I live nearby and I am so glad Dunsmuir is having a Renaissanc
–Patrick Brunmeier, November 2015
Walking into Pops in Dunsmuir – five times now – “Get Down, Get Down”. Walk in and your hosts Allison and Victor make you one of the family – “Get Down, Get Down”. Whether the evening is an art exhibit, talented singers and musicians they welcomed to Dunsmuir, or them playing everything is right from the heart directly to you. Victor and Allison call their room “Pops” after Louis Armstrong. If you are as fortunate as me who got to hang around this man you know the aura of love surrounding him. We were all his family. Victor and Allison are like that.
Victor plays the Saxophone sometimes straight ahead as Sonny Rollins, sometimes Illinois Jacquet honking blues. Allison is a singer with enormous range from near Soprano to a throaty baritone, words in French, English, Portuguese, or best of all wordless dueting with Victor’s Saxophone. Allison will transition from a straight beat guitar to swinging gypsy rhythms and back.
Tough to sit in a chair and not want to get up and get down. One night a woman singer accompanying herself on the Dobro sang “Wayfaring Stranger” stopping my heart – bringing tears. Celebrating Black History month R. Caillier hung his portraits of leaders on the walls bringing its heroes alive for us. The old timers packed the place to celebrate an evening honoring their folk singing hero – Pete Seeger.I have quickly become a “Pops” junkie. The place is across the street from the rail tracks . . . every night a freight train passes outside the windows. Depending on what is going on inside it could be Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train, Freight Train” or the namesake Pop’s “The 219 took my baby away, the 223 bring her back some day”. Check it out. Pops is a place not to miss.
Jim Gordon, long ago Chicago and New York jazz player retired to McCloud, California.