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Celebrating the 23rd Annual
RBA Concert Season

Another great selection of performers in a comfortable setting at reasonable prices

Individual show tickets: $20/advance, $25/door
(May 2: $25/advance, $30/door)
As always: Half-price for teens and all students, free for under-13 and music students.

Jamming starts at 5:00, Doors Open at 7:00, Showtime is 7:30

New for the 2014-15 Season we will have special host for a Slow Jam:
02/07 Jack Tuttle

2014-2015 Season

April 11th, 2015
Crary, Evans and Spurgin

May 2nd, 2015
Della Mae

5 pm: Doors open for jamming
7 pm: Concert venue open
7:30 pm: Showtime

TICKETS: $20/advance, $25/door
(May 2: $25/advance, $30/door)
Half-price for teens and all students; free for under-13 and music students

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crary, Evans and Spurgin

Different Location!
First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Dan Crary, Bill Evans, and Steve Spurgin, all of whom have deep roots in American music, are a new acoustic trio playing a combination of cutting edge bluegrass, folk, and Americana music.

Dan Crary, a native of Kansas City now living in Placerville, is a pioneer of flatpicking guitar solos in a bluegrass band. A founding member of the Bluegrass Alliance, and the “newgrass” approach, his 20+ year collaboration with Byron Berline and John Hickman (as BCH, Sundance, California) earned him numerous awards and accolades. A veteran of tours in more than thirty countries, Dan’s a stylist with an international reputation for taste and brilliance. His “racing licks sounded like the fretboard equivalent of Fred Astaire dancing up, then down a staircase.” (LA Times)

From Charlottesville, VA, longtime Bay Area resident Bill Evans is an internationally-respected five-string banjo life force. Whether it’s his one-man history performance, “The Banjo In America,” the annual “California Banjo Extravaganza”s, the monthly “Bangers & Grass” shows, extensive teaching and music camp presence, authorship of Banjo For Dummies, or guest appearances from the San Francisco Symphony to A Prairie Home Companion, Bill’s deep knowledge, intense virtuosity, and contagious passion for all things banjo is undeniable.

Texan Steve Spurgin is a former Nashville staff writer providing hits for the publishing companies of Gene Watson and Reba McEntire. His song, “A Walk In the Irish Rain,” has been recorded by a dozen artists, including Country Current (the US Navy Band) and Lily of the West. After performing with everyone from Byron Berline & Sundance to Freddy Fender, Steve won the “New Folk” award at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival, and has been an in-demand singer-songwriter ever since.

A Crary, Evans & Spurgin show includes new songs and old stories, blazing instrumental artistry, and deep-down, powerfully-felt musical moments. It’s whistling winds in the pines, rambling boys and tragic girls, joys and laughter from old times, furious and foot-tapping instrumental tunes, and a little touch of glory-to-God. And it’s the hovering ghosts of Jimmie Rogers and The Carter Family and Bill and Lester and Earl and Woody and all the greats who showed the way.

Crary, Evans & Spurgin: innovative, powerful & unforgettable.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Della Mae

First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View, 1667 Miramonte Ave. (at Cuesta Dr.), Mountain View

In a relatively short period of time, Della Mae has become a sensation in the acoustic music world. They’ve released only two albums (the second on Rounder), yet won the 2013 IBMA Emerging Artist Of the Year Award.

Commanding a powerful collective chemistry with vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talent to spare, the Boston (and Nashville)-based combo mines time-honored elements to create music that's unmistakably fresh and contemporary. These five multitalented young women are respectful of American musical tradition, but not restricted by it, combining centuries' worth of musical influences with an emotionally tough, undeniably modern songwriting sensibility.

Della Mae is …
Celia Woodsmith:
lead vocals, guitar

Jenni Lyn Gardner:
mandolin, vocals

Kimber Ludiker:

Courtney Hartman:
lead guitar, vocals


Q. If everyone in Della Mae is from a different state how did you all get together?

A: Kimber Ludiker (fiddle) had the idea of starting this band in Boston, MA. It started out as a joke under the name Big Spike Hammer. The idea was to dress in power suits and play “Mangrass” … whatever that means! After a few fun shows, Kimber decided the band had potential. The name changed to a more feminine Della Mae, and she began to assemble women from all over the country. Della Mae now has a release on Rounder Records and tours worldwide.

Q: Why Boston of all places?

A: There is an incredible community of musicians in Boston, not to mention several fine schools. The Boston scene is supportive, and burgeoning with inspirational songwriting and musicianship. While two band members still live and work out of Boston, the others have relocated to Nashville.

Q. Where does the name "Della Mae" come from?

A: The Osbourne Brothers song Big Spike Hammer: "Hey hey Della Mae, why do you treat me this way?"

Q. Why no banjo?

A: We do have a banjo!

"Bluegrass is edging towards both the experimental and the mainstream. Following the adventurous work of the Punch Brothers, here's an impressive and highly commercial blend of contemporary and traditional influences from the all-female quintet Della Mae. The ladies succeed because they are all fine instrumentalists, and have the ability to match upbeat bluegrass with country balladry and a dash of pop. So a reworked traditional song is matched against a new and slinky number, a sad-edged country waltz, and the charming closing track, featuring exquisite harmony vocals and a vintage 1933 guitar that was once played by June Carter.” (The Guardian)

“As soon as lead vocalist Celia Woodsmith launches in, it’s clear too that we’re in the presence of one hell of a singer. Her approach is relaxed, confident; Woodsmith is content to impress instead of dazzle … There are more standouts here than you can shake a stick at. What’s most impressive, though, is not that Della Mae has succeeded, but that the band has done it and made it seem so easy. There are no signs of the self-consciousness and strain that mar so many roots-based releases. Instead, this is the rarest kind of success: the past grounds it, sure, but so too does the present, and the result illuminates both.” (PopMatters)