Miracle Mule with Buck Nickels & Loose Change

By Fenix (other events)

Sunday, July 29 2018 6:30 PM 9:00 PM

Miracle Mule is a highly energetic, infectiously fun dance band from Marin County.  They play good-time Americana with some spicy Louisiana seasoning -- or what they prefer to describe as "swampy-tonk."  So that's a tasty melange of country honky-tonk, cajun/zydeco, rockabilly, blues and country swing. 

The Mules feature three lead singers, tight three-part harmonies and solid musicianship.  And their versatile instrumentation (accordion, piano, sax, acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, pedal steel, mandolin, harmonica, washboard/percussion, bass and drums) gives their sound tremendous range and diversity.

The Mules got their start, humbly enough, in October 2009 when a talented group of parents teamed up to play a show for their kids' school.  They took their name from the quirky song, Miracle Mule, by the SubDudes.  They continue to return to their roots, playing an annual show at the school each October, but have developed a large and loyal following playing all over Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.  The Mules play at most of the more prestigious local clubs (Rancho Nicasio, Sweetwater, Fenix, HopMonk, Lagunitas, Twin Oaks Tavern, etc.) as well as dozens of wineries and Bay Area festivals (including the Sonoma County Fair, Napa County Fair & Fiesta, Union Street Music Festival, Healdsburg Summer Concert Series, Novato Art & Wine Festival, Isleton Cajun Festival, Clif Family Winery Harvest Festival (2018 will be our 8th consecutive year!) and 4th of July celebrations for Corte Madera, Emeryville and Albany).

Dave Westerbeke was a rock and R&B guitarist who took lessons from Quicksilver's John Cipollina and backed up Mike Bloomfield. That was before the Mill Valley musician's recent transformation into a country singer-songwriter named Buck Nickels.Buck, aka Westerbeke, plays a clanging, mean Fender Telecaster on the 11 very fine original songs on this debut album with partner Larry “Loose Change” Cragg, who adds pedal steel, dobro and backup vocals. Cragg, who has a guitar repair and vintage instrument rental business in San Anselmo, where he lives, has been Neil Young's guitar tech for decades, sometimes sitting in with Young's band on tour. On this CD, he gets to stretch out, playing more as Buck's sidekick than he ever has with Young. Westerbeke, who lives in Mill Valley, grew up on a cattle ranch in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon that is now planted in vineyards, which inspired his song “Makin' Wine (In the Valley of the Moon).” He used to drive his grandfather's 1930s 16-cylinder Cadillac across the ranch, which became the kernel of his song “Rum Runners.” A song like “Belt of Orion” shows off Westerbeke's fine baritone voice, which Cragg encouraged him to use in his persona as Buck Nickels. You can actually hear when he became Buck by listening to his vocal on the lead song, “Musician's Lament (the Show),” which is pitched higher than the rest of the songs on the album. Guitar players will totally dig the eponymous song that ends the album, which lists all the coolest guitars and promises that they'll be coming soon to town near you. And they are. Westerbeke and Cragg are rehearsing with a bass player and a drummer and are getting ready to hit the road as an actual working band.

The Fenix is an music supper club. Dinner is served daily at the venue. When you purchase your ticket on our website or the site, a reservation is automatically made for you. 
When requesting seating for a party larger than your ticket purchase, please inform guest who would like to be seated with you to include in the comment section they would like to be seated with your party. We will try an accommodate your request.

There is a $15.00 per person minimum at the Fenix during the shows.