It can get a bit confusing. Breeze is the
nom de plume of singer/songwriter Jenifer Doyle,
but it's also the name she uses for her band, at least part of
the time, when it's not identified as the Breeze Band.
I had the pleasure of hearing Breeze perform a few songs at the
end-of-summer North Country Fair, among them one called "Someday,"
which seemed to show where she was coming from, harkening back
to the days of '60s folk-rock in sound and in its plea for peace
and love and an end to war.
It must have been early on in the history of the
Breeze Band, assembled in August, but the band seemed together,
all working in harmony backing Breeze's songs. "When we
started, it was like a force of inspiration; we played 15 gigs
in the first three months," she notes in her MySpace blog.
Since then she has laid down a few tracks, recording with Mike
Kapitan at his studio.
"We want to spread positive vibes and bring
spiritual energy into music," she explains, adding, "Our
deep grooves and conscious lyrics are what make us unique."
True to form, bassist Justin Brown from
Moo-Got-2 laid down the deep groove when I heard them, along
with a drummer who has since moved on. The drummer was recently
replaced by Nathan Kaplan from Buddy Brown and the Hound
Dogs and various other blues/soul congregations.
Breeze and her band have a busy week ahead: Thursday,
Jan. 5, they play The Boiler Room in Eureka. Then on Saturday,
it's a special appearance at Humboldt Brews with a special guest,
guitar wizard Ruben Diaz.
Continuing in its role as the prime local venue
for country stars, Cher Ae Heights Casino presents an evening
with BlackHawk this coming Tuesday, Jan. 10. Those who
do not listen to KRED may not be familiar with this stellar trio
that rose to fame in the '90s. The band's story begins long before
that. Back in the early '70s, founding member Henry Paul was
part of a southern rock outfit called The Outlaws, cohorts of
Lynyrd Skynyrd who recorded for Arista in the Clive Davis days.
By the end of that decade, Paul had gone solo with the Henry
Paul Band. Meanwhile in Nashville, two songwriters, Van Stephenson
and Dave Robbins, both of them selling tunes to country bigshots
like Kenny Rogers, formed a partnership. A decade (and a couple
of Outlaw reunions) later, around 1990, Paul met Stephenson and
Robbins and the three formed BlackHawk. They signed a deal with
Arista and, throughout the '90s, recorded a series of hit records
in the country-meets-southern-rock vein. Sadness followed soon
thereafter: Stephenson learned in 1999 that he had melanoma;
he died from the cancer in 2001. Robbins and Paul marshaled on,
recording the acclaimed album Spirit Dancer, dedicated
to their friend, then in 2003, enlisted the services of Anthony
Crawford, a veteran rocker who had toured in the '80s with Neil
Young and in the '90s with Stevie Winwood. More recently the
band has been back in the recording studio working on new songs,
at least when they're not bouncing around the country. They play
this weekend at a South Dakota Corn Growers Association convention
in Sioux Falls, then, as mentioned above, hit Trinidad Jan. 10,
for an early show in the casino's big room. ,
The casino-hoppers out there (you know who you
are) might want to stop by the Blue Lake Casino Saturday, Jan.
7, to hear some rollicking Cajun tunes by Bayou Swamis. Then
on Sunday, Jan. 8, head down to Bear River Casino where they're
celebrating Elvis' birthday all day with free cake, followed
by an Elvis tribute featuring Tony La Torre, whose "heart
of a legend" show depicts Elvis at all stages in his career.
The Lost Coast Live concert series continues
this Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Ferndale Theatre with another pair
of unidentified singer/songwriters ready to be discovered by
what has become a trusting audience. Once again the names of
the players are embargoed, but listening to the ad on KHUM, you
will learn, among other things, that one is known as "the
folk Hendrix," and the other has written songs for movies
including Message in a Bottle and The Rookie and
for TV shows including ER and Dawson's Creek. (Anyone
marginally adept with Google should be able to discern their
In what is an unfortunate coincidence or simply
bad planning, the LCL event takes place at exactly the same time
as the KHUM 10th Birthday Party at the Bayside Grange. Need I
point out that KHUM is an LCL sponsor and the station's hometown
listeners are the core audience for the LCL shows? The Grange
show should be memorable -- The Delta Nationals, Kulica
and Earl Thomas are all Humboldt treasures (Kulica and
Thomas both show up in the KHUM Blend CD, which I'm sure
will be available that night.) And the food should be great:
dinner catered by Curley's Grill and birthday cake from Ramone's.
Yum. And happy birthday to KHUM!
Speaking of Kulica, you can catch them grooving
at a dinner show at the Lost Whale Inn out past Trinidad this
coming Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 9 and 10.
This Saturday is also Arts Alive! night in Eureka.
Among the music you might hear during or after the stroll in
search of art: the arty rock band Spudgun, playing at
Old Town Coffee and Chocolates. The Michael Curran Sextet
with Sam Maez plays at Pearl Lounge that evening. ("Sam
sat in with us on opening night at the Pearl, so it was a natural,"
explained Curran.) Pianist Brian Post and friends play
jazz at the Graves. And the always funky Moo-Got-2
get funky after-hours at Empire Squared.
Coming up next Wednesday at Empire Squared, a Placebo
show that sounds pretty cool. The headliner is The Advantage,
a band assembled by Spence Seim of Hella that plays tunes from
Nintendo games. Then there's Opposites Attack, an awesome
trio featuring screaming/dueling brother and sister Max and
Jada Brotman in a sibling rage with Willoughby Arevalo
of Winston Smith wailing on the drums. Filling out the five-band
bill: Faulouah (friends of The Advantage) plus locals Polar
Bodies, a new alt. pop trio, and Stereoprimer, Mike
Kennedy's one-man neo-electro blast.
In the classical mode, we have young Ryan MacEvoy
McCullough back in town for winter break and eager to perform
in front of a hometown audience. He plays on that fine grand
piano at Morris Graves Museum of Art on Sunday afternoon, Jan.
I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but the
Graves is also leaping into the already crowded open mike game
starting Thursday, Jan. 12. The event is billed as "open
to musicians, authors and poets to share their talents."
And -- this just in -- also on Thursday, Jan. 12,
a show at The Alibi (which BTW will not have music this weekend)
featuring Shellshag, the punk/pop husband/wife duo that's
2/3 of Kung Fu USA, plus The Buffy Swayze. I'm told film-maker
Jensen Rufe will be in attendance, so let's call this the kick-off
to a Rural Rock weekend, which will include the premier
of Rufe's film on the local scene Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Van