TRAIL & WAYS
This is an interesting time to check out Easy Bay’s Cocteau-Twins-meets-bossa-nova indie quartet Trails & Ways. The group first came into prominence a few years back with a killer EP Trilingual, combining chill vibes, indie rock, world beat and, yes, three languages. Last year’s debut full-length Pathology did not disappoint. But now as they prepare for their follow-up, half the band has left. Their replacements are Miriam Speyer and former Santa Cruzan Kendra McKinley, who helped them record the new album. The first song they’ve released, “My Things,” is a dream-pop gem. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $12. 429-6994.
If there’s anyone perfect to pay tribute to Prince, it’s Bay Area funk group Katdelic. They play funk the way it was meant to be played—weird. Taking cues from Parliament, Katdelic mixes grooves with soul, psychedelic, rock, pop and a lot of flamboyance. Sound like anyone else? Leader Ronkat Spearman got his start as part of the P-Punk All Star touring group in 2000. About a decade later, he left and let his own creativity blossom with Katdelic. This Friday’s show will be a combination of Katdelic and Prince songs. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $15/door. 479-1854
DAVINA & THE VAGABONDS
A high-energy, high-impact retro outfit that draws from New Orleans music, classic soul, rock, gospel and jazz, Davina & the Vagabonds are creating quite a buzz as a top act on the national music scene. Led by frontwoman Davina Sowers, the Twin Cities-based outfit garners praise for its careful balance of swagger, soul and tenderness. Sowers is often compared to powerhouse women, including Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and Etta James, but her theatrical delivery and fresh take on the music of bygone eras sets her apart as a true original. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
Mixing hip-hop and smooth R&B, it’s no wonder Dej Loaf was called out as part of 2015’s “Freshman Class” (aka, artists to watch out for) by XXL magazine. Born in Detroit, she first hit the scene in 2012 with her mixtape Just Do It, followed by Sell Sole in 2014 and this year’s All Jokes Aside. Between the mixtapes, Dej Loaf worked with a who’s-who in the hip-hop world ranging from E-40 to Ty Dolla Sign, and opened last year for the North American part of Nicki Minaj’s Pinkprint Tour. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $39-$139. 429-4135.
HONKY DONKY & HEARTBREAKER
Hot damnation and icy-cold beer! Y’all better get ready for the “100 percent foolproof alcoholic love making music” that is Honky Donky & Heartbreaker. This is real honky-tonk for anyone with a lovesick heart and liver of steel. With a lot of twang in their guitar and humor in their lyrics, Honky Donky & Heartbreaker just might be your next favorite band. MW
INFO: 9 pm. The Pocket, 3102 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz. $5. 475-9819.
These days, a simple Internet search will reveal a treasure trove of ’60s international garage-rock gems. But back in the ’90s, L.A. native Ethan Holtzman discovered a heap of old vibrant Cambodian psych-rock bands the old fashioned way—by visiting South East Asian and ransacking local stores. His group Dengue Fever, formed in 2001, is heavily influenced by this sound, itself a hybrid of surreal American psych-rockers and traditional Cambodian melodies. Most of Dengue Fever’s tunes are sung in Khmer. It’s a unique updated take on the music with bits of surf and indie tossed in the pot as well. AC
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. 335-2800. $15/adv, $18/door. 335-2800.
If you caught Buddy Guy at the recent Santa Cruz American Music Festival, you understand that before there was a Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, there was Guy. What you might not know, however, is that before there was Guy, there was Guitar Shorty. A blues legend from Houston, Texas who has influenced countless rock and blues guitarists, Shorty is five decades into a career as a blistering and unpredictable guitarist, a fierce vocalist, and an inimitable showman. On Sunday, he hits Moe’s Alley for an afternoon set. CJ
INFO: 4 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $14/adv, $18/door. 479-1854.
JOSHUA REDMAN QUARTET
Even when he tries to keep his name off the marquee, Joshua Redman tends to draw the lion’s share of attention in whatever band he’s performing in. Which is a pity, because the Berkeley saxophone star can usually be found keeping company with the most prodigious cats on the scene. Tuesday’s show is no exception. Pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson toured and recorded widely with Redman around the turn of the century, joining him on the albums Beyond and Passage of Time (both on Warner Bros.). Among the most sought-after accompanists of their generation, they’re exceptional musicians who’ve helped define progressive mainstream jazz over the past 25 years. Rogers and Hutchinson are a particularly exciting rhythm section tandem, a supple and coruscating unit captured on Redman’s consistently enthralling 2014 album Trios Live (Nonesuch). ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
Tucson-based Americana outfit led by Howe Gelb. Friday at Don Quixote’s
LOUIS THE CHILD
Electronic duo out of Chicago. Friday at Catalyst
Jazz-rock duo comprising twin brothers Jonathan and Jared Mattson. Friday at Crepe Place
BENNY GREEN TRIO
Hard bop keyboardist whose resumé includes work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Monday at Kuumbwa
“Cholo-goth” duo out of Southern California. Tuesday at Catalyst