The Best of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2012: Friday, Oct. 5

Christopher Victorio
Jenny Lewis at Hardly Strictly on Friday
See also:

* The Best of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: Saturday, Oct. 6
* The Best of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Sunday, Oct. 7
* Slideshow: Onstage at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
* Slideshow: The Faces of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Chuck Prophet takes us on a tour of San Francisco
Willie Mays, Carol Doda, and Harvey Milk didn't come to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year, but S.F. rocker Chuck Prophet brought their memories to a crowded and lively set early Friday afternoon. Prophet's latest album, Temple Beautiful, is a story-filled love letter to San Francisco, and on Friday, the singer and his band the Mission Express played many of its best songs: "Halloween," which looks back fondly at the Castro's raucous street parties; "Willie Mays," a wide-ranging story whose characters include the iconic baseball player and the famously endowed North Beach Stripper Carol Doda; and "Temple Beautiful," a look back at the old S.F. punk club of the same name. Prophet sang an intimate duet with his wife and keyboardist Stephanie Finch, and he also brought his sense of humor. Looking out at the ample midday crowd early in his set, the rocker deadpanned, "I know things have gotten pretty bad out there, but don't you guys have jobs?" Yes, Chuck, but we'd rather be here. -- Ian S. Port

Christopher Victorio
Chuck Prophet

HSB '12 Friday Discovery: Seattle's Pickwick
Chuck Prophet and his latest group the Mission Express were already cooking in front of an enthusiastic audience on the Rooster Stage when nagging intrigue over Seattle indie-soul band Pickwick demanded a quick detour to the Arrow Stage early Friday afternoon. The impulse paid off, as the sextet offered up a tasty, razor-sharp mix of simmering R&B groove and fevered '60 Invasion rock in the vein of the Animals and Van Morrison's Them. Singer Galen Disston served as the focal point, delivering his sweaty, soulful testifying over the rich musical foundation laid down by guitarist Michael Parker, vibraphonist/percussionist Kory Kruckenberg, and Fender Rhodes-playing keyboardist Cassady Lillstrom. Their raucous take on Lou Reed's early '60s garage-rock obscurity "The Ostrich" had half the band banging on tambourines, and brought a healthy contingent of fans to their feet with their hands in the air. A lot of those people are likely to turn out when the band comes back to S.F. for a show at the Rickshaw Stop later this month. -- Dave Pehling

Dave Pehling

Christopher Victorio
Chris Carrabba

Next: Conor Oberst and Jerry Douglas

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Golden Gate Park

San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

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