Greetings and Happy Spring!

It's been a long time since I've sent an update, and I hope this finds you well. Although live performances have been few & far between for me recently, a lot of fun and interesting things have been going on behind the scenes. I've spent the last 18 months or so much more focused on my other love: food! I just completed a 700-hour certificate program in holistic nutrition, and I've enjoyed gaining some new perspectives on what we eat and how we can use food to support our health. And that it can be DELICIOUS!

More about that later. For now, I'm thankful to finally have time to take my musical and creative life off the back burner and  bring it front and center! The last several months have found me singing harmony with Joe and Heather on Joe's gorgeous song Bomb of Love, plus participating in the Immersion Composition Society again for the first time in YEARS. Which means, I've started to write songs again for the first time in YEARS! Could the beginnings of a new album be quietly (or perhaps noisily) brewing? Time will tell! For now, it just feels good to be creating again.

I've also been working with John and Berge on a new set of jazz and country standards which we are soon to debut. And last but not least, I'm starting to book shows again! At least, I've booked one show that I'm quite excited about and that I would love for you to enjoy:

Please mark your calendar and join us:

  • Friday June 3rd, 8 pm
  • The Back Room at 1984 Bonita Avenue in Berkeley
  • Danny Allen's High Diving Horses, Val Esway + El Mirage, and Karry Walker (Ultralash)

Karry will be up first with a short (and rare!) solo set, followed by yours truly and El Mirage, debuting the full band version of the jazz & country standards we've been working on, as well as a few originals. Danny & his excellent band will close the evening in style as only they can do.

The Back Room is a sweet listening environment and we're happy to help support a new venue. And we hope you'll support it with us! Your attendance at this show would really mean a lot to us. More details on the calendar page. There you will also find details about Loretta Lynch's upcoming show with Yard Sale and Los Mariachis at the Starry Plough on Saturday April 30th. Hope you'll join us for that one, too!

Until next time, hope you are enjoying all the spring flowers, friends!

Howdy from a hot summer day!

El Mirage is excited to be heading back to the Pacific Coast Brewery in August. We always enjoy these Sunday afternoon patio shows. Bring the family, grab a beer, enjoy a warm breeze and let us serenade you! We're extra excited for this show because John, Berge, Nathan and I will be joined on some tunes by the fabulous Scotty Houston on slide guitar. Hope you'll join us! As you may have guessed from looking at this page, the El Mirage shows have been rather few and far between these days, so we hope to see you at this rare resurfacing! More details on the calendar page.

Until then, enjoy summer!

It's that time again, time to sing tales of murder, misery and despair!  Loretta Lynch will be joining a slew of others to serenade and scare you on the Day of the Dead at our local haunt, the Starry Plough.  Hope you'll join us!  All the gory details can be found on the calendar page.


Howdy friends,

Not sure how it got to be summer already but I'm not complaining.  The garden is growing, the sun is shining (today at least), and there are some fun musical adventures on the horizon, so check the calendar page for details.

Hope to be singing to you soon!

A very happy 2013 to one and all!

Hope yours is off to a great start.

I'm excited to perform a somewhat rare acoustic duo performance at the Bazaar Cafe towards the end of this month.  It's a free show, all ages welcome.  More details on the calendar page.

Meanwhile, back on the Loretta Lynch ranch, things are relatively quiet as we work behind the scenes to polish off the songs that will be on our next album, which we hope to begin recording later this year.  We're excited to have the time to devote to tweaking the harmonies & arrangements for our new songs, and we can't wait for you to hear them!

Till we meet again, best wishes to you and yours, friends!

Please come help Loretta Lynch celebrate ten years of tears in our beers with a super fun shindig at the Starry Plough on Saturday August 4th.  It won't be a party without YOU!  Check the calendar page for all the details.

Cheers, friends!

Howdy friends,

Thanks to all who came out the Knockout on that cold & rainy night at the end of March - it was a fabulous show, the band sounded great, and we are excited to do it again soon!

In fact, we'll be doing just that on June 29th at the Starry Plough, and that's just one of a handful of very exciting shows that I'm looking forward to playing this summer, all of them unique.  I hope you'll mark your calendars, cause I look forward to providing you with an assortment of musical treats before the summer is over!

On the menu, we have:

The debut of Vegan Butcher at Berkeley Arts, Wednesday June 20th

VE + El Mirage at the Starry Plough, Fri. June 29th, with Ultralash and Danny Allen & the Pretty Monsters

Joe Rut at the Great American Music Hall, Sat. July 14th

Loretta Lynch Ten Year Anniversary Show at the Starry Plough, Saturday August 4th

Please have a look at the calendar page for further details, and happy summer to you and yours!


Spring Greetings!

Hope to see your sweet smiles at the Knockout next Saturday, March 31st for a stellar night of music!!

El Mirage will be up first, doing our best to get you all warmed up for Laura Jean and the Shoo Flies, and the Verms.

We hope you'll come early and stay to the bittersweet end!



Warmest wishes for a Happy New Year to you, friends!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Freight & Salvage to help Loretta Lynch celebrate our new album, Home Fires.  It was such a delight to play to a full house packed with so many beloved friends.  Home Fires continues to receive good reviews and hearty amounts of radio airplay both locally and abroad, and we couldn't be more pleased!

Last year, our friends Kyle Parker and Robert James spent some time filming a video for one of the songs from the new album.  We had planned a video release show for March 9th at the Starry Plough, but we're sorry to say we've postponed this show for now.  Just as soon as we have it solidly scheduled again, we'll let you know!

In other news, El Mirage comes out of hibernation once again to play the Knockout on Saturday March 31st, along with our pals Laura Jean Band and the Verms.  Hope you'll join us!

Cheers for the New Year!


Howdy friends,
It's been awhile.  Hope you're all enjoying life - how 'bout those earthquakes, huh?
Guess what?  It's time for Murder Ballads once again!  It's the 10th (sort of) annual event, and the last one that I will be organizing.  But not to fear - the torch (or dagger, or noose, as it were) is being passed to artist/musician extraordinaire Paul Pot, who promises to keep it going and continue delivering an annual night of murderous musical mayhem!
This year's musical bloodbath takes place on Saturday October 29th at the Starry Plough.  Loretta Lynch will be playing a set, as well as many, many fine others, like Karry Walker, She Mob, the Happy Clams, Joel Murach, Laura Jean and Minutemaids, just to name a few. Click here to get the whole lowdown!
In other news, please also mark your calendars for Loretta Lynch's CD release celebration at the Freight & Salvage on Friday, November 4th.  This album has been a long time in the making, and we're so excited to unleash it into the world! The show is all ages and starts at 8 pm sharp, with an opening set by our pal and co-conspirator Joe Rut.  Joe will sit in for a few songs with us, and we with him, and like he said recently, we'll probably all hug each other and cry.  You don't want to miss that!  Admission includes a copy of the CD, and the Freight & Salvage is now serving adult beverages, woo hoo!  Click here for the whole scoop.
Hope to see you out there soon, friends!

Howdy friends, It's been awhile.  Hope you're all enjoying life - how 'bout those earthquakes, huh?

 Guess what?  It's time for Murder Ballads once again!  It's the 10th (sort of) annual event, and the last one that I will be organizing.  But not to fear - the torch (or dagger, or noose, as it were) is being passed to artist/musician extraordinaire Paul Pot, who promises to keep it going and continue delivering an annual night of murderous musical mayhem! This year's musical bloodbath takes place on Saturday October 29th at the Starry Plough.  Loretta Lynch will be playing a set, as well as many, many fine others, like Karry Walker, She Mob, the Happy Clams, Joel Murach, Laura Jean and Minutemaids, just to name a few. Click here to get the whole lowdown!

In other news, please also mark your calendars for Loretta Lynch's CD release celebration at the Freight & Salvage on Friday, November 4th.  This album has been a long time in the making, and we're so excited to unleash it into the world! The show is all ages and starts at 8 pm sharp, with an opening set by our pal and co-conspirator Joe Rut.  Joe will sit in for a few songs with us, and we with him, and like he said recently, we'll probably all hug each other and cry.  You don't want to miss that!  Admission includes a copy of the CD, and the Freight & Salvage is now serving adult beverages, woo hoo!  Click here for the whole scoop.

And lastly... Dorothy Brown over at the Albany Patch did a nice photo essay featuring Loretta Lynch, click here to have a look.

Hope to see you out there soon, friends.  Happy Fall!

My how the time flies.  You may not be able to tell from the rain as of late, but it's looking like summer might finally be arriving here in the Bay area.

Loretta Lynch has been busy putting the finishing touches on our new album which we'll be releasing with a big bash at the Freight & Salvage on Friday November 4th.  Please mark your calendars and come help us celebrate! We'll be sharing this bill with our dear pal and one of our fave musical compatriots, Joe Rut, a great night of music guaranteed for one and all!

Meanwhile, El Mirage is excited to come out of hibernation to play the Rite Spot on Saturday August 20th with some more of our local favorites, Ted & Ashley of Octomutt.  It would be great to share the evening with you, friends.

It'd be nice to be able to send Spring greetings, but it looks like Winter is not done with us quite yet!  Regardless of the weather, there is much good music to look forward to.

El Mirage is still on a bit of a hiatus, working on getting some musical beauty sleep, or something along those lines ;)  But that's all fine because Loretta Lynch is keeping plenty busy over the next couple of months.

Loretta Lynch will be back at West Coast Live on Saturday March 5th, broadcasting live from Revival restaurant in downtown Berkeley.  Join us live, or listen in online at KALW.

Next up, LL is thrilled to finally get to play at the Freight & Salvage as part of Dr. K's Home Grown Roots Revue, in the fine company of Los Trainwreck and Swinging Doors.

Right after that, we're going to start shooting a video, followed by more recording in April, and hence not many live shows for a little while, so we do hope you'll join us at the Freight & Salvage or at West Coast Live.

Hope to be serenading you soon, friends!

Happy New Year!

Hope you've all recovered from holiday mayhem and had a wonderful end of the year, and hope to see your lovely faces at a couple of Loretta Lynch shows coming up - first, at the Starry Plough on Saturday January 22nd, and then again on March 10th at the new Freight & Salvage.  We're very much looking forward to both of these shows, and in between, we're working up a few new songs and plotting out plans for a video that we're soon to be making.

Wishing you a healthy and inspiring 2011, and hope to see you soon!


Dang, how did it get to be the holiday season again?  Time flies when you're having fun!

If you feel like doing a little holiday shopping while listening to great music and supporting your local Oakland artist, then come out this Friday, December 3rd to Oakland Under 100 at the Temescal Arts Center. Enjoy local art & music and fine company! Music starts at 7 pm w/ Andy Mason, followed by  El Mirage Trio (yours truly plus John Shiurba & Berge Thomasian) at 8, and the  Ukaladies' Strumming Club at 9.  Free fun for the whole family! Temescal Arts Center is at 511 48th St. in Oakland.

If you feel like getting your party going a little early, why not head over to El Rio on Thursday Dec. 2nd?   I'm going to be there enjoying Laura Jean's CD release show.  Laura Jean features the enormous talents of Laura and Danny Allen (with a little help from some other talented friends!).  I've been absolutely loving their new album, Filthy Bird - it's packed with super catchy songs, expertly played.  It's the kind of music I like to turn up real loud and sing along to!  And that's exactly what I'm going to do this Thursday!

Lastly, if you're one of those people that likes to plan far ahead, why not mark your calendars now for two fun Loretta Lynch shows in 2011?  We'll be at the Starry Plough on Saturday January 22nd, and at the Freight & Salvage on Thursday, March 10th.  More details coming!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and hope to see your smiling face somewhere soon!

Fall is upon us and although it's a little bittersweet to see the last slivers of summer slipping away, it's also nice to look forward to roasting vegetables, baking bread and making homemade pumpkin ice cream! And guess what? There are some great musical treats to feast upon as well!  We've got El Mirage at the Rite Spot on October 16th, and the 9th annual Murder Ballads Bash at the Starry Plough on October 30th will feature lots of wonderful performances by a slew of bands and solo artists, with yours truly among them, so please mark your calendars. Stay tuned for a couple of Loretta Lynch shows in November, including an LL trio appearance at the Starry Plough on Sunday Nov. 7th at a benefit for local musician Lenny Gil.  Show details can be found on the calendar page.  Thanks for stopping by, and a very happy Fall to you and yours!

Somewhere it's summer time, and some days it's even summer time right here in the Bay area.   But other days it's the typical Bay area summer with grey skies & fog.  Hopefully before summer is over, we'll get more of those bright sunny days, and hopefully they'll get here right in time for the upcoming festivals where I'll be showing up to sing a few songs.  Loretta Lynch will be at the Downtown Berkeley Music Festival on Saturday, August 28th, and at the Solano Stroll on Sunday September 12th.  And on Saturday September 11th, I'll be playing with El Mirage at the Webster Street Jam in Alameda.  All shows are family friendly with all ages welcome. Check the calendar page for more details.  Hope to see you out there, with sunshine!

Howdy all,

June has been relatively quiet, but July has plenty in store, including a couple of fun and star-studded events, including Val playing solo at a benefit for the East Bay Humane Society at the Starry Plough on Sunday afternoon, July 11th, and the ladies of Loretta Lynch singing a few tunes at the Farewell to Jimmy Sweetwater event at the Great American Music Hall on Thursday, July 22nd.   Sandwiched in between, El Mirage will pop out of hiding to play at the Rite Spot.  Hooray for July!  Click on the calendar page for all the details.  Hope to see you soon!

April was quite the whirlwind, flying right by just like all the months do.  Besides enjoying a wonderful birthday and two glorious, relaxing trips to the ocean, I had a lot of fun sorting through old demos and posting them here.  And if all that wasn't enough, the month ended with an incredible show at the Great American Music Hall as I sang w/ Joe Rut and his most excellent band.  I can hardly find the words to describe what a truly special night of music that was.  What a joy to share the stage with such a vast array of talented musicians, playing Joe's excellent songs on that gorgeous stage.  It was very dreamy. Fortunately it was both recorded and filmed, so if you weren't one of the nearly 500 people there in the audience, fear not - you'll eventually have your chance to see the show!

Speaking of Joe Rut, Loretta Lynch is looking forward to playing a show with him and our pal Danny Allen and his High Diving Horses on May 22nd at the Starry Plough - it's going to be a great night of music and we hope you'll join us!

Howdy friends!

Could it be that Spring has finally sprung?  It sure feels that way to me.  I'm feeling like there's lots to look forward to in April, like Loretta Lynch at the Starry Plough on April 1st, and heading back to the Great American Music Hall to sing harmony w/ Joe Rut at his CD release on April 30th... and planting my garden... and getting out of town on no less than two vacations!  I'm not sure how I'll find time for anything else, but somehow I'm going to find a way, because I am working on a new-ish project that has me kind of excited!

I hope you'll join me for A Song A Day in April, wherein I sift through and dust off old songs, new songs, and demos that have never seen the light of day (and perhaps, a few that never were *meant* to see the light of day!). 

I'll mostly be posting previously unreleased demos, most of them largely unedited, many recorded moments after I wrote them, or even AS I was writing them, thanks to my participation in the Immersion Composition Society.

In some of my previous years of living, I've begun each year by writing one song each day for as long as I could manage to keep it going. But at this particular point in my life, I'm doing a lot of looking back. 

April is the month of my birth, and possibly it’s purely coincidental that I'm turning 41 this month and so, perhaps, you could call this a part of my mid-life crisis, who knows? I've been feeling pretty creatively blocked over the last couple of years, and this project began in part because I was revisiting some of my orphaned songs in an attempt to get myself unstuck. In the process I realized that maybe I wasn’t stuck after all – maybe I was just working on finding my way. 

Anyway, I discovered a few gems – and a few turds too – but mostly just had a great time revisiting the orphans! Some of them I may never want to revisit again, others may find their way into my live performances. For now, I'm just having fun digging through the old stuff, taking stock and working on finding a place from which to spring forward. I'm hoping that perhaps there are a few people out there who might appreciate this process and want to listen in. 

Not sure where we're going to end up, but am looking forward to the journey, and would be delighted to have you riding shotgun with me.

Hello friends,

There's a lot of harmony in store for the next couple of months.

First up, Loretta Lynch will play an hour-long set starting around 7 pm this Friday, March 5th for the First Friday Art Murmur at the Actual Cafe in Oakland.  It's an all ages, free show and they serve yummy food, great coffee and beer & wine.   What more could we ask?  Only to see your smiling faces!

Next up, Loretta Lynch is excited to share the stage with Yard Sale and Joe Rut for a very special early show at the Starry Plough on Thursday April 1st as part of our pals Dana and Amy's wedding celebration!  Yes, it's a wedding reception but all are welcome to come on out and enjoy the music, and we hope you will!  Loretta Lynch will kick off the evening's festivities promptly at 8 pm, followed by Joe Rut and then Yard Sale.

Last, but certainly not least, I'll be singing some harmony w/ Joe Rut at his CD release show at the Great American Music Hall on Friday, April 30th.  This is gonna be a blast, and you won't want to miss it so please mark your calendars.  Details coming soon!

Hope you're all staying warm and dry and happy and healthy, and hope to see you soon!

Hello friends,

Not a ton of news to report here, but there are a few very worthy shows coming up.  First up, I'll be singing with Joe Rut at a benefit for Haiti on Saturday Feb. 20th.   Check the calendar page for all the details.   The event itself starts at 2 pm, and we'll be taking the stage around 10 pm.  Come early, stay all night, and help raise money for the Haiti relief effort.

Next up, Loretta Lynch is excited to share the stage with Yard Sale and Joe Rut for a very special early show at the Starry Plough on Thursday April 1st as part of our pals Dana and Amy's wedding celebration!  Yes, it's a wedding reception but all are welcome to come on out and enjoy the music, and we hope you will!  More details coming about that one soon.  Loretta Lynch will kick off the evening's festivities promptly at 8 pm.

Hope you're all staying warm and dry and happy and healthy, and hope to see you soon!

Greetings friends,

It sure  has been awhile.   The winter months so far have found me  in the studio with Loretta Lynch working on a new album, and  planting the seeds for new songs for both LL and El Mirage.  That, and doing a whole lot of hunkering down and hibernating, which feels just perfect for these rainy, stormy days and nights!

Loretta Lynch will be venturing out on Friday, January 29th to play an early evening set at the Makeout Room with our pals Misisipi Rider, and we'd love to see you there!  The show is from 7:30- 9:30 pm. Get there right on time, both to enjoy the fine sounds of Misisipi Rider and to enjoy your cocktails at happy hour price up until 8 pm.  LL will be up around 8:30 pm, so for those of you who  need your beauty sleep, you can be home and in bed by 10 pm!

We hope to see you there!

Greetings friends,

Lots of fun musical events coming up, some of which won't even require you to leave your home, but of course, it's always a treat to see your lovely faces!

First up, Loretta Lynch will help you come down from your Thanksgiving hangover this Sunday November 29th at the Makeout Room.   We'll be opening for the talented Chris Jones, who's celebrating the release of his brand new album Interstellar Lounge Music".  Following Chris, we'll all be treated to the 60's girl group sound of The Bang.   You know the drill - come early and stay late!  Loretta Lynch is on at 8 pm.

3225 22nd St. San Francisco, CA. $7 cover.

Next up, John Shiurba and I will be playing a short acoustic mini-El Mirage set at the upcoming art event "Oakland Under 100" on Friday, December 4th at the Temescal Arts Center. 

511 48th St. @ Telegraph, Oakland, CA. 7 to 10 pm.  Free!

Oakland Under $100 is a show featuring affordable art made by local artists, and it will be a pleasure to be in such fine, fine company. 

Featuring Local Artists
Emily Coker • mixed media
Rachel Coker • jewelery
Casey Fay • painting
Ross Kennedy • sculpture
Cassie Leone • painting
Daniel McChesney-Young • photography
Anne Pinkowski • sculpture
Roxy Rogalski • photography
Paul Solis • drawing
Heidi Struble • photography
Mike Woolson • photography

Featuring Musicians
Hugh Fox • Val Esway • Chris Larson

And then, there will be two chances in December to enjoy Loretta Lynch over the airwaves, and we're quite excited for both.

On Sunday December 13th at 3 pm, we'll be playing live at the KPFA Crafts & Music Fair at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.  This event is the largest weekend holiday craft fair of its kind in Northern California, and we're honored to be featured.  Besides a variety of fine musical guests, there will be hundreds of artists displaying and selling their work. If you can't make it out to the show, be sure to visit to listen online, or tune your good old fashioned radio to 94.1 fm.

And then on Saturday December 19th, wake up and have coffee w/ Loretta Lynch!  We'll be performing live on the nationally broadcasted West Coast Live - "San Francisco's Live Radio Show to the World".  The show airs from 10 a.m. to noon, and we're thrilled to be one of the featured entertainers that day.  More details will be coming about this one, so stay tuned!

In other news, thanks to everyone who supported me in the Arizona Breast Cancer 3-Day.  I'm happy to report that I walked 50 miles over the course of 3 days, and that the event as a whole raised a whopping 4.2 million towards breast cancer research and treatment.   I couldn't have done it without your support and encouragement!  It was such an incredible experience that I've already signed up to do it again next year!

Thanks, as always, for your kind support.  Hope to see you at an upcoming show, and here's wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.


It's that time again - time for the 8th Annual Murder Ballads Bash at the Starry Plough! Throw on that costume, grab a friend or loved one or not-so-loved one, and stagger on over to the Starry Plough's 8th Annual Murder Ballads Bash. Come get serenaded and screamed at, scared and scarred, by a diverse lineup of talented and tormented souls, as they inflict upon you their musical offerings of Murder, Misery and Despair, for the 8th year in a row. It's an Eastbaynian tradition!

Loretta Lynch is excited to be debuting a couple of songs at this show that we've never performed before, and as always, there is a wide variety music on the bill, so come early and stay late. Check out the calendar page for all the gory details!

In other news, Loretta Lynch had a false start w/ recording a month or two ago, but we're getting back in the saddle and heading over to Wally Sound, for real this time, a little later this month.

Things are relatively quiet in the land of El Mirage for now -  doing a bit of hibernating for the winter and planting the seeds for new material for the new year, which will surely be here in the blink of an eye.

For now, stay warm & enjoy that torrential rain.

Hello friends,

Hope this finds you well and enjoying these last long, luxurious days of summer.

El Mirage will be playing this Sunday, Sept. 13th at 2 pm sharp at the 8th annual Webster Street Jam. We'll be just one of 18 local bands scheduled to play continuously from two stages. There will also be local Alameda-based food vendors and artisans selling their wares. R&B Cellars wine (made in Alameda) and Drake's Beer (hand-crafted in their San Leandro microbrewery) will be on sale at several beverage booths. The music is free and all ages are welcome, so bring the family and come enjoy a great day of music & sunshine!

Next up, on Saturday Sept. 19th, your long lost pals of Loretta Lynch will be coming out of hiding to play some songs at the Hotel Utah, along w/ Yard Sale and The Hollyhocks. Join us for a night of sweet, sweet harmonies and probably some wicked, wicked tales. We love the Hotel Utah, and we love both Yard Sale and the Hollyhocks, and we'd love to see you there!

On another note entirely, I've been spending a lot of time walking lately!  I'm training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk that I'll be traveling to Arizona to partake in, come November.  I'll be doing my best to walk 20 miles per day, 3 days in a row, to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  And on the fundraising end of things, I'm currently holding a bake sale!  For a limited time only, if you care to make a donation and can donate $20 or more, your thank you gift will be a bag of my delicious cranberry-orange-coconut granola.  You can donate by clicking here, and I thank you in advance!

Until next time, thank you, as always, for all your kind support!




Hi all,

Thanks to everyone who came to the Bottom of the Hill recently, what a great show!If you missed it, there's still another chance to catch some El Mirage music before the summer is over.

We'll be playing a show w/ the lovely Vanessa Lowe this coming Saturday, August 8th at 33 Revolutions Cafe in El Cerrito.

Vanessa and I will be alternating sets from 7:30 to 9:30.  I'll be joined by John Shiurba on the bass and Berge Thomasian on guitar.

This is an all ages show, and it's free!  But do feel free to feed the tip jar. 33 Revolutions is at 10086 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito.  Hope to see you there!


Sometimes you have to play to 5 people on a Sunday night and split $20 5 ways in order to get something that's sure to gain you a *little* more exposure, if nothing else. That's exactly what happened recently when El Mirage played a wonderful show to a few brave souls who managed to leave the house that Sunday night. Our beloved Nathan was out of town and we'd planned to play the show without drums, but at the last minute, convinced our pal, drummer extraordinaire Jason Slota to sit in for the night, and it was a joy to play with him. Shortly after, Jason was kind enough to hook us up w/ a show opening for Magnolia Electric Company, and as such, he'll be rocking the drum set w/ us for this show as well. We're looking forward to playing w/ Jason again, and very much looking forward to playing at Bottom of the Hill again. Our set is promptly at 9 pm on Wednesday July 29th, and we hope you'll join us! In the meantime, don't forget to enjoy Loretta Lynch at Alameda's Towne Center on Thursday June 18th at 6 pm, and another afternoon BBQ show at Thee Parkside on Sunday July 19th with El Mirage and Joe Rut. More details on the calendar page.
Howdy friends, There are a couple of shows coming up in the next week or two, and a few that are further down the pike that we hope will make you want to mark your calendars and join us in the festivities! Check the calendar page for all the details. First up, we've got El Mirage at the Hemlock Tavern this Sunday, May 31st. We'll be sharing the bill w/ our pal Joel Murach & his band the Low Rollers, along w/ Sonja van Hammel, who's come all the way from Amsterdam! Then, for something completely different, we've got another performance by the Treasure Mouth Ensemble, happening next Thursday, June 4th, at the Luggage Store Gallery. Us ladies of Loretta Lynch will be joining the ensemble on vocals for a night of music to honor the late, great, Matthew Sperry. If you missed the last performance of Treasure Mouth back in December, here's another chance to enjoy this all-star cast of characters playing improvised musical karaoke like you've never heard it before! Next up, mark your calendars for an evening time, outdoor concert by Loretta Lynch at Alameda Towne Center on Thursday, June 18th. More details coming about that one.
Howdy from the land of... Forty! It feels good to be here, and I must thank my amazingly talented, generous friends for throwing me the most unforgettable celebration a person could EVER have, no matter what age they are reaching! Among the birthday festivities was a set of music from the "Val-Fest 4.0" band, featuring some my pals and co-conspirators covering my songs! They pulled out some old Ramona the Pest songs from the vault, dusted them off and breathed new life into them... so much life, in fact, that now I'm *itching* to start working on that Pest reunion that Lucio and I have been talking about for so long now. I figured if I announce it to you all, that might just inspire my 40 year old ass to get to work! In the meantime, El Mirage has a few free shows coming right up, and we do hope you'll join us! This Sunday, April 19th, we've got a few special guests at my Bazaar Cafe songwriter series. Well, all the performers are special to me, but Danielle French is on tour from Canada, and Conception Vessel One is heading down from the North Bay, so you won't want to miss this one! Both of these ladies have gorgeously unique voices and song writing styles, and it will be a pleasure to share the evening with them. And next Saturday, 4/25 from 3 to 5 pm, El Mirage Trio w/ Berge, John and I will be playing at Trish Tunney's Photography studio as part of the Mission Artists Spring Studio Stroll. Come support your local artists while we serenade you! Beyond that, mark your calendars for Loretta Lynch in Los Angeles on May 2nd and 3rd, another Bazaar Cafe show on May 17th and another El Mirage show at the Hemlock on May 31st. Hope to see you soon, and until we meet again, enjoy the sunshine!
Greetings, A hearty thank you to all who came out to Thee Parkside recently for the Twang Sunday show - what a blast! We can't wait to do it again later this summer. Love those late afternoon/early evening shows! Speaking of which, there's another one coming up next Sunday, March 15th at the Bazaar Cafe. Thanks to Daylight Savings time, you can come to the show, listen to all the great music and still get home before dark. Get there early to hear the delightful songs of Joel Murach at 6 pm, and stay till the end to hear Ted Savarese's twangy, jazzy guitar licks & tunes. I am a big fan of both these fine gentlemen and their excellent music, and it's a treat to share a show with them! In between sets, I'll play some songs, maybe even some new ones(!), and will be joined by John Shiurba and Berge Thomasian. Rumor has it Ted will be sitting in with me on a few tunes also. As always, there's no cover and all ages are most welcome! Bazaar Cafe is at 5927 California St., San Francisco, between 21st & 22nd avenues. 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Then on the following Saturday, March 21st, ring in Spring w/ Loretta Lynch at The Rite Spot! We'll be opening for our pal, the above-mentioned Ted Savarese and his musical partner Ashley Adams, otherwise known as Octomutt. It'll just be the ladies & Dan for this show, and we may have a new song or two! Come on out and have some dinner and enjoy a fine night of music. No cover for this one either, friends... perfect for these economic times! The Rite Spot is at 2099 Folsom St. in San Francisco, at 17th. We play at 9 pm, followed by Octomutt. Looking ahead, please help us spread the word to your Southern California friends - Loretta Lynch is headed South! We'll be playing two dates in L.A. on May 2nd & May 3rd and we could use a little help getting the word out. More details coming about that later. Hope to see you soon, friends!
Greetings, friends! Just a quick note to let remind you that VE + El Mirage will be playing a free, all ages, late afternoon show at Thee Parkside this Sunday, March 1st at 4 pm (not at 5 pm, as we were previously told by Thee Parkside!). Tonight's El Mirage will feature the the rhythmic stylings of Nathan Moy and John Shiurba, plus twang-a-licious guitar licks from Lucio Menegon and Berge Thomasian. We'll be going on first, followed by the lovely Gayle Lynn, who'll make you cry a tear into your beer with a little help from her excellent band, the Hired Hands. So come at 4 and stay until 7. Bring the family, drink some whiskey, eat some barbeque, and have a good time!
Howdy friends, This just in! I have to cancel my performance at 33 Revolutions Cafe for tonight, January 29th, due to illness. But don't let that stop you from going out anyway, and seeing the wonderful Vanessa Lowe! Stay healthy, everybody. Here's wishing everyone happy holidays and all the best for 2009. I feel so fortunate to be able to play and sing with so many talented musicians year after year, and am excited to say that Loretta Lynch is starting the new year off with a bang - we're headlining Slim's on Friday, January 16th, and we hope you can make it! In fact, there are lots of great musical adventures planned from January through March. I'm happy to be continuing my third-sunday-of-the-month series at the Bazaar Cafe, playing both solo and in duo w/ John Shiurba, plus who knows who will show up and join us on guitar? I'm delighted to be hosting some fabulously talented songwriters and performers for this series, including Maurice Tani of 77 El Deora and Denise Funari of Yard Sale on January 18th, and Nellie Bly and Tara Linda on February 15th, and Joel Murach and Ted Savarese of Octomutt on March 15th. We also have a full on El Mirage show to look forward to on March 1st, so please mark your calendars for that! As always, thanks for your support of live music and us little independent folks who strive to bring it to you. Hope to see you out there soon, and happy 2009 to one and all!
Howdy and forgive the recent lack of updates. Thanks to everyone who came out to all the shows over the last couple of months! I thought we were all finished for 2008, but it turns out, Loretta Lynch will be playing a short set at Joni Davis' Food Drive Benefit at the Orchard Spotlight in Santa Rosa on Friday, Dec. 12th. Tell your North Bay friends, and come on out to support this very worthy cause at this beautiful venue. As for 2009, the shows are slowly trickling in and the calendar is starting to fill up, so please do check the calendar page to see what's in store, and check back often as it is updated. Happy holidays to everyone, and here's wishing all of us a wonderful 2009!
Howdy friends, I don't know about you, but it feels like Fall has crept up on me, and suddenly, there are shows galore! Tuesday, 10/14 - Loretta Lynch plays the City Sessions Music Seriesat Club Waziema!  Come enjoy some tasty Ethiopian food and get serenaded by the likes of Joni Davis, Yard Sale and Loretta Lynch. It's a free show, but feel free to feed the tip jar!  Starts at 8 pm. Club Waziema is located at 543 Divisadero, between Fell/Hayes in SF. Sunday, 10/26 - Hot as Balls at the Bazaar Cafe -   Hot as...huh?? Yes, that's right, there's a new band in town, and we're called Hot as Balls!  You may know the fabulously talented High Diving Horses, featuring the musical talents of Danny and Laura Allen, and featuring Danny's songs.  Well how talented can one family be, my friends? Danny's songs are so damn good, and as it turns out, Laura's are too. And I'm pleased to play music with both of them, and in this capacity, as the slinger of the bass.  We'll be joined by Corey from the Shut-ins on the drums, and there will also be sets from the wonderful Luther Monday and his Magic Hammer, and someone named simply, Paulette.  Don't miss it!  It's an early show, starting at 6 pm at the Bazaar Cafe, at 5927 California Street near 22nd in SF. All ages and free! Friday, 10/31 - It's the 7th annual Murder Ballads Bash at the Starry Plough - all kinds of good music happening, and more details coming, but please do mark those calendars if you haven't already.  I'm doing a special duet with Joe Rut that night and there will be LOTS more, so don't miss it!
Howdy folks, Just a quick update to let you know that you can now listen to my music via this really cool new site called bandcamp. More coming soon, but one of the things that I love about this site is that you can download a player (like the one below) to post on your own site, and you can listen for free, or if you'd like, purchase my songs individually. Lots of cool options for the modern listener! Please give the player below a listen, and click on the link below that to see and hear more. Thanks! <a href="">Think Of Me by Val Esway</a>
Howdy friends, It's been a whirlwind summer so far, with no signs of things slowing down any time soon. Lots of good shows coming up in September and October, so please join us somewhere along the way! All details can be found on the calendar page. First and foremost, El Mirage will be performing at the Starry Plough on September 13th as part of the CD release bash for Dylan Champagne's new and wonderful album, "New Equation". With Joni Davis and Michael Hamm on the bill too, it's a night not to be missed. Tonight's El Mirage features Lucio Menegon and Berge Thomasian on guitars, plus John Shiurba on bass and Suki O'kane on drums. Show starts at 9 pm and we'll take the stage around 10:30, but do come early and stay late for a great night of music! Next up, it's Loretta Lynch at the Webster Street fair in Alameda on Sunday, September 14th. Come on down and stroll the streets of Alameda and let us serenade you in three-part harmony. We play at 1 pm. Sunday September 21st, it'll be time for the Bazaar Cafe monthly series again, and this time Val will be joined by John Shiurba on upright bass, and also on the bill we'll have Paul Pot and Mokai. As always, it's early (6 to 8:30 pm), free and all ages. Tuesday, October 14th, Loretta Lynch is excited to perform at the City Sessions series at Club Waziema in SF. More details will be coming, but the show starts at 8 pm and is located at 543 Divisadero. Sunday, October 26th will find us back at the Bazaar Cafe again, but this time I'll be pulling bass duty with my pals Laura and Danny Allen in the new band Hot as Balls. I'm really excited to be playing with these folks - Laura's songs rock, and so will we! Also on the bill - Paulette, and Luther Monday and the Magic Hammer. You DID mark your calendars for the 8th annual Murder Ballads Bash on Friday, October 31st, didn't you?! This will be a night not to be missed, featuring all manner of "ballad" in the vein of murder, misery and despair, with sets by Conception Vessel One, Scott Simon, Fuzzy Cousins, She Mob, High Diving Horses, Joe Rut, Ultralash, Kneel, and of course, yours truly! Lastly, El Mirage will reunite once again to play a Sunday afternoon BBQ at Thee Parkside on Sunday, Nov. 9th, and things will probably quiet down considerably around here for the next couple of months after that. So it would be great to be able to serenade you before then! Thank you, as always, for your kind support. Happy Summer-into-Fall! Cheers, Val
Howdy friends, Hope everyone is enjoying summer. June was a busy month for music around here - Loretta Lynch had a blast playing on KPIG and played a handful of fun gigs to boot. Earlier this month, we also had a blast playing a lunch time concert at the Girls Rock Camp in Oakland. Though things might be quieting down a bit in the next few months, there are a few shows not to be missed: Sunday, July 20th, the Bazaar Cafe series resumes, with Val solo, Joe Rut, and Bernie Jungle. I'm a big fan of both of Joe and Bernie, so am very excited to hear the both of them sitting around with their guitars and singing songs and telling tales. As usual, it's early, free, and all ages, starting at 6:00 pm and ending at 8:30. August 8th, I'm playing a short solo set at a benefit for the ICS documentary at the Uptown. You've heard the music made by ICS participants, and soon there will be a movie documenting this experience. Sunday, August 18th, I'll be back at the Bazaar Cafe w/ special guests Misisipi Mike's Boiled Peanuts, and the Everlovin. More details coming about that one. Looking waaaay ahead, mark your calendars for the 8th annual Murder Ballads Bash at the Starry Plough on Friday, October 31st. Lots of great music by some new and old friends. Don't miss it! More details later, but for now, enjoy summer and hope to see you soon! Cheers...
Howdy folks, It's been a little quiet this month on the El Mirage front, but Loretta Lynch has been busy busy busy. We're excited to be performing live on KPIG this coming Saturday, June 14th at 2 pm. If you're in the Bay area, tune in to AM 1510 and give it a listen, won't you? By the way, did you know you can buy an El Mirage CD easily and securely by clicking on the boxes below? Well, now you do. Buy the CD
VAL ESWAY & EL MIRAGE: Lovers Losers Liars
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VAL ESWAY & EL MIRAGE: Pretend to Believe
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Howdy friends, Come on down to Lanesplitter in Berkeley this Saturday, May 10th to help celebrate their 11th anniversary. Eat pizza, drink beer and swoon to the tunes of El Mirage. We'll play around 4 pm, but come early because Joe Rut and Band (aka Jose Con Queso) will play at 3 pm (with yours truly on harmony vocals!) and after El Mirage, High Diving Horses will be sure to get every toe in the place tapping. It's all ages, and it's free! Hope to see you there!
Howdy and thanks to each and every one of you who came out to enjoy Loretta Lynch at the Great American Music Hall. We had a blast and we hope you did too! The Spring and Summer calendars are filling up fast around here, beginning with an upcoming whirlwind weekend with the Widows (the legendary all-female "supergroup" featuring members of Loretta Lynch, Yard Sale, Pickin' Trix and Bermuda Triangle Service). After a day spent in the studio for our first recording ever, we'll play a backyard BBQ on Saturday April 19th, and a set at the Bazaar Cafe on Sunday April 20th. As an added bonus, Loretta Lynch will also perform a set at the Bazaar that night. And the icing on the cake will be a tasty little set from Chris Jones. It's gonna be good! Then on May 1st, El Mirage comes out of hibernation for a show at Ashkenaz, opening for Pat Nevins and Ragged Glory. Tonight's Mirage features Berge Thomasian and Joe Rut on guitars, John Shiurba on bass and Nathan Moy on drums. More shows coming later in May and June, but more about that later! For now, we hope to see you at one of these upcoming shows, and thanks, as always for your support. Cheers
Howdy friends, It's been awhile, hasn't it? It's been a long winter or so it feels that way, and I for one am happy to report that I survived nearly a month of illness, and I hope this finds you and yours healthy and feeling well! There is a busy weekend coming right up, featuring Loretta Lynch at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday March 15th! We've been longing to play on that stage again and are excited that the day approaches. And we would LOVE to share that day with you. It's going to be a great evening of music, with Devine's Jug Band opening, and the Stairwell Sisters headlining. We'll be in the middle slot and we sincerely hope to see your smiling faces there! Then on Sunday, March 16th, it's my regular once-a-month series at the Bazaar Cafe, and I'm excited to be joined by the fabulous Joel Murach, and local jug band heroes the Goat Family. I'll do a little set in between, possibly with a guest or two. As always, the Bazaar show is early (6 pm sharp!), free and all ages. Come on down!
Greetings and Happy Winter, There are a couple of fine, fine shows coming up that you won't want to miss. First, on Tuesday Feb. 12th, yours truly, along with Joe Rut and Joel Murach, will spend an evening covering songs by local songwriters at Club Waziema in SF. Come early and enjoy delicious Ethiopian food, and stay for a night of great music. The music starts around 8 pm, cause it is a school night after all! Then on Sunday, Feb. 17th, I'll be joined by the fabulous Koa Stephens and the equally wonderful Joni Davis for a free, early night of music at the Bazaar Cafe in SF. Music starts at 6 pm, so come join us and we'll provide a feast for your ears. Lastly, Loretta Lynch is thrilled to be performing once again at the Great American Music Hall on Saturday March 15th, so we hope you'll mark your calendars and plan to join us for the fun! Hope to see your smiling faces soon.
Greetings and Happy 2008 to one and all! There's a nice little cluster of shows coming right up, both near and far. For each show, we (El Mirage, Loretta Lynch, et al) will be sharing the stage (or, corner of the room, as it were) with the wonderful Nellie Bly. You may have heard us raving about them previously; well now's your chance to hear them too so you can go and rave about them some more! For these shows, El Mirage will be a lean and mean power trio, with yours truly slinging the bass, and Berge Thomasian and Lucio Menegon rocking and twanging the guitars. We're packing up the stationwagon and we're headed back to Fresno - the raisin capital of the USA, home to Brian Kenney Fresno, and the place where there is one of the best taquerias we know of, if only we could remember the name! See, it's been awhile since we've wandered the streets of Fresno, but we can't wait to do it again this Thursday, January 17th. Check the calendar page for more details. You can also find El Mirage in Grover Beach (SLO) at O'Reilley's Bar & Grill on Saturday January 19th, and then Loretta Lynch & Nellie Bly will be at the Bazaar Cafe on Sunday January 20th. In other news, the El Mirage song Whiskey Lullaby was featured on Richard Taylor's Roots Rock Radio show #104, and we are in some very fine company, so head on over to: and give it a listen! Until next time, stay warm, friends!
Warm Winter Greetings, friends! In fact it *has* been a pretty warm winter so far. I'm still spending a lot of time in the kitchen baking and making soup, and spent many an hour in November at the computer spewing out (almost) 50,000 words which do not really amount to a novel, but my best attempt at writing one. I'm also beginning to narrow down the song selection for the next El Mirage album (all covers!) and brewing up lots and lots of plans for next year! As 2007 comes to a close, I'm excited to be launching a new acoustic music series at the sweet and cozy Bazaar Cafe in SF. Now that I'm no longer an "official" booking agent, I can get back to doing what I love most, which is putting together cool shows featuring music that I love. And there sure isn't any shortage of great music 'round these parts! Please mark your calendars for the third Sunday of every month, and join me at the first installment of this series on Sunday Dec. 16th from 6 to 9 pm. Yes folks, it's early for the old folks, it's family-friendly for the kids, and the price is right, as in, FREE!*** Come and get your ears soothed by the (bitter-)sweet sounds of yours truly, along with Dandeline and Denise Funari. We'll cure what ails you. Or at least if we don't cure it, we'll sing about what ails you and then you won't feel so alone with your misery. Cause misery loves company, no? Why not give it a little harmony too? That'll be my last official show of the year, but there's lots more coming in January and beyond, so scroll down for more info about what's in store for 2008. In the meantime, keep breathing & stay warm.
Howdy folks, It's looking like Fall is upon us. In my world, that means it's time for butternut squash, chicken soup, fake fur coats and mulled wine (not necessarily in that order!). In between those endeavors, there is always lots of great music happening! The Sixth Annual Murder Ballads show is just around the corner, and I'll be not only harmonizing with the lovely ladies of Loretta Lynch, but also with the most awesome force of nature known as Joni Davis. In November and December I plan to attempt to write a novel, bake a lot of biscotti, and launch a new monthly acoustic music series at the Bazaar Cafe. I'm very excited to be hosting an acoustic music series again, because I am lucky to know so many talented souls and it will be a great pleasure to help spread their music a little bit further, so be sure to check the calendar page for all the details! It's an EARLY, FREE, ALL AGES, Sunday night series on the third Sunday of every month. So mark your calendars please! That's it for now friends; thanks for reading this. Over and out!
Well, there's a mouthful. Welcome to my site, which has been sorely in need of an update. This site is a work-in-progress. Read this rant, check out the other pages, and then go and pluck yourself a tomato from the vine and enjoy the end of summer as the days grow shorter. And then come back every now again and visit, as the tomatoes fade away and the squash start to mature, and surely there will be more tales to be found here. For now, here are a few tidbits to chew on, in no particular order: *Loretta Lynch just celebrated our FIVE year anniversary of harmonizing and stirring up trouble together, with an awesome show on the stage where it all began in May 2002 at the Hotel Utah. I'll drink to that! Our new album Concrete & Ether has been getting rave reviews, and plans are already under way for the recording of our next album. It's still a joy to sing with these ladies after all this time. ( *El Mirage is doing a bit of hibernating save for our upcoming show at the Lounge Theater in Hollywood with our friends Missy & Mike of Breech. This is going to be delightful! Then it's back to fine tuning the batch of covers that we'll be going into the studio to record around the end of this year. More details will be coming as they unfold. *Yours truly and Joni Davis are joining forces for a foot stomping set of Murder Ballads at the Starry Plough on October 27th. If you've been lucky enough to hear Joni's gorgeously chilling, deep, soulful voice, you'll know why I am so excited to sing harmony with this woman. Mark your calendars, friends! ( Hope to see your smiling faces soon! Just a reminder to those of you just joining us: you've landed here in cyberspace at staggeringsiren headquarters: the home of all things musical for Val Esway - singer, song writer, guitar mangler, bass slinger, torch singer, murder balladeer, harmonizer, insomniac, chef, writer, wisecracker, ham. Peruse this site to learn about my musical happenings. Surf on over to to read more random musings on music and food and various & sundry. Enjoy your tomatoes and corn. Thanks for stopping by!
Howdy friends, It sure has been awhile, hasn't it? June and July found yours truly laying a little bit low, in a new quest to learn about this mysterious phenomena they call "relaxing". Yes, some of us are slow learners and can only be dragged into a relaxed state while kicking and screaming. Go figure! But recently, our new quest for relaxation has taken us from the heart of Oakland to Jackson Hole Wyoming, to the little coastal town of Gualala, on Highway One at the bottom of Mendocino County, and many places in between, all the while with guitar and trusty sidekick Spider the Dog in tow. Oh yes, new songs have been born. And old songs have been revisited. In some cases, the songs being revisited are songs written by others! And that brings us to our next exciting musical adventure, known as the Spin the Bottle Song Cycle. But wait; there's more! We wouldn't want to get too relaxed, would we? In case there should be any threat of that, the Second Half of August promises a multitude of musical adventures for you and yours, courtesy of um, me, and mine. So please check the calendar page for all the details. Thanks for stopping by!
Well it sure has been awhile since this page has been updated, hasn't it? Yours truly was having too much fun roaming the open roads of places like Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Ah, those big crazy skies. It could almost make a person start to relax. Almost.... But alas, it's time to get back into the onslaught of life! Lots of good shows coming up, so please do come and join us, won't you?
Howdy There are lots of good shows coming for folks and freaks of all ages, even a couple of radio gigs for those who hate to venture out of the comfort of their homes. Thanks to everyone who came to see El Mirage at the Lanesplitter recently, and apologies to those who came but missed us, due to our miscommunication about the time. It seems some folks got the second email and others didn't. One thing's for sure; the upcoming El Mirage show at the Twang Cafe is happening this Sunday, June 3rd at 9 pm! Doors at 7:30, with the Blushin' Roulettes playing at 8 pm. Please come out and enjoy the music and help support this little non-profit arts space. And we've got quite a few other shows happening in June, so be sure to check the calendar page for all the dirt. There are now two places that you can see Val and El Mirage live video footage: Here: and here: And there's more coming soon, too. So stay tuned! Happy summer, friends!
Howdy! Much to catch up on, my friends. But first, did you know that little independent internet radio stations are in great danger of being shut down? Geez, why is it always the little ma & pa organizations that get stuck by the Man? Please click on the link above to find out what you can do to help. It's little stations like these that support little artists like me, and long may they live! In other news, it's been busy as a beehive around here... a few highlights: El Mirage has finally joined the U-tube nation! Paste this link into your browser and check out those alien eyes! Val & Heather recently joined forces w/ She Mob for a little 60's girl group meets riot grrl recording, complete with shouting, la la's and hand claps! Loretta Lynch is currently featured on the home page of the Oakland Magazine web site. Wander on over and pay a visit at: And, we've got shows galore coming right up, featuring Val vocalizing, harmonizing and generally stirring up trouble in coffeehouses, backyard BBQs and saloons, and over radio airwaves far and wide. So please DO be sure to check out the calendar page for all the juicy details! Happy summer, friends!
Spring has Sprung and music is in the air... and there is a lot of it coming up in the next couple weeks, so please do mark your calendars, friends! Check the calendar page for the complete lowdown. Catch Val solo, early and free at Mama Buzz on April 17th, opening for Acoustic Virgin... And we've got two kinds of Val music on April 21st - a daytime show at the KWMR hootenany in Point Reyes, and an evening time El Mirage show at the Rite Spot in SF. On April 28th, Val will lend harmony vocals to the fabulous Luther Monday at a benefit for the New School on Berkeley. Come for the clever songwriting and sweet harmonies, stay for the booze, food and rummage sale. Oh - and raise money for the school. Then in May, Loretta Lynch heads to the North Bay on May 12th. And hell, why not plan for June now? Loretta Lynch has a CD release show booked at the Cafe du Nord on June 14th, and you know we want to see your smiling faces there. And lastly, we'll soon be posting some video clips from the recent El Mirage CD release at the HOtel Utah, so stay tuned. Enjoy the Spring sunshine, and see complete details below. x o
Hello and thanks for stopping by! Finally, a couple weeks without gigs after a very busy couple of months. The ladies of Loretta Lynch are happy to report that our new album, Concrete and Ether, is finally here! We're hard at work getting it out into the world, and rumor has it there will be a CD release show happening at the Great American Music Hall sometime in June, so we'll keep you posted on that. In other news, the VE + El Mirage album Pretend to Believe has recently received a couple of reviews which you can check out here... and here (but bring your translator for this one!): Happy Spring to one and all, and please come out and play in April - check the calendar page for details about gigs in Oakland, SF and Pt. Reyes on April 17 and April 21st... x o x o x
A hearty and heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make the CD release show at the Hotel Utah a screaming success! It was an incredible night of music and an overflowing crowd - we promise next time we'll do it at a place with more seating! And speaking of seating...there are a couple of really cool shows coming right up! Friday March 9th it's the long awaited Widows-meets-Ramona the Pest, et al-farewell to Camille show at the Koi Pond. Not only do we have seating, but we have ambiance, great sound and lovely lighting. This is gonna be a treat! Then on March 10th, it's a tiny little house concert at Dylan Champagne's place in Oakland. You'll definitely need to reserve a seat for this one, cause seating is way limited! Val is playing solo at this show, along w/ Dylan Champagne and more. Tasty tasty musical treats! If you want to catch either (or both!) of these shows, drop a line to for details. Lastly, Val recently found herself on the other side of Myles Boisen's camera, and you can take a peek at some of the results here: Til we meet again, cheers to one and all! p.s. Listen to Val Esway & El Mirage radio at
Greetings friends, Well sadly we had to cancel our radio appearance on KWMR last week due to getting bitten by the sick bug - this cold has been a brutal one, so here's hoping you all stay healthy! Besides all the good stuff happening this month (live on KALX Fri. 2/16, CD release show 2/24) there's some fun stuff happening in March, too! On March 9th it's a double whammy at the Koi Pond, featuring the last Widows performance for quite some time (to refresh your memory, we're the all female trucker's widows supergroup!) - AND - the first Ramona the Pest show in quite some time - you won't want to miss this one! In other news, VE + El Mirage were recently featured on the Roots Rock Radio Podcast #88, along with music by lots of other fine indedependent roots artists. You can listen to it right now, by going here: Pretend to Believe has recently received a couple of nice reviews in faraway places - look for us at and also at We don't know what they said, but we're pretty sure they liked it... ... and if you can accurately translate for us, we'll gladly send you your very own copy of the new CD! And lastly, the links page here at staggeringsiren has been freshly updated - give it a look and check out the many great bands and artists. Til we meet again, stay dry and take that vitamin C!
Howdy folks, Well, it was a nice little period of hibernation and February promises to be anything but quiet. We've got shows, shows, shows! Solo and with El Mirage! On the radio, in living rooms, and in bars. Little bit 'o something for everyone, including of course, the big CD release show on February 24th at the Hotel Utah! But if you just can't wait that long, try tuning into KFJC or KALX (both of which are already playing cuts from Pretend to Believe), AND, if that's not enough, then surf right over to and get your very own copy. Alright-y, thanks for your continued support, and be sure to check the calendar page for all the details. Till we meet again, happy trails!
Howdy friends! Hope everyone's new year is off to a good start. I hope you'll pretty please save Feb. 24th on your calendar to come celebrate the release of Pretend to Believe at the Hotel Utah! Trust me, you'll be so glad you did, cause it's going to be a swell night of music at the Hotel Uteah, featuring short sets from... The Shut-ins! Jason Kleinberg! Joe Rut himself! Val Esway solo! 20 Minute Loop! ... and lastly ... Val Esway and EL Mirage! It's not often that I get to play w/ the whole lot of those magically talented El Mirage-ers (Myles Boisen, John Hanes, Wil Hendricks, Lucio Menegon, Joe Rut, Berge Thomasian), and it's going to be a treat. For me, and for you. So save the date, will ya? And in case you're wondering, the CD will be available on CD baby very soon! And in the meantime... come get serenaded in three part harmony by Loretta Lynch: Saturday, Jan. 20th - kinda early show, 8 pm! at Epic Arts Teahouse in Berkeley. (1923 Ashby Ave., Berkeley - Until we meet again, may all of our buns remain warm!
The long awaited brand spankin' shiny new El Mirage release, Pretend to Believe, is finally here! The official CD release show will happen on Feb. 24th at the Hotel Utah, but the CD will probably be available online before that. In the meantime, please do mark your calendars for the show at the Hotel Utah, cause it's going to be a rip roarin' good time, with many special guests, including The Shut-ins, Joe Rut, 20 Minute Loop and Jason Kleinburg. Come help us celebrate! Happy holidays to one and all; more updates coming in January. Cheers!
Howdy! Just a smattering of shows coming up in the next couple months, and then it'll be mostly quiet till early 2007 which will see the release of both El Mirage's Pretend to Believe, and Loretta Lynch's Thistleweeds and Concrete. Lots of work to be done in order to get those babies out into the world and thusly, it's time for a little rest and rejuvenation. Stay tuned!
It's that time again - the leaves are falling from the trees, the hot cider is warming on the stove, the jilted lovers are sharpening their blades, and heads are gonna roll. It's all going to take place at the Starry Plough's Fifth Annual Murder Ballads Bash, and yours truly will be performing in her capacity as both one-fourth of Loretta Lynch, and one-half of The Wenches. Do check the calendar page for all the bloody details, and don't miss this show! In other news - the new El Mirage album has completed artwork and is very soon to be shipped off to be manufactured, yay! That means that there will be no more EM performances until our CD release date in February, so stay tuned for details about that. Til next time, Happy Fall!
Howdy! Recently things have slowed down a bit in terms of shows, but behind the scenes, all is running at its usual insane pace. Both El Mirage and Loretta Lynch have complete mastered albums that are just waiting to be unleashed upon the world. Just waiting... and waiting... and waiting... In the meantime, there are a few great shows coming up that you really should not miss! Check the calendar page for details about El Mirage at the Rite Spot on October 16 - we'll be pulling out a bunch of jazz/torch covers, aided and abetted by Myles Boisen. And on October 28 at the Starry Plough, it's the 5th annual Murder Ballads Bash! Lots of good music including a set by Loretta Lynch, and a new duo heretofore known as The Wenches, featuring Camille from the Pickin' Trix, and yours truly. Til next time, enjoy the clouds...
Greetings - it's been a little while, hasn't it? Lots of hard work happening behind the scenes though, getting ready to release the new Val Esway & El Mirage CD "Pretend to Believe", as well as a new album from Loretta Lynch. That, and having a lot of fun in the kitchen. So much fun in fact, that I've started a blog to chronicle my adventures: Check it out & drop a line! Check the calendar page for info about a couple of great upcoming shows: Loretta Lynch at the Pyramid Alehouse Outdoor Cinema Festival on Sept. 9, and the Soup and Song Dinner House Concert in Oakland on Sept. 23. 'Til next time, cheers!
Greetings... Many many thanks to everyone who came out to the Bottom of the Hill last week - what a treat to play on that stage, and with John Hanes on drums. 'Twas truly a joy. The new album is mixed & mastered, now it just needs a name!!! Stay tuned for details. If you missed the Bottom of the Hill, then come on out to the Makeout Room on July 16th - this version of El Mirage will feature the return of Dan Olmsted & Kathy "Monster" McVey. Hope to see you all there! xo
Howdy & happy summer! Yep, the site is still a work in progress. So many things to do in life, and so little time... PLEASE PLEASE com join El Mirage at the Bottom of the Hill on Monday June 26 - we'll have special guest John Hanes on drums & it's guaranteed to please! The new album is *done*, as in, all recorded & mixed. It's still gonna be awhile till it's officially out, but it feels good to be making progress! Did you know you can now purchase VE + El Mirage t-shirts, buttons, magnets & trucker hats? Click on the "buy" link on the left for more info. Thanks for stopping by, y'all!

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New live video - Val & Joe Rut "Sleeping Tiger"