Archive for the ‘Folk’ Category

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot
Freight and Salvage

Lots of stories. Lots and lots of stories. He talked about playing a Woody Guthrie song for Onassis on his yacht, Jack Kerouac reading him On The Road when no one would publish it, and going on what would be Woody’s final big road trip.

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot at Freight & Salvage

Ramblin’ Jack Elliot at Freight & Salvage

He also mentioned that he had one more show coming up in January in San Francisco and after that he was going to “retire.” I don’t know if that was a figure of speech or not but following my “Johnny Cash Rule”, I’m glad I got to see him again.

Even though he only played five short songs in the first set, it ran over an hour with all the stories. I don’t know what, if anything, he played for an encore as I left a bit early. I usually take BART to F&S and the second set ended about three minutes before a train and I decided hearing the encore wasn’t worth waiting 20 minutes for the next train so I made a mad dash for the station.

Set List:
San Francisco Bay Blues
The Cuckoo
Engine 143
Talking Dust Bowl Blues (false start)
Talking sailor
Rake and the Rambling Boy

Diamond Joe
Arthritis Blues
Don’t Think Twice
I’ll be Your Baby Tonight



David Berkeley opened.


Joan Baez
Benefit Concert for Citizens Reach Out
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA

Joan Baez at Freight & Salvage

Joan Baez at Freight & Salvage

Butch Hancock
Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA

I decided at the last-minute to go see Butch Hancock at Freight and Salvage and I’m glad I did. I know him mainly from The Flatlanders and I’ve never seen him solo before. He played mostly his own song which draws attention to exactly how craft and witty is wordplay is.

Butch Hancock at Freight & Salvage

Butch Hancock at Freight & Salvage

He is known for his storytelling and he took lengthy breaks between songs to talk about everything from the trip out the show to the source of songs to where he parked his car. At one point he told a story about a how that Jimmie Dale Gilmore tried to appropriate “Once followed by the Wind” from him because Butch wrote it after dreaming the he heard Jimmie Dale singing it in a dream. He played about 2:30 with a 20 minute or so break.

Set List:

Aborted instrumental (Said it didn’t sound right)
Circle in the sand
If You Were a Bluebird
Roadmap for the Blues
Split and Slide, Part 1
If I had no place to fall
Time is a Train

Gemme a Ride To Heaven, Boy
One Good Time
“Owl Haiku”
Danglin’ Diamond
Naked Light of Day
What a world this mess is in
Once followed by the Wind (dream)
West Texas Waltz

Snowing On Raton

Fleet Foxes ~ 05/05/2011

Posted: May 10, 2011 in Folk, Fox Theater, Review
Fleet Foxes
Fox Theatre, Oakland CA
I’ve only seen them once before at the Bridge School Benefit the year before last. I really enjoyed them in the festival format but I don’t think they held up as a stand-alone act. They are quite talented musicians and I especially liked their pieces with complex harmonies but after about an… hour I got a feeling of sameness to a lot of their music. That said, I had a great time.
Fleet Floxes at the Fox Theater

Fleet Floxes at the Fox Theater

Set List (stolen from the interwebs):
The Cascades
Grown Ocean
Drops In The River
Battery Kinzie
Bedouin Dress
Sim Sala Bim
Your Protector
Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
White Winter Hymnal
Ragged Wood
He Doesn’t Know Why
The Shrine/An Argument
Blue Spotted Tail
Blue Ridge Mountains
Silver Dagger (Joan Baez cover) (Robin solo)
Helplessness Blues

Robert Plant
MerleFest Day 4, Wilkesboro, NC

Robert Plant at MerleFest.

Robert Plant at MerleFest. Click for more photos.

It was bit of a culture clash seeing the LZ front man at MerleFest which is 100% alcohol- and tobacco-free and where church groups provide security. The lack of pot smoke wasn’t the only difference between this show and the one we saw a week early at The Greek.

In Berkeley, the crowd got up for all the LZ tunes and sat through everything else. At MerleFest, the audience sits politely through most everything but they did jump up and give a standing ovation to MerleFest regular Darrell Scott after his rendition of Porter Wagoner’s Satisfied Mind. This was the first time the audience got on their feet and Plant looked a bit annoyed. At this point he seem to make the spontaneous decision to go into Misty Mountain Hop rather than Uncle Tupelo ‘s Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down which usually comes next on the set list just to remind the audience that he too could get them on their feet.  He was only moderately successful and the only time he was really able to get the polite MF crowd on their feet was with the set closer of Ramble On.

The set list was quite similar to the Greek show other than they dropped Tangerine and the shortened the encore block. He continued the tradition of locally-themed encores by covering Doc and Rosalee Watson’s Oh My Darlin.

Set List:
Black Dog
Down to the Sea
Angel Dance
Black Country Woman
House of Cards
Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go (Buddy Miller)
Satisfied Mind (Darrell Scott)
Misty Mountain Hop
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
Tracks of My Tears (Patty Griffin)
In the Mood
Please Read the Letter
Houses of the Holy
Ramble On

Oh My Darlin’

Line up:
Robert Plant – vocals
Patty Griffin – vocals and some guitar
Buddy Miller – guitar
Darrel Scott – guitar and just about everything else
Byron House – bass
Marco Giovino – drums

The Wayback’s
MerleFest Day
Wilkesboro, NC

Joan Osborne performs with The Waybacks for the MerleFest Hillside Album Hour

Joan Osborne performs with The Waybacks for the MerleFest Hillside Album Hour. Click for more photos.

This year The Waybacks selected Eat a Peach by the Allman Brothers Band. They were also joined by The Waylin’ Jennys.

Previous years have been: Led Zeppelin II, Sticky Fingers, and Abby Road.

Lost Bayou Ramblers
Wilkesboro, NC

Lost Bayou Ramblers at MerleFest

Lost Bayou Ramblers at MerleFest. Click for more pictures.

One of the things I like most about going to MerleFest is I almost always discover great bands. I’d never heard of the Lost Bayou Ramblers but they are a Grammy-nominated Cajun band that has been around for a dozen plus years. In short, they reminded me of the Cajun version of the Knitters.

Plus, how can you not like band with a guy who can play upright bass while standing on it