Brad Colerick has a lot of ideas. Many of them get expressed as songs. In 2009 he also created Wine & Song, the weekly songwriter showcase that’s become a durable anchor for the area’s acoustic music community (hosted, since 2015, at Arroyo Seco Golf Course’s Blue Guitar Room). He’s also organized quite a few house concerts, festival stages and one-off events, in addition to running his music production and supervision company.
So Saturday’s Rail to the Fret event isn’t a surprise, especially if you’ve heard his latest album, “Nine Ten Thirty,” and listened to “Superhero of the MTA.” It was only a matter of time before he organized a rail ride to one of his gigs.
The plan is for everyone to meet at Union Station, ride the train to Covina, shop and nosh, and then adjourn to the concert at the Fret House. Leeann Skoda will open, and Colerick will close with multi-instrumentalist Tim Fleming (on pedal steel) and bassist Guillermo Guzman, then lead them back to the train ride home. Colerick says it’s a scaled-down version of an idea he tried to launch years ago.
“It was called the Song Train, and I was going to rent a refurbished Pullman car that would tag onto Amtrak — you can do that for a per-mile fee,” he recalls. He envisioned a two-week trip beginning in San Francisco, winding across the West to Chicago, down to Memphis and New Orleans and back to LA. He planned to have a ProTools setup onboard so they’d have a finished recording by journey’s end. Late documentary filmmaker George Hickenlooper supported his idea.
“George’s office was adjacent to mine and we rode the Gold Line on opening day together; he was interested in being part of it so I was pitching it with his involvement. I’m just a big public transit proponent.”
Despite railroad and beer company interest, Song Train went nowhere. But he was encouraged by last year’s experience renting a bus and organizing a caravan from his South Pasadena studio to a show at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, with Chauncey Bowers entertaining riders with “weird scientific facts.” (Anyone who’s been to Bowers’ gigs or followed his Facebook feed knows how he can mine hilarity from science. Politics too. And cats.)
This Saturday, Colerick plans to meet whoever buys advance tickets on the train platform with their roundtrip passes, and then hold court in the rear car. He might play his guitar; it depends how things flow in the moment. No word yet on whether Bowers will join the party.
“It’s the commuter train — the double-decker, the Metrolink trains make fewer stops and go faster,” he explains. “I just love trains.”
“Rail to the Fret” with Brad Colerick & the Wreckers and guest Leeann Skoda at the Fret House, 309 N. Citrus Ave., Covina, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9; tickets are $20/show or $30/show and train, available at deepmix.thundertix.com. Riders must arrive at Metrolink Train #366 platform at Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., Downtown LA at 4 p.m. sharp. Info: (626) 339-7020. bradcolerick.com, leeannskoda.com, frethouse.com