Acoustic Cafe features songs that tell personal stories

James "Jimbo" Estrella plays guitar with Katya Novskaya at the Acoustic Cafe with Katya Novskaya on Oct. 23, 2015. Estrella dedicated a song to West Arkeen, a musician who is credited for writing several songs for Guns N' Roses who died from an heroin overdose. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

Student musicians performed for a live audience at the recent Acoustic Cafe event at American River College, which featured a song about a man’s failed attempt to be with a woman in Texas and one dedicated to a man who died from a drug overdose.

James “Jimbo” Estrella dedicated a song to West Arkeen in his performance with Katya Novskaya.

Arkeen received songwriting credits writing songs for the American rock group Guns N’ Roses, such as “It’s So Easy.”

Estrella said he knew Arkeen, who died of an opiate overdose in 1997.

“He was my best friend,” Estrella said.

ARC students Zachary Van Dyck and Danny Hopkins performed a song that was about Van Dyck’s road trip to be with his girlfriend at the time.

“She ended up breaking up with me like a couple weeks after we saw each other,” Van Dyck said.

Morgan Wright began her performance by playing a love song and concluding it with a break up song.

“I felt that was the natural way to do it, start with a love song and end with a love-hate song,” Wright said. “If you can bring feeling into a song, it doesn’t matter if it’s that what you intended, if it’s something, anything that is what’s important.”

 

Morgan Wright performs on guitar at the American River College event Acoustic Cafe on Oct. 23, 2015. She began on her performance with a love song, and concluded it with a break up song. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

Morgan Wright performs on guitar at the American River College event Acoustic Cafe on Oct. 23, 2015. She began on her performance with a love song, and concluded it with a break up song. (Photo by Joseph Daniels)

Hopkins was pleased to hear the background of the songs that were performed.

“When I listen to music, I always wonder and guess what it’s about, and I hate that after like a show I would have to run through the crowd, so I could talk to (the singer),” said Hopkins.

Novskaya said that she is influenced by soul and jazz.

“My goal is to kind of combine our modern style singing style, like more R&B, and that oldies, jazz oldies, but not just the style of singing, but for the tones of singing,” Novskaya said.

Phillip Kim performed an original piece he created called “Vote Bernie.”

He intended to persuade listeners to vote for Bernie Sanders, who is currently running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“As a union member, I felt like Bernie Sanders was the most supportive of worker’s rights, and giving workers a chance to try to rebuild the middle class in America,” Kim said.

Van Dyck and Hopkins will be playing on Dec. 13 at the Boardwalk at Orangevale.

Jose Garcia contributed to this report.

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About the Author

Joseph Daniels
Joseph Daniels is a forth-semester student on the Current, where he serves as the magazine editor. He is majoring in journalism and plans to transfer to Sacramento State.

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