Back to All Events


Big Wide Grin.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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