Dec
14
8:00 PM20:00

Michelle Alany & The Mystics

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Violinist & vocalist Michelle Alany is a dynamic performer and internationally touring ambassador of world folk traditions, specializing in Sephardic, Mediterranean & Eastern music. Her captivating band, Michelle Alany & The Mystics, brings fresh interpretations of ancient melodies, hypnotic strings and wild improvisation with her energizing soulful music. Journey through exotic lands with this fiddle-driven caravan of Sephardic, Klezmer, Balkan & original soul & swing music all spiced up with a southern-fiddle twist.

The band consists of seasoned jazz, classical & globally folk-minded musicians with diverse musical backgrounds in Middle Eastern, Balkan and Klezmer music. This concert will include several songs from the canon of Hanukkah holiday traditional songs, in addition to our eclectic repertoire.

Featuring very special Bay Area luminaries from Balkan &  Eastern music traditions, including Dan Cantrell on accordion (Kugelplex).

Tickets are $12 in advance/$15 at the door for Students and Seniors; $15 advance/$18 at the door for General Admission. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

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Dec
15
8:00 PM20:00

Haji Basim

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Haji Basim, an award-winning, passionate and charismatic artist, performs a brand of music that expresses a unique approach and blends elements of Folk, Devotional, and World music.

Basim is an accomplished internationally-touring multi-Instrumentalist, who has mastered Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Sitar, etc. He is also a singer-songwriter who has created a new, diverse and spiritually upbeat genre called Urban Folk. His refreshing and innovative blend of folk falls somewhere in between the intimacy of artists such as Trevor Hall or Josè Gonzales, and the sensuality and spiritual groove of performers such as Xavier Rudd or Nahko & Medicine For The People, just to mention a few.

Basim’s brand of Urban Folk music was created from the influences of several styles including Folk, Soul, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Bluegrass, Bossa Nova and Neo Soul. 

"It is not the genre that makes music great, but the ability to translate emotion and thoughts." - Haji Basim

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

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

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Dec
17
4:00 PM16:00

Pollyanna Bush Presents "A Medicine Concert Benefit" for Puerto Rico

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This concert is a fundraiser for Puerto Rico communities affected by Hurricane Maria. Please join Pollyanna Bush for an evening of songs that inspire, give space for grieving, healing, celebration and hope.

Pollyanna is an award-winning singer/songwriter and music educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been performing her own music as well as supporting and shaping the artistic paths of many musicians, creators, and community figures for over 30 years. Pollyanna began singing, playing piano and creating her own music at age 5. Her strongest early influences/mentors are Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Laura Nyro. Her music is adult contemporary a la Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos and Jonatha Brooke with threads of jazz and soul mixed in. 

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

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

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Dec
21
8:00 PM20:00

Sheldon Brown/Ben Goldberg Quartet, featuring Michael Vatcher

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Michael Vatcher is coming to town! After decades of work on the vanguard of the Dutch improvised music scene, he’s moved to NY, which means he’s more likely to be showing up on the West Coast . . . which means that Bay Area groups like Sheldon Brown/Ben Goldberg Quartet can take advantage of him. This is a very good thing!

Sheldon and Ben have been making music together in a variety of groups for almost 25 years. They formed a quartet, Papa’s Midnight Hop, in 1988, which performed their own original material, and have played together as members of Clarinet Thing (led by Beth Custer and also featuring Harvey Wainapel), Darren Johnston Quintet, Touch and Go (led by Vijay Anderson) and Goldberg, Brown Anderson Trio, and, of course, many of Graham Connah’s amazing large ensembles. More recently they’ve formed a quartet to perform the music of Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk.

California native Michael Vatcher, now residing in NY, quickly progressed from hitting household furniture to taking vibraphone and snare drum lessons as a child. During his many years in Holland, Vatcher played with such groups as the Michael Moore Quartet, Tristan Honsinger Sextet, the Martin Altena Ensemble, John Zorn, The Ex, Roof (with Phil Minton, Tom Cora, and Luc Ex), and Van Dyke Parks.

Rounding out the quartet is the fabulous Miles Wick, recently returned from NY to enrich the Bay Area scene.

They’ll be playing original pieces, music of Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk, with a large dose of improv.

Sheldon Brown - Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Ben Goldberg - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contra-Alto Clarinet
Miles Wick - Bass
Michael Vatcher - Drums and Percussion

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

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

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Dec
22
8:00 PM20:00

Tommy and the Rozumatics

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Acoustic music fans will know Tom Rozum as mandolinist and featured vocalist with Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. Here, Tom's legendary musicality and keen wit will take center stage, featuring an all-star band comprised of fiddle phenomenon Brittany Haas (Prairie Home Companion House Band, Crooked Still, Dave Rawlings Machine), Tristan Clarridge (Crooked Still, Darol Anger, The Bee Eaters), and hammer dulcimer wizard and bassist Simon Chrisman (Bee Eaters, Jeremy Kittel Band).

These four friends share decades of history as friends, bandmates, and musical inspirations to each other. They're coming together for a rare and special 4-day tour, to share songs and tunes near and dear to them, drawn largely from Tom's critically-acclaimed solo record, Jubilee, a deft collection of little-known gems of country, bluegrass, western swing, and old time music interwoven with great contemporary songs by David Olney and Mark Simos.

Tom Rozum has played mandolin professionally for over 40 years, recording and touring internationally with Laurie Lewis for the last 30. He has contributed his mandolin playing and singing on over twenty albums (two were nominated for Grammys), including three duo projects with Laurie and a critically-claimed solo project of his own. He has also taught mandolin at over a dozen music camps, and performed several times on such radio shows as The Grand Ol’ Opry, A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and E-Town.

Brittany Haas is widely regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation. Raised in Northern California, Brittany grew up honing her craft at string camps, and developed her unique style with the influence of her mentors, Bruce Molsky and Darol Anger. Haas began touring with Anger’s Republic of Strings at fourteen and released her debut solo album at seventeen. She continued to perform and record while earning a degree in Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She has now toured for nearly two decades with such groups as Crooked Still, The Tony Trischka Band, Steve Martin, Yonder Mountain String Band, Hawktail, The Dave Rawlings Machine, and the Prairie Home Companion House Band.

Tristan Clarridge is a 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion and a pioneering cellist, synthesizing traditional folk influences with rhythmic vocabulary from jazz, rock and pop music, and leading a revolution among adventurous young cellists throughout the country. He has toured the world with bluegrass/nu-folk sensation Crooked Still, chambergrass innovators The Bee Eaters, and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, as well as Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky, Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon Natalie MacMaster, and many others.

Hammer dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman brings a whole new approach to an instrument that has previously been thought to have limited range and technique. His inventive virtuosic touch and sophisticated rhythmic sensibilities are redefining the instrument and earning the attention of musicians from all over the world. He tours with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss and the Jeremy Kittel Band, among others.

Together Tristan and Simon form two-thirds of The Bee Eaters, whom the Boston Globe described as “chamber music’s finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass’s playful virtuosity and pop music’s melodic resourcefulness.”

Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

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Dec
23
8:00 PM20:00

Jake Cassman, Phil McGee

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This December, Drunken Logic frontman and songwriter Jake Cassman embarks on The Vagabond tour, coming soon to a city near you! A multi-talented musician with a powerful voice, Jake will be playing acoustic arrangements from both Drunken Logic albums, debuting unreleased material, and taking requests for your favorite songs. Join Jake for an intimate and fun evening as he travels across the country!

The seed for Drunken Logic was planted when frontman Jake Cassman walked away from an Ivy League education, determined to forge a folk-rock sound that "blended more genres and styles than we have room to list, all in the name of creating an eclectic fast-forward sound that’s shaken up after each track,” (Vanyaland).

Ever since their first incarnation, formed at Berklee College of Music in 2012, the band has brewed a powder keg of diverse influences and potent, topical lyrics in their various shoddy apartments. Accolades and accomplishments quickly followed the release of their debut LP Something New to Burn in 2013 — they rocked AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants), won RAW:Boston’s 2013 Musicians of the Year, and played Berklee’s 2014 CMJ Showcase. The band's sophomore effort, Long Day’s Journey to the Middle, dropped the following year — their single “This Side or the Other” was awarded Best Music Video at the Southeast New England Film Festival. In 2016, Drunken Logic performed and taught at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, played at Boston’s official New Year’s Eve celebration, and donated the song and video "What A Beautiful Morning!" to the 30 Days, 50 Songs project for a Trump-free America, alongside Death Cab for Cutie, R.E.M. and dozens of other major artists. Drunken Logic are constantly reinventing their brand of music while battling the elements of contemporary America — and loving every minute of it.

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Phil McGee is a Berkeley-based rock, folk, and blues guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and singer, currently performing with acoustic rock trio Tonal Recall. A veteran of original groups and Grateful Dead & Allman Brothers tribute bands, Phil is known for his guitar wizardry, and has shared stages with many renowned national acts. Phil's Electric Mix CD featuring guest appearances by Steve Kimock, Martin Fierro, and Wil Scarlett can be heard here.

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

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

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Dec
30
8:00 PM20:00

New Language Ensemble

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The New Language Ensemble is a youth jazz band that performs creative and classic takes on jazz standards, hidden gems, and original compositions.

The Ensemble is led by Oakland Tech High School student, saxophonist and clarinetist, Nathan Nakadegawa-Lee, who has been awarded two Outstanding Soloist Awards at the Reno Jazz Festival. He is joined by five other Oakland High School students: saxophonist Railey Stern-Yen, guitarist Satchel Birch, pianist Mary Nguyen, percussionist and vibraphonist Gus Hurteau, and bassist and classically-trained cellist Nick Reeves.

This is their second time at The Back Room. Come support live music and have a fun night of old, new, and always exciting jazz!

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

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

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Dec
31
to Jan 1

New Year's Eve with High Country, Dix Bruce & Julie Cline, Hurricane Sam Rudin

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High Country has been ringing in the New Year with bluegrass music in downtown Berkeley for a good number of years, and this year we are pleased to welcome them back to The Back Room for the second year in a row. Come and join the band, along with Dix Bruce & Julie Cline and Hurricane Sam, for a festive evening of song and laughter.

Over the last forty-plus years, High Country has earned its place as the West Coast's premier traditional bluegrass band. "One of the lonesomest, hard-drivingest traditional bluegrass bands alive...High Country manages to be fresh and exciting without even the merest nod to modern music." - Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine

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Dix Bruce & Julie Cline sing and play a wonderful combination of Americana and original music on guitar and mandolin. Their beautiful vocal harmonies make everything they perform, from bluegrass to blues, folk to country, rockabilly to originals, a pleasure to listen to. Their new CD Look at it Rain includes a mixture of traditional and original songs arranged to showcase their duet singing and instrumental sound.

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Sam Rudin, AKA Hurricane Sam, plays some of the most exciting piano you are likely to hear. He can evoke the spirit of Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Mose Allison, and Jerry Lee Lewis...sometimes all at the same time. He also just might be the only bluegrass piano player in the world, and is happy to be surrounded by great bluegrass musicians where some mixing, matching, and jamming will have a chance to happen.

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

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

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Jan
1
12:30 PM12:30

2nd Annual New Year's Day Benefit - Power for Puerto Rico

The Back Room is proud to continue our tradition of supporting worthwhile causes on New Year's Day with an amazing community of talented performers. Last year we held a benefit for Standing Rock, and this year we are supporting our friends and neighbors in Puerto Rico with a benefit to provide solar power to rural communities.

The Puerto Rican people are still suffering from both the terrible storm and the underwhelming and inadequate federal response to that storm. Trumpian antagonism has added insult to injury

The almost complete destruction of much of their electrical grid, which is responsible for a lot of the misery, also creates an opportunity for organizations, aid groups, and even individuals to send in and set up off-the-grid solar power systems, both small and large, which can both help the immediate need and point the way towards a more sustainable future.

The music starts at 12:30pm, and will feature our own Sam Rudin, Wendy Burch Steel, Laurie Lewis, David Sturdevant (Medicine Ball Band), Maggie Forti, Kit Eakle, Bob Hillman, Tony Marcus, Michael McNevin, Rachel Efron, Chappell and Dave Holt with Cristina Seaborn, Carol Denney, Dick Fregulia, Kim Lembo and Dirty Cello.

Tickets are $20 general admission or you are welcome to contribute a donation of $20+. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

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Jan
4
8:00 PM20:00

Tony Furtado

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jan
7
2:00 PM14:00

B3B4 Organ Jazz Quartet - CD Release Party

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B3B4 is a long-awaited musical conversation between four Bay Area jazz veterans, combining the soulful growl of the Hammond B3 organ, the resonant bite of the tenor saxophone, the bluesy fluidity of the electric guitar and the propulsive groove of the drums.

The quartet is heavily steeped in blues and bop, featuring a repertoire including works by Jimmy Smith,  Billy Strayhorn, Neal Hefti and Miles Davis, in addition to their own compositions. Their performances range from mid-tempo blues to warm, intricate ballads to driving up-tempo barnburners, and they reveal the fluency and experience of the group's members in a wide range of genres.

This concert is a celebration of the band’s recently released debut album, B3B4, and copies of the CD will be available for sale at a special 50% discount at this performance.

The group features:
Tom Griesser  - saxophone
Scott Foster - guitar
Kevin Gerzevitz - organ
Dan Foltz - drums

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

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

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Jan
7
7:00 PM19:00

Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots

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Stay tuned for details!

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

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

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Jan
12
8:00 PM20:00

Pele Greenberg Group, Adam Briere

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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.

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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!

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Jan
14
7:00 PM19:00

Robinson & Rohe

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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!

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Jan
19
8:00 PM20:00

Old Morphine: An Album Release party for The Bow Ties

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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!

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Jan
27
8:00 PM20:00

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

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

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

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Jan
28
7:00 PM19:00

Vadalma

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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!

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Jan
30
8:00 PM20:00

Danielle Wertz and Jonah Udall

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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!

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Feb
1
8:00 PM20:00

Beppe Gambetta

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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!

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Feb
2
8:00 PM20:00

Noah Zacharin

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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!

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Feb
4
5:00 PM17:00

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

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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!

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Feb
9
8:00 PM20:00

Michelle Jacques

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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!

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Feb
10
8:00 PM20:00

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

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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:
Ben Flint – keyboards
Fred Randolph – bass
Alan Hall – 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!

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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
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!

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Feb
23
8:00 PM20:00

John Schott's Actual Trio - CD Release Party

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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
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!

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Mar
3
8:00 PM20:00

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

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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!

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Mar
18
7:00 PM19:00

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

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

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

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

"Otherworldly harmonies." - Barbara Kingsolver

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

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

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

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

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Mar
31
8:00 PM20:00

Alice DiMicele

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dec
10
7:00 PM19:00

Reed Turchi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dec
1
8:00 PM20:00

Henry Grace, Joshua Barnhart, Marcus Lee, Kayla Flores

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

Joshua Barnhart
Joshua Barnhart is an Oakland, California-based songwriter who first became known as a member of the acclaimed Bay Area band Port O’Brien. In the years since Port O'Brien's break-up, Joshua has played with multiple bands including Release the Sunbird, Two Sheds, and Sparrows Gate. In 2016, Joshua made his debut as a solo-artist, releasing the album, Turn Out The Light. His harmony-drenched, psych-pop sound is centered on the experience of living on the coast of California. In September, 2017, he released Dance with Me, the new single from his forthcoming follow-up album.

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

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

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

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

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Nov
30
6:00 PM18:00

Art for Abortion Access - Students United for Reproductive Justice fundraiser

Art for Abortion small.jpg

Make unique & inspiring arts and crafts to support CA students' access to ALL reproductive health services! Listen to an awe-inspiring guest speaker (TBA) discuss reproductive justice! Share your own #RightToAccess story! Most importantly, learn about Senate Bill 320, The College Student Right to Access Act, which would require all CA public university health centers to provide medication abortion services! 

~Light refreshments will be provided throughout the event~

$10 for UC/CSU students (need school ID) ***venmo/cash at the door***
$25 for non-students/general admission: please buy through Eventbrite here.

*All proceeds support Just CARE: Campus Action for Reproductive Equity. Discount available for help with set-up/clean-up, see contact info below if interested*

Contact calsurj@gmail.com for more information. 

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Nov
19
7:00 PM19:00

Mullerette

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Mullerette's sound is anchored in its unique configuration which echoes the contrasting timbre of a vintage Wurlitzer 200 and a breathy, haunting female vocal. Songs are delivered thru poems, reflections and anthemic solos.

With influences citing Mazzy Star, Feist, Cowboy Junkies and Portishead, Mullerette's melodies are embedded with mature lyrics that deal with adult themes ranging from love affairs to parenting and the duality between inhabiting the daily and the extraordinary.

The Berkeley-based duo is the result of a long-standing collaboration between award-winning singer-songwriter Lupe Muller and keyboardist/producer Joey Muller. The rhythm section - Israel Vela on bass and Mike Stevens on drums - crafts soft atmospheric grooves in which the nocturnal, smoky-bar melodies move through with ease.

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

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

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Nov
18
8:00 PM20:00

Natural Rhythms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov
17
8:00 PM20:00

"Texassippi Soul Man" Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi

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Danny Brooks has long been referred to as "the Real Deal," and after years of honing his writing and performing skills in Canada, picking up nominations and awards along the way, Brooks is at home in the Texas music scene and traveling throughout the USA.

Mixing Southern Soul, Americana, Blues and Gospel, he is recognized as a prolific writer and dynamic live performer, and is constantly on the road. Making Llano, Texas his home (just west of Austin), "Texassippi Soul Man" Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi released their second Texas studio recording, This World Is Not Your Friend, in January of 2015.

Their upcoming CD, Get Your Joy On, will be much like the previous CD with a stripped down approach. Brooks' music features the duo he has with his wife, Lil Miss Debi, who sings and plays cajon/percussion while he plays assorted guitars/slide/cigar-box/stomp-board and harp-rack.

Brooks has worked with legendary producers Jim Dickinson on "It's A Southern Thing," which received high praise from Cub Coda (Smokin’ In The Boys Room/All Music Guide), and Johnny Sandlin (Capricorn Records producer) on "No Easy Way Out," which featured the legendary Muscle Shoals musicians David Hood, Spooner Oldham, and Bonnie Bramlett. Frazer Mohawk (Elektra) and bassist Tim Drummond (Bob Dylan/Neil Young/James Brown) referred to Brooks as the real deal on NorthernBlues recording Saved! The NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars. On the first two Soulsville recordings, Brooks credits Richard Bell (Janis Joplin/The Band/Colin Linden), who produced and played keyboards, for preparing him for the world stage. It should be noted that Louis X. Erlanger (Mink DeVille guitarist) produced Texassippi Soul Man.

"Texassippi Soul Man" Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi have been touring constantly, promoting and building their reputation throughout North America. As a duo, they make a good racket on assorted guitars/stomp-board/harp-rack/cajon/percussion and singing with all their might.  Their duo live show has drawn comparisons to the White Stripes, Black Keys, Keb Mo', The Allman Bros. and North Mississippi Allstars.

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

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

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Nov
16
8:00 PM20:00

Tish Hinojosa

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Tish Hinojosa is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. Hinojosa’s blend of folk, country, Latino, and pop has an undeniable far-reaching appeal, garnering her accolades such as a White House concert at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton, and teaming up with artists such as Joan Baez, Booker T. Jones, Flaco Jimenez, Pete Seeger, and Dwight Yoakam.

She has recorded as an independent artist as well as for A&M, Warner Bros, and Rounder Records, and has been a featured artist on Austin City Limits, A Prairie Home Companion and other NPR programs.

With sixteen CDs to her name, Tish’s distinct sound has gained her much critical acclaim. She is currently working on a country inspired follow-up to 2013's After The Fair, due for release in 2018. Tish has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe and continues to draw a loyal and growing audience.

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

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

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Nov
13
8:00 PM20:00

Dawn of Jayne

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Dawn of Jayne is a band created by Tamara Bruketta featuring whoever wants to hang out...which typically results in a blend of indie blues and lyrical soul. Their first album, Not Dead Yet, features a hopeful melancholy that will simultaneously have you tapping a toe and contemplating your entire life.

They are sure to bring out all the feels and also have you grooving along as they re-imagine multiple genres in their explorations of R&B, Bluegrass, Jazz, and indie rock. They aren't afraid to get weird, and will wrap you in a cozy feeling of comfort amidst the chaos.

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

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

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Nov
12
4:00 PM16:00

VOENA - Talent on the Move

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VOENA - Talent on the Move is performing a special concert with an elite group of talented young performers singing their unique renditions of global or popular music.

VOENA is a captivating, multi-cultural, world music experience that redefines “choir” the way Cirque du Soleil redefines “circus.” Director Annabelle Marie inspires over 130 children from ages 6-18 to celebrate music through voice, sound, rhythm, and physical expression.  

Singing in over 25 languages, VOENA has performed around the globe, inspiring audiences at the 2012 London Olympics, the Grand Ole Opry, as repeat guests at the White House, for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, and as goodwill ambassadors to Bali, Italy, Ireland, China, and Japan. VOENA was the first American Choir to sing at the Soweto Festival in South Africa, and VOENA will be heading to Carnegie Hall in April 2018 to perform at the magnificent Isaac Stern Auditorium, under the direction of Grammy-winner, composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, spreading their mission to unite the world and empower future leaders through music.

“If the world had the heart and the courage to see you and hear you, we would be different - we would be changed. You are exactly what the world needs. In your innocence and in your youth and talent, you can teach us so much.” - Dr. Maya Angelou

Watch VOENA's Presidential promo video here.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

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Nov
11
8:00 PM20:00

Macy Blackman & the Mighty Fines

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

On their latest releaseBlackman and his veteran band pay tribute to the genius of the Soul Queen and King of New Orleans. 

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

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

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

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

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Nov
10
8:00 PM20:00

Stadler Gibbons Band

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

Seasoned musicians all, they travel the common ground between early country and bluegrass, great story telling 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 product is a soulful blend. The band features the clean, intricate harmonies of Stadler and Gibbons set on the firm foundation of Gibbons’ guitar and Ervin’s bass. In the spaces between, Stadler and Mitguard intertwine stunning melodies and improvisations whether on guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar or dobro.

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov
5
6:00 PM18:00

Bay Area Music for Hurricane Harvey Relief

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This is the 11th and final show in the Bay Area Music for Hurricane Harvey Benefit Concert Series organized by Cara Sarelli, aka SF indie songstress Jane Frank, who is a transplant from Houston. It is a celebration, a thank-you to all of the more than 60+ artists who signed up to perform, and a last chance to give and help 10 Houston families who were severely affected by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. 

Tickets are sliding scale donations from $10 - $30, with a suggested donation of $20. All proceeds from the door will be split between all 10 families, minus only a small portion for expenses.

This show will be available for Live Streaming via the Jane Frank Facebook page, and donations can be made via Paypal.

All musicians are performing for free, and many are donating merchandise to help. 

The stellar lineup for this show includes:

6:00 pm - MJ LEE
https://mjleedot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mjleedot/
https://mjleedot.bandcamp.com/

6:25 pm - PIECES
https://www.pieces-band.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyPieces/
https://soundcloud.com/pieces-2

6:50 pm - GOLDIE'S REVIVAL
https://soundcloud.com/goldies-revival
https://www.facebook.com/goldiesrevivalband/

7:15 pm - GINA HARRIS
http://www.ginaharris.com/

8:00 pm - JANE FRANK
https://www.facebook.com/janefrankmusic/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/0wrmc5GcsNPGAxFlN5CWAV
https://www.instagram.com/janefrankmusic/
https://soundcloud.com/janefrankmusic

8:25 pm - THE NIMBLES
https://www.facebook.com/TheNimbles/
www.thenimbles.com

8:50 pm - HARLOW'S MONKEYS
https://www.facebook.com/HarlowsMonkeys/
https://www.facebook.com/HarlowsMonkeys/
https://www.instagram.com/harlowsmonkeys/

9:30 pm - COUGAR ON A METH BINGE
www.cougaronamethbinge.com
Facebook.com/cougaronamethbinge
Instagram.com/cougaronamethbinge

9:55 pm - LITTLE SPIRAL
https://www.littlespiral.com/
https://www.facebook.com/littlespiralmusic/
https://twitter.com/littlespiral

10:20 pm - SLEEPTALKERS
https://sleeptalkersmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sleeptalkersca/
https://www.instagram.com/sleeptalkersca/

For more information on the series, go to Harvey.LittleSpiral.com.

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

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

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Nov
5
3:00 PM15:00

Graham Hill with Skye Alexander & Russ Pollock

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Graham Hill is a singer/songwriter and musician originally from Armonk, N.Y. After spending several years in Los Angeles working as a professional bassist, he relocated to Oakland in 2004 and began pursuing his passion for songwriting in earnest. Inspired by greats such as Townes Van Zandt, Jason Isbell, and Jim Croce, Graham brings an understated confidence to his music, incorporating elements of traditional folk, country, and modern Americana. He combines memorable, provocative melodies with honest, insightful lyrics touching on themes of resilience, despair, and compassion.

Graham’s debut album, Blue-Eyed Renegade, is an introspective look at the spiritual and material challenges that go hand-in-hand with human existence. 

From the liner notes:
“This album is about the dark, unsteady terrain we sometimes have to navigate on our path to happiness. It is about the acceptance of struggle as a gift to be embraced rather than an enemy to be feared. There can be beauty in despair if we know where to look for it. Most importantly, it is about the certainty that none of us is alone and we are meant to help each other along the way. “
 

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Skye Alexander loves to sing the traditional songs of the British Isles and North America. Born in British Columbia and raised in the folk music scene in the Pacific Northwest, she performed at folk festivals as a kid before studying classical singing. Now back to her traditional music roots, she has played at festivals including the Phoenix St. Patrick’s Day Faire, the El Cerrito Free Folk Festival, and the Bay Celtic Festival.

Russ Pollock has been singing and playing acoustic guitar since his teen years, and found his early inspiration in the fingerstyle playing of Richard Thompson, John Renbourn and Stephan Grossman. In recent years, he has been immersed in songs from Americana, roots and contemporary folk traditions, including songs by such artists as Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Richard Thompson, Mandolin Orange, Doc Watson, Tim O'Brien, Steve Earle and Fred Eaglesmith. Russ is also a member of the occasional Berkeley-based acoustic band Cahoots. 

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

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

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Nov
4
8:00 PM20:00

Dick Fregulia's Bill Evans Tribute Trio + film: Bill Evans Time Remembered

Dick Fregulia's Bill Evans Tribute Trio was born September 15, 2010, to honor the great jazz pianist 30 years after his death on that date. With Fregulia on piano, Piro Patton on bass, and Bill Moody on drums, the trio performed three sets at Caffe DiVino in Sausalito, moving sequentially through the style and spirit of several distinct periods of the Evans trios. The evening was a great success and the trio committed to extend the tribute. 

Fregulia, a Bay Area jazz pianist who came of age with the emergence of the original Bill Evans Trio, has maintained a local musical profile, playing restaurant solo gigs, with small jazz groups, accompanying singers, and holding the Thursday night piano bench at the Washington Square Bar & Grill for 35 years. 

Drummer Bill Moody played internationally for years before settling into Sonoma, where he taught at Sonoma State and continues to write jazz mystery novels. 

Piro Patton, the youngest of the group, is a devotee of Scott LaFarro and plays in a variety of groups. He is a graduate of Boston's Berklee College of Music and a successful professional photographer. 

Fregulia's piano can be heard on several CDs that are available on CDBaby.com. The goal of the Tribute Trio is to recreate the style and spirit of the Bill Evans Trios, rather than to duplicate the original arrangements, and to ultimately honor the legacy of the Evans trio in the history of piano jazz. 

The feature-length documentary Bill Evans Time Remembered, completed in 2015 by television producer/editor Bruce Spiegel, tells the story of Evans' turbulent life and his unprecedented contribution to the jazz community. The film was self-funded by the producer, who traveled and interviewed approximately 40 people over a 7-year period of time. For more information go to billevanstimeremembered.com and/or dickfreguliajazzpiano.com

The trio's performance is at 8 pm; Film showing is from 9:15-10:45pm.

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

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

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Nov
3
8:00 PM20:00

COPUS

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Formed by renowned poet Royal Kent and ASCAP Award-winning composer Wendy Loomis, COPUS is a spoken word jazz ensemble that presents conscious lyrics intertwined with beautiful melodies and powerful rhythms. COPUS – an acronym for Creation Of Peace Under Stars – has a faithful following of discerning listeners. A wide variety of talented musicians have performed with COPUS; the current instrumentation includes piano, bass, drums, singing, and spoken word. COPUS has performed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, and Boston. 

COPUS recently released the single “We All Bleed Red (Steady for Justice)." Produced by New York-based GRAMMY nominee Yaron Fuchs, the piece has been receiving great reviews. An anthem for our time. "Through ace musicianship and a wild, bright & bold sound, COPUS captures the magic they’re seeking to create on 'We All Bleed Red' – it’s like a combination of Quincy Jones meets Baz Luhrmann…theatrical & dramatic in nature with great storytelling, set in an old-school setting that incorporates modern-day movement in the structure and reflecting on the current state of the world lyrically.” The song is being considered for Best Rap Song by the GRAMMY voters for 2018.

In addition to COPUS, there will be N-Side, the healer, and a “lightning round” open mic section of the evening. Bring your words of positivity and change!

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

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

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Nov
2
8:00 PM20:00

Ole, Opa!

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Dancer Bianca Rodriguez collaborates with NYC-based singer Jenny Luna and Bay Area musicians Calvin Lai (clarinet) and Gopal Slavonic (guitar) to bring you a fresh take on music from Turkey, Spain and the Balkans.

Ole! Opa! was formed by dancer Bianca Rodriguez and singer Jenny Luna. The group draws from Jenny’s background in Balkan and Turkish singing and Bianca's background in flamenco dancing and performs songs from several countries including Turkey, Spain, Romania, Serbia, Greece and Hungary.

Jenny Luna - vocals, percussion
Gopal Slavonic - guitar
Calvin Lai - clarinet
Bianca Rodriguez - flamenco dancing

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

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

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Oct
29
4:00 PM16:00

Tammi Brown Presents Nancy Smith's Serenades and Jazz Standards - CD Release Party

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Through love and loss, Nancy Smith conceived the inspiration for her brand new album entitled My Serenades. Each song tells a unique story that will capture your heart and move your soul. This elegant evening of Jazz will feature some of the Bay Areas finest musicians including the sultry sound of the Grammy-nominated songstress, Tammi Brown (Quincy Jones, Stanley Jordan, Linda Tillery), Grammy-nominated pianist Murray Low (Pete Escovedo, Tito Puente), vocalist Bryan Dyer (Linda Tillery, Huey Lewis, SoVoSo), drummer Deszon Claiborne (Les McCann, Dr. Lonnie Smith), and bassist Aaron Germain (Stanley Jordan, Bonnie Raitt).

General tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Gold Circle VIP tickets are $35 (includes preferred seating, small gift bag and a chance to win a signed CD). Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are  nearby). 

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

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Oct
28
8:00 PM20:00

Dirk Hamilton

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With a style that drew comparisons to Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen and John Prine, Dirk Hamilton released a slew of critically acclaimed major label records in the mid-70’s into the 80’s (Meet Me at the Crux is considered a minor masterpiece), before leaving the music industry behind to counsel troubled teens. He never really stopped though, becoming something of a star in Italy and quietly releasing 15 more albums since 1989.

His latest CD Touch and Go was released earlier this year. He has rock & roll passion, razor sharp wit, and the poetic musings of someone who has seen it all. He’s the real deal.

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

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

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Oct
28
3:00 PM15:00

Pacific Edge Voices presents a Jazz & Pop Singalong!

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For all of you who have loved our A Cappella Jazz & Pop concerts - going strong for 36 years! - this year is your chance to feel the thrill of singing these wonderful arrangements yourselves.

We've decided to devote our singalong this year to a few nuggets from the J&P vault. If you've been humming along all these years, this is your chance to go legit! Or just come to find out what the fuss it about! It will be held at a new venue, The Back Room, a few steps away from The UC Theater in downtown Berkeley and a couple of blocks from BART.

Past singalongs have explored African American spirituals and the music of Cuba. All ages and singing abilities are welcome. A free reception follows the workshop.Music and refreshments will be provided.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Click here for tickets or call (510) 848-8022. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). 

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

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Oct
27
8:00 PM20:00

David Weiss Quintet

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David Weiss, born in New York City, has been a major catalyst and creator of some of the most critically acclaimed and respected jazz to have been released over the years. In his various roles of trumpeter, composer, arranger, producer, talent-scout, historian and bandleader - he currently leads The Cookers, The New Jazz Composers Octet, Endangered Species, Point of Departure, and the David Weiss Sextet - it is certainly not an exaggeration to call Weiss a jazz renaissance man.

Weiss, featured on over eighty recordings, was also the creative force behind the revitalized careers of Freddie Hubbard, Charles Tolliver, and others. Not to mention his affiliation with many esteemed members of the avant-garde community, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Kenny Wheeler, Butch Morris and John Zorn.

The line-up for this performance will be:
David Weiss- Trumpet
Glen Pearson- Piano
Ron Belcher- Bass
Danny Spencer- Drums


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

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

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Oct
26
8:00 PM20:00

Emily Anderson, Power Snuggle, Allegra Thompson

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Like stumbling into a rose garden on a trek through the arctic, listeners of Emily’s music find themselves helplessly lifted into a world so hauntingly familiar, and yet so enchantingly curious. With a voice of untouchable purity and lyricism of remarkable wit and poignancy, Emily cradles matters of the human heart with an almost impossible sweetness.

After many years of studying songwriting & music business in Boston, and with several tours and recording projects under her belt, Emily has returned to her native Fairbanks and risen to deserving prominence in the tightly knit music scene in Alaska. In fitting testament to this, she received the Rasmuson Foundation’s Individual Artist award in 2016 to assist her in making a full-length album. This new record, Simple Things, perhaps her most ambitious and stunning project to date, was released August 2017.

Power Snuggle -
Power Snuggle is one part hooky guitar meanderings, two parts vegan donuts, and all parts tenderpunk. Universe twins Chelsea Moore and Sarah Tudzin attended college in Boston together, but did not befriend one another until they moved back to Los Angeles to follow their respective sonic aspirations. After collaborating on Chelsea's solo project they soon realized they were musical soul mates, thus the birth of LA's own indie adorb-core outfit, Power Snuggle. 

Power Snuggle is tackling the arduousness of young adulthood with lyrical charm, tongue-in-cheek self-awareness, and a soft pillow fort of musicality with the perfect amount of space for cuddling.

Allegra Thompson -
Allegra Thompson's playing and singing is steeped in the roots music of the American South, from the mountains of Appalachia to the Cajun prairie.  Her home-grown perspective on American roots music was nurtured by her parents, Eric and Suzy Thompson, who raised her on a steady diet of ragtime, blues, bluegrass, Cajun, and Appalachian old time music.  
Allegra is known both for the power and clarity of her singing and for providing a rock-steady rhythm bed on guitar or upright bass, skills she applies faithfully to a wide variety of musical styles. A founding member of the Drifter Sisters and the Bearcat Stringband, she also plays with Skillet Licorice, the Midnite Ramblers, Wendy Burch Steel & Redwood, and of course Eric and Suzy Thompson in their family trio.

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

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

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Oct
22
7:00 PM19:00

Mary Scholz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oct
22
2:00 PM14:00

Folk Fights Back Bay Area for Racial Justice

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Folk Fights Back Bay Area is proud to present a benefit for Racial Justice, to support the Ella Baker Center, featuring The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol, the KTO Project, Evie Ladin’s MoToR/dance, Austin Willacy, Cascada de Flores and the Oakland Youth Chorus. FFB-BA takes pride in presenting a diversity of Folk Music from/for our Bay Area communities.
Folk Fights Back is a nationwide musician-led organization that seeks to raise awareness for critical issues in today’s political climate, and fund local organizations actively fighting for social and political change through simultaneous concerts in cities across the US. Founded by Rachel Baiman, Kaitlyn Raitz and Lily Henley in Nashville, concerts are volunteer-powered every few months. FFB Bay Area is spearheaded by Michael Rufo and Evie Ladin. Let us know if you want to help produce the FFB Bay Area events!

The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol
“Every Faye Carol performance is a master class - a deep dive into the soul-steeped marrow of jazz and blues. A Bay Area institution, the Berkeley vocalist needs only one set to leave an indelible impression on her listeners who know just what to expect if they pay attention to her billing as The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol." - Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area News Group, 2016

KTO Project
From Kelly Takunda Orphan, the KTO Project is a dynamic, danceable world music ensemble, lighting up Bay Area music venues such as Ashkenaz, La Pena Cultural Center, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Freight & Salvage. The seasoned lineup of SF Bay Area musicians bring a wealth of experience into the infectious beats of the band. Building on the passion and experience of their founder, The KTO Project takes the listener around the world, connecting us with the love and dreams that unite, with the violence, grief and poverty that tear us apart, and with the music that can heal if we are open to the rhythm! 

MoToR/dance
Evie Ladin’s all-female percussive dance company explores the complete expression of the sonic body in space. Inspired by the vibrant International Body Music scene to workshop complex physical rhythmic independence with world rhythmic systems, Evie began creating unique interlocking percussive dance arrangements with layered vocal harmonies and large group choreography in what has become a powerful moving choir. The works harmonize Appalachian songs layered with African-diaspora rhythmic systems, elucidating elements of this tradition’s genesis. The large ensemble works are evocative and moving works of music/dance. 

Austin Willacy
A veteran of The House Jacks, with whom Austin Willacy produced 10 full-length albums and multiple world tours, for 19 years, Austin has mentored and directed ‘Til Dawn, Youth in Arts’ award-winning teen a cappella group. An award-winning singer/­songwriter with 4 CD’s and 2 EP’s to his name, Austin’s music is soulful and raucous, tender and comic. He has been featured on “The Sing Off”, MTV, an Australian ad campaign, three feature film soundtracks; appeared in Rolling Stone; and has performed with icons such as Bonnie Raitt and up and newer artists like Jem, Vienna Teng, Rachael Yamagata and Amos Lee. 

Cascada de Flores
For 18 years, Jorge Liceaga and Arwen Lawrence, the co-founders of Bay Area music ensemble Cascada de Flores, have celebrated and reinvented musical traditions from Mexico and Latin America. The duet brings together bolero to bambucos, rancheras to trova, with a dizzying number of traditional instruments, such as tres cubano, guitarra de son and jarana of Veracruz, vihuela, donkey's jaw bone and percussive dance. Cascada de Flores has recorded 5 albums, created theatrical concerts such as Radio Flor and The Tree & the Donkey, collaborated in projects with local masters of Latin cultures, and scored music for film, shadow-theater and modern dance. 

Oakland Youth Chorus 
OYC unites diverse communities and transforms young people’s lives through excellence in music education and community performance. Empowering children and youth by creating safe, joyful opportunities to express themselves and connect through multicultural choral music, Oakland Youth Chorus changes the lives that will transform our communities and our world, instilling the skills and values that prepare and empower youth to lead social change in our community. 

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

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

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Oct
21
8:00 PM20:00

Wendy Burch Steel & Redwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oct
20
8:00 PM20:00

Jaeger & Reid

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Jaeger & Reid (Judi Jaeger & Bob Reid) have just released From Way Up Here, their first album together. It is a collection of well-crafted, intelligently written songs of personal experience and social awareness, mixed in with beloved songs collected through the years.

Their performances feature rich vocals, whether singing alone or in a blend of tight, lush harmony over the interplay of two guitars, or guitar and ukulele. For this performance they will be joined by musicians who added their talents to their recording; Bob Burnett on mandolin, guitar, Jeff Crossley on bass and Ronny Crawford on percussion.
 
Bob Reid is a San Francisco Bay Area native, a 40+ year member of the San Francisco Folk Music Club, and former television host and member of the People’s Music Network steering committee. Judi Jaeger grew up near Montreal and in Vancouver, and brings her Canadian sensibility and well-honed songwriting skills to the duo. She became a performing songwriter after leaving her law career to raise a family. Her intimate and powerful vocals are framed by the intricate interplay of their voices and instruments.  

“Judi and Bob fit together perfectly, their voices, their comments, their attitude, their dedication. There was no distance between audience and performers.” - A.M. - Pittsfield, MA

“Their music and voices will touch your soul and you'll find yourself singing along to some of their songs. Fabulous!” - D. L. - Palo Alto, CA

“Our friends and guests at our recent house concert are still raving about your vocals, guitars, and warm way with the audience. Most of all, many really appreciate the songs you each created and sang so beautifully.“ - K.J. - Durham, NC

Bring your voices and prepare to be moved!

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

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

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Oct
15
8:00 PM20:00

The Novelists

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

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

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

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

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Oct
15
3:00 PM15:00

Isabel Stover

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Isabel Stover is a Boston-based vocalist who developed her Jazz roots in the Bay Area.

She is a seasoned vocalist who entertains and inspires listeners by fearlessly deconstructing musical compositions to their emotional core. Her mastery of rhythm, phrasing and spot-on intonation draws the emotive thread between timeless Jazz standards, Latin favorites, classic Blues and Pop; all with original arrangements. Her laid-back style, ability to connect with her audience and unique repertoire provides a refreshingly different experience than the typical Jazz singer’s showcase.

Isabel joins forces with Bay Area musicians Walter Bankovitch on piano, Fred Randolph on bass and Curt More on drums.

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

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

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Oct
14
8:00 PM20:00

Bill Staines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Oct
12
8:00 PM20:00

Melissa Cruz presents Peña Flamenca ''La Bahía" Episode 1

Melissa Cruz.JPG

This show is meant to be the first of a series of presentations or "episodes," grouping Bay Area Flamenco professionals who do not typically work together, with the goal of presenting unique and rarely-seen collaborations. The curated group of artists will create and rehearse one unique ensemble piece to present in the show, requiring them to truly "collaborate" together. Additionally, the artists will participate in a pre-show and post-show round-table discussion with the audience about their experiences working together.

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

The first Bay Area Flamenco Professionals cast of Episode 1 is to be announced. 

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

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

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Oct
11
8:00 PM20:00

Bob Lind and James Lee Stanley - CANCELLED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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