Music Picks Nov. 16—22

Live music in Santa Cruz for the week of November 16, 2016

Good Riddance





Hailing from Boston, and Ithaca, New York, John Brown’s Body is a reggae group whose members describe their sound as “future roots music.” What that means is that the band starts with a solid, roots-reggae foundation, but then expands its range to incorporate funk, ska, hip-hop, dub and more. Formed in the mid-’90s, John Brown’s Body was one of the first American reggae acts to garner a national following. The band has since dropped 11 albums, the latest of which is this year’s Fireflies, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae charts. CAT JOHNSON

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


FRIDAY 11/18



Numbskull Productions has been putting on crazy punk rock shows in California for 27 years now. Why not celebrate by rattling your own skull in the pit at the upcoming anniversary show? Numbskull puts on shows in various cities around California, but Santa Cruz is one of its bread-and-butter markets. The lineup is nuts: Suicidal Tendencies, Good Riddance, Leftover Crack, Swingin’ Utters, Fury 66, Screw 32 and the Missing 23rd. AARON CARNES

INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $26.50/adv, $31.50/door. 429-4135.



Matthew Logan Vasquez is the lead vocalist and guitarist for San Diego-based indie rock band Delta Spirit. This fall, the Texan leaves his new son—who he named Thor—to embark on a solo tour throughout the West Coast. Although most of Vasquez’ solo EP is made up of songs that he originally wrote for Delta Spirit (including an 18-minute intro), the album has a heavier folk influence, reminiscent of early Neil Young. Vasquez himself describes the record as an “epic American saga [that] conjures desert visions of Crazy Horse guitar solos, David Crosby’s mustache, and a journey through the past on mescaline.” KATIE SMALL

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $14. 429-6994.



A giant of country music, Asleep at the Wheel is at this point more an institution than a group. Formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia way back in 1969, the band has been the top-of-mind Western swing outfit for the better part of 50 years. Now a staple of the Austin music scene, Asleep at the Wheel continues its reign as genre ambassador, with nine Grammy Awards, 20 Billboard singles and somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 albums. The band’s most recent offering is Still the King, a tribute to the music of Western swing pioneer Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. CJ

INFO: 7:30 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $35/gen, $50/gold. 423-8209.



English Beat is one of a handful of bands for which any ska fan will immediately suit up and dance. Yet, in an interview leader Dave Wakeling said that the goal was to play reggae and punk. How can this be? Ska’s high-energy danceability, it turns out, was a nice meeting ground for these two disparate genres. Other 2 Tone bands from the era had a similar realization, which explains why those bands, particularly the English Beat, were so diverse and unique. These bands weren’t trying to create a ska revival—they were just liberal with their influences. AC

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $26/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.





Legendary reggae vocalist Michael Rose joined Black Uhuru in 1977, and played a pivotal role in the band’s most successful years (including their 1984 Grammy, the first ever awarded for reggae music). After leading the group to international success, Rose pursued his own solo career for a few years before founding a coffee farm in Jamaica. The singer reunited with Derrick “Duckie” Simpson and Black Uhuru again in 2004, and has been back on the music scene ever since. Over a career spanning four decades, Rose has stayed true to reggae’s roots. KS

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.



Raised on Elvis Presley and rockabilly, bluegrass singer-songwriter Peter Rowan first drank the bluegrass Kool-Aid in college, where he was introduced to legendary acts like the Country Gentlemen, the Stanley Brothers and the mighty Bill Monroe, the father of the genre. When Monroe invited Rowan to play and sing as one of his Bluegrass Boys, Rowan hitched his wagon to Monroe’s star and didn’t look back as he went on to play with bluegrass and newgrass standouts such as David Grisman, Clarence White and Jerry Garcia. Saturday’s performance is a benefit for the Wise Women’s Channel, a documentary platform bringing the “wisdom of today’s tribal leaders, medicine women, and teachers to the world.” CJ

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


SUNDAY 11/20



Where do you begin with Neil Young? He’s released so many classic albums—Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, etc. At his best, he engages some pretty dark material, like the Ditch Trilogy (Time Fades Away, Tonight’s the Night, On The Beach). He’s even released some incredible later albums like Harvest Moon and Sleep With Angels. The point is that local Young tribute band Not So Young covers tunes from Young’s expansive and mind-boggling 50-year career. AC

INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $10. 335-2800.



Roots rock out of Arizona. Thursday at Moe’s Alley


Celebrated folk troubadour. Friday at Don Quixote’s


Bay Area rock quartet. Saturday at Crepe Place


Alabama-based rapper. Saturday at Catalyst


Soul, blues and acoustic rock. Sunday at Don Quixote’s

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