Broken-handed bass players, backwoods music-makers, and Lars Logan.

Sound of one hand slapping

Sound of one hand slapping

Jazz hand We’ve got spirit, spirit, CAMMIES spirit; how ’bout you!?! If there’s anyone who embodies the spirit of the CAMMIES (yes, there is a CAMMIES spirit—more hardcore Linda Blair than soft rock Patrick Swayze), it is 2006 Best Bassist winner and 2009 triple-nominee (and CN&R writer) Christine G.K. LaPado. In case you haven’t noticed, Chico’s house bassist severely broke her hand a couple weeks ago, leaving half of Chico’s music scene with out a bassist (you probably felt the city’s low-end suddenly cut out). So, nominees the Pub Scouts and the Groove Diggers are forced to do without. But for her third nominated band, the Shigemi Minetaka & Christine LaPado Duo, LaPado is going to put her hand-puppet cast to work. During the CAMMIES Jazz Showcase this Saturday, March 21, at Johnnie’s, LaPado is going to keep it slow and simple, and play through the pain for what promises to be a couple of can’t-miss tunes. Hooah!

After the fire Inside a Schwan’s Toastwich (Bacon, Egg & Cheese) box came three CDs of lonesome blues rock by Garr1son (spelled with a “1”). I had never heard of the Concow musician until a few months ago when he called to tell me about his music and about losing his home and studio in last summer’s fires. The shy singer/songwriter dropped off the box of CDs this week without a word and without contact info, and so I’ve been trying to figure out what the mysterious man is all about from the note he left me; the three fascinating CDs of sad, vaguely haunted-sounding songs he created in seclusion in his former studio, and the rambling, emotional outpourings on his Web site (

Garr1son before the fire

“Aside from all the musical instruments, amplifiers and computers, 30 years worth of recordings and manuscripts for books about to be published were lost. Most of all, a huge collection, dating back 100 years, of antiques and family Civil War memorabilia. … How do you refurnish my home [of] one-of-a-kind items, hand-cut shakes and 30 years worth of ivy? Where on eBay will I find photos of my mom and dad when they were 16 years old? … How do you soothe your soul, knowing there is no way in hell, at your present age, and in your physical condition, that you will ever be able, or [be] alive on this earth long enough, to ever have what you gave your life, and youth away for? … It was a unique home, topped with a red pyramid and belfry containing a family of bats. … There was no insurance, nor are there any funds. Everything was built a few dollars at a time over a period of 30 years. … The only thing saved were copies of the four albums that were packed and ready for publishing and digital distribution on the Internet, when funds became available. … Someone told me about a potential lawsuit that might end up compensating me. I thought about it all night, and tried to think of some amount that would make me smile again. And even if I was fortunate enough to walk away with one million dollars in my pocket, it honestly would and could never replace the feeling I enjoyed waking up in my old bed, in a home that I sweated and bled for. I realize now, although too late, how lucky I was, how much I had, and how no dollar amount can ever replace the life I had. Spend $3 at CDBABY, and buy an MP3 album or so. You can always pass it along if it is not in your taste. Look for Garr1son, spelled with a number one.”

Postscript It’s been several weeks since local poet Thelma Behrens sent me this note for Lars Logan, the Chico actor who died in his home Dec. 13, 2008. I’ve been holding off on publishing it until I was able to share more about how he died, and I finally received word from the coroner about the cause of death: acute pulmonary edema, cause undetermined. It’s not much to hold onto, but it’s something. Rest in peace, Lars.

To Lars
Golden Viking with chieftain’s stance/Golden youth with every chance/
Darkened day—darkened night/Golden gone/Dark blacks the night/Too soon—Too soon—Too soon