Music » The Hum

Galician Lark Song

Bagpipes at the Grange, plus Arts Alive! action and Deadwood Revival



For 30 years now the Lark in the Morning World Music and Dance Celebration, better known simply as Lark Camp, has drawn traditional musicians from around the world to Mendocino Woodlands State Park for a week of workshops and jam sessions with an international scope. A fair number of local musicians attend every year -- some go to learn from the masters, some go to teach, some do both. Everyone goes to play.

There are actually three camps within Lark Camp, one with a focus on Ireland and the British Isles, Eastern Europe, Greece and Sweden, another centered on Middle Eastern and African music and drumming, a third on swing music, the Americas, Spain and France. It's hard to say, and I admit I'm not sure, but the third camp may be where you'll find the Galician musicians, since Galicia is a province in the northwest corner of Spain, but perhaps not since there's a strong Celtic influence in their music.

Gregg Moore spent many years overseas studying and playing music, working out arrangements of tunes from all over. We know him mostly for his leadership of the wildly international Bandemonium, but he's also into Galician music.   

In an e-mail ominously titled "There WILL be bagpipes" Moore writes, "Two years ago Bandemonium hosted the duo VerdeGaio from Galicia and we played some of the settings of traditional Galician bagpipe (gaita) tunes I write for the group of gaitas at Lark Camp each year. Then a month or so ago the Bayside [Grange] Music Project hosted an evening with a younger group of Americans, Irish and Galicians, As Faiscas, exploring the directions traditional Galician music can take mixed with general Celtic sensibilities -- we were captivated by the voices of Sinead and Diana. The evening was worthwhile if only for the introduction of their traditional way of playing pandereta (tambourine)."

Moore included a link to his website ( where he's posted a couple of songs, "Pateado" by As Faiscas (which sounds totally Celtic to my ear) and the sprightly bagpipe tune "Danza de Paus de Taboexa" by VerdeGaio, who sound something like Highland pipers but with an insistent driving Latin rhythm. That band includes two Spaniards, Alexandre Cadarso and Javier Blanco, along with Oregon-based piper Kevin Carr, who you may have heard playing with one of his other bands, Wake the Dead, a Celtic G-Dead tribute (that band plays Dead on the Creek over the weekend at Uncle John's Camp above Willits).

After Lark Camp ends Saturday, Moore is bringing VerdeGaio and As Faiscas to play a Sunday show at Bayside Grange (in the kitchen), a special concert with music, dancing and stories. Yes, there will be bagpipes, along with mandolins, button accordions and what Moore describes as "other exotic string and wind instruments."

Got a note from DJ Red saying, "I will be playing for the first time under my alter ego, DJ Cheasy Listening, at The Lobby [in the Vance] for August's Arts Alive! -- I didn't put that exclamation point there, Arts Alive! did. I would never assume any of my gigs would be so exciting as to warrant an '!' at the end of a sentence telling you about them -- but I'm babbling. DJ Cheasy Listening will be culling from his collection of swing, exotica, ’60s and ’70s Latin jazz, and other assorted oddballs of musical curio to keep the hipster crowd swinging and schmoozing from 6 ’til 9. Then, at 9:45ish, he turns back into plain old DJ Red, who will be spinning deep and funky house until midnight."

Elsewhere in Eureka's Saturday night Arts Alive! world: ShinBone plays rhythm ’n' blues at the "historic" Eureka Theater, just the thing for your post Buddy Brown Fest blues pleasure (more on the BB Blues Festival in the Calendar section). Synapsis presents Circus of the Sacred Search at the Adorni, an Ink People-related art installation with performance components. Kid Telex and altONE host an open mic at Oasis Lounge followed by late-night dubstep. Also slightly later (8 p.m.) an all-star funk night at the Red Fox with Chris Wixson's Speak Easy Saints as hosts plus live art and BBQ.

Good Company does their Celtic thing that night at Indah Bali. As usual, the John David Young Trio is at Surfside Burger Shack, and no, the fact that John uses his middle name does not make me think of serial killers. Eureka Brass Band gets brassy at Mantova's Two Street Music. E St. has a little Folklife Festival rerun with The Phoebes at Ramone's and Kenny Ray and the Mighty Rovers at Humboldt Baykeeper. Dr. Squid rocks Steve and Dave's. Spudgun is at Old Town Coffee and Chocolates. (Ask Flatmo about the Kinetic Cab Co. at Burning Man if you want to hear an arty story.)

Speaking of Burning Man, same time on Saturday as A-A! "Intercontinental Super Clown" Shea Freelove is throwing something called Classy as FLUX, a benefit in Arcata for the Temple of Flux at B-Man. "Witness live art, DJs, aerial, fire, burlesque and much more," he implores. "Come see the F St. Warehouse gallery at its best; come dressed to impress."

Mellow jazz guitarist John Stowell is in town, Redway that is, playing a Friday night session at Persimmons Garden Gallery with saxophonist Francis Vanek, bassist Tommy Lockett and of course Michael Curran on drums. The quartet has a new album, Outfits, on Lockett's label, Heat Records, which I'm sure will be available at the show.

Most years SoHum would be jumping this week since the first full weekend in August is traditionally Reggae time. Without rehashing the long sad story, we'll just say Reggae Rising ain't happening this year. The official line is that it's "postponed" until Aug. 5-7, 2011. Some folks associated with Reggae on the River, MC Doug Green for example, would like to see RotR return to its original time and, if possible, to French's Camp. Then there's the new Gaia Festival announced by the folks at Black Oak Ranch for that same weekend in 2011. It sounds like a scaled down Earthdance, which, as you may have heard, will have its last blast in Laytonville Sept. 17-19, having outgrown that small community.

There's still some question about R-Rising promoters announcing that they will not be giving refunds for advance tickets to the cancelled festival. Did Tom Dimmick use advance ticket money to pay past due bills to the Sheriff and the CHP? If so, he violated the law governing concert tickets. As Roy Furshpan of CenterArts explained, money paid in advance for a ticket must be held in escrow until the show takes place. You definitely can't spend it. You cannot even put it in an interest-bearing bank account.

And speaking of advance tickets, it's about time to buy them for individual shows in the 30th annual CenterArts season (assuming you did not purchase season tickets). Weird Al Yankovic starts things off Aug. 23. Hot tickets and potential sell-outs among the three dozen shows include funnyman Steve Martin -- on banjo -- with The Steep Canyon Rangers (Oct.1), blues icon  B.B. King (Nov. 1), country superstar Clint Black (Dec. 15) and a couple of talkers: This American Life host Ira Glass (Nov. 6) and food guru Michael Pollan (Dec. 1). 

Old timey jammers Deadwood Revival are down from their home on the Olympic Peninsula for a couple of Humboldt shows after playing the above-mentioned Dead on the Creek. Their manager notes, "DwR is NOT bluegrass. Oh good grief, no! More like a rock band with acoustic toys that knows a lot about The Jam." They were regulars at Curley's in Ferndale; now they're playing at his new place in Fortuna on Wednesday, Aug. 11, followed by a show on Thursday, Aug 12, at Humboldt Brews. Yahoo!


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