Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish
Andrew Hamlin 1 p.m., July 29
The Dave Matthews tribute Stepping Feet is fronted by singer/guitarist Mike Myrdal. Ranging in age from their mid-20s to early-30s, none of the members are married, none have children, and none have nine-to-five jobs.
“I worked in sales at the Active Network for close to five years,” says Myrdal, “but in June, 2007, I opted to attempt music as a full-time career. All of us support ourselves through music, whether it’s with Stepping Feet or as a hired gun for different bands. Some of us also teach lessons, or provide sound and recording services for other musicians.”
Half of the band got a big surprise in 2008, when the group played a private San Francisco party at the Lodge in the Presidio. “One of the party organizers had a connection with John Popper, the harmonica player from Blues Traveler, and arranged for him to be the surprise guest,” says Myrdal. “For half the band, we kept it a surprise, so we could see the excitement in their eyes when John came out.”
According to Myrdal, “John played guitar and sang a few songs by himself at first, but he didn’t appear all that comfortable playing guitar. We weren’t sure how many songs he wanted to sit in with us for, so we figured we’d perform ‘What Would You Say’ by Dave Matthews, since John played a nice solo on the song for DMB’s first album. He ripped it up, and it was hard to keep from smiling as he played his solo note-for-note, just like the album version.”
Myrdal says the highlight of the evening was performing the Blues Traveler hit “Runaround,” to an increasingly enthusiastic crowd. “To our surprise, John was excited to jam with us…he said ‘You’ve got me all night.’ After the show, he was very humble, and he even passed out a number of harmonicas to some of the children that were there.”
A video of the Popper jam is posted at myspace.com/tributetodavematthews.
The group was nominated Best Tribute Band at the 2008 San Diego Music Awards.