It's going to be a semi-warm weekend and just possibly (though we can't promise anything) it will be sunny in Golden Gate Park at least on Friday and Sunday, so the ninth annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass promises to be as jammed packed with free music seekers as ever. The annual roots music fest is sponsored by local billionaire and banjo-player Warren Hellman, and once again this year features some big acts that fall into the "hardly strictly" area, like Aimee Mann, MC Hammer, Okkervil River and Marianne Faithfull as well as a whole bunch of down-home American banjoin' and fiddlin'. It takes place in the Speedway and Lindley Meadows (basically the same grounds as Outside Lands, minus the Polo Field). And did we mention it's completely free? Below, a few quick recommendations.
Though we're curious to know WTF MC Hammer is doing on the bill or what he's up to these days, he's playing at 11:30 a.m. as part of an educational program for local schools, and we're not sure we'll motivate to get out to GG Park that early.
But at 5:45 we whole-heartedly recommend Lyle Lovett, especially if you only know him as that weird guy in The Player. He's got a swell voice, he puts on a good show, and along with his Large Band this should be a mellow set to kick off the weekend with a lot of blues and gospel touches. (Listen to some of the new stuff on iTunes here.)