Please join us for a house concert with Rod Picott on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 4 p.m. $15-25 sliding scale suggested donation. You can RSVP below, by email to linda@berkeleyhouseconcerts.org or by phone to Tom at 510-697-4097. Feel free to BYOB/snacks.

Seventeen years ago Rod Picott dropped his tool belt, picked up an acoustic guitar and released his first album Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues. The acclaimed debut put a nail in the coffin of his construction career and ignited his second career as a singer-songwriter. With his new album, Out Past The Wires, that second career reveals itself in full flame. The sprawling twenty-two song Out Past The Wires ranges from whispery ballads to guitar driven rockers and hits every musical spot between. Like much of Picott’s catalog, many of the songs on Out Past The Wires center around the lives of working people and the losses, defeats and small victories that can come hard won in a calloused world. It is here in the ordinary where Picott finds the gold he mines so beautifully on songs such as “Take Home Pay” – one of four songs written with longtime friend and co-writer Slaid Cleaves.

“I’m on my way down to the pawnshop, a couple hundred is all I need, if I have to I’ll hit the blood bank, I’m bone dry but I can always bleed”

But there is also an air of defiance that runs through many of the songs this time around. On “Fire Inside” Picott growls.

“ I got fire down inside, a heart darlin’ beating hard and wild in the pouring rain. I will stand and testify,
’cause I got a fire down inside.”

Picott’s eye for the revealing detail and sense of empathy has brought praise from music critics since his debut and those qualities, as well as a potent defiance is on full display across Out Past The Wires. Now 52 years old and nine albums into his music career Picott is more prolific than ever. The twenty-two songs were culled from a staggering number of seventy-eight. In the two years between Fortune and Out Past The Wires, Picott has also become a published poet (God In His Slippers – Mezcalita Press) written a screenplay and is releasing collection of short stories, also titled Out Past The Wires, that accompanies the release of the album. Many of the characters from the songs on the album find their stories expanded and even more finely detailed in the book. For production duties Picott turned again to Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Matthew Perryman Jones) who produced Picott’s most recent album Fortune. The recording band consisted of Will Kimbrough/Electric Guitars (Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell) Lex Price/Bass (K.D. Lang), Evan Hutchings/Drums (Brandi Carlisle) and Kris Donegan/Electric Guitars (Sara Evans). The band worked quickly in studio, relying on the instincts of world-class players and Hubbard’s steady hand to guide the ambitious project. Out Past The Wires is the latest and one of the most potent pieces of work from Rod Picott since he left his hammer to rust and sharpened a new set of tools all those years ago. Picott will be touring throughout 2018 and 2019 in support of the album and book release.

“Songs like Raymond Carver short stories” – Houston Chronicle

Rod Picott “Coal”

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Please join us for a house concert with Mark Stuart on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. $15-20 sliding scale suggested donation. You can RSVP below, by email to linda@berkeleyhouseconcerts.org or by phone at 510-697-4097. Feel free to BYOB/snacks.

After growing up in Nashville, TN and playing professionally from age 15 on, Mark Stuart set his sights on being a recording/touring artist. Much of the time in the 1980s and 1990s he fronted his own roots music band in the US southeast. The rock, blues, country, and folk mixture that poured from his vocals/guitar/piano/songwriting defined him as being more versatile than most artists, musically speaking. At times, he took jobs as a guitarist for hire to get a respite from being a bandleader, front man, self-booking agent. This is how he became visible to some as a guitar wiz, instead of the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist that he is. Some periods he toured with Texas legend Freddy Fender, or folk-rocker Steve Forbert. Then, there were stints with country-rocker Steve Earle (who became his brother in-law). While being an opening act (with wife, Stacey Earle) for folk icon Joan Baez, Stuart so enamored the headliner that she would bring him onstage during her show to showcase his guitar work. This took place nightly on a two month tour!

In 1998, Stuart and his wife made her first album on their own label, Gearle Records. Mark’s co-producer and guitar/vocal “stamp” was very present on Stacey Earle’s “Simple Gearle” CD. And, this lead to his own record “Songs From A Corner Stage”, the next release on their label. After touring hundreds of dates in the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe the couple decided (in 2001) to join forces as an official duo (Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart). Some two thousand concerts later, Mark has re-embarked on a solo career, as the duo is dormant.

In 2014, Mark Stuart is touring heavily and his performances are littered with great guitar pieces, self-penned songs from his solo records and duo records. Also, he does “tribute” songs to those notable artists he used to work for, and, includes fascinating stories about the experiences along the way.

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Thompsonia – Saturday, May 5, 2018

March 31, 2018

Please join us for a house concert with Thompsonia (Eric, Suzy and Allegra Thompson) on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 8 p.m. $15-20 sliding scale suggested donation. You can RSVP by entering the requested information below and we will get back to you with our address. You may also RSVP by email to linda@berkeleyhouseconcerts.org or […]

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