The Flying Salvias are a piano/vocal and sometimes guitar duo, playing their signature Ameri-kind-uh music, blending country, pop, blues, beatnik jazz, swing, and old hippy, though not usually all in the same song.

ONE DOOR CLOSING, ANOTHER ONE OPENING, THANK GOODNESS! 

Kathleen speaking here.  The idea of one door closing and just staying shut creeps me out.  Dark. Dead end. Lonely.  No candy. Great material for writing yet another depressing song.  Yet, here we are in mid-December, and it will be 2017 soon.  Last week of December or so, we'll get to start saying "See you next year!" to people and we'll all feel so clever. I do like that, I admit it.  Never gets old.

This month, we had the supreme joy of putting together Jingle Horse to play for Bread & Roses at the brand new San Mateo County Jail - Women's Facility, in Redwood City.  Special thanks to bass player Dave Golia, accordion princess Big Lou, and to drummer Ken Owen (who was there in spirit!).  I am not sure why I feel so very comfortable performing in jail, but that is the case.  Everyone thinks we are so nice to go there and do such a favor, but in truth, it is us players who come away with the biggest blessing. My poor soul starts out all empty and shriveled, and by the time we're done, it is fat and happy.

Friday, December 23 brings us pretty darn close to Christmas and Jingle Horse will make a rare appearance at the Caffe Trieste in Piedmont.  Think "controlled chaos".  It'll be fun.  Really good thin crust pizza, too.  

2017 holds the promise of more music, a record FOR SURE, and ... possibly demonstrations, phone calls, letters, and donations  to make sure Standing Rock stays standing, social security remains sacrosanct, and health care is available for all.  We shall see, won't we?  Meanwhile, we wish all of our friends and Sage Heads a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Good Kwaanza, and just plain old peace on earth.  Celebrate life, celebrate love, and keep shining your light!
 

NOVEMBER NEWS 

Hello Sageheads!  

Henry and Kathleen (me)  had a blast playing at the Makeout Room last Sunday night, Oct 30, in a tribute celebrating Chuck Berry's 90th Birthday.  Our band was led by David Phillips on pedal steel, and we were joined by super-talented guitar playing gangsters Jinx Jones and Maurice Tani, with the fabulous Les James on drums and Bill Macbeath on bass.  Just didn't want to let that little bit of history go by without a mention.  All these years and I never realized the real meaning behind the words of Reeling and Rocking until I went to learn it.  I chickened out and did the original record version, which was way easier for me to say out loud!  A big thanks to Eric Moffat for putting the evening together.

Currently, Henry's getting ready to record with The Jones Gang, and then we'll do our own project, which is coming together quite nicely.  We are truly thankful for all the music that has come to us and through us since we embarked on our flight!  

So for now, here is our advice for November:

1)  Come and see us  
2)  Vote!
3) Come and see us for post-election music therapy
4) Gobble til you wobble on Thanksgiving
5) Come and see us for post-family dinner table religio-political-economic discussion musical healing. Bring the family!

Your friends,

The Flying Salvias



 

OCTOBER  

October is a hotbed of activity in the SF Bay Area.  Hardly Strictly Bluegrass was just exactly that, but dang, we missed the Dropkick Murphys.  Then we have the Presidential election coming up and are learning to tread delicately with friends and family who may not think the way we do.  On top of that, the Giants may have a chance at "I-don't-want-to-jinx-it,"  and the Silicon Valley 49ers deserve what they get.  Finally, I will use this spot as a forum to say that our own little town of Brisbane has been in the news lately.  Kind of a David vs. Goliath story. Small town of 4,000 up against deep pocket developers and housing advocates (who knows whose payroll they are on?) who want to build basically a new city and triple Brisbane's population. And now the SF Supervisors are talking about annexing Brisbane to SF!  

But why are we here? What do we care about the most? How do we really feel?  It's all about the music.  And everything I'm talking about will all eventually filter through to our songs.  Actually, some of it already has.  Eventually it'll be on a CD or available for download, or whatever the next technological magic makes possible.  Hey, maybe even an actual record.  That would be something.  I still think in terms of album sides, and there is a concept just aching to get out.  Soon and very soon, we are going to see ...what happens!  Hope to see you soon and very soon, too!

SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER?  

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4   11am-1pm
San Gregorio Store

Stage Rd & Hwy 84, San Gregorio
Help us celebrate Henry's birthday!

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23   7-9pm
Caffe Trieste

4045 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
Oh, heck, let's make it a birthday season...


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25  3-5pm
Chit Chat Cafe

5 West Manor Drive, Pacifica
The conclusion of Henry's Birthday Month Celebration

As usual, ALL these places are laid back, welcoming, and fun.  No cover, tips appreciated.

 

AUGUST APPEARANCES 

We're all over the place this month!

Sunday, August 7  11am - 1pm 
SAN GREGORIO GENERAL STORE 
Stage Road & Highway 84, San Gregorio, CA 
No Cover 
Our own personal clubhouse.... yours, too! 

Sunday, August 14  4:30 - 6:30pm 
BIRD & BECKETT BOOKS & RECORDS
633 Chenery Street, in SF's Glen Park neighborhood 
No cover, but contributions to the kitty are encouraged 
We are so excited to play at this wonderful book store for the first time.  Bird & Beckett features a great selection of books, and is that rare thing in the book world these days... a store owned by a person that sells books you can hold in your hand.  As if that is not enough, the regularly scheduled musical programming is filled with quality players, both eclectic (that would be us!) and of the jazz persuasion.  AND after we play, The Seducers will be on at 7:30 pm. 

Friday, August 26   7 - 9:30pm 
CAFFE TRIESTE 
4045 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 
No cover 
Our latest hang in the East Bay.  The food is good, and so is the music!  Piedmont Avenue is a lively street with lots to do, including coming to hear The Flying Salvias.  Music is just getting started at this location, so no link yet, but you can take our word for it that the thin crust pizza is excellent... just like in northern Italy!

Sometimes there just isn't much to say! 

Hello Sageheads!  Here we are in July already and el-bloggo is out of date.  We continue to do gigs and to write new songs.  We went to Buffalo, WY with The Jones Gang and a good time was had by all. I got to sing "Someday Soon" as part of their workshop on the role of pedal steel, which featured one of our dearest buddies, David Phillips.   Henry and I made a vacation out of the front part of the trip and the part after their shows. There would have been gigs for us too if I wasn't such an abysmal booker.  For now, we're just going to concentrate on finishing enough songs to make a killer Americana recording. Knowing us, it won't be pure Americana, which there is no such thing as anyway, since Americana is a blend.  But I'm sure there will be something to turn off the music fascists, as that seems to be our signature!  So there.   That's it for now...

May Showers and Purple Rain 

Kathleen has been bugging me to write something, and my burst of enthusiasm happened to coincide with the depressing news of The Purple One, Prince Rogers Nelson (aka dba Logo Boy), shuffling off this mortal coil at the tender age of 57. Brilliant musician and artist, but the one thing I know about him is what a hard worker he was. I was playing Top 40 (ask your parents) in a hotel bar where the tour of Vanity 6, The Time, and Prince and the Revolution were staying. The Man Himself did not mingle with the hoi-polloi at the bar but I did meet Mike Fink, one of the 2 keyboard players (nice guy). He told me the band rehearsed every day on the road, and on nights when he was not happy with the show they would rehearse after the show, sometimes until morning. Our cute blond singer (her name I swear) Mary Kay Lala charmed the road manager into a set of tickets for the band, but we had to play until 10:30. One of the great regrets of my life is that we missed Vanity 6.

Anyway, I'm supposed to talk about influences. Hmm. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Beatles, Motown, Dean Martin, Henry Mancini, The Blues Magoos, Jethro Tull, Captain Beyond, Professor Longhair, Al Kooper, NIcky Hopkins, Leon Russell, Gladys Knight and the PIPs. Duke, Stevie, Jaco, and The Hardest Working Man In Show Business. You try and make sense out of that.

Oh, and gig-flogging time. The Flying Salvias continue their residency at the San Gregorio General Store Sun May 8 11-1 of course, but Kathleen and I are also backing up the astounding Margaret Belton in "Today, Tomorrow, and Forever: the music of Patsy Cline" at the Freight and Salvage Sat May 7. Although Patsy is no longer with us, her memory lives on in the incredible show Margaret puts on. Seriously, you need to check her out, plus you get characters like David Philips and the disreputable Maurice Tani.  Once we recover from that we're (Kathleen and I)  at the Cannery Cafe on May 28 11-1. Food there alone is well worth crossing the border to <strike>Fremont</strike>Hayward, and there's probably mimosas. More stuff later this summer, but we'll get to that later. Say hi if you get a chance.

April Thoughts 

Hey Sageheads!  Time for a little history.  People always want to know who you sound like.  You always want to say, "I sound like myself".  But the truth is, we all have influences.  Sometimes you can hear them in our music, sometimes.... not so much.  But there is a time for all of us when we're finding our way, with just the spark of desire to perform, and very few tools.

I had my first solo in elementary school Glee Club... "It won't be a stylish marriage", then Michael Calderoli answered, "I can't afford a carriage". In high school, I auditioned for the Saint Ignatius musical, and I was so green I didn't even know I had to have a song to sing.  I think I ended up doing Silent Night.  Pitiful.  Very kind Jesuit.  Did not get the part.

It took Tracy Nelson to get me to find my voice.  Also one tab of acid.  I kid you not.  I was happily sitting back, listening to "Down So Low" when the next thing I knew I was crooning away in Tracy-tones.  True!  Spent the next several years trying not to sound like her, but I will never forget the moment that an actual beautiful sound came out of me.  I do not recommend this method!!!  All acid trips are not alike and sometimes they involve you thinking people are bringing you to the nuthouse, when actually, you are merely going out to dinner.

That's all for today.  We'll get something from Henry next, and continue the road down memory lane until we get to real time.

March is coming in like a lion... 

Hello Sageheads!

Lots going on next week, and we hope you'll make it to either the Service League Benefit in Redwood City on Thursday March 3 (good way to get a tour of a jail without being booked and also do some good at the same time); the Sanchez Art Center Opening Reception in Pacifica on Friday March 4; or our home away from home gig at San Gregorio Store on Sunday March 5.

We're continuing to try to figure out how to best define our music, and the answers are coming in.  In some cases, no answer is the answer.  We may have to change our name to "The Sybils".  Or to begin separating out our various types of songs into projects.  So far, we have "Henry's Hideaway.... the Musical", "Pop Goes the Jazzle" and we're working on a name for our Americana personality.  Any suggestions?  Send us an email if you don't want to go through the comment process below. 

See you soon!

OMG, R FS POP? 

Hi Sage Heads! Kathleen here.

This is what I'm thinking about today: We might be pop songwriters. It's not really a thought I want to have, but I can't un-think it. When you mix up a whole bunch of genres and just cannot be true to one, but borrow freely on a willy-nilly basis using a different recipe almost every time, when you work with piano instead of guitar, you can still deny the pop gene. But when you listen to the radio and your mom says that Katie Perry sounds like one of your songs, you have to ask yourself, "am I a pop artist?" Consider that a broad definition of pop music is anything that isn't classical (either anglo or any other culture). Then consider that "pop" is short for "popular". Follow that up with the question of how new, relatively unheard original music could even be considered "popular". It's a downright conundrum.

Having some kind of musical personality cataclysm today. Might as well fess up. The second question of the day is "how do you market music that has no label?" We call ourselves all kinds of different things, like "alt-everything", "alt-cabaret", or "fo-jazz".  BTW, we know how to spell "faux"; "fo" in this case is short for "folk" (Thank you Marty Balin for coining the phrase!) We like to play acoustically and not get real loud.  We think we're perfect for house concerts, old fashioned supper clubs, coffee houses, and listening rooms.  Our careers have been long and varied.  Between us, we've performed on a lot of stages, including some pretty big ones, with groups ranging from jump blues to gospel to heavy metal to girl group rock to country music, all over the world.  This sounds like a lie, but when we tally it up, it's actually true.  I think it also gives us the right to mine our experience and turn it into songs as well as to play in the tasty little rooms we crave. No stage necessary.

We should know who and what we are by now.  But no, apparently not.  To quote one of our own songs, "We don't know what we don't know."  Our minds remain open. As much as I chaff under the "label collar", it might be preferable to the blank stare I give people as my thoughts race down hallways,  opening and closing doors that lead to the many theme rooms in the mansion of my mind. It's getting embarrassing!

What do you think?  Are we pop?  Do we have to have a label that will make it easier to deliver the "elevator speech" that describes what we do?  Any ideas?

Comments and observations are welcome. 
 
<DIV ALIGN="CENTER">The Nature of Things<BR>
<I>by The Flying Salvias</I><BR>
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The Nature of Things
by The Flying Salvias
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