Nevada County born composer, performance artist and percussionist Neal Morgan returns to his hometown Saturday for a special show with old friends at Off Center Stage presented by the Center for the Arts as part of the Discover Series.
Now based in Portland, Ore., Morgan is perhaps best known as the drummer and collaborator for Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan, Fleetfoxes’ Robin Pecknold, and Alela Diane, both in the studio and on the road.
Morgan has two self-released solo records on Drag City, featuring his drumming and singing, “To The Breathing World,” 2009, and “In The Yard,” 2011. Philip Guston‘s painting, “Evidence,” 1970, was featured on the cover of “In The Yard.” Morgan gave four West Coast lectures on Guston’s 100th birthday in June 2013.
His Grass Valley concert is a celebration of his latest release on Party Damage Records, the self-titled album, “NEAL MORGAN / NEAL MORGAN,” his third and most adventurous record to date.
“All the drumming is in service to the stories and not the other way around. I think these are some of my best attempts at using percussion to help create a scene,” Morgan said.
Morgan began drumming for Joanna Newsom in 2006 for the touring cycle in support of her second album, Ys. He arranged drums and percussion for the live performance of that material as well as arranging for songs from her debut release, The Milk-Eyed Mender. Morgan contributed singing as well as performing his drum and percussion arrangements on Newsom’s 2007 EP, Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band. Morgan arranged and performed the drums and percussion on Newsom’s third record, the triple album, Have One On Me, released in 2010, and accompanied Newsom in live performance for the tour cycle for that record, often opening shows with solo sets of drumming and singing.
In 2009 Morgan began drumming for Bill Callahan at the tail end of Callahan’s touring for his second self-titled album, “Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle.” Morgan and Callahan performed as a duo for a tour of the Southern United States in late 2009 and a second tour of Spain, France and Portugal in 2010. Morgan arranged drums and percussion on Callahan’s third self-titled record, “Apocalypse,” released in 2011, and along with guitarist Matt Kinsey, accompanied Callahan for the tour cycle in support of that album. He was featured in the 2012 Hanly Banks’ documentary, “Apocalypse,” which followed a 2011 Bill Callahan tour in the United States.
On Oct. 22, 2013, Morgan performed the song “Corduroy” from Pearl Jam’s album Vitalogy with Robin Pecknold and Daniel Rossen on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” as a part of that show’s “Pearl Jam Week.”
Saturday’s bill will also feature local musicians Sandycoastes. Featuring Greg Moore (of the Moore Brothers), Jonah Wells (of Mt Whateverest) and Aaron Ross.
Sandycoates is the solo project of Greg Moore, one half of Nevada County’s the Moore Brothers. The acoustic duo is well known for their tight harmonies and an eclectic- yet-totally-natural approach to folk pop. As Sandycoates, Moore has recorded several records of lush and hooky baroque pop which showcase layered breathy vocals and curious melodies. During this performance, Moore will be backed by Aaron Ross and Jonah Wells (Mt. Whateverest).
Ross is also set to perform solo Saturday.
There is a suggested donation of $8 for members of the Center and $10 for the general public to attend the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets are are available at the Center’s Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384 ext. 14, online at www.thecenterforthearts.org or at BriarPatch Co-op.
For more, visit www.thecenterforthearts.org.