By January 3, 2016 Read More →

UnpluggedView – Fantastic Beats

Unplugged View
By Aaron Rowan

Fantastic Beats And Where To Find Them

2016 looks to be a vintage year for fun and fiery acoustic sounds around town. Modesto Unplugged is moving into our new monthly home in the small recital hall at the Gottschalk Music Center, 1502 E St., where we will continue to curate intimate listening events in a wide range of acoustic genres. Concerts will begin at 7:30 and are $15 general admission, and free for kids 12 and under. Wine and snacks will be available for a small donation.

Our season begins on Saturday January 16 with Clyde’s On Fire, on tour from Asheville, NC. Their music is forged from grit, love and hard times, embracing smoky vocals and soul-twisting delivery which can best be described as Old Soul Americana. Their infectious stage presence, memory haunting songs and instrumental wizardry has delighted a vast audience from Georgia to Maine, from Minnesota to the UK. With their frontwoman bass player, unique harmonies and impressive picking styles, they bring unabashed energy and relatable emotion to the stage.

More January highlights:

Thursday 1/14 at 7:30 PM, Townsend Opera continues its recital series with sopranos Liisa Dávila and Rachel Grider. Liisa is an active performer throughout northern California, and currently serves as Chorus Master of the Townsend Opera Chorus. Rachel recently completed her Masters in Music at the Peabody Conservatory, and has sung in numerous productions with Townsend Opera. Townsend Opera seeks to encourage active participation in the arts in our region, and presents its recital series to in the casual atmosphere of Deva Cafe (1202 J St.), allowing opera patrons to enjoy quality singing in an intimate and personal setting. Tickets are available by calling 209-523-6426.

Saturday 1/16, the bluegrass series at the West Side Theatre (1313 Main St., Newman) opens its third season with Special Consensus. Grammy-nominated and fronted by banjo legend Greg Cahill, Special Consensus are known for their virtuosic picking, soaring vocal harmonies, and definitively modern bluegrass sound. The band boasts a host of awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Award-winning local bluegrass group Red Dog Ash kicks off the show at 7:30 PM with a set of their original California-based songs. Tickets are $15 general admission, $18 reserved. For more information, visit,, and

Sunday 1/17, the Modesto Community Concert Association presents Red Priest. They’re the only Baroque group in the world to have been compared in the press to the Rolling Stones, Jackson Pollock, the Marx Brothers, Spike Jones, and Cirque du Soleil. Red Priest’s set has been described as a “break-all-rules, rock-chamber concert approach to Baroque music.” 3 PM at the Gallo Center For The Arts. Tickets run from $15-$30.

Saturday 1/23, Sourdough’s Wild & Woolly Revue comes to Newman’s West Side Theatre. Enjoy the mind-boggling yodeling of the infamous Sourdough Slim. Delight in the harmonious Western melodies of The Saddle Pals. Catch the wise-cracking Cactus Bob, lovely bass-thumping Prairie Flower and Michael P. Kennedy as they revel in Old Time Music nirvana with their Faux Renwah band. Be amazed by the world champion musical saw and string instrument wizardry of Robert Armstrong. 7:30 PM, $20 general, $23 reserved. More info at

Sunday 1/24, Sunday Afternoons At CBS returns with acclaimed group Tom Rigney & Flambeau. This band will tear the roof off any place that has one. They specialize in fiery Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes–a musical gumbo of tasty global sounds stirred together with Rigney’s virtuosic talent, charismatic stage presence, and enough high energy to lift an audience to its feet. 3 PM at Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave. $25 general, $20 seniors/students, $7 children.


Editor’s note: The John McClutcheon concert has been cancelled due to illness. We send him well wishes and speedy recovery. We have removed the concert info from this article.



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