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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

Bill Harley

The Bend of the Story: Storyteller Bill Harley gets wacky on Friday night when he shakes, rattles and rolls through a collection of stories and songs at the Main Street School in Soquel.

Photo by Sisam Wilson

Tale Between His Legs:
Yarnweaver and musician Bill Harley brings his wacky brand of storytelling to Soquel to benefit Main Street School's music program

WHEN YOU'RE BILLED AS the Mark Twain of contemporary kids' music, you've a lot to live up to. This title was bestowed on Bill Harley by critics a few years ago, and while it's flattering, it can be a little misleading. Harley's not merely a kids' man--his wit and humor attracts adult attention as well. Harley draws from a wealth of childhood experiences, then puts 'em into song or transforms them into witty little anecdotes. More of a commentator than a storyteller, Harley carved himself a niche, reminiscing about the painful, the embarrassing and the thrilling moments of life and recounting them in a way that makes people feel like they lived it.

Best known to cultured adults as a featured player on NPR's All Things Considered, Harley's been on the touring circuit for almost two decades, supporting books, albums and just going out for the thrill of performing live.

He performs this Friday at the Main Street School in Soquel as part of a benefit series, Family Concerts on Main Street, designed to raise money for the school's music program. Harley's show gets started at 7pm at 3400 N. Main St., Soquel. Tickets cost $6/$5. For more info, call 464-5650.

First Stage Into Town

The ever-changing Atelier Gallery sails into performance waters this week with the start of a collection of new artistic outings. Music and dance take center stage on the weekends beginning this Thursday night with Evenings at Cafe Atelier--Live Entertainment. Artists like Gabrielle, Michael Gruber and Atelier's owner John Teply perform vocals, acoustic music, dance and more. This Friday at 10pm marks the debut of the Friday After 10 series at the downtown salon. It's a storytellers' exchange facilitated by Gregory John Harbert that explores the craft of storytelling and features locals telling traditional and original gems. Atelier is located at 320 Cedar St., SC. For details on either of these series, call 429-9005.

Men on Art

What Is Art? puts a different spin on its whole WomenFolk series with an all-male take on the single-sex performance night. Yes, MenFolk descends upon the art house, as locals with two Y chromosomes take to the stage and give it their testosterone-infused best with original music, poetry and movement. MenFolk proceeds also benefit What Is Art? The show runs on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm. Tickets cost a $5-$8. What Is Art? is located at 2044 N. Pacific Ave., SC. For more info, call 427-0564.


Satirical songwriter Karen Stern plays the Ugly Mug on Saturday. ... Texas slam poet Clebo Rainey and performer Bert Glick also perform at the Ugly Mug, this time on Oct. 23. ... Seventh Sense, a seasonal costume fashion show, invades the SC Dance Gallery on Oct. 24.

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From the Oct. 16-22, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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