Most Innovative Live Music Bookings

The Starry Plough

The Starry Plough is an Irish pub — and it still features traditional Irish music some nights (including the great Shay Black on Sundays) — but its bookings have long been eclectic, particulary since Misty Gamble took over the hiring seven years ago. Local rock favorites such as Tempest, Ramona the Pest, the Lemon Lime Lights, and Etienne de Rocher regularly play the Plough, but Gamble also brings in national acts who wish to work a small room. (Legal capacity is 101, though 300 have been known to pack into the place.) Especially interesting recent bookings have included Drums & Tuba (a trio that also includes a guitar player), the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, Davis-based Danish saxophonist John Tchicai, and Mark Olson and Victoria Williams’ Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers. And folkies such as the Asylum Street Spankers and Tom Russell who used to appear at Freight & Salvage have been turning to the Plough, where the audience is more likely to holler, scream, and kick up their heels. Gamble says it’s all about music. The girl has taste!

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Oakland
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