recording sessions. He earned several Gold records there, and his long and varied list of credits includes Billy Preston, Hall & Oates, Evelyn “Champagne” King and even Celine Dion. When he came to the Bay Area, he joined Tom Rigney in the Sundogs, which subsequently became nationally known for their blend of zydeco and rock.

Steve Evans (Bass)
One of the most sought-after and respected bass players in Northern California, Steve is best known in the blues community, but is equally comfortable in jazz, pop, and folk settings. He has toured with with Charlie Musselwhite, Bob Weir, Joan Baez, Big Mama Thornton, Coco Montoya, Elvin Bishop and Chris Cain. For many years he anchored the band for internationally-known guitar great Roy Rogers. And he is a founding member of Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots!   

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!

View Event →