It’s not in LA proper so it’s taken me awhile to get there, but Saint Rocke is now on the fast track to becoming one of my new favorite places to see live music. Located on the PCH in Hermosa Beach, it really isn’t that far away (especially when the traffic is light). It’s got all the charm of The Hotel Cafe but with more space, more seating, and free parking! Plus, if you order food during their happy hour (starts at 5pm M-F) nearly the entire menu is $5. I opted for the kobe beef sliders with sweet potato fries and they were delicious…I have it on good authority that the tacos and the pizzas are also excellent options.
I didn’t just decide to check out a new venue on a whim. I was drawn to Hermosa Beach because it was a stop on the Joe Firstman/Jay Nash tour. The line up played The Hotel Cafe last Thursday but I could not make it as I was at The Roxy enjoying Alex Band (more on that from Amanda).
For the record, this duo is NOT to be missed. I’ve been following Joe around the country for over five years now and never have I seen the same set twice…he even changes up his own songs to keep things fresh. Already, songs from his most recent release, El Porto, have gotten new versions. I will enjoy just about anything coming from this guy but Sunday night’s set was one of the most enjoyable I’ve seen him do in years. A great mix of old (one of my all-time favorite CDs is his debut The War of Women), new, and newly revised. His next record, Joe Firstman Live at The Treehouse, comes out next month and I cannot wait to hear it all. For a taste, go to his website and download a free track!
Jay Nash has been a more recent addition to my list of favorite singer-songwriters. His recent collaborations with some of my favorite artists like Caitlin Crosby and Matt Duke brought him to my attention. He is also the founder and frequent participant in my favorite Monday night activity, Songwriters in the Round at Room 5. Unfortunately just as I start going to more of his shows, he decided to up and move to Vermont. The fact that he has returned to LA so soon is encouraging however and I hope that more tours like this one will continue to bring him back to his former home.
Both Joe and Jay are the kind of artist that need to be seen live to truly be appreciated for the amazingly gifted musicians they are. And when they get on the stage together, the energy is kicked up an additional notch as they feed off each other to create the kind of performance that could never be captured or repeated…moments that make you realize how incredibly fortunate you are to be in that exact place at that exact time…moments that keep you going to show after show…the kind of stuff to live for and the reason I love artists like Joe Firstman and Jay Nash and venues like Saint Rocke that can bring out these kinds of magical moments.
If you want to check out a show at Saint Rocke, here’s a link to their calendar . Might I suggest Pat McGee this Sunday…or if you read this in time 100 Monkeys tonight (Tuesday July 20th).
p.s. this is a repost, but here’s a recording a took of the song Jay wrote about leaving California…I think it may be my new favorite.
Golden State Goodnight– Jay Nash