Archive for the ‘music’ Category

A Heyday Hootenanny in Berkeley July 28

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

A HEYDAY HOOTENANNY
Sunday, July 28, 6pm
Heyday Books, 1808-A San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

It was Steve Wasserman who introduced me to Jim Page‘s music back in the 1970s. I was a young singer-songwriter out to change the world by persuasion, and there was Steve, out to change the world by more direct means. And here’s Jim Page, who embodies both our approaches. He’s been persuading and inspiring for decades, and also putting his ass on the line in the streets.

Jim and I met at the High Sierra Music festival around 20 years ago, in a late-night songwriters circle. We’ve played gigs together occasionally in the intervening years. I adapted his wonderful lyric to “Down to Eugene” to fit a fingerpicking tune of mine (which earned me a compliment from Jorma Kaukonen that I will treasure to my dying day); it’s on my album The Ones That Look the Weirdest Taste the Best and it’s one of the most popular numbers in my solo repertoire.

When Heyday Books moved into its current location in January of 2019, Steve posted a photo of his new conference room and made a crack about having me christen it with a song. That planted a seed in my mind that took a few months to bear fruit: why not do a ‘house concert’ in that room, for the benefit of Heyday as well as for the musicians?

Songwriters are always looking for venues that are interested in original music and/or ‘listening rooms’ as opposed to dance halls. I thought, a book publisher would be a great setting for an evening of conversation and original song. And given Heyday’s focus on California, I thought a series featuring California-based songwriters would make sense.

I sent a note to Steve outlining the idea, and he responded enthusiastically; we made a date to meet.

The night before our meeting I got an email from Jim Page, asking about the possibility of playing a show together the last week of July. ‘Your timing is perfect,’ I replied. ‘I am going to see Steve Wasserman tomorrow to talk about doing a ‘house concert’ at Heyday. How about you and I do that?

California-born, Seattle-based Jim Page has recorded 22 albums and toured in 14 countries. His songs have been covered by Christy Moore, Dick Gaughan, Roy Bailey, The Doobie Brothers, The Moving Hearts, Michael Hedges, Leftover Salmon, and many others. “The political and social awareness of those times was a part of all artistic expression,” he says, and it has stayed that way in Jim’s music ever since.

Page moved to Seattle in 1971 and performed in the streets an in the folk clubs. According to his web site, “In 1974, after being threatened with arrest for singing on the street without a permit, Jim took on the Seattle city government to… legalize street performing. He sang his testimony to a packed council hearing, and the streets were opened by unanimous decision. It was a landmark case and Seattle is now an internationally famous city for buskers of all styles.”

Utah Phillips, quoted in Page’s bio: “Jim Page’s songs get right to the point. He looks at the world clearly and reports what he sees with compassion, humor and a biting sense of irony. And boy! can he sing and play.”

Although I am best known for my work as a historian and curator of Grateful Dead music (four books, two national radio shows, and producer of several boxed sets and compilation albums), I have been writing and performing my own songs for fifty years. The first thing I ever played on the guitar was a song I wrote with my brother, who taught me the chords and set me on the path I’ve been on ever since.

I came up in that time when music was the primary cultural currency of the youth movement, and I have never stopped believing that music can and does change the world. I prefer inspiration and information over coercion.

Opening the show will be a performance by folk legend Barbara Dane and her son, Pablo Menendez. Oakland-based Dane, 92, has been a musician and activist for more than 60 years. Her son Pablo, born in 1952 and a resident of Cuba since 1966, has been an indelible part of many Cuban music scenes for more than fifty years. He is the subject of the 2017 documentary So Near…So Far.”

The evening will be hosted by Steve Wasserman.

All of the participants in this evening are committed humanitarians who have organized our lives around a desire to preserve, protect, and improve this planet and its population for the good of all.

RSVP to emmerich@heydaybooks.com

Here’s a link to the Facebook event

My complete performance schedule is here.

New album: HOME SWEET HOME

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

David Gans, Home Sweet Home – Solo loop improvisations, Spring 2019

Available only on Bandcamp – free, or pay what you want.

Gans on tour this week

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia!

  • Tuesday, May 14, 7:30pm: The Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC, opening for The Sweet Lilies
  • Wednesday, May 15: Charleston Pour House, 1977 May Bank Hwy, Charleston SC. With Reckoning and Tenth Mountain Division. Advance tickets here
  • Thursday, May 16: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 510 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte NC
  • Friday, May 17: MadLife Stage & Studios, Woodstock GA with Frankly Scarlet
  • Saturday, May 18: Local Motive Brewing Company, 123 N Dargan St, Florence SC
  • Sunday, May 19, 12:30-3:30pm: Wicked Weed Brewing Co., Asheville NC. Free show!
  • And Illinois in June!

    DG: on the road again!

    Saturday, April 13th, 2019

    Back on the road next week! Details and links at dgans.com

    Friday, April 19: Old Shoe and DG at Kenny’s Westside Pub, 112 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria IL

    Saturday, April 20: Deadfest at The Wire, Berwyn IL. Solo and with Old Shoe

    Sunday, April 21: House concert in Holt MI. Contact me for info/reservations.

    Tuesday, April 23: DG and Deadicated at Otus Supply, 345 E Nine Mile Road, Ferndale MI

    Wednesday, April 24, 7pm: The Parlor, Columbus OH

    Thursday, April 25: Bigfoot County and DG at the 5 Points Music Sanctuary, 1217 Maple Ave., Roanoke VA. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8

    Saturday, April 27: Greensboro NC – UNCG Grateful Dead conference! DG plays 6-8pm at Tate Street Coffee House w/ Jon Walters and joins Spartans Play Dead in The Van Dyke Performance Space at 9pm

    Sunday, May 5, 2pm: Yerba Buena Orchestra at the Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley CA

    Thursday, May 9, 7:30-9pm: Yerba Buena Orchestra (trio) at Iron Springs Public House, 901 Fourth Street, San Rafael CA. Free!

    Tuesday, May 14: The Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC, opening for The Sweet Lilies

    Wednesday, May 15: Charleston Pour House, 1977 May Bank Hwy, Charleston SC. With Reckoning and Tenth Mountain Division.

    Thursday, May 16: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 510 Brar Creek Road, Charlotte NC

    Friday, May 17: MadLife Stage & Studios, Woodstock GA with Frankly Scarlet

    Saturday, May 18: Local Motive Brewing Company, 123 N Dargan St, Florence SC

    Sunday, May 19, 4-7pm: Wicked Weed Brewing Co., Asheville NC

    November 21-25: Steal Your Cruise, Port Everglades FL. DG joins Unlimited Devotion for a cruise! On sale now!

    “The Town That Still Believes in Magic”

    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

    Last month, Scott Guberman and I got together and wrote a song, “The Town That Still Believes in Magic.” We recorded it on March 16, and finished the mix yesterday.

    The Dead to Me podcast premiered the track in this week’s episode, “Zen of the Dead” (And I was interviewed in last week’s episode).

    And here is the finished song, uncut.

    Scott Guberman: piano, organ, vocals; David Gans: guitar, vocals; Robin Sylvester, bass; Greg Anton, drums. Recorded by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Oakland, March 16, 2019.

    We spent $935 making this recording; we’re offering it on a “pay what you want” basis (including free!) – we’d love to recover that money so we can invest it in another session!

    THE TOWN THAT STILL BELIEVES IN MAGIC
    by Scott Guberman and David Gans. ©2019 Whispering Hallelujah Music (BMI)

    In the town that still believes in magic
    Children play and laughter fills the air
    It’s a trip beyond imagination
    A lovely place to have your soul repaired

    In the town that still believes in magic
    Music is the language of our peace
    Every day is cause for celebration
    Harmony, perspective, and release

    Celebrate the ties that bind
    Leave your fear and dread behind, and rise
    You will see it and believe it
    It’s revealed to you when you arrive

    In the town that still believes in magic
    People still buy records in the store
    The concert hall is filled with people listening
    You don’t find that too often anymore
    You don’t find that too often anymore
    You don’t find that too often anymore
    You don’t find that too often anymore


    Photos by Stuart Steinhardt

    Kind review of a recent live show

    Monday, April 1st, 2019

    David —

    can’t remember the last time I looked up a performer’s lyrics the next morning.

    quality, thoughtfully written stuff that I happen to culturally agree with. . .

    and exactly the stuff that needs reinforcing in this particularly weird time. you gave a ton — very genuine and complete performance — the content of the lyrics, the fingerpicking, the cosmic loop music — really terrific assortment of sounds and feelings, all from one musician. plus a good message of firmness, resolve, and hope.

    Rob Catterton

    (He attended my house concert in Santa Rosa CA on Saturday, March 30)

    Review of DROP THE BONE

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

    Derk Richardson reviews Drop the Bone in the March 2019 issue of Oakland Magazine.

    ‘…the superbly produced Drop the Bone captures his eclectic range and deep Bay Area relationships….the openhearted, good-time feel bends through several genres in the original songs, instrumentals, and renditions of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” and George Harrison’s “Here Come the Sun,” with stellar contributions by Thompsonia, Terry Haggerty, Lorin and Chris Rowan, and many others.’

    More info and ordering links here.

    video from the recording session

    Sunday, March 17th, 2019

    Not much to look at, but you can hear what the song and jam sound like! The full story is here, with song lyrics.

    In the town that still believes in magic…

    Sunday, March 17th, 2019

    I just had one of the highest experiences of my life, musical or otherwise.

    Three weeks ago, Scott Guberman and I got together at his house in Fairfax to write a song. I had a line of lyric and three lines of music, and I said: “This song could be about Fairfax.” Three hours later, we had a new song.

    “The Town That Still Believes in Magic” sounded like a folk song with a Pink Floyd bridge when I left Scott’s house with a rudimentary demo. We thought about it and conferred a little while later, and agreed that it should be speeded up some. Then we made a plan to record it. We recruited Greg Anton on drums and Robin Sylvester on bass, and we met on Saturday, March 16 at Megasonic Sound in Oakland.

    This is one of the best rhythm sections I have ever worked with! I have played with Robin, onstage and in the studio, a lot in recent years, but Greg and I have not done much together. His playing on this session blew my mind.

    I had suggested to Scott in a text the night before that we start with a keyboard-based groove. I had in mind a chunkier, more rock’n’roll rhythm than we had come up with on the day we wrote it. Scott showed us an intro that reminded me of Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender,” one of my role-model records for both composition and execution. That led us to an entirely new tempo and atmosphere – a most welcome one.

    Our bridge had struck us as dangerously Pink Floyd-ish, and my initial impulse was to downplay that and alter the melody a bit. But we all arrived at the session ready to Go There, so we had a conversation about the arrangement and the vibe and then started playing, going from “The Pretender” to Pink Floyd.

    On the second (?) take, the post-jam reprise had a nice bouncy “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” feel to it, and I loved the way that setting served the (decidedly self-serving, as you’ll hear in the song) lyrics of the last verse.

    I think it was the third take that we kept. I had expected we would need one more, but we reviewed it over Beauty’s Bagels and cream cheese and determined that we had a keeper. The Neil Young feel was gone, but we were all very happy with what we had.

    I was literally laughing out loud at the end of each take, from the pure joy of the experience. Robin is always magnificent, and Greg was just brilliant while bringing feels, textures and grooves unlike any other drummer I know. Scott and I discovered a nice way of playing instinctively together, sometimes doing very conscious conversation, other times just feeling our way along and trusting the synergy.

    Some punch-ins, new vocals, some double-tracking – and then Greg suggested that instead of taking turns singing a solo verse in the first half, we do both verses as duets to match what had evolved in the rest of the song.

    Once we had all the pieces we needed to complete the song, we set it aside and went back in the studio to jam. After a short throat-clearing thing that didn’t develop, we played a ten-minute jam, which came to an easy stop; without saying a word, we paused for a few seconds and then launched into another jam. That one was about six minutes, and then – again, with little to no discussion – we went into a third jam, which evolved into “Cassidy’s Cat”; we wound up with nine very satisfying minutes of that.

    I’m going back in on Tuesday with engineer Jeremy Goody to finish the mixing of “Town,” and we’ll “release” the song and “Cat” on Bandcamp as a digital-only “single.”

    The Town That Still Believes in Magic
    Scott Guberman and David Gans
    February 12, 2019; ©2019 Whispering Hallelujah Music (BMI)

    In the town that still believes in magic
    Children play and laughter fills the air
    It’s a trip beyond imagination
    A lovely place to have your soul repaired

    In the town that still believes in magic
    Music is the language of our peace
    Every day is cause for celebration
    Harmony, perspective, and release

    Celebrate the ties that bind
    Leave your fear and dread behind, and rise
    You will see it and believe it
    It’s revealed to you when you arrive

    In the town that still believes in magic
    People still buy records in the store
    The concert hall is filled with people listening
    You don’t find that too often anymore
    You don’t find that too often anymore
    You don’t find that too often anymore
    You don’t find that too often anymore

    Photo by Stuart Steinhardt

    Fragile Thunder Trio update

    Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

    The Fragile Thunder Trio is about halfway through our Indiegogo campaign! The record has been mixed, and now we’re looking for pre-orders etc so we can get it mastered, packaged, pressed, and on the market! Here’s a link to the campaign – click through, take a look at the video, and see what your options are for contributing.

    Here’s an audio montage of moments and textures from the record.

    Contributors of $50 or more can sign up for a two-set live recording of Stephen and David (with Marty Pell of On the Bus joining in on keyboards in set 2), from a house concert near DC in November of 2018. Here’s an excerpt: jam into Days Between

    The Fragile Thunder trio is:
    Anela Lauren – harp and vocals
    Stephen Inglis – guitar and vocals
    David Gans – guitar and vocals

    We appreciate your support!

    Fragile Thunder duo – live!

    Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

    Here’s a piece of the live show I was mixing today – Fragile Thunder Duo 11/17/18 jam->Days Between

    We’re offering the complete two-hour live recording (mixed from multitrack) to contributors of $50 or more to our Indiegogo campaign.

    Find us on Facebook

    Fragile Thunder Trio – new crowdfunding campaign

    Sunday, January 20th, 2019

    The Fragile Thunder Trio (Anela Lauren (harp and vocals), Stephen Inglis and David Gans (guitar and vocals)) went into the studio with bassist Robin Sylvester a few months ago, and emerged with a record that includes two long, exploratory “Dark Stars,” a “St Stephen” with a jam in the middle, and a sweet rendition of David’s song “Jacqueline.”

    Here is an audio sampler of the final mix.

    We have just launched an indiegogo campaign to get it out. We’re looking for a heap of presales – options include downloads, CDs, a bonus live recording of Stephen and David from November of 2018, and more. Please click here and contribute if you can!

    indiegogo.com/projects/one-afternoon-long-ago–4/x/1623294#/

    DG’s upcoming California gigs

    Monday, January 7th, 2019

    Wednesday, January 9, 8pm: DG with Nate LaPointe (Cubensis) at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Ave, Altadena CA. $20./ Call (626) 798-6236 to reserve your seat!

    Thursday, January 10, 7pm: Piazza’s Pine Cone Inn, 13383 Sierra Way, Kernville CA. $20

    Saturday, January 12: Jerry’s Middle Finger and DG at T-Bar Social Club, 2588 Highway 158, June Lake CA. Advance tickets here

    Wednesday, January 16, 8-10pm: Yerba Buena Orchestra at the Iron Springs Pub, Fairfax CA. Free! Yerba Buena Orchestra is a new band with Joe Burke and DG on guitar and vocals, Dave Jess on bass, Neil Hampton on drums, and Jeff Hobbs on a variety of instruments!

    More info at http://www.dgans.com/gigs.html

    Kickstarter reminder

    Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

    Reminder: we’re running a Kickstarter campaign for Fragile Thunder’s studio album One Afternoon Long Ago!

    Please click through and at least watch the video. We need your help to get this sweet record out into the world!

    Here’s a photo of bassist Robin Sylvester (and Stephen Inglis in the background) at our April 23 recording session in Oakland, California.

    Kickstarter for FRAGILE THUNDER studio recording

    Friday, October 19th, 2018

    We’re raising $$ to complete a new album, titled One Afternoon Long Ago!

    FRAGILE THUNDER:
    Anela Lauren – harp and vocals
    Stephen Inglis – guitar and vocals
    David Gans – guitar and vocals
    Robin Sylvester – bass

    Track List:
    Dark Star (acoustic) 23:53
    Dark Star (electric) 34:33
    St Stephen 14:09
    Jacqueline 3:29
    (Stephen played electric guitar on one “Dark Star” and acoustic on the other)

    We recorded it in April, at Megasonic Sound in Oakland.

    Please help us get this record out into the world! We are planning to release it (and do a tour) next April, debuting the project at the Skull & Roses Festival in Ventura

    Kickstarter project link