The 2nd annual Sweetwater Music Hall Festival
Sweetwater in the Sun with Jackie Greene, Blitzen Trapper, Willie Watson, Kelly Finnigan, Kendra McKinley, Rock-n-Roll Playhouse for kids and more
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Doors: 11:00 am / Show: 12:00 pm (event ends at 7:00 pm)Stafford Lake Park
Tickets: $113 VIP, $81 GA Adult, $33 GA Child (plus fees)
This event is all ages
Join us at Stafford Lake Park with:
Element Brass Band
Rock n Roll Playhouse
plus face painting, magic, arts & crafts!
$1 of every ticket sold goes to Music in the Schools Today Program.
Rain or shine. Lineup subject to change.https://www.sweetwatermusichall.com/event/1876606/
This new collection of six original songs is a thematic extension of 'The Modern Lives - Vol 1' EP (released in 2017 on Blue Rose Music), imbued with a Brooklyn basement DIY feel and ethos. He is a student of American music, transfixed upon its progression through time, as well as how regional sounds fit in a contemporary context. Whereas 'Vol 1' saw Greene experiment with the Delta blues as a canvas for his examinations of modern society, 'Vol 2' sees Greene embrace the sounds of the bluegrass and folk tapes of his youth.
Lead single "Crazy Comes Easy" showcases Greene's dynamic, multi-instrumental range as he plays slide guitar, organ, bass, and percussion, the guitar licks an appreciative nod to his time in The Black Crowes. Meanwhile, "Good Old Bad Times" highlights Greene as the songwriter as he rattles off lines like "How can somebody find a future? / If they ain't got a foothold in the past?" while taking a critical eye to the idea of nostalgia. Piano ballad "Victim Of The Crime" was one of Jackie's oldest demos up until the feel of these sessions gave him the tools to finish a song that, in his words, was written for his wife before she was his wife. While the title possesses a kind of melodrama, the song itself is tender and heartfelt as he details love's trials and tribulations.
Greene partnered with Academy Award-nominated "king of indie animation" Bill Plympton for a series of music videos for 'The Modern Lives - Vol 1' that would eventually become an animated short film titled 'The Modern Lives'. The film is currently making the rounds at film festivals where it has already won the Jury Award at the USA Film Festival in Dallas, TX, and the Grand Remi Award / Best in Show at WorldFest in Houstin, TX. The short is also being exhibited at the 71st Festival de Cannes/Court Metrage, Melbourne International Animation Festival, and ASIFA-East Festival, amongst others.
Since the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album 'Gone Wanderin’', Greene has built an enduring audience through a relentless touring schedule with the likes of BB King, Mark Knopfler, Susan Tedeschi, and Taj Mahal. He played lead guitar with The Black Crowes on their Layin’ Down With #13 World Tour, recorded and toured with Trigger Hippy - his supergroup with Joan Osborne - and in the last four years performed over 300 shows of his own, all while continuing to record and release his solo work. Greene is a frequent member of Phil Lesh & Friends, and sits in with countless other artists including Tedeschi Trucks Band, Govt Mule, Mississippi All-Stars, Amy Helm, Steve Earle, and Bob Weir.
Songs upon songs upon songs.
But I guess in the end I just had some stories to tell, like the one about the cop turned cocaine dealer, or the murderous 13 year old girl, or the underage lovers who steal her mom's checkbook, her dad's truck and go on a spree down the west coast, free as the wind, until it becomes clear the boy is addicted to heroin, the physical freedom outstripped by enslavement to the substance. And but lets not forget the one about the woman in the black TransAm who steals hearts from wrecked/jaded men deep in their cups, another form of internment. Stories upon stories.
Each story is true in some sense.
So I guess I have my reasons for making a record. For adding to the overwhelming fetid deluge of content running wild, pushing at the banks of cultural consciousness for no good reason. And really the value of a record seems to be increasingly non-monetary. As it should be I guess, the true craft, the reality of music, of voice, is played out on stages across the country, not in bluetooth earbuds.
And so 10 years after Furr, a record that touched a vein and continues to, the song itself more widely known than the band that made it, after 10 years of touring with Blitzen Trapper, after all the drug busts, run-ins with the law, drunken nights/fights/wrecks, flings with fans/groupies/angels, run ins with demons/criminals/saints, TV appearances, court appearances, disappearances, what do we have to show for it?
Nothing much that can be physically pointed to, it's more a feeling. A cerebral kind of currency, of having communed/partaken/contributed to the dialogue of rock music, of the musical arts as well as a sense of America as a whole. This country like a willfully ignorant child, blind to its faults, not knowing how good it has it, half-heartedly adhering to a God that no longer exists, its leadership nothing but a mirror held up to its own fat misshapen face. To possess this sense, this knowledge is worth its weight in gold. This is the true meaning of that genre we are a part of, what we call Americana.
We recently created a theater event that ran for a couple months in our hometown of Portland, OR called Wild and Reckless, half musical, half rock-opera dealing with heroin abuse, desperation, True Love and western power structures. Heady as shit, but in the end as it unfolded I realized it was really about music, that longing for escape, that pure juvenile psychedelia we possessed as kids laying in summer grass gazing up at the clouds in the sky seeing shapes in them, imbuing them with a reality that was not really there but that we saw it and named it. Stories upon stories.
This resultant album Wild and Reckless is a companion to Furr, a second volume in that wild dystopian reality of killers and shape-shifters, and there is a running narrative to it that, like its companion Furr hinges upon Love, love lost, found, hidden. That's the center, the Heart of the matter and all the stories upon stories revolve around it like a menagerie of rocks around a burning sun.
Eric Eddy Earley,
Portland, OR July 14, 2017
Southern gospel. Railroad songs. Delta blues. Irish fiddle tunes. Appalachian music. Folksinger Vol. 2 makes room for it all. Produced by David Rawlings, the album carries on a rich tradition in folk music: the sharing and swapping of old songs. Long ago, the 11 compositions that appear on Folksinger Vol. 2 were popularized by artists like Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Furry Lewis, and Bascom Lamar Lunsford. The songs don’t actually belong to those artists, though. They don’t belong to anyone. Instead, they’re part of the folk canon, passed from generation to generation by singers like Watson.
And what a singer he is. With a quick vibrato and rich range, he breathes new life into classic songs like “Samson and Delilah,” one of several songs featuring harmonies from gospel quartet the Fairfield Four. He’s a balladeer on “Gallows Pole,” whose melancholy melodies are echoed by the slow swells of a four-piece woodwind ensemble, and a bluesman on “When My Baby Left Me,” accompanying himself with sparse bursts of slide guitar. “Dry Bones” finds him crooning and hollering over a bouncing banjo, while “Take This Hammer” closes the album on a penitent note, with Watson singing to the heavens alongside a congregation of Sunday morning soul singers.
Arriving three years after Folksinger Vol. 1 — his first release since parting ways with the Old Crow Medicine Show, whose platinum-selling music helped jumpstart the 21st century folk revival — Vol. 2 expands Watson’s sound while consolidating his strengths. Several singers and sidemen make appearances here, including Gillian Welch, the Punch Brothers’ Paul Kowert, and Old Crow bandmate Morgan Jahnig. Even so, Watson has never sounded more commanding, more confident, more connected to the music that inspires him.
“I’m not trying to prove any point here,” he insists, “and I’m not trying to be a purist. There’s so much beauty in this old music, and it affects me on a deep level. It moves me and inspires me. I heard Leadbelly singing with the Golden Gate Quartet and it sounded fantastic, and I thought, ‘I want to do that.’ I heard the Grateful Dead doing their version of ‘On the Road Again,’ and it sounded like a dance party in 1926, and I wanted to do that, too. That’s the whole reason I ever played music in the first place — because it looked and sounded like it was going to be a lot of fun.”
Nodding to the past without resurrecting it, Willie Watson turns Folksinger Vol. 2 into something much more than an interpretation of older songs. The album carries on the spirit of a time nearly forgotten. It taps into the rich core of roots music. It furthers the legacy of American folk. And perhaps most importantly, it shows the full range of Willie Watson’s artistry, matching his instrumental and vocal chops with a strong appreciation for the songs that have shaped not only a genre, but an entire country.
The 37-year-old, Bay Area-based singer, songwriter, engineer, and producer will release his first solo album, The Tales People Tell (Colemine Records), in the Spring of 2019.* The ten-song collection is raw and gritty, tender and emotive, lush and symphonic. With Finnigan guiding these songs from their conception all the way to the record pressing plant, the new release provides the singular voice missing from soul music.
Even with just her acoustic guitar and vocals, McKinley creates gorgeous, nuanced arrangements that could function as surreal soundtracks to a 1950s children’s cartoon, or romantic Tim Burton montages. Her songs are filled with both wide-eyed wonder and meticulously calculated composition, and her voice is a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and Joanna Newsom.
Stafford Lake Park
3549 Novato Blvd
Novato, CA, 94947