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May 11, 2006

HEADING: New Old Time by BOB DORAN, photo of Deadwood Revival

Despite the fact that gas is well over three bucks a gallon, the Washington-based duo known as Deadwood Revival just bought themselves a Winnebago. When I caught up with guitarist/vocalist Kim on Monday afternoon, she was "loading up the Winnie," getting ready for a trip south that brings her and her banjo picking Deadwood partner Jason to Humboldt for three shows in three nights. First stop: Ferndale, where they replace Curley's Monday night open mike night slot. The first time they were in town they ended up playing at the bar there quite by accident.

"We just pulled into town because somebody told us we should stop at the cute little town of Ferndale," Kim recalled. "We were there as tourists, but there was this group of people getting ready to go in and see a performance at the theater. Jason said, `Hey, you wanna get out the instruments and busk on the sidewalk, play for these people?' I said, `Yeah, that'd be cool.' So we did. Within about ten minutes we had a group of maybe 15 people around us — a few people bought CDs right then and there and this one woman came over, and she said, `You guys have got to play a gig here.' We were like, `Well, we're supposed to be heading out of town tomorrow for San Francisco.' She said, `Lemme go see what I can do,' and she goes down to Curley's and talks to the bar manager, has him come listen to us on the street, and they ended up giving us a gig that night."

The Ferndale grapevine instantly generated a decent crowd for a Sunday and they were invited back to play their "new old timey" music. "It's old timey, but with a new twist," Kim explained. "We'll take a traditional tune and rearrange it in an unusual way. Then again, we're not specifically old time, even though Jason plays claw-hammer banjo. We also have some tunes with him on acoustic guitar and me on bass, more folky, drawing on Americana roots."

In addition to Monday's show at Curley's, Deadwood Revival plays Tuesday at Kelly O'Brien's and Wednesday at Humboldt Brews, and I'm sure they'll be on KHUM at some point.

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Local garage rockers Trash and Roll celebrate the release of their second CD, Trash and Roll Over, Friday, May 12, at Kelly O'Brien's. They also have a CD release party next weekend, Saturday, May 20, at Sacred Grounds. Now, lots of bands draw out the whole CD release thing with more than one show, merely as a marketing tool, but in this case it's different. Next weekend's show is to celebrate the completion of a third Trash and Roll CD, Zed, with T&R leader Freel Freine fronting a different band, although the term is loosely applied, since all of the new songs were done by Freel and local alt. rock vet Jon Pyle. This may get complicated, but there's a new T&R line-up joining Freel and Pyle to play the new material, which brings original T&R bassist Gary Silver back to the band, with Pete Ciotti from Nucleus playing drums. Confused yet? Let's add this in: Pete and Freel also play together in Yer Dog, but they swap instruments, with Pete playing guitar and Freel on drums. According to Freel, the new stuff is more "ethereal and psychedelic," at least compared to grittier tunes like "Too Cool For School," the Ramones-esque lead track on Trash and Roll Over, which BTW is also the lead track on the Best of Rural Rock & Roll soundtrack comp.

"We'll playing be some of the stuff from Zed, some from Roll Over," said Freel of the upcoming shows, adding, "but with the new guys we've been concentrating on completely new material. Next Thursday (May 18) we play on KSLG (at 4 p.m.) and we're doing all brand new, unrecorded songs."

Joining T&R at Kelly O'Brien's Friday: The Signals and the cerebral Cranium Command. At Sacred Grounds they play with The Professional Superheroes, one of whom is on the cover of this week's Journal about to have his throat ripped out.

That same Friday night at the hotrod-flamed Brogi's Boiler Room catch Blue Lake bad boys The Rubberneckers, with local alt. somethings Strix Vega and Henpeckers, a relatively new band with Brett the Truck on guitar, Sean Ennis on drums and Little Jimmie Forbes (from The Buffy Swayze) on bass.

Ryan Bridwell called to tell me about a show Friday at the Pearl, the debut of a trio called Take the Lead, consisting of Ryan, who plays keyboards every Sunday morning at the Coffee Break in Sunnybrae, plus bassist Dale Cash, regular host of the Six River blues jam sessions, and drummer Nate Kaplan, Dale's rhythm partner from the Buddy Brown and the Hound Dog days. "We'll play some jazz, some improv stuff, some of my originals and some of Dale's." said Ryan. "We may even slip in some blues, but since it's The Pearl we'll call it jazz."

Mazzotti's has music three nights running this weekend, starting with DJ Red spinning old school hip hop on Thursday, followed by live hip hop featuring Eligh and PSC of Living Legends, with One Block Radius and locals Opti Pop, plus breakdancing by Humboldt Rockers, who seem to be hitting all of the hip hop shows of late. Then on Saturday, Mazzotti's shifts into rasta mode with Batch & Ras Attitude and Zioniers, who hail from that other Caribbean source for reggae: St. Croix.

Also on graduation night, across town at Humboldt Brews, Latin/funk/African jams by my favorite Marin County band: Vinyl.

Thursday, May 11, at Humboldt Brews, it's Kan'Nal, a hard-to-categorize band who play a trancey mix of gypsy-tinged world music and flamenco rock with hippie/New Age overtones, especially in their lyrics. Should I mention that they have dancers and a didgeridoo player?

Along sort of similar lines, at least in that they are hard to categorize, Taarka, a spin-off from ThaMuseMeant, who describe their sound as "seismic gypsy hypno-jazz." Catch them Monday, May 15, at Six Rivers Brewing.

Monday night, at Brogi's, it's Trevor Green, a Southern Cali surfer dude who loops his guitar like Keller Williams while channeling the ghost of Michael Hedges.

Also in the post-folk guitar-slinging camp, Tacoma-based traveling songwriter Vicci Martinez, who brings her guitar to Six Rivers Brewing Friday night. (Think of her as a mellower version of Ani DiFranco.)

Sunday is Mother's Day, but it's also a day for "Dancin' in the Dunes." At least that's the name of an all day (noon-9) world music/jam festival at the Manila Community Center featuring the reggae band Groundation from Sonoma, multi-culti trance band Hamsa Lila, "high-altitude Bohemian tribal funk grass" jammers from Tahoe, Blue Turtle Seduction (also playing at Humboldt Brews Tuesday. May 16), local world/rhythm band WoMama (playing Sat. morning at the Farmer's Market), steel drumming by the HSU Calypso Band, indigenous soul from 7th Generation Rise, the samba group Bloco Firmeza, Andean band Huayllipacha, African drum/dance band Dun Dun Fare, Guinea Ba (who?), and hip hop from DJ Knutz. Wow. And the whole thing is a fundraiser for a good cause: youth recreation.

Or maybe Mom would prefer the show at The Alibi with Austin-based black metal/punk/ambient band, Tuxedo Killers, plus local zombified-surf-punk band The Invasions, soon to become no-budget zombie stars.

Seattle's finest gypsy-punk, post-apocalyptic accordionist Jason Webley plays his squeezebox Tuesday, May 16, at Synapsis Warehouse (next to Empire Squared, if that helps) with the warehouse's resident trapeze artists opening the show.

I'm sure it will be a quite different scene that night at Cher-ae Heights Casino, where country legend Hal Ketchum performs sans aerialists.

Looking for something different on Wednesday, May 17? Here's a couple of choices: We have the St. Petersburg Russian Vocal Men's Ensemble, a vocal quintet with accordion, who will perform Russian and religious songs at First Assembly of God Church in Eureka.

At pretty much the same time, Humboldt Folklife Society presents songwriter/autoharp master Bryan Bowers at the Red Radish. Now, you might think of the autoharp as that funny instrument your elementary teacher played when you were learning folk songs (unless you've seen the Billy Nayer Show), but in Bowers' hands, it's much more. As the Folklifers point out, he has been "inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame. Yes, for real!"

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