Local Music

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.

Is your entertainment budget a bit tight just now?  If so, we have a suggestion: go to hear some of the bands performing for free at this year’s "Union Square Live" presentations.

The next show is tomorrow, September 3rd, when you can hear the Bay Area blues band known as Crosscut. They’re influences range from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago’s electric blues.

Crosscut takes the stage at 6:00pm. And remember, it’s a free show. 


What would you call a blend of soulful lyrics, heavy percussion and thoughtful arrangements?  Bells Atlas, the band you’re hearing now, calls it "Kaleido-sconic Soul Punch." That sounds tasty!

Bells Atlas will be crossing the bridge from Oakland tomorrow, August 29th, when they’ll be heading the bill at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. Music starts about 8:30pm.

The band you’re hearing is called The Mantles, with members from both Oakland and San Francisco. They’ve been around since 2007, when they were part of the garage rock music scene. They still like to color outside the lines, but their sound has been cleaned up some since those early days.

The Mantles have a show planned on Friday, August 29th at The Night Light in Oakland. The music starts about 9:00pm.

The band you’re hearing now, Bayonics, has become known over the past decade as a Latin hip-hop fusion band. Now, they’re turning their talents to reggae.

Bayonics will be featuring their new sound when they play on Sunday, August 24th at San Francisco’s Union Square. The show is part of Union Square Live, a series of free concerts. This one starts at 2:00pm.

Anna Larina

If you’re looking for something to help you get through the rest of the week, you might listen to The French Cassettes, who you’re hearing now. (Click the player above.)

 You can hear the summery sounds of French Cassettes live on Thursday, August 21st. They're playing at The Chapel in San Francisco. Music starts at 9:00pm.

Many musical styles have washed up on the shores of the Bay Area, and LoCura – the band you’re hearing now – has scooped up several of them, swirled them together, and created their own sound from these diverse ingredients.

LoCura will be performing at Stern Grove on Sunday, August 17th, opening for Sergio Mendez. The Stern Grove Festival has been presenting “concerts free to the public and for everyone’s enjoyment” for 77 years.

Matt Jaffe may be tiring of comments about how young he is. “Your birthday is no measure of your age,” he sings in “Young Enough.” But there’s no way around it: hearing a performer this good at 19 years old is notable.

Matt Jaffe & The Distractions have a strong live performance. They are not kidding around, yet it is clear that they are also having a lot of fun.

Emily Kiyomi

The music you’re hearing now is from the new release by the band Mr. Kind, from Oakland.

You can hear this and other songs, old and new, when Mr. Kind plays at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on Friday, August 15th. They are the second of three bands that evening. Music starts at 9:00pm.   

Erik Anderson

Ever wonder what “progressive pop” sounds like?  Well, wonder no more: you’re hearing an example right now, performed by Odd Owl.

Odd Owl, from San Francisco, is influenced by a wide range of styles, ranging from Talking Heads to Vampire Weekend.

Odd Owl will be performing at El Rio in San Francisco on Saturday, August 16th.  Expect the music to begin about 9:00pm.

This song?  It’s by Kim Rea. Rea started playing music over three decades ago, including several years as a street musician in towns across America.  

Now Rea has settled in the Bay Area, where she and her band, The Dreamdogs, perform every Monday at The No Name Bar on Bridgeway in Sausalito. Music starts about 8:30 or 9:00pm.  

The song you’re hearing now is by Jesse DeNatale from Sonoma. He has organized a benefit show for the Powell–Porrata family of West Marin. The father of the family died early this year and now their pre-school son has cancer, and all proceeds from this event go to the family.

You probably don't need to be told that the music you're hearing now is by The Grateful Dead. Their songs will be performed live this week at a one-night-only, all-star tribute, celebrating Jerry Garcia's birthday, which was August 1st.

Musicians participating in the "Very Jerry" event include David Gans, Henry Kaiser, James Nash … and KALW morning man Joe Burke, along with many others.

“Goodnight, Moon” is a beloved children’s book. But this isn’t about that. This is about Goodnight, Texas, the band you’re hearing now. There is a weak connection, though, since this song is titled “A Bank Robber’s Nursery Rhyme."

Today’s local music is by Bay Area bluesman Tommy Castro. This song is from his latest album, “The Devil You Know.” Castro says he challenged himself to add different sounds and new rhythms to this record, while staying true to his core.

Tommy Castro and The Painkillers are among the performers taking part in this year’s Art & Soul Festival. The festival takes place Saturday, August 2nd and Sunday August 3rd in downtown Oakland from noon to 6:00pm, both days.

Did you know that there is a “West Marin County sound”?  Well, there is, according to the group Loyal Rose.

Loyal Rose is a folk-jam band that usually gets people up and dancing. If you’d like to take part, they’ll be at Peri’s Saloon in Fairfax on Thursday, July 31st. Music starts about 9:00pm.