Usually as summer draws to a close, the Bakersfield Museum of Art takes visitors to its sculpture garden for a musical evening as part of its Art After Dark program. With the pandemic forcing everyone to revise their plans, organizers decided to keep the focus on music for a roundtable discussion that will be available to listen to Thursday.
In celebration of the upcoming exhibition "Roll Out the Red Carpet: The Bakersfield Sound," the museum gathered those well-versed in our community's rich musical history for a conversation and some tunes.
The hourlong discussion centers around the Bakersfield Sound and its continued influence, according to museum curator Rachel Magnus. The conversation is split into three sections: defining the Bakersfield Sound, historical and cultural influences that contributed to its formation and its legacy and cultural relevance.
Magnus said recording as a podcast allowed them to capture the music and dialogue with a finished sound, "making it incredibly accessible to a broad-reaching audience."
"We partnered with Hello Bakersfield and took over the show with a combination of musical performances and discussion celebrating Bakersfield’s unique music history and its applications in today’s modern context," she wrote in an email.
Country singer-songwriter Vince Galindo, who performs locally as a solo act and with his band, Country Deluxe, was the first on board. Joining Magnus as co-host is David Anderson, the host of the “Moneywise Guys” radio show and co-owner of Moneywise Wealth Management, which sponsors the museum's Art After Dark gatherings.
Rounding out the discussion is a trio with decades of experience in the local music scene: Jim Shaw, longtime keyboardist for the Buckaroos and Buck Owens' right-hand man who now serves as director of the Buck Owens Private Foundation; singer Jennifer Keel Faughn, who regularly performed pre-COVID at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace (as well as serving as an economic development official for the valley); and Robert Price, KGET-TV 17 journalist, columnist for The Bakersfield Californian and author of "The Bakersfield Sound: How a Generation of Displaced Okies Revolutionized American Music."
Galindo performs throughout the hourlong discussion, Magnus said, with some harmonizing from Shaw and Faughn. Songs include covers of Buck Owens' "Adios, Farewell, Goodbye, Good Luck, So Long," Red Simpson's "You Don’t Have Very Far to Go," Rodger Miller's "Kansas City Star" and Galindo's own "One More Round."
This roundtable also serves as a teaser to the museum's upcoming exhibition, which will highlight stage costumes, guitars, album covers and film footage in an exploration of "the characters, styles and aesthetics of iconic California country." Magnus said both Shaw and Price are helping enhance the presentation, which will be on display for six months once the new exhibitions can open.
The museum will also use its social media platforms to share other elements of the exhibition and to continue the community dialogue, Magnus said.
Listeners can tune into the discussion through the “Hello Bakersfield” podcast, accessible through all podcast streaming services, as well as on the museum's website bmoa.org.