October 2-3, 2009
After Allan and Bernadette's wedding reception started to wind down a little, I caught a ride back to San Francisco for a Friday night in the city.
My first stop was Brian and Theresa's house, where I'd be sleeping the next couple of nights. The hospitality is second to none at Hotel Hayle. Brian even gave me a ride to the airport Sunday morning!
After dropping off my stuff, I headed over to the SOMA district to meet some friends and catch a late-night funk extravaganza at DNA Lounge. It was an all-star line-up of Eric Krasno (guitar - Soulive), Zigaboo Modeliste (drums - Meters), George Porter Jr. (bass - Meters) and Ivan Neville (keys).
The 3 New Orleans guys were the real heavyweights of the show, whereas Krasno's laid-back, jazzy guitar style didn't completely fit in.
Turns out this all-star show was really a 10th wedding anniversary for Erik and Nicole Keller.
Somewhere around 2:30am, Eric McFadden came out to jam on a few tunes. The man is an absolute beast on the guitar!
Still going strong, despite having been awake for over 24 hours (thanks to my early morning flight 2 time zones away). The show finally ended at exactly 3am.
Saturday was a very full day as well, thanks to the 9th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival - a weekend of free music in Golden Gate Park!
I had hardly walked in the gate when I ran into this crew! Definitely a treat.
My buddy John and I tried to find our way toward the Rooster Stage to find my friend Holly, but the crowd was huge. And this was just one of six stages!
Eventually we found Holly, a buddy of mine from my year in Guatemala.
Holly had a great picnic setup with wine and snacks, on a nice perch on the hill overlooking the stage.
The crowd just kept going up and over the hill.
I hung with Holly for awhile and saw an excellent set by Jorma Kaukonen, as well as an upbeat bluesy set by Boz Skaggs with his all-star band (pictured above).
Also caught part of a singer-songwriter circle with Allison Moorer, Dar Williams, Steve Earle, and Tom Morello. (Yes, THAT Tom Morello!)
Eventually I made it down from the hill to check out more of the festival.
At the Banjo Stage, the crowd was even bigger.
Fortunately, Steve and Beth had been out there since morning saving a spot. It was great to run into folks here, especially Lisa! (not pictured, unfortunately)
Finally it was time to go, the sun setting behind me, the full moon rising in front, and a fierce Pacific wind at my back as I made my way down Fulton Street.
After an evening of superb wine and Thai food, Brian and I made our way over to one of the best little music "clubhouses" in the Bay Area, the Connecticut Yankee to meet up with some friends and check out the latest Garaj Mahal side-project, Levy's Love Lounge.
It was definitely one of the smaller audiences I've seen for live music at this place, but the good thing is that I knew almost half the people there! It was great seeing Ellen, Greg, Lexy, Jimmy, Bridget, Dave, and of course, Fritz!
And it was great listening to Alan Hertz (drums) and Eric Levy (keys) play together in that intense, mesmerizing jazz-fusion way that it seems only they can do.
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