This is thee Will Sprott of San Jose’s The Mumlers. Solo, but with many special guests including back-up vocals, cabasa (that African percussion thingy with loops of steel ball chain wrapped around a wide cylinder) and a guy just swaying with a beer. To a small, dedicated audience, he brought the goods: soulful guitar work, great songwriting and humor. He brings The Mumlers this Friday, April 15 to Cal’s Sproul Plaza at noon, and also SF MOMA on Friday, May 20th.

Openers for the show included Ruthann Friedman, Fort King and Paula Frazer. Ruthann was a very pleasant surprise. Although she turned out only one record (1968’s Constant Companion, re-issued a few years back), she should be best known as the writer of “Windy” made famous by The Association. She played the Troubadour at age 16, she lived with the Jefferson Airplane and later David Crosby. Although she didn’t play “Windy”, she did quite a few folky numbers including a chilling “Chinatown.”

LA’s Fort King plays a nice gothic folk cocktail that cries out for a big band. Solo at the Plough, I dreamed him in front of a large band with strings and horns and organs.

Sorry to miss SF’s Paula Frazer. I couldn’t stop eating the $1 oysters at Marc 49.