Monday, January 26, 2009
The Sweetwater's Resurrection
I do hope for the sake of musicians, and besotted Music lovers that the Sweetwater music club in Mill Valley California will re-open in the near future. According to the January update on the club's website, 'all site planning, architectural, acoustic analysis and permits were complete as of August 2008.' But since then, the project has experienced 'a number of costly delays'. Until the club's tragic closure in 2007 (the building's owners 'pulled the plug on the month-to-month lease extensions under which the venue had operated for the previous two years'), it was for over thirty years the most important live music club/showcase in the San Francisco North Bay Area.
Impromptu legendary jamming sessions at the club happened regularly, consisting of international musicians ranging from Richie Havens to Marty Balin. Legend had it that Elvis Costello, Jerry Garcia, and James Burton , the guitarist for Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson not only jammed together on one occasion but also swapped guitars while playing.
During my visits to the Sweetwater, I have also constantly marvelled at Austin de Lone, who was not only MD for many of the famous Village Music parties at the club, where he performed with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Jerry Garcia, Sammy Hagar , Charles Brown, plus every brilliant musician imaginable. But he was also the host for the Sweetwater's packed out Open Mic nights on Monday nights.
According to the Sweetwater's most recent update, they have also moved some of their already booked shows to 142 Trockmorton Theatre, and will be working with Lucy Mercer, owner and Artistic Director of the theatre on keeping their 'music alive 'until the opening date, which will be 3 months from the time they restart the 'build-out'. Hope it happens soon.