Local Music

Fog City Blues: Tumbledown House

Apr 18, 2017
Photo by Anthony Foiani

Bay Area songwriting deviants Tumbledown House have never been easy to describe: modern speakeasy, saloon jazz, parlor pop, and Tom Waits in a cocktail dress are just some of the terms used.

This music is from the newest album by Danny Paul Grody. SF Weekly named it one of the “Five Best Bay Area Albums of 2016.”

The Back Room in Berkeley will celebrate its one-year anniversary on April 15 when Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots bring their unique brand of “boogie, blues and jazz” to the intimate, brick-laden venue.

Two long-time friends of the show, Jimmy Grant and Royal Jelly Jive, will play concerts in San Francisco this weekend, but not before both stop by our studio for a preview tonight 9-11 pm. 

This music you’re hearing today is by a Bay Area duo called Gutter Swan. Loryn Barbeau, a former opera singer, and Steve Egelman, guitarist, take inspiration for their sound from traditional folk, and Americana twang.

Song Exploder: Oakland's tUnE-yArDs

Apr 3, 2017
tUnE-yArDs

In this episode, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs breaks down “Water Fountain.” It’s a song that draws inspiration from the politics of drought and dancehall reggae, and you’ll hear how and why she tried to make this song less catchy.

The music you’re hearing now is by Whiskerman. Graham Patzner, the group's singer, was exposed to music-making from the start: both of his parents are musicians.

Fog City Blues: The Dynamic Miss Faye Carol

Mar 29, 2017

Faye Carol has been part of the Bay Area music scene since she moved from Meridian, Mississippi to Pittsburg, California as a young girl. Known widely as the ‘Dynamic Miss Faye Carol,’ she defies labels -- singing everything from cabaret to gospel to jazz.

Credit: Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture cropped & edited with permission

Today’s local music is performed by Patrick Galvin. A San Francisco native, he performs classical violin recitals, both solo, and in chamber settings. And he’s in a folk band- but not this week.

CROPPED/RESIZED

What’s this you’re hearing? It’s an Oakland band called Porch. They play alternative rock, with seemingly stream-of-consciousness lyrics. 

Fog City Blues: The Sam Chase & co.

Mar 21, 2017

The Sam Chase has a voice like a nun on the lam with a mouthful cigarettes and curse words in a lonely bar, drunkenly dancing next to a broken jukebox. 

Fog City Blues: Macy Blackman & The Mighty Fines

Mar 15, 2017
Dinkins / De Jong © 2013

Hearing Macy Blackman is like stepping into an uptown New Orleans club such as the Dew Drop Inn circa 1955. Indeed, he's been playing this music since it really wasn't very old.

“An underground songwriting master.”  That’s what the San Francisco Chronicle says about Ruth Gerson, who you’re hearing now. 

Fog City Blues: Kim Lembo

Mar 8, 2017
Photo: Philip Milic

From 1993 to 2001, Kim Lembo recorded four blues albums with her band Blue Heat. Her special blend of hard rocking blues, gospel and roots brought out a voice unique in its depth, universal in its world weariness.

Today’s soothing island sounds come from slack-key guitarist Patrick Landeza. He likes to say he was born on the island of Berkeley.

Fog City Blues: No Lovely Thing

Mar 1, 2017

No Lovely Thing is a fiercely funky soul band based in Oakland. Led by singer Melissa Jones’ percussive melodies and unforgettably captivating voice, the band weaves elements of blues, ska, reggae and jazz into their modern soul-funk mix. 

What’s this you’re hearing? It’s an Oakland band called Porch. They play alternative rock, with seemingly stream-of-consciousness lyrics.

Local Music: Xiomara

Feb 22, 2017

 

Today’s local music is by Xiomara. This Berkeley native samples a lot of styles in her latest album — among them, hip-hop, soul, and gospel. 

Are you longing for the laid-back Mendo surfer vibe, but don’t have time to travel north? Then maybe you should hear Mendonesia. This San Francisco band describes their sound as “somewhere between psych and folk.” 

Fog City Blues: Inspector Gadje

Feb 22, 2017
John Nilsen Studios

With up to 14 musicians (12 horns and 2 percussionists), Bay Area-San Francisco-based Inspector Gadje brings a big sound to the beautiful and bumpin’ brass band music of the Balkans of south-eastern Europe.

Fog City Blues: The Cool

Feb 15, 2017

The Cool is a new play written by San Francisco playwright Barry Eitel about legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker.

photo courtesy of The Good Bad

Today’s local music is by a San Francisco band — The Good Bad. They’ve been playing “new grass/bluegrass” since 2010 and pride themselves on having “a mesmerizing stage presence.”

Fog City Blues: John Brothers Piano Company

Feb 8, 2017
Photo: Kala Minko

The innovative sounds of the John Brothers Piano Company are the colors of timeless energy – early jazz meets stride and swing, waltzed through a Barbary saloon, laid to rest on a bed of rambunctious roses.

75+ Bay Area musicians and artists pay tribute to an album that showcased the confident vision of a young woman dealing with modern life - love, heartbreak, spirituality, racism - with the wisdom and aplomb of an old soul.

 

Once there was a band called The Screaming Bloody Marys, who you’re hearing now. Then they broke up, for 18 years. Now they’re back, with the original members, plus a new vocalist. 

Lila Blue, who you’re hearing now, has lived in San Francisco about a third of her life, yet she’s only been here since 2011. How’s that possible? Lila Smith is only 16 years old. Her first instrument was the ukulele. Now she also plays guitar, bass and piano.

Fog City Blues: 10th Anniversary with Lavay Smith

Jan 25, 2017

Fog City Blues first aired on January 29, 2007. A few weeks later, local chanteuse Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers bandleader Chris Siebert joined us for our first live on-air interview about blues in the Bay Area and beyond. 

The music you’re hearing now is being performed by the Chamber Music Society of San Francisco. This group has a passion for playing in intimate settings, which brings performers and listeners closer together.

Pete Hartigan

Today’s local music is by singer-songwriter Bob Hillman of San Francisco. Susan Stamberg of NPR said, “I’ve never heard of this Mr. Bob Hillman but that song about ‘War & Peace’ is enough to make you want to pick up ‘War & Peace’ and start reading it.” 

Fog City Blues: Mark Hummel's Ultimate Harmonica Blowout

Jan 18, 2017

Bay Area blues harp legend Mark Hummel has assembled one of his most adventurous Harmonica Extravaganzas to date. 

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