How does an afternoon at the beach with Bonnie Raitt playing an al fresco concert sound? Pretty freaking awesome, that’s how. The Americana blues singer-songwriter is one of the most respected names in show biz, scoring major hits with such tracks as “Nick of Time,” “Something to Talk About,” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”
With a whopping nine Grammys to her name, it’s hard to find a more celebrated performer or better guitarist. In fact, Raitt, daughter of Broadway
- PHOTO COURTESY OF BONNIE RAITT
- BIG RED : Bonnie Raitt makes a rare Central Coast appearance on Oct. 5 at Avila Blues Resort.
The political activist and environmentalist will make a rare SLO County appearance this Sunday, Oct. 5 at Avila Beach Resort. Gates open at noon, with the show kicking off at 2 p.m. Buy tickets at Vallitix outlets, including Boo Boo Records in SLO, the Mustang Ticket Office on the Cal Poly Campus, and the Mid-State Fairgrounds Box Office in Paso Robles; online at vallitix.com; by phone at 888-825-5484.
Cambria resident Jude Johnstone will open the show. Johnstone’s new CD, Mr. Sun, launches into its Latin-flavored title track with a breezy, open vibe that sets the tone of this sultry new collection of songs by SLO County’s most successful songwriter.
Writing by age 10, Johnstone’s compositions have been covered by everyone from Emmylou Harris (“Hold On”) to Stevie Nicks (“Cry Wolf”), Bonnie Raitt (“Wounded Heart”), Jennifer Warnes (“The Nightingale”), Bette Midler (“The Girl Is onto You”), Trisha Yearwood (“The Women Before Me,” “Hearts in Armor”), and Johnny Cash (including the title cut of the latter’s Grammy-winning album Unchained).
Six years ago Johnstone decided to record her own music, so she released her debut album Coming of Age, which was featured on NPR’s
- PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDE JOHNSTONE
- BABY BLUE : Local chanteuse Jude Johnstone will open the Bonnie Raitt concert on Oct. 5 at Avila Beach Resort. Since Raitt has covered some of Jude’s songs, expect some musical collaboration between the two.
Her third, Blue Light, saw the folk/country artist turn more bluesy, while Mr. Sun has a lilting, jazzy feel. All four CDs are available at CDBaby.com and Amazon.com. Seeing as how she’s opening for Raitt, expect to see some collaboration between these two old friends.
Parking on the 10th Fairway costs $5 per car, or is free with four or more passengers in the car. No outside food or beverages will be allowed in the venue. Sealed plastic water bottles are okay. Food and beverages are available at the concert. No ins and outs. One dollar from every ticket will be donated to a local charity.
Mmm, hot butter
Hot Buttered Rum is back by popular demand at Downtown Brew. The extra green bluegrass and beyond band will roll through town in their environmentally conscious, biodiesel bus for a 9 p.m. show on Thursday, Oct. 2 ($14 at the door; 21-and-older).
- PHOTO COURTESY OF HOT BUTTERED RUM
- GREEN BLUEGRASS ROCK : Hot Buttered Rum will drive their enviro-friendly biodiesel bus to Downtown Brew on Oct. 2 for an evening of rock played on bluegrass instruments.
The group's most recent CD, 2007’s Live in the Northeast, was culled from several live performances in the fall of 2006. It reveals the live Buttered sound: “Music that’s forceful without being flashy, serious without being stuffy, intricate without being inaccessible, and diverse without being distracting,” said the band.
The group is frequently described as a rock band playing bluegrass instruments, but genre-wise they’re all over the map, from the reggae-tinged “Return Someday” to the psychedelica of “Desert Rat” to covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Cumberland Blues” and Leo Sayer’s “Feel Like Dancin’.”
This is your chance to see an awesome acoustic band in an intimate setting.
Back by popular demand
Singing sensation Sam Harris is scheduled to return to Cal Poly’s Spanos Theatre this Saturday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m. He was just here in January, the audience’s enthusiasm, ovations, and requests to bring the performer back prompted Cal Poly Arts Interim Director Peter Wilt to book Harris again, with the promise of an all-new repertoire.
His long-time musical director/pianist Todd Schroeder will accompany Harris, who will be available for a meet-and-greet CD-signing in the lobby immediately following the concert. His newest album is called Free, with most of the original tracks co-written by the singer, as well as covers of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Harris’ Broadway acting credits include Grease, The Producers, and The Life, as well as an extensive national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Tickets cost $38, with student discounts available. Buy them at the PAC Ticket Office or call 756-2787.
Canadian favorites Great Big Sea—who’ve been compared to a Celtic version of Crosby, Stills, and Nash—play at Cal Poly’s Spanos Theatre this Sunday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF GREAT BIG SEA
- SEE SEA : Canadian favorites Great Big Sea—who’ve been compared to a Celtic version of Crosby, Stills, and Nash—play Cal Poly’s Spanos Theatre on Oct. 5.
Featuring Alan Doyle, Se;an McCann, and Bob Hallett, the group plays an energetic combination of Celtic rock and sing-along folk. Hallett calls his group “a really aggressive folk band that marries traditional Celtic music with modern rhythms. A lot of this music has four or five hundred years of history behind it, so when you marry that to modern ideas, you’ve got something that’s already a proven product.”
“Our music is of Newfoundland,” added McCann. “It would be impossible to do what we do if we were from anywhere else. Our songs come from the sea and the cliffs and the rocks and all the other natural beauties our country provides. Without her, we simply couldn’t exist.”
Touring in support of their new CD Fortune’s Favour, Hallett said, “This album is a stew of all our influences—Bob Marley, the Clash, Fergus O’Byrne, Ron Hynes, Johnny Cash, Donal Lunny, and who knows what else!”
Tickets cost $38, with student discounts available. Visit the PAC Ticket Office or call 756-2787.
Bring the noise!
If you like noisy, aggressive, shrieking, banshee-like punk rock, New Tomorrow has the album for you: We’re Counting on the Youth. The local punks will release their new full length album this Tuesday, Oct. 7, during a 7 p.m., all-ages show. Your $8 cover gets you New Tomorrow, Afterall, The Mighty Fine, From the Top, The Despair, and The Stakes; not to mention a chance to mosh like mad, pump your fists in the air, stomp your feet, possibly lose a shoe, catch Brandon as he stage dives (or not, hee hee), and rediscover why punk rock is the most authentic music of all.
- PHOTO BY RICHARD FUSILLO
- WAKE UP, PUNKS : Noisy, aggressive, shrieking banshee-like punkers New Tomorrow will release their new politically charged CD We’re Counting on the Youth on Oct. 7, during a multi-band show.
New Tomorrow’s record is a blitzkrieg of tight, hardcore punk nuggets filled with shout-out-loud lyrics about how America has gone to hell in a hand-basket, you’re getting fucked with no kiss, and how you should do something about it, punk. In short, it’s a brilliant display of political punk. Ka pow!
“After Downtown Brew, we’re going on a 47 day tour—47 shows in 47 days—from SLO to Seattle to New York to Florida and back again,” said Brandon Wood, New Tomorrow’s lead singer. Send ‘em off with a bang Brazil + Branford = genuis
Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis stars in Marsalis Brasilianos, featuring Marsalis in a unique collaboration with the Philarmonia Brasileira, led by conductor Gil Jardim. The project celebrates the music of revered Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos on the 50th anniversary of his death. Get tickets now for the performances next Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Cohan Center at 8 p.m.
The program includes Villa-Lobos’ Fantasia for Saxophone (Soprano) and Piano or Orchestra and Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and No. 9, as well as Darius Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde, Op. 81 and Scaramouche for Saxophone (Alto) and Orchestra, Op. 165c.
“There are a lot of classical pieces for saxophone, but there are not a lot of those pieces that I would enjoy playing,” said Marsalis in press materials. “They become exercises. They show off the technical possibilities of the instrument, not the beautiful possibilities.
“I prefer music by composers who did not hear the saxophone as a bastard instrument, but simply believed in things that are beautiful, and I’ve found my collaboration with great classical ensembles to be like jazz, when jazz is good.
“Everybody has a say in the course and direction of where the music goes, with the understanding that what matters is the music. When everybody’s on that page–it’s magic.”
A pre-concert lecture will be given by Cal Poly music professor Ken Habib at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center Pavilion. Tickets range from $42 to $48, with student discounts available. Visit the PAC Ticket Office or call 756-2787.
On Friday, Oct. 3, the Brown Bag Concert series welcomes a preview of Guys and Dolls, opening at the Clark Center on Oct. 31 (advance tickets are available by calling 489-9444). Join Nathan Detroit, Miss Adelaide, Nicely Nicely Johnson, and
“The Oldest Established, Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York” for this free sneak preview, and bring your lunch, at noon in Wilson Hall of the First Presbyterian Church of SLO. Call 543-5451 for more info.
This Friday, Oct. 3, the Don Lampson Outfit will celebrate the turning of the seasons with a special performance at The Porch Cafe in Santa Margarita. Eric Brittain and Charlie Kleeman will join Lampson to preview songs from his upcoming album, as well as tunes from his previous CD Heart of the Chaparral. Lampson says to expect songs with lots of “kissin’ and killin’.” The Buchon Brothers will open the show at 7 p.m. and “Goodnight, Irene” will be sung by all as a finale at 9:30 p.m.
Cuesta College is hosting a “Big Band Blow Out Concert” featuring The Cuesta Night Band and The Cuesta Jazz Ensemble on Friday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Conference Center, Room 5401. Tickets cost $10 for general admission or $7 for students and seniors. Call 546-3198 for more info.
Massive 6-foot, 6-inch tall reggae superstar Eek-A-Mouse returns to Downtown Brew for another evening of vocal gymnastics this Friday, Oct. 3. His 1980 hit “Wah Do Dem” made him a household name in Jamaica and launched his international career. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show cost $20 in advance at Boo Boo Records or the venue. You must be 18 or older to attend.
Andre Nikatina (aka—Dre Dog) seems to purposely court controversy. The San Francisco rapper known for his smoothly aggressive delivery and his scarred smirk (purportedly from a Daschund attack when he was six months old) is said to have head-tackled the lead marcher in San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade, making him either a clever self-promoter or a total asshole. Tickets for the Saturday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m., 18-and-older show cost $25 advance (Boo Boo Records or the venue) or $27 at the door.
The Famous Jazz Artist Series at the Hamlet in Cambria presents its annual showcase for the jazz professors of the Central Coast colleges. See Paul Rinzler of Cal Poly and saxophonist Ron McCarly of Cuesta on Sunday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m., when they’ll be joined by associate professors Ken Hustad (bass) and Darrell Voss (drums). Call 927-0567 to reserve your $15 ticket.
Explosive and elegant singer-songwriter Angela Reed will bring her eclectic blend of music to The Clubhouse on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. (with Cristina Orbe and Steve Key), and to Linnaea’s Cafe on Wednesday, Oct. 8 during an 8 p.m. concert. With a voice both raw and angelically fluid, the Seattle-based chanteuse brings soul, beauty, and artistry to her work. Both shows are pass-the-hat.
Don’t just sit there. Go buy some tickets for the Thursday, Oct. 9 Iration concert at Downtown Brew, which features local opening acts Green Ribbon and Natural Incense. All this awesome reggae action for a mere $5, at Boo Boo Records or the venue.
Brightblack Morning Light—Motion To Rejoin
It’s a shame Motion To Rejoin arrives so late in the year. If any album deserved to accompany the slothful nature of summertime sunning and one’s full removal from the day-to-day hustle, Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes have served up perfectly composed, lazy southern blues-rock. Anchored by the Fender Rhodes’ warmest and mellowest tones that stay within a tempo range of leisurely to lethargic, it’s the intoxicating daydream that Shineywater embellishes with his hazy, drifting vocals and wandering guitar chords. With the addition of sisters Ann and Regina McCreary’s gospel-tinged backing vocals, slow deep-thumping bass lines, and the occasional bluesy horn blare, Brightblack Morning Light let loose with a sustain pace, favoring the tortoise, never the hare. And the spectacle happens when you let it carry you off, like flipping a psychedelic ignition switch on. This is a horizontal music delight if there ever was one.
Juana Molina—Un DÌa
Padded with layers of instruments and whistles, repetitive vocals, and the commotion of dozens of tiny percussions all vying for equal attention, Juana Molina exceptionally weaves acoustic textures into an electronic tapestry. Un DÌa walks the critically and commercially successful line of being charmingly playful as well as adventurously complex, without isolating the listener. In fact, it’s more hypnotic than anything, like peering into the infinite swirl of fractals. A native Argentine, Molina doesn’t suggest a homeland sound. “Los Hongos De Marosa” bubbles and pops to a polymorphous jazzy global groove, as woodblocks and computerized glitches twist around each other becoming nearly indecipherable yet entirely rhythmic. Building her album out of minimally arranged loops and laptop aesthetics, it’s more beautiful than cute, even if its quirky computerized blips and her breathy multi-tracked voice suggests a childlike wonder.
—Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX’s “Night Train.”
Glen Starkey has put all his money under his mattress. He’ll tell you how uncomfortable it is to sleep on $14 in change at firstname.lastname@example.org.