Santa Cruz County live entertainment picks for the week of Aug. 7
As a tunesmith for hire, Gretchen Peters’ list of clients is like a music industry who’s who. Not limited to fellow country artists like Shania Twain, Martina McBride and George Strait, the Nashville singer has also written for Bryan Adams, Etta James and even the “Jewish Elvis” himself, Neil Diamond. While recent years have seen country bend towards big pop hooks and commercial viability, Peters’ songwriting has remained heartfelt and mature, focusing on the dusty magic of life’s small moments. MIKE HUGUENOR
7:30 p.m. Michael’s On Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17 adv/$20 door. 479-9777.
Since getting back together in 2015, the Boxmasters has reigned in some of its historic hillbilly-country leanings and focused more on an affable, rockabilly vibe with large doses of ‘60s British-pop hooks. Billy Bob Thornton, aka “Bud,” delivers an earnest performance as the frontman of a touring band. His voice is like a wheezy Tom Petty, and he charms as he sings about the loves, desires and troubles of the average person. His cohorts J.D. (guitar) and Teddy (keyboard) hold it together in the back, playing sidekick to Bud’s winsome country-guy antics with steady, understated poise. AMY BEE
8 p.m. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $38 adv/$44 door. 704-7113.
HERE COMES SUNSHINE
Grateful Dead tribute bands are their own unique genre of music. These musicians love the Dead so much that paying tribute to the almightiest of jam bands means capturing the band’s essence, not playing note for note. Here Comes Sunshine is Scott Guberman’s project. He plays with Phil Lesh and has jammed with other Dead members. He gets the Dead. The rest of the band is made up of the member’s of Jerry’s Middle Finger, one of the top L.A. Dead bands around. AC
8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10 adv/$15 door. 479-1854.
LOST DOG STREET BAND
Break out the hobo satchel and dust off your cap, because the Lost Dog Street Band returns for a night of traveling tunes. Fresh off the release of their fifth album Weight of a Trigger, this year finds the bluesy, folk-punk group a trio, with the addition of Jeff Loops to founders Ashley Mae and Benjamin Tod. This year also finds the band digging deeper and darker, investigating the violence of human nature. Despite the demons driving the music, the Lost Dog Street Band keeps things upbeat and whimsical with fiddles and banjos. MAT WEIR
9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15. 423-1338.
What exactly is progressive soul? For Oakland’s Token Girl, it’s both a genre and a philosophy. While soul music has moved people for generations, even modern soul acts like Sharon Jones (RIP) and the Soft White Sixties tend to lean back towards the genre’s roots. Token Girl, on the other hand, aims to push the genre forward, incorporating buzzing synths and experimental elements into songs. This February, the three-piece dropped Two Fold, a solid two-song EP with their most snaky, sinuous songs to date. Stretch that soul. MH
9 p.m. Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $10. 423-7117.
MIKE E. WINFIELD
Mike E. Winfield disarms the crowd with a giant grin, and 10 minutes later, they’re laughing at stuff they probably shouldn’t. This talent of his to flow from benign to inappropriate and back again is probably why people refer to him as “almost family-friendly.” Winefield often explores his family and marriage on stage. His stepson is almost Winefield’s age, and his wife sometimes treats Winfield like a child in public. Obviously, troubles and misunderstandings abound. This thematic goldmine, plus Winefield’s high energy and willing candor, always keeps the audience on his side. AB
7 & 9:30 p.m. DNA’s Comedy Lab, 155 S River St., Santa Cruz. $20 adv/$25 door. 900-5123.
What exactly were 311? Hip-hop? Rock? Alternative? If your answer is, “Shut up, man, they were awesome! Quit categorizing everything!” then Tempe, Arizona, band Katastro is the band for you. It’s sort of rap, but also an alt-rock band with funk and a bit of blues. It’s all of these genres, but really it’s a whole vibe predicated on danceable grooves. Is that your thing? If it’s not, you got a seriously negative attitude that needs to be addressed, bro! Grab a spliff and chill out to the million genres of Katastro. AC
8 p.m. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12 adv/$14 door. 704-7113.
For anyone keeping score, the ’80’s and early ’90s are here again. Neon colors. Stranger Things. An old white guy in the Oval Office with a campaign slogan ripped from the KKK. It’s no wonder there has been an onslaught of O.G. punk-rock reunions. Thankfully, Dave Dictor and MDC won’t have any of that money-grabbing crap. They’re back at the Blue Lagoon with a little help from fellow Texan punk pioneers Verbal Abuse, Bay Area originals Fang and new local degenerates Kemper’s Temper and Monty Montgomery & His Band of Kooks. MW
9 p.m. The Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave. $15 adv/$20 door. 423-7117.
EMMET COHEN TRIO
Emmet Cohen’s ascendance as jazz’s most celebrated pianist under 30 was capped off in April, when he won the American Pianists Association’s rigorous Cole Porter Fellowship and the accompanying $50,000 prize and recording contract with Mack Avenue Records. In many ways, the competition confirmed Cohen’s accomplishments, as he’s doggedly sought out veteran masters like drum legend Jimmy Cobb and bass maestro Ron Carter for his Masters Legacy Series albums. Along with Benny Green, he’s been a steady accompanist for the sensational 25-year-old vocalist Veronica Swift. With his own trio, he’s a jaw-dropping improviser with fluent command of nearly a century of piano jazz idioms. ANDREW GILBERT