Friday, February 20, 2009

Absynth Quintet - The Starry Plough - 2/19/2009

The San Francisco Chapter launched their brand new Music Outreach Program last night, at the Starry Plough Irish Pub in Berkeley, CA, thanks to the support of the Nor Cal band Absynth Quintet. Mandolinist Bird Jowaisas contacted us through our Music Outreach Program page on the Chapter website, and invited us to come table at the show. We were so excited to work with these guys - who are all active Surfrider members and surfers, from the Humboldt Surfrider Chapter.

San Francisco Chapter members Zeina Barkawi, Damian Sinnott and I headed over to Berkeley, where we received a warm welcome from the Starry Plough staff, and the band. Utilizing a cocktail-sized table, we set up our materials right inside the front doorway, next to the stage, and the merch tables. We were able to hang our brand new, smaller-sized banner on the wall behind us, directly facing the audience. It was a great spot!

photo: Zeina and Damian working the table.

We met some great people, gave away some Surfrider San Francisco Chapter branded, reusable Chico bags, signed some people up on our mailing list, handed out information about safe seafood choices, and talked a lot about our Chapter's 2009 strategic plan.

Members of the Absynth Quintet came by several times to check in on us, and to talk with us about Surfrider, and the surf that they're catching while on tour. The band is in Santa Cruz today. The Santa Cruz Chapter will have a table at tonight's show.

The music was phenomenal. There were 3 bands on the bill. We got to catch great sets by The John Howland Trio, The Cyndi Harvell Band, and Absynth Quintet.

The Absynth Quintet is composed of Ian Davidson on banjo, Bird Jowaisas on mandolin, Ryan Roberts on guitar, Mike Schwartz on drums, and Rudy Luera on upright bass.

The Eugene Weekly places the sound "somewhere along the spectrum of acoustic-improvisational-gypsy-jazz...plucky and tight à la David Grisman" with "a dash of Eastern European exoticism that puts you in a smoky, understated hash bar kind of mood". Check them out, here! They played a lot of great material off of their new album, "Indigo Shoes."

After the show, the band came over to our table, where we got to thank them for their support, and take some group photos. It was a great night!!! Thanks again to Absynth Quintet, and particularly to Bird, for the invitation, and for coordinating all of the details with the venue, for us! Thanks to Zeina and Damian for all of your help!


Anonymous said...

Humboldt County loves the AQ! Fine musicians and a bunch of nice guys, too. Congrats on such a cool event!

Nicole said...

Thanks, Jennifer!! I checked out your blog - looks great! Was really interesting to see what you are working on, in Humboldt.