Described as the “ultimate Scots troubadour,” singer-songwriter Jim Malcolm is regarded as one of the finest singers in Scotland, in any style. Possessing a sharp wit, the masterful song interpreter and one-time member of Old Blind Dogs presents his interpretations of the poetry and songs of Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns for this house concert. Hosted by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay, the evening promises to be an intimate and memorable affair. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 7:30 p.m. House concert, Soquel. $20. Reservations and more information at celticsociety.org.
Mountain Tamer (known alternatively as Mntn Tmr) is a heavy psych rock trio, formerly local to Santa Cruz but now based in Los Angeles. The group consists of Andru Hall on guitar and lead vocals, Casey Garcia on drums and vocals, and Dave Teget on bass and vocals. Since forming in 2010, Mountain Tamer has blended a unique intersection of classic 1960s psychedelia with heavy Sabbath-esque vocals and syncopated riffs with a poppy twist. Any Mountain Tamer show is likely to be dark, sweaty, and filled with headbanging and more than one mosh pit. Joining them onstage is Santa Cruz-based Supernaut, another heavy psych-rock trio featuring Will Lermini on bass, Oliver Niemann on guitar, and Sean Niemann on vocals and drums. KATIE SMALL
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $7/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.
GREG LOIACONO BAND
The Mother Hips was a band that never quite got its due in its original run in the ’90s. But interest has been strong after reforming in 2004, not to mention the continued success of guitarist/vocalist Tim Bluhm during the hiatus. It all screams: This band is timeless. The other guitarist/singer of the group, Greg Loiacono, just released his debut solo album last year. The album highlights Loiacono’s many creative sides: tender acoustic ballads, power-pop Americana, left-of-center rockers. It’s basically the best of the Hips—at least Loiacono’s thoughtful, emotive contributions. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 429-6994.
GIANT PANDA GUERILLA DUB SQUAD
Hailing from Rochester, New York, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad is a five-piece reggae jam band. The group has been blending elements of roots reggae with funk and world beats since 2001. Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, GPGDS for short, based their name off of a fictional band “Giant Panda Gypsy Blues Band” in the novel Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins. The group just released its sixth studio album, Make It Better, in September; it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart. Special guest Drunken Kung Fu will share the stage in the Catalyst Atrium. KS
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 423-1338.
JIM MESSINA BAND
The backdrop for Jim Messina’s website contains serene photos of expansive Southwest mesas, kind of what I imagine New Age mecca Sedona, Arizona, to look like. It’s a fitting image as Messina’s music bridged the traditional roots sounds with a modern spirituality, and some good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll. He’s an artist with an impressive resume. He’s been part of folk/rock band Buffalo Springfield, country-rock pioneers Poco, and an integral part of Kenny Loggins career (both as producer and as collaborator). He’s recorded and toured as a solo artist off and on since the late ’70s, a true West Coast gem, both in his adherence to musical traditions and his cutting-edge foresight on creative genre fusions. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $28/gen, $45/gold. 423-8209.
A ubiquitous presence on the AM and FM dials since the late 1960s, Larry Carlton is a masterly guitarist who delivers beautifully sculpted, blues-inflected lines with an unmistakable seared crisp sound. During the glory years of the L.A. session scene in the 1970s he contributed to some 3,000 recordings, including hits by Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, and Steely Dan (“Kid Charlemagne”!), but he’s recorded an impressive body of instrumental R&B/funk/jazz under his own name. His band features his son Travis Carlton on bass, veteran drummer Gary Novak (Chick Corea, Allan Holdsworth, Robben Ford), and keyboardist Mark Stephens, who grew up on the Monterey Peninsula. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $40/door. 427-2227.
Probably the only mariachi band in the world that attracts more metalheads than actual mariachi fans is Metalachi. It makes sense, as the band sprung from the (probably stoned) idea of imagining what would happen if you started a mariachi Metallica tribute band. The band’s repertoire also includes an array of classic metal songs (their rendition of “Crazy Train” is an instant classic). Their version of mariachi sounds more like what you’d hear in old Westerns or Chevys—in other words, there’s no blaring tuba. Their shows are fun dissections of all your favorite metal songs. You might be surprised at how good the tunes are without all the distortion. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $13/door. 429-4135.
In the early 1980s, acoustic blues pioneer Catfish Keith briefly lived in Aptos and was a regular feature on the Santa Cruz music scene. The singer-songwriter opened for Robert Cray, Queen Ida and Dave Van Ronk, and could regularly be found performing on the Pacific Garden Mall, in bookshops and in cafes. Since then, Keith has launched a prolific career that includes 16 albums, thousands of concert appearances, and endorsement from National Reso-Phonic, and Santa Cruz Guitars, whose master luthiers built him a custom-made guitar, the “Catfish Special.” Fresh off his 44th tour of the U.K., Keith brings his guitar mastery and immense catalog of acoustic blues tunes to Felton for a solo afternoon set. CJ
INFO: 2 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
Christie Lenée is one of those masterful guitarists who uses her instrument for rhythm, melody, lead and ambience—all at the same time. A typical Lenée song might include fretboard hammering, hypnotic open string tones, percussive taps and beats created by drumming on the body of her guitar … and that’s just in the intro, before she starts singing. When she does, her fantastic music is elevated with conscious lyrics about self-acceptance, keeping a positive outlook, and looking out for each other. While Lenée garners comparisons to guitarist Michael Hedges, her songwriting style and lyrics put her in a class of her own. If you haven’t yet seen Lenée perform, prepare to be wowed. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
IN THE QUEUE
Beloved Hawaiian slack-key master. Wednesday at Kuumbwa
CHRIS JONES & THE NIGHT DRIVERS
Nashville-based bluegrass outfit. Thursday at Don Quixote’s
Grammy-winning Latin jazz legend. Thursday at Kuumbwa
Psychedelic surf rock. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
Indie-rock out of San Diego. Sunday at Crepe Place