MISISIPI MIKE WOLF & THE GILROY TALL BOYS
I’m not sure what’s up with the hacked spelling of Mississippi, but I am sure that Misisipi Mike Wolf is deeply steeped in classic country, complete with sorrowful slide guitar wails, tales of honky tonks and lost boots, and nostalgic longing for times gone by. A San Francisco-based artist with a penchant for melodic outlaw tunes, Wolf was named Best Singer/Songwriter by the San Francisco Bay Guardian two years in a row, and his music has appeared in numerous television shows, including Sons of Anarchy and True Blood. Also on the Western Wednesday bill is local Americana act Abalone Grey. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.
A keyboard wiz who has spent the last two decades touring his music around the world, Bob Malone is a showman extraordinaire. As one reviewer wrote, “If he could find a way to throw that Steinway grand over his shoulder the way a hot-dog guitar player does, I think he would.” The New Jersey-born Malone, who has been performing with John Fogerty since 2011, boasts a wicked blend of technical prowess and soul-shaking delivery. He also possesses a hard-driving sound capable of sending blues-rock fans into a frenzy. He’s joined by multi-faceted singer-songwriter Lipbone Redding. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 335-2800.
MU330 + Slow Gherkin
What are two of the most underrated ’90s ska records? MU330’s Weezer-influenced Crab Rangoon and Slow Gherkin’s New-Wave-tinged Shed Some Skin. MU330 and Slow Gherkin were two of the best ’90s ska bands that shook up the pop-punk-marching-band-horns formula other groups fell into, and they still hold up in 2016. Slow Gherkin is, of course, local guys. MU330 is from St. Louis, but singer Dan Potthast has called Santa Cruz home for the past couple of decades. This is going to be an insane show. Everyone must dance. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $12. 429-6994.
ANTHONY WILSON & THE CURATORS
A supremely skilled guitarist and composer, Anthony Wilson earned a vaunted reputation on the Los Angeles jazz scene in the mid-1990s when he started releasing albums featuring his vivid and talent-laden nonet. When he’s not touring with Diana Krall—a chair he’s held for 15 years—he’s a sought after soloist and arranger who’s contributed to recordings by Paul McCartney, Bobby Hutcherson, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Mose Allison, and other singular stars. His new album Frogtown finds Wilson exploring singer/songwriter territory with pleasing results, playing finely crafted tunes with the Curators, a quartet featuring bassist Mike Elizondo, keyboardist Patrick Warren and drummer Matt Chamberlain, an enviably versatile player and savvy producer who’s collaborated with leading figures in rock, hip-hop, jazz and beyond. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
This revolutionary rapper was born in Peru, but began his career in the streets of New York, battling MCs and slinging mixtapes. He has always prided himself in being 100 percent independent, saying what he wants, when he wants without having to worry about what the corporate masters might say. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
Lyrics Born’s spitfire lyrics are pure hip-hop, but often float over a wide array of music, from jazz to soul. Last year, he released his fourth solo album, Real People, which is steeped in New Orleans-style horns and funky ’70s beats. While the music might be the soundtrack to make a party crackin,’ the conscious lyricist keeps it real by rapping about immigration, family, and everyday struggles. This Friday he will be joined by a live band to keep the funk alive along with guest opener Sweet Plot. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
One of the most recognized names on the contemporary blues circuit, Coco Montoya got his introduction to the genre not as a guitarist, but as a drummer for legendary bluesman Albert King. As the story goes, Montoya was a rock drummer who was so moved by King’s playing that he asked to join his band. King told him to be ready in three hours, and he spent the next five years playing next to the master. As Montoya has said, “When he played, the music went right into my soul. It grabbed me so emotionally that I had tears welling up in my eyes. Nothing had ever affected me to this level … I knew that was what I wanted to do.” CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $18/adv, $22/door. 479-1854.
JAMES LEE STANLEY
The first thing you should know about local James Lee Stanley is that he played the singing Klingon on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. OK, maybe that’s not the most crucial tidbit about Stanley’s career, especially considering that he’s also been a really prolific recording artist, with more than 20 albums since 1970. He commands the acoustic guitar as a musical storyteller, and as a composer that utilizes the subtlest of details to add dynamic to his intimate acoustic performances. As compelling as his songs are, he’s also a really funny guy, with some amusing in-between song banter. He’s opened for guys like Steven Wright and Robin Williams, and has held his own. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 CA-9, Felton. $15. 335-2800
Have you ever loved a sandwich so much it made you want to sing about it? That’s basically what’s going on with LA’s reverb-soaked garage-rockers Cherry Glazerr’s “Grilled Cheese.” Music should reflect the author’s truth, and the topics of sandwiches, enduring cramps and mourning the loss of a pet are just the subject matter that happens to come up with Cherry Glazerr. It might seem jokey, but it’s anything but. The trio, all barely out of high school, have a certain sweet, innocent charm about them, but also there’s a darkness swimming around their music. AC
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 429-4135.
IN THE QUEUE
KEVIN WELCH AND DUSTIN WELCH
Legendary singer-songwriter and his son. Thursday at Don Quixote’s
DOOBIE DECIBEL SYSTEM
Rockers Jason Crosby, Roger McNamee, Pete Sears and more join forces. Thursday at Moe’s Alley
Grammy-winning sibling reggae band. Sunday at Catalyst
Elder statesman of the Texas singer-songwriter tradition. Sunday at Moe’s Alley
AFRICAN GUITAR SUMMIT
Lively musical collaboration between five standout African artists. Monday at Kuumbwa