The Music

The Seven Sisters Craft Beer & Music Fest features an incredible lineup! For 2014, we have expanded to three days of music and successfully sought out an eclectic collection of performers from across the country, a creative, original mix of bluegrass, jazz, blues, soul, funk, rock, country, Americana and everything in between.

Preview this year's line-up by clicking the band names below, and listen to them with the audio player to the right. Be prepared to find your next favorite band right here at Seven Sisters!

2014 PERFORMERS

7:30 pm, Friday, July 11
7:00 pm, Saturday, July 12
1:30 pm, Sunday, July 13
5:00 pm, Saturday, July 12
2:45 pm, Saturday, July 12
5:45 pm, Friday, July 11
10:00 am, Sunday, July 13
11:45 am, Sunday, July 13
4:15 pm, Friday, July 11
9:15 pm, Friday, July 11
9:15 pm, Saturday, July 12
12:15 pm, Saturday, July 12
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown
7:30 pm, Friday, July 11

 

Legendary … a blues/rock institution … true innovators … These are just a few of the ways Savoy Brown has been described over the past forty years. One of the earliest of British blues bands, Savoy Brown, with founder guitarist Kim Simmonds, helped launch the 1967 UK blues movement and in the process, became part of the framework that launched rock ‘n’ roll music of the 1970s. Now, coming up on 50 years, Kim Simmonds’ career is on fire and has evolved in many directions but always keeping the blues as its root. Even now, his latest release Goin’ To The Delta continues to bring his passion for the blues to the surface. Here’s the latest: Goin' To The Delta is #5 on the Billboard Blues Charts, #1 on Amazon Hot New Releases in Blues, #1 Best Seller in Contemporary Blues and #1 Seller in all of Blues. Kim's song “Train To Nowhere” is featured in the new Jimi Hendrix film All Is By My Side, which just premiered at South by Southwest in Austin.

Buckle up and hit the gas and head straight to the Seven Sisters Fest. We’re inviting you to ride shotgun with Kim Simmonds on a musical road trip through his spiritual homeland. Kim headlines our Friday Night British Blues Invasion; it’s going to be a wild ride!
 
“When I started the band back in 1965,” says Savoy Brown’s iconic frontman and guitarist, “the concept was to be a British version of a Chicago blues band … here we are in 2014 … come full circle echoing those blues sounds of Chicago.”
 
Savoy Brown is an amazing Band. We’re still buzzing with a fun overdose!

“One of the longest, continuously running, blues/rock bands in the world today.”
—Blues Festival Guide

“It was fantastic hearing that Savoy Brown sound again live … nothing like it! Kim Simmonds is an Alvin Lee, Jimmy Page, David Gilmore, Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck wrapped up in one … the style of his guitar defines the time. Long may you all Rock!”
—Sellersville Theater

 

 

Mingo Fishtrap
7:00 pm, Saturday, July 12

 

Texas Music Magazine calls Mingo Fishtrap “the space where melodic pop meets gritty Memphis soul, with a twist of N'awlins funk.” That space is growing like kudzu vine on the Mississippi Delta, crisscrossing the country with a deep, tenacious groove and a sanctified mission to shake your soul.

With a sound dancing with horn-fueled Motown pop, Mingo Fishtrap brings the flavor of 1967 to 2014. What's old is new again; with young audiences flocking to see their live shows, and critics giving rave reviews, Mingo’s inspired, high-energy live show encourages audience participation. Band founder and lead singer/guitarist Roger Blevins Jr. says, “Blues, soul and R&B is the common denominator of pop music. People around the world know that sound—Chess, Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals—as part of the soundtrack to their lives.”

MFT strikes a funky groove and make no bones about it. On Saturday evening at El Chorro, we will be on our feet shakin' it. If Mingo Fishtrap can't make you shake it, Jack, you dead!

“Ever wonder what the love child of Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, and Billy Vera would sound like? It would sound like five-time South by Southwest/Austin Music Award winner Mingo Fishtrap: an octopus of tenacious funk.”
—What’s Going On Here, PlaybackSTL

“Masters of music and entertainment, the music is tight, the tunes big and moving. This is the kind of band that will swallow you with their talent. The music turns and twists, it curls up inside of you, this is a band you cannot ignore.”
—MTV Online

“I had an eargasm.”
—Peg Simmons, KLBJ, Austin

“… one of the hottest live bands in the country.”
—Bozone.com

The Infamous Stringdusters
1:30 pm, Sunday, July 13

 

The Infamous Stringdusters are simply remarkable.

Their live show isn't a concert, it's a performance; their music is flirting constantly with risk and reward, the grip of the moment taking them way beyond the barriers of bluegrass, way out of that safe harbor where they began and into the deep waters of inspiration and innovation. And they're only beginning to grapple with the possibilities of all this freedom.

The Stringdusters have taken to calling their music, “High Country,” and it fits. “The High Country,” says banjo virtuoso Chris Pandolfi, “is a beautiful, inspiring spot, wherever it may be.” High Country also is the name of the record label created by The Infamous Stringdusters, and the centering spirit behind everything they do. Seven years ago the band's first incarnation came together in one of the doorway jam sessions, which are the hallmark of the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual convention. Their debut, Fork In The Road, tied with J.D. Crowe's release for IBMA Album of The Year. Now, banjo player J.D. Crowe is a bluegrass legend, and in the insular world of bluegrass, legends don't tie with newcomers. The Stringdusters also won awards for Song of the Year and IBMA's Emerging Artist of the Year. Those are heavy honors if you play bluegrass. Their third album, Things That Fly, produced a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental.

And it all comes back to their belief in “stand together,” for these Stringdusters are gifted musicians, knit together—separately they can play, and play with anybody; together they have seasoned into a formidable, groundbreaking live act.

“The Infamous Stringdusters don't leave bluegrass behind; they're stretching it from within.”
—The New York Times

Chris Cain
5:00 pm, Saturday, July 12

 

Chris Cain's jazz-tinged, blues soaked guitar and deep, warm vocals have the authenticity of bluesmen many years his senior. His expressive style is the result of a relentless pursuit of music mastery. His passion and intensity are a blend of his mother's Greek ancestry and his father's soulful black heritage.

Cain was raised on stories of his father's childhood upbringing on Memphis' Historic Beale Street and attended his first B.B King concert at the tender age of three. Cain recalls, “I remember when I was a kid, my Dad would be mowing the lawn with the stereo blasting Muddy Waters … that was pretty cool! There was always music playing at our house: Ray Charles, B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, all the greats.”

At the age of eight, Cain taught himself to play guitar. Over the next twenty years, Cain would also master piano, bass guitar, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone. The combination of his blues upbringing and his jazz studies melded to form the searing guitar style that sets Chris Cain apart, and has moved him to the top of the blues music scene today.

“… more than anyone else, anywhere, Chris Cain represents the future of the blues.”
—John Orr, San Jose Mercury News

“… nowadays most young blues players are Strat-wielding Stevie Ray Vaughan-types. Not Chris Cain. With a voice that recalls B.B. King and a thick toned Gibson guitar sound reminiscent of Albert King, Cain is forging a unique style and taking giant steps to becoming one of the most compelling bluesmen on today's scene.”
—Larry Nager, Scripts-Howard music critic

Raquel Rodriguez
2:45 pm, Saturday, July 12

 

When you think of soul music, “attitude” isn't the first thing that always comes to mind. That's not to say the genre couldn't use a little spunk though, especially in this day and age. Thankfully, Los Angeles singer Raquel Rodriguez and her seven-piece band play soul how it was always meant to be played. Their latest CD Miss Me boasts a collection of impassioned, invigorating, and irresistible songs that are as fresh as they are fiery. “We want to play loud music with a groove that people can dance and drink to,” Raquel declares. “You've got to physically feel it when we're on stage ... it has to be loud, dirty and gritty.” Speaking of gritty, you can hear Raquel's song “Already Beat” in the Season 6 Premiere of FX's hit show, Sons of Anarchy.

Blending intricate instrumentation and Raquel's infectious delivery, this band will show you how soul is really done. “Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder made crowds get up and move,” Raquel concludes. “We want to bring our own spirit to something that's inspired us so much.”

Raquel and this great band will keep the energy flowing and spirits soaring during Seven Sisters Saturday Craft Beer Fest.

 


Volker Strifler
5:45 pm, Friday, July 11

 

Volker Strifler is a stunningly unique, creative guitarist with an original style of Blues/Roots that are innovative explorations into rock, jazz, and Latin rhythms. With his highly acclaimed latest release Let the Music Rise, Strifler bounces back and forth among them all. His guitar work has the clarity and drive of Duane Allman and Robben Ford, and his singing, songwriting and electrifying arrangements skillfully communicate that Blues is a feeling more than a style. Strifler takes musical risks, and pushes his musicianship in innovative directions, experimenting with the Blues genre. Volker will be performing with his full horn section making this a very special performance. He will be sharing the stage with the legendary Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown making this year’s 7SF Friday kick off very special! Don’t miss a minute—come early on Friday and enjoy some amazing blues!

“Volker Strifler is a beautiful singer and a powerful guitarist.”
—Robben Ford

“Man that guy can really play his box!”
—Lowell Fulson

“What a kick! This guy has it going on!”
—Rufus Thomas

“Volker is the real deal. I love this guy!”
—Chris Cain

Dead Winter Carpenters
10:00 am, Sunday, July 13

 

Dead Winter Carpenters blends Americana roots-rock with a tinge of straightforward ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ Alt Country to bring hard-hitting performances that are as edgy as they are whimsical. The band pushes and pulls at musical boundaries with top-notch, live performances while walking the line with unexpected musical flair. With an unbridled spirit, and an authentic approach to the art of songwriting, a Dead Winter Carpenters concert epitomizes what live music is all about. The five-piece outfit consists of fiddler/vocalist Jenni Charles, upright bassist/vocalist David Lockhart, guitarists/vocalists Jesse Dunn and Bryan Daines, and drummer/vocalist Brian Huston.

Plan on getting to the 7SF BLOODY MERRY SUNDAY early because we are kicking it off with this great band!

“If anything, DWC are more like alt-bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival … fun, kick-up-your-heels live experience.”
—On The Verge, Relix Magazine December 2012

“Dead Winter Carpenters stake their claim on North California’s music scene striking gold.”
—Santa Cruz Sentinel

“[DWC] maintains an instrumental preciseness and vocal timing of which their days and long nights on the road shine through.”
—San Diego Examiner

“Northern California’s Dead Winter Carpenters blend bluegrass, country and rock in a high-energy, roots-rocky mix sure to get you up on your good foot.”
—Portland Tribune

David Mayfield Parade
11:45 am, Sunday, July 13

 

If you've seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Jessica Lea Mayfield, or at Bonnaroo, you've caught the charisma, the heart, and the comedy, and it's likely you'll come back for more. That’s the thing. Mayfield isn't easy to forget.

David Mayfield grew up playing bass and touring with his family’s bluegrass band. As a teenager, he established himself as a hot picker collecting national awards for his dexterity on guitar and mandolin. His knack for colorful performances was evident as a backing player in his sister Jessica Lea Mayfield’s band including their appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. He oozed personality on stage—a trait that makes him a natural front-man. He brought his skills and personality when he joined the bluegrass outfit Cadillac Sky, with whom he co-penned the album Letters in the Deep, produced by Dan Auerbach and taking the band into a new realm, playing sold out shows with British folk revivalists Mumford and Sons. Encouraged by his sister Jessica, Mumford & Sons, and other friends in music to record his original material, Mayfield released The Parade to much acclaim. Since that time, David Mayfield has toured almost nonstop including many appearances with The Avett Brothers both with his own Parade and sitting in with the Brothers. Conscious of not just being a musician, but an entertainer—something his father instilled in him in the family band—he certainly makes an impression live. But it’s the strength of his songwriting and musicianship, combined with that charm and personality that keep audiences coming back again and again.

 

 

Alastair Greene Band
4:15 pm, Friday, July 11

 

Alastair formed his first Blues Rock trio with former members of the legendary Southern California band The Pontiax in 1997. The Alastair Greene Band (AGB) has gone through several line-ups over the years including alumni of The Steve Miller Band, Paul Butterfield Band, and Junior Wells Band. Currently, the line-up is Alastair handling vocals and guitar, Jim Rankin on bass and vocals, and Austin Beede on drums.

The AGB has opened shows and appeared on Blues festivals with artists such as The Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Mayall & The Blues Breakers, Tommy Castro, Lonnie Brooks, Michael Burks, Robin Trower, Jonny Lang, and many more.

Alastair has released four studio records and one live record since 2002. His fifth studio record release, Trouble At Your Door (release date June 17th, 2014) is sure to be his most explosive recording thus far. The AGB combines a deep respect for traditional forms and themes but adds a modern approach combined with a classic rock sound.

Not only is Alastair a Blues Rock guitar slinging and singing front man, but he has also served many years as a side man to some legendary musicians. Currently, Alastair is the touring guitarist with Alan Parsons. After Alastair played on Parsons’ 2004 release A Valid Path, Alan was quoted as saying, “Alastair should be out playing guitar with the biggest bands in the world … it’s just a matter of time.” Heady praise indeed coming from the man who engineered Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, served as second engineer on the last two albums by The Beatles, and has also sold millions of albums with his own Alan Parsons Project. We are grateful and excited that Alastair’s power trio will be opening the Friday Night British Blues Invasion.

 

 

The Rayburn Brothers Band
9:15 pm, Friday, July 11

Brothers Craig and Keith Rayburn were raised near the chaparral-covered hills of L.A. and now call the redwood canyons and crashing waves of Santa Cruz their home. As singers and songwriters for the Rayburn Brothers Band, they have created a unique and exciting brand of California roots rock. The Rayburn Brothers sing from the soul, touching in their audiences a chord of the human experience that connects us all.

The entire collection of songs on their new album Back to California are infused with elements of rock, folk, country, reggae and jazzy blues that channel the musical influences the brothers gained growing up in the Golden State.

This powerful and moving CD is full of surprises and unexpected twists and their live stage show is equally compelling, fueled by this amazing seven piece band. The Rayburns will be the perfect way to end Day 1 of this year’s Seven Sisters Fest—dancing around a campfire under the stars at El Chorro!

“… a rough-hewn folk rock sound that evokes the wild vistas of the West.”
—Wallace Baine, Santa Cruz Sentinel

““… has the expansiveness of the west and the desert … a cross between Jackson Brown and Lowell George.”
—Keith Greeninger, singer-songwriter

“Greg Brown meets Neil Young.”
—Tim Prince, producer

“The Rayburns are a cadence of the country rock of the 70s.”
—John Gjalteme, Altcountry

“… a deep and comprehensive homage to classic country music … reflective of American folk and rock, the touching nostalgia will resonate with country music fans who truly admire the roots of where the genre has stemmed from.”
—Rukshan Thenuwara, MuzikReviews.com Contributor

Damon Castillo
9:15 pm, Saturday, July 12

 

Damon lives right here in San Luis Obispo. Oprah and National Geographic said it’s the happiest place in the country, so you know it’s true. He operates out of Laurel Lane, a studio he put together with his friends on the south side of town.

Damon will be releasing his latest album called Mess Of Me this Spring 2014. He wrote and produced it and had help with some mixes from nine-time Grammy Award-winner F. Reid Shippen. Aaron Sterling (John Mayer, Sara Bareilles, Gavin Degraw) played some drums on it, and longtime band mates, Larry Kim (sax) and Kristian Ducharme (keys) also contributed.

Damon has shared the stage with Train, Chicago, The Temptations, Robben Ford, Jackson Browne, Chris Isaak and many more. Other things to note about Damon: He studied music at Berklee College of Music. He has an identical twin brother named Dominic who is a musician as well. The first CD he ever got was Otis Redding’s Greatest Hits. That’s a great start!

We are pleased to have one of own—SLO County’s greatest singer-songwriter and band—busting out at the Late Night Main Stage Jam on Saturday night at 7SF.

Zongo All-Stars
12:15 pm, Saturday, July 12

 

Zongo All-Stars has been lighting up dance floors with their unique blend of Afro-Latin/Caribbean/Funk/Reggae/Calypso music that they like to call "CaliCubano.” The foundation starts with the drums—congas, timbales, and other percussion. Add in a rhythm section—bass & guitar, then punch it all up with an amazing horn section—trumpet, and saxes, flutes, and finally the sweet sound of steel drums transporting you straight to the Caribbean. This is a musical experience that is a perfect opener for all that great beer at Saturday’s Craft Beer Fest!