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.

SEPTEMBER 2019 

September 2019 

Been digging in the past month or so, determined to finish some new tunes, and also finding fun cover tunes.  Sometimes we actually play more cover tunes than originals, particularly when we are doing what I call “ministerial” music, in order to entertain institutionalized audiences. This is the question haunting me this month:  When performing for institutionalized individuals, what is the place of cover tunes in the repertoire of artists who primarily play original music?  

There is nothing like playing a rock-solid-everyone-knows-and-loves-this-tune to open the door and shake hands with the audience.   Familiarity can be comforting as well as a lot of fun. On the other hand, it can also be really boring, whether you are listening or playing.  Armando’s in Martinez actually forbids the playing of “Mustang Sally.” As for me, I’ve come to the time in my life when the amount of notes left for me just might not allow for any more filler. I’m not sure I’m helping to make anyone’s life better by playing cover tunes at the expense of original music. I think it is all about balance. 

Playing for institutionalized audiences in particular represents a challenge in crafting a successful set list.  Must the ego crying out for self-expression and playing original tunes be spanked and put to bed without dessert? Of course not, but we must not forget we are there to serve others. When we perform original music, we are making ourselves vulnerable, and audiences sense that. This vulnerability is a great leveler.   

One solution to help balance the artist ego with the needs of the audience is to look for eclectic, maybe a bit obscure, cover tunes. Of course, if it’s on You Tube, how obscure is it, really?  Anyway, this solution may not always be the best one when seeking to provide familiar music, but it certainly doesn’t preclude the delivery of the comfort of music. Every so often what could be thought of as completely inappropriate (and perhaps even something you crossed off your regular set list years ago) actually provides a few moments of soul-cleansing abandon, for example playing “Jailhouse Rock” or “I Will Survive” in a prison. (Yes, we have done that. A lot. All praise to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Dept!) 

Ultimately, I just can’t help but think that the idea of dumbing down your set list is not always the best, or even the most therapeutic, way to go.  I feel strongly that just because an audience is institutionalized doesn’t mean their minds can’t be set free to wander and enjoy new experiences.  And opening your heart and mind to share music, whether original, familiar, or obscure, offers a mutually healing moment to everyone in the room. 

AUGUST WORDS FROM THE SAGES 

Hello Sageheads!

Our title this month sounds kind of presumptuous and egotistical, but it is August, and Salvia does translate to sage which is an herb, in addition to wisdom, so there you have it. I feel more herb-like than wise as I write this, so we’re going to keep it short this time. 

This month we’ll have Jerry Kuhel  (guitar, mandolin) with us for a double header on Saturday August 10, 11 – 1 at San Gregorio General Store, and 7 to 9:30 at Ocean Ale House (also with Melissa Vivas)  in San Francisco.  Friday August 30, 7 to 9:30, Kathleen and Henry will be at the Chit Chat Café in Pacifica with John LoGiudici on guitar and Diana Greenberg on fiddle. 

In the face of the recent horrors at the Gilroy Garlic Festival; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, I just can’t do my monthly rant about silly little things this time  Feel free to spend a couple minutes in silent contemplation:

Love and Blessings,

Kathleen and Henry

The Flying Salvias

JULY, JEWEL-EYE, NO-LIE 

Hey Sageheads!   

July means it is not only the San Francisco Bay Area Fog Season, but we celebrate the triumphant return of Jerry Kuhel as he joins us on Saturday, July 13, with guitar, mandolin, and whatever other instruments he feels like lugging to the San Gregorio Store, Hwy 84 and Stage Road, San Gregorio.  11 am – 1 pm, as usual. Hope you can make it! 

Sunday, July 21st,we will be at Bird and Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery Street, SF, as part of their Which Way West series. Henry and Kathleen will be playing with John LoGuidici on guitar,  Dave Golia on bass and Paul Revelli on drums 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. $10 suggested donation.

Also this month, through our work with Bread & Roses, we’ve put together a couple different ensembles to play at Napa State Hospital and the Menlo Park Veterans Administration Hospital.  These types of gigs are both challenging and extremely rewarding. It is the least we can do to try to spread some light around and we are grateful to both Bread & Roses, and to musicians such as Dave Golia, Diana Greenberg, Travis Jones, Ken Owens, and David Phillips for helping us with this important music ministry. There but for fortune....

You wanted to know what ticks me off this month. It might tick you off back at me, but I'm really bugged by this:  The SF Board of Education has voted to remove the WPA mural at Washington High School which memorializes the facts that our first President owned slaves and supported the genocide of America's indigenous people.  I don't believe the artist intended to glorify these horrific aspects of our history. This was a very subversive work and I applaud the artist, Victor Arnautoff, for creating it.That said, the fact that the art piece represents a true teachable moment that apparently has never been embraced in the classroom, is just plain sad.  Erasing the mural isn't going to hide our stupidity in ignoring it for all these years. A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots - Marcus Garvey.  See also: Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it - George Santayana. 

OK, hopping off the high horse, except that now I'm wondering how long before they take George's name off the high school altogether, not to mention Washington DC.  Comments are welcome, but please no flame throwers.  Better yet, come to a gig, and we'll chat!

Peace and love,

Kathleen

JUNE BUGS 

Hey ho, Sageheads!  Summer beckons with its many blessings. The weather has warmed, and for the moment, we in the Bay Area seem to be free of fires and floods.  Also, all the Oxalis in the yard finally died. Lucky us!  But to make this first paragraph even remotely relate to the title, here are a few things bugging us: 

  • Apple i-phone/AT&T people do not tell you that all your photos are automatically being uploaded to the “cloud”, thereby easily pushing your data allotment over the edge. Fifty dollars later, we figured it out on our own and turned it off.  I think you might have to turn it off again after every software update, but this remains to be discovered.
  • Neither Apple or Android peeps tell you that all your photos are going somewhere outside your phone,  until they let you know they have created little videos for you that you can post on facebook. 
  • The whole idea of “the cloud” in general. Really? I need all my data and records kept somewhere out of my control for a storage fee when I have perfectly good equipment of my own to keep track of everything with more privacy and as much redundancy as I need?   
  • The clothes dryer broke 
  • Kathleen’s gluteus medius hurts like heck 

Now that the “bugs” are out of the way, June seems to be offering a number of opportunities: 

  • There is finally enough time for Kathleen to practice going from a G chord to a B sus 4.   
  • There is time to write!  A couple new titles in the works include “Too Bad to be True” and “The Crankiest Woman I Know.” 
  • We are adding some covers to our repertoire in order to sit in with some of our friends. For instance, we’ll be sitting in with Crying Time for Honky Tonk Heaven at the Parkway Lounge on Friday night, June 14.  We’re doing “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You” (ha!) originally by Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, plus a couple others. Full Disclosure: Henry’s playing all night with this great band.  The club is at 1850 Park Blvd. in Oakland.   
  • Of course, we have our regular gig at the “clubhouse” aka San Gregorio General Store, on Saturday June 8. 
  • Don’t forget that on the 16th, we’re with Margaret Belton for her Patsy Cline tribute, “Today, Tomorrow, and Forever”, at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. 

That’s it for now! See you soon. 

Kathleen & Henry

MAY MUDDLINGS 

Dear Sageheads, 

It’s been awhile since we have checked in. This is because we took a leisurely trip to Europe for a few weeks, and also had a few family occasions of sadness. Plus, sometimes we like to do little market-tests to see if anyone will show up without us bugging them; happily, this was the case and we thank you for that!  We are probably lying about the market-tests, the truth is we can't keep up the pace.  This likely will help to explain why we are so famous.

Regarding our European trip, yes Notre Dame Cathedral did catch fire while we were over there, but I swear all we did was ride by it during a boat ride down the Seine and take a picture.  We attended a performance of La Traviata at La Fenice in Venice and it is still standing, by the way. 

Becoming part of the Jones Gang Orchestra for the Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tribute in March was a blast. Sold out Rancho Nicasio! Joining Margaret Belton for her Today, Tomorrow and Forever tribute to Patsy Cline is next on the schedule, and you can get tickets for that here.  That show will take place on Sunday, June 16 at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. 

One thing we have been asked to do is to give more notice of our own Flying Salvias Shows, so here goes: 

San Gregorio Store    Once a Month    11 am – 1 pm    Stage Road & Hwy 84 

  • Sunday, May 19   
  • Saturday, June 8      
  • Saturday, July 13 
  • Saturday, August 10    
  • Sunday, September 15   
  • Saturday, October 12 
  • Saturday, November 9 
  • Sunday, December 8 (Jones Gang follows at 2 pm)     

 

Friday, May 24     4:30 – 6 pm

Armando’s Happy Hour and a Half 

707 Marina Vista, Martinez 

Full band with Diana Greenberg – fiddle; Dave Golia – bass;  Ken Owen - drums 

 

Friday, May 31    7 – 9:30 p.m. 

Chit Chat Café 

5 W Manor Drive, Pacifica 

With The DG’s – Diana Greenberg on fiddle, and Dave Golia on bass 

 

Sunday, July 21        4:30 – 6:30 pm 

Bird & Beckett Books and Records 

633 Chenery Street, San Francisco 

Full Band! 

 

Hope to see you soon!

Kathleen & Henry

RIP Mickey the Cat 03.22.2019

RIP Mickey the Cat   03.22.2019

How Did We Get to February Already?  

January was a very stretchy month for Kathleen:  Just coming off recording with The Sound Field for their new CD, and playing with the Nasty Women & Bad Hombres.  First time I ever played guitar on other people’s songs, in a band, and also without Henry.  My new sisters, Nasty Women singer-songwriters Deb Grabien and Lauren Murphy are truly inspiring, empowering, and most of all, fun, to work with. And the Bad Hombres aren’t so bad either in that respect: we had Mark Karan on guitar, Larry Luthi on drums, and Nic Grabien on bass.  It was a blast!   

I’m sure Henry was off doing interesting stuff too, but I forget what.  I can remember as far back as an hour ago, though, when he left the house to go rehearse with multi-instrumentalist Jenny Kerr, who is also a fine singer-songwriter. Also, later his week he’ll be recording with Myles Boisen. 

Anyway, we’re busy! But we will finally make it back at the Chit Chat in Pacifica on Friday, Feb 1, 7:30 p.m.  The next weekend we’ll be back on the coast Saturday, Feb 9, playing at San Gregorio in the morning and with a full band at the Moose Lodge in Pacifica that evening. 

In March we look forward to the Jones Gang Presents Mad Dogs & Englishmen show.  The band will swell to at least 12 people, including me, Loralee Christensen, and Annie Sampson on backup vocals.  It is going to be a hoot, March 9 at Rancho Nicasio! 

Meanwhile, life goes on, with all its petty differences, major annoyances, moments of unadulterated joy, happiness, frustration, and just plain hate.  We are a strange species.  And though I gag at the thought of fake news, and rue the insidious internet plantings of lies as truth, I recently gleaned one  piece of solid advice, that is working pretty well so far:  Act kinder than you feel! 

Peace, 

Kathleen

Happy New Year! 

Well, my December blog lied.  We are back in January after all!  Just couldn't wait until February.

2018 was a political roller coaster of a year.  A musical roller coaster, too.  The Flying Salvias spread their wings and added trio and full band configurations at all kinds of gigs from our clubhouse San Gregorio Store, to Brewsters Pub and Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, Byrd & Beckett and The Lost Church in SF, Armando's in Martinez, and even the San Mateo County Women’s Jail and Menlo Park VA Hospital. Heck, Henry even played with Metallica! 

In late 2018, Henry and Kathleen both got involved in a couple of projects that we hope to see more of in 2019.  The Jones Gang’s tribute to Mad Dogs & Englishmen debuted in December at Armando’s. And Russ Gold’s Southern Soul Survivors should be bursting out of the woodshed any time now.  Currently, Deb Grabien also has Henry and Kathleen in the studio pitching in on Sound Field’s next CD, “This Moment of the Storm,” which will be chock full of Deb’s fine songs. 

Henry played with Maurice Tani at Freight & Salvage for a live recording, “This is It!” that just came out.  It is a really great listen; I can say that with all my heart, because I rarely think anything is a really great listen.  Yet, I always love pretty much anything Maurice Tani writes, plays, or sings, so I encourage you to go out and see and hear for yourself why.  (And you won't hear it from his lips, but Henry's piano playing is fabulous on this CD!-K) 

This month: 

          Flying Salvias will be with Jerry & Melissa at the Ocean Ale House in SF on Friday January 18th. They’ll play a set, then we’ll play a set. It’s fun. There are very good burgers, too. 7 – 9:30 p.m., 1314 Ocean Ave. 

          Kathleen is joining Deb Grabien and Lauren Murphy as a Nasty Woman for a show on Sunday January 27 at Tiburon Wine, from 5 to 7:30 pm.  This singer-songwriter conclave will also feature some stellar players, such as Mark Karan, so come and see us!   Tix are $20. It’s a very small venue and right now the only way I know to get an advance ticket is to email me and I’ll take care of it with the girlzzz. Will update this information soon. 

          Oh, and of course, the SF Women’s March is coming up Saturday January 19, 11:30 a.m. Civic Center Rally; march down Market Street at 1:30 p.m.  We always skip the speeches… preaching to the choir, ya know?  But the march is a powerful experience.  

More stuff coming up in February, so we’ll get back to you soon!   

Signing off for now, with a toast to those who left us behind last year, those who stuck around, and those we have yet to meet:  May there be better days ahead for everyone!

December Update 

Hey kids -  This month we trot Jingle Horse out for its annual holiday ride around. So yesterday, Henry, Kathleen, Dave Golia, Big Lou and Roger Pease played at the annual Service League Christmas party given for the women of the San Mateo County Jail. I sang in a lot of jails and prisons when I was with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, but this one is just me and my friends and the ladies and there is always something about the event that touches me to the core.  Thanks to Bread and Roses for inviting us to do this gig for over ten years now.  Maybe it's special because if I got arrested in my home county that would be the jail I'd go to?  Hmmm...  nonetheless, it's a "there but for fortune" moment for all of us in the band.

Here's something different: Henry recently played with Metallica at The Masonic, as part of the first acoustic concert /fundraiser the band put on for their All Within My Hands Foundation.  David Phillips was on the gig too. To say that I was stoked about this would be an understatement.  Henry was cooler about it and just worked his ass off to prepare and do a good job. I have just erased a tirade about how they stiffed their sidemen. Other than that, it was pretty cool.

So now it's the end of the year.  Jingle Horse will be playing another Bread & Roses show at the Veterans Admin Hospital in Menlo Park.  Then the Flying Salvias will have our official office Christmas party on Sunday, December 9 from 9 to 11 at San Gregorio Store.  It'll be a long day.... the Jones Gang follows at 2 pm.  Come and have fun with us.

We'll be back in February.  Be good to each other, and spread some love around if you can.  Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holiday however you call it.  

Best to you all,

Kathleen

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? 

Oh, how I wish that song were not still so absolutely relevant.  When will we ever learn?  What have we ever learned?  I'm learning to keep my mouth shut if I want any peace, which somehow seems wrong, being as this is a country where free speech is almost as important as the right to bear arms or for boys to be boys.  Yes. I am angry!  The polarization in this country is breaking my heart. Are these the growing pains of democracy or its death throes?  Sad to say, I am really glad I don't have any children to leave this mess to.

Far more erudite and intelligent friends have been writing about our condition today.  So I'll stop now. I figured it was safe to vent a little here since no one reads these blogs anyway.  Therefore the danger of starting a flaming war is minimal.  Test, test, is anyone out there?

Come to our gigs.  It will be fun.  We will create a concentrated area of peace, love, and understanding.

Sunday October 21, 11 - 1 pm, San Gregorio, no cover, all ages.  Trio with Jerry Kuhel.

Friday October 26, 8 - 10 pm, Armando's in Martinez, $15, doors at 7:30 pm. Quintet with Diana Greenberg,  Dave Golia, Ken Owen.

Peace,

Kathleen Flying Salvia 

 

August 2018 - MUSINGS FROM THE SAGE 

The Flying Salvias and Keta Bill just got home from playing at a birthday party for a 112 year old woman.  Amazing lady with a great group of family and friends!   

Sunday, Henry and Kathleen celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary.

The Smart Car has over 100,000 miles on it.  

Numbers mark everything, but it is the time between that is so precious, remembered, savored, wasted, suffered through, and/or forgotten.  Is that not so, my friends?  

We spent 4 days at the Rodney Crowell Adventures in Songwriting Camp.  This could be said to fall in the category of "suffered through", but we didn't come away completely uneducated or uninspired.  As  result, our collaborating skills have improved and we're getting pretty fearless at self-editing. (That means we can talk to each other without wanting to kill the other songwriter or ourself and are now more capable of taking our favorite, most precious couplet, and throwing it in the garbage.)  Also discovered youngster/genius player Joe Robinson, a definite guy to pay attention to. A heck of a player, and his songwriting is not too shabby, either.  He's out of Nashville via Australia.  Practicing what we learned meant that "The Road" has been mercilessly slashed of non essentials and refreshed with additional, more concise lyrics.  You will hear it soon!  It's still depressing as hell, but it's a better class of depression.

There's not a lot going on for us this month, except Henry is getting his wish and playing for a lot of different people. Frequently!  Meanwhile, we'll be at our clubhouse in San Gregorio and also debut at The Fireside Lounge, in Alameda.

See all ya'all soon!

 

 

Previous events

May24

Happy Hour and a Half

 —  —

Armando's, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez

Armando's is a gem of a place! Excellent sound to match the music. No cover. Tips encouraged. Full band alongside Henry and Kathleen on this one, with Diana Greenberg on fiddle, Dave Golia on bass and Ken Owen on drums. It happens to be Kathleen's birthday. Come and help her celebrate another year of not being dead yet.

Mar9

The Jones Gang Presents Mad Dogs & Englishmen

Rancho NIcasio, Town Square, Nicasio

Both Henry and Kathleen are part of The Jones Gang transforming into a 12 piece orchestra a la the Legendary Joe Cocker Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tour. Come for more music than you thought could fit in a room... stay because it fits perfectly! CALL 415-662-2219 FOR TICKETS OR BUY AT THE DOOR.

Feb9

Moose Lodge Community Fundraiser

 —  —

Moose Lodge, 776 Bradford Way, Pacifica, CA

This is a fundraising dinner/dance for the Moose Community Fund. Cocktails at 6, dinner at 7, dancing 8 - 10. Flying Salvias will be playing dance music from left field (well this is the Left Coast!) allowing you the opportunity to try out many different dance moves, from standard swing to blues, rock & roll, country, and basic hippie freestyle. For tickets, email leonardiniguez@gmail.com

<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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