Friday, April 27, 2018

California road trip continues

Our California road trip continues. After breakfast at Pancake Circus, where the pancakes have a clown's face made of cherries, cream and pineapple, we toured Sacramento for a couple of hours. It's an attractive city, with the State Capitol at its centre, treelined streets reminiscent of the New Orleans Garden District and European style trams. As we were leaving we noticed that the Robert Cray Band was playing that night at the Crest Theatre so we decided to stay another day. Robert Cray was superb, playing many of his songs of (mostly) lost love, including Ain't Got You, I'll Always Remember You, Where Do I Go From Here, If You Don't Want My Love, You Had My Heart, Your Good Thing Is About To End and Strong Persuader. There were a couple of more rock orientated songs towards the end which I wasn't so keen on, but it was melodic and mellow and very enjoyable. He looks no different than when I first saw him 30 odd years ago, and sounds the same too.
Next day we drive south to El Cerrito, near Berkeley, and had a look around Down Home Records, which used to be the home of Arhoolie. There was quite a good selection and we all bought something and we then went to a nearby coffee shop to meet up with Frank Scott, who Gordon knew in London many years ago but whom he hadn't seen for 30 years. He used to run Down Home Music and still sells records by mail order as Roots and Rhythm. An interesting guy with many tales to tell. Afterwards we went on a fruitless search for a hotel in Oakland, which involved driving around derelict areas for quite some time to no avail. We gave up eventually and went back to Berkeley to stay at a rather expensive, but very pleasant hotel on University Avenue. After a mediocre Mexican meal on 4th Street, Alan and I went to see Los Lonely Boys at a place called Freight and Salvage. We arrived late and got in half price, which was just as well. Described as Americana, they were much more of a heavy rock band with repetitive and fairly tuneless numbers, so we left before the end.
Driving south again next day we stopped off at Salinas, home town of John Steinbeck, and had coffee and brownies at his family house, now a genteel restaurant staffed by several elderly lady volunteers. From there we to went to Shandon where James Dean crashed his car and died. There's a marker there and a James Dean themed restaurant and bar, the Jack Ranch Cafe and Hearst Winery. They specialise in locally produced cider, Perry and jerkum, a new one on me, which is made from fermented plums, nectarines and such like. We are staying the night at San Luis Obispo, a pleasant place where I stopped over on a previous trip. Tomorrow we are off to LA.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home