By August 6, 2014 Read More →

AcousticView – Here’s a Quartet

Acoustic View By Aaron Rowan

Here’s A Quartet, Call Someone Who Cares

A certain local songwriter told me not long ago that they envied my lifestyle, always running around enjoying music festivals all over the place and such. I reckon I have been quite blessed with the adventures I have been able to embark on. I myself have never been particularly envious of anyone else’s life – probably the only deadly sin I’ve never harbored – but I will make an exception for someone like Rebecca Roudman.

Rebecca gets down on the cello like you would not believe. She is one of the greatest and busiest musicians in California, constantly on the move: having performed with 10 major northern CA orchestras (including the Modesto Symphony) and at least as many independent bands… touring Brazil, China, Europe and all around the USA…sharing the stage with Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, George Clinton and more…contributing to major film soundtracks such as ‘Looper’ and the upcoming ‘Kill The Messenger’…teaching music at numerous bay area schools…selling out shows and earning standing ovations all over the place with her main string band Dirty Cello for the past several years… and somewhere in the midst of all this, she miraculously finds the time to talk to me. I have had the privilege of featuring Dirty Cello twice as part of MUMfest, as well as serving as a part-time booking agent for them since last summer. I still have not fully recovered from the shell-shock of being asked to take on that role.

This amazing string ensemble returns to our city this month to share their blend of gypsy jazz, blues, classic rock and world music as part of the lineup of ‘Symphomania,’ a string music showcase at the Prospect Theater. August 16 at 7 PM, Dirty Cello will share the stage with multi-instrumental duo Saul & Elena, visiting from Nevada City; and Xin Zhang, classically trained soloist of the erhu (two-stringed Chinese fiddle), one of the most beautiful instruments out there. This won’t be a night of purely instrumental music, in case that‘s not your thing: Rebecca often sings while her cello gently weeps – and there’s a good chance we will enjoy her take on a certain Beatles classic – and Saul & Elena deliver some sweet vocal harmonies. Tickets are $15 in advance by emailing modestounplugged@yahoo.com or calling 209-543-5306.

Another big musical event is happening at the Prospect this very weekend, right in the midst of the Grand Prix race. Tomorrow and Sunday nights 8/2 and 8/3, enjoy the Inside Track Music & Art Fest, featuring talent from all around California. Saturday night’s lineup includes bay area Americana outfits The Dull Richards, Full Moon Rooster, and Three Times Bad; local country boys The Dustbowl Children; and touring songwriters Chelsey Heidenreich, Rylei Franks and Bobby Schaefer, passing through from Washington and Idaho. Sunday will feature indie-folk group Colorado Road, jazz/soul band Aaron Minter & The Italian Administration, L.A. songwriter Duane Mark, and country/rockabilly groups The Honey Shots and The Catfish Boys, both Modesto-based. Each night’s cover will be just $5. Saturday runs 7 PM to midnight; Sunday goes from 5-10 PM.

A new opportunity is open to all the lady songwriters of NorCal this October, when the first Northern California Women’s Music Festival comes to town. Patty Castillo Davis is serving as the songwriting competition division chairperson, and is currently accepting submissions of original songs in CD format, $10 per entry payable to NCWMF, which can be mailed to P.O. Box 541, Ceres, CA 95307. The first prize winner will receive studio time at Modesto Sound. Stay tuned for further coverage of this daylong festival in the October issue.

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