June 18, 2024

Here’s an opportunity to catch up on what’s current with information, links and tunes from S.F. Bay Area bands.  This list is based on the playlist from HWS on KALX (Tuesday, July 30).  Every time there is a fifth Tuesday in a month, and the next one will be on October 29th, Hicks with Sticks joins DJ Meaty Paws for a special edition of KALX’s weekly Americana show “Why Baby, Why.”   These are new releases and about half of them are pre-releases that are exclusive to Hicks with Sticks and not available in any stores!

1. “The Very Best” – The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit

This band hails from Oakdale, a town on the way to Yosemite.  They have been playing together, in one configuration or another, for years and, again on their third CD, it shows.  Site
2. “Grandma’s Song” – Spark and Whisper

This quartet is a North Bay collaboration launched by singer-songwriters Anita Sandwina and Velvy Appleton.  Adding bass and drums has seen them develop into a promising country folk band.  Their CD release party is scheduled on Thursday, Oct 3 at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley.  Site
3. “When Will I be Loved” – Moonshine Maybelline

Catherine Foreman, last heard as the big voice of Starlene has joined forces with Ted O’Connell and Rob Spector of the GoldDiggers to kick off this new band and update standards like this Everly Brothers hit.  FB
4. “Teddy Bear Has Teeth” – The Graveside Quartet

As an off-shoot of the Pine Box Boys, to whom death is no stranger, one would expect this band to be macabre.  So how about a song to terrify children?  This one is about popular cuddle toys that devour their sleeping playmates.  FB
5. “Forty Acres and a Fool” – Joe New

This song features push-back on gentrification of the countryside.  One of songwriter Joe New’s pickin’ buddies, bluegrasser Del McCourey, had a hand in this one.  A long-time Marin resident, he currently lived in Portland.  Site
6. “Postmark West Baton Rouge” – Tom VandenAvond

This Oakdale troubadour, along with a couple of his friends in The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, started the 52 Week Club which encourages songwriters with weekly topics to write about.  Site
7. “Hillbilly Disability” – John McCord

This veteran of Down Home Music, a surviving music store in El Cerrito enjoys singing and playing, but what to do when one’s voice is not quite up to the task.  Well, write a song about one’s atonal disability, of course. CD Baby
8. “One More Jack (Daniels) – Jay Lingo

Tucked away in Santa Cruz, this band flies low on the radar.  They’re good to hear live, but hard to find this side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Hopefully, a bit of recognition from HWS can help change that.  Site
9. “Hymn in E” – Katharine Chase (Kitty Rose)

This may be the last call from the siren from Ukiah who, after decades in the greater Bay Area, most recently in the Battlin’ Bluebirds, is moving to Atlanta.
10. “Mary Edith Barnes” – Lia Rose

She sang with Or, the Whale, an alt-country band that enjoyed some popularity in the late 2000s.  Now on her own, she brings her beautiful voice to bear on her first CD.  Site
11. “Feels Like the Devil” – The Brothers Comatose

Three-part harmonies drive this “wall of Americana” band and the drive is taking them far.  They touring regularly and are popular with the post-rap, electronica generation.  This is from their recently released second CD.  Site
12. “Gee Whiz Liz” – Vic S and the Big Moments

This North Bay rockabilly band is so new, we’re not sure they all know each other’s last names yet.  No matter.  At least they can say they’ve been played on the radio.  FB
13. “Number 9” by Tom Heyman

This advanced release is about a recovering addict whose lifeline to S.F. General’s methadone clinic is the #9 San Bruno bus.  Now that’s local color.  MySpace
14. “On My Way Down” – Pork Chop Express

A pre-released track from the Bay Area’s #1 pork band.  They’d been dormant for awhile as lead pork purveyor Colin Connolly took some time off to start a family, but now they’re back on the chitlin’ circuit.  Site
15. “Heart of Gold” – Americano Social Club

A Neil Young classic gets an instrumental treatment from a band that draws upon jazz, pop and Django to name a few of it’s influences.  Site
16. “Making Wine (in the Valley of the Moon)” – Buck Nichols and Loose Change

Another song steeped, or should we say “wine soaked,” in local color, comes from this emerging North Bay band.  Site

Look for another post like this at the end of October.


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