2016 - 2017 Season Line Up
with special guest
Bobby Jo Valentine
& MARK LEMAIRE
with special guest
PHOEBE HUNT +
with special guest Nandi
Claudia Russell + Bruce Kaplan open
with special guests Bev Barnett
& Greg Newlon
+ Aireene Espiritu
+ special guests
Please check out our two sister music series:
DECEMBER 9, 7:30
Exquiste, Intricate and Zany!
with special guest emily Yates
Our December featured group for December is Uncle Bonsai. Since the early 1980s, Uncle Bonsai has been writing, singing, recording and performing strikingly original songs about the human condition in the modern world, writing what The New York Times has called “funny original songs whose exquisite musical detail and subtle needling wit attain a level of craft not often seen in pop.”
The concert is held at the historic First Methodist Church of Point Richmond, 201 Martina Avenue. Special guests …. open the show. Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the door.
“Imagine what might happen if Tim Burton hijacked the Andrews Sisters en route to a Stephen Sondheim festival with The Beatles and Tom Lehrer in the sidecar” - that’s how Uncle Bonsai describes their oddball, satiric and occasionally touching takes on the (American) human condition. Their deft songwriting is framed elegantly executed vocal arrangements, backed by a single guitar. The trio consists of Andrew Ratshin, Arni Adler and Patrice O’Neill, who replaced original member Ashley O’Keefe. Ratshin has written most of the groups lyrics, with O’Neill contributing her own brand of absurdist wit. Intricate harmonies carry the often dense lyrics, which range from hilarious to dark to moments of insight and beauty.
The trio gave their first performance outside the gates of Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival in 1981; a year later they were playing in the Opera House with Firesign Theater. Their songs range from the attention-catching “Cheerleaders on Drugs” and “Boys Want Sex in the Morning” to the more reflective “One in a Million” and “Heartache.”
Special guest Emily Yates spent the first part of her adult life as an Army public affairs minion, writing heartwarming news stories about the Iraq War to help build fellow soldiers’ morale, and destroy her own. Shortly after her release from the military in 2008, she moved to Oakland, CA, where she learned to play the ukulele, and decided to merge her dual passions for writing and music. Quickly realizing that this would be a great way to foist her many opinions upon the world, she set to work writing dozens of ditties and playing them for unsuspecting strangers, who luckily were delighted. In 2012 she recorded her first album, I’ve Got Your Folk Songs Right Here, a fun romp through myriad ideas ranging from human decency to sexual expression to foreign policy. She released her second album, Folk In Your Face, in May 2014, and now travels all over the country spreading joy and disillusionment with her songs and stories.
In its seventh season, the Point Richmond Acoustic concert series is sponsored by Point Richmond Music and the First Methodist Church. Intimate, and an acoustic marvel, the 100-year-old church is an octagonal wooden prism that appears to have been built by nautical carpenters. “It’s like listening to music inside a guitar,” says the series co-producer Bruce Kaplan, “Our program is completely non-religious. It’s a friendly no-pressure environment. It’s such a great space, it’s just all about the world-class music here!”
Come see a fine evening of insightful songwriting and inspired singing, up close and personal, at Point Richmond Acoustic, First Methodist Church, 201 Martina Avenue, Point Richmond, on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 pm.