As usual (sigh), let's start with a disclaimer. Check with the venues to make sure shows are still a go. Sometimes musicians have to cancel at the last minute due to illness or COVID-19 exposure. That said, here's what's up this week.
Bob Marley's birthday is coming up this Sunday, Feb. 6, so maybe that's why there's so much reggae and ska lined up for you this week.
- Photo Courtesy Of Ras Danny
- CARRYING ON FOR BOB MARLEY Ras Danny plays the three-band Bob Marley Day at SLO Brew Rock on Feb. 4, an event he and his partner, Wendy Oliver, started 24 years ago. He also co-founded the annual Trenchtown, Jamaica, Bob Marley Birthday celebration.
Let's go chronologically. First up is Bumpin Uglies at SLO Brew Rock this Thursday, Feb. 3 (8 p.m.; 18-and-older; $17 presale plus fees at slobrew.com, $22 day of show, and $24 at the door). Their most recent full-length is Keep Your Suitcase Packed, a reference to their never-ending tour. They're currently working on The Never Ending Drop, which will release a new single the second Friday of the month until the whole album is released. Reggae act Artikal Sound System will open the show. Their sound brings an R&B twist.
Bob Marley Day returns to SLO Brew Rock on Friday, Feb. 4 (7 p.m.; all ages; free) with a trio of terrific local reggae acts: Resination, True Zion, and Ras Danny. This is the fourth year the venue has hosted Bob Marley Day, though the event goes back all the way to 2000 when Ras Danny and Wendy Oliver, owner of Bali Isle, started the event.
"It has been a local favorite, inspiring reggae enthusiasts, new musicians, travelers, and dancers to love this soulful country music from Jamaica," Oliver said.
Ska band For The Record plays The Siren on Friday, Feb. 4 (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). They're inspired by Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Streetlight Manifesto, and others.
"We're an all-original act," frontman Asa Waggoner said. "Well, we throw our spin on a couple of covers as well. We try to add our own touch while staying true to the classic third wave ska sound, and we give it our all at every show we play, so come on out to a show and have a good time."
- Photo Courtesy Of Mason Rose
- GREEN MACHINE Hawaiian reggae band The Green brings their aloha sounds to the Fremont Theater on Feb. 6.
"Countless miles of touring and four studio albums have led them to become recognized as ambassadors of aloha, helping represent Hawaiian people and culture to the world through their craft," according to their bio.
As you might imagine, they play a very island style of reggae—breezy, rootsy, and with positive vibes. On the love song "All I Need," lead singer Caleb Keolanui sings, "You're amazing. My life's never felt so right, girl, you are amazing. I love you, babe. You know I'll be there no matter what happens. Don't be scared, we must use that passion to love and live on, cause all I want is you."
The Green were one of the first Hawaiian reggae bands to extensively tour the U.S. mainland as well as Japan and New Zealand. Now they're touring in support of their "pandemic record," Brand New Eyes.
"We all come from humble beginnings, and when things start to get rocky, we toughen up and just get it done," said Keolanui's cousin, guitarist JP Kennedy. "Throughout the pandemic, we just hunkered down and did what we needed to do. I am so proud of Brand New Eyes; I am proud of all four albums, but the way this one happened through all of the challenges, I am so stoked to share it."
- Photo Courtesy Of Denm & The Elovators
- SLIGHTLY SUBLIME Denm & The Elovators plays in the style of Slightly Stoopid and Sublime, appearing at The Siren on Feb. 8.
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, see Denm & The Elovators with Cydeways opening at The Siren (doors at 7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $17 plus fees presale at eventbrite.com). Slum Beach Denny is Denm's genre-hopping debut album, and it's in the vein of Slightly Stoopid and Sublime. Denm worked first as a producer for more than a decade before putting The Elovators together.
"It might look overnight to some people," Denm said in press materials, "but I've been working."
Cydeways is an alt-rock/reggae band fronted by guitarist/vocalist Dustin Parks of Boston, who now calls Santa Barbara home.
In non-reggae and ska music ...
On Sunday, Feb. 6, see Jason Boland & The Stragglers at The Siren (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $25 plus fees presale at eventbrite.com). For 20 years, Boland and company has been ambassadors of the Oklahoma and Texas music movement. He's recorded 10 albums and sold half a million records independently. During the pandemic, he decided to give back: "Boland released a cover of both Steve Winwood's 'Back In The High Life Again' and Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are a-Changin'' with the proceeds going to charity," press materials explained. "Radio programmers around the country began spinning 'Back in the High Life Again,' and the song spent 11 weeks in the Top 40 Americana Singles Chart."
Numbskull and Good Medicine brings longtime rock act ALO to The Siren on Wednesday, Feb. 9 (doors at 7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $23 presale at eventbrite.com or $25 at the door), with opener Anna Moss. Please note that the band requires proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to attend this show.
ALO (aka Animal Liberation Orchestra) calls themselves "a rock band, a family, an artistic outlet, a community, a business. But that only scratches the surface of this 30-year musical vision-quest. ALO is an adventure, it's a spring break road trip to Colorado, it's an all-night drive from Salt Lake City to San Jose. It's the comfort of hanging out with life-long friends, of relaxing on a couch and finding treasures hidden in its cushions. It's a coffee table full of amazing books on art, philosophy and music. It's an orchestrated liberation of our animal soul."
(((folkYEAH!))) presents Ty Segall and the Freedom Band on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at SLO Brew Rock (7 p.m.; all ages; $30 plus fees at ticketweb.com; proof of vaccine is required for entry; no PCR tests accepted). He's touring in support of Harmonizer, his first new album in two years. If you're into shredding guitar work, thumping bass, and well-placed keys, check them out. Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at [email protected].