Hawks & Eagles benefit

Long before Americana music got revived by its current crop of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott-worshipping whippersnappers, you could walk into, say, the Fox & Goose over on R Street and hear acoustic, folk-rooted American music played by a duo calling itself Hawks & Eagles. The duo was, and still is, an Oroville-based couple named Jimmy and Nancy Borsdorf. Jimmy and Nancy are both multi-instrumentalists, with fiddle, guitar, banjo and other instruments in their collective arsenal.

Hawks & Eagles have been ubiquitous in the Northern California folkie scene throughout the past 30 years, and their mix of music is eclectic to say the least: old-time country, Appalachian folk, Western swing, “cowboy gypsy” tunes, European cafe songs and various Celtic dances (jigs, reels, hornpipes, airs, etc.), along with historically rooted period music from the Gold Rush era and a few more modern decades, like the 1920s.

There aren’t many local acts that have had their portraits drawn by internationally known comic artist (and former Dixon and Winters resident) Robert Crumb, but Hawks & Eagles got theirs done, in 1978.

Early this year, Jimmy was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer, which subsequently spread to his liver. Before getting sick, he’d made quite a few friends over the years, musically speaking, and those friends jumped at the chance to play various benefit concerts around the north state to help him cover the considerable expenses, medical and otherwise, incurred by his treatment.

On Saturday, November 6, a benefit for the Borsdorfs will take place at the Fox & Goose, the venerable pub at 1001 R Street. Back in the mid-1970s, Hawks & Eagles were one of the first acts to play there, and they helped establish the folk-friendly vibe that still permeates the joint to this day. The show will begin at 8 p.m., and admission is on a sliding scale of $5 to $20—depending on what patrons decide to pay.

Emceeing the show, modeled on an old Grand Ole Opry performance, will be Bill Wagman, the Davis folk-music impresario who hosts “house concerts” of traveling acoustic musicians from around the world. Musicians on the bill include Chris Loizeaux, Rita Brandes and Bob Cound, all of whom played with Hawks & Eagles over the years, along with Bodie Wagner, Justin Bishop and The Fifth String music-store proprietor John Green with his group the Bluegrass Hurricanes.

For more information, call (916) 342-2784 or (530) 534-8434. Or, you can donate to the Borsdorfs on the Internet, by visiting www.earthsmusic.com/jimmyscancer.htm and contacting Delilah Lewis.