The local Martinez band, The Hopeful Romantics (the ‘Tics), is keeping this traditional form of music alive. With the release of their second CD, Callin’ Your Name, the ‘Tics have put together thirteen clever and tuneful songs. The album opens with a heart-wrenching ballad on the demise of a teenage drug addicted girl named “Angelina.” The haunting pedal steel guitar in the background only adds to this extremely sad song. Then there is the interstellar man “Jesus of Roswell,” a cheery tune about an alien encounter and taking us to the Promised Land. These two songs represent some of the ‘Tics most effective songwriting, from bleak to laugh-out-loud funny! My favorite song of the album is “Invite the Last Tear.” The sincerity of Hope Savage’s vocals on this song, about the end of a relationship, is raw and passionate. What a combination of great vocals, superb musicianship and wonderful songwriting! I highly recommend this collection of songs of social consciousness, humor and heartbreak. Please check out them at www.reverbnation.com/thehopefulromantics, and go see them July 8, at Armando’s in Martinez.
And, here we go again; the beginning of another season of great community concerts! Even in these tough times, our local cities have planned some great events that feature some of the best local musicians in the Bay Area. A wide variety of music ranges from rock, blues, jazz, folk and soul. The best part? Most of the events are free! Here are some of the highlights planned:
Summer by the Lake in Pleasant Hill at City Hall. Beginning May 27, this series runs every other Sunday through September 2. The last concert for this series will feature two bands, The Bell Brothers and Lumberyard – www.pleasanthillconcerts.com.
Fridays on the Main in downtown Martinez. Beginning June 1 and running every Friday night through August 31, this features some of the best bands out of Martinez and coincides with a classic car cruise-in! Concerts begin at 6:00pm – www.mainstreetmartinez.org.
Moraga Park Foundation Summer Concert Series begins June 21 and runs through August 23. Concerts begin at 6:30pm. This series opens with Moonalice, a great San Francisco sound rock Band – www.moragaparks.org.
Music and Market Thursday’s Concert Series in Todos Santos Plaza in Concord. Beginning May 31 and running through September 13, this series will feature everything from rock to classical. Hats off to the City of Concord for saving this event, as it was in danger of being eliminated! Be sure to check out Frankie G (blues) on June 14 and Carlos Reyes on July 12. www.communityconcerts.com.
Plaza Concerts in downtown Pleasant Hill. The first Friday of each month, starting June 1 (opening with Cover2Cover) running through September 7 (closing with The Fundamentals.) Concerts are at 6:30pm and are held in the plaza between Jack’s Restaurant and Sweet Tomatoes – www.shopdowntownpleasanthill.com.
Other events to check out:
Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival – June 2 and 3, Heather Farms Park, Walnut Creek
King of the County BBQ – June 16 and 17, Waterfront Park Marina, Martinez
3rd Annual Blues & Brews – July 21, Pleasant Hill Park, Pleasant Hill
Get out there and support local music!
Quote of the month:
All music is folk music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song. --Louis Armstrong
Paul’s picks for June:
June 1 - Cover2Cover, Downtown Pleasant Hill, 6:30-8-30pm
June 7 - Chris Cain Band, Armandos, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm
June 9 - Sin Silver, Back Forty Texas BBQ, 100 Coggins Drive, Pleasant Hill, 6pm
June 16 - Caroompas Room, Dallimonti’s, 1932 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill, 9pm
June 21 - Garageland Rodeo, The Round Up, 3553 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, 9pm
June 23 - Dallimonti’s 30 Year Anniversary Bash featuring Cover2Cover & Friends (many of the musicians who have played there over the years,) 1932 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill, 9pm
June 24 - Dan Hicks & Bayside Jazz, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm