Bang! Bert Berns Tribute feat Flamin' Groovies, Betty Harris, Matt Jaffe, Tracy Nelson, Shana Morrison & More!

MVFF Music Presents A Benefit For CFI Education:

Bang! Bert Berns Tribute feat Flamin' Groovies, Betty Harris, Matt Jaffe, Tracy Nelson, Shana Morrison & More!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm


This event is all ages

Bang! Bert Berns Tribute
Bang! Bert Berns Tribute
Celebrating the release of the documentary BANG!: The Bert Berns Story, MVFF Music in collaboration with Steep Productions will present a special live concert honoring the astonishing body of work by songwriter Bert Berns and featuring legendary soul singer, Betty Harris from the film. The movie, based on NY Times best-selling author and SF Chronicle critic Joel Selvin’s book, "Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues" is a once in a lifetime live concert curated & hosted by Selvin who has musically paired up some of the world’s most celebrated soul singers (Bert Berns originals) with dynamite backup singers for over a dozen of Bert Berns brilliant songs including “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”, “Piece of My Heart”, “Twist and Shout”, “Cry Baby”, “Hang on Sloopy”, “I Want Candy” and many more. Supported by an illustrious house band including keyboardists Jimmy Pugh (Robert Cray and Etta James), Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag, The Rides with Stephen Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepard), Scott Mathews (drums, BB King, Eric Clapton), and Robin Sylvester (bass, Bob Weir & Ratdog). Music Director, Scott Mathews.
Betty Harris (Berns original), Linda Hart, Kim Nalley, Matt Jaffe, Shana Morrison, Cassie Berns, HUGElarge, Rick Stevens, Dorothy Morrison, Glenn Walters, Tracy Nelson, Larry Batiste.

This special event will also feature the Flamin' Groovies!
Flamin' Groovies
Flamin' Groovies
The Flamin' Groovies story goes all the way back to 1965 when the band began as the Chosen Few in their hometown of San Francisco, California. After a name change and a self-released 10-inch album called Sneakers, the band caught the attention of Columbia Records, who signed them and sent them into the studio with a big budget to record their first full-length album, Supersnazz, for the Epic label. Their next two albums were on Kama Sutra (home of their heroes, The Lovin' Spoonful): Flamingo, and the now revered classic Teenage Head.

Lead singer Roy Loney left the band at that point, and lead guitarist Cyril Jordan moved the group to England with Chris Wilson (formerly of Loose Gravel) taking over as front man. They continued their style of straight-ahead guitar-driven rock 'n' roll, but this time with a more 60's rather than 50's influence. A few singles on United Artists, recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales with Dave Edmunds producing, followed in the early 70's. In '76 they signed to Sire Records, who released three true gems of power pop: Shake Some Action, Flamin' Groovies Now, and Jumpin' In The Night.

Another lineup change ensued in the next decade with Wilson moving to England and joining the Barracudas. The Groovies continued on through the 80's and into the early 90's touring Australia and Europe, putting out a fine but overlooked album called Rock Juice and then finally calling it quits. Jordan formed a new band called Magic Christian while Wilson released solo albums in Europe.

Then, in 2013, Jordan, Wilson and original founding member and bass player George Alexander reunited for the first time since 1981. With new drummer Victor Penalosa, a fine musician in his own right, the foursome has not only recorded fresh material but has also completed earlier material that has never before been captured.

They recently toured Japan and Australia, returning home to San Francisco to headline a show that sold out in less than 24 hours. Fans have been delighted with what is being called "a dream set list," including original songs the band has never performed before onstage. Newcomers are asking, "Why haven't I ever heard of this group?"

It's hard to say just why the group hasn't gotten the attention they deserve (at least in the USA), but they're back to give everyone another chance at hearing and seeing just why those in the know consider them one of the greatest rock n' roll bands of all time.
Betty Harris
Betty Harris
Renowned in deep soul circles for the devastating ballad "Cry to Me," singer Betty Harris was born in Orlando, FL, in 1941 and raised primarily in Alabama. The child of preachers, her deep church roots conflicted with her desire to sing secular soul music, and at 17 she left home to pursue a performing career, briefly apprenticing under R&B star Big Maybelle before eventually landing in California, cutting the 1960 single "Taking Care of Business" for the Douglas label. Record promoter Babe Chivian recommended that Harris relocate to New York City, promising her an audition with Brill Building producer and songwriter Bert Berns -- there she performed a slow, gospel-inspired rendition of "Cry to Me," an uptempo Berns-produced hit for Chivian's client Solomon Burke.

Berns immediately dispatched Harris to the recording studio, and in just three takes she wrapped "Cry to Me," issued on Jubilee in 1963 -- after the record became a New York radio smash, it broke nationally, cracking the R&B Top Ten and the pop Top 40 in the process of surpassing Burke's original. Soon Harris headlined the legendary Apollo Theater, mounting a national tour after recording her Jubilee follow-up, "His Kiss" -- the single stiffed, however, and when "Mo Jo Hannah" met a similar fate, Berns opted to cut his losses.

During a 1965 tour, Harris met New Orleans composer and producer Allen Toussaint, and with the superbly slinky "I'm Evil Tonight" became the first artist to record for his fledgling Sansu label. With Toussaint at the helm, the bluesy balladry of Harris' Jubilee sides gave way to a funky, sensual dynamic that heralded a new era of New Orleans R&B. The 1966 ballad "Sometime" was backed by the brilliant "I Don't Want to Hear It," Toussaint's edgiest and most aggressive production to date. The subsequent "12 Red Roses" further refined the approach, and with 1967's "Nearer to You" Harris finally returned to the R&B Top 20, delivering another sublimely emotional performance.

"Love Lots of Lovin'," a duet with fellow Toussaint charge Lee Dorsey, closed out the year -- Harris planned to support the record on tour with Otis Redding, but on December 10, the soul giant lost his life in a plane crash. Harris forged on, with 1968's "Mean Man" delivering her grittiest effort to date; backed by a session group that would soon evolve into the Meters, she then ended her Sansu tenure with the fierce "Trouble with My Lover," reuniting with Toussaint for one final collaboration, the 1969 funk cult classic "There's a Break in the Road" (licensed to the SSS International label).

Soul Perfection Plus
With her career at an impasse, Harris abruptly retired from performing in 1970. From there her legend grew, and rumors spread that she served as James Carr's road manager and even drove a tractor-trailer to make ends meet. In reality, Harris simply focused on raising her family, and while she shunned the music industry she continued singing in her church choir -- after settling in Hartford, CT, in 1997, she even began offering vocal lessons. Still, Harris remained oblivious to the growing awe afforded her '60s output by soul aficionados, respect generated largely by the U.K. release of the Soul Perfection Plus retrospective.

Then in 2001, her daughter found several Betty Harris fan sites on the Web, prompting the singer to join a soul mailing list to announce her present whereabouts -- her re-emergence caused a stir in deep soul circles, and soon Boston-based guitarist and producer Chris Stovall Brown offered to helm Harris' first recording session in 35 years. On April 17, 2005, she also headlined her first live appearance in over three decades, performing at a benefit for her daughter's Hartford alma mater; weeks later, Harris also performed at New Orleans' annual Ponderosa Stomp.

Jason Ankeny-AllMusic
Matt Jaffe
Matt Jaffe
Matt Jaffe is a rock & roll singer/songwriter from San Francisco. Cutting his teeth on countless open mics around the Bay Area, Matt started taking music (a little bit) more seriously when Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads offered to produce his first record. Since then, Matt has continued to churn out more songs than he can remember the words to, oversaturate the market with gigs (opening for the likes of Mavis Staples, Wilco, and Blues Traveler), and collaborate with the likes of Chuck Prophet and Tom Higgenson of the Plain White T’s. Fresh off the release of his third LP, "The Spirit Catches You,” Matt Jaffe is street-teaming with the best of them to bring rock & roll back to the masses.
Shana Morrison
Shana Morrison
Shana Morrison’s musical style has been called pop with a side of blues and a side of rock. She has also been known to include other ingredients, like country, R&B, and jazz into the mix. Her material seems to be ever-changing and hard to pin down categorically. What always remains the same is Shana's unique and wide-ranging voice.

Shana Morrison began performing with her group Caledonia in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Her debut CD, Caledonia, was released on her own label, Belfast Violet Records, in 1998 and picked up by the Monster Music label in 1999. Caledonia received favorable reviews from the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Francisco Examiner, as well as airplay on KPFA, KPIG, KPIX, KDVS, KHUM, and KFOG. Tours across the country soon followed.

Vanguard Records signed Shana in 2001, and 7 Wishes was released in 2002. This time, she received favorable reviews from newspapers and magazines across the country, as well as airplay on KMTT in Seattle; KINK in Portland, Oregon; KSGR in Austin, Texas; and KBCO in Denver.

Chronologically listed, some highlights of Shana's career follow: Since 1996, Shana has participated in benefit concerts for Oakland's American Legends Foundation. Paying tribute to and playing for artists such as Brownie McGee and Charles Brown, Shana has shared billing with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, and Dr. John. She has also played for festival audiences on the main stage both at the Guinness Fleadh in New York in 1997, and in San Francisco in 1999. In 2000 Shana performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival, the Ottawa Blues Festival, and the Edmonton Folk Festival. Recently she has had the type of exposure she deserves, opening shows for Lyle Lovett, Joe Cocker, Michael MacDonald, John Hyatt, Keb 'Mo, and Bob Weir.

Shana's international exposure includes a live broadcast for the BBC's Kelly Show and an appearance at the BRIT Awards in 1996, when her father was presented with a lifetime-achievement award. This has been broadcasted on A&E in America several times since. She also participated in a VH1 Father's Day special and was featured in People in 1997, Rolling Stone in 1999, and in Interview, as well as on the Oxygen channel's Pure Oxygen, and on The Howard Stern Show in 2002.

Since 2002, the band has been busy with tours across the United States, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and the UK, playing radio shows, clubs, theaters, and festivals, most notably playing the Warfield in San Francisco, the Viper Room in Los Angeles, the House of Blues in Cambridge, the Bottom Line in New York, Meinisfree Open Air in Germany, the Arezzo Wave Pop festival in Italy, the Borderline in London, the Cork Jazz Festival, the Galway Arts Festival, and The Late Late Show in Ireland.

2006 through 2008 saw Shana singing beside Van Morrison again during his U.S. and U.K. tour dates. Twelve years have passed since her beginnings singing duets with Mr. Morrison in his infamous Rhythm and Soul Review, which featured artists such as Jimmy Withersoon, Junior Wells, and John Lee Hooker. Since her first foray into recording on the Van Morrison releases A Night in San Francisco (1994) and Days Like This (1995), Shana Morrison has grown as a singer, a songwriter, and an artist. Her self-produced 2007 release, the R&B-flavored CD That's Who I Am, is on Belfast Violet Records. Joyride, produced by Kim McLean, was released in April 2010, also on Belfast Violet Records. Both albums are available online at iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby.
Venue Information:
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941