Sam Bonds Garage

Live Music At Sam Bonds Garage


Eugene’s very own bluegrass/rock band Alder Street is bringing ragtime/swing juggernauts Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners down from Portland tonight for an old fashioned barn party being held at Sam Bonds Garage.

Opening the night’s venue is Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners; the band is the incarnation of old time culture.  When you step into a bar and see the Crooners you are nearly transported back in time to the speakeasy days.  Jacob, the bands lead singer, finger picks a steel body National guitar.  Accompanying him are his bassist, harmonica player, banjo, trombone and washboard; playing ragtime, swing blues covers as well as their own music of the same genre.  As of right now, the Crooners have recorded three albums and have no plans of stopping any time soon.

Finishing the evening will be the Alder Street band, covering songs like The Trooper by Iron Maiden and traditional Ol’ Joe Clark.  They promise to have a mixture of bluegrass, as well as rock.  Alder Street musical instruments include a banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle bass and drums.  The band has recorded two albums, Too Drunk to Folk and Hillbilly Roadhouse, in the past and are working on a third.  The band is full of talent, each leading certain songs and all singing back up.

Sam Bonds Garage is located at 407 Blair Blvd, Eugene, OR 97402, 541-431-6603.  The band will hit the stage around 9 p.m. tonight.  There will be a $5.00 cover charge at the door.

Night on the Town – Thursday


Sitting here wishing we had remembered to pre-mix that bloody mary we mentioned you should do last night, but all in all it was worth it.  One more Halloween in the books.

Every night on the town starts somewhere, tonight calls for a time machine.

This is one of those rare 5 day weekends, started with a bang yesterday, going to dial it back a little tonight in preparation for a “must not be missed” Friday night event.

Tonight needs to begin over at Level Up Arcade. If you haven’t been there, this isn’t geek heaven, it’s a time machine. Level Up features classic arcade games from the pre-console era combined with quality bar food and affordable beverages; whats not to like. Get some hair of the dog and play that silver ball.

The main event will be at Sam Bonds where they are featuring 3 distinct bands: Undermind, Orion and Small Joys.  Undermind is electronic mashup “It will be a fun combo and I will be playing an electro swing set with some old timey raps thown in there.”  Orion sports a familiar Psychedelic rock/funky sound.  Small Joys are distinctly indie, and against type, they are our pick for tonight.

Possibly the Bloody Mary thing, but seriously, while all 3 bands are going to be worth seeing, Small Joys has something that grows on you, keeps you listening. Small Joys is an indie band out of the Eugene that will take your night down to a relaxing “bliss” simmer before you head back home and call it a night. If you don’t plan to simmer, then Undermind and Orion will take care of you.

NOTE:  in case you are thinking of missing it, it’s a benefit. It is HIV Alliance night at Sam Bonds and part of the proceeds from the concert will go to HIV research. Yup, you have to go.

Friday Night on the Town is very special this week, don’t miss it and don’t forget the first rule…

See you out there.

Original Music

Monolith: Rock n’ Roll: Mohawk Pub 9pm
$3 Becky Alter: Indie: Axe & Fiddle 8:30pm
$3 The 73, The Unstable Atmospheres: Indie/experimental: Luckey’s 10pm
$12 advance ($15 door) Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Zach Deputy: Americana: WOW Hall 8:30pm
$22.50 advance ($24 door) Steve Forbert: Tsunami Books 9pm


Neriah Hart: Karaoke: El Dorado 8pm
Lonesome Randall: Rock n’ Roll: Mac’s 6pm

Blues, Jazz, & Country

$5 ($4 members) Ron Bertucci & Dave Bender: Jazz Alive Series: Jazz Station 7:30pm
Skip Jones: piano: Lavelles 6pm

Dance, DJ, Hip-Hop, & Other

Golden: hip-hop: Jameson’s 10pm
DJ Scoot & Simon Says: The Rok 10pm
$3 Chris, Dr. Ake & John: ’80s Night: John Henry’s 10pm
$1-$5 Undermind, Orion, Small Joys: Electronic/Funk/Indie: Sam Bond’s 9pm

Buster Blue at Sam Bond’s Garage


By Susan E. Latiolait, EDN

Buster Blue, the five-member Indie-Folk band from Reno, Nevada, will be performing in Eugene at Sam Bond’s Garage on Wednesday, October 10. The band is on tour to promote their new EP, “Still On Conway.”

Buster Blue, the five-member Indie-Folk band from Reno, Nevada, will be performing in Eugene at Sam Bond’s Garage on Wednesday, October 10.

Released in July of this year, “Still on Conway” was recorded in 24 hours while on tour. With musical influences ranging from Wilco, Arcade Fire, and Radiohead, Buster Blue combines a diverse array of instruments ranging from horns, a banjo, an accordion, chains, and a bucket to create a unique sound. This naturally makes it difficult to place them into only one specific genre of music.

Buster Blue first found success after releasing their first album, “When the Silver’s Gone,” in January 2010. This album led them to play over 160 showings in 11 states in the western United States and allowed them to play with successful bands including: Warren Hayes, Beats Antique, Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s, Devil Makes Three, March Fourth Marching Band, Jason Webley, Magnolia Electric Co., Justin Gordon, Jaguar Love, These United States, Cowboy and Indian, and Leopold and His Fiction.

Buster Blue’s current tour began on October 5 and ends on October 25. They will be performing at venues throughout California and Oregon.

Influenced by a near death experience while travelling home from touring in a winter
storm in Sierra Nevada, five songs from “Still on Conway” were recorded in a living room in
order to provide a “live” sound for their EP. They include new instruments not previously used in live performances in order to finish the project within the demanding time constraints before tour. This included recording one single at a KOA Campground with a few acoustic instruments and a lantern. This piece won them the CD Baby Jingle Writing Contest upon submission — beating hundreds of other bands.

Buster Blue’s unique style and incredible resourcefulness brings a new and innovative style to
the music scene.

For more information about Buster Blue, visit the band website. For more information about upcoming shows at Sam Bond’s Garage, visit the venue’s website.

Local Lunch Gals: My Party Bus, Koho Bistro, Excelsior and More

L-R: Maria, Julia, Julie, Jennifer and Sean

The Local Lunch Gals hit the town in style this past Friday: we were picked up in a totally awesome, completely renovated shuttle bus called My Party Bus. Painted entirely black on the outside, aside from the words My Party Bus, the inside has all the luxuries of a limousine with the added bonus of having a lot more room. Wood laminate floors run down the center of the bus, and black and grey seating with accent pillows create a chic and stately ambiance. Ice and water was available along with wine glasses for the bottles of wine we brought with us. Although this bus can hold up to 22 passengers, it was just the three Lunch Gals, Maria Jennifer and I, along with one of our best friends from high school who is in town visiting from Illinois, Julie Neal. We were feeling a lot like the Lucky Local Lunch Gals having a sleek one-of-a-kind party bus all to ourselves.

Koho Bistro’s outstanding Cheese Plate

My Party Bus is a family business, owner Sean Lee was our host for the day while his father was responsible for driving the bus. As soon as we sat down, the music was on and we were popping the cork on a bottle of King Estate 2010 Pfeiffer Vineyard Pinot Gris. We were on our way to Koho Bistro for appetizers, in style.

Koho Bistro is located in a strip mall in southwest Eugene off of Bailey Hill across from Churchill High School. The atmosphere is sleek and modern, yet comfortable and inviting. We opted to sit in the lounge where a large u-shaped booth was the perfect spot for us. Happy to see an excellent selection of wines, including local offerings, we ordered two glasses of the Kandarian Cellars Willamette Valley 2010 Blue Eye Sauvignon Blanc and two glasses of the Benton-Lane 2011 Pinot Gris. The small bites menu had intriguing selections, and we singled out the Cheese Plate, Pomme Frites, and Asparagus Flan. The Pomme Frites arrived first, and these house-cut thin fries were tossed with garlic, truffle oil and salt and served with house made ketchup. We all thought the fries were delicious, and we especially liked the house made ketchup. When the Cheese Plate and the Asparagus Flan arrived, we all oohed and ahhed over the presentation – specifically over the Cheese Plate. Three types of cheese, a French Morbier (a layer of evening milk and a layer of morning milk separated by ash), an Italian mild Gorgonzola and a smoked Gouda from Holland, were neatly placed on a wooden slab and surrounded by a variety of goodies. The goodies included sour cherry chutney, brownie dirt (tasty little brownie crumbs), a red wine reduction drizzle, locally dehydrated strawberries, chutney with dates, spiced baked pear slices, locally roasted and candied walnuts and grilled slices of brioche. Absolutely outstanding, every single morsel of delicious goodness was truly and entirely savored. The Asparagus Flan was a palatable custard with asparagus tips and sea beans in a white wine butter sauce. Packed full of flavor, the light and airy textured custard was delicious with the flavors of the asparagus tips, sea beans and butter sauce. The four of us loved Koho Bistro, and we’ll be returning in the very near future for another fabulous Cheese Plate.

We left Koho on our “feels like we’re celebrities” bus, My Party Bus, and headed for our lunch destination, Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano. The Excelsior is housed inside a gorgeous home that was built in 1912 as a sorority house for the University of Oregon. In 1972, it was opened as the Excelsior Cafe, and in 1993 chef Maurizio Paparo purchased the property and transformed it into the Excelsior Inn and Ristorante Italiano. It’s beautiful wood floors, high ceilings and stained glass windows make this restaurant one of the most gorgeous places in town to wine and dine. We were seated in the front courtyard at a beautifully shaded table, and the weather outside was perfect for outdoor dining. Looking first at their wine list, as I always do, I was elated to see a great number of excellent local and international selections, and although I almost always order something local, we decided that a bottle of Prosecco would be the ideal accompaniment to a sunny, gorgeous day at a fine Italian eatery.

Couscous Bay Shrimp Salad

An excellent and diverse lunch menu made the decision making process difficult for a couple of us, but for me, the first and only item I saw on the menu was the Fritelle di Granchio, also known as, Dungeness Crab Cakes. When the others did make up their minds, two of the lunches ordered were specials, Baked Salmon over Wheat Berries and Couscous Bay Shrimp Salad, and the other two were Insalata Mista with added prawns (farm fresh greens and balsamic dressing) and Pollo alla Churasco (grilled chicken, pepper jack and avocado sandwich).  Of the five entrees, Sean Lee had joined us for lunch, two of them were our absolute favorites – the Dungeness Crab Cakes and the Couscous Bay Shrimp Salad. The Duneness Crab Cakes were heavenly. Cooked to golden brown and topped with a flavorful remoulade, these ambrosial fresh, lump crab meat cakes were some of the best I’ve ever had. Alongside the crab cakes were fresh spring greens and julienned carrots drizzled with a light balsamic dressing – the entire entree was a perfect pairing with the Italian Prosecco, and I couldn’t have been happier with my choices. The Couscous Bay Shrimp Salad was utterly refreshing in flavors and temperature. The ultimate meal on a hot summer afternoon, this rejuvenating blend of couscous, tomatoes, red onion and fresh herbs-including mint-was topped with loads of tasty bay shrimp.

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, manager Sasha Elliott, surprised us with a plate of mouthwatering desserts. 5 slices of heavenly goodness for each one of us to delight in: a Flourless Chocolate Torte, 2 slices of Italian Almond Lemon Torte, Hazelnut Liquor Cake, Strawberry Chardonnay Cake, and a side of home made raspberry sauce. As much as we loved each piece of worthy sweetness, we all unconditionally loved the Strawberry Chardonnay Cake…wow, that was good, and all of these tasty desserts were made by their 76 years young Serbian pastry chef, who has been baking at Excelsior for 27 years.

flight of Ninkasi micro brews…and Jennifer being, well, Jennifer

Although our superstar time on My Party Bus was over, we decided we would continue the day with a beer or two at Ninkasi Brewery, located in Eugene’s funkiest neighborhood, the Whitaker. We tried a sampler of five Ninkasi brews, and hands down, our favorite was the Oatis Oatmeal Stout. From Ninkasi, we walked over to Sam Bond’s Garage and enjoyed a bottle of Territorial’s 2009 Pinot Gris, and once Territorial Vineyards and Wine Company opened, we walked from Sam Bond’s Garage to Territorial, where we enjoyed more of their bright and refreshing Pinot Gris. We were finally exhausted from our long day of good times and great food and wine, so we walked back to Ninkasi where a friend picked us up and took us home. And it just so happened, on our walk from Territorial to Ninkasi, we passed in front of an eclectic Whitaker style bungalow with a yard full of eye catching garden decor – typical Whitaker sighting – but, what wasn’t typical about this home was the person sitting on the front porch. Recognizing him immediately, I pointed out to him that I knew him from High Street Brewery, where he bartends and makes a mean Lemon Drop Martini; however, I also recognized him from the nationally known Ska-Swing band, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

Established in 1989, just a year after we all graduated from high school, Eugene’s Cherry Poppin’ Daddies hit the music scene pretty fast in our hometown and across the West Coasts Ska-Swing music scene, but in 1997, their Billboard hit, Zoot Suit Riot, got them national attention, and out of Billboards top 200, Zoot Suit Riot was number seventeen. Although I’ve met and chatted with the Daddies bass guitarist, Dan Shmid, at High Street Brewery, Julie and Jennifer had never met him before, and they were just a tad bit excited to be talking to a member of the famous, and still performing, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Sorry folks, Jennifer and Julie were too giddy to think of snapping a photo, and they missed their opportunity. But, we may just need to go get a Lemon Drop Martini at High Street Brewery before Julie heads back to Illinois…this time, we’ll be camera ready.

-To find out more about My Party Bus, including information on their stellar wine, restaurant and brewery tours, to name a few, check out their facebook page by clicking here.

-For a full photo essay of our super fun day on the town, click here.

-If you would like to chauffeur the Gals on one of their lunch outings, please contact Julia at [email protected]


Blue Lotus CD Release Party


Laurel Hayles w/The Club Circuit

Expecting to have to make yet another drive to Sea-Tac on Saturday morning (which actually didn’t end up happening), we opted to accept an invitation from this local Eugene band to attend their CD release party on Thursday night at Sam Bond’s Garage (who needs sleep, right?!).  I can tell you it was a show worth losing sleep over, we wouldn’t have missed it!

Opening – Jonezer (no info available online)

Wish I knew who these guys were, they were an excellent fusion band, very talented with smooth grooves.  They put on a great set to open for Blue Lotus – if anyone can send me info on this group I would appreciate it!  We were a bunch of bohemians in Whiteaker taking it all in – awesome!!  (Photographer Jeanice Marvel had a blast with these guys, taking lots of photos in b/w – especially love the one with the chess board in the foreground!)  Again, if anyone can send me info on this band that would be great – thanks!  — go to The Club Circuit for the “directors cut” of the story and all the photos. -ed.

Blue Lotus (Peter Bauer / drums, Brandelyn Rose / rhythm guitar/vocals, Felix Blades / lead guitar/vocals, Matt ??? / keys, Ben Bosse / bass, Peter Allan / aux percussion)

With a packed house for a Thursday night, this Eugene band had their work cut out for them.  I had a sneak peak/listen from their webpages and knew we were in for a few surprises.  First, you have to know that Brandelyn reminds me of Janis Joplin in looks and sounds completely like Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders.  Put that together with music that sounds like the Dead, and you have a party wherever they are playing.  It was a helluva party!  As their bio says, “The band’s original tunes are directly inspired by the cosmos and visions from the beyond. All lyrics and music are composed by Rose through a process of meditation and divine inspiration. Rose then collaborates with 15 year old guitar virtuoso Blades to create danceable, dynamic melodies.”  It was a lot of fun, as Matt and Felix would bounce back and forth on riffs between the keys and the lead guitar riffs.  It’s hard to believe these guys have only been together for about half a year!  They have a lot of local shows coming up, including one in September at Ninkasi Brewing – follow them on Facebook and ReverbNation so stay tuned (you know you really wanna!!).

Night on the Town


SATURDAY – Night on the Town

I had to sneak out of my tent to render today’s Night on the Town.  I was entered into a slave auction at the SeaDog Nights & Gypsy Carnival and I have to keep it quiet or my 300 lbs pirate master will awaken!  Shhh….  Thankfully, my ‘slave’ time expires at 7pm tonight….just in time for some estrogen affirming girl music tonight.

Since the whole town will be at Sam Bond’s tonight celebrating their 16th anniversary, which, technically was on Monday when a brand new brew was introduced;  Sam Bond’s Special Bitter, I’ll stop by there first.   This is a must try for any die-hard regular so I better get their early to avoid the long lines. Another drink special to not miss out on are the $2 Jameson’s and $2 featured micros over at Luckey’s where Growler, Nine Dice and The Last International are performing some distilled rock-n-roll.

Jessie Marquez

However, tonight is girl night… so while I break in a new driver by starting tonight with some Special Bitter and a scenic drive to Loloma Lodge (McKenzie Bridge, OR) to hear Jessie Marquez, a talented Cuban jazz singer perform with Clay Giberson, Mark Schneider, Charlie Doggett and Rafael Trujillo under the mountain sky.  Thankfully there will be free Cuban appetizers with a complimentary  Deschutes beer or wine with the $25 admission.  It will be very cool to be up there and see the stars and listen to some great jazz beside the McKenzie River. The lodge has been there since 1928 and will have lodging available either at the lodge or at their campsites.  Have to mark on my calendar to come back up here Wednesday, August 3rd to hear blues man Lloyd Jones.

The Eager Beavers

Over at the Oak Street Speakeasy, is Grrrlz Rock.  Tonight performing will be Bajuana Tea, an electric rock duo featuring Matrisha Armitage on drums and The Eager Beavers, an all female bluegrass act with Grrrlz Rock founder, Cindy Ingram on washboard and vocals.

Grrrlz Rock began last November with female artists marrying the concepts of music and art.  David Frank was instrumental in launching the project recording shows and performances for over a month last summer.  With six recordings mixed now and the art digitally filmed all that remains is to finish mixing, mastering design, print and distribution.  The CD is set to be released this November at the WOW Hall.

Well, I hear some grumbling going on over at the tent… time to go pretend I’m asleep again with my 1800’s French Flintlock black powder pistol in hand of course!

Will see you out there… I’ll be the one in the costume!

Night on the Town


FRIDAY  — Night on the Town

Thankfully this week is finally over.  I’m not sure why, but it seemed to drag on like some really lame B movie that you just want to end as soon as humanly possible!

There is lots to see and do this weekend.  Lots of cover bands to see as well as some delicious live original music too.  In case you hadn’t heard, tomorrow night at the Springfield Summer Fair  Eddie Money will be performing.  However tonight, you can catch the Mystery Train and Satin Love Orchestra all for the wristband admission $25 per family, or $8 per person.

Petri Dish

Before tonight’s event’s, however, I’m taking a jaunt out to Junction City where there is free wine tasting going on at the 6th Street Wine and Deli, starting at 6pm and going till 8pm,  featuring select wines from High Pass Winery with music performed by Petri Dish.  Featuring the largest selection of Oregon wines in Junction City, the 6th Street Wine and Deli offers, what I daresay is, the best food in Junction City.  I think tonight I’ll try their one of a kind Ruben sandwich on fresh marble rye; wonder which wine would be best suited with sauerkraut?

Petri Dish is a dynamic duo of talent consisting of Theo Czuk on vocals an piano, an award winning songwriter and poet and a lifetime member of Mensa,  and Kevin Ronkko on vocals and congas, who is an acclaimed percussionist as well as author.  Should be rather interesting.

The Blackberry Bushes Stringband

Next stop will be over to Sam Bond’s Garage where The Blackberry Bushes Stringband performs.  This band has a unique blend of Ozark Indy Bluegrass that blends vocal harmonies and complex rhythms into a memorable songs such “One Promise” and “Mermaid.” Can’t wait to hear the 4 piece instrumentation of the stand up bass, the banjo, guitar and fiddle.  I can’t believe the cover is only $5… should be $10!

If the spirit moves me, I may just find a $5 and take a peek into Luckey’s as they’ve got a San Diego hip hop band, Vokab Kompany.  They’re pretty tight as a full 7 piece band, and with their grooves I predict dancing is on my agenda.  Up from San Diego, with two MC’s on the mic, they  could be considered hip hop, but even that is a bit too skimpy when it comes to describing their music.  Think Rick James, Prince and George Clinton rolled into one band, and you’d have a pretty accurate description of the sound Vokab Kompany creates, fronted by the dueling MC’s, Rob Hurt and Burkey.

Looks like it will be a fun night!  I need to figure out how to get a hold of my driver however as it seems he’s out costume hunting for next weekend’s Seadog Night’s & Gypsy Carnival happening in Lebanon.

I’m hoping I will have more pull over him than his faithful flask of spiced rum… but I’m not holding my breath.

Here’s a full listing of the live music tonight

I’ll see you out there~!



Night on the Town


Friday – Night on the Town

After the short work week there is plenty of music to see tonight.  Think of tonight as a musical buffet offering everything from metal bands, to country outlaw punk and everything in between, including a thick slice of novelty songwriting for dessert!

The Eastman Band

First stop, however, is over at Goodfellas where the KNRQ Last Band Standing winner, The Eastman Band is performing.  I’ve read the hoopla and heard the buzz and I’m ready to see why these boys won last month’s competition.   This Springfield power trio of John Eastman, Jim Cuelar and Terry Brewer, while stylistically reminiscent of Metallica and even Pearl Jam create their own distinctive brand of metal, which is a perfect fit for their original songs like “Facebook Friend” and “Blood Suckin’ Bastards.”  Well crafted songs are as memorable as a one’s first kiss and well, metal or not, I”m up for hearing some good songs tonight.  No cover tonight with Happy Hour starting at 5pm and going till 8pm.  Rumor has it one of their drink specials tonight just might be jello shots!  Hooray!!

The Whopner County All Stars

Next musical dish tonight is over at the Oak Street Speakeasy where not only are the is Low Men performing but so are The Whopner County Allstars.  A cohesive group who are so much more than a typical ‘country rock’ band, but are a high energy with an infectious twang band, the Whopner County All Stars are a welcomed treat tonight.  Think old style country (Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard) meeting classic soul stylings of Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfiled.  Hope to score one of the button or stickers that the band gives out to all who attend their show.  The band consists of Gregg Vollstedt on vocals, guitar, lap steel, Sara Scofield on vocals and kazoo, Matt Alpert on lead guitar, Ken Howe on drum and J.P. Scofield on bass and vocals.  Their song “I’ll be with you Tonight” is my idea of a classic country song.  This is big band with a BIG sound.
Poking my head in at Luckey’s I just have to hear the My American Myth set.  Relatively new to the scene, just started performing as a band earlier this year, this band has some great hooks in their songs; both musical and lyrical.  In songs like “The Big Heartbreak” the musical hook you can’t get out of your head (I’ve been trying!) and is well complimented with slow melodic verses and a loud grunge-like chorus.  It will be terrific to hear this band in such an intimate room.
Last stop on tonight’s tear will be Sam Bond’s Garage to hear Portland’s Tom Heinl and see which “guests” show up to help promote his latest release With or Without Me.  I got a $5 for the cover and know the show will be good.  Heinl is a singer/songwriter who has the voice of someone like Tom T. Hall or Johnny Cash and the songwriting ability like no one else I’ve ever heard.  Who else would write the songs “Peein in an Empty” or “Three Way”?  In the song “Three Way,” a man asks his wife for an extra parter in bed and finds himself left out entirely!  You know this stuff happens in real life and Heinl has captured the moment in song.  Yes, it’s got an alt-country twang goin’ on, but OMG!  It’s hilarious!  Just like the other songs on this CD. — IHOP is a personal favorite -ed.

Tonight I pray that I don’t end up like the gal in photo for today’s column!  I will see you out there!

to sleep..perhaps to dream..

Night on the Town


Friday – Night on the Town

Happy Friday!  What a L-O-N-G week!  Holy Cow!  Am very happy it’s FRIDAY!  Having spent most of this week in Portland guitar browsing and clothes shopping and dining at too many fabulous “hole in the wall” restaurants, I’ve returned home to get my weekend fix of fine music.

Fortunately I’m in the mood for some kickass bluegrass.

Dick Kimmel

Tonight at Sam Bond’s Garage, the “bluegrass ambassador” himself Dick Kimmel is performing.  Touted as a ‘musicologist’ Kimmel plays a mandolin, or banjo much like the rest of breathe… effortlessly.  Proclaimed “West Virginia Ambassador of Good Will” by the West Virginia Legislature in 1978; he earned the title for his “tireless promotion of the music of this state through performances, recordings, lectures, workshops, and coordination of bluegrass events.”  This title was expanded to “The Ambassador of Bluegrass,” in a 1994 feature article for Bluegrass Unlimited, because of his varied involvements with bluegrass music on an international level.

Up close and personal is best to see this virtuoso and no better place than Sam Bond’s Garage.  Spend the $5 at 9:30pm tonight and see why this man was inducted into America’s Old-Time Country and Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

The Harmed Brothers

For a different flavor and style of bluegrass, The Oak Street Speakeasy has on it’s stage The Harmed Brothers, who are promoting their latest release “All the Lies You Want to Hear.” With a unique blend of banjo, slide guitar and drums, Ray Vietti (guitar/vocalist),  Alex Salcido (banjo/vocals/piano) and percussionist Adam Morehouse, create a pulsating melodic sound that makes your toe tap.  No kidding. These boys got to perform at this year’s South By Southwest in Austin back in March and have recently returned from a 3 month road trip across the US.  Their song “Kansas Wind” is such a percussion driven song that it makes you wish had a tambourine in hand to jam with the band.

The Harmed Brothers ominously sound a lot like Brent Best’s  band, Slobberbone, in that the songs are engaging and really capture one’s ear.  From the song “One Night”  “I see your face across the room.  Don’t know your name.  I will soon” is a great line.  Also on tonight’s bill are Honest Connie & 5 Finger Discount (think a young Loretta Lynn vocally with songs reminiscent of the storytelling Johnny Cash) and Soda.    If you have a valid student ID, you get 15% off your tab.

Wainwright Brothers

Tonight would not be complete without stopping by Cornucopia to see the Wainwright Brothers perform with Tyler Fortier & The Girls of Seabell at 10pm.  If I can tear myself away from Dick Kimmel after his first set, and slide by the Oak Street Speakeasy for The Harmed Brothers set, then Cornucopia it is!  The song “Eye to Eye” sounds a bit like  good time bluegrass with a bit of Dr. John thrown in for good measure.  Dylan Macnab on banjo and vocals does a good job at creating a feel good vibe for the band.

Just might need to stop by Conways in Springfield before all of this however as it’s Ladies Night, which means $3 Long Islands, beginning at 9pm.

Tonight’s hit list has already been handed to the driver and I gotta sport all these new clothes somewhere … right?  Come on out and join me!

Thursday – Night on the Town


Night on the Town Thursday, June 2. Last nights gold standard Flogging Molly show at the sold out McDonald Theater is a tough act to follow.  If you missed it, you missed out – great band, great time.  In spite of the bar being set so very high, there is actually a reason or two to give out your attention tonight…and the skipping of happy hour festivities this evening can be blamed on FM’s Dave King thank you.

Whale Song: Or, The Whale – Sam Bonds Garage, 9pm – $5.  “My dog died, it broke my heart…letting go’s the hardest part” Must more said?  Ok: “The soaring vocal harmonies and Neil Young-inspired guitar riffs found on Or, the Whale’s self-titled sophomore album yield a fiendishly potent listening experience, which may even provoke your own hallucinations.” Lots of vocals, everywhere, twisted lyrics in a familiar musical setting. Kinda like the first time you had cold cerveza by yourself in a Baja cantina, the time you didn’t get mugged; surreal, refreshing, and a little unsettling in an enjoyable way.  Go here.

Songwriter Convention: Cris & Amblin – Luckey’s, 9pm – $3.  If you’ve got a burning itch for some singer/songwriter sturm und drang (literally “Storm and Urge”), there is a heady flush of local talent out tonight.  Mind you, this is very local and you’ll see a mix of interesting, strange, uncomfortable, banal, even weird so drink accordingly.  Watch for Scott Austin.

San Fran's Or, The Whale at the Fillmore