Jerry Garcia’s Birthday: Lonesome Locomotive, Spun Hippo, Garrin Benfield
Friday, August 1, 2014 at 10:00 PM (PDT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Lonesome Locomotive steams into Berkeley for its first appearance on our stage, joined by our Grateful Dead Night favorites Spun Hippo and singer-songwriter Garrin Benfield, the three bands keeping the dance floor spinning late into the night in this afterparty following the UC Berkeley Greek Theater’s Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration.
In addition to performing a set of Dead/Garcia music tonight, Lonesome Locomotive offers dance-oriented American roots music, combining rock, funk, folk, R&B, jam, blues, and bluegrass in its mostly original songs. The band’s tracks were laid in 2010 when guitarist and singer Michael Rosen moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco, needing a place to stay, and drummer Erin Cassidy offered his Excelsior basement for two weeks. The group is rounded out by lead guitarist Sean Leahy, bassist-singer John-Paul McLean, and keyboardist-singer Jordan Feinstein. The band forged its sound on local San Francisco stages, trying new material in front of live audiences, where the band thrives. In 2012 LL hit the studio, recording a five-track EP with studio engineer and producer Chuck Gonzales that was mixed/mastered by bassist Paul Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billie).
Also playing a Dead/Jerry set, Spun Hippo brings its own Dead-related vision more from the jamming aspect than the songs, with Sean Hodge (of High Heat) on guitar and vocals, drummer Neil Hampton, and bassist Mike Meagher. Spun Hippo is a high-energy trio of rock vets formed in 2013 that is splashing into the San Francisco music scene with great songwriting and explosive jamming. The band’s growing repertoire of original songs (“Intense Like Camping,” “Cool Song”) covers a broad range of musical styles such as funk, rock, folk, bluegrass, and jazz, sometimes all in one song. A band to dance to, Spun Hippo creates fresh soundscapes in the jamming styles of Phish and the Grateful Dead.
Garrin Benfield’s sound has been described as Freestyle Acoustic Rock. His music is a blend of moody, guitar-driven rock and polyrhythmic groove run through the filter of a very serious singer/songwriter. His talent shines through as a solo artist when he flat-picks his way through complicated and lightning-fast arrangements and also while he uses a loop station to create mesmerizing soundscapes upon which he lays blistering rock, blues, and jazz licks, darkened by his extensive use of effect pedals. Whether at a solo show or at a full band event, Benfield twists and turns the tunes each night in an ever-evolving attempt to keep searching for new musical challenges. He has continually toured the country for the last ten years – along the way being named “One of the Artists You Must See Live” by JamBase.com – and recently released his fifth CD.
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).