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Country blues singer has done it all

Dakota Sid, pictured here in earlier days, will perform at Cooper's tonight at 8.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Throughout his life, Dakota Sid has been many things. Father, husband, hippie, writer, activist, musician… he’s done it all.

His unconventional life began at the ripe age of 18, when as a self- described “hippie kid” he thought it would be fun to lead a life pursuing his love of music and writing. And he’s stuck with that resolution ever since.

The musician, who has lived in Nevada County for 30 years, has played on stages of coffee houses and concerts throughout America and has enjoyed his fair share of success.



In 1992, the Sacramento News and Review awarded him a SAMMIE for “Best Folk Musician and Vocalist.” Sid has also produced several of his own CDs and is still today gathering a fan base.

“I always feel privileged when the kids are interested in the stuff we were doing 30 years ago,” Sid said.




At one point, in true blues-traveler form, Sid and his then middle school-aged son Travers Clifford packed up their guitars and headed for Austin, Texas to perform their songs at live events in hopes of making it big.

They returned here a few years later because, as Sid explained, “I feel very much that Nevada County is my home,” with both of them continuing to play regularly in their own bands.

On rare occasions, the pair still play together… occasions like their concert tonight at Cooper’s in Nevada City. Father and son will reunite once again to give Nevada County a taste of the past.

“It’s always fun when Travers and I get together. I like his playing… He’s a good musician,” said Sid. When not helping out dear ol’ dad, Clifford plays in the local rock trio, Dysfunction Junction.

Joining the father-son pair tonight will be bassist Billy Smart, a good friend of Sid’s. Smart is no stranger to Sid’s bluesy music. “Bill has played with me a lot- probably more than any other living musician,” Sid said.

Sid’s love of country blues originated from his childhood country home in North Dakota. He is best known for his songwriting ability and signature husky voice.

Always passionate about the environment, Sid’s lyrics are a

sign of the times, like in his popular 1984 release, “We Want the Whole Thing Back,” in which Sid sings, “We’re tired of seein’ them politicians stealin’ the things we be lovin’ you best be believin’… Made a pledge we’d be non-violent, never said we would be silent/ Stand up people now, shout, protest and sing,/ Forever wild, child, let your freedom ring.”

When Sid is not entertaining his audiences, he keeps busy with a few other responsibilities: a wife and his two kids. Sid also continues to maintain his love for writing, as he still writes his classic blues songs and stories about the West.

As for the future, he hopes to continue doing what he’s managed to do ever since the days when was just an 18-year-old hippie… “[I hope] to live a happy life and play my music wherever and whenever I can,” said Sid.

In addition to playing music tonight, Sid will also tell entirely original stories about the West and his various travels throughout the world of country blues.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Dakota Sid, Travers Clifford, and Billy Smart in concert.

WHEN: Tonight from 9 to midnight

WHERE: Cooper’s, 235 Commercial St., Nevada City

ADMISSION: Free

INFORMATION: 265-0116


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