Music Picks July 11-17

Live music highlights for the week of July 11, 2018.

Live music highlights for the week of July 11, 2018.




Back in 1991, local singer-songwriter Steve Bennett wrote a song about his then 18-month old daughter April (“I never knew about love/till I held you in my arms.”) It’s a heartwarming song he still plays sometimes and gets emotional about. But nowadays he has a musical project with April called Wild & Blue. It’s a powerful father-daughter project. He picks the acoustic guitar, she sings. You can really see Steve’s great songwriting still in action. There’s some twang there, but just a touch. April’s melancholy vocal hooks bring the songs to life. AARON CARNES

INFO: 8 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.




If you missed their performance at last week’s High Sierra Music Festival, then make sure not to miss this enchanted evening of jazzy tunes at Moe’s Alley. Both Nathan Moore and Magic in the Other will be playing their repertoire of unique jazzy and jam hits. Nathan Moore delivers singer-songwriter tunes that are one part folk, one part ragtime and all traveling troubadour. No Magic in the Other features members of Phil Lesh & friends, ALO and Mercury Falls for a funk infused jazz fest that’s as cool as the snazzy suits they perform in. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.




2018 has been a stressful year. Guess what, it’s halfway over so it’s time to celebrate with an evening of dancing. I know what you’re thinking—should I go dance to soul music or ska? The correct answer is both. Lucky for you, local northern soul all-stars the Inciters are pairing up with longtime San Jose ska band Monkey to bring you an evening you’ll be unable to sit still for. Northern soul is a high energy (extra-dancey) style of soul music. Monkey, as you likely know, plays straight up ska without all the slam-dancing-pitting action that some of the other punky-ska bands play. AC

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.




This Los Angeles group originally formed in 1975, complete with short haircuts, strange clothes and fast music played at extreme levels. While they tried to stray from the “punk” labeling for as long as they could—opting for the preferred nomenclature “art rock”—music fans couldn’t help but see the comparisons. Just listen to their early recordings, and you’ll understand why. MW

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $17/door. 429-4135.




Nzuri Soul is a multi-faceted Bay Area gem that can heat things up with an Aretha cover, get the dance floor shaking with funky horns and deep grooves, and slow things down with a smoothed-out love jam. Comprising Lamar Green on keyboards, Eddie Wroten on bass, Chris Brochard on guitar, Mike McCoy on percussion, the captivating Kimberli Stafford on lead vocals, and the Carter Sisters on background vocals, Nzuri Soul blends soul, gospel and R&B in all the right ways. CAT JOHNSON

INFO: 8 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15/adv, $18/door. 335-2800.




On a mission to “preserve and continue a traditional culture in a modern age,” Celtic group Runa weaves the music of Ireland and Scotland with jazz, folk and more. The result is something timeless and forward-thinking. Members of the band have roots in the U.S., Canada and Ireland and are now based in Philadelphia, Nashville and Chicago. Collectively, they’ve established themselves as one of the most engaging and innovative contemporary Celtic groups around. CJ

INFO: 7 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15/adv, $18/door. 335-2800.




The most award-winning bluegrass band of all time, the Del McCoury Band has been holding it down since the late-’60s. Performing traditional bluegrass, McCoury and company also take an open-minded approach to bluegrass and have grown a fan base that includes Americana enthusiasts, jam band festival attendees and traditionalists alike. For 50-plus years, McCoury has been at the front of the bluegrass wave and has paved the way for countless artists to follow his lead. As resonator guitar standout Jerry Douglas put it, “You can finally make a living playing bluegrass, and a large part of it is because of Del McCoury.” CJ

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $40/gen, $55/gold. 423-8209.




Over the last 30 years, Darol Anger has changed the way we view the fiddle by mixing his favorite influences from around the world. If his name doesn’t ring a bell at first, you’ve probably heard him playing in the David Grisman Quintet, Psychograss, or the Turtle Island String Quartet, to name a few of his projects. His latest band, the Furies, is an all-star cast of stringed wonders, hand-picked by the man himself. If you’re a fan of the old-timey jams with a modern twist, don’t miss this one-night experience. MW

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 S Main St., Soquel. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-9777.

Contributor at Good Times |

Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on community, collaboration, the future of work and music. She's a regular contributor to Shareable and her writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Yes! Magazine, No Depression, UTNE Reader, Mother Jones and Launchable Mag. More info: Follow her on Twitter at @CatJohnson.

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