Sarah Shook & The Disarmers at the Bottom of the Hill, by William Wayland
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers (photo: William Wayland)

Words by Elaine Blakely

I cannot get “Good as Gold” out of my head — and that’s a good thing. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers headlined Friday night, July 26, 2019 at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill in Potrero Hill. “Good as Gold,” featured on their 2018 LP Years (Bloodshot Records) has been listed by Rolling Stone’s Magazine as one of the top 10 Best Country and Americana songs of the week (3/2018). Sarah speaks the truth, and the Disarmers, who are Eric Peterson on lead guitar, Phil Sullivan on pedal steel, Aaron Oliva on upright bass, and Kevin McClain on drums, are a tight band who have toured for a long while. Sarah’s voice is flat and low with occasional rises, just enough to make stories of the loss of love, the ruin from too much drink, and heartache and longing for those years, effective.

Del Bombers came up to woo us with Steve Grillos’ leading vocals and guitar, along with powerhouse Bob James on drums and Hans Hunt on bass, and their guest player of castanets. Their new song, “Doesn’t Really Matter” accentuates Grillos’ great guitar riffs and passionate, hard vocals, and is a favorite of this writer.

Natural Pear from San Francisco opened the show. Continuing the craze for jam bands, they take us back to those old days of San Francisco with a late ‘60s early ’70s feel, including bell-bottoms, intense guitar solos, tambourine, and bongo drums. The band especially shone with Genevieve leading vocals in a sultry song about a “Smokestack Sunrise.”