Local Sacramento Music Scene
Adrian Bourgeois * Aliciya Angel * Attwater * Autumn Sky * Ava Lemert * Brodys * bygones * Bypassing Oblivion * Caron Vikre * David Houston * Debora Iyall * Deathray * Deer Park Avenue * EightFourSeven * Elena Powell * Green Audio * Hannah Lingrell * Harley White Jr. Orchestra * Hybrid Theory * Jay King * Ken Koenig * Kevin Seconds * Kimberly Trip * Knockoffs * March Into Paris * Mick Martin & The Blues Rockers * Mind X * Nativestar * 99 Tales * Odayaka * Onlymen * Prototypz * Rachell * Road 88 * Russ Skarsten * Set Theory * SoulMotor * Stillwood Sages * Tangent Sunset * Tattooed Love Dogs * Will Haven * Zoo Human Project
Ace of Spades * Blue Lamp * Capitol Garage * Fox and Goose * Harlow's * Luna's Cafe * Marilyn's On K * Old Ironsides * Powerhouse Pub * Sac Comedy Spot * Sacramento Comedy * Torch Club
see Sacramento Concert History and Sacramento Music Scene History
Cal Expo * Convention Center/Community Theater * Crest Theater * Sleep Train Amphitheater
Sacramento has had local artists challenging for label attention since the early days of the music industry. From the late 1930s through the early 1940s big band Dick Jurgens & His Orchestra had a dozen top ten national hits. His biggest hit made #3 on Billboard called "One Dozen Roses" in 1942. The band was signed by Vocalion then moved to Okeh and then Columbia. Jurgen was born in Sacramento, attended UC Berkeley and what is now Sac City College before moving to San Francisco in 1933 for a regular gig with his orchestra at the St. Francis Hotel.
In the 1960s Rose Maddox, who had been a radio star in Sacramento on KFBK in the 1940s, was signed to Columbia in the 50s and had several national country hits on Capitol in the 1960s, with three making the top 10. "Sing a Little Song of Heartache" was her biggest country hit, making the country top 3 in 1963. The song "California Rose" by Laura Cantrell is a tribute to Rose Maddox. Two years prior to her death, Rose's album $35 and a Dream was nominated for a Grammy in 1996. Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris both credit Maddox as an influence. The Sac country legend's life is documented in a book called Maddox Rose: The Life and Career of Rose Maddox by Jonny Whiteside.
The River City's music industry profile was accelerated in the 80s as the club scene expanded in popularity with places like Shire Road Pub, The Rock Factory, Galactica 2000 and Lord Beaverbrook's. Red Wing featuring Timothy B. Schmit was a local favorite in the 70s as was Ian Shelter, who stayed together through the early 80s. Johnny Quest, Rutabega Boogie Band, City Kidd, The Features, Numonix and Attica experienced local success. Crayon, headed by Caron Vikre, had a big local radio hit on KXOA AM in 1980 called "Carry Me Back." KZAP and K108 released local compilation LPs. In the 80s Davis band Thin White Rope enjoyed more success in Europe than the United States.
In the late 80s KRXQ established the show "Local Licks" and in the early 90s KWOD launched "Sounds of Sac." Local promoters Jerry Perry and Brian McKenna put on a lot of shows in the 90s and beyond to help energize the scene. Jerry Perry's monthly Alive & Kicking publication was a great asset to the local scene from the mid 90s thru 2008. Skip's annual Stairway To Stardom competition has helped elevate many local artists. By the early 90s, following the national success of Tesla and a few others, several Sacramento artists had label deals including singer/songwriter Mark Curry, Agnes Stone featuring Bob Zoppi and the eclectic Papa's Culture. In the 90s regional artists Kai Klm, Mother Hips and Filibuster developed large followings.
Notable artists from Sacramento include Tesla, Cake, Deftones, Papa Roach, Bourgeouis Tagg, Oleander, Club Nouveau, Cause and Effect and Steel Breeze. The first major artist to break out of Sacramento and have national success was country artist Rose Maddox in the 1940s and 1950s. Lynn Anderson was another country artist who grew up in Carmichael, where she won a singing competition and moved to Nashville. She then scored a string of hits including the the top 5 pop smash "Rose Garden" in 1971. In the late 60s Sacramento band Spiral Staircase hit the top ten with "More Today Than Yesterday." Timothy B. Schmit also helped brighten Sactown on the music map when he joined The Eagles at the peak of their career in the late 70s.
Stories of Sacramento artists getting signed became more common starting in the 80s as Steel Breeze and Bourgeois Tagg had national hits and Jay King's Club Nouveau became the first Sac artist to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 with a cover of the Bill Wither's hit "Lean On Me." Then came Tesla, who were signed to Geffen and sold millions of albums and did big concert tours. They still hold the record in the 2010s for most successful act to originate from California's Capital, selling over 14 million albums in the U.S.
In the 1990s more major signings happened, with the most successful involving Cake, The Deftones, Oleander and Papa Roach. The decade opened with electronic band Cause and Effect scoring a few national hits. Then Cake rose from airplay on college radio and indie alternative station KWOD in the 90s, spawning the top 5 alternative hit "The Distance," which propelled their 1996 album Fashion Nugget to Platinum. Cake went on to sell millions more. A year later Oleander, after frequent airplay on KRXQ, were signed to Universal/Republic and gained national airplay for the alternative/rock hit "Why I'm Here."
In January 2011 Cake's album Showroom of Compassion debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, though it set a record for least units sold to hit the top (44,000 units), reflecting a decade-long cycle of declining music industry sales. It was still a milestone for the music industry as Cake, formerly on Columbia Records, went indie and created their own label, Upbeat Records. It was also the first known album in history to be recorded at a solar-powered recording studio.
Deftones and Papa Roach also sold millions of albums, both with an edgier rock sound than the artists who had sprung from the River City in the past. The first three albums of Deftones on Madonna's Maverick label went Platinum. The band continued to record for Warner Brothers after a car accident seriously injured bassist Chi Cheng. The band had been on tour with Slipknot, who released an instrumental called "A Song For Chi" to help raise proceeds for the family.
Papa Roach were signed to Dreamworks and their first album, Infest, went triple Platinum, fueled by the alternative/rock hit "Last Resort." Their follow-up went Gold then they moved to Geffen where they returned to Platinum with the album Getting Away With Murder which delivered the Gold single "Scars." After a few more albums the band went indie.
Several notable musicians have moved to Sacramento as a quiet getaway from the Bay or Los Angeles. Debora Iyall of 80s new wave act Romeo Void moved from the Bay to Sacramento, where she has formed a new band in the 2000s. Sacramento has also been the birthplace of many musicians who joined national acts. Sacramentan Tim McCord, for example, became the bassist for Evanescence. Other local artists who became part of national acts included Night Ranger guitarist Jeff Watson and Starship guitarist Craig Chaquico. Local music can be heard on KDVS, KVMR, KRXQ and internet station SacRockRadio.com. The local music scene is covered by The Sacramento Bee, Sac News & Review and SacramentoPress.com.
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