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Local band’s gig may hit big

Carol Feineman
Eileen JoyceEhren Haas (left) and Adam Kline of the band Golden Shoulders stand on the balcony of Kline's apartment in Nevada City Thursday.
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Singer-songwriter Adam Kline isn’t nervous about his band’s upcoming South by Southwest music conference-festival gig.

Never mind that performing at the Austin, Texas, music extravaganza could escalate Kline’s career a few notches.

That’s been the case for “hundreds and hundreds” of musicians, according to South by Southwest Creative Director Brent Groke, including White Stripes, The Strokes and Nora Jones to drop a few names.

“The hope is someone will see them, whether from another band, record people, agents to other industry personnel,” Groke explained Thursday from his Austin office. “South by Southwest very frequently helps musicians already on track accomplish a number of grassroots things, from a label deal to touring with another group for two weeks in Europe.”

That fact doesn’t make Kline approach his Golden Shoulder March 13 showcase performance shared with Sacramento’s Deathray any differently.

“Scared? No, why would I be scared?,” Kline laughs easily from his Nevada City apartment. “I had stage fright once, the first time I was on stage, which was at an NU Unplugged. That’s coming up 10 years ago, something ridiculous.”

Kline is rather casual about his band’s fast-approaching South by Southwest date.

“It hasn’t crossed my mind about who might attend, it hasn’t phased me,” Kline ascertains.

Pop rock Golden Shoulders and Deathray will be among about 1,000 groups performing in all genres, except for classical, from March 13 to March 16. Groups were selected based on ratings by about 20 industry representatives and musicians.

“The primary thing that got Golden Shoulders and Deathray a show was they are excellent bands,” Groke said.

Whether his career is boosted there doesn’t really matter to Kline.

What the invitation does mean to Kline is it’s another welcome chance to travel with friends, several whom Kline has known since attending Nevada Union High School (band mates Neal Morgan, Marc Snegg and Ehren Haas) and his more recent Deathray friends. Golden Shoulders and Deathray often play together at Northern California gigs.

Not that touring with his friends these days is unusual. Kline has been on the road monthly to support “Let My Burden Be,” his Golden Shoulders debut released on Doppler Records last October.

“This month we have 10 shows – a generous number – lots of shows,” Kline reflected and added that this Tuesday’s Golden Shoulders show is its first all-ages Nevada City show in more than a year. Kline likes playing for all ages; his former group The Gears often performed at full all-ages venues.

Kline believes his first time both in Texas and at the music conference extravaganza will be fun.

“Looking at the roster of bands that have played over the years at South by Southwest and the roster of bands that will play this year, I’m a huge fan of these bands,” Kline noted respectfully and added with a laugh, “It’s cool, it’s exciting even if I don’t see the various bands, even if the only other group I see is Deathray at our venue.”

Kline and his friends will be at the conference just for about 12 hours. While there, though, Kline hopes to make an impression.

“Hopefully people will come in and check us out; that will be great,” said Kline, a situation which seems to be happening elsewhere.

His debut CD is played regularly on college radios nationally and in Canada, Germany and France.

“‘Let my Burden Be’ is doing great at college radio. This week they were on the top 30 at 41 different college radio stations all around the U.S. and Canada,” said Victor Damiani, who co-owns Doppler Records and is the Deathray bass player.

“They’ve been on the College Music Journal top 200 for three weeks now, and it looks like they will be there for at least a few more weeks. The album has climbed as high as number 66 and we think that it will probably climb higher.”

And last Monday, Golden Shoulders had its best showing yet at the Make Out Room, a San Francisco Mission District club which has featured the group two other times.

“We did well; we brought in an impressive amount of people. I was impressed,” Kline said. “There’s something eerily pleasant about singing before a group of strangers and their knowing our words. Indicates, I guess, our CD is doing well.”


WHAT: Golden Shoulders, Aaron Ross and Sarah Nelson in an all-ages show.

WHEN: Tuesday at 8 p.m. Box office opens at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way, Nevada City



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