The Andy Cabic and Eric D. Johnson Band (of Vetiver & Fruit Bats)
Neal Casal, Bart Davenport
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
Have you been sitting at that computer all day? You’re overdue for a break. The new Vetiver album, The Errant Charm, is a superb soundtrack for an afternoon idyll. Take a moment to load the record on your mp3 player. Hell, if you still have a Walkman, the whole thing fits neatly on one side of a C-90 cassette tape. Select your favorite pair of headphones, and go for a stroll.
This album was made for walking. Vetiver bandleader Andy Cabic spent hours wandering the streets around San Francisco’s Richmond District, listening to rough mixes, tinkering with lyrics and arrangements. You can hear his strides in the tempo of “Hard To Break,” which captures the brisk gait one might adopt while passing through a public green space: Not hurried, just excited to be heading somewhere.
Eric D. Johnson
Sometimes a story can take a long time to tell. Eric D. Johnson, who has recorded and performed as the Fruit Bats for a decade now, had a story like that, a chance encounter that had rattled around his head for years. He’s tried to write it as a short story, a play, a movie…yet until now couldn’t get it down just right. Finally he decided to make a song out of it, and the result is “Tony the Tripper.” It’s the song at the heart of his fifth album, Tripper, setting the tone for a bittersweet meditation on hitting the road, leaving the familiar behind and reinventing yourself.
The story goes like this. Just after turning 20, Johnson boarded a train from Chicago to see his sister in Olympia, Washington. A grizzled vagabond—Tony—took the seat next to him for the ride to Fargo, North Dakota. Over the next 12 hours the two developed a strange relationship, the cantankerous oldster alternately bullying and befriending Johnson. A decade or so later, Johnson is still bemused by the encounter, wondering what he could have learned from this broken, frightening, but fascinating character. The song “Tony the Tripper” imagines the two of them heading out on a road trip, the idealist and the outlaw cutting a swath across America.
Neal Casal's debut record, Fade Away Diamond Time, was released in 1995 to much critical acclaim. Produced by Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash) in a sprawling mansion in the hills of Santa Ynez, California, the album introduced the intimate songwriting and lyrical guitar work that would become the foundation of his career. In between recording and touring with other artists such as Beachwood Sparks, Vetiver, Fruit Bats, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks, Gin Wigmore and Rufus Wainwright, Casal managed to record multiple solo releases, including 1996's Rain, Wind, and Speed and 1998's Basement Dreams, both of which have recently been reissued with discs of bonus material by Fargo Records. MOJO recently wrote, "What made [Basement Dreams] so compelling was the tone, the simplicity and economy with which Casal approached each song and the naturalness with which he inhabits them... pieces of singer-songwriter perfection.
Neal Casal’s 10th solo record, Sweeten the Distance, was recorded with noted producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Pernice Brothers, Lavender Diamond). While listeners will recognize Casal's strong yet understated vocals, his acoustic-driven melodies have been amplified by complex sonic layers, resulting in a new, expansive sound that is the culmination of this prolific songwriter's multifaceted catalog.
Casal is also known as the lead guitarist of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, with whom he recorded four albums: Easy Tiger (which reached #7 on the Billboard chart), Follow the Lights, Cardinology and III/IV. His time in the band led to working with such luminaries as Willie Nelson and Phil Lesh and allowed another talent to be revealed when he released his first photography collection, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals: A View of Other Windows. In this lavishly produced volume, Casal captured not only the exhilaration of the stage and studio but also the harsh realities of life on the road and the creative process. Internationally lauded for his thoughtful and evocative photography both of the Cardinals and of more personal subjects, Casal described the process of creating his photographs as "the songs I cannot write; the music I hear in my head, but can't yet play." His photos were the subject of a solo exhibition at the Bauhaus Gallery in Tokyo in 2008 and have appeared in many magazines, such as MOJO, Harp, Rolling Stone, and Spin.
After the Cardinals went on hiatus in 2009, Casal moved his home base from New York to Southern California, where he has worked on a variety of projects. He released the self-produced solo effort Roots & Wings, Connections–the third album by his rock-and-roll band Hazy Malaze – and played guitar on Ryan Adams' newest release, Ashes And Fire.
In early 2011, Neal joined forces with Black Crowes’ frontman Chris Robinson’s new band, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, as lead guitarist. The band has been touring throughout 2011 and are now making plans to record their debut album.
Like Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, Bart Davenport has seen many an era. He’s been a mod, a bluesman and a softrock troubadour. His latest full-length album, ‘Physical World’ (Lovemonk/Burger) is a culmination of all those incarnations and more. With shirts from the 60s, guitars from the 80s and the timeless voice of a real crooner, it’s a one-of-a-kind hybrid of paisley pop and sweet soul. One foot in reality, the other firmly planted in the fantasy world within the three minute pop song, Bart tells of life and love in the modern world with sincerity and a subtle sense of humor.
Davenport recently migrated to Los Angeles to form a new band lineup with the help of bassist and pal, Jessica Espeleta. She brought in Dream Boy, Wayne Faler, whose signature jangly guitars weave their way impeccably into Bart’s songs. Nathan Shafer plays piano and synthesizers while drummers Andres Renteria and Paul Burkhart take turns on the kit. Producer, Luke Top (Fool’s Gold) captures the group’s undeniable chemistry on ‘Physical World’. This is the sound of an artist at his peak backed by an accomplished team of like-minded musicos.
A native of Oakland California, Bart Davenport’s roots are in the 90s garage and blues scenes. His first professional band, The Loved Ones released two albums on the Hightone label. The group performed a rawkus, high energy style of r&b, opening for the likes of Junior Wells and John Lee Hooker. In the 00s Davenport went solo and turned the volume down but not the intensity. Whitest Boy Alive and Kings of Convenience singer, Erlend Øye, has called him the “best one-guy-and-guitar performer there is”. Bart’s decision to perform solo acoustic was born out of pragmatism. Traveling light made touring possible and performing alone helped the artist to hone in on conveying subtle and meaningful material. The recording studio was another matter entirely.
Released in 2002, Bart’s self-titled solo debut was an indie pop layer cake filled with drums, organs and vocal harmonies. He quickly followed that in 2003 with ‘Game Preserve’ on Antenna Farm Records. Next came ‘Maroon Cocoon’ in 2005, a carefully honed lo/hi fi record made on an 8-track tape machine. In 2007, a side project called Honeycut released ‘The Day I Turned To Glass’ on Quannum Projects. Their tune, ‘Exodus Honey’, was featured on an iMac ad campaign as well as the installation disc for Mac OS Leopard and Snow Leopard. Bart Davenport returned in 2008 with his fourth solo album, ‘Palaces’. Featuring production help from psychedelic main man, Kelley Stoltz, the album would be referred to by Sylvie Simmons of MOJO as “a fine example of San Fran’s vinyl and thrift shop culture, turning stuff people throw out into something new”.
Between Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Davenport released three European records and spent much of his time touring the continent. There was a covers album, ‘Searching For Bart Davenport’ (Tapete Records, Germany) and two from side projects; ‘With All Due Respect’ by Incarnations (Lovemonk, Spain) and ‘Comedians’ by Honeycut (Discograph, France). In 2012. Bart Davenport’s ‘Someone2Dance’ b/w ‘Cheap Words’ saw the return of longtime compatriot, Sam Flax, as Producer. The Flax production opened a new chapter in the Davenport saga, with drum machine, synth and guitar lines reminiscent of early 80s new wave and power pop. Following that, Davenport relocated to Los Angeles where he gathered together the band that would eventually record ‘Physical World’, scheduled for release on Lovemonk and Burger Records in March 2014.
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