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Sep 21

Bazaar Café Open Mic Documentary

Filed under: live music | Back to: Homepage

Here’s the Bazaar Café open mic documentary in it’s entirety.  Thanks, Slim!

Open Mic Documentary Episode 79, Bazaar Cafe from Slim Critchlow on Vimeo.

Jul 26

Some videos from open mic

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Here are a couple of videos from the July 15th open mic at the Bazaar.

Nothing Left to Lose

Brad Meador @ the Bazaar Cafe from Slim Critchlow on Vimeo.

Jan 13

The Nicest Guy She’d Meet at Hotel Utah

Filed under: live music, recordings | Back to: Homepage

I was the luckiest guy in the room on Monday Night – my name was drawn last (out of 70+?), so I got to play second.  Here’s the performance.

Nov 23

Broken Wings at the Hotel Utah

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It only took me 12 years in the neighborhood to do it, but I finally played the open mic at the Hotel Utah last week.  They posted the performance online here

I’m planning on going back tonight.  If you’re in need of a beer, stop by and say hi.

Aug 24

Chris Isaak @ the Mountain Winery

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In 1991 I had a transformative experience at the Tower Theater.  I sat on the second row and watched, in awe, a concert by Chris Isaak and Silvertone.  After that show, I HAD to learn guitar, so I borrowed one and taught myself Blue Spanish Sky

For the next several years I was practically a one man Chris Isaak cover band (a few old covers posted here).   The joy the guitar has brought to my life can be traced straight back to that magical moment in Houston.

I have seen the show many many times since then trying to recapture that experience.  Last night at the Mountain Winery came awfully close.  The highlights included a gospel version of Don’t Make Me Dream About You:

Bass player Roly Salley singing his original, Killing the Blues (a near perfect song that has been covered by Shawn Colvin, John Prine, Alison Kraus and Robert Plant and many others):

And a story about playing the streets of Santa Cruz with his brother (a girl watching whispered to her boyfriend “Is that Chris Isaak” and he said “Yeah, and he used to be BIG!”):

Thanks, Chris, for the inspiration over the last 18 years!  See you next year at the Mountain Winery.

Jul 17

Simple Pleasures Cafe – Saturday, July 18

Filed under: gigs, live music | Back to: Homepage

If you’re not going to the Kenny Chesney\Sugarland concert at AT&T Park on Saturday, come by Simple Pleasures Cafe to See Robin, Eric and Me:

Simple Pleasures Cafe – Saturday, July 18th
Time: 8pm
Address: 3434 Balboa St., San Francisco CA 94121

Simple Pleasures is very casual.  In addition to coffee, they’ve got beer, wine and snacks.  Stop by if you want to relax to some all acoustic, all original music.

And a quick story about Sugarland…

Eddie’s Attic is the premiere acoustic venue in the Southeast.  When I lived in Atlanta, they had Open Mic every Monday and picked a winner who came back for a shootout later in the year.  It was at one of these shootouts that I saw Jennifer Nettles – now part of Sugarland – win as part of a duo called Soul Miner’s Daughter.  They were awesome, so I went to catch them every chance that I could before I moved to the West Coast.

In the final round, they were up against a guy who was a perfect technician on the guitar.  He played first – a very sweet, intricate, all acoustic arrangement of Rubber Ducky from Sesame Street – and brought the house down.  Soul Miner’s Daughter got up and said something like “there’s no way we can compete on guitar, so here’s an acapella song about sex.”  The guitarist never had a chance.  I found the song on YouTube:

See you guys tomorrow night at Simple Pleasures!

Jun 30

Spring Concerts – How’d I Do?

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In March I posted a list of upcoming concerts.  I missed Rupa, Cory and Clem but added Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Justin Townes Earle, Steve Earle, Jenny Lewis and the Sadies, a second Neko Case show and Gary Louris \ Mark Olson.  Great music all around!  The highlights:

  • Ralph Stanley is 82 years old and a bluegrass legend.  He walked out on stage with a big bandage over his forehead from an early morning fall, but he still put on a great show.  It reminded me of the music we saw at the Mountain View folk festival when I was a kid.
  • Justin Townes Earle’s show was polished – he obviously picked up some great experience touring with his dad.  I like the latest album, too.
  • I still think the Fleet Foxes’ encore was one of the coolest I have seen.
  • Neko Case can do no wrong with me, but I definitely think the experience on the floor of the Warfield is superior to the balcony.
  • I almost skipped Junior Brown show and that would have been a big mistake.  Don’t let the hat fool you, he’s a spectacular blues guitarist.
  • I really hope that Gary Louris and Mark Olson continue to make music together.
  • The Patty Griffin show was actually Patty, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin and Buddy Miller trading mostly acoustic songs.  Highly emotional concert at the Mountain Winery – I love this stuff!

I don’t have many shows planned for the summer, but I’m very excited about the Old 97’s Family Show at the Fillmore in July.  More on that later…

Jun 12

The Perfect Songs: Question by Rhett Miller

Filed under: live music, songwriting | Back to: Homepage

Donny sent me a link to this American Songwriter contest.  Here’s what I entered:

Rhett Miller has written one of the perfect songs – Question (from the Old 97’s Satellite Rides).  Without using words like marriage, propose or ring, Rhett paints a moment when a man asks that question "you say yes to once in your life."  It’s beautiful and intimate and makes the heart soar.  And all in under two and a half minutes!

I’ve played Question at a half dozen weddings and it never fails to impress. 

The Old 97s are playing at the Fillmore next month.  It looks like Rhett and Murry will be opening with some of their solo stuff before the band comes out.  See you guys there.

May 29

Jenny Lewis and the Sadies at the Fillmore

Filed under: albums, live music | Back to: Homepage

Just went to see one of the better concerts I’ve been to in a long time.  I am a huge fan of Jenny Lewis’ Rabbit Fur Coat – another one of those albums that captured my attention for several months. I’m less familiar with Acid Tongue, but based on tonight’s performance I’m going to have to give it another chance.

imageWhy so impressed?  Jenny Lewis is right in my wheelhouse – guitar driven pop\rock music with the slightest hint of twang and strong vocals.  She really knows how to use her voice, switching between a belted groove to a whispered growl with ease and her phrasing has you hanging on every word.  The band was superb.  I was especially impressed with Farmer Dave Scher, who appears to be the master of all instruments that are cool.  For the most part he played a lap steel guitar (which I hope to be my next instrument purchase) but he also broke out a strat, an electric autoharp (the Omnichord), keyboards, some kind of device with a tube that he stuck in his mouth and background vocals.  Impressive.

Here are some songs from Rabbit Fur Coat.  Go buy it now:

Run Devil Run
The Big Guns
Handle With Care

imageThe Sadies opened.  I’ve seen them before (backing Neko Case) and am a fan.  Dallas and Travis Good are both excellent guitar players and put on a great show.  Mostly though, I hope that one day I find myself in a social situation where it is acceptable to wear a western suit like the ones they sport at their gigs.