Amo Amo members Love Femme (Not a stage name!), Omar Velasco, Justin Flint, Shane Mckillop, and Alex Siegel were musician friends who happened to get together with My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James for an impromptu LA hipster jam session, and voila! Amo Amo was born in 2017. They found almost immediate success by creating lush and dreamy pop songs.
Tracks like "Closer to You" had a reggae-lite feel; "When I Look at You" was pure psychedelic dream pop. More recently, on their 2020 EP Canta, the title track was a song they made especially for Earth Day that employed a little ska "riddim"; also on the EP was the extra silvery "Missed Connection."
- Photo Courtesy Of Amo Amo
- LIVE THE DREAM Dream pop act Amo Amo plays SLO Brew Rock on June 24.
This is music recorded in LA's Silver Lake and available on old-school cassette, which confirms the band's hipster bona fides, and the music is decidedly lovely. It's impossible not to disappear into the music's haze.
"Because we realize the power of music to influence human beings, our songs are concerned with themes of love, connection, healing, and nature," the band announced in press materials. "Especially during these strange times, we feel these things are of utmost importance as we learn how to live in new, hopefully more holistic and healthy ways—with each other, with the Earth, with ourselves."
Amo Amo, with opening act The Bogeys, play a (((folkYEAH!))) show at SLO Brew Rock on Thursday, June 24 (7 p.m.; free). The Bogeys are a group of former Cal Poly students and Whole Foods workers who play alt-pop music with a '60s surf rock vibe and '80s synth pop instrumentation.
Also this week at SLO Brew Rock, Soul Majestic, with opening act Dread Kennedy, plays a reggae show on Sunday, June 27 (3 p.m.; free). "Conceived on the sandy shores of California, Soul Majestic channels their sunny beach days and bonfire nights into their unique style of reggae music," their bio claims. They blend roots reggae with "a love of hip-hop, R&B, rock, pop, and folk music." Dread Kennedy, who hails from Long Beach, plays positive-vibe reggae.
- Photo Courtesy Of Cash'd Out
- HELLO, I'M (ALMOST) JOHNNY CASH Premiere Johnny Cash tribute act Cash'd Out plays a Numbskull and Good Medicine Presents show at BarrelHouse Brewing on July 1.
Men in black
You can tell a tribute band is the best by its acceptance by those truly in the know. Bill Miller owns Nashville's Johnny Cash Museum, which is officially authorized by the Cash estate and houses the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia in the world. Miller said of the Cash tribute band Cash'd Out, "Some people are impressionists. These guys leave an impression."
Miller also facilitated Cash'd Out frontman Douglas Benton's chance to play Cash's famed cherry sunburst Guild guitar. Cash's longtime drummer W.S. Holland has played with Cash'd Out, and, according to Benson, "Cindy Cash came to a show and was moved to give me a glass locket that was her father's."
Longtime Johnny Cash manager Lou Robin has also been to several Cash'd Out shows and claimed that if he closed his eyes it was as if he was "going back in time."
With 13-plus years of touring, thousands of miles, and hundreds of shows under its belt, this Johnny Cash tribute act has earned its black attire as it carries the Cash torch into the future. If you love the Sun Records and early Columbia-era songs, this is a must-see!
More live music ...
You can relive your '80s heyday when The Siren hosts DV8D (Dee-Vee-Ate-Ed) on Friday, June 25 (8:30 to 11:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). The group covers select hits of the period "combining guitars and synths with a solid rhythm section to create the '80s sound," according to the band's bio.
- Photo By Jayson Mellom
- WINNER Winner of multiple New Times Music Awards Dante Marsh and The Vibe Setters play Morro Bay's The Siren on June 26, and Marsh plays solo the next day at the Avila Beach Golf Resort on June 27.
Also at The Siren on Saturday, June 26, see Dante Marsh and The Vibe Setters (8:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). The soulful frontman won the best R&B category at the New Times Music Awards for the last two years in a row. The band is currently working on releasing their first studio album.
Unfinished Business will be throwing a CD release dance party at the Rotary Bandstand in Nipomo Regional Park on Saturday, June 26 (3 to 6 p.m.; all ages; free, though donations are appreciated). Their new album, The Lost Tapes, "is a collection of 10 original songs written in the style of the '60s during the period 2004-2010, and put on a shelf," according to the band. "Ed Miller and Terry Lawless (co-producers) retrieved the almost forgotten songs during the pandemic, and finished them up in Terry's studio." Buy a copy and support original local music!
Avila Beach Golf Resort is back with free live music for all ages. On Thursday, June 24, see Dustin Wink (5 to 7 p.m.); Friday, June 25, Natalie Haskins (5 to 7 p.m.); Saturday, June 26, Surfeza (5 to 7 p.m.); and Sunday, June 27, Dante Marsh (2 to 4 p.m.).
Deborah Gilmore, an unhoused jazz singer, performs on Sunday, June 27, at Seeds on Garden Street in SLO starting at 3 p.m. Deborah has been trying to get back on her feet as she works to secure permanent housing. Help out on her gofundme page @f/w7tk9-support-deborah.
Tickets are going fast for the Whale Rock Music Festival (Sept. 18 to 19, at whalerockmusicfestival.com) as well as a bunch of big upcoming shows at venues such as Vina Robles Amphitheatre (vinaroblesamphitheatre.com with Jon Bonamassa up first on July 31), the Fremont Theater (fremontslo.com with Tommy Castro coming on Sept. 10), the Avila Beach Golf Resort (websites vary by show producer, but for Rebelution coming on Aug. 15 visit californiarootspresents.com). Be warned! There are a lot of websites that look like the official one but are actually intermediaries that will gouge you!
The Basin Street Regulars are still hosting their monthly hot jazz concerts virtually, and this Sunday, June 27, you can stream The Jump Jax (2 p.m.; linked through pismojazz.com to their YouTube channel as well as facebook.com/BasinStreetRegulars. You can watch the show for free, but donations are encouraged at paypal.me/BasinStreetRegulars).
The Jump Jax have their own spin on the jump blues genre, delivering feel-good covers and originals that will get you on your feet. You might hear a blues tune followed by a rockabilly song followed by swing, soul, and more.
Led by singer-songwriter and slide guitarist Ted Waterhouse, the quartet also includes reed player Ron McCarley, drummer and vocalist Michael Smothers, and bassist and vocalist Dave Block. Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at email@example.com.