Gram Fest 11-7-11 at Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance - Burbank, CA

@Joe’s American Bar and Grill – Burbank, CA

MC Host = Ronnie Mack (LA Legendary Roots Promoter and Performer)

Each Act with a few exceptions did Gram Parson related songs, either written, performed and/or in a few cases inspired by honor of what would have been his 65th birthday, with songs from the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and his two solo albums.

Barn Dance Band supported many of the acts on stage throughout the evening.  In no particular order and not really sure I have names correctly, they are:

Harry Orloff – Lead Guitar and vocals

Skip Rifkin – Keyboards

Marty Rifkin – Pedal Steel

Pat Myers - Bass and Vocals

Brantley Kearns – Fiddle and Mandolin

They opened the show with three tunes including a rousing version of Six Days on the Road (Dave Dudley hit way back when...Juanita, and Dead Flowers.

Karen Nash - Next up was a superb vocalist with another female vocalist who looked like she could have been her sister...and they harmonized beautifully on “I Still Miss Someone”, and two other very traditional sounding country/honky tonk tunes which escape me now.  They were excellent and worth seeing and hearing again to my ears.

Fur Nixon and Steve Werner - interesting duo that I have not heard before...both had “it”...and their set was very well received by the audience

  • Cash on the Barrelhead –Steve on lead vocal...nicely done and the band nailed it
  • Drugstore Truck Driving Man – wonderful version and delightful to hear this tune again...forgot about the politics attached to this one...Fur Nixon did a wonderful intro trying to explain a little about the Vietnam War era in America...

Brantley Kearns did a Mel Tillis tune...didn’t catch the title...he is a fine fiddle player...and has recorded and toured with Dave Alvin and Dwight Yoakum...

Steve Casper and Cowboy Angst – this band had a great sound and were tight and excellent

  • “take me down...” (not sure of songs name...”painted different colors...”
  • ‘It’s a Crazy Day’ (not sure of title)  - Leroy played a smokin’ hot lead

Bob Woodruff

  • So Blue – not exactly sure of songs title but recognized it
  • Do Right Woman – great cover of this classic
  • You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – the whole bar was singing along to this one...very nicely done

Karen Tobin & Band – formerly with Crazy Hearts band...fine singer and her band featured a French lead guitar player who got my vote for most interesting Western shirt...

  • Wheels – great version...most of the room was singing along and she really sang it well...
  • We’ll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning
  • Love Hurts

Patty Booker – first time I have seen or heard set and strong singer...

  • I Can’t Dance – A gem that had me thinking about another time and place
  • Bye & Bye – (not sure this is the title...slow Gospel sounding tune...)
  • California Cotton Fields (again not sure if this is title...but was line in the chorus...)

Lisa Finnie – with Bob Gauthier on lead guitar and vocals and John McDuffy on Baritone Guitar

  • Sleepless Nights – covered by Gram and Emmylou and written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant...sweet tune done well
  • “You Can Stay All-night” – country classic
  • “Older Guys” – Burrito cover

Rick Shea & Losing End - (does he still call his band this?)...Dave Hall on Bass and Paul Lacques from I See Hawks in LA played lapsteel for their three tunes...this was a great set and Rick was on it...

  • Devil in Disguise – another tune that had the house singing along...Paul’s slide playing was inspired...channeled  Sneaky Pete in spirit?
  • Hour of Darkness – beautiful version...i was moved by this tune...Rick delivered it with Karen Tobin joining in for the “Emmylou” part...
  • 100 Years (Byrds classic) was very tight and well done...crowd really responded this one too

Jann Browne – real show stopper...she was on fire...gritty, soulful voice...

  • Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music – honky tonk classic really worked with her voice...again many in audience singing along loud and proud...
  • Hot Burrito – this tear jerker might have been the best cover I have ever heard of this soulful song
  • Nice last tune “Angels Rejoice Last Night” (not sure of title...this was the hook in the chorus)

Ronee Blakely – she of Robert Altman movie “Nashville” fame sang “Hickory Wind”...I got the feeling she was not really comfortable with either the song or arrangement...or maybe was having trouble hearing...not my favorite version but crowd loved her and the song might be my favorite Gram tune...

I See Hawks in LA – (don’t think it was the complete drummer and bass player I think).  First time I have seen them live and will definitely go see them again...they have ‘it’...passion, chemistry and passion for the music...

  • Dark End of the Street – great version...lots of folks singing along to this one
  • Don’t Miss Your Water – rearranged up tempo version that was excellent...searching now for their version so I can enjoy again...
  • Satisfied Mind – wonderful arrangement and cool tune

Carla Olson with John York – he of Byrds fame...I have wanted to see and hear Carla for the past few years and I was so happy I finally did this night...great performer, wonderful singer and set...and John was in excellent voice as well...

  • Hot Burrito #2 – might be his best crafted song and one of my favorites done just so well...
  • “All They Seem to Do is Stare” – not sure of title but this passage was prominent...
  • Wild Horses – Keith  Richards beautiful song about Gram was sung with soul and power...just gorgeous...the whole room was singing along and the vibe in the room was very cool and somewhat surreal...I believe in vibes and they were very strong during that song for me...

Rosie Flores - I was blown away by Rosie...Riveting indeed...a woman of grace and power...with such a good spirit...and Greg Leisz on lead guitar was sublime...I had the supreme pleasure of hearing and seeing him in March with the Majestic Silver Strings in LA...he was superb there and this night...and Dusty on Bass was strong on vocals and kicking the bottom of Rosie’s grooves.  In guitar parlance, Rosie has a strong right hand and she rocked it this night...coming all the way from Austin to support Ronnie Mack and pay tribute to Gram’s music and the LA scene that she loves...

  • Sin City – Love this song...great tune and harmonies and the room was singing along to this one with vigor...
  • She – song I almost forgot about until this evening...and Rosie had the groove...
  • Grievous Angel – this one gave me chills...most of the room was singing along to this one too...great performance
  • Luxury Liner – Bryson Jones came up to sing this great tune...nicely done...

James Intveld – Jimmy as my dear friend calls him...”I knew him back at the Palomino when Ronnie started the Barn Dances, and he was and is Jimmy to me” is almost a quote...and his band packed a three song wallop.  His drummer has a style that was unique that evening and the group in the pocket literally from the first downbeat...and the set was truly special...too short of course...and magical...

  • Streets of Baltimore – a song that Gram really shined on way back when, sounded so sweet and James delivery was strong and passionate
  • “That’s All It Took” – not sure of the title of this tune but it was crisp and tight
  • Las Vegas – He just  rocked this and the band kicked rocked and rolled and it was so special

Michael & the Lonesome Playboys – He is a fine singer, has a strong band and they delivered too...don’t have two of the songs since was in deep conversation but always enjoy their brand of Honky Tonk...he is a keeper of the flame and worth hearing and see...I love his tune “Married by the Gospel, Divorced by the Law”...

  • Close Up the Honky Tonks – they rocked it and this was a fine tune to hear live of my Burrito favorites...

Ronnie Mack was in fine form picking, singing and grinning too and a great night was least for me since it was one AM...and I was out late on a school night...what a special night of music!

There were a ton of musicians there, twenty acts plus or minus and lots just there to take in the sounds...and think that Ronnie Mack deserves a standing ovation for producing a sonic treat for all who attended.  Well done indeed...

Views: 141

Comment by Tracy Byrnes on November 12, 2011 at 12:03pm

So sad we missed this. It sounds like it was one hell of a great night!!

Comment by Will James on November 12, 2011 at 12:49pm

Thanks so much for the summary of Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance / Gram InterNational L.A. Wish I could have been there but I was driving home from GIN IV Nashville.

Comment by ace rice on November 12, 2011 at 1:36pm

happy to share...great night of music...and i swear the vibes were intense in the room for a while...if you believe in that sort of thing...

Comment by Terry Roland on November 13, 2011 at 1:24pm

nice details.....will have the review this evening..



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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.