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Santa Cruz Music Picks Mar 29—Apr 4

The best live music in Santa Cruz for the week of March 29, 2017

 

WEDNESDAY 3/29

INDIE-FOLK

DEER

If there’s a band that fully embodies Austin, Texas’ eclectic ethos, it’s Deer, who are touring on their transcendent third album, Tempest & Rapture. Austin, as we all know, is where all the southern weirdos go to make crazy music and eat breakfast tacos. Deer uses roots-folk-country as its jumping-off point, but mixes elements of star-gazing psychedelic rock and spiritual dream-pop. Somehow the group never loses its boot-stomping edge while drifting out in the nether-regions of the universe, creating beautifully strange music. AARON CARNES

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.

 

THURSDAY 3/30

REGGAE

KING SCHASCHA

Whether it’s reggae artists like UB40 and Sister Nancy, or ska bands like the English Beat, or punkier groups like the Interrupters, King Schascha can share a bill with them. Hailing from San Diego, he crosses genres with his blend of reggae, jazz, soul and calypso, and is known for authentic songs about real-life trials and tribulations. His live shows are known for the booty-shaking beats dropped by his seven-piece Irusalem Band, and a One Love vibe. MAT WEIR

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.

 

THURSDAY 3/30

ROOTS

MANDOLIN ORANGE

From the first licks of the opening song on the new Mandolin Orange album, Blindfaller, it’s clear that the duo is something special. Hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Orange Mandolin plays the kind of acoustic music that sets your heart leaping and your mind opening. Rooted in folk and bluegrass, the duo, comprising Andrew Marlin on vocals, mandolin, guitar and banjo, and Emily Frantz on vocals, violin and guitar, weaves intricate melody lines, understated harmonies, contemplative storytelling and sweet, back-porch grooves to create a sound that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Keep your eyes (and ears) on this rising star of the folk scene. CAT JOHNSON

INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $20/adv, $25/door. 335-2800.

 

FRIDAY 3/31

SOUL

CON BRIO

Con Brio started out from a dream that lead singer Ziek McCarter describes as “one of the most spiritual moments of his life.” McCarter was left with a powerful urge: to make music that was uplifting, and bring compassion and serenity to whomever the group played for. Con Brio has done that with infectious, funky, psychedelic grooves. At times, the band rocks out pretty hard, but everything is toe-tappingly soulful and feel goods in your heart. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.

 

FRIDAY 3/31

INSTRUMENTAL ROCK

TAUK

An instrumental group that seamlessly incorporates hip-hop, funk, prog rock and jazz, TAUK is a beacon of collective chemistry and creativity. Hailing from Oyster Bay, New York, the four-piece—guitarist Matt Jalbert, bassist Charlie Dolan, keyboardist/organist Alric “A.C.” Carter, and drummer Isaac Teel—creates musical soundscapes that transport listeners with rich textures, unexpected melodic meanderings, and consuming jams. From its hypnotic, ambient grooves to mind-bending improvisations, TAUK is one of the most innovative and exciting bands around. If you love a tripped-out groove, but don’t want to watch someone twiddle a laptop all night, check these guys out. CJ

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 423-1338.

 

SATURDAY 4/1

COUNTRY

ANTSY MCCLAIN & THE TRAILER PARK TROUBADOURS

Antsy McClain regales crowds with homespun stories and humorous tunes about growing up in a trailer park in small-town rural America. Part of the appeal is that he doesn’t take himself all that seriously, yet his music is a sincere love letter to the best rural American living has to offer. AC

INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $$20/adv, $25/door. 335-2800.

 

SUNDAY 4/2

FOLK/COUNTRY

EILEN JEWELL

Idaho, at first blush, does not strike one as a musical hotbed. But the gem state, as it’s affectionately known, has produced its fair share of musical treasures, including folk legend Rosalie Sorrels, indie-rock royalty Built to Spill, and impeccably dressed classic rock outfit Paul Revere & the Raiders. Idaho is also the stomping grounds of Eilen Jewell, one of the most extraordinary artists on the contemporary roots scene. With her clear, stunning voice and easy stroll through country-noir, folk, alt-country and Americana, Jewell brings listeners into a quiet, thoughtful, era-transcending world that encompasses much of what’s great about American roots music. CJ

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/gen, $40/gold. 427-2227.

 

MONDAY 4/3

JAZZ

ROBERT TURNER & EDDIE GUTIERREZ

Los Angeles pianist Robert Turner is a soul-steeped improviser who can summon the deep blues of Gene Harris, the ebullient two-handed swing of Erroll Garner, and the rhapsodic flights of Keith Jarrett. His gospel roots in the Baptist church remain close to the surface, and he’s worked with some an array of artists, including Chico Debarge, Stevie Wonder, and Ronnie Laws. Sharing the double bill is Monterey guitarist Eddie Gutierrez, a formidable player and singer/songwriter. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10. 335-2526.

 

TUESDAY 4/4

BLUES

SCOTT H. BIRAM

What do you get when you cross a Texan ex-truck driver with a distorted guitar, Biblical guilt and a love for punk and Motorhead? The one and only Scott H. Biram—who’s merch boldly proclaims “The H. stand for ‘F*$ck You!’” Once known as a one-man band, Biram has slowly integrated other artists into his work, but remains a Catalyst favorite. Touring on his most recent release, The Bad Testament, Biram is a wrecking ball of sound for fans of Waylon Jennings, punk rock, fuzzed-out blues guitar riffs and a hell of a lot of whiskey. MW

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $14/door. 429-4135.


IN THE QUEUE

STRFKR

Indie rock out of Portland. Thursday at Catalyst

SANTA CRUZ WOMEN OF JAZZ

Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Thursday at Kuumbwa

RED

Nashville-based American rock band. Saturday at Catalyst

ROY ROGERS

Contemporary blues master. Sunday at Moe’s Alley

BLACK BROTHERS

Siblings from Ireland’s renowned musical group, the Black Family. Sunday at Don Quixote’s

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