If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. And thank the old hippies you might find there for blues music.
And if you’re going to Palisades Tahoe on Tuesday, be sure to see “Mark Hummel’s Night at the Fillmore.”
“This is not my usual show,” said Hummel, a harp-playing bandleader who has played Bluesdays more than anyone with the exception of Chris Cain. “It will be along the lines of my earliest musical inspirations and people I saw in the very beginning. More of the history of the rock-blues stuff in relation to the old-style blues.
“We’re really representing what Bill Graham put out there in the San Francisco scene. What happened at his venue and Chet Helms’ venue, the Avalon Ballroom. Those two guys really created something in the music world in the ‘60s that was pretty unsurpassed. There wouldn’t be blues if it wasn’t for those two guys.
“Bill Graham was brave enough to put all these rock bands up with all these old blues guys. That’s where you had the melding of blues and rock together.”
Helms was known as the father of San Francisco’s 1967 “Summer of Love,” and for recruiting Janis Joplin to join Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Hummel will be accompanied by guitarist Gary Vogensen, who was mentored by Mike Bloomfield, the famed guitarist from the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the vanguard of the Chicago-to-San Francisco migration of musicians in the late 1960s.
“The counterculture thing is what grabbed those guys by the short hairs,” Hummel said, “and made them go, ‘Why would I want to stay in Chicago when I could live here?’”
The Bluesdays set list will included songs by Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Nick Gravanitis, Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green), Traffic, Corky Siegel, Country Joe McDonald and Big Brother and the Holding Company, along with traditional blues artists Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton.
Vogensen was a teenager from Marin County, who witnessed many of the shows at the Fillmore and Avalon.
“There was so much excitement around live music at that time,” he wrote on his website. “And so many talented musicians around the Bay Area. … It was infectious. I learned a lot just hanging out watching people play.”
Vogensen has played in numerous Bay Area bands, including, Maria Muldaur, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Norton Buffalo, and currently he’s with Angela Strehli’s Blues Broads
The Fillmore tribute will include drummer Gary Silva, who along with Vogensen, played in Elvin Bishop’s band in the 1980s and ‘90s. Bassist Bob Welsh is a member of Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio and is the newest member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Tuesday’s Bluesdays show will be the second performance of “Mark Hummel’s Night at the Fillmore.”
“We will have a trial run on Sunday in Bolinas, the perfect hippie fiefdom to do it,” Hummel said.
Village at Palisades
6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
(Bring your own chair)
- June 28: Mark Hummel Night at the Fillmore
- July 5: Laurie Morvan Band
- July 12: Terry Hanck
- July 19: Dennis Jones Band
- July 26: Albert Castiglia
- Aug. 2: Aki Kumar
- Aug. 9: J.C. Smith
- Aug. 16: Studebaker John & The Hawks
- Aug. 23: Eddie 9V
- Aug. 30: Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings