Media Life: Auburn singer-songwriter takes honest route on new release

Auburn’s Tracey Adamis records "Sometimes Life is Fair”; Shanghai reunion draws a nostalgia-soaked crowd; KAHI’s “Bassil and the Fisch” play ping pong with the news
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Songwriter smarts. You’re either gifted with them or you’re not. Auburn’s Tracey Adamis is and she’s sharing that gift on “Sometimes Life Is Fair,” a new, independently produced CD. With refreshing honesty and a searching skill as a lyricist, Adamis has teamed with a coterie of some of the best foothills musicians to come up with a nine-song collection that gets better with each listening. Auburn resident Leigh Stephens – selected one of Rolling Stone magazine’s top all-time guitar players – is onboard as producer and arranger on Adamis’ inaugural CD. Stephens’ guitar work can be heard throughout “Sometimes Life Is Fair.” “He helped me a lot,” Adamis said. “He’s provided some stylistic influences and taken the songs in a direction that adds to what I’ve created.” Three local keyboard players add their talents to the disc – Eric Chun, Kelly Stephens and Melissa Olsen – while Ronnie Richards provides solid backing on drums. STEEPED IN MUSIC Adamis’ musical journeys have taken her far afield. Her earliest memories are of her father playing Errol Garner tunes on the piano and road trips with her mother and three sisters that always included song. The four sisters even had a garage band called the Model T Four that once played for 2,000 people at a Mini National Car Show . Adamis performed in Japan at a four-story night club singing with one of the best jazz trios in the country. And she’s sung many different styles of music in venues up and down the West Coast. Her last regular gig was singing at the Top of the Mark in San Francisco. Adamis, Stephens and the other musicians on “Sometimes Life Is Fair” have come up with a melding of classic singer-songwriter themes and something fresh. Call it an Auburn Sound. Whatever the final tagline, it’s worth a listen. “Sometimes Life Is Fair” is available at and soon at SHANGHAI FOR A DAY The Shanghai Bar and Restaurant lives. That was the atmosphere at the Auburn Events Center last Saturday as the late, great Old Town Auburn landmark marked the fifth anniversary of its closure with a reunion that drew an estimated 500 people. Brothers Richard and Herb Yue played the amiable hosts once again and are already considering another reunion event in the not-so-distant future. Or at least more often than every five years, Richard said. In the meantime, Shanghai nostalgia buffs can check out the website for some photos and a chance to get into the spirit of a bar that was part of the city’s nightlife for 109 years. NEW DUO ON KAHI They’re only on one night a week now but early indications are the dynamic comic duo of Bassil Kamas and Bob Fischetti may be on the KAHI airwaves a lot more. With Oakland A’s games taking up most evenings, Thursday is a good, solid day for the two to regularly touch down on Planet 950. That’s normally a travel day for the green and gold. Kamas – an Iraqi native living in Fair Oaks - found a voice as a regular on Sacramento radio’s “The Armstrong & Getty Show.” He’s a certified massage therapist in the real world. “Fisch” is a teacher who pastors at Almond Tree Church in Yuba City. On air from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the team is liable to ping pong lightly through a storm of current events – from global warming and politics to religion and sports. And Kamas said that in between all the banter, a message may emerge. “At the end of the day, that after two hours in a room together, we hope people can see that we can all get along,” Kamas said.