The Hum is back (in print)

Yes, it’s true. The Hum is back. Back in print in the Mad River Union anyway. It never totally disappeared online (here at thehum.online), but I needed a break. I had more pressing things to do — like lay my friend to rest, then, my mom. The print Hum will be different. Watch for it semimonthly.

I explained all this when I ran into a couple of friends other day on Bar Row. One of them was in the Raging Grannies with my dear old mother. After sincere condolences and some talk about what a fine lady she was, I mentioned that I was bringing the Hum back. 

Her friend is a local musician, so of course he was glad to hear about the return. ‘What should I mention?’ I wondered. “Well, definitely the Nels Cline show,” said the local musician, Gary Davidson, who has been playing bass in various local combos for decades. 

Gary Davidson at the Folklife Festival – photo by Bob Doran

Needless to say, that show Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Arcata Playhouse is hopelessly sold out. (Miracle tickets required. Ask around.) Nels Cline 4 is led by Mr. Cline, the awesome Wilco guitarist…

It also features the 20-something Julian Lage, who played here with his band recently, and, memorably, with David Grisman a few years ago. In a JazzTimes interview, Lage says he’d “found his people” playing with Cline. “At last I found a scenario where you could be free and adventurous, you could utilize sound and be extremely melodic and evocative.” I’m ready for an adventure.

Gary also figured he had to mention a benefit at the Bayside Community Hall (formerly known as the Grange) since he plays in both bands on the two-fer bill: Home Cookin’ and The Handshakers.

Cover from Freddy and the Starliner album by Martin Wong

It gives away my age, but I can’t help but think of Home Cookin’ as the latest incarnation of Freddy and the Starliners, a band with Jambalaya founders Fred Neighbor and Joyce Hough from before Gary moved here. 

The Handshakers were once known as Rogues’ Gallery. A pair of Georgia-born guitarist/songwriters, Mike Bynum and luthier Michael Walker, are out front, with Aleister Paige on pedal steel.

The Delta Nationals in front of the B.C. Hall – photo by Bob Doran

They changed names when Gary joined with rhythm partner Paul DeMark on drums. BTW, Paul officially announced the end of the venerable Delta Nationals after 18 years. Just to keep busy, Paul started another band, a jazz trio PD 3, with Fred on guitar and Bruce “Junior” Johnson on standup bass. (Fred and Junior also play as a duo known as Fred & Junior.) 

This “Double the Money Hallabaloo” promises an “evening of dinner and music” with an early start, beginning with a home-cooked meal at 5:30 p.m. Handshakers at 7, with Home Cookin’ closing. All money raised for the B.C. Hall renovation will be matched by an anonymous donor. “This will be a fun evening for a good cause,” says Joyce. “I have many, many fond memories of playing in this building!! You probably do too.” Indeed I do. 

Illustration from The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

Before we parted on Bar Row, Gary had another gig to mention. Yet another outfit he plays with, Rosewater: A Tribute to the Grateful Dead, is at the Clam Beach Tavern (in McKinleyville) on Friday, Feb. 15.

Along the same lines, The Miracle Show offers “top shelf Grateful Dead,” at the Jam on the same night (2/15) declaring, “The music plays the band.”

There’s also a “Grateful Dead Dance Party” at Humbrews this Saturday (2/2) with Dead vids augmented by a light show by Marmalade Sky. Also, you just missed Dead On, a local trio “exploring the acoustic side of The Grateful Dead.”

Gary had a simple explanation about the plethora of Dead cover bands locally. “There’s all these great songs and we love playing them, and the people keep coming out to hear them.”

Speaking of tribute bands, Piet Dalmolen and the Pink Floyd cover band Money play that song and others from that catalog at Humbrews Friday, Feb. 1. They promise “lights and projections by Shawn Lei and a few new tricks up our sleeve.” (Remember the old days when light shows were listed along with the bands?)

More covers etc. coming up at The Jam, with a month of Sunday kid-friendly afternoon shows labeled “Fam Jam,” all from 1-4 p.m. Youngins get in free (with adults). First up, Feb. 10, Silver Hammer: A Beatles Tribute, then the following Sunday, Feb. 17, reggae tunes by Irie Rockers, and, rounding things out Feb. 24, All Things Must Pass—a Birthday Tribute to George Harrison. (His b-day is actually the next day, but it’s close enough.  

There’s more of this column in the paper and you can pick it up at your neighborhood news stand (Northtown Books for example) or you can wait until later, when I get around to posting some more, including some stuff that’s not in the paper.

The magazine rack at Northtown Books, curated by Jay Aubrey-Herzog – photo by Bob Doran shot for the NC Journal when we declared it “Best Magazine Rack” around in 2010.

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