Tucked into the beautiful historic gold rush town of Grass Valley, The Center for the Arts is a haven for world famous musicians of all kinds. Big names and emerging artists alike love to make the Center a stop on their tours since it’s often on their way from one big city gig in the Bay Area or Sacramento to another, and they love the warm, welcoming atmosphere they find here. There are some wonderful acts coming up that you won’t want to miss:
Dustin Thomas and Friends
Friday, June 2, 8:00 p.m.
Activist/singer/songwriter Dustin Thomas returns to The Center for the Arts on Friday, June 2.
Big hair, big smiles, and a whole lot of love: wild hearted globe-trotter Dustin Thomas is making waves worldwide with his infectious and captivating blend of beat-box/soul folk. Armed with a voice, a guitar and universal anthems of faith, love, and war; this young artist continues to inspire hearts around the world.
As a touring artist Dustin Thomas is known worldwide for his captivating and unifying performances and soulfully crafted sing-a-longs.
As a recording artist, Dustin has built a unique grassroots following online and boasts over a half a million streams on his website alone.
Truly a man of the road, Dustin Thomas has shared the stage with the biggest names in conscious music including SOJA, Xavier Rudd, Trevor Hall, Rising Appalachia, and Nahko and Medicine for The People.
As an advocate for both social and environmental justice, Dustin Thomas uses his platform to inspire both awareness and consciousness about important issues and writes music that encourages all people from all walks of life to work through the hard times, appreciate the good times, and ultimately to love themselves, love the planet, and love each other.
Dustin Thomas has performed hundreds of shows in over 14 countries across 4 continents on his mission of using music as a bridge to bring social and environmental awareness around the world. From major festivals and theaters, to majestic locations and retreats, to clubs and bars around the world: Dustin Thomas is the “people’s person” and goes where he is called.
Learn more about Dustin Thomas HERE
6:00pm – Film Doors
6:50pm – Film Screening of The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard (90min) followed by a Q&A with director Neil Norman
8:40-9:20 – Private Meet & Greet Reception
9:00pm – Concert Doors
9:30pm – The Seeds LIVE!
Followed by a DJ Set by Vinyl Avenger
The Center for the Arts’ Music & Films Series presents an historic evening of film and live music featuring a live reunion of the seminal 1960s band, the Seeds, and a screening of the documentary “The Seeds: Pushin Too Hard.”
The evening begins with a film screening of the renowned documentary film followed by a Q&A with producer Neil Norman (award winning psy-fi composer, owner of GNP/Crescendo, and son of GNP Records founder Gene Norman).
Following the film, reuniting for the first time since 1996, The Seeds will perform led by founding member Daryl Hooper and Seeds alumnus, drummer Don Boomer. In an effort to recapture the classic energy of the original line-up, Hooper handpicked the band including Seeds archivist and Grammy-nominated producer Alec Palao on bass, seasoned session guitarist Jeff Prentice, and vocalist dynamic Paul Kopf.
The show wraps up with the underground sounds of DJ Vinyl Avenger spinning a special set of proto-punk, garage band and psychedelic music.
Deva Premal & Miten with Manose’s Temple At Midnight Tour
featuring Joby Baker and Rishi
Sunday, June 4 and Monday, June 5, 7:30 p.m.
Celebrated chant masters Deva Premal & Miten bring their Temple at Midnight tour to The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley for two nights on Sunday and Monday, June 4 and 5.
Accompanied by Nepalese bansuri maestro Manose, with Canadian Joby Baker on bass and Danish percussionist Rishi, their unique, spiritually inspired evenings of mantra, song, and chant are treasured by audiences around the planet.
These powerful gatherings offer a joyful path to centering in these turbulent times, creating moments of what Deva describes as “ecstatic silence” – or in Miten’s words, “luminous pools of deep celebration.”
During their 26 years together the duo have presented their music worldwide, from New York to Los Angeles, from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, from Moscow to Kiev to Tel Aviv, from San Quentin Prison to the concert halls of Europe, proving that mantras transcend all traditional cultural and religious boundaries.
They released two albums in 2016: Cosmic Connections Live, featuring tracks recorded during their 2014/15 World Tours; and Miten’s new best-selling collection of songs, Temple at Midnight, which rocked to the top of the iTunes charts in the USA, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand when first released.
Deva Premal & Miten with Manose’s 2017 Temple at Midnight North American Tour is sponsored by Organic India in association with Uplift.
Learn more about Deva Premal & Miten HERE
Country Joe McDonald and The Electric Music Band
Saturday, June 10, 8:00 p.m.
Bay Area legend Country Joe McDonald and the Electric Music Band are set to perform June 10 at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley in a special 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love
After 48 albums and more than four decades in the public eye as a folksinger, McDonald qualifies as one of the best known names from the 60s rock era still performing.
Country Joe will make a rare appearance performing classic material from the era of Country Joe & The Fish – the Berkeley group widely acknowledged as pioneers of psychedelic rock music.
The program will include Country Joe & The Fish’s landmark 1967 debut album “Electric Music For The Mind & Body,” along with an acoustic segment.
On the former material, Joe will be backed by the Electric Music Band, a quintet led by Grammy-nominated writer and archivist Alec Palao. Joining him to accompany McDonald are guitarists Matt Piucci (Rain Parade, Hellenes) and Derek See (Gentle Cycle, Strangers In A Strange Land), Jozef Becker (Thin White Rope, Loud Family) on drums and Andrea Hensler (Flower Furnace, Jean Genies). EMB will be opening the show with a set of classic covers from the era.
Palao assures that the proceedings will “exceedingly psychedelic”.
McDonald’s music spans a broad range of style and content. He began his solo career with a collection of Woody Guthrie songs. He went on to produce a musical rendition of the World War I poems of Robert Service, a collection of country and western standards, “Vietnam Experience” in 1985, “Superstitious Blues” in 1991 with Jerry Garcia, and an album of songs about nursing in 2002. In 2007 he put together a song-and-spoken-word one-man show about Woody Guthrie, and followed it up with another about Florence Nightingale.
Country Joe continues to travel the world and sell records.
For more information about Country Joe HERE
Sara Watkins & Langhorne Slim
Thursday, June 22, 8:00 p.m.
Two of roots music’s finest solo/singer/songwriters – Sara Watkins and Langhorne Slim – split and evening at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley on Thursday, June 22.
Acclaimed songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sara Watkins’ new album, Young In All The Wrong Ways, out July 1 on New West Records, sees her boldly stepping in to the role of frontwoman following the collaborative groups of Watkins Family Hour and the Platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning Nickel Creek, which she first formed with her brother Sean Watkins and Chris Thile when she was just eight years old.
Easily her most cohesive and fully realized album of her solo career, it is also her most powerful, personal and revealing; she wrote or co-wrote each of the 10 songs – a first for her. Watkins calls the new collection “a breakup album with myself…” and writing and recording these ten intensely soul-baring songs was a means for her to process and mark the last couple years, which have been transformative.
These songs contain some of the heaviest moments of her career, with eruptions of thrumming B3 organ and jagged electric guitar. But it’s also quiet, vulnerable, tenderhearted.
Singer guitarist Langhorne Slim offers a sardonic, modern take on traditional folk, country, and blues. Langhorne Slim is a Pennsylvania native who resettled in Brooklyn after his graduation from the State University of New York. After a self-released demo garnered some local and online attention, Langhorne Slim released his first EP, Electric Love Letter, in March 2004.
The more varied and band-oriented full-length When the Sun’s Gone Down followed in the spring of 2005.
Much touring ensued over the next year, including support dates with Lucero and Murder by Death. In 2006, Langhorne Slim signed with V2 Records, which released the all-new EP Engine in September of that year, as the singer was finishing recording his second full album, produced by Josh Ritter’s keyboardist, Sam Kassirer. In 2012 Slim and his new backing band the Law issued The Way We Move with the title track featured in the Tina Fey film Admission.
His newest release, The Spirit Moves, is an effervescent collection of his now-signature, cinematic, joyful noise, rooted in folk, soul, and blues. The album marks his second with The Law.
“I’m a strong believer that sensitivity and vulnerability are not weaknesses. They’re some of the greatest strengths of man and woman kind,” Langhorne says. “And that’s what a lot of the record is about.”
An Evening with Cat Power
Friday, June 23, 8:00 p.m.
Charlyn Marie Marshall better known by her stage name Cat Power makes a rare concert appearance in Grass Valley at The Center for the Arts on Friday, June 23.
Cat Power was one of the most acclaimed singer/songwriters to emerge from the 1990s indie rock scene, a one of a kind artist unafraid to reveal her inner self in her music and follow her muse in a variety of different directions.
Marshall’s father was a blues musician and she spent much of her nomadic childhood moving back and forth between her father, her mother, and her grandfather. When Marshall was 16, she moved in with her father in Atlanta, and by 18 she had dropped out of high school and settled on her own. She fell in with a group of experimental indie rock musicians eventually playing with several bands before forming a group called Cat Power. The name came from a trucker’s cap emblazoned with “Cat Diesel Power”.
In 1992, Marshall relocated to New York City and initially focused her energies on writing songs and performing semi-improvised shows around the city. In 1993, Marshall became acquainted with members of the group God Is My Co-Pilot, and with their help, released the first Cat Power single, “Headlights”. Later the same year, Cat Power opened for Liz Phair in New York, and two of the fans who caught the show were Tim Foljahn of Two Dollar Guitar and his friend Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth who volunteered to help her make an album. Cat Power’s first full-length album, Dear Sir, was released in 1995. A second album, Myra Lee, was released in early 1996. Strong reviews and growing interest from the indie music community led to Marshall signing with Matador Records, and her third album, What Would the Community Think, appeared in the fall of 1996.
In early 2003, another Cat Power album was released, You Are Free, which offered a more polished and cohesive sound than before and featured guest appearances from fans Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl. In 2005, Marshall recorded The Greatest, an excellent soul-influenced album featuring Memphis R&B legends Mabon “Teenie” Hodges and Leroy “Flick” Hodges.
After taking some time away from the industry, Marshall re-emerged in 2003 and toured the world with her fifth album and this became the grounds for her most successful release ‘The Greatest’ which made Charlyn Marshall the first woman ever to win the Shortlist Music Prize.
Her next original release came in 2012 in the form of ‘Sun’, which is her most commercially successful album to date yet is also hailed for it’s passionate combination of power pop and electro. Now a hugely respected and celebrated artist, Cat Power has put her troubled past behind and amazes crowds worldwide.
Learn more about Cat Power HERE
Saturday, June 24, 8:00 p.m.
Blues guitar hero Matt Schofield brings his band to The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley for a concert on Saturday, June 24. Though he holds a British passport and is an inductee of the British Blues Hall of Fame, Matt Schofield has been making his mark globally as one of the top players in the new class of six string wunderkinds.
The Los Angeles Daily News wrote, “In Schofield, the UK has produced the best Blues guitarist from any country in decades… head and shoulders above the herd”, while Guitar & Bass Magazine rated him in the top ten British blues guitarists of all time ranking him with icons Eric Clapton and Peter Green.
Born in the industrial city of Manchester and raised amongst the rolling hills and locked in time Cotswolds, Schofield began playing guitar at the age of 12.
“My dad relocated to America, but before he left he gave me a BB King video. I watched it before school every day; it was three or four tracks from a concert. Later, when I was in California with my father, he showed me BB King with Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan on video”.
“It was like; I’ve got to do this. There’s something about the way the three of them were jamming. B.B. really was majestic. As an 11-or 12-year-old watching him, I was mesmerized but didn’t think there was any way I could ever do that. It was too special. But when I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan playing with him, I thought maybe I could. Stevie made it seem accessible to people. I taught myself, working my way through my Dad’s great blues record collection. I did my first gig age 13, and I’ve been doing it ever since”.
At age 18 he left the countryside and moved to London. There, as a sideman, he was able to hone his skills as backing a great variety of experienced and well known artists of the British Blues scene, visiting American artists, as well start touring internationally. The introspective, well read (lover of science, history and philosophy) and passionate Schofield said, “this enabled me to stay close to my roots while learning my trade and exploring a variety of musical frontiers.”
“By age 25 I was starting to explore my own band projects. Although my formative guitar influences are the largely the old school blues players, I never wanted my own music to be constrained by a rigid formula, or even genre. I just want to play ‘Matt Schofield music’. Classic Jazz, funk, soul and rock and all the music I love have all found their way into it. The process of writing and singing has become increasingly important to me, and I feel it’s those other aspects of creativity that helped define my own voice on the guitar. It’s always been important to find a context for the guitar to be part of, so that it’s not just guitar solos for their own sake.
“I remain a music lover first and foremost. The recognition I’ve received from both fans and peers is humbling and inspiring, and those ‘pinch me’ moments where I found myself trading licks with heroes like Robben Ford and Buddy Guy are still the biggest thrill.”
“Now after five studio albums and a solid 10 years of touring with my own band, I have definite broader concepts I want to explore. Remaining open to where the music might take me while maintaining the excitement that improvising and collaborating with talented musicians allow, is key to me. My inspiration and goals came from many places: My influences old and new, including musicians I have wanted to collaborate with for years. Things I still feel I hadn’t fully realized on previous studio records, and a need to keep pushing myself. It all meets at the place where I’m heading now. I’m always aiming to go as far as possible to capturing the same connection with the listener that I aim to make at a live show or on record. That’s the goal. Capturing that special moment.”
Learn more about Matt Schofield HERE
For more information about these shows and more, or to purchase tickets, visit www.thecenterforthearts.org.