Ben Lovett’s Communion sprawls from London to California 

From the smallest acorns, as they say.

Like when Mumford & Sons musician Ben Lovett kicked off his promotion team Communion a few years ago in a humble London basement.

He founded it with Kevin Jones and producer Ian Grimble, he says, “as a way for people to get together and play music without all the hassle of dealing with the money-grabbing venue promoters.” And initially, his club-night concept helped launch the careers of UK artists like Laura Marling, Anna Calvi and Noah and the Whale.

Now, the beast has become so sprawling its tentacles are reaching out to California.

This Thursday at San Francisco’s Swedish American Hall, above Café Du Nord, a Communion road tour will pass through, featuring Matthew and the Atlas, The David Mayfield Parade and Lauren Shera.

Then, Oct. 21 to 23, the acts continue to Big Sur for “Communion in the Redwoods,” a festival that will also include Jackie Greene, Everest, The Secret Sisters, John Vanderslice and others.

Will they capture the ephemeral spirit of Kerouac? Maybe, maybe not. But at least Lovett’s folk-rocking heart is in the right place.

Communion. It’s not just for Whitley Strieber anymore!

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Tom Lanham

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