I flew out of Oakland early that morning to get back to Portland in time to attend a wedding. The guitarist for Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags, Zach, was getting married that day, and I couldn't miss that! It really was a great party, very informal and a lot of fun. But I did feel a twinge of jealousy that Emma was getting to stay in SF and see two more days of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.
Randomly, we were already scheduled to be in the Bay Area at the same time as the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which is a free 3-day concert put on by a super rich guy as his present to San Francisco. Actually, someone on the All You Can Jet facebook page told us about the event, and then when we were in DC, Danny from Stripmall Ballads told us he was flying in for the show! Small world. We borrowed Emma's Aunt Becky's car to drive into the city (thanks!) and spent a while finding parking, then headed to Golden Gate Park and found Danny. The first set we watched was The Waybacks - I've never seen a guy shred on distorted acoustic guitar like this guy! Then we saw Patty Griffin with an amazing band behind her. Emmylou Harris came out and sang a song with her. Unfortunately, we had to leave early that day, missing Jenny and Johnny - but we had seen them in Portland just before leaving on tour, so it wasn't too heartbreaking. We made it out to Point Richmond for our gig, which was at a cozy little wine bar called Four2Nine. We played on the patio out back, opening the night, then relaxed and watched the other bands. Good friend John Howland closed out the night with his bassist Andrew (and the infamous Burger King shirt).
We managed to score a semi-last-minute gig at Marilyn's on K in Sacramento, a classy spot that is famous for breaking Jackie Greene several years ago. When we showed up, Mary Louise brought us to the Green Room, where we enjoyed free food and drinks while we set up our gear and got ready for the show. The wonderful Mike Regina Quintet (MRQ) played first, with their credo, "We're just so happy to be here tonight." A bunch of my family members and friends from the area came out to the show, so it was almost a little family reunion! We played about an hour-long set, very well received, though one could argue we had stacked the audience with shills, haha.
We flew out of Portland that morning (with JetBlue wings thanks to our friend Treasure at the ticket counter) and headed to Sacramento. After settling in at my brother-in-law Willow's house, we borrowed their truck (thanks!
) and drove to the Fox & Goose for a feature set at their open mic. There were some talented people there that night, including a guy on electric kalimba...I think his name was Steve?? Can't remember. Then we headed to our favorite late night burrito spot in Sactown.
Emma took the train in to Portland, and then we headed over to Bend, Oregon, for a show at Silver Moon Brewing, one of our favorite spots. This was slotted to be a full band gig, but due to some car issues and a family emergency, we decided to play as a duo that night (everyone's OK, don't worry). The opener that night was a guy name John Shipe, a charming singer/songwriter with some seriously funny songs. He even mentioned us on his own blog after the show: http://www.johnshipe.com/2010/09/25/shipe-silver-moon-w-emma-hill-debut-on-uke/
My wife (Autumn) was there for the weekend, so we finally got some time to hang out after the show. The night was fairly uneventful, but relaxing for a change.
That was a hard day of traveling! Waking up at 6, (quite hungover,) getting on the train, riding it for four hours, getting immediately into a car and driving three hours to Bend, with a show that night. WOAH! But it was a super fun show and we really enjoyed playing with John. Plus, you know how much I love Bend AND Silver Moon Brewing!