Copyright 2017 Julie Horner for the San Lorenzo Valley Post
Live Music Local – Get Out Productions
By Julie Horner
Looking out from the “fishbowl” at the Boulder Creek Brewery Outpost, heads close together in comfortable familiarity in the late afternoon light, Dave Gillett and I sipped our “usual” and went to town reminiscing about spirited times in old haunts around the San Lorenzo Valley. Known affectionately as “Damdave,” he is front-man singer-songwriter and guitar player for the Boulder Creek-based Americana group, Damdave and the Left-Hand Band.
Asked how he got the name “Damdave,” he explained how he had arrived in Brookdale – some 20 or more years ago – and started a folk jam at the Brookdale Lodge. He was just up from Santa Monica. “I was working for a health club in LA – had short hair and looked straight – one of my supervisors said, ‘You know, Dave, you seem like someone who might enjoy the Santa Cruz area.’” So he moved up and found a 1906 cabin in the mountains within walking distance of the Lodge.
One night he put his kids in bed and went over to check it out. “I didn’t drink at the time,” but he wound up earning his PhD hanging out in the bar. He remembers one of the bartenders, “Jenny Gilbert – Penthouse pretty – the owner’s daughter.” At one point someone asked his name. When he said, “David,” someone else at the bar shouted, “Not another damn Dave!”
Tuesday nights at the Brookdale Lodge were the slowest. “You had a couple of guys from the bar and we formed Damdave’s Odd-Ass Instrument Jam on Tuesday nights from ‘98-ish to 2008 or so,” Dave said. The Tuesday night jam was the forerunner of the Brookdale Bluegrass Festival. Eric Burman came to Dave’s jams and they decided after a time, “’Hey this would be a great place for a festival’…and it took off.” March 2000 was first year of the festival, he recalls, and featured a precursor to a band called the Waybacks, Faux Renwah, and the late yodeling lady, Lolita. “She was a great yodeler – played at the Lodge in its heyday – give her a couple of drinks and “Oh, goddam!”
Now Dave’s a Boulder Creek townie. “It’s a nice little town. I’ve written five songs about this town, I Love These Mountains, Bear Creek Road…there are more.” He’s also written three Brookdale songs, among them, Brookdale’s Burning and Highway 9, a takeoff on the old song Highway 55 co-written with Eric Burman. “She always walks alone, neither flesh and neither bone, ooooo!! There’s some really good lyrics. Eric always made it a 20-minute long instrumental thing with audience participation.”
For a while he was Damdave and the Hot Damn Band. The name change reflects the distinction that Dave plays left-handed. Along with Graham MacFarlane (standup bass), “Mando” Mike Reynolds (vocals, mandolin), and occasionally “Joebro” Adams (any of whom may or may not also play left-handed), the guys will entertain you with “a mix of dysfunctional bluegrass, country, blues, soul, and a healthy dose of Damdave originals.”
“I’m not bluegrass, I don’t want a bluegrass band,” he says. His sound is Americana tending toward the bluesy. “I’ve always been a blues kind of guy.” He was raised in Ann Arbor, between Detroit and Chicago. “My voice is kind of gravelly, I grew up with Bob Seger. I like Gregg Allman…I like all kinds of music. I was thinking about this not too long ago. When I listen to people singing, when I listen to blues or Motown, the way they sing a song, the emphasis is on the words and music together. I want to develop my voice and my songs to be able to express the parts of the music I want to express…with an honesty in my voice.”
Damdave and the Left-Hand Band play every Tuesday at the Boulder Creek Brewery Outpost and every few weeks at Casa Nostra in Ben Lomond. Watch for a GoFundMe campaign for Dave’s upcoming CD. Online: damdave.brookdalebluegrass.com | www.facebook.com/damdave.gillett
Copyright 2017 Julie Horner
By Christa Taylor
In 1974, I was gifted with a career that changed my life: The ability to play whatever music I wanted on a very cool and unusual radio station, KLRB, located in downtown Carmel. It was a magical time in my life, and the beginnings of a musical format that was later entitled, “Americana.”
As all new-to-the-job radio DJs were required to do at some time, I was on the air late one night and happened to be gazing at one of the most beautiful record album covers I’d ever seen, by a guy I’d heard lived somewhere in the area – Santa Cruz, I thought. It was by Larry Hosford and the album was called “AKA Lorenzo.” I was playing an especially sweet song from it that reached a special place in my heart, and when the song ended, I opened the mic and said, “Larry Hosford, wherever you are, I love you.” Then the phone rang. Guess who?
Larry invited me to meet him at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz the next day, and thus began a friendship that lasted many years. I was impressed by his talent and attended a great number of his shows, even became roommates with the bass player in his backup band at the time, Fly by Night. Those were fun days, filled with the best music and nightlife, in one of the best places in the nation to enjoy this lifestyle.
Some of my favorite memories took place post-concerts at the Catalyst, when Larry and a bunch of folks would go hang out at what was then the office of Yeah Productions, owned by our old friend, Bruce Mason, who has also left us. We would stay up way too late enjoying the late night ambience from the porch of the Dr.Miller Building where Larry and I loved to sing our favorite song to those on the street, “Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes,” by Bonnie Raitt. We’d change the lyrics to say, “Drinkin’ salty margaritas with Lorenzo” instead of “Fernando,” as the song actually goes. Sweet memories.
We had the opportunity last summer to reminisce about these days and the other good times we had over the years while at the Redwood Mountain Faire. Larry was able to play a bit on stage with his good friends, Ken Kraft, Bob O’Neill, and Harpin’ Johnny. Although Larry was in his wheelchair, he still made the music and the audience happy with his ever-present style. I was touched. I knew somehow that it would be my last visit with my old friend, Lorenzo. May you be raisin’ a ruckus in Heaven, Lo. Thank you for all the great music you gave this world…we will never forget you.
Legendary singer-songwriter and Salinas native, Larry Hosford, passed away Saturday, November 23, 2016 at the age of 73. A concert in Larry’s honor was held at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 pm. Christa Taylor is a retired KFAT DJ and music enthusiast who now lives in Aptos, CA.
Copyright 2017 Julie Horner
By Julie Horner
Westering sunlight filters through diaphanous drapery, warming the newly re-finished floorboards to a honeyed hue. The expanse is immediately welcoming and calm, the subtle, provocative scents of a well-loved old building mingling with hints of lavender and spice. Meditative ethnic devotional music instantly melts the day’s cares.
Positive energy seems to have settled upon the south end of downtown Boulder Creek, now with the grand opening, September 10, of Flow Boulder Creek Yoga and Wellness Collective in the sunny yellow building between the former Boulder Creek Brewery building and Ace Hardware.
April Winona Levine and Adam Tracy Mendoza opened the space as a wellness collaborative offering yoga, meditation, and massage. Adam says. “We provide a place for artists, teachers, and practitioners to gather.”
Yoga is the first component. They’ve started by offering 3 to 4 classes a day, Monday through Sunday, with local teachers and new teachers from Santa Cruz teaching all levels. Adam says the backstory is really kind of remarkable. “April finished her yoga training – an amazing journey – now what do you do?”
You open your own yoga studio.
“Our grand opening day was nothing short of magical,” April says. She calls yoga a labor of love, and her journey through yoga inspires Adam. “We have a lot of great plans. We want to bring in other components, a juice bar, a vegan snack shop and other ideas to support wellbeing.” Cacao, superfoods, easy recipes you can make from home. “I would love to have some community synergy with New Leaf. We’d like to have a café here.”
The main area is a yoga floor that accommodates up to 20 people for classes. They are interviewing massage therapists now.
Adam says, “Practitioners can come and have the space. Our success will depend on our partners. Without getting too globally out there, we need to start healing, start small. It starts at the community level and branches out. We’re charged by that. Whether it’s one person or a group of people, singers, musicians, having a sense of space is so important…that’s the tool we’re offering.”
“We want to grow to be a viable resource for wellness in SLV.” They see youth mentoring, peer counseling, healing and learning going hand in hand. They plan to have after school activities for the little kids and welcome SLVHS and UCSC students. “Growing spiritually, it’s a learned activity, it’s not a get well quick thing, it’s tools to help people on the path.”
They also offer an open mic series on Fridays in addition to Saturday night acoustic music in the garden. Saturday nights are already booked through early October with local acoustic artists.
Flow Boulder Creek is open every day of the week for a variety of classes including many styles of yoga and meditation. Reiki sessions are available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Adam says, “We offer a variety of classes to suit all your wellness interests. It’s an open door and an open invitation. We offer rejuvenation, healing, and most yoga offerings will be for all levels, focusing on centering and grounding.”
“And it’s a cool hang, too. Being amongst people who are just alive. This is a great place for Flow. This is our tribe. We’re going to have an amazing time.”
Flow Boulder Creek
13026 Highway 9
On the Web: flowbouldercreek.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/flowbouldercreek/
Copyright 2016 Julie Horner