Mac McDonald: Mumford in Monterey

Well it’s all over Twitter and Facebook, so you probably know by now that multi-Grammy-nominated British indie folk band Mumford & Sons will play the Monterey County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Not on the Mumford boys, but get a load of the other bands on the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover tour that will only have four stops: Gogol Bordello, two Gallants, Grouplove, The Very best, Apache Relay and Haim.

I have to admit I’m not familiar with most of these bands except Gogol, which I had a chance to catch two years ago at Outside Lands. This is a wildly costumed, very theatrical band that plays Gyspy punk/dub on a variety of instruments, including guitars, violin, accordion, saxophone and various percussion, including marching band instruments.

Grouplove also currently has the No. 3 song on the Alternative Rock charts for USA Today, “Tongue Tied” (which may be familiar to you from an Apple iPod TV commercial).

so here’s the deal: Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday only at the website a limited number of “early bird” tickets will go for $59. once those are sold, the price for this general admission concert goes to $69.

The good news is that there are no other charges or fees, for once. And, in addition to the concert, the band promises to bring a “full lineup of some of our favorite bands from around the world, and curating events that combine a music festival and local gathering into one epic party. we plan to start early, and go late, taking the party from the stage to the town.”

The website has information on all the bands, a guide to Monterey and Cannery Row and a suggestion to visit the National Steinbeck Center, which inspired the band to come to Monterey in the first place. for that fascinating story, check out Beth Peerless’ interview with Marcus Mumford in this week’s issue of GO!

The logo for the “Monterey Stopover,” as they’re calling this leg of the tour, is a pair of seagulls on a lamp post with the silhouette of a man and a mouse walking toward the sunset, obvious refernces to Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row” and “Of Mice and Men.”

there was a bit of confusion here in the newsroom at The Herald because three-quarters of the newsroom had never heard of Mumford & Sons. Bunch of rubes!

The band’s 2010 album “Sigh No More” went double-platinum in the U.S., with two minor hits, “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave,” which were nominated for Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. The band performed “The Cave” at the 2011 Grammys, which provided a huge boost for them.

Along those lines, I was thinking which performers playing this area fit into that genre and a couple came to mind. first, singer-songwriter Peter Case, who returns to The Alternative Cafe in Seaside this Tuesday night at 8 and SoCal singer-songwriter Kiki Ebsen, performing Sunday at 5 p.m. in Carmel Valley.

The latter is the first “pop-up” concert by Carmel Valley music impresario Kiki Wow, who has been displaced from her usual venue at Plaza Linda Mexican restaurant in the Village, and will take place at Jan de Luz, at 1 Carmel Valley Road, also in the Village.

Ebsen just finished a tour with Christopher Cross and is back in California to promote her own CD, “The Beauty Inside” at this show. go to for info and music.

Plaza Linda will have a no-host bar and cater this event, so there will be food and liquor available as well as a selection of wines from the local tasting rooms next door.

As for Case, he first came upon my radar with his ’80s new Wave band The Plimsouls and its minor hit “A Million Miles away.” But Case (whose first wife was singer-songwriter Victoria Williams) left rock behind and became a well-respected singer, guitar player and especially songwriter. his music drew on all his influences, rock, country, gospel, rockabilly and especially the blues.

his 1989 album “The Man with the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar,” which features guests such as David Hidalgo, Ry Cooder and Benmont Tench, was acclaimed by critics. And in a 1989 Rolling Stone interview, Bruce Springsteen cited Case as the songwriter he was listening to most at the time.

Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 for this all-ages show Tuesday night.

quick hits: the great Monterey bebop jazz band Along came Betty is celebrating the release of its fourth album of mostly original material (many written by tongue-in-cheek pianist Biff Smith), “The Secret Parts of Fortune,” with a show Saturday night at 7 at the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club.

If you want to get a taste of the band’s music, check out my weekly video. The “theme” song for the video’s intro is one of Smith’s originals. or go to, you won’t be disappointed!

well, that’s all I can fit in this week. get out there and support live music whenever you can and check out my Mac about Town Facebook posts or check my Tweets at@montereymac.GO!

Mac McDonald: Mumford in Monterey

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