Every band has a dream, and while some rock-star fantasies revolve around whipped cream-coated guitars or a pink tour bus called Rhoda, others are simple. For Mover, it was backup singers. After the departure of drummer Paul Burkhart, the group bounced back with the addition of kitman Stephen "Stevie" Anderson; more recently, Mover upped the ante with a wall of singers at stage left. With the debut of the Sisters at Cafe Du Nord a couple of weeks back, a new kind of soul was found.
The Sisters (Molly Tuttle, Mandy Taylor, and Mary West) stepped in behind Mover's Eric Shea, Paul Tyler, Mike Therieau, and Anderson for half a set, punching sweet heat into "Stormy Weather" and other, more recent songs in the band's Cali-roots catalog. While Golden State sounds of yesteryear have always invested the band's music -- making the trio a steady fixture at the annual Sleepless Nights Gram Parsons tribute show (at various venues) and a shoo-in to drop a track on a forthcoming Kris Kristofferson tribute album -- Mover found its element transformed by the addition of these golden-voiced ladies. Previously, Mover's country-touched rock was only an organ and two grooves short of a full-tilt gospel rock revue. If there was such a thing as California soul, this was it. Tyler's twangy leads arrived sugarcoated in glimmering harmonies as Therieau's alto howl competed for center stage. Two of the Sisters return on backup duty for the New Year's ball drop -- perhaps joined by one or more voices from the night's other acts -- and this show promises to be (alcohol notwithstanding) one to remember.
Sharing the bill are up-and-coming faves Call and Response and the Kinetics. The latter have now played enough post-breakup shows to baffle even frontman and erstwhile local music luminary Bart Davenport ("Now it's sort of like, maybe we didn't really break up"), who returns to San Francisco for the re-reunion.