- The Old 97s tore it up at Thursday’s free show to promote Texas travel. Under the Lone Star flag at San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza an enthusiastic crowd under sunny skies as the band worked through their extensive catalog, played REM’s Driver 8 from a recent covers EP release, a song written especially for the event – A State of Texas. The band also played a new song, Champaign, Illinois, from an upcoming double album called The Grand Theatre.
- After much speculation on the line-up for this year’s Americana music ubber-festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival the official list is out. There was speculation that the list was held longer this year to help cut down on the massive crowd that showed up last year. I don’t see how holding the list back a week or so will help – perhaps if it weren’t completely free might help, but then it would be a lot less great. Some highlights: Earl Scruggs, Gillian Welch, Kelly Willis, Justin Townes Earle, Kinky Friedman, Lucero, Patty Griffin, T Bone Burnett and Friends, The Felice Brothers, The Flatlanders , James McMurtry and Richard Thompson and much, much more. The festival runs October 1-3 in Golden Gate Park. And like I mentioned it’s all free, thanks to the generosity of founder/billionaire/amateur banjo picker Mr. Warren Hellman.