I wasn’t planning on going out Saturday night. I was tired from work, I had fallen behind on my movies to watch from Netflix, I just figured I’d lay low, maybe pop into Old I for a little while for a fix of live music if the mood hit me later in the evening.
Then I got a call from my buddy, Jerry Perry. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, I’m going to see Sal Valentino at The Palms tonight. You interested in going?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Yes, I was, for two main reasons. First, I had not been to The Palms since they moved to Winters. I’d been to a good amount of shows in the old Davis barn location, but Winters just seemed so far away, especially when there are usually several good options for live music on any given weekend night here in town.
But secondly and more importantly, I was curious to see Sal perform. I’d met him before when he sat in for a song at benefit show at the old True Love Coffeehouse and he seemed a pretty nice guy and he sang well. But I’d never seen him do a whole show himself so I figured this CD release show of his would be a good opportunity to see the former singer for the Beau Brummels (they had a hit in the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœ60s with Laugh, Laugh).
I was not disappointed in the least. The show was opened by Walking Spanish, a young band featuring Jackie Greene’s little brother. To me, it seemed that although their songs are promising they are not quite developed enough in that area. But they were OK.
Then Sal took the stage. Backed by an all-star Sacramento band that included David Houston on guitar (Davis also produced Sal’s new CD), Larry Tagg (Bourgeois Tagg) on bass and Mark Harrod (Popgun) on drums, and augmented by a four-piece string section and the harmony vocals of Allyson Seconds, Sal took the stage. He seemed slightly tentative in the first song, but then he just seemed to start getting into it and was outstanding from that point on. He was also warm and funny in talking between songs.
I would also recommend his new CD to anyone who likes the kind of music The Palms has always booked. (I don’t know what to call it. Adult alternative singer songwriter?)
The new Palms was also a hit in my book. Located in downtown Winters, it’s a larger room than the old Davis barn. But what it lacks in intimacy it makes up for by great sound, good sightlines and a comfortable vibe.
So, two great experiences in one night. Guess I’ll start catching up on that Netflix queue next week.