Jazz and BluesView By Eric Benson Hey folks, what’s new in town on the music horizon? Well the State Theatre spearheaded by Sweet Sue Richardson is making some changes to help make the State more accessible to local musicians and artists. She has raised the issue of changing to a format of more local openers challenging the dictates from established music agencies. She also now has a dedicated email so bands can submit videos and promo material for consideration to the State as well as creating a subcommittee of local promoters and artists to have input into the process. The hope is that this creates a venue to support low cost shows for local artists, a mutual benefit for all, yea! Anexample of this was seen with the recent Future Rock show with Kid Charlemagne, a great draw, Johnny and Kelly, Hari Kari, and others. It was promoted through the ModestoView channels and other promoters and had a good turnout featuring some of our best local acts. So give Sue some love and support the State because I believe it is one of our best community centers for the arts. Coming soon to the State: Asleep at the Wheel 8/24, Johnny Winters partner in crime Rick Derringer comes through 9/7, Leo Kottke 10/12, and my favorite of all time Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, featuring the Lickettes, on10/12. Call the State (209) 527-4697, or check out www.thestate.org<http://www.thestate.org/>

And the mighty John Griswold of Samba Arts Group continues to blend quality music and our demographic to a nice environment for some social lubrication with dancing and cocktails at different venue. Call John 491-7185, 247-3288, or Web: www.eArtsNews.com<http://www.eArtsNews.com/>.

Another family friendly all-age venue for jazz and popular music is at the Barkin’ Dog Grill in downtown Modesto. The Dog serves up affordable food in a nice casual setting. Highlights for August: 11th New Orleans Kickoff Party, 17th Super Avengers, (best surf rock band in town), 25th Black Velvet Band, and my homeboy Big Earl & The Cryin’ Shame the 31st. The Jazz Jam is kickin’ with David Dow on Thursdays where musicians can sit in and network. Google the: http://www.barkindoggrill.org<http://www.barkindoggrill.org/> for the lineup.

And right here in the downtown if you’re strollin’ down Center Plaza, the Acoustic Rock Society Summer Series on Friday nights from 7-9:00 features the best in local roots rock music, August: 3rd Joe Barretta (best singer songwriter in town), 10th the Mighty Tim Allen,(best in Elton, Billy Joel and the standards), 17th Mary Rose & friends,(winner of Valleys got Talent), 24th Cartel Band,(alumni from Valley Rhythm Section, and 31st Third Party. A market Friday afternoon starts the event out with farmers market and vendors for a quality time to listen to music while you catch a bite and shop.

More music on the local scene: Deva Café Thursday night Ramble features the house band Big Earl & Poorhouse Millionaires. The Boardroom continues an ambitious schedule of live music 4 nights a week. Tim Allen does his piano and vocal thing with some Elton and Joel covers as well as the standards on Tuesdays. Thursdays feature Neil Buettner and Matt Harrington, Friday’s the best duo in town Johnny & Kelly kickin’ the groove tunes and Jazz, and Saturdays rotate with: MCW Band, Strange Brew, The Nines, & Public Domain.

If you be trippin’, the 60’s concert promoted by Uncle Lonny presents 8/24th Barry McGuire and Hon York, fundraiser for Hope Haven International. 7:00 p.m. door, show 8:00 at Seasons on 945 McHenry Ave. Phone 402-7900. Tie dye dress code not required but encouraged.

And on the house party scene when you are presenting the real Jazz music without apologies and making it commercial, Eric Benson Presents is bringing in John Stowell, Jazz guitar virtuoso and our local guitar slinger Johnny Valdes onguitar for duo master class and performance on Sunday Sept. 2nd with some gumbo and appetizer menu to be provided from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., venue to be announced. Call: (209) 918-7033 for the lowdown on howdown.

And Iknow I am preaching to the choir but please support our local music stores:Skip’s Music, Barker’s Music, Ingram & Braun, Gottschalk, and Langlois Music so they stay in business. Think globally but shop locally. Any co-conspirators or partners in crime want to get in touch I am on Facebook. I also encourage all of you to send me your info and I will send it out on weekly emails and in the ModestoView. Hit me at: mbenson@fire2wire.com, or give me a holler at (209) 918-7033. Peace out!



About the Author: