“Did you ever watch Petticoat Junction?” Shady Rest lead singer Cheryl Rebottaro asks me. Anyone remotely familiar with the show will recognize the band’s name as a reference (as in, the Shady Rest Hotel), and they chose it because of the two founding members’ names.
The band originally started with Rebottaro and guitarist Joe Bac. The duo would play covers of the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Originally, they combined their first names, calling themselves “Cheryl Joe.” As new band members got enlisted, they gave them a “Joe” last name (Cheryl Joe, Pat Joe, Mary Joe), like on the show.
“I don’t know how I got on this Petticoat Junction kick,” Bac says. “It was Cheryl Joe and the Shady Rest, then we felt bad that the rest of the people were the Shady Rest. So we dropped it. It’s just the Shady Rest.”
As more members joined, and the kinds of gigs they were offered changed, so did the song selection. Initially, leaning toward more obscure songs, they started to sprinkle in more hits so that more people would get up and dance. In many of the cases, they chose songs by female singers like Bonnie Raitt, Aretha Franklin and Sheryl Crow, who have a timbre similar to Rebottaro’s.
Currently the lineup includes Rebottaro on vocals, Bac on guitar and vocals, Par Greene on drums, Mary Rose Mackenzie on cello, Ariana Ebrahimian on violin, Max Ebrahimian on congas and Mike Westendorp on bass.
“We had to bring in more recognizable things. Now we’re mixing it up,” Rebottaro says. I think we’re unique because we bring different sounds to the music. It’s the same classic stuff that people are hearing, but we spin it a little.”
INFO: 5 p.m. Friday, June 8. Michael’s on Main, 2591 S Main St., Soquel. Free. 479-9777.