Love Your Local Band

Edge of the West

lylbJim Lewin’s latest band, Edge of the West, is an eclectic group. Their influences include Americana, bluegrass, jazz, reggae, and the psychedelic folk-rock sound from ’60s Haight-Ashbury. At the center of it all is country music, but not the kind of country music most people think of.

“It’s not really a cowboy band at all. It synthesizes a lot of influences,” says guitarist/vocalist Lewin. “I’m interested in the intersection of tradition and the future.”

The band’s name is intended to show this relationship between old, well-defined American musical genres like old-timey bluegrass and new musical territory. Lewin hopes Edge of the West will give people a sense of the great Wild West and classic Western roots music, but also the progressiveness of California.

“There’s always kind of a tradition of reinvention on the West Coast, taking old things and giving it a new twist,” Lewin says. “That’s what I see as California’s contributions to the ongoing evolution of popular music.”

Edge of the West played their first show a couple of months back. Before that, Lewin played for a few years as the Jim Lewin Band with some of the same people, but decided he wanted something more than a solo project.

“I wanted a more imaginative title. I wanted to create a world with my music, and not so much via my identity personally,” he says. “I like bands that create a world.”

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.

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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