Texas-born singer-songwriter Trevor McSpadden is a country crooner whose throwback sound blends his Lone Star dancehall roots with the grit of time spent in Chicago’s nightclubs and the newfound West Coast perspective. The result is a sound that is smooth, weathered and heartfelt, as McSpadden winds tales of home, broken hearts and lover’s arms down a well-worn musical path made familiar by honky-tonk and classic country greats. Also on the bill: local singer-songwriter McCoy Tyler. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
EVA SALINA & PETER STAN
Eva Salina is a renowned singer and teacher of traditional Balkan music. Her accordion accompanist Peter Stan is from Romania, but the two musicians cut their teeth in the Balkan diaspora of New York City’s Roma communities. Their performances offer a range of emotion, from mournful ballads to lively and sensual compositions that seamlessly weave Eva’s rich voice with Peter’s playful and intuitive improvisations, staying true to the intricate expression inherent to traditional Eastern European music. KATIE SMALL
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.
PSYCHEDELIC FURS AND THE CHURCH
Anyone looking for their fix of ’80s dreary college rock nostalgia would be hard-pressed to find a better touring package this year. Most folks know the Psychedelic Furs from their song “Pretty in Pink,” both as inspiration for and the most famous song from the John Hughes movie of the same name. But the Furs were responsible for one of the best albums of the ’80s, Forever Now, a melding of post-punk, goth lyrics and British pop. Australia’s the Church pulled from a similar pool of influences, but experimented more with psychedelic soundscapes. Their hit in the U.S. was 1988’s “Under the Milky Way.” AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $38/door. 429-4135.
Modern-day troubadour Chuck Brodsky has been a quiet favorite of the contemporary folk scene for decades. With warmth, wit, unusual melodies and tight guitar chops, he tells stories of everyday people, political leaders and, one of his favorite and recurring themes, baseball. Joining the Philadelphia-born Brodsky are local standouts singer-songwriter Sherry Austin and lap steel virtuoso Patti Maxine. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/gen, $32/gold. 427-2227.
LA SANTA CECILIA
Right now, the most exciting thing happening musically in Los Angeles is the new wave of American Latin-rock bands. These are groups playing punk, ska, alt-rock, goth, everything—and La Santa Cecilia is one of the best. The band’s sound is rooted in traditional Latin rhythms—Bolero, cumbia, Ranchera—along with soul and rock ’n’ roll. But what makes La Santa Cecilia so great is the sheer joy emanating from the music. It grooves while staying mellow, and it just makes you feel good with every listen, whether you’re dancing or sipping on a glass of whiskey. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $18/adv, $22/door. 479-1854.
The Jayhawks emerged from the Minneapolis music scene in 1985; the band has weathered more than one lineup change since, but their original alt-country sound remains. Also on the bill for the night is Fernando Viciconte, a Portland-based roots rocker with a 20-year catalog of music ranging from hard rock to country folk. Viciconte’s most recent album, Radio, combines psychedelic electric sitar, 12-string guitars, and mandolin. REM’s Peter Buck played guitar on eight of the album’s 11 tracks; Buck also produced the Jayhawks’ most recent album, Paging Mr. Proust. KS
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $25/adv, $30/door. 335-2800.
Playing a feel-good, soul-shaking style of music that’s described as “ukulele-powered Hawaiian reggae folk rock,” Kanekoa is one of the most beloved musical acts from the islands—a long-running favorite of locals and visitors, alike. With a strong focus on the beauty and strength of the natural world, Kanekoa lets the music lead the way as they stretch out into long-form jams and inspired improvisations. As Bill Kreutzmann, drummer for the Grateful Dead said, “Kanekoa is the Hawaiian Grateful Dead.” CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.
MARCIA BALL BAND
Like whiskey, Michael Caine and Birkenstocks, Marcia Ball just seems to get better with age. At 67, she’s a guiding spirit on the Austin scene, a trenchant songwriter, rollicking pianist and captivating singer equally effective on aching ballads and earthy barrelhouse rave-ups. Her last album came out a couple of years ago, Tattooed Lady & The Alligator Man, but she’s never relied on a new release for set list. Ball returns to town with a killer band featuring bassist Don Bennett, drummer Corey Keller, tenor saxophonist Eric Bernhardt, and guitarist Mighty Mike Schermer, the former Santa Cruzan who returns to Kuumbwa on Aug. 18 for a gig celebrating his 50th birthday. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
Dance-punk was all the rage a decade ago, an era that yielded groups like Franz Ferdinand, the Rapture, and Interpol. Of course dance-punk is just a clever way of saying, “influenced by Joy Division.” One of the lesser-known early adopters of the dance-punk revival was L.A.’s Moving Units, a band that started all the way back in 2001. It didn’t get the album sales or the critical praise some of the other groups got, but it has stayed true to sound, and continue to release music. Appropriately, they are currently doing a Joy Division tribute tour, which comes to Santa Cruz on Tuesday. Anyone that loves first wave and/or second wave Joy Division should definitely come out. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $14/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
Standout jazz saxophonist and composer. Wednesday at Kuumbwa
VAUGHN BENJAMIN & AKAE BEKA
Reformation of St. Croix reggae band Midnite. Friday at Moe’s Alley
Grammy-winning Mexican pop outfit. Sunday at Catalyst
HOT CLUB OF BALTIMORE
World-class early-jazz ensemble. Sunday at Don Quixote’s
Legendary reggae band. Monday at Catalyst