music-cal-1620
A&E

Music Picks May 18 — May 24

 

 

WEDNESDAY 5/18

INDIE-FOLK

LITTLE WINGS

Kyle Field, the only consistent member of Little Wings, has had a long, prolific career, but somehow through it all, he’s remained a mystery. His music reflects on simple everyday occurrences like watching a bumblebee fly away, or on the heavier stuff, like meditations on death. With his bushy beard, aloof demeanor, and combination of too-quiet acoustic numbers with blown-out, sloppy folk, he might seem like a Portlandia version of an indie-folk rocker, but he practically invented the modern indie-folk troubadour genre in the late ’90s. AARON CARNES

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 429-6994.

THURSDAY 5/19

BLUES

GUITARSONISTS

An all-star team of ace guitarists, the Guitarsonists comprises deep blues guitarist and vocalist Chris Cain, former Santa Cruzan and guitar shredder Mighty Mike Schermer, and celebrated Bay Area bluesman Daniel Castro. Together, they’ve played with a who’s who of contemporary blues and rock, including Albert King, B.B. King, Albert Collins, Ronnie Lane, Elvin Bishop, and Bonnie Raitt. Catch the three slingers on Thursday as they join forces to create what promises to be a ripping and rocking evening of blues guitar mastery. CAT JOHNSON

INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 427-2227.

HIP HOP

YOUNG THUG

How many artists can release a song dedicated to the victims of the April flooding in Texas and have the hook be, “If Texas love was a drug”? Or write a hot jam, with almost a million views on YouTube, called “F Cancer”? Just one: Young Thug. At 23, YT has already emblazed the rap world with a slew of hits and mixtapes. Last year he dropped his debut full-length album Hy!£UN35 (read: “hi-tunes”) and collaborated with Kanye West for Yeezy’s 2016 release, The Life of Pablo. Five months into the new year and Young Thug has already released two mixtapes, February’s I’m Up, and March’s highly anticipated Slime Season 3. He’ll be joined onstage by the Bay Area’s one and only DJ Nima Fadavi. MAT WEIR

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $39.50/adv, $45/door. 429-4135.

REGGAE/DUB

KING JAMMY

A reggae and dub legend, King Jammy (aka Prince Jammy) is one of the most influential producers to come out of Kingston, Jamaica. Known for his clear sound, experimental effects and technical prowess, Jammy remains one of the standouts of the genre. This will be the debut of the dub pioneer at Moe’s Alley and word is the 69-year-old has never played Santa Cruz. Don’t miss this rare treat to see a living legend. Also on the bill: DJ Spleece. CJ

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 479-1854.

FRIDAY 5/20

ROCK

U.S. ELEVATOR

Husband and wife Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion got a lot of acclaim for their 2013 folk-rock, Jeff Tweedy-produced record Wassaic. It’s a heartfelt, harmony-rich Americana album. However, Irion wants to show off his rock side with a fairly recent group he’s touring with called U.S. Elevator. Heavily influenced by the Beatles, Neil Young and ’70s power-pop, it’s nothing that will explode any eardrums. Irion is the primary songwriter in this project, and the tunes rock, but they are incredibly catchy at the same time. His backing band harmonizes with him, too. It’s not quite as soul-wrenching as when he sings with his wife, but it’s still quite beautiful. AC

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.

PSYCHEDELIC ROCK

NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE

For one glorious night, these psychedelic pioneers return to Moe’s Alley for a set of class Purple Sage wisdom and fun. Originally formed in 1969 by John Dawson and Jerry Garcia, the band would go through several lineup changes (often with Grateful Dead members floating in and out of the ranks) before their self-titled 1971 debut. After a breakup in 1997, NRPS reunited in 2005 with original members David Nelson and Buddy Cage leading the way. While Dawson remained retired in Mexico, he gave his blessing to the Riders before his death in 2009, and something tells me his spirit will be dancing at this show. MW

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.

ROCK

LEON RUSSELL

Long before it was cool to sport an epic wizard beard, Leon Russell was rocking the piano hardcore like a full-on old-timey prospector. Besides his facial hair, his most impressive feature is his scrappy vocals. He’s not what you’d call a “technical” singer, but has a lot of war-torn soul. His voice is somewhere between Mick Jagger and Van Morrison, but even more raw. He’s been a session player, a sideman and a singer-songwriter with a ton of albums to his credit, and his sound is a combo of rock, soul, country, and blues. But really it’s all about how he plays those styles, which is all heart. AC

INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $33/door. 429-4135.

SATURDAY 5/21

BLUEGRASS

JOHN JORGENSON BLUEGRASS BAND

Led by blisteringly fast guitarist and mandolinist John Jorgenson, the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band features four legendary artists collaborating to create outstanding, contemporary bluegrass music. Founded by Jorgenson and banjoist Herb Pedersen, who formed the Desert Blues Band along with Chris Hillman from the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, this outfit also features Jon Randall, who has performed with Emmylou Harris, Earl Scruggs, and Sam Bush, on guitar, and Mark Fain, who spent 13 years performing with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, on bass. On Saturday, the hot-picking outfit hits Felton. CJ

INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $25. 335-2800.

MONDAY 5/23

JAZZ

JACK DEJOHNETTE TRIO

If NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette had to rest on his laurels as a drummer, he’d be very comfortable indeed. His extraordinary five-decade career includes epochal recordings with Charles Lloyd (Forest Flower), Miles Davis (Bitches Brew and On the Corner), Pat Metheny (80/81), and more than a dozen “Standards Trio” albums with Keith Jarrett. But even more significantly, he’s made essential contributions as a composer, bandleader, world music trailblazer (and even pianist) on some two dozen sessions under his own name. Though his trio with pianist George Colligan and bassist Jerome Harris, an inveterately creative improviser who spent years with Sonny Rollins, is a distilled version of the quintet captured on the excellent album Live at Yoshi’s 2010, it’s a formidable ensemble that moves in sly and unpredictable ways. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.


IN THE QUEUE

JENNY DON’T & THE SPURS

Roots and desert country out of Portland. Wednesday at Trout Farm

TURKUAZ

Brooklyn-based funk outfit. Friday at Catalyst

KARL BLAU

Pioneer of the Pacific Northwest indie-rock scene. Sunday at Crepe Place

CAFE MUSIQUE

Gypsy folk and jazz out of San Luis Obispo. Sunday at Kuumbwa

SECURITY PROJECT

Celebration of Peter Gabriel. Also on the bill: the Walkers. Tuesday at Don Quixote’s

To Top