Sunday, April 28, 2019

Alice Wallace and Jesika Von Rabbit at The Federal Bar, 4-28-19 Concert Review

Alice Wallace
The Mimosa Music Series continued today with a great double bill of Alice Wallace and Jesika Von Rabbit, a perhaps unusual pairing, but one that delivered two solid sets of good music. I had seen Alice Wallace at the recent Roots Roadhouse Festival, and was excited to see her again. Jesika Von Rabbit is someone I’d heard of, but hadn’t seen perform before, so I was eager to catch her set too. When I arrived at The Federal Bar, I immediately had a couple of mimosas, to get into the spirit of the thing, you understand. I love the loose, friendly, relaxed vibe of these concerts, and certainly part of that is due to the mimosas at an early hour.

At 11:48 a.m., concert series host Gary Calamar introduced Alice Wallace, mentioning her new album, Into The Blue. Alice told the crowd she and her band were going to do a “nice morning show, which feels a little bit weird.” Her set focused on material from the new album, and she kicked off her set with its lead track, “The Lonely Talking.” I love Alice’s vocal delivery. Morning or not, there was a great deal of energy and power in her voice. After that song, she asked, “Everybody awake now?” Oh yes! She followed that with “Santa Ana Winds,” which featured some pretty work by Kaitlin Wolfberg, and then “The Blue,” which she mentioned was the new single from the album. There is also a music video for this beautiful song. That was followed by “When She Cries,” a bluesy song that featured some excellent stuff on electric guitar. After that, Alice said, “Now we’re awake.” “Motorcycle Ride” was added to the set list because Gary Calamar had mentioned it was his favorite track from the album. Most of the band then left the stage for a stirring rendition of “Elephants,” an effective song about women having a voice and using it. It’s depressing that in 2019 this is still a concern, but of course in November of 2016 the country took a collective leap into its neanderthal past, and we haven’t yet crawled out from that. Alice then addressed another important issue, saying, “I’m sure you guys agree there needs to be more yodeling in the world, right?” That was how she introduced “Echo Canyon,” a powerful song featuring an absolutely wonderful vocal performance. She concluded her set with a cover of Don Walser’s “Rolling Stone From Texas,” first mentioning she is trying to remind folks that yodeling is cool. And yes, this lively, fun country tune featured some serious yodeling. Her set ended at 12:27 p.m.

Set List
  1. The Lonely Talking
  2. Santa Ana Winds
  3. The Blue
  4. When She Cries
  5. Motorcycle Ride
  6. Elephants
  7. Echo Canyon
  8. Rolling Stone From Texas
Jesika Von Rabbit
After a short break, Gary Calamar introduced Jesika Von Rabbit, with her reminding him of her royal title, Queen of the High Desert. On her keyboard, there is a Queen of Clubs playing card next to a sticker of her name. While she focused on material from her latest release, Dessert Rock, she opened her set with a new song, which I believe is titled “Glow.” That was followed by “Children Of The Dust,” which quickly became a groovy, trippy dance tune. It felt weird to be seated for this. “Calypso Facto” also delivered a strong dance beat. It was interesting to me that Jesika maintained such a serious countenance throughout her set, particularly as the music was fun. Her set also included “Going Down” and “Looking For A Weirdo,” as well as a good cover of Culture Club’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me.” Before “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,” she said she was going to “slow it down a bit, get it back to brunch mode.” My favorite song of her set, however, was “Innuendo,” from the new album. This song rocked right out of the gate, with a fantastic bass line and the drummer favoring the floor tom in that delicious beat. Jesika Von Rabbit then wrapped up her set with “My Medicine,” which also featured a cool groove and a slow build to a good jam. Her set ended with a smile.

Set List
  1. Glow
  2. Children Of The Dust
  3. Calypso Facto
  4. Going Down
  5. Looking For A Weirdo
  6. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
  7. Innuendo
  8. My Medicine
Here are a few photos from the show:

"The Lonely Talking"
"The Lonely Talking"
"Santa Ana Winds"
"The Blue"
"Calypso Facto"
"Going Down"
"Do You Really Want To Hurt Me"
The Federal Bar is located at 5303 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, California.


  1. Hello! Thanks for the review! Do you have any recordings from that show? (or maybe you know someone who might have it)

  2. I didn't record that show, but I think I should have. No one I know recorded it. Sorry.