Sunday, November 22, 2009

Berkeley House Concert *FOLK MUSIC*

For tickets, reservations and more info please email FOLK MUSIC's host at:
There is limited seating so reserve your spot today!
Go to the Event invitation on Facebook:

We will be performing at FOLK MUSIC, a very well established house concert venue in Berkeley, CA. Some of their recent performers include NINA GERBER, CHRIS WEBSTER, and CLAUDIA RUSSELL. A House Concert is a very unique and intimate way to experience live music.

’Living rooms were made for live music.’
~Concerts in Your Home~

Saturday, November 14, 2009

• Southwest Tour 2009 Second Installment

November 7th, 2009 (from Austin, still looking back)

...We got into the town of Desert Hot springs in the late afternoon and after unloading our things into the hotel room we drove 40 minutes up the hill through Yucca Valley and into Joshua Tree National Monument to watch the sunset. A few miles in we found a place to pull over and walk out into the trees and boulders. The sun was sinking into the hills as we scrambled up the piles of rocks, amazed at the trees around us that looked straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. The quiet and coolness of the high desert air at dusk was stunning, especially after having spent the last several days surrounded by the hum and glare or L.A.

We capped the night off with a swim and soak back at Desert Hot Springs, leaving my skin tingling. A few hours of sleep and then up before the sun to get back up to the park as early as possible. The eastern sky was on fire as we loaded the car. Packed and ready to go we set off, saying our goodbyes to sea level lands for the next few weeks.

The independent coffee house we'd heard so much about from a friend had recently closed it's doors in Yucca Valley due to corporate competition, and we were forced to get our cup filled by Starbuck's....As John Prine wrote in an unrelated reference: "...and they wrote it all down as the progress of man..."

But the Joshua Trees were calling to us as the sun inched up above the horizon and we rolled back into the park with 30-50mph winds whipping across the landscape. Up we went to the highest point in the park to peer down across the valley and the clear line of the San Andreas fault running across the floor. Palm Springs to the west and the Salton Sea shimmering further east. Back down we went through hundreds of acres of those strange crooked statuesque Joshua Trees hovering over us like aliens. Jumping out of the car for a picture or two in the parking lot under the shadow of Cap Rock. I hummed a few lines of "Wheels" as I thought of Gram Parson's buddy setting the man's body ablaze (according Gram's own wishes) on this spot some thirty years earlier....

Onward, twisting through the desert roads barely encountering a soul as we walked out to the ruins of Ryan Ranch and got a glimpse of a life mining these hills for ore and living in an adobe brick house. Scraps of discarded iron ties and pipe lay around the remaining walls of the ranch house.

As we made the slow descent out of the park back to the wide river of asphalt of Interstate 10 we watched as the Joshua Trees dissipated and were suddenly gone like ghosts. With a left hand turn and a step on the gas we sped off east toward Tempe and the great Southwest.

November 8th, 2009 (a-lookin' back still)

We pulled into the Phoenix area on October 27th around 4:30 in the afternoon in the middle of a dust storm. The was a swirling beige and the air was warm. There wasn't much to see, and even less to describe but it was interesting to be in the midst of the storms that Woody Guthrie sang about all those years ago. A couple hours of down time and then we made our way over to Three Roots Coffee to set up. It was a comfortable little cafe right across from Arizona State University; good coffee, friendly people and a very nice room to play in. We set up the Bose P.A. (which has been an AMAZING addition on this tour!) as students sat studying and chatting. I immediately recognized the sister of my great friend Paul House as she walked in with their mother and various nieces and nephews. It was so nice to have them in the audience, truly supportive even though none of us had ever met. Suddenly the room felt familiar, as if we were playing in a place we'd been to before. To top it all off, in walked Daryl Scariot with his wife, daughter, and son. We had done a show years ago in the Bay Area before he'd moved out to Phoenix. They stayed for the entire show and made us feel even more at home.

The entire night was lovely. The audience was very supportive, we had a great time playing and we were treated with such generosity by the folks working and by Ryan, the owner. And as we left town the next morning, after a couple coffees on the house (tea for Megan), we set up another show there for our return trip in a couple weeks. That makes two added shows on this Southwest Tour since we've been out. Not too shabby....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

• Southwest Tour 2009 First Leg

November 5th, 2009

Here we are in Austin, Texas on Gram Parsons' birthday almost three weeks into the tour. We've covered a lot of miles, met a lot of great people and seen quite a range of landscapes along the way. From the central coast of California, San Luis Obispo, further south to L.A., out to the high desert of Joshua Tree, through Tempe, Arizona, black ice in Gallup, New Mexico, Santa Fe, Truth or Consequences and a dip in the waters of the Rio Grande under an October moon, the plains of west Texas slowly changing to the hill country of Comfort and Welfare and Kerrville, spilling into the waters of Barton Springs in the heart of the live music capital of the world.....Austin.

But to backtrack a bit first. Our first stop was San Luis Obispo for two shows , and although our kickoff of the tour at the Frog & Peach was rather unattended we had a very warm reception the next night at The Clubhouse where we were the guest performers with a half-hour set before the featured act, a Canadian singer/songwriter, John Wort Hannam. We played well and even ended up being offered a featured slot at another venue that the host Steve Key runs in Santa Margarita. So on our second night out we added another show to the end of our tour. After an enjoyable evening listening to John and the various other musicians who followed his earnest, funny and heartfelt set we shared a beer or two and some bacon-flavored chocolate back at the motel. John was very down to earth, talented, generous and with any luck our paths will cross again soon.

Through Santa Barbara the next day and on to Chatsworth, in the San Fernando Valley where we stayed with my old friend Charlie for the next five days. On our second to last night in town we played a disappointing set in Orange to an empty room, save the owner of the place. He was won over by our music nonetheless, and even though we felt let down by the experience we still connected with someone through live performance. We carried this kernel of positivity with us on the drive home, laughing through mild embarrassment about the fact that we couldn't possibly play to a smaller crowd on the rest of the tour....

As is often the case however, we were redeemed and touched by the kindness and generosity of spirit of friends and strangers. The next night we played to a living room full of people gathered in Charlie's house for no other reason than to hear live music. As empty as the show the night before was, tonight we were filled with gratitude and appreciation by the dozen or so friends on couches and chairs lifting us up and propelling us eastward on our journey.

And then there was Joshua Tree.....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In Support of Aqus Cafe Music

It came to our attention that one of our favorite music venues in the city of Petaluma, CA is in danger of having it's live music program shut down. There is a planning department meeting Monday, Nov. 9th to decide the fate of live music at Aqus Cafe. You can send an email of support BEFORE Nov. 9th.
To voice your support please email:

Irene T. Borba
Planning Dept.
City of Petaluma
11 English St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
Refer to File #:09-CUP-0309
For more information please visit Here is our letter of support for Aqus Cafe live music!

To whom it may concern,

My name is Sam Misner and I am a Bay Area musician who has played at Aqus Cafe. At the moment I am writing to you from Austin Texas while on tour through the Southwest but i grew up in Petaluma and my family has lived out on King Road for over twenty years. I am immensely proud of my hometown for having such a gem as Aqus Cafe and am pleased to have performed there twice in the last few months, with an upcoming show upon our return from the road. When I heard that there was a real possibility of Aqus losing it's music I sat right down before our show tonight to encourage you to do what's in your power to make sure the city retains this unique haven for musicians, artists, authors and their audiences.

In my travels both as a musician and actor I have seen firsthand how rare it is to find a business so dedicated to nurturing both a community and it's artists. And I mention both because we need both. The artist or musician may be able to create in their own home, for their own eyes and ears, but without a venue in which to share it--one that truly values the work and promotes it--there is a loss, I believe, also to the community which surrounds them. Art and music can bring people together in ways that cannot be duplicated by other forms. A community needs to be able to connect through creativity, and having a place where that is encouraged is essential for those connections to be made.

As a professional musician I seek places like Aqus out because I know my work is respected and valued there. And as a continuing member of the Petaluma community I seek it out because I take comfort in knowing I have somewhere to go to meet and get to know the people who live around me, and share in the joy of creativity.

Thank you for your time, I hope you'll choose to keep Aqus a vibrant part of Petaluma's artistic communtiy.

Best regards,
Sam Misner

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Embarking on the Southwest Tour 2009

It's now a little less than a month before we embark on our very first proper tour across the Southwest of these United States. With stops in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas this is sure to be an adventure to remember. When we first began talking about putting a tour together it seemed fantastical, something you dream about and then never get around to accomplishing. Now, we are realizing the inevitable departure date approaches and we're busy making preparations for our journey with great anticipation of what is to come. In other words, we're stoked.

Hopefully, we'll have a chance to spread the word about us and our music outside the Bay Area and maybe make some friends and fans along the way. This kind of journey is bound to inspire some more songwriting ideas as we discover new places and experience life on the road as musicians this time, instead of actors.
To quote the Muppets, "Movin' right along in search of good times and good news, with good friends you can't lose. This could become a habit."
See you out there on the road!