Last night I was lucky enough to see a couple of really talented musicians play in Venice, California. Both Tom Freund and Chris Joyner are the best of what California music is all about ~ great songwriting, strong musicianship, and a laid back style. Incidentally, the picture below is actually from the show last night. A fellow music fan on twitter kindly let me use it!
I first saw Tom Freund a few years ago when he opened up for Ben Harper. Those who read my slide guitar post already know how much I adore Ben. That night in Washington, DC at the 9:30 club, Tom did a solo performance, singing and accompanying himself on upright bass. I remember thinking how remarkable he was and called my sister to tell her about this amazing singer/songwriter and musician. A multi-instrumentalist, he also plays guitar and rocks the ukulele. Tom also recently released an album especially for children, Hug Trees, which I think is fantastic! He’s playing at venues all around California in the next few months and at SXSW so do yourself a favor and please see him.
Here is Tom Freund with “Comfortable In Your Arms” from Collapsible Plans (produced by Ben Harper) on upright bass:
I think Tom is a native New Yorker, but he is an honorary Californian in my book. Here he is hanging at the Maverick Big Wave surf contest in Half Moon Bay, California. He’s on ukulele playing “Queen of the Desert”:
Also playing last night was Chris Joyner, who seriously ripped it up on the keyboards playing my favorite funky, bouncy sounding Wurlitzer keyboard. To top it off, he has raspy soulful vocals, which I love. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any solo videos of him online, but check out his website at http://chrisjoynermusic.com/music where you can listen to his songs.
I did find this great video of Chris on organ playing with Culver City Dub Collective. They a are a loose collective of musicians playing soul, funk, and reggae. Classic Southern California…Mr. Joyner is the one in the hat, playing the keys to the right.