*THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED*
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7PM – Doors
8PM – Show
Tré Burt was standing on a stage in Philadelphia in early 2023 when the latest bit of bad news arrived: His grandfather, a native of that very city, was dead. It wasn’t entirely unexpected. For years, Tommy Burt had struggled with early-onset dementia, slipping away a bit more each time Burt saw him. Burt even began recording his grandfather, letting his tape recorder roll as they had some of their final conversations. He wanted to preserve those moments, however repetitious or fragmented they might be, before the opportunity vanished forever. In fact, Traffic Fiction—Burt’s third album on Oh Boy Records and an unexpected musical reinvention rooted in his new and idiosyncratic version of classic soul—also preserves their relationship by committing another key piece of it to tape. The soul that animates so many of these 14 tracks? That was the music shared by grandfather and grandson.
Burt’s California childhood was not easy. His parents split when he was young, so he would often shuttle between their houses in Sacramento and the Bay Area. He was a bit of a wild child, too. From time to time, though, he would accompany his father to work at a plant nursery, riding shotgun in a 1975 Cadillac Seville as they listened to The Delfonics and Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations. Those drives were his sanctuary, that music their blessed score.
But as Burt became a musician himself, he was a peripatetic troubadour, tapping into American folk and blues partly as a matter of necessity—it’s not sensible to busk, after all, with some sophisticated band at your back. Bits of those other roots and compositional ambitions finally emerged on 2021’s You, Yeah, You, the vivid result of Burt’s first proper studio sessions. On Traffic Fiction, they are in full bloom, from the sweet country-soul surrealism of the title track to the skywriting rock of “2 For Tha Show,” Burt as urgent and commanding as he’s ever been. Traffic Fiction is the sound of Burt confidently bending a sentimental past to his present will.
On his third voyage as Skyway Man, artist + producer James Wallace is still seeking answers beyond the stars and still coming back with more questions in the form of ten brilliant songs. On its surface, Flight of the Long Distance Healer registers as another concept album replete with aliens and alternative philosophy, but this time around, Wallace coats the glass with a vital layer of self-reflection.
Like a West Coast Dr. John—but more preoccupied with flying saucers than voodoo dolls—Skyway Man is in the business of opening new aural worlds, cracking open reality just enough to get the message through. Flight of the Long Distance Healer sparkles and blinks, whispers and moans—hugely enjoyable music rendered in imaginative and gleaming style. There are hints of the polyrhythmic cinematic sensibility from Wallace’s contributions to the Joe Pera television series, rhythms of the Stax-inspired Spacebomb house band, and ripples of the current East Bay scene outside San Francisco. In a real showcase for the extended Skyway Man family, Wallace has coaxed personal and masterful performances from the likes of Erin Rae, Vetiver’s Andy Cabic, Molly Sarlé, pedal steel wizard Spencer Cullum, Kelly McFarling, and more. Cooking up genres in such a way as to keep their nutrients intact, he packs prog, blues, glam rock, acid folk, swamp boogie and future folk into a beautiful Martian bouillon