Music highlights for the week of August 23, 2017.
Any musician these days can be a one-man act so long as they have an iPod and a microphone. But for Matt Lorenz, the sole member of Suitcase Junket, that approach would destroy the whole vibe of what he’s trying to create. He sits in a chair with a tattered guitar, an old-timey microphone, and a modified drum. There’s a bit of Americana from every corner of the country mixed in (blues, honky tonk, swamp-rock), and somehow, he gives it the life of a full band. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
Asbestos clothing is highly recommended for this performance, as the Guitarsonists—Chris Cain, Mighty Mike Schermer and Daniel Castro—bring together a triumphant triumvirate of blues guitarslingers known for sparking some outrageously searing conflagrations. The three bandleaders truly meld their talents, backing each other with wicked rhythm work while tearing through tunes designed specifically for an incendiary three-guitar front line. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $27/door. 427-2227.
AFROBEAT / REGGAE
An Afro-roots reggae 12-piece out of Lagos, Nigeria, Rex Suru and Cherubim Vibes blends ska, reggae, Afrobeat and West African styles into a potent musical concoction that has been described as “pulsating, moving, magnetic and unifying.” The band, led by Oakland-based artist Rex Suru, has built a diverse, cross-cultural fanbase of music lovers, social justice warriors and seekers. On Monday, the party hits Moe’s. CJ
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $7/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.
There’s a shirt you can buy online that says, “Old punks never die. We just stand in the back.” This may be true to some extent, but if you go to an Agent Orange show, you will see plenty of old punks doing a whole lot more than just standing in the back. These Southern California surf-punk rockers have been tearing up stages since 1979, and I shudder to think how old lead singer/guitarist Mike Palm is. Still, this isn’t “stand in the back” music, old punks or otherwise. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 429-4135.
Comprising an all-star group of artists who have performed with the Doobie Brothers, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Gregg Allman and others, the Beggar Kings are back for the third annual “Rockin’ Romp at the Rio.” This year the band takes on the Golden Age of music from the Rolling Stones—that era from the late-’60s into the early-’70s that produced epic tracks like “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Brown Sugar,” “Street Fightin’ Man,” and more. Comprising Kevin Krilanovich on vocals, Tom Ayres on guitars, Caleb Larsen on guitars, Dale Ockerman on keyboards, harp and guitars, David Tucker on drums, Endre Tarczy on bass and vocals, Vince Sanchez on percussion, the Pleasure Point Horns and the Nasty Habits choir, the band may even showcase some original tunes. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15-$30. 423-8209.
A propulsively swinging guitarist and rhythmically assured vocalist with a pleasingly smooth sound, John Pizzarelli has recorded albums celebrating the music of Nat “King” Cole, the Beatles, Johnny Mercer, Frank Sinatra and bossa nova, among other iconic sources. His latest project, Sinatra & Jobim @ 50, marks the golden anniversary of Sinatra’s classic encounter with bossa patriarch Antonio Carlos Jobim, a breathtaking collaboration that stands with the finest work of both prolific artists. He’s joined by a stellar six-piece band that includes his backup vocalist wife Jessica Molaskey (who’s got an excellent new album interpreting the songs of Joni Mitchell), and their daughter Maddie Pizzarelli on backup vocals and steel-string guitar. AG
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $32/adv, $37/door. 427-2227.
NICK SCHNEBELEN BAND
Nick Schnebelen is a relatively young name in blues. (OK, he’s 38—but that’s young for the blues!) His eponymous band is also new on the scene. But Schnebelen has been playing the blues professionally for 20-some years. Fans may remember a young Schnebelen playing guitar in Trampled Under Foot, a primarily blues-oriented band with elements of rock and soul in the mix. Before that, Schnebelen watched his musician father, Bob, play the blues in local Kansas City bands. Now leading his own band, he gets down and dirty with a much rawer blues sound than Trampled Under Foot. AC
INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.
Hailing from Ireland, Ruaile Buaile blends traditional Irish music, pop and folk into a fresh, high-energy sound for the next generation of Celtic music lovers. Already a sensation on the international festival circuit, the group of friends—comprising Niall on vocals and guitar, Arthur on fiddle and banjo, Shane on vocals and bass and Jack on cajón and banjo—is a bit of a newcomer to the Irish music scene but it already shows signs of brilliance. As one festival organizer said, the band never fails “to blow the crowd away with their fresh upbeat and energetic show, that leaves every member of the audience with a smile on their face.” CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
HERE WE GO MAGIC
If you watch Here We Go Magic’s eccentric video for “How Do I Know,” you’ll notice many mentions of John Waters in the comment section. Despite the strange premise of the video (a man trying to dispose of his dancing robot), Waters had nothing to do with the video, and isn’t in it. However, he did write about the group in his book Carsick, a memoir about his hitchhiking exploits. He apparently caught a ride from the band. I like to think it was serendipitous, especially after watching “How Do I Know” and its bizarro Americana aesthetic that brings to mind Napoleon Dynamite mixed with Frank. The music is upbeat, poppy, and twisted in subtly unsettling ways. Perfect for fans of Waters. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $15. 335-2800.
IN THE QUEUE
Santa Cruz-based “theatrical funk” band. Thursday at Catalyst
SAN FRANCISCO AIRSHIP
Tribute to Jefferson Airplane and the classic SF sound. Saturday at Don Quixote’s
Celebrated reggae act, formerly known as Midnite. Saturday at Moe’s Alley
ARSONISTS GET ALL THE GIRLS
Local metal act. Sunday at Catalyst
RUSSELL MALONE QUARTET
Jazz guitar master. Monday at Kuumbwa