Note: I had a hand in producing the Fresno Covers Fresno compilation. So, this is a bit of a shameless plug and comes with upfront apologies.
Music scenes are notoriously incestuous, so there is an inherent interconnectedness that runs throughout “Fresno Covers Fresno,” the 16-track compilation that was release this weekend. It’s not something the casual listener would necessarily pick up on, but astute fans of the scene (especially the small slice represented on this album), will find a history lesson here. These are musicians, who are also fans, and are, at equal turns, performing and paying homage to those who have performed before them.
That also sums up Friday night’s release show.
To be fair, I missed a large part of it, including what I’ve been told was the best set of the night (Werebear). What I caught was a night of one-off performances and collaborations that may never be seen again, including two-songs from American-Sparklejet. That’s a combo of members from Sparklejet and the now defunct American Sloth, with Ron “Doc” Morse on guitar and Blake Jones playing bass and Tom Magill clanging away on Fresno Brewing Company’s old piano.
Also me, if you count singing along from the crowd.
Most of the musicians who were there are friends, people I have played and collaborated with or written about. The casual fan may have had a different experience. Still, it felt like a great example of what happens when you support original, local music.