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The Palms Playhouse (530) 756-9901

Friday, January 6
I See Hawks in LA
One of The Palms' very favorite acts of the past recent years is southern California’s I See Hawks in LA, and we're delighted to have them back this evening to kick off the 2017 schedule.

The Hawks’ impressive catalogue of original songs covers the musical terrain of country, rock, psychedelia, and folk with occasional touches of bluegrass. Some call it Americana or cosmic country rock, influenced by the likes of the Gram Parsons and The Byrds. That’s probably fair. Added to this sound are lyrics and themes that are by turns light and joyous and thoughtful and provocative, often speaking both directly and indirectly to subjects of the environment, art, and desert landscapes, spiced with tales of misadventures and eccentric characters. The Hawks' lyrics muse and opine as the boil and flow of their music picks listeners up and carries them with the current.

The Hawks' stirring and soaring vocal harmonies is a defining feature of their music. Performing as anywhere from a trio to a quintet, the three core members are Rob Waller on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Paul Lacques on electric guitar and steel guitar, and Paul Marshall on bass.

Front and center is Rob Waller, a big bear of a man, with a big warm voice and a gift for clever and amusing gab. His longtime tenure as a professor of writing at USC speaks to his smarts and deft use of language. Paul Lacques on guitar brings a musical adventuresomeness to the band. Respecting and loving traditional roots music but never afraid to venture outside, it's easy to imagine Lacques listening to a little Captain Beefheart or Zappa for inspiration before heading to the stage. Bassist Paul Marshall has been playing in substantive bands for more than 40 years, including good stints with pop psychedelic icons Strawberry Alarm Clock and western swing country music legend Hank Thompson. Victoria Jacobs, who can play with propulsive rock energy or with a sweet country groove, will be on drums.

I See Hawks in LA have admirers in all the right places—Byrds alum Chris Hillman played on one of their records, Dave Alvin sings their praises, they've opened for Hillman, Alvin, Lucinda Williams and more. In concert and on their seven albums, the Hawks create a sound that is easily appealing, viscerally exciting, and spiritually stirring.

“While paparazzi chase the latest talent free celebrity, a talented, literate bunch of soulful musicians create honest and wise roots music for the ages. I See Hawks are indeed one of California’s unique treasures.”– Dave Alvin

“I See Hawks In L.A. blend country and psychedelia with soaring three-part harmonies that leave the poseurs of alt-schmaltz dust choked. These guys are the house band for a revolution that isn’t over yet.”– Michael Simmons, High Times

Friday, January 13
The Sweet Remains
The Palms is excited to welcome a new act to the stage: The Sweet Remains. The folk-pop groupis made up of three equally talented singer-songwriters, whose rich three-part harmonies and strong lyrics set them apart from many others in the genre. In reviewing the band’s debut CD, “Laurel & Sunset,” The Boston Herald wrote, “It’s been a long time since three-part harmonies this lush were yoked to songs this melodically gorgeous."The band members, Rich Price, Greg Naughton, and Brian Chartrand, have each had successful careers as solo musicians. Rich Price’s song “I’m On My Way,” from his 2004 album “Miles From Anywhere,” was featured in the movie “Shrek II”. Greg Naughton has performed at The White House, and his songs have been recorded by several major label artists. Brian Chartrand continues to give solo performances, and leads several musical groups in Phoenix, including The Voce Project.Performing together since 2008, The Sweet Remains have developed a classic, soulful sound while staying current with fresh harmonies and new original material. In 2011, their song "Dance With Me" was included in Putumayo Music compilation "Acoustic Café," and their song “What I’m Looking For” was featured in a Subaru car ad. In 2015 they released their third studio album, "Night Songs," produced by Grammy-winner Andy Zulla.
Sunday, January 15
John McCutcheon
John McCutcheon has been singing his songs of the nation’s heritage for more than 35 years. His words channel the conscience of our people into streams of poetry and melody. He writes about subjects small and great, from a child’s haircut to freedom and human dignity – issues equally eternal and enduring. Think of McCutcheon as an incarnation of Pete Seeger and Mr. Rogers, Will Rogers and Bruce Springsteen, and above all a righteously passionate and impishly playful everyman. His deft switches between instruments — including guitar, banjo, hammer dulcimer, fiddle, piano and autoharp — bring the right timbre to each song. McCutcheon's gifts as a songwriter, historian, musician and storyteller have won him such praise as “the most overwhelming folk performer in the English language,” “the most versatile and compelling performer this reviewer has ever seen,” and from Johnny Cash as “the most impressive instrumentalist I’ve ever heard.”

Add in the more than 30 albums in his catalog, and the six Grammy nominations and multiple Parent’s Choice and American Library Association awards they’ve won, stir in the diverse and growing following that has flocked to his shows around the world and as nearby as a school or concert venue near you, and the point is made clear: John McCutcheon is as timeless as tradition, as immediate as tomorrow’s headlines, and as vital as any artist who seeks to enlighten as well as entertain.

The Palms has had the pleasure of working with John McCutcheon for over 30 years and we’re thrilled to have him back again this year.
Friday, January 20
Rita Hosking
Trio and Barwick & Siegfried (co-bill)
The Palms is excited to present this co-bill of two of our area's top acoustic bands: the Rita Hosking Trio and Kathy Barwick & Pete Siegfried.

Singer/songwriter Rita Hosking is one of the great regional talents making national and international waves. Her six albums, including last year's ambitious and evocative Frankie and the No-Go Road, have received significant attention from radio and press across the country and abroad. Her down-home, literate, and quietly intense songs traverse the musical terrain of folk, bluegrass, country, and old time music, and she brings a unique smarts and storytelling quality to her songs. Tonight Rita will be joined by Sean Feder (banjo, dobro) and Bill Dakin (bass).

Rita Hosking sings of forest fires, culture clash, demolition derbies, the working class and hope. She captivates audiences with her story songs and sweetly sinuous voice. Reviewers laud Hosking’s style of country-folk for strong narratives and sense of place. Honors include festival contest wins and multiple inclusions in album of the year lists. Hosking collaborated with producer, engineer and guitarist Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen, Caroline Herring) in Brotherton’s studio in Austin, Texas on her four most recent albums.

As Jeremy Searle of Maverick Magazine said, Hosking's music is “heartfelt country soul set from someone who's quietly become one of the best."

Playing first is Nevada City/Grass Valley-based duo Kathy Barwick & Pete Siegfried, which has delighted and enchanted audiences in California, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Barwick & Siegfried plays a distinctive mix of bluegrass, old-time country, traditional Irish and folk blended an engaging Americana fusion showcasing Pete’s exceptional lead vocals, Kathy’s amazing guitar work, and sterling duet harmonies. Their compelling and entertaining sound extends from the Monroe Brothers and other “brother duets” of the 1930s to modern partnerships like Buddy and Julie Miller.

Their first album, The Trestle, came out in 2015, released by FGM Music. The music ranges from Gene Autry and Flatt & Scruggs to Jean Ritchie and T-Bone Burnett, with a pair of Siegfried originals anchoring the song list. FGM Music released Barwick & Siegfried's sterling second album, Long Time Gone, in 2016.

Kathy Barwick is known for her work in bluegrass, Americana and traditional Irish music, and has earned the reputation of being one of California’s most versatile acoustic musicians. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist who’s adept on guitar, banjo, dobro, bass and mandolin, Barwick was a founding member of the All Girl Boys, a popular all-female bluegrass quintet, and has also worked with such bands as Nine-8ths Irish, the Mike Justis Band, and (with Pete) Mountain Laurel. She has also released two solo albums.

Pete Siegfried founded the bluegrass band Mountain Laurel in 1988 and sang lead vocals and played mandolin in the popular quintet until it disbanded in 2011. Mountain Laurel performed widely throughout northern California and Nevada, playing most of the leading festivals in the region and releasing several albums, earning Pete a reputation as a peerless, distinctive singer with a soaring and expressive tenor voice.

Friday, February 3  
Peppino D'Agostino
Peppino D’Agostino doesn’t just play the guitar. He composes, arranges, collaborates, improvises and has even been known to sing a song here and there in both English and Italian. But what he does create on the guitar makes the difference between simply playing and truly making music apparent in the most wonderful ways.

D’Agostino has been hailed as “a guitarist’s guitarist” by Acoustic Guitar magazine as well as “a giant of the acoustic guitar” (San Diego Reader), and holds many top guitar awards, but the San Francisco Chronicle encapsulated the essential difference that distinguishes D’Agostino’s music when it dubbed him “a poet.”

Peppino’s has released 15 albums; his latest release is “Penumbra.”
Saturday, February 11  
Since forming in 1988, Tempest has delivered a globally-renowned hybrid of high-energy folk rock fusing Irish reels, Scottish ballads, Norwegian influences and other world music elements. The last 27 years have seen the San Francisco Bay Area-based act release fifteen critically acclaimed CDs and play more than 2,000 gigs. It's also enjoyed an evolving line-up that's enabled musicianship and creativity to rise with each new member.

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist Lief Sorbye is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her internationally award-winning playing to the Tempest stage. Her experience performing world-fusion music with high-energy dance bands combined with many years of playing Irish traditional music in America and Ireland makes her a perfect fit for Tempest. Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, colors the band's sound with inventive rhythms and rock-steady drumming. Bassist Josh Fossgreen, who joined the band in 2015, is an exceptional young talent whose innovative bass textures add a rich dimension to the Tempest soundscape. Ab Menon, who joined in 2016, is the latest in a long line of Tempest guitar greats.

Signed to Sony-distributed Magna Carta Records, Tempest's releases are acclaimed worldwide. The group's latest studio CD, The Tracks We Leave, may be the band's most exciting work to date, as their unique blend of world music elements showcases inventive new original and traditional material.

Tempest is regularly featured at prestigious festivals including The Philadelphia Folk Festival, Denmark's Skagen Festival, Britain's Cropredy Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. The band is also a mainstay at countless American Celtic festivals.