Local Music Moments, Caught on Video

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Jim Hurst at Sam’s Backroom, Mar. 9th, 2017

Stopped by and caught 45 minutes of Jim Hurst tonight at Sam’s Backroom, a great venue four blocks from my house. He’s an inspiring storyteller and guitar player.

Alan Doyle at Freight and Salvage, Nov. 15, 2016

Stopped in to see who was playing tonight after my bluegrass jam class at the Freight and Salvage, and it turned out to be this guy Alan Doyle and his band The Beautiful Gypsies. He’s a Canadian musician, known for having been in a folk rock band called Great Big Sea, plus a few acting gigs. And he can really rock.

Drumline at Sproul Plaza, Oct. 21, 2016

I was at the Cal library today reading David Lance Goines’ book about the Free Speech Movement, of which he was one of the organizers. I stopped reading just as he describes how the Free Speech Movement erupted in 1964, culminating in the mass arrests which were the opening shot of student campus protests nationwide. The trigger was the contested strip of land near Sproul Plaza. I walked by this area on my way home, which was a good call because I got to see this awesome drum corps:

Pete Madsen at the Monkey House, Oct. 14, 2016

Saw Pete Madsen tonight at The Monkey House, a cool hole-in-the-wall venue right around the corner on University Ave. Pete plays a mix of blues/rag/slide guitar reminiscent of players from Leo Kottke to Robert Johnson, and he’s great! I took Pete’s “Surf Guitar” class this summer at the Freight and Salvage, which was a ton of fun.

Amazing Swedish Singers in a Thai Restaurant, Oct. 4, 2016

I stopped at the corner Thai restaurant on my way home from watching the VP debate tonight. I vaguely noted a large group of guys seated at a long table, some kind of party, I thought. Then they started to sing. Loudly. But it was no drunken birthday… they turned out to be a Swedish university choir that had just landed for a week of concerts and touring in Berkeley and the Bay Area. They sang for a couple minutes, and it was awesome. In a tiny Thai restaurant. Life can surprise you. Listen:

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