Archive for the ‘Freight & Salvage’ Category

David Bromberg Quartet
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA

David Bromberg doesn’t tour very often so I was excited to see him come through for two nights at F&S. He had lost his voice so the vocals were a bit ragged but it was still a fun show.

David Bromberg Quartetat Freight & Salvage

For the last couple songs he was joined by Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman who opened for him and Bill Evans on Banjo.


  • David Bromberg – Guitar
  • Mark Cosgrove – Guitar
  • Butch Amiot – Bass
  • Nate Grower – Fiddle

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience
Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA

Every year this show kicks off my favorite week of music. For the past several years he’s played two nights with his bluegrass band rather than alternating with the Quintet like he used to at the old Freight which is unfortunate because I enjoyed the variety.

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience at Freight & Salvage

The first set was iffy: there were several missed hand-offs as they appeared confused as to who’s turn it was to lead. After a missed beat or two invariably someone would jump in and just tear it up. Midway through the set he mentioned that he was working on a tribute album to Doc Watson and in the second set they’d play the songs from it. Now that explains the roughness; they spent their rehearsal time working up the Doc tunes.

As has become the custom over the past several years, Grisman uses the show to tell the history of bluegrass.  He started off with the Carter Family then moved on to the Monroe Bothers. He told the same joke that he’s told for years about who won the brothers’ rivalry as he kicked off Bill Monroe’s “True Life Blues”. Next up was Jimmy Martin and then he ended the history lesson with DGQ.

The second set consistent of songs either songs closely associated with Doc or ones that he’d learned from him. Midway through the set he mentioned that he owes a lot of his career to Doc;  he was the first professional to invite him up on stage to play. It was a nice story and one I’d never heard before.

The highlights for me were “Troubling Mind” and “Lone Pilgrim”.

Set List:

Down the Road
Little Meg
Fiddle Tune
Rise when the Rooster Crows
Shady Grove
I’mThinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
My Long Journey Home
True Life Blues
Ocean of Diamonds
Dawgy Mountain Breakdown

The Train That Took My Girl From Town
Walkin’ Boss
Handsome Molly
Muddy Roads
Troubling Mind
Lone Pilgrim
I’m Troubled
Crawdad Song
Long Journey
Blue Ridge Mountain Blues

Watson Blues
Old and in the Way

Line up:
David Grisman – Mandolin
Jim Nunally – Guitar
Keith Little – Banjo
Chad Manning – fiddle
Sam Grisman – Bas

Next Up: X at Slim’s.

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

The Waybacks with Sarah Dugas 03/31/2012 Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA Fun show while Sarah Dugas was in town rehearsing for Hillside Album Hour at MerleFest. Hmmm, I wonder what it will be.

The Waybacks at Freight and Salvage

The Waybacks with Sarah Dugas at Freight and Salvage

Line-up: James Nash – Guitar, vocals Warren Hood – Fiddle, vocals Joe Kyle Jr. – Bass Chuck Hamilton – Drums Sarah Dugas – Vocals

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

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience
Freight and Salvage, Berkeley, CA

Grisman’s annual show at F&S between Christmas and New Year’s.  This year’s theme could have been the history of bluegrass. He talked a lot about the development of the genre and played samples of each time period. He started off with one of the Carter Family’s earliest recordings then moved on to the Monroe Brothers, Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, The Stanley Brothers, and wrapped up with The Kentucky Colonels.

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience at Freight & Salvage

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience at Freight & Salvage

This year there was much more interplay between David and his son Sam (bass) including a nice duet of Been All around this World with the same arrangement that he did with Jerry.