Alice Stuart and the Formerlys, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem

Alice Stuart and the Formerlys

Alice Stuart blazed the trail for women in blues and rock and roll. “There would be no Bonnie Raitt without Alice Stuart,” Blues Hall of Famer Dick Waterman once remarked. “Alice cut the road that Bonnie traveled,” said Taj Mahal. Alice debuted at the Berkeley Folk Festival in 1964 and was soon touring with such legends as Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson, Joan Baez, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Albert King. In 1966, she teamed with Frank Zappa to form the Mothers of Invention, but left the band on the eve of recording their first album to lead Alice Stuart and Snake. She went on to record with Jerry Garcia, John Hammond, Richard Greene, Elvin Bishop, Dave Mason, Sonny Terry, and Tower of Power, playing her Stratocaster and earning nominations for Grammy and W.C. Handy awards. Kate Wolf, Jackie DeShannon, and Irma Thomas recorded her song “Full Time Woman,” and the movie The Station Agent featured her song “I Ruined Your Life.” Joining Alice tonight will be Marc Willett on bass, Steven Flynn on keyboards, Pat Tennis on guitar, and Dan Pakinas on drums.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem are coming west from the wilds of Massachusetts with a rousing “agnostic gospel” revival show! The Boston Globe calls the band “playful and profound.” Derk Richardson, writing in the Bay Guardian, has described them as “one of the most song- and arrangement-oriented bands in a field overgrown with pyrotechnic, jam- and solo-conscious virtuosos.” Their focus, in other words, is not on technical brilliance for its own sake, but on the songs, their power to connect the band and the audience in a celebration of traditional roots music and its possibilities. With Rani Arbo on fiddle and guitar, Andrew Kinsey on bass, ukulele, and banjo, Anand Nayak on electric and acoustic guitars, and percussionist Scott Kessel on cardboard box, tin cans, caulk tubes, and a vinyl suitcase, the band recycles, reuses, and transforms. Everyone in the band sings, and their soaring four-part harmonies lift Appalachian ballads, Bruce Springsteen rockers, and their own evocative originals. The website Music Matters Review calls their fourth and latest album, Some Bright Morning, “a joyful and consummate achievement” – and there should be an upsurge of joy when Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem take the stage at the Freight!

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