Every time we play it's a special event in our lives, and we hope in the lives of others too. So this is a bit of memory lane.
2019/10/06, -11/10, & -12/8: The Annex The Annex at El Cerrito Natural Groceries For 10/6 we hadn't been practicing because of travel schedules, so we dusted off all the songs that we know without thinking too hard. It was a good idea. That 11/10 show was jam-packed and happy, and O. came out of the kitchen to sing (see photo), plus Linda's friend Eve came up and helped us debut the Mikis Theodorakis song "Αρνηση" ("Denial"). It's healthy to ignore the news for a few hours and stay in the love. Then on 12/8 Linda was sick, so Dan and Patty--songbirdless--did a bit of low-key background music.
2019/10/03: Father Alfred Center for Addiction Recovery Bread and Roses Presents The Father Alfred Center is a residential addiction-recovery program and project of St. Anthony's Foundation in San Francisco. We found their P.A., the men gathered, and by the end we got some good singing along. As always at these things, the residents were gracious and welcoming. Many came up afterwards to say thanks. One guy was a musician and gave us a copy of his vinyl album! As we were packing up we got to hear chunks of their 12-step meeting, and it was a great reminder of what kind of fortitude and (especially) full-circle support it takes to live well with addiction.
2019/08/24 & 25: Eve v. Adam: Who Gets the Garden? St. Alban's Episcopal Church OK, so this was not really Tangled Root. It's a musical legal thriller based on an infamous Old Testament case. But Linda sang the lead, Dan played in the band (Patty couldn't make the date), and Linda's live-in playwright David was the auteur. The musical presents a semi-plausible "New Story" for a new era with stick-in-your-ear songs. Good use was made of the St. Alban's pipe organ. 2019/08/02: Berkeley Men's Shelter Dwight Way Men's Overnight Shelter Once a month Linda organizes a crew to make dinner at the Shelter. When calendars allow, Tangled Root (and previously Fools Creek) provides the dinner music. This was our first time at the new facility on Dwight. A little less privacy, a lot more light. As always, the men were appreciative and gracious, which we value doubly because we know they have a lot of stressors. There's one guy there who has been asking us for a polka for over a year, and we were ashamed to admit that we still don't know one--but we're working on it! (We learned "Pastures of Plenty" because another guy there shamed us for not knowing any Woody Guthrie tunes, and now that's one of our standards.) The request for a Wu Tang tune might take a little more figuring.
2019/07/26: Summer Celebration, Volunteer-in-Parks Bear Valley Picnic Area, Pt Reyes Patty volunteers at Point Reyes National Seashore. So do about 400 other people. Every year the park folks hold a picnic for all the volunteers. What a glorious scene! It was all happy, hard-working people under the oaks. We were preceded in music by Jesus y Las Aguilas. Apparently Jesus worked at the park for a couple decades before he retired last year. The Aguilas hung out and listened to us, and I think they were pretty entertained when we hauled out "Tragos amargos".... (We were succeed by a picker/singer and a cellist whose names we've already forgot. Beautiful stuff.) Point Reyes is a world treasure. If you want to volunteer, go here. There's a photo in the slideshow below.
2019/07/20: Solano Art Walk at Calliope / St. Alban's Calliope - East Bay Center for Music and Arts The Solano Art Walk features a bunch of open galleries in Albany and Berkeley. We played outdoors in the sweet and acoustically satisfying little patio at St. Alban's on behalf of Calliope, a friendly nonprofit builder of community, social justice, and the arts. Happily surrounded by art from young artists, we were.
2019/07/13: Birthday at The Island in Tilden Park We don't play a lot of private birthday/wedding gigs. (Says Linda, "We're more of a philanthropic band.") But we did this one, and it's worth uncorking 750 ml of gratitude for the privilege of playing for a picnic full of nice people under towering redwoods on a day of utopian weather. Coffee afterwards at Highwire/Flowerland with Leonard and Frodo (both dogs) was a little idyllic too.
2019/07/07: Bottling party for Hopknell 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Hopknell is not a real winery. It's a bunch of our friends making a neighborhood wine (near Hopkins and Cornell in Berkeley, of course). The bottling is an annual and somewhat anarchic thing. We played in the dappled sunlight of a Berkeley backyard while people washed bottles, sealed corks, and sipped at prior vintages. We pulled out all the Italian tunes we know just to make it seem even more like Tuscany.
2019/06/09: The Annex The Annex at El Cerrito Natural Groceries We have only hazy memories of this, since it was the first heat wave (i.e. fire wave) of the season. It was 97 degrees in San Francisco, and we were standing in a sunny window. Can someone do something about this? Oh, wait, that's right, the kids are. To our alien historiographers: 2018-2019 was the year when our young folks (led by Greta, Sunrise, the kids of Juliana v. U.S., and all the school strikers) rose up to try to save us.
2019/04/14: The Annex The Annex at El Cerrito Natural Groceries A nice combo of old friends and new faces. Dan thought to dedicate "Times They Are a-Changin'" to Dianne Feinstein in honor of her recent lecture to kids concerned about climate. (Says Bob Dylan: "Your old road is rapidly aging. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand.") Linda sang "Unless Desires" as a new closer, which maybe is not the most uplifting note to end on, but hey it's aspirational.
2019/03/30: Open House for Calliope Calliope - East Bay Center for Music and Arts We played un-mic'd in the satisfyingly echo-filled courtyard at St. Alban's Church to support Calliope, which is a new nonprofit that uses the arts to build community and advance social justice. It's a great emerging space for practice and performance. We followed a Bach cello suite and were followed by some downright operatic broadway singing, and this on the first fully sun-drenched day of spring, so pretty much everyone was as happy as their dog.
2019/03/10: The Annex The Annex at El Cerrito Natural Groceries A nicely packed house of happy people. A small girl in an attractive coat gave a rose to each member of the band. Thanks, sweetie. Also, we tried using our big sound system this time, which you'd think would be overkill but it just sounds clearer and warmer--so much for the easy setup....
2019/02/20: Caffe Chiave Caffe Chiave Italian Caffe To the couple in the back echando gritos when we played "Volver, Volver": Thanks! A little hooting from the cheap seats makes our day. 2019/02/13: Canyon Manor Bread and Roses Presents Canyon Manor is a locked mental-health facility. Driving there we hit rain of blinding and biblical proportions, and we got pulled over by the police because Dan drove over a curb (sobriety check). When we started playing we were soggy from running with equipment through the deluge, and Linda temporarily lost her purse. But they put our name on the whiteboard! We played for about twenty-five people on folding chairs in a small room with perfect acoustics. One staff person said she saw smiles from people who don't generally smile. B&R gigs are the best. (See photo below.)
2019/01/26: Caffe Chiave Caffe Chiave Italian Caffe First time there! They treated us nice, and friends clapped. Patty provided useful Italian phrases; she might persist.
2018/12/15: Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count! Point Reyes Christmas Bird Count This is part of the century-old Audubon count. We played the dinner afterward. But Patty was there at 6:30 a.m. in the marshes. Dan and Linda were not. It was a bit silly to have music, since those ornithologists were loudly giddy with their finds. But big fun.
2018/10/10: Senior Day Program, CEI Eastmont PACE Center Bread and Roses Presents It's a whole shopping mall of social services. Even the staff sang along with "Tragos Amargos".
2018/09/19: Berkeley Men's Shelter Dwight Way Men's Overnight Shelter We periodically play during dinner on a Friday night. Linda and a small crew cook the guys a better-than-usual meal before we play. If you're at the shelter, your life is probably hard at the moment, and it's entirely gratifying to share our music with this appreciative group of men.