By June 30, 2016 Read More →

Unplugged View – Live Music is Good for You

Unplugged View
By Aaron Rowan

Live music is good for you.

A virtuoso pianist once performed in Bulgaria during a massive flu outbreak. Thousands of people in the concert hall, and a great cacophony of coughing and hacking could be heard. But there were certain passages that this piano master played, during which all of the coughing stopped. The captivating beauty of his music overcame their affliction, if but for a short time.

Something similar happened to me just last month. I spent the better part of the week leading up to the June ‘Music At The GMC’ concert battling a miserable head-cold, which persisted into the afternoon of the show. But upon my arrival at the venue, I began to notice a curious lack of the symptoms I’d been suffering. I was back to clutching a tissue the next day, but on that glorious evening, the lovely voices of my featured artists Carolina and Lisette (as well as some nice piano accompaniment) proved to be very good medicine indeed. So the next time you’re feeling under the weather, go out and get under the spell of some magnificent music-makers instead. It just may do your body good.

July 8 & 9, our neighbors down in Mariposa present the third annual Yosemite Music Festival. This is one that I’m awfully excited about. A great selection of musical genres will be showcased, including Paige Anderson & The Fearless Kin, one of the sweetest young bluegrass outfits in California; popular Americana groups The Little Fuller Band and Bootstrap Circus; and Modesto’s own reggae/rock ensemble A La Lune. The fest runs from 3 PM to midnight on Friday, and noon to midnight on Saturday, at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. A full weekend pass is only $40. Tickets and more info can be found at

Modesto Unplugged & ModestoView’s Music At The GMC series at the Gottschalk Music Center will feature 3 events this month, continuing our practice of providing the most eclectic mix of independent acoustic music for your listening enjoyment. Wednesday 7/20, we have Caitlin Jemma & The Goodness, a twangy five-piece stringband from the Pacific Northwest. With music sung from the heart, inspired by nature and a yearning for the simple life, they bring a wholesome and enlivened energy to the deep-rooted traditions of storytelling folk.

Friday 7/29, I’m thrilled to have the chance to host Famous October, a visiting cello & guitar duo from Switzerland. Cellist/vocalist Sarah Bowman is an acclaimed songwriter and former member of noted cello rock group Rasputina, as well as The Bowmans, her duo with her twin sister Claire. In Famous October, Sarah is joined by Rene Coal Burrell on vocals and guitar. Rene was invited to open for Neil Young, ZZ Top and Amy Winehouse early in his musical career, and went on to become Switzerland’s most recognized voice in country music. This incredible songwriting duo is an Americana powerhouse, smoother and richer than the finest Swiss chocolate.

Finally, on Saturday 7/30, we’ll feature Bay Area act Maurice Tani & 77 El Deora. Maurice Tani is a “rye-to-romantic, supercalifornigraphic” singer-songwriter specializing in a cinema-for-the-blind style. At the core of his band, 77 El Deora, are sparring male and female vocals, sweet fiddle, and Tani’s alternately aggressive and delicate guitar work. The sound is sometimes breathy acoustic, sometimes searing electric, sometimes both. Maurice has just released a new record, and is ready to share his rock & roll story songwriting with us.

All Music At The GMC concerts begin at 7:30 in the Gottschalk recital hall (entrance at 1502 E St.), and are $15 general admission or free for kids 12 and under. More info at




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