Local Music | KALW

Local Music

If you missed Oakland’s California Honeydrops at their sold-out Fillmore show last month, now’s your chance to see them in a more intimate space.

The California Honeydrops, who you're hearing now, will be performing Friday NIGHT (11.21) at the 19 Broadway club in Fairfax. Music starts about 9 pm.

Usually a guitar band plays either acoustic or electric instruments. New Monsoon, the San Francisco rock quintet, has found a way to combine both.  New Monsoon will be performing Saturday, November 15, 2014 – with more than guitars - at the 19 Broadway club in Fairfax. The music begins about 9pm. 

As blues harp legend Charlie Musselwhite puts it, "HowellDevine plays the music with the original feel, intent and spirit, and you can tell they love the music while delivering some real blues in their own way ...

The band currently putting a spell on you is Shannon and the Clams. These Oakland boys --and ghoul -- are bringing their signature trashy and surfy sound to Leo's Music Club in North Oakland, tomorrow evening (10.31) for the Total Trash Halloween Bash. They'll be playing alongside other local bands. The show will start at 7pm.   

Today's local music is by Susan Muscarella. She’s a true local; she was born in Oakland, raised in Walnut Creek, and is founder of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. 

Susan Muscarella is reviving the school’s annual Halloween concert at the California Jazz Conservatory on Addison in Berkeley on Friday, October 31, starting at 8pm.


This song is by Paige and The Thousand. You may recognize Lindsay Paige Garfield’s voice – she’s been singing with Bay Area indie-pop groups for the past eight years – including with “Or, the Whale.” Paige and The Thousand will be performing Sunday, October 26th, at Bottom of the Hill in their hometown of San Francisco. Doors open at 7:30pm. 

 Earl Thomas, who you’re hearing now, has an interesting story. He recorded his first album of original songs by following the instructions in a book, titled “How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording.”  Now he’s a regular on the Bay Area blues circuit.  Earl Thomas has two shows on Saturday (10.25) at Biscuits and Blues, near Union Square in San Francisco. One is at 7:30, and the next is at 10pm. 

Here’s something we can all agree on: Space is really big. That’s the lesson the band known as Lumerians wants listeners to know. They won’t ask you to dance. Instead, they ask you to “submit to your own subconscious desire to.”

Lumerians will be appearing at The New Parish in their hometown of Oakland on Friday, October 24th. Plan to get spacey around 9:00 p.m.

Seth Augustus live on Fog City Blues this Wednesday

Oct 21, 2014

The music of Seth Augustus has been described as "sharp, black diamonds flicking with their own sinister twinkle," "urban swamp music for which dark alleys and basement speakeasies were surely invented," and "the music God hears in his sleep when He has a high fever." Seth performs live in the Fog City Blues studio this Wednesday, 10/22 at 9 pm.

Dave Fleishman

Yes, it's that time of year, again. That time of an even-numbered year, anyway. The San Francisco Giants are in the World Series, and we're listening to their Bluegrass Fight Song, performed by Hot Buttered Rum. They've got a gig coming up Friday night at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz starting right about the time game three between the Giants and Royals wraps up.

Dorothy Brown

There’s something special about sisters who sing together. And that’s true of the T Sisters, who you’re hearing now. Erika, Rachel, and Chloe Tietjen started making up songs at their grandparents’ house when they were little. A musical father helped nurture their interests, and today these East Bay singers have an album that reached # 11 on the Americana Radio Chart.  

The T Sisters will be intertwining their voices on Thursday, October 23rd, when they play at Slim's in San Francisco.   

The voice you’re hearing is the legendary blues, jazz and folk singer Barbara Dane, from Oakland. Dane is one of the recipients of this year’s Best of the West awards, from the “Folk Alliance Region – West” conference, known as FAR-West.

Barbara Dane will receive the honor at the 11th annual FAR-West Music Conference, this weekend (October 16-19), at the Marriott City Center in Oakland.

Elliot Smith Hour live on Fog City Blues this Wednesday

Oct 14, 2014

Roger Kim's Elliott Smith Hour began as a tribute to Elliott Smith, the late singer songwriter revered for the quiet, but cutting introspection of his lyrics and music. The project has since evolved into an acoustic chamber music group covering a wide variety of musical matter, featuring arrangements of originals and pop, classical, and modern jazz music. They join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 10/15 at 9 pm.

Today’s Local Music: Ensemble Mik Nawooj

Oct 13, 2014


The group you’re hearing now calls themselves Ensemble Mik Nawooj.  “NBC Bay Area” calls them “an orchestra with a hip-hop twist” and The Bay Guardian says their music is “unapologetic and truly like nothing else.”  

The music you’re hearing now is by Jesse Brewster from San Francisco. Brewster’s boyhood was spent in back-to-the-land households. That meant no electricity, and no phones. Music was an important activity to him, and he continues to make it so in his professional life. Jesse Brewster will be playing songs from his new album at Fenix Live in San Rafael. That’s on Friday, the 10th of October, starting at 8 p.m.

The Blind Willies is an Americana band with a rock overlay. They’re going to be in their hometown of San Francisco on Saturday, October 11th as part of the fourth annual Yerba Buena Night.

Singer-songwriter Megan Slankard’s most recent release, A Token Of The Wreckage, is "an edgy alt-rock release that is a breath of fresh air" (Maverick Magazine), "gleaming, grooving, and gritty" (Minor 7th), with "thoughtful construction and clever wordplay" (Performer Magazine). Megan’s next album will be revealed on October 18 at the Great American Music Hall with Quinn DeVeaux & The Blue Beat Review opening.

The sounds you’re hearing are by master tabla player Zakir Hussain. This pioneering percussionist is known for his knowledge of the classical music of North India, and is recognized as a pioneer of world music. He’s presently a Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. 

Zakir Hussain has a series of performances this week – Thursday through Sunday. All are at the still fairly-new SFJAZZ center.  

Today's Local Music: Bernal Hill Players

Oct 2, 2014

Today's local music is The Bernal Hill Players. Formed in 2008, this chamber music ensemble not only plays period music – they also commission new works, and explore the connections between classical and folk music.

Today's local music is by Pat Wilder from San Francisco. She plays the blues. She almost had no choice, since her first guitar was a gift from family friend Taj Mahal. 

Today's local music is Sin Silver and the Avenue. Sin, the lead singer, arrived in California from Ireland just a few years ago and now plays throughout the East Bay.

This song is by Jim Bruno of San Francisco. Bruno not only writes his own music, he also teaches others to do the same.

Jim Bruno will be joined by Maurice Tani and Cliff Erberhardt on Wednesday, October 1st for a performance at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. Music starts at 8 p.m.

Royal Jelly make their radio debut on Fog City Blues

Sep 24, 2014

An intoxicating mixed drink of soul-jive and gypsy-blues, Royal Jelly dives deep head-first into the old school throwback sounds of the 1940's with a groovy new twist. Rapturous horns, sleek bass, elegant keys and swingin’ cymbals are just some of the sweet tastes you may devour if you’re lucky enough to catch them. All fronted by the sultry and soulful vocals of Lauren Bjelde, this band will have you stompin’ your feet with crooked delight until the moon comes back up again.

Today's Local Music: Shira Kammen

Sep 24, 2014

The song you're hearing now is a medieval dance tune, played on period instruments. It's the type of Early and Traditional Music that multi-instrumentalist  Shira Kammen has focused on for over half of her life.

 You can hear Shira Kammen next Sunday, October 5th, when she performs at Littlefield Concert Hall on the campus of Mills College in Oakland. It's a 4pm show.  

This band?  It's “Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Band.” Sharpe was half of the Bay Area comedy radio duo "Coyle & Sharpe," back in the 1960s. He's still involved in radio - and he's a jazz musician. “Mal Sharpe's Big Money in Jazz Band” plays at Armondo's, in Martinez, on Thursday (09.25), starting at 8pm.

3 Hours of Fog City Blues this Wednesday

Sep 16, 2014

The View From Bernal Hill is Camille Mai on composition/piano/voice, Nahuel Bronzini on guitar and production, and Schuyler Karr on bass. Based in San Francisco, they approach jazz and indie rock with a chamber music mindset, performing mostly original songs that intertwine jazz harmonies with odd rhythms and classically influenced improvisations. They join host Devon Strolovitch to perform live on this week's show.

Slide guitar from the (Sacramento) Delta on Fog City Blues

Sep 10, 2014

Dennis Johnson is a Bay Area guitarist with a passion for elevating the art of slide guitar across many genres of music including Blues, New Orleans, Rock, and Swing. His new album, Slide Avenue, pushes the boundaries of slide guitar in arrangements with horn sections, violin, piano and more. Dennis performs live in the studio on the next Fog City Blues ~ Wednesday, 9/10 at 9 pm.  

The singer you’re hearing now is Jeff Pehrson, performing with the band, The Fall Risk. You may know him as the vocalist for Further, an offshoot of the Grateful Dead.

The band Void Boys, who you’re hearing now, describes their sound as “like going to the beach on an overcast day.” And that lets you know right away that they’re from San Francisco.

They also describe their music as “loud.” But you can figure that out yourself by going to El Rio in San Francisco this Saturday, September 6th.  Music starts about 9:00pm. 

The music you’re hearing now is by Bay Area performer Mike Sugar. He describes himself as “a road-dog touring musician turned studio hound.” When he plays with a band, they’re called Jambay. And when he’s playing solo, he calls that Acoustic Sugar Music.

Mike Sugar plays solo tomorrow, September 4th at Café Trieste on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, starting at 7:00pm.