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The Palms Playhouse (530) 756-9901

Friday, May 5
Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band

The Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band brings five genre-busting artists together to bring joyful music infused with folk, bluegrass, Americana, roots, swing, jazz, and the blues. Alt-Roots, Folkbilly - whatever you call it, it's original, well done, and a pleasure to hear. The band plays originals co-written by Nell and Jim, as well as familiar country music classics by the likes of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Johnny Cash. Their latest album, “Baby Let's Take the Long Way Home,” was just released.

Nell Robinson is described as "a modern-day Patsy Cline" and one of the "freshest voices in roots music". Local audiences may have seen Nell Robinson and her band on KVIE TV as part of their "Music Gone Public" live music series. Jim Nunally is no stranger to the area as he has played regionally many times in various groups including The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, his duo show with Keith Little, John Reischman and the JayBirds, and many more. Jim is an outstanding acoustic guitarist, an impeccable singer in the country and bluegrass tradition, as well as a solid songwriter.

Featuring Pete Grant on pedal steel, Jim Kerwin on bass fiddle and Jon Arkin on percussion, this is truly an all-star band.

Thursday, May 11
Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing
Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing is a trio consisting of Little Charlie Baty on guitar, Lorenzo Farrell on organ, and Jason Hansen on drums. The three played together in the iconic group Little Charlie and the Nightcats along with vocalist/harp player Rick Estrin. After Baty left the Nightcats in 2008, Lorenzo Farrell began exploring the Hammond organ, and the trio formed to pay tribute to 1950s-era organ trios led by such stars as Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes. Their 2016 release “Skronky Tonk” on the Eller Soul label received much critical acclaim, including a 4-star review in the prestigious jazz magazine Downbeat. This special project enables the trio to explore a wide variety of music in an instrumental setting: swing, bop, blues, Latin, and gypsy jazz are all components of their repertoire. Improvisation, humor, dexterity, and the jazz spirit decorate their performances. All with a heavy dash of blues.
Saturday, May 13
Shana Morrison and Caledonia
Her 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 Morrison's unique and wide-ranging voice.

Shana 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.

Since 2010 Shana has added touring with Van Morrison to her regular US schedule, opening shows with songs that range from traditional blues and jazz, to Irish folk songs, to her original songs which meld these influences. She also joins the Van Morrison band as a backup vocalist, and featured guest artist. Some highlights have been shows at L'Olympia in Paris, Hampton Court Palace, The Larimer Tree Festival, The East Belfast Festival, Castle Ward, and The Heb Celt Festival in the UK. Shana is a featured artist on the recent Van Morrison CD "Duets" recording "Rough God Goes Riding".

Friday, May 19
Miss Lonely Hearts

Miss Lonely Hearts is an accomplished, rollicking-fun honky-tonk band from Santa Cruz, CA, led by Winters' own Wyatt Hesemeyer on guitar and vocals. They recorded their 4th full length album "Lost Highway" in the spring of 2016, which Roots Music Report recently ranked as #4 best outlaw country album, right above Johnny Cash's "The Essential Johnny Cash." Just think about that for a second.

In addition to Wyatt Hesemeyer, the band includes Mischa Gasch on bass, Patrick O'Connor on drums, and Sean Carscadden on guitar. In 2015, the boys went on their first national tour and played over 150 shows in the last two years. They frequently tour the Pacific Northwest and recently toured with "The Devil Makes Three," including two shows in Canada.

They're hard players, hard partiers, and they never disappoint at a live performance. Don't miss it.

Saturday, May 20
The Bobs' Farewell Tour

The BobsThe Bobs are a four-part a cappella group out of San Francisco who started off with a few hit covers and went on to develop their own celebrated humor and grammy-nominated arrangements. Highlights of the group's career include performing with Jason Alexander on the Emmy¨ Awards telecast, and providing musical commentary for National Public Radio's Morning Edition.  Citations have included Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards (CARA) too numerous to mention since the Awards were established in 1992.  Composer/lyricists Richard Bob Greene, Gunnar Madsen, and Amy Bob Engelhardt have repeatedly garnered ASCAP Songwriting Awards for their Bobs compositions.

The Bobs have also collaborated extensively with artists in other disciplines, including the Oberlin Dance Collective, Momix, (later known as ISO), a one-hour "Lonesome Pine Special" for PBS now part of the media archives at the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of American History. They also headlined the prestigious American Songbook Series and recently collaborated with The Flying Karamazov Brothers in "A Comedy of Eras" at Seattle's A Contemporary Theater.

The Bobs are one of the most beloved performing groups here at The Palms Playhouse. After 35 years of fabulous concerts, they plan to stop touring and focus on their individual music projects. It may be the last time they grace The Palms stage, so don't miss it!

Thursday, May 25
The Stray Birds website

Stray BirdsThe Stray Birds are a trio from Lancaster, Pennsylvania focusing on songwriting, tight and forthcoming vocal harmony blends and their commitment to an impassioned delivery of original material, both on stage and in the studio. Their 2016 Yep Roc Records release "Magic Fire" was produced by Grammy-winner Larry Campbell and earned much praise, including being named by NPR as one of Folk Alley's Top Ten Records of 2016. 

They've been seen from LA to London, sung songs from Dallas to Denmark, and played tunes from New York to New Orleans over the last seven years with three albums and over six hundred performances.

Thursday, June 1
Tom Brosseau and Garrett Pierce Tom Brosseau website
Garrett Pierce website

Tom Brosseau and Garrett PierceWe're excited to offer you an evening of two critically acclaimed songwriters, Garrett Pierce and Tom Brosseau.

North Dakota-born and LA-seasoned, Tom Brosseau is a songwriter, guitar player & singer. He learned acoustic guitar from his grandmother. Brosseau has toured Japan, Canada, Portugal, Iceland, Australia; performed in bars, backyards, grand halls, subways, theaters, old folks homes; exchanged songs and poetry with many talented folks, including Susan Orlean, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Patrick Marber, Bonnie Raitt and the late Sam Hinton. Brosseau also sings and plays guitar with Becky Stark and John C. Reilly in John Reilly & Friends.

Garrett Pierce pens songs that are literary in style with well-worked lyrics and a voice that soars over dark, ethereal melodies. "Ranging from raving pop to solemn folk, from Shins-like exuberance to Mark Kozalek's charismatic sadness" - East Bay Express

Back to back, these two deliver an unforgettable evening of music with their thoughtful composition and songwriting.

Friday, June 2
Tom Rigney and Flambeau 
with Michael Doucet
Tom Rigney website
Beausoleil website

Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney Tom Rigney and Flambeau are one of the hottest bands on the American Roots Music circuit. Their sound is a scorching blend of Cajun, blues, and New Orleans grooves, featuring Tom Rigney's electrifying electric violin and his original compositions. Rigney's band of all-stars simmers and cooks with musical intelligence. Their high energy live show features tight ensemble playing, deeply infectious grooves, and rich soloing. Renowned guitarist Danny Caron (Marcia Ball, Clifton Chenier, Charles Brown), boogie queen Caroline DahlSteve Parks on bass and Brent Rapone on drums have carved evocative and powerfully uplifting music, led by that guy in the red boots.

Joining Tom & Flambeau is renowned cajun fiddler Michael Doucet. Since the mid-'70s, Doucet has been one of the dominant figures of the Cajun music revival, respected for his scholarship and admired for his showmanship. On the one hand, Doucet dredges up ancient Cajun tunes with medieval French roots, and on the other, plays flamboyant fiddle with his band Beausoleil. 

Saturday, June 3
Misner & Smith

Misner and SmithMisner & Smith are celebrating the vinyl release of their newest album "Seven Hour Storm". Featuring Sam Misner (guitar and vocals) and Megan Smith (upright bass, mandolin, and vocals), the lineup also includes the talented Josh Yenne on pedal steel/electric guitar, and Joe Shotwell on drums, with a sound rooted in a harmony-driven folk/rock/Americana style. Their songs yearn for connection, ache for understanding, relish in mystery, and rejoice in creation. In a world that often feels to be crumbling down around us, they dig deep, and find hope in simple things, in the beauty that surrounds us all. With soaring vocal harmonies and story-filled, poetic songwriting, Misner & Smith's sound harkens back to the bedrock of modern American rock & folk.

Friday, June 9

Carolyn Wonderland

Carolyn WonderlandA musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time.

Carolyn grew up in a musical family and began playing her mother's vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. She's gone from being the teenage toast of her hometown Houston to sleeping in her van in Austin amid heaps of critical acclaim. Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel. Wonderland even throws in a whistling solo on occasion.

Her breakthrough album release was 2008's "Miss Understood" (Bismeaux). From appearances on PBS's Austin City Limits to top slots at major festivals around the world, Wonderland's album quickly reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Blues chart and her live shows left a trail of screaming fans in its wake.

The follow up, "Peace Meal" (2011), was produced by a stellar cast including long-time supporter and inspiration, Ray Benson, and two-time Grammy winner Larry Campbell (the force behind The Band drummer Levon Helm and his recent comeback) and founding Monkee, Michael Nesmith.

Wonderland's latest release, "Live Texas Trio," was recorded in 2015 in a trio of Texas' most famous packed houses, Antone's in Austin, Kessler Theatre in Dallas and Last Concert Cafe in Houston. Carolyn shines brightest in live performance, winning legions of fans with her take-no-prisoners approach to the stage, so it made perfect sense to capture that energy in a live recording.

Wonderland's group includes Cole El-Saleh, whose keyboard work can be heard on Carolyn Wonderland's most recent three albums, as well as about a hundred other projects, and Rob Hooper, who has played drums for Jimmie Dale Gilmore, the Resentments, Seth Walker, Guy Forsyth, Monte Montgomery, and many more.

"The reigning queen of Austin blues, Carolyn Wonderland sparks fire on guitar and soulful fury in the force of her vocal grit." - Austin Chronicle

Saturday, June 10
Chris Webster and Nina Gerber
Chris Webster website
Nina Gerber website

Chris Webster and Nina GerberMusic fans know Chris Webster and Nina Gerber as two of the most skilled and artful musical talents. Webster's voice is uniquely compelling while Gerber's guitar is beautiful and powerful. Together they're magic. With originals, tasteful covers-soulful ballads, jazzy tunes and sweet folk, a great show.

With a career that began nearly two decades ago as a teen-aged lead singer for one of California's best known regional acts (Mumbo Gumbo), Chris Webster boasts a successful resume highlighted by four solo releases ("Drive," "Now Playing," "Something in the Water," "My Name is Christine") and one amazing traditional Bluegrass/Americana recording (The Webster's "10,000 Miles") with her sister Cassie and renowned guitarist Scott Nygaard. With astonishing power and passion, her voice reaches magical heights, yet effortlessly turns on a dime to deliver gut wrenching torch songs and gentle ballads. Combining elegance and grace with a foot-shuffling manner, Webster has a purity and beauty about her that is seldom seen and never forgotten. She can cut to the bone with tender, unrequited songs of love-gone-wrong then slap you upside the head with a fistful of lyrics and a take-charge melody that makes you step aside, stand back, and listen.

Since her accompaniment of Kate Wolf first earned her recognition, Nina Gerber's acute skills as performer, producer and arranger have continued to deepen. Nina has a unique ability to completely free herself within an eclectic range of styles. Presented with folk, country, bluegrass, rock, or blues, she is able to fall into leads which have rare reverence for the true feeling of a song, always emphasizing taste over technical display.  Nina has performed and/or recorded with: Karla Bonoff, Peter Rowan, Eliza Gilkyson, Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O'Brien, Rosalie Sorrels, Laurie Lewis, and many others. Her soulful enhancement of their music easily explains why several return the favor by appearing on her 2001 album, "Not Before Noon" and Nina's live CD, "Good Music with Good People".  Nina continues to prove with her guitar that some of the truest and most emotional communication requires no words. Still, when combined with the voice of another musician of heart, the result is affecting in an unforgettable way.

"Webster's is an authoritative voice that manages to make existential angst, romantic confusion and spiritual longing sound uncommonly appealing. Each note she sings conveys a probing, acute sensitivity to the little complications of life and love, with a sexy edge to boot."  - No Depression Magazine

"The evening's real star... Gerber usually says little and lets her guitar do the talking. She is a not-so-underground legend. Her wide-ranging folk-country- jazz-blues stylings have backed dozens of performers on stage and record."  Oakland Tribune