Jordan and the RituaL, The Humidors, Mickelson flex their homegrown muscle at GAMH

Jordan and the RituaL

Jordan and the RituaL

By Tom Dellinger //

Jordan and the RituaL with The Humidors, Mickelson //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
August 21st, 2015 //

Last Friday, the Great American Music Hall hosted another showcase featuring all Bay Area bands. As the number of stages in SF has been on the decline in recent years, it’s gratifying to see one of the city’s finest venues presenting local talent.

Last month, the Great American Music Hall hosted the wildly successful Animal Spirit Ball (read our review here) that featured Royal Jelly Jive, Be Calm Honcho, The Rainbow Girls and Brass Magic. On this night, the stage belonged to three local bands — Jordan and the RituaL, The Humidors and Mickelson — that offered up a high-energy evening of rock, funk, soul and folk. With JATR mixing rock, soul and funk together, The Humidors solidly grounded in funk and Mickelson occupying the alt-folk field, it promised to be a fulfilling evening.

Scott Mickelson


Kicking things off was Mickelson, and for this performance, band leader Scott Mickelson also brought in special guests Brad Brooks (vocals), Kimberly Kenny (vocals), Ralph Carney (horns), Ed Ivey (tuba), Glenn Hartman (accordion) and George Mousa Samaan (trombone) to further expand the group’s sound. Drawing from its most recent studio release Flickering, the band filled the hall with tunes consisting of both rich, lyrical content and dynamic arrangements that gave the band plenty of opportunities to shine and got the night off to a good, solid start.

The Humidors

The Humidors

With a recent gig at The Independent opening for Dumpstaphunk, The Humidors took the stage and demonstrated a superb ability to throw down irresistibly solid grooves that had the house rocking and dancing throughout their set. Lead vocalist Joseph Carter proved to be an engaging frontman as he worked the stage and band, keeping it all at a high level. The band was tight and its energy was focused. Of particular note was the remarkable horn section with Patrick Cress (baritone sax), Mark H. Miller (sax) and Joshua Cambridge (trombone). All three had deep chops that had the crowd screaming in approval a number of times throughout their set. It was a fun, fast-paced performance that held the crowd from start to finish — one where everyone is happy and smiling at the end.

Jordan and the RituaL

Jordan and the RituaL

No stranger to the SF music scene, keyboardist Jordan Feinstein took the stage with his band Jordan and the RituaL to wrap up the night. Though Feinstein pointed out this was the “lite” version of JATR (he often has several more performers on stage with the band), the sound they put out was not “lite” in any way. Feinstein, best known for keyboards, also nicely handled the lion’s share of the vocals as they presented a program heavy on soul and funk with a little bit of hip-hop courtesy of an appearance from Rafael Sarria of La Gente, another SF band that Feinstein performs with in his spare time. Those familiar with Sarria’s work in La Gente know what a ball of fire he is, and he generated that same energy at the Great American Music Hall. Subsequently, JATR were in a groove and rolled comfortably through their headlining set with many memorable moments along the way. Guitarist A.J. Rivlin had several particularly fine solos, Sarria killed it with his appearance and back-up vocalist/percussionist Daria Johnson also delivered some stunning vocals. Both popular and gifted, Johnson is always a formidable force, and last Friday night, she was absolutely stunning.

With venues declining in SF and the overall landscape of the music business shifting, it’s good to know prime spots like the Great American Music Hall still have room to present the local as well as the better-known touring artist. By once again shining a light on talent in our own backyard, the venerable hall continues to remind us why it remains at the top of our list of favorite venues, and hopefully fans will soon come to recognize that SF artists both deserve and need our support by attending shows such as this.


  1. This was a around great show! Loved the Mickelson performance.

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