Hey gang - some tips on local music this weekend, as there's very little in the way of touring bands, and besides: We've got some good people playing in this town, go show 'em some love.
Thursday night at Marilyn's offers a chance to see two of the best new - and young - artists in town, Christopher Fairman and Ricky Berger. Fairman is a moody, angsty singer songwriter in the vein of some of Britain's best sensitive white guys: Nick Drake, Roddy Frame, maybe even a little Thom Yorke. Generally quiet, laid back stuff, Fairman takes the "come to me" approach, rather than hitting you over the head. Hear it on his debut album, Born Broken, which came out last year. Check out his MySpace page.
Opening for Fairman on Thursday is the even younger (20?) Ricky Berger, whose voice is immediately striking, and whose songs on her forthcoming debut album are immediately accessible in a sort of Rickie Lee Jones way, blending folk, a little jazz and a directness in both sound and delivery that is refreshing. Very promising indeed. To find out more about her and her album, visit her MySpace page. This girl is, along with Kate Gaffney, a prime candidate for Sacramento's next act to go national.
Yesterday's most likely acts to go national did so, and are back in their hometowns - and playing Old Ironsides on Friday and Saturday. Mark Curry made a terrific debut album for Virgin Records back in the early '90s, and Bob Zoppi's band Agnes Stone recorded for a major around the same time. Zoppi is a terrific singer with the stamp of approval of no less than Clive Davis, and Curry is a road warrior who just keeps on going. They play Old I Friday night.
Saturday night's double bill features Brian Ballentine of Nevada Backwards (Adaven?) and Hans Eberbach, former singer of national label vets Sweet Vine and the subsequent Looking Star. Eberbach is usually described as "blue eyed soul," and is very good at it, check out this cool online video. Ballentine's own bio on his MySpace page describes him as "a sharply dressed and tortured troubadour whose sound is reminiscent of shattered windowpanes strained through phosphoric acid."
These are four talented guys, all locals, all veterans of the label runaround, and all well worth checking out. And cheap to boot! And don't forget the new kids, especially Ricky Berger. You'll be glad you did.