Friday, September 12, 2008

Pegi Young

Last night pal Laurie, her bro-in-law Jim and I went to the fabulous Little Fox Theatre, a 240 seat nightclub-like venue in Redwood City, CA to see Pegi Young. What a delight! The good old country-flavored boogie-woogie bluesy folk rock (pardon my verbosity, but the flavor is multi-layered!) and her strong emotive voice were just fantastic in such an intimate setting. The stage is so tiny and low, and round tables scattered around it such that it seems almost like she's playing in her rumpus room and we're just sitting around enjoying it. We sat upstairs for a better front view, and it felt just as intimate. The hour plus set consisted of originals and covers (JJ Cale to name a few -"I LOVE JJ Cale" to quote Pegi), and her live band features longtime Neil Young sideman Rick Rosas on Bass, the legend Ben Keith on slide/steel guitars (he's been a Nashville session player since the late 50's and has threaded in and out of Neil's career since Harvest) and the lively Anthony Crawford on guitar. I missed the drummer's name, much to my chagrin, but Pegi mentioned something about him playing tambourine for 55 shows so I assume the gentleman is perhaps a Neil refugee as well.
To add a BradGirl twist to the whole experience, after the opener Mariee Sioux, a lovely young folk artist from Nevada City, I looked down to see a familiar face roaming around the venue floor. "Holy shit!" I said to Laurie. Who do I see but the man, the legend- Malfunkshun and, more famously, Brad drummer Regan Hagar! (I know you are likely all friends and family reading this, but in case you didn't know, Brad is Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam's longtime side project. Shannon, Kari and are "BradGirls", and have followed them around the country for many moons. We love them, and feel loved by them as well). I tried to contain my joy, having no idea he might be drumming for Pegi. After Regan looked less harried, I roamed down and found him at the soundboard, and was able to chat with him for a while and catch up...turns out he is not drumming for Pegi, he is in fact now Neil Young's Assistant Tour Manager! He has been out with him all summer, assisting Eric Johnson (Neil's tour manager, former Pearl Jam tour manager, and great guy) and they asked him to help out with the three shows Pegi is doing at the Little Fox. [FYI There are 2 more shows one the 16th and one the 25th - if you're in the area, go!] How fortunate for Neil having the benefit of Regan's experience as a musician and artist. He knows the ins and outs of the business, is a compassionate, gregarious and skilled communicator - what a perfect fit! So not only do I get a GREAT night of music, I get to see a dear one to boot! How lucky am I? Ah, the sweet serendipities of life that surprise and delight.
Tonight, a posse of us are off to see Burn After Reading. Woo hoo!

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