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Tribute to Utah Phillips

Saturday, June 07, 2008
6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Event Type:
2844 Union St., Oakland, CA
Location Details:
2844 Union St., Oakland, CA

Near the intersection of 28th Street and Adeline Street in west Oakland. Half mile from the West Oakland BART station. There will be a shuttle available.

Originally planned as a benefit to help Utah Phillips with expenses as he was no longer able to perform or tour. After his passing, it was decided to go on with the show as a tribute to Utah and his life as Wobbly, story teller, musician and all around folk legend. All of the original musicians are still on board with the addition of 90+ yr old Faith Petric, a great folk singer and friend of Utah.

Other performers include Berkeley legends the Funky Nixons, Diamond Dave, harmonica maestro Will Scarlett, Hali Hammer, Little Boy Blue, banjo player Peter Leopold from Duluth, Clyde Leland, activist/singer Max Ventura, Berkeley High rockers IS
Added to the calendar on Thu, May 29, 2008 6:44PM

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by Bill Nevins (bill_nevins [at]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bill 505 264 6979 piecefront [at]

Legendary New Mexico Songwriter Kell Robertson Headlines Tribute to Utah Phillips

Santa Fe–Legendary 78-old New Mexico “beat” poet-songwriter Kell Robertson will make a rare public appearance to headline A Tribute to Utah Phillips concert at Santa Fe Brewing Company, Monday, July 14, 2008, starting at 7 pm. Joining Kell onstage to honor their mutual friend and inspiration, the late bard Utah Phillips, will be Joe West, Kendall McCook, Mitch Rayes, Richard Malcolm (of Burning Moonlight) and White Buffalo Music Presents Georgie Angel. Additional guests and friends of both Kell and Utah are expected to show up and sit in. Bill Nevins, contributing editor of Albuquerque ARTS monthly, will MC the evening. Admission is only $5 at the door, and fine food and beverages will be available.

This will be a rousing evening of music, stories, poetry and gentle rebellion, as befits the memory of the late Utah Phillips, the widely beloved songsmith, union advocate and raconteur who collaborated with Ani DiFranco on Grammy-nominated albums.

Kell Robertson, a long time friend and comrade-in-song of Utah Phillips, is himself an American treasure who has lived quietly in the Santa Fe area for the past ten years. He has performed his music and poetry from San Francisco to New York City .. For several years he tended bar and performed at the Thunderbird in Placitas, where he played and sang with the likes of Lightnin' Hopkins and hosted poetry and sang at Silva's Saloon in Bernalillo.

Kell lived in San Francisco for many years in the late 50s and early 60s, where he made his living singing at noted venues such as Vesuvio's and the Coffee Gallery, favorite hang outs for Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and other Beat writers of the fabled North Beach scene. Kell’s songs, recorded on the albums Cool & Dark Inside and When You Come Down Off the Mountain, are finely crafted and heartfelt music of the American West. Although mostly retired from performing, Kell composes poetry and still writes and plays his guitar every night on the secluded farm where he lives near Cerillos. A new collection of poetry is expected later this year from Pathwise Press

The musicians joining and accompanying Kell Robertson onstage in tribute to Utah Phillips are all veteran performers in the Americana , blues and folk genres, well known to New Mexico audiences. Santa Fe ’s Joe West, known for his renditions of Utah Phillips songs, has been praised by the national magazine Dirty Linen for his edgy humor and warm stage presence, in the Santa Fe All Stars and other bands. Kendall McCook, like Utah himself, is a true “voice of the great Southwest” and a master story teller. Mitch Rayes is a poet and songwriter from Albuquerque who has travelled manys the hard winding road. Richard Malcolm, also from Burque, is a practitioner of the deep blues. And Georgie Angel is a Pecos-Santa Fe “outlaw” music legend himself.

It is a rare treat to have these desperados on a stage together for an evening of song-sharing in tribute to Utah Phillips and the wild spirit of what has been called “that old weird America”—weird and beautiful, that is.For more information, contact Bill Nevins at piecefront [at]

Or phone (505) 264 6979. [30]
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