AlamogordoTownNews.com Sage Gentlewing Retuns Friday Night To Roadrunner Emporium 5 pm to 8 pm
BIG week coming’ up with FOUR gigs in a row including Friday 6 pm to 8 pm Roadrunner Emporium
Thursday- Aug 18th ,
at: HIGH DESERT Brewery on Hadley st , Las Cruces, NM
Friday, Aug 19th
at “ ROADRUNNER EMPORIUM,
New York Ave/ 10th st
SATURDAY , Aug 20th
at: LA POSTA CANTINA
In the Mesilla, Las Cruces, NM
SUNDAY, Aug 21st
at: CLOUDCROFT BREWERY
On Burro st, Cloudcroft, NM
C’mon out to Roadrunner Emporium Friday Night and enjoy some energizing yet relaxing original music and twisted covers, killer guitar jams, and sweet but gritty vocals, also not to be missed on old Mesilla and Cloudcroft.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the ’50s and musically coming of age in the Psychedelic ’60s, Sage was exposed to every type of music from Blues, to Jazz, Country to Folk, Rock to Classical, acoustic to electric, Bluegrass to Celtic, Soul, Funk, R&B to everything in between and beyond.
Most folks know him as a guitarist - and technically “Lap Steel“ guitar was, in fact, his first instrument.
He studied and played that instrument for two years in the late ’50s as a boy, but in 1964 he switched to DRUMS, learning the instrument quickly as a “natural” drummer, but also with weekly lessons for two years.
While still studying drums, but not yet performing on them, he joined his very first band “Just Us” while still in 8th grade as the Lead Singer in the style of Mick Jagger- playing blues harp, tambourine, and Maracas and dancing around the stage like a wild man.
They played their very 1st gig for their Jr. High graduation to 300 screaming pre-pubescent girls in 1965, playing songs by the Stones, Beatles, Animals, and The Byrds.
In his Freshman year in high school, that same band would play its LAST gig together in front of 2,000 screaming teenagers at Holy Cross High School in Mt View for a Radio KYA extravaganza still in 1965 that included a dozen local bands on the bill.
“Just Us” shared the stage for a band that followed them that was the nucleus for the Santana Blues Band with Mike Shrieve on drums- who would go on to play WOODSTOCK with “Santana”.
Sage went to St Francis High with Mike, and as a fledgling drummer would often jam in the band room on Mike’s Champagne Slingerland drum kit!
That same year Sage changed schools to attend Los Altos High public school within walking distance from his house and formed “The Lighthouse” with childhood friends, Jim Rafferty ( r.i.p.), Eric Williams, Dean Coy, and Rick Creelman.
That band covered tunes by the Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Kinks, Animals, Lovin’Spoonful, Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Muddy Waters, Blues Project, and Fairport Convention among many of the British Invasion, and American blues bands at the time.
A chance meeting with Skip Spence (Moby Grape) when he was still the drummer for Jefferson Airplane at a pool party at the Cabana Hyatt in Palo Alto, Ca where the Airplane was playing a fashion show with their first singer Signe Anderson, led to an audition for The Lighthouse at the Avalon Ballroom in S.F. later that year in 1966.
It turned out to be a pivotal gig in that the “audition” turned into an unofficial 1st set when the 1st band “ Big Brother and the Holding Co, featuring a then still largely unknown singer by the name of Janis Joplin, was running late.
The evening’s full bill was actually Big Brother, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, and an unannounced last set by BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD in their first SF appearance with a then 19-year-old Neil Young and 20 something Stephen Stills!
That gig set the stage for what would become a lifelong career in music and a love affair with the stage that has continued to this day.
The details of the last 53 years are too dense to tell here but are intended for Sage’s forthcoming BOOK- ostensibly titled the same as his current double CD “Portrait of the Artist as a Complete Unknown" which says it all...
Sage switched to guitar in ‘67 and took up songwriting.
His first and only songwriting collaborator was Michael Silversher, whom he met and befriended in his Jr year in high school, having switched again to AWALT High, in Mt View in ‘68.
Michael went on to become a highly successful songwriter for Walt Disney, with over 100 songs published with Disney productions, including writing all the music for Disney’s “Muppets” tv show, along with his then-wife, Patty.
Sage cut his songwriting chops along the best. He learned his craft well and showed a real flair for writing Beatles and Dylan style pop and folk-rock with real imagination and depth.
Michael and Sage formed their 1st band together ALSO called “Just Us” that lasted until graduation but didn’t go anywhere.
In 1971 he briefly joined Michael’s legendary band “Nightwings” as their lead guitarist for a sold-out show at Cubberly Theatre performing three of his own compositions in that show.
The ensuing years saw Sage performing in well over 40 working bands as a sideman, and releasing 13 albums of all original material under his own name.
He has worked paid gigs in every type of situation, from 4 different 22 piece big bands, to Be-Bop and swing combos, Urban Blues bands, Country and Bluegrass and Folk, to Psychedelic Rock, to the classical chamber, to a touring Circus band 7 days a week ( Circus Vargas 1980-81!) to a 7 piece internationally touring DISCO band, ( Japan: Asian tour, based in Hawaii playing 6 nights a week) to Soul and R&B to just about any other combination of music.
Along the way, he has shared band duties, and/or recorded with, and/or played stages big and small with a bevy of A list musicians such as Tom Politzer (Tower of Power), Skinny Bishop (Tommy James and the Shondells, Delaney Bramlett), Tuck Andress (Tuck and Patti), Barbara Long (Hiroshima), Duke Dewey (Country Joe and the Fish, Bodacious, Eggs over Easy, Mad River) Ritchie Cole, Carmel Jones (Horace Silver), Art Jackson (Count Basie Orch) Big L Barker (Charlie Parker) Kent Bryson (Leon Redbone, Nightwings), Ed Burke (Ike and Tina Turner Revue), Jimmy Paxon (Stevie Nicks, Robben Ford, Dixie Chicks) Al Ortiz (Stevie Nicks) Hubert Tubbs (Tower of Power), Tim Sheridan (Eddie Money), Sandy McKee (Cold Blood) Steve Elliott (Ray Charles ) Chris Herold (Kingfish) Harold Atterbury (Albert King) Conrad Johnson ( B.B.King), and too many others to mention here.
As a solo Singer-Songwriter he has opened for and sung with onstage- Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Shooter Jennings, Quiet Riot, Patrice Pike, John Lee Hooker, Jason Mraz to name a few, done a cameo with Calico the Band with Manda Mosher, and has had his solo gigs patronized several times by Neil Young who lived 6 miles away from him between ‘69 and ‘77 when Sage lived on Skyline near Skylonda and in La Honda, Calif, who once gave him an “unofficial” quote/compliment shaking his hand and saying hey man, you sound GREAT“!
It is worth noting that on the 5 or 6 different gigs where Neil showed up- he didn’t just pop in and then leave.
In every instance, Sage was able to hold Neil's attention for upwards of two HOURS at a time.
That’s saying something, considering on many of those gigs Sage played ONLY original material!
He toured New Zealand as a solo artist for 5 months on ‘99-2000 and was a popular mainstay of the Austin music scene between ‘98-2001, where he was included as himself in the quirky indie film “Have You Seen Clem” which won several film awards.
He also opened for Clint Black at the famed “Celebrity Theatre in PHX, AZ in the backing band for “Arrowhead” which he was tapped by their management to create and organize as “ bandleader”.
Several of his songs have won various song contests and a few were included on CD compilations As a result of those contests.
Some of his contest wins resulted in getting free studio time which produced recordings that were featured on various albums of his own over the years.
Today, he is happily married to his wife Toni, living on a 40-acre farm just outside Las Cruces, NM with their two Corgi’s, 9 cats and kittens, 31 chickens, and 21 canaries.
He continues to write new songs and sporadically release new material while mainly playing local bistros, vineyards, and small clubs in his 53rd consecutive year as a working musician.
Sage’s career has never resulted in “fame and fortune “ ( so far...) as is traditionally associated with “success” in the music business, though his “success” would be his ability to stay working as an “original music artist” WITHOUT major “fame and fortune” (household name) due to having good music skills and solid performance skills.
There is something called a “life path” and early on Sage’s life took the road less traveled that resulted in something that was it’s own reward, all the while, documenting much of it in poems, song, and diaries, and even an hour-long PBS style video (1991) that may yet be re-released one day in an upgraded form.
All told, Sage’s LIFE is a story yet to be properly told, where the epic FAILURES are actually sweepingly grand even poignantly beautiful) and as colorful, if not more so, than his many minor but significant achievements as an artist and working blue-collar musician.
That is a story that bends the mind and breaks the heart but also makes one smile with mute recognition of one’s own life experiences which are often “imperfect “ while leading us to a greater depth, however obscure in the greater scheme of things.
There is SO much more to this story but space doesn’t allow for it here.
As mentioned, Sage is working on his book of anecdotes, memoirs, poems, songs, and a MUCH more detailed “story” that will prove to be a fascinating read.
Stay tuned- the book is a couple of years away but meanwhile, some of his music can be found HERE and in various local haunts where he still performs - at the top of his game.
His music videos https://www.sagegentlewing.com/music-videos-photos
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