Room 9 band Santa Cruz
A&E

Love Your Local Band: Room 9

Room 9 plays Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Crow’s Nest

Steel Pulse, Rolling Stones, Dick Dale, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. These aren’t artists that normally get mentioned in the same sentence. Yet local band Room 9 will likely play songs by all of these bands this week, within the same set. It’s harder really to pin down something they won’t play.

“All the players play professionally in local bands. It really is a big mix, like we go from upbeat big band swing stuff—like Brian Setzer stuff—and then we’ll drop right into an outlaw country tune that’s also upbeat, so people are still dancing,” says bassist Slade McCombs. “If you like any kind of music, typically you’re going to enjoy coming to the show.”

The group has been at it for a while—12 years maybe, they can’t exactly remember. But the players have been actively playing music since the ’90s. McCombs and guitarist/vocalist Ryan Inlow used to have a band called the Zealots back in 1999, which dissolved in 2004 when McCombs left for L.A. to take a stab at a music career.

The Zealots was an instrumental funk/jam band, but when McCombs returned and reformed it with Inlow, Inlow took it upon himself to learn how to sing. Now Inlow is the frontman of Room 9.

With all of their experience, the group is able to play just about any kind of style authentically. Currently they have roughly 150 songs in their repertoire. The biggest aspect above all else is the fun vibe of the shows.

“We’ve done it so long that we pretty much know how to keep the dance floor completely full at this point,” McCombs says. “Nobody’s chasing the dream of anything bigger. Just show up and put on as good of a show as we can.” 


INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31. Crow’s Nest, 2218 E Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $5. 476-4560.

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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