Orgone

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Orgone is an 8-piece soul machine driven by Dan Hastie and Sergio Rios, once two kids from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles united by a hunger for raw soul recordings.  While the musicians began by covering Booker T. & the MGs, The Meters, and other giants of soul, they eventually carved out a sound all their own.  Drawing on their love of Funkadelic, Santana, Muscle Shoals, and all things Stax, the duo sought to create the band that, if they were to hear for the first time, would be their instant favorite.  After living and working as session musicians for many years, they were still unable to find a studio that adequately captured their warm, gritty sound, so they decided to make one.  KillionSound Studios was hand-crafted as Orgone’s hub and home studio where they continue to create (including playing on a handful of Grammy-winning songs), rehearse, and record with Rios at the helm as chief engineer and Hastie as co-producer. By teaming up with fiery soul singer Adryon de León, the band discovered the secret weapon that would take their sound to new heights.  With de León, Hastie on keys, Rios on guitar, and drummer Sam Halterman as the backbone, a deeply-rooted family of LA musicians makes up the rest of Orgone— Dale Jennings, bass, Will Phillips, percussion, Darren Cardoza, trombone, and JJ Kirkpatrick, trumpet.

Hot Buttered Rum

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Hot Buttered Rum lives for a good time, and a mindful recklessness settles in whenever these five guys step on stage. From Anchorage to Miami, the group’s onstage chemistry fuels the lovefest that is a live Butter show. Rooted in the trajectory of west coast bluegrass, Hot Buttered Rum plays what has been described as California’s own acoustic music.

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HBR’s years of touring have given the band the chance to work and play with a wide cross-section of musicians, people like Peter Rowan, Phil Lesh, Chris Thile, Brett Dennen, and Robert Earl Keen. Seasoned veteran Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), acoustic guru Mike Marshall, and left-coast rocker Tim Bluhm (Mother Hips, Nicki Bluhm) have all produced studio albums for the band. Each guided HBR towards the next step in its evolution. It’s a sound that is tough to describe and easy to love, and it has found its way to the most prestigious pop, folk, and bluegrass stages in the country: Telluride, Newport, Bonnaroo, Strawberry, Hardly Strictly, Kate Wolf, Horning’s Hideout, String Summit, Grey Fox, Merlefest, All Good, High Sierra, Wakarusa, and many more.  

The next step in Butter’s evolution involves recording three 5-song EPs, each focusing on a part of music that Hot Buttered Rum loves and is inspired by, and each with a different producer. The first EP was recently recorded with Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone and will be released this fall. The second will be a collection of Ralph Stanley old school bluegrass standards, to be recorded in September with producer Sally Van Meter. The third will be Hot Buttered Rum’s latenight throwdown music, to be recorded in November with SCI’s Kyle Hollingsworth. Together, the three collections of songs will explore Butter’s roots and express Butter’s present passions.

At the center of Hot Buttered Rum is the enduring camaraderie of old friends. The band was conceived on a backpacking trip of high school and college buddies in the High Sierra. What was dreamed up on mountaintops and around campfires has found its way into the hearts, minds, and bodies of thousands.

Polyrhythmics

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2015 has been a banner year for Seattle’s Polyrhythmics with the release of a critically acclaimed 7” dubbed The Killion Sessions, a series of high profile shows in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and Jazzfest, and the impending release of their third full length album Octagon. On the heels of an 18-month touring cycle behind Libra Stripes, the collective continues to evolve and mature into muscular live unit apt to painting vivid instrumental imagery using complex rhythms and a unique precision that is redefining the term “funk” for 21st century audiences.111

The palette for the hard-driving modern afro-psycho-beat sound is built around the relentless rhythm of Grant Schroff and Lalo Bello, the heart thumping bass lines of Jason Gray, the intricate phrasings of Ben Bloom’s guitar, the searing avalanche of keyboard colors from Nathan Spicer and the melodic hooks and soaring solos from the horn section comprised of Scott Morning, Art Brown and Elijah Clark.

The “Occupy the Dance Floor” movement is alive and well as evidenced by the growing audiences of the 8-piece orchestra and the intensity the band is providing for them from the stage and in the studio. The release of Octagon in November 2015 promises another new chapter to the story that began just 5 years ago as they continue to grow with a singular sonic muse of progressive and dynamic stature

Members of Polyrhythmics have performed with: Allen Stone, Blackalicious, String Cheese Incident, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Motet, Sam Bush, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons, Railroad Earth, Monophonics, Orgone, Choklate, Pickwick, and Fishbone.

Scott Pemberton

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Scott Pemberton’s sound is much like the vibe of his native Portland:  freaky, fun and just the right amount of weird. His home isn’t in one comfortable bubble, but rather spread across genres. One moment, he’s shredding through the blues. Then next, he’s living in a classic rock world, or drifting melodically through an ethereal psychedelic plane. Maybe he’s leading a dirty funk jam, or experimenting with something heavier, or sitting back on a jazz odyssey.

Regardless of genre, though, Pemberton’s musical journey is marked by two unmistakeable realities: You always know when you’re hearing a Scott Pemberton song. And you’re always going to be captivated. 

A master showman who draws amazed stares when audiences realize he’s shredding without a guitar strap, Pemberton’s unique musical gifts and infectiously positive attitude come exploding to life, making the axe man and his band’s legendary shows on stages small and large come vibrantly to life. The music is hypnotic in its infectiousness — consistently challenging listeners while grounding it all in a familiar foundation of rock. Music is Pemberton’s domain. The stage is his home. And his door is always open.

 

Harpin Jonny & Friends with Larry Hosford & Bob O'Neill

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Jonny Troutner (a.k.a. Harpin’ Jonny) has been playing harmonica in Santa Cruz since 1992. He proves that the harmonica is for more than just playing the blues, harping on songs that range from jazz to country. A truly talented musician, Jonny knows when to take a solo and when to play second fiddle to the lead singer or guitarist.  

Shady Groove

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Over the past three years, the band has cemented its status as a leading light in the improvisational rock scene of the Bay Area and beyond, consistently providing energetic musical sets, whether opening for nationally touring acts or hosting their own full-blown jam sessions that can last all night. They have been joined onstage for their lengthy sets by such noted musicians as Vince Welnick of the Grateful Dead, Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band, Frank Zappa alumnus Ike Willis, Barry Sless of the David Nelson Band, String Cheese Incident cohort Keller Williams, DJ Logic, and blues diva Sista Monica to name a few. They have played to capacity crowds around the Bay Area at venues such as Santa Cruz’s Catalyst and Rio Theater, as well as the Avalon Ballroom, Boom Boom Room, and Studio Z-TV in San Francisco.

The summer of 2003 saw the band performing widely acclaimed showcase sets at the High Sierra Music Festival and they have enjoyed great success headlining their own series of late-night happenings in the emerging after-hours San Francisco music scene. The band’s grass roots approach to the music and their willingness to lend their sounds to almost any situation have helped to hone their unique musical rapport and establish a reputation for providing consistently high musical moments that keep their fans coming back for more. This has earned Shady Groove the kind of loyal following that assures that wherever they play, you’ll find a throng of festive folks burning up the dance floor.

Banana Slug String Band

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The Banana Slug String Band has been playing music for kids for over 30 years. They have played in 40 states, and 5 countries, for almost 2 million people. They have released 11 award winning CDs. Their music is used in school curriculums and classes around the world. They have played noted music festivals including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, and the Strawberry Music Festival, which they have played nearly 40 times! 

Their live show is legendary, and includes characters such as the Professor, Doug the Drop, Peter the Penguin, Mr. Dirt the puppet, Louie the Crab, and Big Red, the talking Redwood Tree. These characters come out in full body costume to the amazement of all. The songs are all original, and played in a variety of catchy musical styles, from folk to blues to reggae, rock and roll and rap. The songs are educational, funny and deeply moving. Kids come away inspired and ready to learn more about the Earth.

Doug Dirt, Airy Larry, Marine Mark, and Solar Steve are the Real Deal - impassioned musicians, songwriters, performers, educators, and eco-warriors! With guitars, voices, crazy characters, and an extraordinary ability to connect with children, they change the world, one child at a time.

Scary Little Friends

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Scary Little Friends is the rock brainchild of Chris Jones with Charlie Knote on drums and Jon Payne on bass. Chris built his own studio in the Mission district to record their debut album, “From the Beginning”, which featured lilting vocals (ala Jeff Buckley) and surfs-up psychedelic guitar, creating their own version of the “San Francisco Sound” with underlying southern soul roots. Strong songwriting is really the bread and butter of this band. 

Scary Little Friend’s live shows combine an understated professionalism with raw talent. They connect with their audience the old-fashioned way by offering authentic heartfelt performances that fulfill our desire to connect. No gimmicks or tricks, just great songs about what you were thinking but couldn’t say.

Since forming in early 2013, the band has quickly risen in the ranks of the Bay Area music scene and was nominated “Band of the Month” by Deli Magazine SF (August 2014). In September of that same year their music video for “Devil’s Heart” debuted on CMT’s ‘The Edge’. They have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and Relix Magazine.

Soulwise

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Soulwise is a reggae/rock band from Santa Cruz, California. With catchy melodies and meaningful heart felt lyrics. Soulwise plays all original music, with hopes of spreading positivity and good times far and wide! Long before the band formed in the fall of 2013, cousins Sean(Vocals/Guitar) and Kevin Eichhorn(Vocals/Keys) grew up playing music together at an early age. Influenced by the feel good Reggae/Roots scene of Santa Cruz, they strived for a sound that expressed their interests, feelings, and life experiences. 

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In late 2013, while both training for professional baseball, Kevin and Adrian DeMar(Bass), would reconnect. Soon after, Adrian would bring in college bandmate Mike Golin(Drums), and Soulwise was born! During summer of 2015 Nick and Bruno would join the band. With several influences, Soulwise aims to grow and create new innovative music.

Heathen Hill

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Heathen Hill plays a mix of original and cover-songs in the Americana style of music, with a progressive bluegrass edge. Heathen Hill the band originated at Heathen Hill the place – our camp at the Strawberry Music Festival. We live and play in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Performing is our way of generating and sharing festival energy all year long.

Heathen Hill features singer songwriter Rick Ednie, the smoking hot guitar picker of Bluegrass Roundup; armchair ethnomusicologist Randy Hudson (Rando Mando) on the mandolin; singer songwriter Mark Becker on guitar; and Matt Bohn on bass.

Pawn Shop Soul

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Founded in 2013 by veteran soul, funk, and jazz musicians, Pawn Shop Soul features a full horn line not often heard in this millennium. The horn front line stands and delivers on the powerful grooves generated by a five-piece rhythm section. An orchestra of soul all by itself, Hammond organ both sustains the groove and soars above it. Booty bumpin’ bio-rhythms are supplied by inter-locking traps, bass and congas. Satisfying body and soul, Pawn Shop Soul provides high-energy dance music in the tradition of Stax, Volt, Chess and many others.