GRASS VALLEY, CA, May 19, 2023 – The Center for the Arts is pleased to present the psychedelic soul and funky rhythms of Moonalice on June 2, 2023 in the Marisa Funk Theater.
The exuberant Bay Area ten-piece, whose members range in age from 35 to 81, delivers a unique brand of psychedelic soul and rock tinged with Americana. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover an unparalleled history of musicianship, activism, and a band ethos that’s more vital now than ever.
Like a tree with many branches, Moonalice’s members have collaborated with some of the most acclaimed artists in musical history and made an indelible impact on music. Vocalist Lester Chambers co-founded pioneering psychedelic soul group The Chambers Brothers and sang on ground-breaking ‘60s civil rights anthems. Bassist Pete Sears was a founding member of Jefferson Starship and played on Rod Stewart’s seminal albums Gasoline Alley and Every Picture Tells a Story. Guitarist Roger McNamee has been an advisor to the Grateful Dead and U2, wrote a best-selling book, and fights against entrenched power in the tech industry. This only scratches the surface of the band’s numerous collective accomplishments, so it’s safe to say Moonalice’s roots extend deep and wide.
Along with Barry Sless (lead guitar and pedal steel) and Sears (bass), McNamee formed Moonalice and recorded their 2009 T Bone Burnett-produced self-titled debut album. The band later expanded to include John Molo (drums), Jason Crosby (keyboards), and newest members Lester Chambers and his son Dylan Chambers, and Erika, Rachel, and Chloe Tietjen of acclaimed Americana band the T Sisters on vocals. “A lightbulb went off when Lester, Dylan, and the T Sisters joined the band,” Sless says. “They have an infectious energy that catches the audience’s attention. All five of them bring a new spark. People realize they really have something to say.”
After a brilliantly received debut at the 2019 LOCKN’ Festival featuring the new ten-piece lineup, the band suddenly found itself overwhelmed with bookings, until restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 outbreak derailed their plans. They took the opportunity to write and record new material and arrange captivating covers of tunes made famous by Lester Chambers and his former band The Chambers Brothers.
All members bring their formidable musical chops to the proceedings. At 81, Chambers brings with him a lifetime of musical experience as co-founder of The Chambers Brothers, whose 1968 hit “Time Has Come Today” topped Billboard charts and earned them a gold record. They were recently featured prominently in Questlove’s acclaimed 2021 documentary Summer of Soul.
The band’s ethos of “Love, Peace and Happiness,” taken from The Chambers Brothers’ song of the same name, is infused into everything they do. “I think an important part of Moonalice is the notion that each of us has an opportunity to make a difference,” McNamee says. “We’ve survived a pandemic and a zillion other things. It makes sense to look forward and think about the positive, and remind people that they have a shot at a better day ahead.”
If you are fans of Otis Redding, Gary Clark Jr., Marvin Gaye, or The Staple Singers, you don’t want to miss Moonalice perform at The Center for the Arts on June 2, 2023.
WHERE: The Center for the Arts | 314 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
WHEN: Friday, June 2, 2023 | Doors 7:00 pm Show 8:00 pm
TICKETS: $20-30 (member discounts available) | thecenterforthearts.org
WEBSITE & INFO: https://bit.ly/42eIefW or (530) 274-8384
Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.