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The Palms Playhouse (530) 756-9901

Friday, March 3
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
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
Adrian Legg
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
The Garcia Project
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
Red Meat
The Nickel Slots open

San Francisco’s Red Meat is one very great honky tonk band. Their original songs have a traditional feel while incorporating great harmony singing, terrific musicianship, humorous songs and one of the funniest stage shows we’ve seen in years. Red Meat is fronted by the fearless Smelley Kelly, whose stories have to be heard to be believed, and who has been playing with acoustic guitarist and fiddler Scott Young for over thirty years. Bassist Jill Olson and lead guitarist Michael Montalto were both in SF band The Movie Stars before joining Red Meat many years ago. Les James is a double threat on drums and harmony vocals. Red Meat has shared the stage with their idol Buck Owens and many other national acts, and frequently serve as rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson's West Coast backing band.

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

Playing first is The Nickel Slots, a three-time Sammie award winning Sacramento band that draws the line connecting Johnny Cash to The Clash. With influence from early roots Americana music and a touch of rebellious 1970s punk, The Nickel Slots will win you over with their energy and charm. Lead singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitarist Tony Brusca (former frontman of The Brodys), with bassist and mandolin player Paul Zinn, drummer Christopher Amaral, and electric guitarist Steve Amaral, deliver twangy originals and foot-stomping

Thursday, March 16
Janiva Magness
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
Wake the Dead
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.
Thursday, March 30
James Harman’s Bamboo Porch Revue

James Harman was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama, and quickly picked up on the black blues and soul music being played on jukeboxes and the radio. While still in his teens, he started playing blues harmonica in juke joints and dance clubs throughout the South. At the age of 18, Harman was “tapped” by talent scouts, signed and taken to Atlanta, Georgia in 1964 to begin his recording career.

Living in California since the 1970s, Harman has been one of the hardest working and most influential blues harmonica players in the country as well as being a mainstay of the southern California roots/blues scene for 30 years. His compadres over the years includes Rod Piazza, various members of the Blasters and Fabulous Thunderbirds. His harp playing is distinctive, raw, powerful and jumpin’. One thing about Harman, his music swings like crazy.

Harman’s side project, Bamboo Porch Revue, features guitarist Nathan James playing rollicking, low-down, juke-joint blues over James Michael Tempo’s Afro-Cuban percussion, Marty Dodson’s solid drumming, and Troy Sandow’s sparse, pulsating acoustic bass.

Saturday, April 1
Sure Fire Soul Ensemble
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble is a heavy, cinematic, eight-piece instrumental soul band based in San Diego. They draw influence from the masters of the style from the past and modern day, including: The Meters, Isaac Hayes, Mulatu Astatke, Budos Band, Quincy Jones, Fela Kuti, and The Poets of Rhythm.

In June of 2015, they released their debut self-titled album on Colemine Records. The album was very well received and made many "Best of 2015" lists including Reddit, Staf Magazine, and KMHD, Portland’s jazz radio station. The album also won a San Diego Music Award. In October 2016, they released their 2nd full length album, "Out On The Coast" via Colemine Records. SFSE has shared the stage with Lee Fields and the Expressions, New Mastersounds, Orgone, Quantic, Monophonics, Kamasi Washington, and many other touring bands. They regularly perform all over the West Coast.

The band is: Tim Felten (Organ and Electric Piano), Jesse Audelo (Bari Sax and Flute), Peter "D" Williams (Drums), Matthew LaBarber (Bass), Diego Velasquez (Percussion), Nicholas Costa (Guitar), Sheryll Felten (Shekere), and Robert Dove (Tenor Sax).

This is going to be one heck of a dance show! Bring your funky flair and be ready to use it on the dance floor!

Thursday, April 6
Bill Evans, John Reischman, Kenny Smith & Friends
This special performance will feature original music as well as bluegrass and old-time favorites spotlighting the talents of five world-renowned acoustic masters, who represent the best in 21st century acoustic/bluegrass music.

Bill Evans (banjo) is well known to Northern California audiences from hosting his annual California Banjo Extravaganza at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, as well as from collaborations with David Grisman, Jody Stecher, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Claire Lynch and many others. For this performance, Bill will spotlight the original compositions included on his chart-topping CDs Bill Evans Plays Banjo and In Good Company.

John Reischman (mandolin) is one of the premier mandolinists of his generation. A Juno-nominated and Grammy-award winning artist, John is known today for his work with his band the Jaybirds and his acclaimed solo albums. He is well-remembered for his work with the Tony Rice Unit and the Bay Area’s Good Ol’ Persons.

Kenny Smith (guitar) is widely considered one of the most important and influential flatpicking-style guitarists of his generation. A two-time IMBA Guitarist of the Year award winner, he played with the popular Lonesome River Band for six years, and now tours internationally with the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band, winners of the IMBA’s prestigious Emerging Artist of the Year award.

Nate Lee (fiddle and mandolin) is an IBMA award-winning instrumentalist. He toured with Alan Munde Gazette for six years and played fiddle on their second release “Made To Last”. Nate currently tours with the Becky Buller Band, playing mandolin and twin fiddle.

Max Schwartz (bass and banjo) grew up in the Bay Area playing in his family band. He has performed twice at the Grammy Awards, with the 2015 and 2016 Grammy Combos, and he regularly performs with Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands.

Friday, April 7
Front Country
CD release show
Front Country has a sound with the body of a bluegrass ensemble, the soul of a rock band and the mind of a classical chamber group. Their dynamic instrumental textures take flight with grace and gravitas while rooted in the relentlessly soulful vocals of lead singer Melody Walker and trio harmonies that soar with organic precision. Along with mandolinist Adam Roszkiewicz, guitarist Jacob Groopman, violinist Leif Karlstrom and bassist Jeremy Darrow, this San Francisco quintet has been called "passionately intoxicating" and "orchestral". In 2013 Front Country became the third band in history to win both the RockyGrass and Telluride band contests and they have been in-demand ever since. Their debut album, Sake of the Sound, is available worldwide.

Front Country’s newest album, “Other Love Songs,” will be released on April 7th, the night of this show!

Saturday, April 8 
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

Blues favorites Rick Estrin & the Nightcats are back at The Palms for an evening of infectious, captivating, powerful blues. Singer/harmonica player and songwriter Estrin ranks among the very best harp players in the blues world. His work on the reeds is at once deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs while pushing that tradition forward. The Associated Press called his harp playing, “endlessly impressive.” For more than 30 years and nine albums, Rick fronted the jumping, swinging Little Charlie & The Nightcats, and now Estrin – along with the Nightcats longtime rhythm section of J. Hansen (drums) and Lorenzo Farrell (bass) and fiery guitarist Kid Andersen – takes the lead on his own. Rick Estrin & The Nightcats’ sound is a harmonica-driven, rocking, guitar-fueled celebration. The band performs the well-known, well-loved songs from Estrin’s massive catalog, and will introduce plenty of new material along the way.

Rick won the 2013 Blues Music Award for Best Instrumentalist – Harmonica and the 1994 Song of the Year BMA for "My Next Ex-Wife." Kid Anderson is currently nominated for BMA for Best Instrumentalist – Guitar Player.

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats' newest CD is the Alligator Records release "You Asked For It – Live!" which has the immediacy, feel and fun of a true Rick Estrin & The Nightcats performance. “No matter how much fun we have and how relaxed we can be in the studio, there’s still nothing like being in front of, and interacting with, our live audience,” Estrin says.

“These are serious musicians out to have a hotter than hot good time. It’s tough to stay in your seat when Estrin and his musical cohorts get cooking.” –Chicago Sun-Times