I love open mics. I have two favorites in San Francisco that I make every time I’m in town — Hotel Utah on Mondays, and Sacred Grounds on Thursdays.
It is in places like Sacred Grounds that the culture begins, where it wells up right from the ground, not manufactured or corporate or in service of any agenda but the beauty of human creativity.
Last week I sang Be Love at Sacred Grounds, and my dear friend Claudia took a video. Here it is. I hope you enjoy it. It really gets the flavor of the place.
I often participate in Steve Key’s Songwriters At Play showcases. These are held several times a week in San Luis Obispo area. There’s a lot of talent in the county, and Steve books many good traveling acts. These tend to be excellent shows.
Brian Jeffrey is one of those local talents. Steve had a showcase at Shell Cafe in Pismo Beach, Brian was the featured act and I played four songs. I didn’t know it at the time, but Brian videoed one of my songs, and he put it up on YouTube. I like it a lot!
Thank you, Brian!
I had the great pleasure this spring of singing with Tribe of Dreams, a traveling band that creates musical community everywhere they go. They left behind, in San Francisco, a wake of connection and increased musical collaboration that is still rippling outward.
One of my fellow transient tribe members has been the lovely and talented Froukje van der Velde, whose musical name is Flecha Moon. She was in San Francisco for a few months of 2013, and left a huge impression on my Hotel Utah and Sacred Grounds open mic friends. Singing with Froukje has been a pure joy.
Recently, we both sang on a bill at 50 Mason Social House in SF, and I caught some video of us harmonizing. I’ve posted “Driving” and “The Cove” to YouTube, along with Froukje’s song “Ships Go Sailing By.” There’s a particular moment in the middle of Driving, when we get rolling on some improv harmonies, that gave me head-to-toe goosebumps. I hope you enjoy these. I sure did.
I’d been plugging away at Real Girl all afternoon, taking videos to watch and critique, when my housemate walked in. She and I always make each other laugh, no matter what is going on. I don’t know why, we just look at each other and laugh.
So when Joey came home, I knew it’d be a fun take. I added harmony vocals, bass and guitar.
I wrote Laundromat during a long weekend visit with an old and dear friend in Coupeville, Washington. We did laundry, and then went for a walk. I vividly remember the day, the view out over Puget Sound, the texture and color of the grass we were walking on. Somehow, suddenly, this melody was going through my head and I started to dance and sing it. Words came soon after. Priceless.
This performance is from a couple of weeks ago at Sacred Grounds in SF. The full show can be found on Mr. Natural’s channel on YouTube.
Two living room videos, one filmed in San Francisco and one in Shell Beach.
A 45-minute set from Sacred Grounds Cafe in Haight-Ashbury, SF. Fun versions of Snooze Alarm, It’s Your Fault (with mouth trumpet), Breakup Songs and more.