“There’s this resurgence of yacht-rock music,” says Burleigh Drummond, one of Ambrosia’s founding members. While the California band tends to draw a crowd that skews older, Drummond has recently noticed a fair number of 30-somethings donning captain’s hats and showing up to hear them play.
“And they know every word,” says Drummond, who’s in town with Ambrosia for Soft Rock Heroes Christmas tour with Al Stewart and Player.
While Ambrosia fell into the soft-rock fold, Drummond always felt the band was a more progressive than its counterparts.
“We were more a prog band, America’s answer to Yes or King Crimson,” he says.
The band had several radio hits – “How Much I Feel,” “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman” – before parting ways in the early 1980s. Since reuniting, the band has continued to play on its legacy and the popularity of yacht rock. The band was part of Jimmy Fallon’s “Yacht Rock 2K11” theme show in 2011 and were featured guests on several dates of the Yacht Rock Review.
But the band isn’t content to survive on its history. It continues to write new material and hopes to have a new record out soon.
“We’re still very hungry for it,” Drummond says.
Details: 6 p.m. Sunday. Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. $39.50-$64.50. 559-485-9050, www.towertheatrefresno.com
Holiday sing (or hum) along
The event: Nate Butler hosts the 25th year of his annual Mmm-Mmm Christmas celebration.
The draw: Christmas is a holiday built on tradition, all that “stockings hung by the chimney with care” stuff. For a quarter-century, Butler’s tradition has been to gather with some of his musician/actor friends for a night of tree-decorating (with make-your-own construction-paper ornaments), classic Christmas television specials and singalongs (or hum-along if you don’t know the words).
Details: 8 p.m. Friday. Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. $3-$4. 559-412-7400, www.fulton55.com
The event: Tioga-Sequoia hosts Rush Day to commemorate the annual release of the latest batch of its Rush Hour Breakfast Stout.
The draw: Craft beers – especially those brewed for limited release – can have their own cult followings, which makes events like this so fun. Expect a kind of Black Friday effect, with people arriving early to be the first in line for three different Rush Hour variants. Each is brewed with coffee beans from a different local roaster (Lanna Coffee Co., Slow Train Coffee Roaster and Valparaiso Cafe & Roastery) and will be available in bottles or on draft for to-go growler fills. Drinkers can vote for their favorite variant of Rush Hour, which will be brewed for mass distribution in 2017.
Also being released is Cake Rush (a Coconut Imperial Breakfast Stout that has been whiskey barrel aged) and All the Mornings (a Maple Breakfast Stout made with local coffee, Indonesian Cacao Nibs from local chocolatier Molucca Chocolate and pure New England maple syrup).
Details: 11 a.m. Saturday. Beer garden at Tioga-Sequoia, 745 Broadway. Free. 559-486-2337, www.tiogasequoia.com
The songwriter’s songwriter
The event: Grammy-winning songwriter John Prine performs at the Saroyan Theatre.
The draw: This is your favorite songwriter’s favorite songwriter. He’s a guy who made a fan of Kris Kristofferson early in his career. At 70 years old, Prine has had his work covered by everyone from Johnny Cash and the Everly Brothers to Miranda Lambert, Ben Harper and Old Crow Medicine Show. He’s also won the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting, the Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award from PEN New England (past winners include the late Leonard Cohen) and has a spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. Saroyan Theatre, 730 M St. $34-$95. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com