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Filtering by Category: 2017FF

Royal Jelly Jive

Steven Stubblefield

An intoxicating mixed drink of Gypsy Rock and Soul Jive, Royal Jelly Jive dives deep head-first into the old school throwback sounds of the 1940’s with a groovy new twist. Rapturous horns, sleek bass, an intoxicating mixed drink of Gypsy Rock and Soul Jive, Royal Jelly Jive dives deep head-first into the old school throwback elegant keys and swingin’ cymbals are just some of the sweet tastes you may devour if you’re lucky enough to catch them.

All fronted by the sultry and soulful vocals of Lauren Bjelde, this band will have you stompin’ your feet with crooked delight until the moon comes back up again. Go get yourself some of that Royal Jelly Jive now!

Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra

Steven Stubblefield

Explaining Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra’s music is like describing a remembered dream. It feels familiar, but at the same time it feels new. It's blues but not blues, folk but not folk, soulful but not soul. Marty’s voice is beautiful and distinctive, his lyrics stark yet lush over gritty electrified guitar. Chris Lynch's violin, Matt Goff's percussion and Ben Berry's rich bass meld beautifully. The chemistry of these friends is obvious. But one can also hear an urgency in the songs, expressing something elemental and perhaps contradictory: love and anger, joy and pain. They go from raw gospel blues to cinematic epics, from heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs.

The live performance is at the core of this project: the band enters a trance and the music is born again as something new every night. They leave the stage out of breath, the ground littered with broken strings and bow hairs. It's hard to describe, impossible to categorize. Yet people who know the music will try to explain it to you, just as you might struggle to explain a dream in the morning. The visions might slip away as you recount them, but the feeling remains.

The band formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012 and has been touring relentlessly ever since, from San Francisco to New Orleans to London to Seattle. They invite you to join them.
   "A band true to its name: soulful"
   "Delightful... well crafted music"
-SF Weekly 

Steep Ravine

Steven Stubblefield

Steep Ravine's soulful sound takes roots music in compelling new directions. Fusing elements of folk-rock, bluegrass, and jazz, the band continues to enthrall audiences with their uniquely Californian sound. Songwriter Simon Linsteadt (guitar, lead vocals) and Jan Purat (violin, vocals) began playing music together in high school in Northern California, later moving on to study music at UC Santa Cruz and the California Jazz Conservatory. They fortuitously met bassist Alex Bice (bass, vocals) through jam sessions in Santa Cruz. Percussionist Jeff Wilson, a close musical compadre, is the band’s most recent addition. Steep Ravine has toured extensively throughout the country and has released two full-length records of all original material.

Kelly McFarling and the Home Team

Steven Stubblefield

McFarling’s music occupies a place between places…” a testament to the singer songwriter herself, who has moved across the country from Georgia to California and dwelled in various places between. With an affinity for mountains and desert-scapes, and a sensibility for Southern literature, McFarling writes music for motion, and the emotional power of her music will move you.

Whether fireside or festival, McFarling’s voice can take you soaring with its distinctive clarity, or have you leaning into the intimate cracks of its authenticity. Her songs present honest aperture into the shaky and shimmering nature of transitions. Her band provides a bed of classic Americana instrumentation loaded with tasteful space, and perfectly placed flourish.

Over the 4 years they have been playing together they have solidified a sound that nestles into comparisons of a dark Emmylou Harris, or a bright Neko Case. McFarling’s first studio album Distractible Child (2010) features her first compositions and a focus on folk sensibilities. The sophomore album Ridgeline (2013) is a matured development of McFarling’s songwriting and arrangements. With prominent pedal steel and guitar provided by Tim Marcus, Andrew Laubaucher on drums, Jonathan Kirchner on Bass, Micah Dubreiul on keys and McFarling’s signature claw hammer Banjo, the band sound lives somewhere between Tom Petty in Los Angeles and Gillian Welch in Nashville.

Windy Hill Bluegrass

Steven Stubblefield

It's immediately evident at a Windy Hill show that the band is excited about bluegrass music and have big fun picking and singing. They're becoming increasingly well-known – and are winning awards – for their entertaining performances.

Windy Hill began as an idea in a Menlo Park (CA) High School wood shop class, where two 17-year-old friends sat around their work station sanding their projects and talking about live music. They discovered a mutual love for the songs of Bill Monroe, Carter Stanley, and Jimmy Martin and set out to learn to play and sing traditional music.

In 2008, these two friends – Henry Warde and Ryan Breen – found themselves in Fort Collins, Colorado, and started their band. Windy Hill was always the natural choice for the band name, as Ryan's backyard in Portola Valley, CA, overlooks the town's landmark – a golden hill separating the SF Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean.

The next year, they returned to California and another bluegrass-loving member of their high school class, Kyle McCabe, joined the band. Henry (mandolin), Ryan (banjo), and Thomas Wille (guitar) usually form the band's power trio, while Kyle (bass) holds down the beat.

Listen to Windy Hill here.

Birdman Plays the Hits

Steven Stubblefield

Photo: Sarah Shashaani @childcowboy

Photo: Sarah Shashaani @childcowboy

Jeff is one of the founders of DIO Fest. An amazing multi-intrumentalist, you'll find him touring across the country and playing gigs with the likes of Steep Ravine, McCoy Tyler Band, T Sisters, On the Spot Trio and more.

When Jeff's not playing in a band, he writes finger-lickin' psychadelic guitar intrumentals in the vein of John Fahey and other finger picking legends. That's what you'll find him doing on Sunday morning this year. Don't miss it...

Rob Marshall

Steven Stubblefield

Rob is seriously one of the most legendary DIO characters that's been with us since year one (and before that too when we're just a bunch of college troubadours trying to play a song or two). His musical ability is amazing and he always leads us in song on Sunday morning for a revival-esque moment. Make sure to request his "Honey Bears" song when you hear him play... one of the best songs I've ever heard in my life. - Stevee

Bobcat Rob Armenti

Steven Stubblefield

Bobcat Rob Armenti is an American Songwriter with a hankering for real, boot stomping, feel good, sometimes hard hitting but mostly uplifting music straight from the soul. Off the stage, the music never stops. Bobcat is known for his alternative shows, passion driven musical engagements for whomever happens to be around. From the streets of Santa Cruz and San Francisco to backyard campfires and gatherings all over the country.
After touring the country in a beat up RV with his band Theodore Lovely in 2013, Bobcat set up camp in the secluded mountain town of Lee Vining, CA where he wrote and recorded his debut solo record “The Cat’s in the Saddle.” An album chock full of good ol’ American music, from heartwarming banjo ballads to full fledged barn burners. “Pass Me That Whiskey” is an irresistible campfire ballad. “Shadows” is a haunting banjo number while still maintaining an uplifting message. “The Ticket” is an upbeat number that tells the tale of an unfortunate stranger looking for direction. The story is told and then summed up with, “As the story goes, you never know, who’ll you’ll come across or where you’ll go. But there’s a little bit of comfort in the unknown and I think that’s a good state of mind.”
Now, based out of Santa Cruz, CA, Bobcat continues to tour both as a solo act and with the band Abalone Grey.
“In general, Bobcat’s stories are damn straight relatable and inspiring. If you don’t enjoy the album, you’re confused or you don’t have a soul. Regardless, the Bobcat is an artist worth supporting.” – Drew Fisher, Co-Founder, Lost Sierra Hoedown

Kat Factor

Steven Stubblefield

Classically trained songstress in the folk-jazz-indie-electro fusion arts. Incorporating sounds from the soul to honor the interconnection within all of life. With a passion for music expression and social awareness, her melodic storytelling is imbued with images of life, death, love, justice and healing. Kat uses her background in Anthropology, medicine and music to tell a story about her take on the human experience.

Randy Gulausch

Steven Stubblefield

Tablelands. Photo:  @bribol

Tablelands. Photo: @bribol

Stevee Stubblefield also known to his friends as Randy Gulausch (among other nicknames), quite the character indeed. Stevee is the founder of "Do It Ourselves" festival, which highlights local musicians and benefits "Camp Krem" a special needs camp in Boulder Creek. Stevee has been in various music projects over the last few years, including successful string band "North Pacific String Band". Between Mexico surf trips, organizing festivals, and seeking inspiration Stevee has turned into a fantastic songwriter. Highlighting the ups and downs of life, with a solid amount of dry humor. Stevee is a whisky sippin' good time.

Stevee's got his debut live album being release soon. Stay posted for some of his tunes.