Sings Like Hell Series #36
Saturday, January 10
An Evening with Jack Shit & Friends!
From deep in the heart of Cochtotan, comes possibly the greatest band ever. With two Rock’n'Roll Hall of Fame players (Pete Thomas on drums and Davey Faragher on bass) and a pants-dropping lead guitar player (Val McCallum), JackShit is gonna blow you all to Hell! We never names for the Friends, but if you ask around, you’ll find that their last show here was very Browne…and that’s just one possiblity!
With Sarah Lee’s Woody Guthrie pedigree and Johnny Irion’s family link to John Steinbeck, you’d think they’d be dropping the F-bomb…FOLK! But in fact they’ve run the true indy singer-songwriter gamut, switching genres and band mates when it suits their muse and spirit. We’ve had them in Hell a couple of times as part of a larger plan, but this is their first fat set here and we can’t wait to hear more from their latest Jeff Tweedy-produced Wassaic Way.
“The Music of Anne and Pete Sibley is so powerful that whenever you hear one of their songs, you have to stop everything else you’re doing and listen.” John Adair, MerleFest Music Director. When the Sibley’s played a half-hour opening set a few years ago, they sold nearly 100 CDs..a record for Sings Like Hell that stands to this day…’nuff said.
We’re going to have flowers and wine and heart-shaped cookies at the after-party. Bring a date or date yourself!
Nashville’s answer to The Band, David Olney is a master wordsmith and acclaimed singer-songwriter. “Dave Olney is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard, said Townes Van Zandt, “and I mean that from my heart.” Along with flamenco-flavored guitar virtuoso Sergio Webb, Olney has a knack for creating the ideal atmosphere for his gothic noir tunes. Last time he played in Hell, the audience would not let him leave the stage!
The Howlin’ Brothers are badass boys armed with stringed instruments. Their upbeat shows are filled with original and traditional music, featuring slide banjo, harmonica, upright bass, and old-time fiddle. A Howlin’ good time!
Saturday, April 25
An Evening with BESO!!
Beso has an all-star lineup of internationally renowned musicians who have brought drive and passion to Gypsy Rock. Their love for tradition has collided with modern sensibility and has transformed the genre into a vibrant new beast: darker, faster, more danceable, more blues, more Gypsy. Beso’s indelible fingerprint brings Jazz Manouch to a new generation and the 21st century. Picked by SF Weekly as one of the Top Ten Performances at Outside Lands Festival and by Guitar World as one of the Top Ten Performances at South X Southwest…if you love Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli, you are going to be blown away!
Saturday, May 23
John Moreland + Brian Whelan
Some days, being John Moreland has to hurt. As others bury experiences and stifle regrets, Moreland pokes old wounds until you’re sure they’ve got to be bleeding again. It’s painful. But in Moreland’s care, it’s also breathtakingly beautiful. With the release of his highly anticipated third solo album High on Tulsa Heat (out April 21st via Thirty Tigers), he offers another round of the lyrics-first, gorgeously plaintive songs that have earned him devoted listeners across the country.
Moreland started writing when he was 10 years old, the same year his family moved from Kentucky, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he still lives today. He turns 30 this year, but he’s been slinging songs for more than half his life. He started fronting local punk and hardcore bands in high school. After graduation, he had an epiphany. “I’d just overexposed myself to punk and hardcore to the point that it just didn’t do anything for me anymore,” he says. The remedy? He ditched his music for his dad’s: CCR, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Steve Earle.
When he first materialized several years ago at the Cinema Bar, that charmingly crowded, noisy little room in Culver City known as “The World’s Smallest Honky Tonk,” he was an alarmingly boyish presence. At first he stood out because he didn’t look old enough to legally consume the beer he was holding. But he soon distinguished himself as a young lion behind the roots-rock sages – Randy Weeks, Mike Stinson, Tony Gilkyson – whose shows packed out the tiny joint. It became quickly apparent that Brian could play just about anything, and brilliantly; his formidable chops later found him a primo spot in Dwight Yoakam’s band. But he displayed other musical dimensions: He also played in a tough little pop-rock band, known variously as the Brokedown and the Broken West, which recorded a couple of fine records before lamentably breaking up too soon. He fronted another rockin’ unit, Wheelhouse, as a prelude for the album you’re listening to now. It shows off splendidly the many things – singing, playing, writing — that Brian does so exquisitely well.
NPR has hailed John Fullbright as “One of the 10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012″ saying, “It’s not every day a new artist…earns comparisons to great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Randy Newman, but Fullbright’s music makes sense in such lofty company.” The Wall Street Journal crowned him as giving one of the year’s Top 10 Live Performances. And then it was on to an ASCAP award and a Grammy nomination. Fullbright inhabits his songs’ narrators completely, his old-soul voice fleshing out complex characters and subtle narratives with a gifted sense of understatement. His biggest fans are other songwriters…they crowded every stage he played at SXSW to cheer him on…and that’s saying something.
Kevin Welch’s poetic songs paint pictures of real people–people you know, people you’ve seen–so clearly that you quickly realize he’s a keen observer of the human experience. His songs have an almost film-like quality in their vision and beauty. He’s had his songs cut by a bunch of famous people, charted many of them himself, and knocked Bruce Springsteen out of the #1 spot one time. Kevin has played Sings Like Hell many times: solo, duo with Kieran Kane, as part of Kane Welch Kaplin, and with his son Dustin. It’s always an honor to have him on the stage.
Dustin Welch swears he dreamed his music, the whole damn sound, just as he was drifting off to sleep.The melody was strange and complex, a beautiful cacophony of disparate styles clashing together: Celtic and Appalachian folk music set to driving rock and dextrous jazz rhythms, with big harmonies sung in a gritty, raw, archaic-sounding language. “It was profound,” he recalls, “It felt like horses running wild. I’d never heard anything like it.” Judging from the rave reviews and rabid fans, neither has anyone else.
The most wonderful part about this particular evening at Sings Like Hell is that Kevin, Dustin and John and old friends who have written and recorded songs together. Brace yourself, Santa Barbara…tonight is going to be Epic!