Celebrating great American folk, ballads, light rock and blues.

About Vintage Fare's Musical Influences

The music we love runs the gamut, but we're particularly interested in the mellower music from the sixties and seventies.

Below, in no particular order, are some of our musical influences; songwriters and groups from which we derive a large part of our repertoire - with immense gratitude to all these talented people for creating a legacy of truly inspiring music.

As time permits, we'll be adding links to their official web sites, on-line material about them, etc.

Neil Young Neil Young: A renowned singer/songwriter in his own right, Young was a key member of Buffalo Springfield; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

As the harmonica player for Vintage Fare, I gott'a say that Young is often disparaged by other harp players for being "simple," and playing with a neck rack (like Dylan and Jackie Greene).  Such critics need to chill out listen to his harp work on "Mr. Soul."
Carole King Carole King: Already a talented songwriter by age 15 (when she co-wrote "Will You Still Love Me") King has enjoyed a long and productive career.
Bob Dylan Bob Dylan: With a career spanning nearly five decades, Dylan will probably earn the mantle, "the American songwriter" - much like Mark Twain is the American author. Dylan's influence on American music is incalculable, and he's never stopped cranking out new material.

More than once in his career, Dylan's fans have abandoned him as he's changed his styles - and the nature of his material. He took a lot of heat when he released his first Gospel album, "Slow Train Coming."  People failed to recognize it for the musical treasure it was.  With Mark Knopfler playing lead guitar, a line-up of equally notable sidemen, and the superb production values of Jerry Wexler, it is stunningly good material.

Twenty-some years later, this material was embraced by the black Gospel community.  For a real treat, see the "rockumentary" DVD, "Gotta Serve Somebody." There's little of Dylan, himself, on the DVD - but a plethora of black Gospel luminaries doing fine covers of this work.
Van Morrison Van Morrison: Another great songwriter that added immensely to the variety of popular music.

From ballads, to rock, to jazz, Morrison's refused to confine himself to whatever happens to be popular at the moment.  From his seminal "Astral Weeks," to his very latest material, Morrison's defied convenient categorization.
John Prine John Prine: Often labeled a "mere" country singer, Prine is much more than that. He does country, sure, but he also writes stunning ballads and humorous ditties.

He appears in the Sacramento area every couple of years, and it would be a shame to miss at least one of his performances.
Gordon Lightfoot Gordon Lightfoot: Like Neil Young, Lightfoot hails from Canada, and has produced a long list of hits. 

Lightfoot is a great songwriter - if a sometimes uneven live performer.
Nancy Griffith Nancy Griffith: The female voice of American music. Like Dylan, Griffith is a musicologist of the first order.

Her recording, "Other Voices, Other Rooms," is an unusual compendium: She covers the songs of other writer/performers - and has them back her.  "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" features John Prine, "Boots of Spanish Leather" has Bob Dylan playing harp - and so on.
Townes Van Zandt Townes Van Zandt: A songwriting talent who died before his time. His legacy of touching ballads will outlast all of us.

Vintage Fare is particularly fond of "Pancho and Lefty," and "Tecumseh Valley."  The former was covered by Emmylou Harris; Bob Dylan; Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

Others like Norah Jones and the Meat Puppets have covered his work, too.
Donovan Donovan: Still performing after all these years, Donovan was clearly influenced by Dylan, and produced some wonderful hits.

For a real treat, go to Amazon.com and download the cover of his "Season of the Witch" by Super Session, a short-lived collaboration between Stephen Stills, Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and others.  This is sixties "psychedelia" at its best.
It's a Beautiful Day Album Cover It's a Beautiful Day: One of the many "one hit wonders" of the sixties era, IBD will be forever famous for "White Bird."

Believe it or not, a little fiver-piece acoustic band, Vintage Fare, covers "White Bird" in a manner that seems to please our audiences.
Cheryl Wheeler Cheryl Wheeler: A contemporary songwriter of unbelievable talent. We cover her achingly beautiful "Gandhi/Bhudda."

Not one to take herself too seriously, Wheeler's done a spoof on her own song.  Check it out on YouTube.
Alan Klein Alan Klein: Yes, Vintage Fare's very own Mr. Klein. Alan's been performing the "coffee house" circuit since the sixties, and Vintage Fare performs and records some of his originals.
Sam Cooke Sam Cooke: What a voice! Like Roy Orbison's, Cooke's voice was truly one of a kind. Think of "Don't know much about history," the opening line of "Wonderful World," a song written by Sam Cooke, Lou Adler, and Herb Alpert.

And then there was Cooke's "Change Gonna Come," a loving, spiteless, lament and hope penned for the civil rights era.
John Denver John Denver: Spokesman/songwriter for Colorado and the Rockies, Denver wrote and performed some of the most beautiful songs ever. A real American treasure.
Graham Nash Graham Nash: Before joining CSNY, Nash was a member of The Hollies. He wrote the timeless song, "Teach Your Children" while still with The Hollies, but it wasn't released until 1970 when he'd joined CSNY.
Stephen Stills Stephen Stills: Another member of Buffalo Springfield and CSNY. During his stint with CSNY, he earned the nickname "Manyhands" because he could play all the instruments; guitar, bass, piano, organ, and even a little drums. He's probably best known, though, for his rich guitar style.
Simon & Garfunkel Paul Simon: - and his partner, Art Garfunkel gave us a bonanza  of awesome music.  Simon's writing and Garfunkel's delicate harmonies are unforgettable. Who can forget "Sounds of Silence" or "The Boxer?"
John Sebastian John Sebastian: A songwriter that really knows how to put a "hook" into a tune.
Joan Baez Joan Baez: Most definitely influenced by Bob Dylan (and probably he by her)  Baez has written some great material of her own. 

We're especially fond of "Diamonds and Rust," and Cynthia's lead vocals on that song will give you chills.
The Eagles The Eagles: This "super band" formed when Linda Ronstadt was assembling backup musicians.  After touring briefly with Ronstadt, and backing her on one album, these guys decided to strike out on their own.

Although the band's membership changed over the years, The Eagles were consistent "talent magnets."

2018 is another good year for Vintage Fare and, so far, we've played some fun gigs, with more to come.

We also began performing at Bella Bru in Carmichael, a great coffee shop & restaurant that includes the Luna Lounge. We're generally there the first saturday of each month.

Check our calendar for upcoming events.


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