Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA SECRETS: Freight & Salvage Re-opening

Yesterday was the Freight & Salvage's grand opening in its new location in the Berkeley Arts District (2020 Addison St.). Musicians, long time fans, and curiosity seekers joined for a two day celebration of roots music -- from Balkan to Appalachian to Celtic. The new space is a quantum leap from the old in concept, size, and elegance. The auditorium is similar to the design of Berkeley Rep theater, and lined with planks from the old Freight (so I'm told). The acoustics are to die for. There is a large lobby and second floor for classrooms.

But the Bay Area secret, and what I really am here to write about, is the Freight & Salvage Oral History Project, master minded by Andrea Hirsig. If you've ever attended a concert at the Freight, you know Andrea because she is the one who introduces each concert and tells us all to dispose of our "detrius." Off stage Andrea is a ball of energy and one of the nicest people I know.

Over that past year or so, Andrea initiated a documentary history of the Freight, and has interviewed long time audience members, performers, and staff members. Plans for a commemorative book are in the works. Interviews include Nancy Owens, the founder of the Freight; performers Terry Garthwaite and Toni Brown; and singer Holly Near.

Stay tuned for the next phase of the oral history project, and if you are a Freight musician or audience member with a story, stop by and talk to Andrea next time you come by.

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