Snow in Sacto? They tell us it’s coming – but perhaps an equally rare occurrence is the kind of weekends we’ve been having in this town over the last couple of months.
You’ll never catch me on the bag-on-our-local-concert-scene bandwagon, but I’d be lying if I said that weekends like these happen all the time in this town, with the Stone Foxes ripping the roof off over at Old Ironsides and ALO thumping a sold-out Harlow’s crowd in the face, both on Saturday night.
That’s at least two sold out nights at Harlow’s in the last month. Well done, Sactown! Let’s keep 2011 big and weird!
Greensky Bluegrass with Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players – The street cred meter and hipster thermometer are both rising high after that Avett Brothers/ Mumford & Sons hoedown at the Grammys a couple of weeks ago, signaling that “newgrass” has officially set up camp in the popular music scene (until something else comes along). While the classic sounds are being primped and packaged with glorious results these days, getting back to tradition never hurt either. Enter Michigan’s Greensky Bluegrass, who do things the old fashioned way, with snappy mandolin and banjo hooks, playful acoustic ramblings and plenty of down home American spirit. This will be a feast for those who just can’t wait for the summer music festival circuit to start up, whether you’re a String Cheese, Railroad Earth or Del McCoury fan; they’ve got you covered. Stockton natives Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players (which features Light Rail fiddler Shane Kalbach) get things started with their similarly lively and throwback take on bluegrass rhythms. 9 p.m. Wednesday. Marilyn’s on K, 908 K St. $8 adv/$10 d.o.s. 21+. www.marilynsonk.com.
Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers – Yep, the local concert scene truly is in Bluhm (sorry, it had to be done). Next week Nicki’s better half Tim will be greasing the wheels over at Marilyn’s, but this weekend, it’s her turn to take over Sactown. Nicki Bluhm has always been lingering as an up-and-coming talent, with piercing vocal chops reminiscent of classic singers like Linda Ronstadt or Dolly Parton, with the modern flair of a Rilo Kiley or Grace Potter. But she’s kept some solid company in recent years (like husband Tim of the Mother Hips) and her breakout album Driftwood has mad her a legitimate threat on the Americana circuit. The new records features guest spots from her hubby (who also produced), as well as Jackie Greene and members of ALO and Railroad Earth (this is a very serendipitous Rundown, no?). This is all not to say that Nicki Bluhm is piggybacking the names we just dropped; the soul drenched lyricism and knee-weaking delivery is all her! With Walking Spanish and Honyock. 9 p.m. Saturday. Old Ironsides, 1901 10th St. $7. 21+. www.theoldironsides.com.
Sacramento Carnaval – To Mardi Gras or to Carnaval? Word has it that ‘Nawlins has nothing on Brazil’s annual feast of hedonism – but we digress. The winter weather won’t be able to cool down a performance from San Francisco’s SambaDa, one of the fastest rising World music acts in Northern California, who bring white hot Latin funk and dance rhythms with them anywhere they go. They’ll headline this festive hootenanny loaded with Samba dancers, drum groups, food and tons of regional fare. This first annual event is all being put on by the Brazilian Center of Sacramento. 8 p.m. Saturday. 1616 I St. $15 adv./$20 door. www.braziliancentersac.us.
Mark Your Calendars – Jackie Greene – He’s back. No special acoustic duos or sit down specials this time around, just a pure rock and roll show with Sacramento’s favorite son, returning to the spot (kinda) where it all got started. March 23. Marilyn’s on K, 908 K St. $25. www.marilynsonk.com.
If you are planning or promoting a concert in the Sacramento area, or just know of a show you’d like to see featured in the Rundown, shoot me an email.
For a complete listing of Sacramento area music happenings, check out Ann Freeman-Clement’s Concerts, Music Events and the Local Music Scene every Friday on Sacramento Press.