This weekend, among the globe-trotting bands like Arcade Fire, Phish and the Black Keys at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco, you'll also find a plucky little band from Petaluma that farms chickens, raises sheep and even makes their own hot sauce.
“Pretty amazing, huh?” says fifth-generation Petaluman Arann Harris, the ringleader of Arann Harris and the Farm Band. “I was just thinking either it's the start of something bigger or it'll be a great last show.”
On this day, a hot sunny Tuesday, he just finished up with summer camp on the family farm. He helped the kids make papier-mache planting pots, picked blackberries and read to the kids from the children's book, “A New Coat for Anna.”
Last year, the four-piece Americana outfit shared a stage at the Mystic Theatre with San Francisco singer-songwriter Sean Hayes, who later invited them to play a gig with him at the Independent in San Francisco.
After a few more rowdy Farm Band shows at the Divisadero club, the promoters, Another Planet Entertainment (who also produce Outside Lands), said, “We really want you to be in our festival.”
For Harris, it was an unlikely surprise after years of dropping off homemade hot sauce and “meat from the farm,” trying with no luck to get on the bill at the other massive annual festival in Golden Gate Park — the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.
Before he sings about chickens at Outside Lands this weekend, Harris took a break from the farm to chat about homemade mustard, pickled eggs and Lagunitas beer.
Q: Last time we talked, you were making hot sauce out of wine that had turned to vinegar. How did that turn out?
A: Well, that's what we called the Windex batch. Everybody who tried it said it kind of reminded them of Windex.