There’s a homegrown sensibility about The Juncos. Perhaps it’s their name—a little local bird that’s busy, territorial, not particularly shy, but also not well known. Or perhaps it’s the resonant chord that strikes deep within the band: no matter what befalls the world at large, The Juncos will keep playing. Spearheaded by locals Josh Lowe (banjo, guitar and vocals) and Jeff Kissell (double bass and vocals), The Juncos are the assimilation of indie roots, Americana, old jazz standards, jug band, honky-tonk, bluegrass, field hollers, and the occasional Pogues tune. Gathered around a wooden table, cluttered with tattooed forearms and beer, at one of their favorite haunts—The Crepe Place—Lowe and Kissell drop knowledge like a junco drops eggs. Kissell finds parallels for their timeless acoustic tunes: “I think there is a strong connection between punk and American roots music. We are not beholden to any given style. Like punk, we are based on people just getting together and playing, and not going to school to study it. We play for people to have a good time and it comes from all these other forms—the punk rock idea of ‘just do it,’ and if you don’t know how to do it, figure out how to do it.” From street corners to folk festivals, these troubadours have no intention of clipping their wings. Even if there’s an apocalypse, The Juncos will still be busting out tunes on the porch. “I grew up listening to American music from my dad’s record collection—most people say we are bluegrass, but bluegrass is a very small genre in a much larger picture. I like to say indie roots, but my songs are not specifically in one genre, but have a feel like they were written 50 years ago,” Lowe explains. “My passion is old American roots energy.” | DNA
info: 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $5/8. 479-1854.