The Apple City Slough Band grew out of a regular Friday night Corralitos jam party that often runs until the early hours of the morning. Jamie Norton is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, with Danny Grilli on lead guitar, Lindsey Bearden on keys, David Ott on bass, Bobby Yliz also on rhythm guitar, and Sparky serving as both drummer and “crew dad.”
All six members have full-time day jobs, so they gig when they can, and keep things casual.
“It’s an interesting mix of people, but it’s super family. I walked in so easily, we just vibe that way,” says Norton, who’s originally from Boston. He describes their sound as “Americana mountain jam band, but more Americana than straight-out classic rock.” Every Apple City show blends a mix of CCR, Grateful Dead and Phish covers with several of the band’s original tunes.
“We’ve asked people who know us well to give some constructive criticism, and they always say, ‘It’s obvious when you’re playing your own song, cause you’re so much more lively. But when it’s a cover you look like you’re going through the motions.’ So they can see it in our beings when we play our own tunes.”
The Slough Band is usually well-received at biker bars, campgrounds, and the Poet & Patriot: “My favorite shows are always at the Poet, and maybe that’s ’cause it’s the most like a Boston bar,” Norton says. “The way it’s set up, the crowd is right on you, people can’t disassociate. And our music is good for people who want to have fun and interact.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Free. 423-1338.