Drawing inspiration from Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton, as well as Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, Sara Petite has a cross-generational appeal that spans from young, hip, country newcomers to the old-school crowd that grew up on classic country. The San Diego-based singer-songwriter dips into folk, roots, rock and country and emerges with a sound that stands on its own, whether playing solo, with her full band, or with her swamp-country three-piece, Sara Petite and the Sweet Pea Possums. Also on the bill: the Western Wednesday All-Star Band, featuring this month’s special guest, Charlie Wallace. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
This L.A. hip-hop star cut his musical teeth with the Living Legends in the early 1990s, and has since built his solo career with original tunes and collaborations with other prolific, underground artists like Slug, Fashawn and DJ 9th Wonder. His introspective and conscious lyrics perfectly match up with his modern and contemporary beats, keeping his music new and relevant in an age of “fast food” hip-hop that is devoured suddenly and quickly ignored. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $18/adv, $23/door 429-4135.
Paul Kimball and John Blatchford have had plenty of experiences rocking Bay Area audiences with their various country/psych-rock/indie bands (Careless Hearts, the Mumlers, Doctor Nurse). When the duo came together in 2015, they opted for something new to both of them: stripped-down intimate acoustic music. As gifted, experienced songwriters it was a challenge they were happy to tackle. Together they create gorgeous, melancholy indie-folk songs, rich in harmony, and packed with spine-tingling melodies. So far the partnership has been fruitful—they already have two EPs. As the songs continue to flow out, they aim to get out of San Jose more. This is the duo’s debut Santa Cruz show. AARON CARNES
INFO: 7 p.m. Abbey, 350 Mission St., Santa Cruz. Free. 429-1058.
If you’re ready for the hammer of the gods to drive your ships to new land, then look no further than Zep Live! Since 1999, the band has been building a stairway to heaven covering the music of 1970s rock stalwarts, Led Zeppelin. This retro foursome has a whole lotta love for the classics and delivers dazed and confused versions of listener favorites that are guaranteed to please fans going to California from over the hills and far away in Kashmir. MW
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $40/gen, $50/gold. 423-8209.
REVEREND HORTON HEAT & DALE WATSON
Reverend Horton Heat never gets the respect he deserves as a killer country, rockabilly artist. It’s probably the fact that his lyrics can be a bit over the top—he calls himself Reverend Horton Heat, after all, and is known for songs like “Nurture My Pig.” The Rev is coming to Santa Cruz with fellow Texas country legend Dale Watson, with the two of them taking turns giving folks intimate solo performances. For anyone familiar with the Reverend’s punkabilly, irreverent side, this is an opportunity to see his raw, bare-bones talent as a Southern singer-songwriter. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way., Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $40/door. 479-1854.
According to the Quitters’ bio, there are right-side-up guitarists, and upside-down ones—and this duo has one of each. Comprising Glenn Houston and Stevie Coyle, two of the three founding members of string band sensation the Waybacks, this hot-picking outfit serves up acoustic masterworks of flatpicking and fingerstyle guitar, along with vocals “spiced with humor and serendipity.” CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.
OMAR SOSA GFS TRIO
An international collective bringing together three singular musical explorers, the GFS Trio arrives in Santa Cruz for its second U.S. performance ever. Cuban pianist Omar Sosa is a master at melding musical traditions, and he’s created a vast and multifarious body of music encompassing trance and dance, percussive flights and pacific passages. Indian-born percussionist Trilok Gurtu is known for his dazzling rhythmic work with artists such as Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, Oregon, and Jan Garbarek, while also recording widely as a leader. And Sardinian-born trumpeter Paolo Fresu provides cool brass counterpoint to the heat generated by his confederates. With all three players contributing original material, the GFS Trio is marked by exquisite melodies and playfully dazzling improvisational flights. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $35/adv, $45/door. 427-2227.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Ned Flanders fronted a metal band? You don’t have to wonder anymore, as five guys in Phoenix decided it would be a good idea to base an entire band around this question. And here’s the beauty of it: all five of them are Ned Flanders. They play brutal, groove-based, sucker-punch, guttural-screaming metal—or, as they call it, “Nedal.” All jokes aside, these five guys make incredible metal with or without the mustaches and cornball sweaters. AC
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $18/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
Inimitable artist pays tribute to jazz pianist Billy Tipton. Thursday at Kuumbwa
EL RHAN COMBO
“Rhythmically enhanced version” of Rhan Wilson and friends. Thursday at Don Quixote’s
PREZIDENT BROWN & PABLO MOSES
Jamaican reggae greats. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
Classic London punk band. Saturday at Catalyst
Indie electro-rock out of San Francisco. Saturday at Crepe Place