My 2012 resolution? More of the same, please!

January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

Live music and running rivers…If I could spend more time doing these two things (and still make my mortgage payment), my 2012 would be excellent.

Last year, I experienced some of the best live music in a decade, from some of my favorite artists and experiencing a few new discoveries. Todd Snider played at the Stockton Theater, with great folky-funky opener Raina Rose. Singer/songwriter Darrell Scott (along with his three brothers, for the first time together in 15 years) brought down the Piper Operahouse at TRAMP’s 4th Annual Americana Music Festival in Virginia City, Nevada, and (after much urging from many musician friends in California), we finally spent the money to attend the 30th Annual Strawberry Music Festival, which is where I first heard Nikki Bluhm, the frontwoman for the indie-Americana rock band the Gramblers, sometimes accompanied by her husband Tim Bluhm of the Mother Hips, another act that I got to see for the first time this year, at a sweet house concert in Chico. Wow, what a musical year!

The year ended in a brilliant flash of musical inspiration, too. As my family duties were temporarily suspended this holiday season (my wife and kids spent an extra week at her parent’s house after Christmas), I jumped at the invitation from my friends Joc Clark and Kelly Munson, to groove at the GRUB Collective in Chico, Calif., who threw a fantastic New Year’s party featuring the lovely and talented Railflowers, the heart-pounding drums of  Wolfthump (offshoot of the original Lloyd Family Players), and a the soulful rock of Nikki Bluhm.A countdown to midnight was followed by a clean, jammy rendition of the Allman Brothers’ classic, Midnight Rider.

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All proceeds from the party went to support the GRUB collective, which promotes sustainable living through home-grown food and promotes a community atmosphere. I never felt so good buying my pints of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! Thank you, Jeff, for the glass of champagne!

The following day, rising early to join my friend Flash on the annual New Year’s Day South Fork American trip with the skeleton crew of Whitewater Excitement, I spent a few hours floating on the river and reflecting on the best parts of 2011 and my hopes for 2012.

What do I want in 2012? More of the same! I already bought tickets to Americana Fest, and called a few venues to book my own gigs this spring. I will be looking to play and see more music, and play and see more rivers, in 2012. Hope you get to do more of the same!

SYOTRWB (See You On the River With a Banjo), HM

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