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The Palms Playhouse (530) 756-9901
 

Saturday, February 11  
8pm
$20
Tempest
 
www.tempestmusic.com
Since forming in 1988, Tempest has delivered a globally-renowned hybrid of high-energy folk rock fusing Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences and other world music elements. The last 27 years have seen the San Francisco Bay Area-based act release fifteen critically acclaimed CDs and play more than 2,000 gigs. It's also enjoyed an evolving line-up that's enabled musicianship and creativity to rise with each new member.

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist Lief Sorbye is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her internationally award-winning playing to the Tempest stage. Her experience performing world-fusion music with high-energy dance bands combined with many years of playing Irish traditional music in America and Ireland makes her a perfect fit for Tempest. Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band's sound with inventive rhythms and rock-steady drumming. Bassist Josh Fossgreen, who joined the band in 2015, is an exceptional young talent whose innovative bass textures add a rich dimension to the Tempest soundscape. Ab Menon, who joined in 2016, is the latest in a long line of Tempest guitar greats.

Signed to Sony-distributed Magna Carta Records, Tempest's releases are acclaimed worldwide. The group's latest studio CD, The Tracks We Leave, may be the band's most exciting work to date, as their unique blend of world music elements showcases inventive new original and traditional material.

Tempest is regularly featured at prestigious festivals including The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Denmark's Skagen Festival, Britain's Cropredy Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. The band is also a mainstay at countless American Celtic festivals.

Thursday, February 16
8pm
$17
Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley www.robandtrey.com
This exciting collaborative effort between two uniquely gifted musicians is bound to be a revelation to traditional music fans. Rob Ickes is a longtime, well-established bluegrass dobro player, and Trey Hensley is newly arrived in Music City, full of talent both as a vocalist and an acoustic and electric guitarist. Their first album together, “Before the Sun Goes Down,” was nominated a for Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2015.

Named Bluegrass Dobro Player of the Year fifteen times, Rob Ickes was a founding and long-time member of the much-decorated bluegrass band Blue Highway. Rob has played on countless sessions, recording with artists such as Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, Patty Loveless, and Alison Krauss. He has also helped form a jazz –oriented trio, Three Ring Circle, along with Andy Leftwich and Dave Pomeroy. His most recent album Three Bells is a true dobro summit, collaborating with fellow greats Jerry Douglas and the late Mike Auldridge. He even once received a surprise phone call from admirer, jazz guitar and harmonica master Toots Thielemans! In his duo work with Hensley, listeners get a chance to hear Rob Ickes, by now an acknowledged master of the dobro and lap steel guitar, playing outside of the box.

Raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Trey Hensley began playing guitar and singing when he was 10 years old ¬and landed on the Grand Old Opry stage with Marty Stuart and Earl Scruggs when he was only 11. Trey has already in his young life played with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Janie Fricke. His resonant baritone voice is rich, expressive, and equally at ease with classic bluegrass, traditional country, and original compositions. From his powerful yet sympathetic vocal interpretations of traditional and contemporary material to his jaw-dropping instrumental skills on both acoustic and electric guitar and considerable songwriting talents, Trey Hensley is bursting at the seams with freshness and musical excitement.

Collaborating with Hensley on a track for Blue Highway’s 2014 album "The Game," inspired Ickes to propose the two musicians to record a studio project together. Their Grammy-nominated debut “Before The Sun Goes Down” is the result of that effort. Ickes & Hensley continue to record and tour together. In reviewing their latest release, “The Country Blues,” PopMatters’ Sarah Zupko wrote, “Ickes and Hensley can seriously burn up the fretboard with some of the most amazing country playing you’ll hear anywhere.”
 
Friday, February 17
8pm
 $25
Antsy McClain & The Trailer Park Troubadours unhitched.com
Antsy & the Troubs are a hoot. McClain's good-humored, audacious performance style is a hallmark of his shows: from his pompadour hair to polyester clothes, from his no-holds-barred dancing to his comic delivery, this is a performer at the top of his game. Partner this with the witty lyrics and catchy melodies of McClain's off-beat crowd-pleasers (including "It Ain't Home 'Til You Take The Wheels Off," "Living in Aluminum," "Prozac Made Me Stay," "Wreck of the Bookmobile," "I Was Just Flipped Off By A Silver-Haired Old Lady With A 'Honk If You Love Jesus' Sticker On The Bumper Of Her Car," and "Cubic Zirconium in the Rough") and the excellent musicianship of the Trailer Park Troubadours, and you’ll understand how McClain can keep audiences laughing and engaged like few others.

The group’s newest album “Somewhere Past These Gravel Roads” features wryly upbeat mid-tempo originals plus a heavily reimagined “Crazy Train.” These guys are sure to keep you entertained all evening.
 
Friday, February 24
8pm
$20
Rhythmtown-Jive + The K-Girls
Mardi Gras Mambofest
 
www.rhythmtown-jive.com/
bigbangbeat.com/
Come celebrate Mardi Gras at The Palms! Rhythmtown-Jive plays infectious dance music, delivering rhythm & blues, zydeco, jump-swing, rock & roll and New Orleans gems. They’ll be joined by The K-Girls – Keta Bill, Carol Bozzio Littleton, and Kathy Kennedy, the three female singers of Big Bang Beat – to perform songs in the styles made popular by classic “girl groups” and female singers of New Orleans.

Rhythmtown-Jive is an exciting American roots combo featuring accomplished San Francisco Bay Area musicians recognized nationally for their versatility and outstanding skill. The band is fronted by vocalist and bassist Tim Eschliman (founding member of the Christmas Jug Band), whose credits include stints with Etta James, Commander Cody, and the Moonlighters. Tenor saxophonist Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs, saxophone and harmonica player Michael Peloquin, trombonist Mike Rinta, drummer Kevin Dillon, and pianist Kevin Zuffi fill out the sound to make this one hot Mardi Gras ensemble! Members of the band have played with Dr. John, La Vern Baker, Queen Ida, Sly & The Family Stone, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Elvin Bishop, T-Bone Walker, Roy Rogers, John Lee Hooker, Joe Louis Walker, and The Drifters.

Big Bang Beat, otherwise known as “The Ultimate Party Machine,” has kept the party going in the San Francisco area for over twenty years. They play the best of 60’s Motown, 70’s funk, and 80’s and 90’s dance hits. From their website, “with the biggest heart and the funkiest soul, this is the band that stays together and plays together. Big Bang Beat continue to be the life of the party scene.” The band’s three female singers, Keta Bill, Carol Bozzio Littleton, and Kathy Kennedy, really know how to turn up the heat, and they will rock those Mardi Gras and rhythm & blues favorites ‘til the cows come home!

The dance floor will be open and seating will be limited.
 
Friday, March 3
8pm
$17
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
 
dirtykitchenband.com
From touring with bluegrass greats in his native California while still in high school, to the cold climes of Alaska and now the bluegrass hotbed of Washington, D.C., Frank Solivan built a reputation as a monster mandolinist and fiery fiddler. His original music has climbed to the tops of bluegrass charts coast to coast and his band is featured at major music festivals across the country. Dirty Kitchen is stocked with hot musicians who can really cook: Solivan, banjoist Mike Munford (2013 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year), award-winning guitarist Chris Luquette and bassist Jeremy Middleton simmer a bluegrass/newgrass stew from instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills so hot, they’ve been named Washington Area Music Association’s Best Bluegrass Band of the Year for four consecutive years and International Bluegrass Music Association Instrumental Group of the Year in 2014 and 2016.

With the band's previous album earning Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen a 2015 Grammy Nomination for Best Bluegrass Album, Solivan released the eagerly anticipated solo CD “Family, Friends & Heroes” in 2016 to great critical acclaim. This genre-stretching album provides a generous glimpse into Solivan’s work, paying homage to his family members and featuring the pristine playing of his closest musical heroes, including Del McCoury, Rob Ickes, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Shawn Camp and Megan McCormick. In addition to their recent Grammy nomination and IBMA wins, the group was nominated for five International Bluegrass Music Association awards in 2016, including Instrumental Group of the Year, Mandolin Player of the Year (Frank Solivan), and Banjo Player of the Year (Mike Munford).
 
Saturday, March 4
8pm
$20
Adrian Legg adrianlegg.com
Voted Guitarist of the Decade by Guitarist Magazine and Best Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist four years in a row by readers of Guitar Player, London-based electro-acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Adrian Legg dazzles audiences with an unclassifiable mixture of country, jazz, folk, rock, and classical styles. For all his rapid-fire playing, though, Adrian never loses sight of melodies and their power to move us. And on top of that, he's a tall tale teller of the first order, with a dry sense of humor that would be reason enough in itself to come to one of his concerts. Described by Audio magazine as a "kind of cross between Robert Fripp and Garrison Keillor," Legg is a genuine entertainer who excels at not only painting pictures and telling stories with music but also wittily regaling his audiences with tales from his life and travels and his cogent and thought-provoking observations on a spectrum of topics. It’s all part of his dedication to making his performances a full-blooded emotional experience. “If you haven't shared a laugh with someone,” he insists, "you certainly can't share a tragedy."

Throughout his career, he has earned the highest praise from the media. "Legg is, above all, a guitarist of great power, invention and versatility,” observes the St. Petersburg Times. “Through fast-fingered picking, spontaneously layering parts and occasional ringing harmonics, he sounds like an orchestra.” Guitar Player heralds how he “combines a sublime melodic sense with a mighty right-hand groove, creating pretty music with rhythmically aggressive undercurrents,” while Acoustic Guitar notes that “the guitar is the most versatile instrument in the world, and nobody demonstrates this better than Adrian Legg.” But the Atlanta Journal-Constitution likely summed up his impact on listeners best when it exclaimed, "Mr. Legg's compositions, with their narrative melodies and nakedly emotive tones, offer an antidote to the guitar-hero syndrome.”
 
Sunday, March 5
7pm
$22
The Garcia Project www.thegarciaproject.com
The Garcia Project’s performances are recreations of full, classic Jerry Garcia Band set lists from 1975-1995. With thoughtful arrangements and the proper instrumentation and feel, The Garcia Project faithfully channels and projects the feelings, emotions and music that propelled the Jerry Garcia Band and their fans through the years. For anyone that never had a chance to experience the Jerry Garcia Band or for fans that want to relive a classic show, The Garcia Project delivers the goods. The Garcia Project has received rave reviews from the press and from fans. Touring primarily in the northeast, The Garcia Project has made many fans extremely happy. It’s about family, soul searching, rejoicing, contemplating, celebrating, seeking truth and loving one another.

Mik Bondy fills the “Jerry” role with modesty and an understanding that no one can replace Jerry – but that we all together can rejoice in his music. Kat Walkerson adds heartfelt and soulful female vocals to the mix. Kat has performed as vocalist for Melvin Seals and JGB and has been a guest vocalist with Dark Star Orchestra. Dan Crea, bass player, uses two Fender Precisions like Kahn used from ’74 to ’81, with American Special necks, EMG pickups with Alnico magnets and high mass bridges for clarity, and Warmoth bodies with custom bridge pickups and electronics to approximate the Steinberger tone when needed. Greg Marshall plays the piano part from the early Jerry Garcia Band styles and he excels at the Hammond Organ parts for 80’s and 90’s JGB stylings. He is an amazing keyboardist who loves the music of the Jerry Garcia Band. Bobby Belanger is a solid and tight drummer who can bring the music down to whisper and back up with a roar. Bobby excels in the 70’s era JGB stylings as well as the later eras.

“The Garcia Project Breathes Life into Jerry Garcia’s Tunes...[they] did a spot on job and transported the Theatre’s crowd to a dusky night in the 1970s.” - Alex Fredkin, Arts Editor, The State Times
 
Saturday, March 11
8pm
$15
Red Meat www.redmeat.net
San Francisco’s Red Meat is one very great honky tonk band. Their original songs have atraditional feel while incorporating great harmony singing, terrific musicianship, humorous songsand one of the funniest stage shows we’ve seen in years. Red Meat is fronted by the fearlessSmelley Kelly, whose stories have to be heard to be believed, and who has been playing withacoustic guitarist and fiddler Scott Young for over thirty years. Bassist Jill Olson and lead guitaristMichael Montalto were both in SF band The Movie Stars before joining Red Meat many yearsago. Les James is a double threat on drums and harmony vocals. Red Meat has shared the stagewith their idol Buck Owens and many other national acts, and frequently serve as rockabillylegend Wanda Jackson's West Coast backing band.

With five albums (three of which were produced by Americana great Dave Alvin) and years of liveshows, Red Meat has found its place as one of the pre-eminent honky tonk bands in California.
 

Thursday, March 16
8pm
$20
Janiva Magness janivamagness.com
Janiva Magness is one of the premier blues and R&B singers in the world today. Her voice possesses an earthy, raw honesty born from her life experience, including growing up in the foster care system of Detroit. Her talent as a singer and songwriter have earned her numerous awards and accolades, including Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year five times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2015), Song of the Year for “I Won’t Cry” from her recording Stronger For It (2013), as well as the coveted 2009 Blues Music Award for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (making her only the second woman to ever win this award, Koko Taylor being the first).

Janiva’s 2016 album "Love Wins Again" is nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album. "Love Wins Again" is another evolutionary step for the soulful, elegant, award-winning singer-songwriter. Its 11 core songs and two bonus tracks are built on a sonically sophisticated architecture that’s in full service of Magness’ remarkably flexible and generous voice—which can flow smoothly as champagne or churn up gravel on command. The album’s title is a mantra that resonates throughout: the concept of love as a physical, psychic and spiritual force that has the strength to conquer negativity, sadness and personal demons. Magness is currently up for Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year in the Blues Music Awards.

Tonight, Magness will be joined by Zach Zunis (guitar), Garrett Deloian (guitar), Gary "Scruff" Davenport (bass), and Matt Tecu (drums).
 
Friday, March 17
8pm
$20
Wake the Dead www.wakethedead.org
Wake the Dead is a romp that flows seamlessly from rock grooves to hot Irish reels, and from haunting airs to achingly beautiful melodies familiar to Deadheads everywhere. “Sugaree” in waltz time, bracketed by an ancient harp tune and infused with a poignant Celtic longing. “Bertha” thundering out of “China Cat” on a mandolin tidal wave. The eerie lilt of the uilleann pipes, giving a glow to “Bird Song” as if it was always meant to be there. Groove jams to keep the tie-dye swirling. Vocal harmonies that float like clouds. The music takes off, and the band follows, grinning all the way. These aren’t worlds colliding—they’re worlds meshing, coalescing—creating a whole new world of possibility, and true to the spirits of the Grateful Dead and the eternally hopeful Celts.

Wake the Dead bands together seven of the best-known and most respected players in the west. Harper Maureen Brennan has toured for over 30 years and recorded the acclaimed “Harpistry” collection. Bassist Cindy Browne is equally at home in folk and jazz, touring globally as the musical fusion go-to gal. Singer, fiddler, and octave mandolinist Danny Carnahan is an award-winning songwriter whose original Irish-tinged songs are popular worldwide. Kevin Carr is a musical triple-threat, renowned as a dance fiddler, a pennywhistler, and Irish piper par excellence. Sylvia Herold’s delicious vocal phrasing can also be heard on her solo recordings and her performances with Euphonia. Paul Kotapish is known far and wide for his work with Kevin Burke’s Open House, and for his blazing guitar and mandolin with The Hillbillies From Mars and Euphonia. And Latin percussionist Brian Rice rounds out the band’s groove engine.