Live music highlights for the week of September 5, 2018.
Relief efforts continue in Puerto Rico, and its citizens are still struggling. That’s why it’s important to keep listening to what the people that call it home have to say, which is one of many reasons you might want to check out Misael at Moe’s Alley on Wednesday. He is famous as the lead singer of one of the island’s biggest reggae bands, Yerba Bruja. In addition to the handful of LPs his band has released, he’s also put out some solo material, and done some collaborations, all still in the vein of bilingual roots reggae. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.
With a collective resume that includes work with Zoe Muth, Eli West and Donna the Buffalo, Western Centuries garners comparisons to legendary groups like the Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Purveyors of country music with heart, well-crafted lyrics, top-notch instrumentation and enough edge to appeal to hardcore roots enthusiasts, the band breathes fresh life into classic country and Western music, without losing what it is that attracts people to the music in the first place. As singer-songwriter and founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show Willie Watson put it, “What a relief! Country music is alive and well.” CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.
Shoreline Mafia are no strangers to Santa Cruz, although these days when they play town they are selling out the main room in the Catalyst—a long way from their fledgling days only two years ago. Now the fearsome foursome recently signed to Atlantic Records and are ready to take their L.A. sound to the world. Because they’ve blown up so big, this Friday’s show will be a double feature. MAT WEIR
INFO: 6:30 & 9:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25-$60. 429-4135.
HOUSE OF FLOYD
Pink Floyd is often remembered as one of the quintessential “album rock” bands. But let’s not forget that they were also a mind-blowing live band. They incorporated theatrics and lights, and created stunning sonic soundscapes that even their near-flawless records couldn’t capture. That’s why the goal of the San Francisco Pink Floyd tribute band House Of Floyd is to create not so much a “tribute” to the band as a fully immersive live Pink Floyd experience. They even create some of their own arrangements for these classic songs. AC
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret & Steakhouse, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $20/adv, $25/door. 335-2800.
BANDA SANTA MARIA
Banda is a style of brass and percussion music that has come to represent the Southern and Central states of Mexico. The boisterously romantic sound floats through a range of rancheras, boleros, cumbias and more. Banda Santa Maria is Salinas’ premiere banda group, and features an impressive group of over a dozen local musicians. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
GEORGE KAHUMOKU JR.
With a stage show that’s been described as the “essence of aloha,” singer-songwriter and 12-string slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr. is one of the most recognized and beloved ambassadors of Hawaiian music. Born in Kona on the Big Island, Kahumoku’s understanding of traditions—musical and otherwise—runs deep. A farmer, teacher and storyteller, Kahumoku shares his love of island life, humanity, music and the land in his music and on-stage. CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $17/adv, $20/door. 335-2800.
RAY CHARLES PROJECT
Comprising 11-time Grammy winner and Santana vocalist Tony Lindsay, blues guitar standout Chris Cain, Dewayne Pate, Deszon Claiborne, Glenn Walters and Eamonn Flynn, the Ray Charles Project is a Bay Area all-star outfit that pays tribute to the American legend in fine style. Spanning Charles’ repertoire—soul, blues, jazz vocals, gospel and more—the sextet keeps his spirit alive and swinging. CJ
INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $25/door. 479-1854.
In the McFerrin family, uncategorizable brilliance doesn’t fall far from the tree. The son of vocal wizard Bobby McFerrin, Taylor McFerrin is a polymathic multi-instrumentalist, beatboxer, vocalist, composer and producer who engineers slyly grooving tracks blending hip-hop and electronica, jazz, soul, and R&B. He’s been keeping company with a groove-centric jazz supergroup in recent months, recording and touring with keyboardist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Christian Scott, bassist Derrick Hodge and others in R+R=NOW, but this show is a solo date featuring McFerrin building tunes on his phalanx of keyboards. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $26.25 adv/$31.50 door. 427-2227.
Back in the adventurous late ’90s indie rock era, Jonathan Ford was kicking around in bands Pedro the Lion and Roadside Monument, not feeling completely artistically satisfied. It was from this dissonance that he created Unwed Sailor, which is mostly instrumental, post-rock and highly emotive—not totally new territory among ’90s indie experimenters. But a few things stuck out about his project. One was its slippery diversity from album to album. It could be graceful and gorgeous, or lighthearted and cute; even grating and scary. Another more subtle element is Ford’s relentless pursuit to keep the music swirling around the bass. He continues to write and record experimental, ambient music that doesn’t quite jive with the standard post-rock stereotypes. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.