Todd Morgan & the Emblems, Reed & Dave Fromer, The Vivants, Jamie Clark Band, Howell Devine and Frobeck are set to rock the plaza in August.
For more than three decades, a diverse array of bands have made the Depot Plaza one of the best concert venues in the Bay Area – and certainly one of the most beautiful places to enjoy live music – for free. The 2017 edition of the Mill Valley Arts Commission's Concerts on the Plaza kicks off Wednesday, August 9, and this year's lineup spans from Mississippi Hill Country blues and Americana-influenced pop to high-octane funk rock awesomeness and the delightful music of Mill Valley legend Dave & Reed Fromer. Here's the 411:
Jamie Clark Band performs pop-Americana influenced by Bruce Springsteen and Roy Orbison. The Marin IJ called Clark "one of the finest singers on the Marin County, California music scene," with a powerful tenor "reminiscent of Journey's Steve Perry in his prime" and a "top end that would challenge the Italian opera-crooner Andrea Bocelli."
Dave and Reed Fromer have been delighting audiences young and old in Mill Valley and beyond for decades. Any one of the thousands of kids in town who learned to play soccer with Dave's help recall fond memories of his music interludes at camps and practices, and they regularly perform in the Children's Grove at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival.
Todd Morgan & the Emblems, a Sacramento-based band, melds every faction and era of American music, from early jazz and blues to present day pop and rock, along with healthy splashes of soul and R&B, complete with exhilarating piano, vocal work and stage performance. Their latest album showcases their 50s rock-centric originals.
HowellDevine, the Bay Area trio of guitarist/singer Joshua Howell, percussionist Pete Devine and bassist Joe Kyle Jr., deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago.
The Vivants hail from San Francisco and draw on Southern music traditions and country harmonies, finding their musical faith in the inspiring traditions of Southern music and showmanship. The quartet's latest album shimmers with western swing and rockabilly originals, early jazz instrumentals, tap dancing solos, and old-time country harmonies throughout.
The eight-piece North Bay band Frobeck delivers high-octane “funk rock awesomeness,” and the Marin IJ says the bands founders Spencer Burrows and Kris Dilbeck would have fit into the "music scene of the late '60s and '70s, the era that produced Tower of Power, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Chicago." Featuring punchy horns, sophisticated funk-rock arrangements and Burrows' soulful lead vocals, the band has earned a glowing reputation for rocking venues all over the Bay Area, including a scorching performance at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley last year:
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