Sugar Ponies

Sugar Ponies

Music should be fun. Sexy, dangerous, sad, angry, full of love, hope, beauty, hate... Those are all great too. But always fun.

In the years they've been making music as the Sugar Ponies, Suzanne Kramer and Michael McGovern have never lost sight of this simple rule. They're deadly serious about the music they make, yet they never take themselves too seriously. Suzanne's diverse vocal chops, honed in SF jazz venues and at turns sultry and playful, lend themselves as effortlessly to the kaleidoscopic range of the Ponies' material: the electric anticipation of that first epic kiss on "Kiss Me," the self explanatory "Love Song," the classic kiss-off "Railroad," the confusion and frustration of "This Woman and You," the mournful "Sisters" and the just plain silly "Cowboy." Multi-instrumentalist Michael creates the perfect musical counterpart to every lyric and mood, his guitar and keyboard stylings steeped in the influence of XTC's Andy Partridge, Pete Townshend and Mike Campbell to name a few, and benefiting from years of experience in genre-spanning live outfits as well as indie film scoring work.

The Sugar Ponies live experience has built a small but enthusiastic--and ever growing--fanbase (or "stable" as some have taken to calling themselves) known to chant "Pony Time" whenever the band is about to take the stage. Understandable, as every Sugar Ponies performance is a singular event: Michael and Suzanne take every opportunity to commune with fans, friends and special guests alike, with live accompaniment occasionally including Bay Area scene veteran drummer Tim Vaughan, who's toured with the likes of Dan Hicks, and bassist Chris Wagner, whose resume features stints with Carrie Underwood and Stevie Wonder, among others.

As the Sugar Ponies' Altpopcountfolkrock (non-)genre continues to gather acolytes and its familiar pink-shades-sporting mascot pops up ever more frequently all over the Bay Area, Suzanne and Michael remain true to their ethos: Making sure that everyone who comes to see them, plays with them or even discovers their music by accident has as much fun seeing and hearing it as they do creating and playing it.

Lucas Ohio Pattie

It was 2005 when Lucas Ohio Pattie and his original band discovered one another while playing various clubs, bars, and coffee houses in and around San Luis Obispo, California. Soon the Shamblers were born. The band featured singer-songwriter Lucas Ohio’s powerful vocals and hard-driving, muscular, rhythmic guitar style. Completing the original band were musicians Mike Marotto on bass and lead guitar, and Colby James on drums. The band emerged with an energetic sound topographically and sonically surprising -- a hard-edged rock fused with elements of blues, folk, pop, jazz, and country. A riveting performer delivering songs in an impassioned voice, Lucas Ohio leads a band that San Luis Obispo’s New Times declares “a new folk rock phenomenon” -- a band exceeding the sum of its parts.

Lucas Ohio’s dynamic songs contain the timeless, evocative lyrics of a poet, and are supported by shifting tempos, textures, and adventuresome arrangements. Delivering energetic and scorching sets, the band developed a large, loyal fan base, quickly leading Lucas Ohio & The Shamblers to become one of the most talked about bands along California’s Central Coast. Both their 2006 self-titled debut “The Shamblers” and their 2008 CD “Steps Toward Home” were critically well received, cementing their reputation as one of the hottest bands between Santa Barbara and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lucas Ohio & The Shamblers are perhaps best described by Elton John’s first producer and lead guitarist Caleb Quaye as a “tight (and) extraordinary” band with “great riffs, changes in time, and compelling arrangements . . . Lucas Ohio is a great storyteller . . . songwriter . . . and expressive vocalist.” Blues legend Charlie Musselwhite for whom Lucas and the band opened is equally as straightforward: “You got feeling, that’s for sure – those are your tunes? Wow.”

Born at home in Los Angeles in 1983, Lucas moved north to the East Bay when he was 10. He was given the name Lucas Ohio Pattie after James Ohio Pattie, who along with his father Sylvester was among the first pioneers leading an exploration party into the Southwest and California in 1827. After earning a B.S. degree at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo from their College of Agriculture, producing two records, and emerging as a musical force on the Central Coast, Lucas returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009 where he quickly reestablished roots and put together a new band.

Replacing the original Shamblers are musicians John Howland on lead guitar, slide guitar, and more, Andrew Gibson on electric and stand-up bass, and Mike Stevens on percussion and drums. Among other recent achievements, Lucas and the band were included on KFOG’s Local Scene 6 CD, described as a "collection of some of the best bands and singer-songwriters emerging from the vibrant Northern California music scene.” They’ve developed quite a fan base with people coming from as far away as Sacramento, Southern California, and the Central Valley to hear them play. They continue to be featured at venues large and small including most recently at the Fillmore in their famous Poster Room, Slim’s, Red Devil Lounge, Yoshi’s, Silos, Armando’s and others, as well as large scale events like the Gilroy Garlic Festival – America’s biggest food fest.

Lucas and the band are currently recording their much-anticipated third album at the celebrated Old School Recording Studio in the little town of Caspar in Mendocino County. Among many others, recent artists who’ve recorded there and/or engaged their services include Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, and Leon Russell. Serving as their producer is Jim Greer of Ninth Street Opus Records, who has produced over 60 records, including most recently Foster the People’s CD featuring “Pumped up Kicks” and other songs for which he recently received a platinum record.

Music Critic Rick Alan Rice at rarwriter.com writes that “Lucas Ohio Pattie may be the next smart young blues-folk-rocker to be accepted into the pantheon of San Francisco Bay Area illuminati . . . a bright guy with a vision for something fresh and different.”

The Kilbanes

The Kilbanes are a captivating new voice in the Bay Area music and theater scenes. This Oakland-based, theatrical rock band is the musical experiment of Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses, a songwriting duo (who also happen to be married). The Kilbanes have created a performance style that blends the raucous energy of a rock show with the mesmerizing storytelling found in raw, experimental theater. In 2012, The Kilbanes (formerly known as kate kilbane and the cellar doors) presented two original rock operas, both based on ancient Greek myths - Weightless, which premiered at the SF Fringe Festival in September 2012, and The Medea Cycle, which was released as a full length record in June 2012. Both operas were extremely well-received by the music and theater communities in the Bay Area, and The Kilbanes established themselves as up and coming theater composers on the west coast.

Weightless sold out its run and won "Best of Fringe" at the 2012 San Francisco Fringe Festival. SF Weekly called it "one of the best shows of the year" and named Kate one of the Bay area's 11 Theater Artists to watch in 2013. The SF Chronicle described Weightless as "an outright revelation." Following the success of their CD release party for The Medea Cycle, SF music critic Alan Monasch called it "a masterwork of theater," and SF music blogger Bill Chapin named the song "Chariot Rise" as one of his top 30 tracks of 2012.

In addition to their work in the theater, The Kilbanes tour as a rock band and have performed at clubs and arthouses in over 20 cities across the United States including: Ars Nova and Littlefield in New York City, Room 5 in Los Angeles, The Red Poppy Art House, Lost Church and Viracocha in San Francisco, The Dragon's Den in New Orleans, as well as venues in Portland, Philly, Cleveland, Chicago, Boulder, Omaha, Salt Lake City, Memphis, and Nashville.

$5 adv - $8 dos

Tickets

Under 21 must buy $5 drink ticket at the door.

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Brick & Mortar Music Hall

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Sugar Ponies with Lucas Ohio Pattie, The Kilbanes

Thursday, November 7 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Brick & Mortar Music Hall