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SF’s own Megan Slankard is an artist at the door

Megan SlankardBy Tom Dellinger //

Megan Slankard with Peter Case //
Great American Music Hall – San Francisco
October 16th, 2015 //

Last Friday night, KC Turner Presents and KFOG radio partnered to present The Boob Project, a fundraising event for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, featuring SF indie-rock act Megan Slankard and opener Peter Case. The idea for The Boob Project, which originally took shape at KFOG, has led to the song Boob Spelled Backwards is Boob, a rallying cry that has brought together many artists such as Michael Franti, Elle King, ZZ Ward, Graham Nash, Steve Earle and many more with Slankard as one of the co-writers and producer of this project.

Megan Slankard

Early in the evening, KFOG on-air personalities Renee Richardson, No Name and Irish Greg shared some of the history and purpose of The Boob Project as well as honoring Slankard’s contributions. Slankard is well-known and popular among live music fans throughout the Bay Area and beyond as she’s been out performing and honing her considerable skills for several years now. Along the way, she’s released four LPs with her most recent offering Running on Machinery coming out earlier this month. A rich, complex and rewarding journey filled with spine-tingling moments, it shows an artist on top of her game. Slankard and the band soar and dive free as a bird, resulting in an album that is an absolute joy to hear — an exhilarating ride that’s constantly moving in new and unexpected directions. This collection of songs is broad in scope and allows her to touch us in the gentlest way as she shows on “If I Knew” before taking us to dizzying heights on the hard-rocking “Bones Live Forever”. Masterfully produced by Alex Wong and with a band that is a perfect fit, Running on Machinery will no doubt be a tough act to follow for her.

With a loyal fan base in attendance for both Slankard and Case, the line to get into the Great American Music Hall developed early and was down the block by the time the doors opened. Case, a classic storyteller and songwriter with a long and storied career that includes time busking on the streets of SF and a colorful run with The Plimsouls, is one of those guys who has influenced many successful musicians today. He came out filling the room with his stories along with the big growling sounds of a 12-string guitar. He would later join Slankard and her band as they romped through a Plimsouls tune.

Megan Slankard

Hot on the heels of a recent head-turning performance at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (see our photos here), Slankard took the stage with her stellar band, which features Danny Blau (keyboards, guitar), Jeff Symonds (bass), Kyle Caprista (drums) and lastly James DePrato (guitar, lap steel guitar), and picked up right where she left off on that brilliant outing in Golden Gate Park. Crystal clear, Slankard’s vocals gently floated and at times effortlessly cut sharply through the air. The band was tight and offered up a vast sonic tapestry for her vocals. As she and the band drew heavily from her most recent work in the first set, they took a break and came back to give us a complete playing of Led Zeppelin II in the second, which they nailed. Perfect in every way, it was a pleasure to hear such a classic LP covered so well.

After witnessing this performance and looking at Slankard’s career so far, it’s obvious she’s on a very fast and steep musical path that seemingly knows no bounds. Surrounded with the talent that is her perfect complement, one gets the sense something big is in store for her. At the very top of an arc, she stands ready at the door, waiting for the broader recognition that she deserves — and may that door soon be flung wide open.

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Comments

  1. Hugely talented on first listen. Thanks for heads up. One to watch for sure. Love music, go to “A Life in Music” on https://davekingsbury.wordpress.com

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