Duncan Smith

Megan Smith and Sam Misner will perform tonight at Capital Stage – as musicians, not as actors.

Misner and Smith tonight at Capital Stage

Published: Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 10TICKET

The duo of Sam Misner and Megan Smith are fine actors and even better Americana singer-songwriters. The pair met, appropriately enough, in a production of the musical "Woody Guthrie's American Song" and discovered a mutual love of the folk music tradition.

Misner plays guitar while Smith plays bass and mandolin. They both write and sing the tunes they play, which show up on their album "Live at the Freight & Salvage," a performance recorded at the legendary Berkeley coffeehouse.

The duo has performed musically up and down the West Coast but has been seen more often here as actors working at Capital Stage in shows such as "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," "Three Days of Rain" and "First Person Shooter."

They will be at Capital Stage tonight, playing a special show of their music in the intimate theater space. Opening for them will be Capital Stages' own Jonathan Williams, who is a fine singer in his own right, having recently starred in a San Jose production of the hipster musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson."

Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 at the door. The wine and dessert bar opens at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Information: (916) 995-5464; www.misnerandsmith.com.

Blues for the new year

Mark Hummel has been presenting his Blues Harmonica Blowout around the country since 1991, and it's become a knockout show. He always rolls the show into Northern California at the beginning of the new year.

This weekend the Blowout features a roster of blues greats including local wild cards Rick Estrin and Little Charlie Baty.

This year's show will be a tribute to Jimmy Reed, who was a major transitional figure in blues with his emphasis on the electric guitar and his trademark laconic vocal style. Reed, who died at 50 in Oakland in 1976, left a huge mark on the blues and rock music, influencing Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison, to name just a few. The Grateful Dead often featured Reed's music in their shows with original organist Ron "Pigpen" McKernan doing the vocal honors.

Along with Estrin, Baty and Hummel, this year's show features Kim Wilson, Lazy Lester, Joe Louis Walker and Ron Thompson.

Shows are at 8 and 10 p.m. today and Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $20-$30. Yoshi's Oakland, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Information: (510) 238-9200; www.yoshis.com.

Jazz set

Antiquité Maison Privée will host a heady jazz set with some of the area's most active players taking the bandstand.

The Capital Jazz Project has downsized to a quartet with founding member pianist Joe Gilman leaving the band last year. That leaves Henry Robinett on guitar, Mike McMullen on saxes, Kerry Kashiwagi on bass and Rick Lotter on drums.

CJP shares the bill with Revival Trio: Ross Hammond on guitar, Vanessa Cruz on drums and Shawn Hale on bass. The trio gets a boost from veteran reed man and composer Vinny Golia who'll sit in.

Hammond is deservedly riding high with his 2012 release "Adored," which featured Golia, receiving year-end "best of" notices from Allaboutjazz.com and Something Else! Reviews. At Antiquité Maison Privée, 7 p.m. Thursday, 2114 P St., Sacramento. Tickets: $10-$15 sliding scale. All ages.

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Read more articles by Marcus Crowder

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