Each month, we offer an in-depth introduction to one of the McCabe's staffers, just as a reminder that, hey, we're people, too! So, with that in mind, meet Jimi. He's what you might call the unassuming type -- quiet, hides behind a well-groomed beard -- but Jimi might actually be overqualified to work here. He was class president at Hawthorne High School, an honor he earned through fear and intimidation. Known as "Buster" (but not to his face) he terrorized his fellow students by wearing a sword to school dances and dominating the floor with his aggressive footwork. After graduating, he went on to earn a B.A. in ethnomusicology and an M.F.A. in classical guitar, but found it difficult to make a decent living with either degree. Eventually, he took to hustling chess players in a downtown park where he made more enemies than friends. Forced to lay low for a while, he wound up on our sales staff when no one at McCabe's had the nerve to tell him that we had no openings. Now he's a fixture. He knows his way around a nylon-string guitar, though, that's for sure. And if you ever need someone to play intricate, acoustic versions of TV commercial jingles at your social function or recording session, Jimi's your man.
Wayne's Video Of The Month
Live concert footage shot right in our back room by soundman Wayne Griffith.
- Dave Alvin (1/20 & 1/21)
We kicked off our 2017 concert series with back-to-back sold-out nights of hard-rockin’ folkie Dave Alvin and a few of his friends. At a time when many of us were suffering from the post-inauguration blues, Dave and his band were just what the doctor ordered. And what a band! Rick Shea played guitar alongside Dave, Jack Rudy wailed on the blues harp, and David J. Carpenter provided a soulful anchor with his upright bass. Old favorites like “King Of California” and “4th Of July” were featured, as well as encore performances of “Marie Marie” and “This Land Is Your Land.” File under Medicinal Americana.
- The Jackshit Yuletide Extravaganza (12/2 & 12/3)
The boys from Cochtotan have done it again, y’all. Pete, Beau, Shorty, and friends delivered more holiday cheer than our little back room could possibly contain, and it spilled out all over Pie-Co Street and beyond. Friday night featured special guest (Jackson) Browne Shit, and he delighted us all with rockin’ versions of “Running On Empty,” “Take It Easy,” “A Child In These Hills,” and the crowd favorite, “The King Is Gone (So Are You),” originally made famous by George Jones. You could’ve heard a pin drop when ten-year-old Stella Shit tugged at our heartstrings with her a cappella version of Benji Hughes’ “All You’ve Got To Do Is Fall In Love.” And the “Ugly And Slouchy” medley was one for the ages. You wouldn’t think Saturday’s show could possibly compare, but it may have been even better. Shelby Lynne came on stage for a handful of soulful heartbreak ballads, and the boys seemed to kick it up a notch playing behind her. Shorty said a bunch of funny stuff, too. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. See you next year, we hope.
- Robbie Fulks (11/6)
Over the last several years, he has become one of our favorites, and this rollicking Sunday night show did nothing to dissuade us from that position. There’s just something about the way Fulks skewers the Nashville establishment while at the same time delivering the country music goods that is so thoroughly satisfying. His set was solid all the way through, as usual, but it was the finale from this show that will stay in our memories. The number was “South Song,” and it featured Fulks on guitar and fiddler Shad Cobb trading licks back and forth in a musicians’ duel. Cobb was clearly winning the battle, too, until Fulks finally took a step back and shoved some chaw in his mouth, and then lo and behold, he played like a man possessed. Good fun. Great show.
- Benmont Tench (10/30)
We wish we could have done more than just the one show, but what a rare treat for the lucky few who managed to snag tickets. The keyboardist and founding member of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers thrilled us all with a solo piano set that satisfied on so many levels. Among the many highlights was a boogie-woogie version of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” that had the packed house rockin’ in their seats. Too much! Also notable was opener Dominique Arciero who was accompanied by her boyfriend, Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins. Delightful!
Our Featured Instrument
- Blueridge Tenor Guitar
This month’s four-stringed entry is a sweet tenor guitar from the fine makers at Blueridge. It features a small “0” size body, 14-fret mahogany neck, solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides, dot-inlaid rosewood fingerboard, bone saddle and nut, nickel tuners, adjustable truss rod, and full gloss finish. It’s strung with .010, .014, .022W, and .032W gauge strings which can be tuned in 5ths (C-G-D-A), or like the four highest strings on a guitar (D-G-B-E). We also have these available with mahogany back and sides. Come on in and try one out!