PINE STREET RAMBLERS
Hailing from the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Pine Street Ramblers perform what’s been described as “good-time roots music.” The four-piece pulls from folk, bluegrass, country, and roots-rock to create a sound that offers a modern take on string band tradition. The band is known for its members’ impressive musical chops, and the collective’s raucous performances get dance floors shaking and boots stomping. Also on the bill is the Western Wednesday Allstar Band, a country-and-western outfit featuring standouts from Santa Cruz’s lively roots scene. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
Born in Long Beach, California and raised in Tijuana, Julieta Venegas is a trilingual pop star multi-instrumentalist whose musical skillset includes acoustic guitar, accordion and keyboard. One of the most popular and beloved stars of Latin pop music, Venegas has won multiple Grammy awards, is one of a handful of artists with an MTV Unplugged album, and has collaborated with an international cadre of artists and bands, including Gustavo Santaolalla, Aterciopelados, Cafe Tacvba and Nick Cave. Also on the bill: Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $35-$40. 423-1338.
When it comes to Hawaiian music, Willie K is the guy. Even the late, great Prince was a Willie K fan—he called him a “funky motherfucker,” so the story goes. If you have no prior experience with Hawaiian music, Willie K will open your eyes to the fact that it’s a diverse collection of different breezy subgenres. He masters them all. He’s also a kingpin when it comes to reggae, country, jazz, rock and any other non-Hawaiian genre. He gives whatever style he plays an authentic, blow-your-mind stamp, and squeezes in some chill island vibe. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
SANTA CRUZ REGGAE ALL STARS
Santa Cruz has a deep appreciation for live reggae music, both traveling performers and local bands. There’s something about the casual beach town life and reggae music that just works. The Santa Cruz Reggae All Stars bring that appreciation to a crescendo as the band covers some of the most well-known and beloved reggae songs of all time, while giving them a Santa Cruz twist. A collaborative effort between members of Animo, Coastal Sage, Soul Wise, Higher Ups and featured guests, the band showcases the area’s reggae tradition while raising the collective awareness and appreciation of the local scene. Also on the bill is Soulwise, a local surf-reggae outfit led by cousins Sean and Kevin Eichhorn. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
Guitarist Matthew Stevens is best known for his extensive work with superstar bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, playing on her acclaimed 2016 art rock project Emily’s D+Evolution and touring the world as the spark plug for her power trio (he’s also been an essential collaborator with trumpeter Christian Scott). But the Canadian-born guitarist is making a potent impression as a composer and bandleader in his own right. His second album Preverbal is due out next week, and he returns to town with his protean trio featuring drummer Eric Doob and sought-after bassist Orlando le Fleming, whose March calendar alone includes gigs with Jeff “Tain” Watts, Antonio Sanchez, and Nir Felder. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 427-2227.
Portland’s Harmed Brothers have the storied when-one-acoustic-picker-met-another origin tale that many modern folksy bluegrass bands tell. Those two players, Alex Salcido and Ray Vietti, distinguished themselves with gorgeous heartfelt songs—American roots music at their heart, but pop at their core. The Brothers plan to release their next LP in April, and the couple of songs they’ve released from it suggest a much stronger heartland sound that falls somewhere between Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen. They hinted at such a direction on their 2016 EP A Lovely Conversation. This new album could be the incredible rock ’n’ roll album you need this year. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
MARTY O’REILLY & THE OLD SOUL ORCHESTRA
It makes sense that Santa Cruz so totally embraces Marty O’Reilly. His influences—blues, folk, soul—are loved here with a passion. He has a knack for mixing them together seamlessly, with a level of earnestness that is heart-wrenching. He and his aptly named band, the Old Soul Orchestra, have been making waves locally, hitting the open road pretty hard, and trying to make a name for themselves in the cluttered indie-folk world. The group’s gotten a good response, even getting the attention of NPR. For the Old Soul Orchestra, these American roots genres aren’t labels to wear like old clothes; the band lives and breathes them. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.
Downbeat, lo-fi and darkly haunting are only some of the ways to describe Elvis Depressedly. Formed by Mat Cothran—and later to include Delaney Mills—Elvis Depressedly’s music is genuine and honest. The band is unafraid to write about depression, drug addiction, and those thoughts that creep in one’s mind lying awake at 3 a.m. While 2015’s New Alhambra adds more production to their former low-grit sound, Elvis Depressedly remains true to its fans with honest and raw songwriting. Last year saw the release of their eighth recording, California Dreamin’, a previously unreleased EP. MAT WEIR
INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $13/adv, $16/door. 429-4135.
BUCK JOHNSON BAND
Back in the saddle again, Buck Johnson hits Felton this week. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, the Alabama-born musician is better known as the keyboardist and backup singer for Boston rockers Aerosmith. In addition, Johnson has worked with a who’s-who of rock acts like the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. He is currently touring his 2016 solo debut Enjoying The Ride—a 12-track album soaked in country and dusted with rock. MW
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2880.
IN THE QUEUE
NEW ORLEANS SUSPECTS
Members of the Radiators, the Neville Brothers and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Wednesday at Moe’s Alley
Central California celtic group’s St. Paddy’s Party. Friday at Don Quixote’s
British, fingerstyle guitar master. Sunday at Kuumbwa
Renowned jazz and soul vocalist. Monday at Kuumbwa
Celebrated Los Angeles-based rapper. Tuesday at Catalyst