This would normally be the time my wife and I would start planning for this year's Live Oak Music Festival, which was scheduled for Friday, June 19, through Sunday, June 21, out at El Chorro Regional Park. Of course, thanks to the global pandemic, the event was canceled this year ... sort of.
"Die-hard Oakies, we know the news hit you hard that we would not be able to gather together for Peace, Love & Dirt on Father's Day weekend this year," organizers announced. "Us too ... and we just couldn't accept that there would be no festival this year. So we started brainstorming. In 30-plus years of our annual festival, we have collected a treasure trove of recordings from past performances. And there are wonderful local performers here on the Central Coast who would love to be a part of the magic."
The annual fundraiser for our local NPR affiliate has been transformed into three days of exceptional past Live Oak performances broadcast on the station's FM frequencies as well as nine livestreaming shows by a few of our premiere local performers.
My wife and I have decided to go all-in and re-create the Live Oak experience at home. We'll sleep in our 1960 Castle King trailer and have the radio set to 90.1FM or to the video stream at liveoakfest.org.
"We want to see your setup!" event organizers announced in a press release. "Make plans to camp out, even if it's in your own backyard. Be sure to tag your pictures, stories, and videos with #liveoakontheradio when sharing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them on our website and social media. We want to see (and hear and maybe even smell) all the jamming, dancing, barbecuing, dirty feet, and your best Live Oak memories."
Event organizers are doing their best to re-create the Live Oak experience. You can take a "virtual walk through our Vendor Village and support them how you can," press materials explained. "Our vendors are a large part of what makes Live Oak work each year. Along with vendors from our concessions area, our Art Walk vendors are local craftspeople and artists who capture the whimsy and creativity that is the essence of Live Oak. There will also be an online auction featuring items donated to help raise money to support the festival, including the 2020 Live Oak quilt made by Dorothy Deis, art from local artists, and items from local businesses."
"We don't have a schedule yet for our archive recordings on KCBX, but I can confirm that La Santa Cecilia, Dustbowl Revival, JD McPherson, and The Record Company will all be on the lineup of archive material," KCBX's Marisa Waddell said via email. Expect more than 30 hours of archival recordings to be broadcast over the weekend!
If you've never been to the festival in person, when live music isn't happening, Acorn Radio broadcasts past Live Oak performances, which are always a treat, so I'm really looking forward to hearing these past shows, but I'm especially excited about this year's livestreams, which will be presented live from the Bill Gaines Audio warehouse soundstage (No, it's not open to the public ... sorry!) thanks to Paul Irving and Big Big SLO. And get this, longtime emcee Joe Craven will host these live performances.
- Photo Courtesy Of Proxima Parada
- STREAMED LIVE As part of this year's virtual Live Oak Music Festival, Próxima Parada is one of nine local acts being streamed live from Bill Gaines Audio's warehouse soundstage with the help of Big Big SLO, between June 19 and 21.
Next weekend's events will be a benefit for KCBX Central Coast Public Radio, so please help out in any way you can.
It's hard to choose, but I think my favorite song off Natalie Haskins' amazing new album, Puhidua (which means "wildflowers" in her mother's tribe's tongue), is "When You Think of California." The chorus is so damn hooky it got stuck in my head after the very first listen: "Of all the girls you meet out there down that never-ending road/ Killing time beneath those blue eyes and calling your arms their home/ There's just one thing I'll ask of you only one thing I could need/ When you think of California won't you please just think of me?"
- Photo Courtesy Of Natalie Haskins
- WILDFLOWER Singer-songwriter Natalie Haskins releases a stunner of a new album, Puhidua.
Haskins has a remarkable voice—warm and clear with the sort of dewy sense of wonder evoked by Kacey Musgraves. She's also a gifted songwriter and lyricist. Get ahold of this verse from "Love Me": "When I'm on your last nerve and you can't stand the looks of me/ When I'm sitting next to you and all you want is an empty seat/ When I've gained a pound or two and those lines you start to see/ Just remember our younger days when I was your queen bee."
The album, which has as beautiful a package as I've seen in a locally produced CD, has been a years-long labor of love for Haskins, and she's enlisted an A-team of local performers including Terry Lawless (keys and sax), Bob Liepman (cello), Bob Hamilton (pedal steel), and others to join her core band, Benji Cheedle (drums), Anthony Leos-Thayer (bass), and Warren Haskins (lead guitar).
Recorded at Kip Stork's Avalon Digital Recording Studio and Damon Castillo's Laurel Lane Studios in SLO as well as Dan Curcio's When It Hits Records in Arroyo Grande, the production is top-notch.
I really can't say enough good things about this new record. There's not a clunker among the 16 gem-like tracks. If you like country and Americana music, this is worth adding to your collection.
The best way to currently get a copy is by emailing Haskins at email@example.com. It can also be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.
The Wavebreakers Band recently wrote to admit, "We've got a hard case of cabin fever, too. Not only are live venues shut down and canceled, we understand copyright law doesn't allow cover bands to do Facebook Live shows."
What's a hardworking mostly cover band to do?
"Here's 'Corona Mona,' our new single," wrote Wendy Stockton of the local '50s to '80s cover act. "'Corona Mona' is a kind of right-now music vaccine to help while we stay home. She'll take you on a trip through the dark and lighthearted moments of the pandemic. And you'll like this: Godzilla makes a cameo in the video."
Check out the fun at facebook.com/thewavebreakersband.
Vintage Fletcher Peck jazz videos
- Photo Courtesy Of The SLO Jazz Federation
- VINTAGE PECK In honor of what would have been jazz pianist Fletcher Peck's 96th birthday, the SLO Jazz Fed is releasing some vintage videos of the legendary jazz man on its YouTube channel.
In honor of what would have been jazz pianist Fletcher Peck's 96th birthday, the SLO Jazz Federation is releasing five videos of the local legendary jazz man on its YouTube channel (link via slojazz.org).
Peck—aka Adrian Greenberg—played in NYC for years with the likes of Charlie Parker, Charlie Ventura, and Red Mitchell. He moved to LA in the late '60s and was a staff member of Jackie Gleason and Jan Murray television shows. He also played in a variety of jazz ensembles with Art Pepper, Leroy Vinegar, and Monty Budwig.
In 1978, he and his wife, Marilyn Greenberg, moved to Morro Bay, and he played regularly at the Golden Tee (now the Inn at Morro Bay) as well as the Rose Victorian Inn in Arroyo Grande. He also helped establish the Jazz Fed's annual Jazz Piano Showcase and was a highly respected jazz instructor until his death in 1996.
"Look in coming weeks for videos featuring Alan Broadbent, Bob Harway, Jon Faddis Quintet, Billy Taylor Trio, Bruce Forman Quartet with Mary Stallings, Inga Swearingen, and many others," the SLO County Jazz Federation board wrote. "We hope you are all staying well and continuing to listen to great jazz online." Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at firstname.lastname@example.org.