Music highlights for the week of April 25, 2018.
MISS TESS & THE TALKBACKS
With a sound that Paste Magazine described as “decidedly old school,” Miss Tess and her ace band the Talkbacks pull from traditional country, blues, R&B and swamp rock styles, then give them a modern day kick in the ass that makes them as relevant as ever. Based in Nashville, the band is an audience favorite, known for high-energy, rowdy shows; an old-meets-new musical ethos; and a deep respect for American roots music traditions. CAT JOHNSON
INFO: 8 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
KEVIN BRENNAN & WAVELENGTH
Kevin Brennan has played with Van Morrison off and on throughout the ’60s and the ’80s. The two even played together in their home country of Ireland in a not-very-well-known band called the Great Eight in the ’60s. Needless to say, if someone is going to put together a Van Morrison tribute band, it should probably be Brennan. Not only does Brennan have a similar tattered voice, but he captures Morrison’s essence in his renditions of the songs. AARON CARNES
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Michael’s on Main, 2591 S. Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.
FACE TO FACE
You can’t keep a good punk down. Don’t believe us? Then just look at Southern California punk quartet Face to Face. Forged in the fledgling beginnings of the 1990s, Face to Face was one of the pioneer skate punk bands to create the sound of an era alongside groups like Lagwagon and the Offspring. Much to fans’ dismay, they called it quits in 2004 after 13 solid years of music, touring and punk rock shenanigans. Four years later, though, they reunited for a few shows, and decided to carry on into the future. MAT WEIR
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $25. 429-4135.
When you look up “underground hip-hop” in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born. Not really, but that’s what should be in the damn dictionary, despite the fact that the rapper poked his head into the mainstream briefly with his song “Callin’ Out.” To get a real sense of Lyrics Born’s diverse accomplishments, go ahead and give his greatest hits record Now Look What You’ve Done, Lyrics Born! Greatest Hits a spin. It really shows how the rapper helped to define straightforward Bay Area alt-hip-hop with his funky beats, sing-song-y flow and personal words, and then how he wasn’t afraid to change it up in the years to follow. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
Over his 50-year artistic journey, singer-songwriter Eric Andersen has had his hands—and songs—all over folk and rock music. He has 25 of his own albums, which feature icons such as Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed and Richard Thompson. Andersen has also had his songs covered by a long list of legendary artists, from Bob Dylan and Françoise Hardy, to the Grateful Dead, Peter, Paul and Mary, Gillian Welch and Pete Seeger. CJ
INFO: 2 p.m. Michaels on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $17/adv, $20/door. 479-9777.
LINSEY AITKEN & KEN CAMPBELL
Celtic music is a term that gets thrown around to describe traditional acoustic music from the United Kingdom, and to a lot of people it means Irish music specifically. But what do you know about Scottish music? If you’d like a primer on contemporary Scottish acoustic music, you would be doing yourselves a favor by checking out Linsey Aitken and Ken Campbell. Aitken is a revered cellist and vocalist, and Campbell is a well-regarded singer-songwriter. The two have been working for three decades, and bridge the gap between classical Scottish traditional music, and new acoustic music beloved by its people. AC
INFO: 7 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $17. 335-2800.
When discussing Minneapolis rappers, three names come to mind: Atmosphere, Brother Ali and, of course, Prof. Although he performed throughout the early 2000s, it wasn’t until the turn of the last decade that audiences finally caught up and paid attention. Through his relentless rhymes and constant gigging, Prof was able to build his name up in the underground, selling out clubs that other Minnesotan acts—*cough Prince*—had made famous 30 years before. MW
INFO: 7 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $14/adv, $16/door. 429-4135.
Hailing from Nashville by-way-of Ohio, singer-songwriter Crystal Bowersox is a lifelong artist whose love of music and performing developed early. Honing her guitar and vocal chops on Chicago’s underground subway platforms as a teen, Bowersox eventually made her way onto season nine of American Idol. Since then, her star has continued to rise with several studio albums, EPs and singles. Her latest, 2017’s Alive, sees the multi-dimensional artist traversing folk, Americana, blues, pop, and soul. CJ
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
TERENCE BLANCHARD’S E-COLLECTIVE
Terence Blanchard’s politically charged E-Collective is playing a series of gigs around the region this week, and for International Jazz Day the talent-laden band brings its richly textured electro-acoustic sound to Santa Cruz. The band’s poignant new album Live is a searing reflection on America’s inability to stem the bloody tide of gun violence, filtered through Blanchard’s New Orleans music-as-balm sensibility. Featuring pianist extraordinaire Gerald Clayton (filling in for Fabian Almazan), Berkeley High grad Charles Altura on guitar, newcomer David “DJ” Ginyard on bass, and drummer Oscar Seaton, whose slinky grooves inspired Blanchard to launch the E-Collective, the quintet blows apart forms to get at deeper feelings. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 and 9 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $28-$44. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
NORDIC FIDDLERS BLOC
Traditional music from Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands. Wednesday at Flynn’s Cabaret
Legendary U.K. ska band. Friday at Moe’s Alley
Catchy blend of swing, surf and punk. Friday at Crepe Place
Metal meets mariachi. Saturday at Catalyst
Blues singer, songwriter and entertainer extraordinaire. Sunday at Moe’s Alley