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Thursday, June 29
NRBQ website
NRBQThere aren't many bands that have lasted for 50 years, and the list of those still at the top of their creative game is even smaller. Over the past half century, NRBQ has proven to be a group of peerless and unique musicians, songwriters and performers, continuing to prove it with each new album and live performance. Omnivore Recordings celebrated this legendary band with the 2016 release of "High Noon: A 50-Year Retrospective" consisting of five CDs of classic recordings all carefully remastered along with many rare and previously unissued gems.

A good-time spirit runs through the music of NRBQ, which stands for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (initially Quintet), although the group has never been bound to R&B or any other genre. Formed in 1966, NRBQ is known for its live performances, containing a high degree of spontaneity and levity, blending rock, pop, jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley styles. The band is made up of founder Terry Adams (vocals and keys), Scott Ligon (guitar and vocals), Casey McDonough (bass and vocals), and John Perrin (drums).

They have attracted fans as diverse as Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Keith Richards, and Penn & Teller. NRBQ songs have been performed by Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, Dave Edmunds, and many others. The group served as the unofficial "house band" for The Simpsons for seasons 10-12, during which NRBQ fan Mike Scully was head writer and executive producer.

This is a night you don't want to miss.
Friday, June 30
Austin Lounge Lizards
Austin Lounge LizardsSince 1980, the Austin Lounge Lizards have been spoofing the topics American families try to avoid at the Thanksgiving table: subjects like politics, religion, romance, and themselves. With pointed lyrics, precise harmonies and instrumental expertise, the band has become legendary for its satirical skewering through song.

With their unique blend of highly literate Ivy League roots; an appreciation for folk, country, bluegrass, and rock and roll musical styles; creative influences such as Frank Zappa, Spike Jones, George Jones, Homer & Jethro, and the Rolling Stones; and an unquenchable thirst for the absurd, the Lizards specialize in musical eclecticism, excellence and extreme entertainment.

The Lizards are: Hank Card (vocals, rhythm guitar), Conrad Deisler (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin), Tim Wilson (fiddle, mandolin, vocals) and Kirk Williams (electric bass, vocals).
Thursday, July 13
Pine Leaf Boys Pine Leaf Boys

Pine Leaf BoysLouisiana's four-time Grammy-Nominated Pine Leaf Boys present their own inimitable brand of Cajun music with youthful exuberance. Hailing from Southwest Louisiana, the Pine Leaf Boys, known for their wild shows and thoughtful arrangements, have breathed new life into Louisiana music, reviving ancient songs and bringing them to the bandstand. Described by the New York Times as "... the link that connects the young and the old generations," and "the best new, energetic, and fun Cajun band in a very long time," the Pine Leaf Boys play dance hall standards while also bringing many of the more obscure songs of past masters into their repertoire and playing them with gusto.

Leader Wilson Savoy (accordion, piano & vocals), Grammy Winner in 2013 for Best Regional Roots Music Album with Wayne Toups and Steve Riley, has played accordion for most of his life, having been given as a child a hand-built accordion by his renowned father, Marc Savoy. The accordion was built from the wood of a sassafras tree that was planted by Wilson's grandfather. Wilson has appeared on HBO's "Treme," as well as the film "All the King's Men" with Sean Penn and John Goodman.

Drew Simon (drums & vocals), from Lafayette, Louisiana, is strictly a traditionalist, playing and singing in a style which has been described as a "simple, older, blue-collared Cajun." He has a great passion for singing forgotten Cajun classics. Courtney Granger (fiddle & vocals), from Eunice, Louisiana, is a master fiddler and strong singer. Courtney hails from the Balfa family lineage, which is evident in his powerful vocals and Balfa-influenced fiddling. Courtney's endless repertoire, as well his impeccable fiddling and soulful singing, have made him one of the most sought-after Cajun fiddlers in the world. Jon Bertrand (guitar), from the thriving metropolis of Pine Island, Louisiana, began life as a cowboy. After picking up the guitar, he quickly became a rhythm machine, playing with Dexter Ardoin, Cory McCauley, and the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Jon brings a rock Ôn' roll spirit to the group. Thomas David (bass), of Lafayette, Louisiana, grew up playing music alongside his father, Ken David, bassist with Jambalaya Cajun Band. At the age of 16, he fell in love with the upright bass, and quickly became a sought-after player in both Cajun and Zydeco music. His influences are Bob Wills, Asleep at the Wheel, D.L. Menard, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Aldus Roger, Adam Hebert and his biggest, his Dad.

Friday, July 14

Bandella Video

BandellaBandella is a band of astronauts from Houston, TX. They have been performing for over 14 years, and they'll make their California debut at The Palms Playhouse on July 14. With acoustic guitars, jazzy flute, inspired vocals, banjo, and stand-up bass, these aerospace musicians entertain with a mixture of folk originals, re-imagined '70s/'80s folk/rock standards, bluegrass, and jazz.

The band is led by Chris Hadfield, retired astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, who is well known for his in-space performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" ( Cady Coleman is a retired NASA astronaut and accomplished flutist, who played a duet with Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson - from space. Vocalist Micki Pettit is married to an astronaut, and brings a big jazz & show-tune voice to every show. Joe Schmid is a NASA Flight Surgeon, Air Force two-star general, and stand-up bass player. Steve Robinson is a retired NASA astronaut, Sacramento native, UC Davis professor, and multi-instrumentalist on acoustic lead guitar, banjo, and stand-up bass.

Friday, July 21

Led Kaapana

Led KaapanaSlack-key guitar master Led Kaapana has been one of Hawaii's most influential musicians for four decades. His mastery of stringed instruments, his exceptional picking style on slack key guitar and ukulele, and his extraordinary vocal range-baritone to falsetto-have made him a musical legend. With easy-going style and kolohe (rascal) charm, he has built a loyal corps of "Led Heads" from Brussels to his birthplace on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

Kaapana's latest CD, "Jus' Press Vol. 2" (2016), won a 2017 Na Hoku (Hawaiian Grammy) Award for Best Ukulele Album. Two of his solo albums, '"Ki Ho'alu: Hawaiian Slack Key" and "Grandmaster Slack Key Guitar" received Grammy nominations for Best Hawaiian Music Album. In 2011, he received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award.

Thursday, July 27

Bill Kirchen & Jimmie Dale Gilmore w/ Bobby Black
Blackie Farrell opens

Bill Kirchen
Jimmie Gilmore
Black Farrell

Bill Kirchen, Jimmie Dale Gilmore,  Bobby BlackGrammy-nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen is a founding member of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. His trademark guitar licks drove their "Hot Rod Lincoln" cut into the Top Ten in 1972. Bill is an architect of what is now known as Roots Rock music, and continues to play, write and perform throughout the world. He has released ten solo CDs, and recorded and/or played live with a who's who of Americana and Roots Rock artists, such as Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Hazel Dickens, Doug Sahm, Hoyt Axton, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore's recordings have earned three Grammy nominations in both Contemporary Folk and Traditional Folk categories, and he was named Country Artist of the Year three times by Rolling Stone Magazine. His high and lonesome vocal style, coupled with sometimes mystical and poetic lyrics, has led to musical brandings such as Sagebrush Soul, Zen Country and Western Beat. As the Flatlanders, Gilmore and his bandmates Joe Ely and Butch Hancock have been credited as fathers of the Alt-Country movement. Gilmore is also an occasional actor, and has had roles in The Big Lebowski, The Thing Called Love, and Parkland (2013), with Zac Efron and Billy Bob Thornton. "[Jimmie Dale Gilmore's] voice would make even Hank Williams cry," - The New York Times Magazine.

Pedal steel legend Bobby Black's talent and tastes have led him in many musical directions. He cut his musical teeth playing Western Swing, but he has also recorded with numerous groups outside that genre, including Commander Cody, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Asleep at the Wheel, Tom Waits, and Elvin Bishop. Bobby Black's recordings showcase a talent for flawless expression, regardless of the style.

Blackie Farrell's songs have been recorded and performed by artists ranging from Leo Kottke, Tom Russell, Robert Earl Keen, Dave Alvin and Michael Martin Murphy, to Bill Kirchen, Commander Cody, Ray Campi, Jerry Lee Lewis, Asleep at the Wheel, and Chris O'Connell. Writing his first song at the age of 13, Blackie was inspired by the music he heard growing up in Oakland, California - everything from Jimmy Reed, Lightnin' Hopkins, and John Lee Hooker to Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, and Marty Robbins. At his core, Blackie is a story-teller, cutting a straight line right through life's jagged edges, not smoothing them over but illuminating their points. Some haunting, some heroic, his tales stick to your bones and conjure up lost spirits and the longings of a well-worn heart.Bill

Saturday, July 29

Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers

Jimmy ThackeryHardest-working and most popular blues bands of the '70s and '80s. Starting in 1974, the group recorded over twenty albums and constantly toured the U.S., Europe, Canada and Japan. Jimmy was the heart, soul, and adrenaline of the Nighthawks sound during his fourteen-year tenure with the band, creating a distinctively raw, powerful guitar style and establishing a reputation as a spectacular soloist. Thackery has been acclaimed as one of the hottest live acts around, with his jaw-dropping performances becoming the stuff of legend. In addition to co-founding the Nighthawks, Thackery has also played with such big names as Muddy Waters and Tab Benoit.

Jimmy Thackery has made his career as a musician for over 40 years, traveling the globe and playing over 300 shows a year, from big festivals to everyone's favorite neighborhood bar. A true professional musician, Jimmy gives his audience his best each and every performance.

Thursday, August 3

Jaime Wyatt

Jaime WyattUp-and-coming country singer Jaime Wyatt is a striking figure with an old soul and a voice like a force of nature. Regardless of genre, the Los Angeles-based Wyatt is a dynamic performer with a smoky voice, who sails naturally between vintage '60s and '70s country/rock 'n' soul anthems and heartfelt country ballads of love and corruption. In January, Rolling Stone included her in its list of "10 New Country Artists You Need to Know," and Country radio station 95.3 The Bear recently named her, alongside Sturgill Simpson and Margo Price, "one of the country artists you may not have heard of, but need to hear."

The young singer's newest release "Felony Blues," whose title is a nod to records like David Allan Coe's "Penitentiary Blues," is a largely autobiographical collection of convict love stories, prison songs, and honky-tonk laments. After getting a record deal when she was 17, Wyatt developed an addiction, robbed her dealer, and spent eight months in county jail. She kept writing, though, and her new album is the product of her hard work and experience. Rolling Stone says, "Felony Blues offers a fresh, thoughtful take on prison songs from someone who knows firsthand about being on the wrong side of the law."

Friday, August 4

Pat Hull

Pat HullPat Hull is a singer and songwriter from Connecticut; he is currently based out of Chico, CA, where he is on the faculty at CSU Chico. His music intertwines melodic vocals and finger-picked guitar to create a dreamy landscape with its unpredictable hooks and interesting turns.

Hull has built a devoted following in Northern California and a burgeoning reputation nationwide as both an excellent songwriter and remarkable vocalist. The Nerdist podcast recently proclaimed that Pat "has the greatest voice that you probably haven't heard" and "His gentle folk missives feel like a time capsule to a lost era, or one that has yet to happen."

Hull will be accompanied on stage by Michael Bone (bass/vocals), Sean Raeside (percussion), and Evin Wolverton (guitar/vocals).

His latest album, "Marrow," will be released on July 26, 2017.

Thursday, August 10

Chris Thomas King

Chris Thomas KingChris Thomas King became the last major folk blues discovery of the 20th Century when he was "discovered" in 1985 by a folklorist from the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. He was introduced to the world the following year by venerable folk label Arhoolie Records as an authentic folk blues successor to Huddie Ledbetter, Muddy Waters, Mississippi John Hurt and Manse Lipscomb. King has recorded numerous albums and toured internationally for over 35 years. The acclaimed artist also maintains a residency at Blues Alley, the premiere Jazz club in Washington D.C.

King is also an actor. He was chosen by the Coen brothers to play the role of itinerant bluesman Tommy Johnson alongside George Clooney in the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2000). King also appeared in the 2004 biopic "Ray," featuring Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, and in the HBO series "Treme".

One of the greatest blues guitarists of his generation according to Guitarist Magazine, Chris Thomas King has a sound all his own. His new EP "Les Bleus Made In Louisiana" (2016) expresses the spirit of his New Orleans musical roots. Live, the Chris Thomas King trio consists of veteran drummer Jeff Mills, and Danny Infante on bass.

Friday, August 11

Anthony Gomes

Anthony GomesAnthony Gomes has been creating virtuosic, burning blues since his recorded debut in 1998. 12 releases and numerous awards and ecstatic accolades later, Gomes shows no signs of slowing down, with his latest musical offering being his most successful to date. The aptly-named, riff-laden "Electric Field Holler" has received highly acclaimed recognition, reaching #1 on both Roots Music Report's Blues Rock Chart and ReverbNation's Global Blues Chart as well as earning several nominations for Blues Rock Album of the Year.

The Toronto-born singer/songwriter/guitarist is propelling blues rock into the contemporary music culture with his unapologetic approach to reinventing the genre in relevant and fresh ways. "The blues is old, but not tired" says Gomes, adding: "It speaks as truthfully today, and for this generation, as it ever has." Blues Music Magazine writes, "the formidable guitar chops and authentic singing place him in the forefront of modern blues." This, along with his high-energy shows and dynamic stage presence, make him one of the top draws on the Rock/Blues circuit today. And the facts speak for themselves: Gomes has performed in 17 countries and has shared the stage with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, Joe Bonamassa, Heart, Jonny Lang, Sammy Hagar, 38 Special, Robert Cray and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Believing that music can inspire the human spirit, Anthony founded the Music Is the Medicine Foundation in 2010.  This non-profit organization is dedicated to changing the lives of others through the healing power of music. Through private donations and sizable grants, the foundation has funded songwriting scholarships, offered music education programs, and donated musical instruments to those in need. 

"A very talented guitaristÉand where did that voice come from?" - B.B. King

Saturday, August 12

California Guitar Trio
with Montreal Guitar Trio

California Guitar Trio California Guitar Trio
The universe of guitar knows no boundaries for The California Guitar Trio. Since 1991, the trio's questing spirit has driven it to explore the intersections between rock, jazz, classical, and world music. Comprised of Bert Lams, Hideyo Moriya and Paul Richards, the group has established a unique, personal connection with audiences. In addition to dazzling musicianship and interplay, The California Guitar Trio's (CGT) shows are full of captivating stories and humor.

CGT's 15 albums, streamed over 59 million times on Pandora, offer diverse snapshots of the group's mercurial muse. The trio's most recent release, "Komorebi," showcases its acoustic side, with beautiful lush originals and innovative cover arrangements of Beatles, Beach Boys and more. Other highlights include "Masterworks," an album of classical works, with expansive takes on Bach, Beethoven, Arvo PŠrt, and Schubert; "Andromeda," which combines their many influences into a visionary album of original material; and "Echoes," which re-imagines timeless material by artists such as Mike Oldfield, Penguin CafŽ Orchestra, Pink Floyd, and Queen.

The trio's output has made a major global impact, having served as the soundtrack for Olympics coverage, and programs on CNN, CBS, NBC, and ESPN. They have fans in high places too: NASA used their music to wake the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

25 years and 1,800+ gigs later, the CGT remains intensely committed to explore, evolve and communicate a wide-ranging musical worldview.

Montreal Guitar Trio
Described by the CBC as the "hottest" guitar ensemble in Canada, MG3 has quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with. For over 15 years, the trio's virtuosity, rigor, creativity and impressive stage presence have been winning over audiences around the world. The trio, composed of guitarists Marc Morin, SŽbastien Dufour and Glenn LŽvesque, has given hundreds of concerts in some of the most prestigious venues across North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, including the BB King Blues Club in New York, the RundetŒrnet in Copenhagen, and the legendary Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Throughout the years, the trio has collaborated and shared the stage with world-renowned ensembles and artists, such as the Orchestre symphonique de QuŽbec, and Jorane et Solorazaf. Winner of the 2011 Opus Award for "concert of the year" in the Jazz / World Music category, MG3 has released six albums. "Der Prinz," under the Analekta label, was launched in February 2014, during the 15th edition of the MONTRƒAL EN LUMIéRE Festival.

CGT+MG3 features all six virtuoso guitarists from California Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio. Representing four countries (Japan, Canada, Belgium, and the U.S.), they fuse over 40 years of combined performing experience into one unique six-by-6-string Ôphenomensemble". CGT's steel stringed-guitars blend naturally with MG3's nylon-stringed guitars, as each trio's fret boards chase the others' original compositions and new arrangements of progressive rock, world, jazz and classical music.