By November 30, 2018 Read More →

Unplugged View: Swan Songs

Unplugged View: Swan Songs
by Aaron Rowan

Nobody has ever yelled “Freebird!” at one of my listening concerts. And that’s just the way I like it. The Modesto Unplugged live music series divides its programming between beautiful originals and re-imaginings of traditional folk tunes from all regions of the globe. The slate is full of styles and instrumentation you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in our area in a public setting.
But each December, I break my own rule for one night only, when I gather some of my favorite culture companions together for a bit of fun. Our annual ELEGY showcase pays tribute to those notable musicians who have passed from this life during the calendar year. The sixth instalment of this always-popular evening will take place Saturday evening the 15th, with a diverse lineup giving their renditions of Aretha, Dolores, film composer Johann Johansson and more. This year’s players include Alzara & Brother Spellbinder, Bethany Saint-Smith, Boscoe’s Brood, The Darcys, Grace Carrillo with chamber orchestra, and Taken Roads. These are wonderfully cool and supportive people who you all ought to meet and enjoy. Come down to the Barkin’ Dog Grill from 6-9 PM for dinner and music with no cover charge and plenty of charged covers.

Home is where the art is, Sunday afternoon December 2 at the Mistlin Art Gallery. Opera Modesto’s new artistic leadership team, international opera stars Roy Stevens & Annalisa Winberg, are joined by their Valley Talent Project-winning daughter Carolina Stevens for a presentation of sweet vocal music and spicy tales of their globetrotting adventures. 2 PM, $50 VIP, $30 general, $20 student w/ I.D. Tickets available at or 209-523-6426.

We’re winding down 2018 with a couple more Sunday matinee shows at Moon & Sixpence Music And Art House. December 9, Lisette Sims (‘Valley Talent Project’ best band winner) and Melynda Rodriguez (MAMA Awards best alt-indie winner) share the stage for the very first time. Smoky & sultry contemporary pop/rock meets electronic, Latin, pop and cheesy piano love songs. 3 PM, $5 at the door.
December 16, indie dream folk songwriter Jessica Roki Kilroy is featured along with a special guest TBA. Jessica is also a conservationist who incorporates field recordings of natural sounds into her compositions and live performances. 3 PM, $10. Find this hidden gem venue nestled back in the courtyard next to El Sol, at 500 9th St. between E & F, and experience the up close and unplugged wonders of the listening-room format. Wishing everyone warm holidays and a happy New Year!
Intimate performances. Infinite Playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED.

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