There were a lot of after-hour gatherings in Healdsburg Saturday night. The one I attended was the Acoustic Guitar Showcase at the Russian River Brewery in downtown Santa Rosa.
It was a fantastic night, full of great music. Putting it together and pulling it off was a lot of work. Bill Hammond did an excellent job. The main performers were: Bill Hammond/Barb Piper, Teja Gerken, Doug Young, and Don Alder.
Bill and Barb opened and closed the series of performances. Bill played some solo tunes and also had Barb join him on stage. She is a wonderful singer, great voice and singing style. They really were obviously musically “in tune”. Thank you for doing a couple of Eva Cassidy songs.
Teja was next. He played some really nice set of songs from both his albums, including his recently released “Postcards”. Teja also asked Steve Baughman to come up and join him play a duet on the Irish traditional “Pretty Girl Milking a Cow”. Don’t let the title fool you, it is a pretty tune from his “On My Way” CD.
Then it was Doug. Great fingerstyle playing for everyone there. Doug’s clean lines, great arrangements, and style were evident with “I Will” and “Rhiannon”, my two favorites from his “Lauren Mill” CD.
Don Alder was fourth in line. I must admit, I’ve neither seen nor heard Don play before last night. Just from his sound check alone (before the event started), I knew we were in for a treat. I would call his set ELECTRIFYING. What a player he is. I think I saw the ceiling starting to collapse during his performance! The small stage did not keep this guy from cranking out that percussive style of playing. I am now a Don Alder fan.
There were a few others that came up and played some songs (sorry I can’t remember their names). A guitar and fiddle duo came after Don’s set. They were very good. I love the fiddle. Their set brought the dancers in the audience out. There was a walk-up who played a couple of tunes. There was a third player who also did two songs. He opened with a brilliant arrangement of “Come Together”, complete with the percussion and other special effects incorporated in the song.
All in all, it was a great musical event. I heard that the Russian River Brewery never had live music like this before. The local crowd as well as the out-of-towners looked like they totally enjoyed it. So did I. Once again, thanks to Bill Hammond who put it all together.
Ace (your on-scene reporter)
Ace, I love Eva Cassidy's voice and she is quite the guitarist herself if you listen closely to some of the arrangements that she plays on.
And Mr. Don Alder... wow... I met him at the Canadian Guitar Festival... he is something else! I posted a mini-review under that topic.
Ace, thanks for sharing! I can almost here the songs from here!!
I'll definitely check out Don Alder's CD!
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