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'I'm toughest little cookie you ever did see'

Don't let Devil Doll get away

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For a couple of decades now, there's been a growing faction of the rock'n'roll brigade that's eschewed showmanship and spectacle in favor of shoe-gazing introspection and stasis-like stage shows.

MEOW! :  Sexy rockabilly and country chanteuse Devil Doll returns to Downtown Brew March 7. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DEVIL DOLL
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF DEVIL DOLL
  • MEOW! : Sexy rockabilly and country chanteuse Devil Doll returns to Downtown Brew March 7.

# Well, they totally suck, don't they?

Those kinds of performers are the equivalent of the sex partner who just lays there. When I go to a show, I want to feel like somebody's banging me from stage, and that's where Devil Doll shines. When she hits the planks and starts crooning, belting, growling, and purring, every single person in the audience can't help but feel she's singing right to them. And believe me, it hurts so good.

On "The One That Got Away" from Devil Doll's upcoming new album The Return of Eve (due Oct. 1), she brings the pain by singing, "I'm the one who got away. It doesn't matter what you say. You'll regret it till your dying day, 'cause I'm the one that got away." It's enough to make a grown man cry, because having and then losing a gal like Devil Doll is like being driven by heaven on your way to get dropped off in hell.

Everything about her screams "larger-than-life performer," right down to her excellent promotional materials, which begin as follows: "You are instantly transported into a timeless, silk-lined speakeasy. You close your eyes and your ears begin to weave a sonic tale upon the folds of your brain. It's a tale of seduction and strength agony and ecstasy. Rose petals that cut like razor blades. As the first notes slide into your ear, you are under the spell that is Devil Doll. Your mind starts to intertwine around her aural strip tease."

She looks hot, she sings hot, and she never once looks down at her shoes and pretends you're not there. It's rock'n'roll at its most dangerous and seductive.

Downtown Brew and Numbskull Productions present Devil Doll with The Hydramatics and Tombstone Rockers opening Friday, March 7, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets for this 18-and-older show are $10 at Boo Boo's, ticketweb.com, or the venue or $12 at the door.

 

It's a family affair

HELLO, I'M JOHNNY CASH'S EPITAPH :  The Cash Prophets is a father-and-sons Johnny Cash tribute act featuring father Bobby Dickson (pictured) and his sons Bobby Jr. and Nathan, playing March 7 at O'Reilley's Bar and Grill. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CASH PROPHETS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CASH PROPHETS
  • HELLO, I'M JOHNNY CASH'S EPITAPH : The Cash Prophets is a father-and-sons Johnny Cash tribute act featuring father Bobby Dickson (pictured) and his sons Bobby Jr. and Nathan, playing March 7 at O'Reilley's Bar and Grill.

# Apparently, the family that digs Johnny Cash together, gigs together. The Cash Prophets is a father-and-sons act, featuring father Bobby Dickson on lead vocals and acoustic guitar and his sons Bobby Jr. and Nathan on electric guitar and stand-up bass, respectively.

Dickson, formerly of the popular goth-rockabilly band the Deadbillys, formed this Johnny Cash tribute band with his sons as the culmination of a long-time dream. He said he relates to Cash's music because of his own life experiences, including encounters with drugs, alcohol and divorce.

"Johnny Cash is a big influence in my life because I've walked the line between good and evil my whole life," he said, adding that his band holds true to the original Sun Records recording sound of the '50s.

North Coast rockabilly band The Versa-Tones will open the Friday, March 7, 9 p.m. show at O'Reilley's

Bar and Grill in Grover Beach. The cover is $5.

 

SLO Folks scores more great shows

STRAIGHT OUTTA ALASKA :  Former Alaska-based troubadour Tom Begich brings his narrative tales of the human condition to Coalesce Bookstore on March 7 with mouth harpist Rolfe Buzzell accompanying and March 8 in a shared bill at Green Acres Lavender Farm with the Claudia Russell Trio. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM BEGICH
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM BEGICH
  • STRAIGHT OUTTA ALASKA : Former Alaska-based troubadour Tom Begich brings his narrative tales of the human condition to Coalesce Bookstore on March 7 with mouth harpist Rolfe Buzzell accompanying and March 8 in a shared bill at Green Acres Lavender Farm with the Claudia Russell Trio.

# Like a novelist weaving a twisted tale of humanity undone, Tom Begich creates music that resonates with conflicts. Hailing from the far north, Begich was part of the Alaska music scene in the early '80s. His easy picking style with blues rhythms and storytelling skills combine to create an American tapestry of song. He plays Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in Coalesce Bookstore (772-2880 $15). Rolfe Buzzell--a master of expression in the mouth harp--will be joining Begich on stage for a number of songs.

Begich also plays Saturday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at Green Acres Lavender Farm (466-0837 $20) with the Claudia Russell Trio. Russell, a singer/songwriter, has shared stages with Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Steve Forbert, Tish Hinojosa, Kris Kristoffersen, Bill Morrisey, Willie Nelson, Darryl Purpose, Peter Rowan, Kevin So, Rosalie Sorrels, and Bill Staines, among others. She'll be joined by her trusty sidekick Bruce Kaplan (mandolin, guitar, and vocals) and Mark Petrella on bass.

 

 

The good Castro

The only "Fidel" in this Castro is "High Fidelity!"

It took all of about one nanosecond (at least in music industry time) for the blues community to realize Tommy Castro was something special. He went from playing a tiny San Francisco saloon to opening for B.B. King's national tours in a few short years.

HE'LL GIVE YOU THE BLUES :  Ripping blue guitarist Tommy Castro plays Downtown Brew on March 12. - PHOTO BY DEBRA REGUR
  • PHOTO BY DEBRA REGUR
  • HE'LL GIVE YOU THE BLUES : Ripping blue guitarist Tommy Castro plays Downtown Brew on March 12.

# Born in Sacramento, Castro expressed interest in the guitar by age 10, and he went on to play with a lot of Bay Area bands.

"When I was a kid, music was something I did for fun," he said. "Later, it became obvious to me that playing music was the thing I was meant to do, so I made a decision to pursue it as a career."

By '91, he formed his own act, The Tommy Castro Band, which quickly became a Bay Area phenomenon. In '93 they were named "Club Band of the Year" at the Bay Area Music Awards, an especially prestigious honor since it's a write-in category that includes all musical genres.

The talented guitarist, gifted vocalist, and engaging songwriter is scheduled to play Downtown Brew on Wednesday, March 12, with local blues favorites Guy Budd and the Gypsy Souls opening the 21-and-older show. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 in advance at Boo Boo's, ticketweb.com, and the venue, or $17 at the door.

 

More music

BLUE EYED SOUL :  Nevada-based world beat band Sol'Jibe plays Frog and Peach on March 6. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SOL'JIBE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF SOL'JIBE
  • BLUE EYED SOUL : Nevada-based world beat band Sol'Jibe plays Frog and Peach on March 6.

# Nevada-based world beat band Sol'Jibe plays Frog and Peach on Thursday, March 6, from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. The band blends rock, roots, flamenco, Latin, jazz, and world rhythms into an intoxicating melange that's been described as "Dave Matthews and Manu Chao meet Yerba Buena and the Gipsy Kings." There's no cover charge for this 21-and-older show.

Stick a little art into your day on Friday, March 7, when the Brown Bag Concert welcomes The Mudskippers, a 1920s-style jazz band that plays a high-spirited mix of Dixieland, ragtime, and more. The free half hour concert begins at noon in Wilson Hall at the First Presbyterian Church (corner of Marsh and Morro), so grab your lunch and enjoy some music while you eat.

The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble performs traditional and contemporary music and dance from the Eastern Mediterranean and larger Middle East on Friday, March 7, at 8 p.m. in the Pavilion of the Performing Arts Center. The 22-member ensemble--which debuted last year--is directed by Music Department faculty member Kenneth S. Habib, a composer and performer with a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UC Santa Barbara. Habib specializes in the Middle East and American popular music. Tickets are $10 for the public and $8 for seniors and students. Get them at the PAC Ticket Office or call 756-2787.

THREE'S A CHARM :  Singer-songwriter Claudia Russell leads her trio through its paces on March 8 at Green Acres Lavender Farm, where she shares the bill with Alaskan singer-songwriter Tom Begich. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAUDIA RUSSELL
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAUDIA RUSSELL
  • THREE'S A CHARM : Singer-songwriter Claudia Russell leads her trio through its paces on March 8 at Green Acres Lavender Farm, where she shares the bill with Alaskan singer-songwriter Tom Begich.

# Headbangers unite! Popular NorCal metal band Drop Seven makes its first Central Coast appearance on Saturday, March 8, at O'Reilley's Bar and Grill in Grover Beach. If you dig Slayer and Pantera, know that Drop Seven employs a similar murderous dual guitar attack. The 9 p.m. show costs $10 at the door, and local metal act AOD will open.

The SLO County Honor Jazz Ensemble marks only the third time in 30 years that there's been a high school honor jazz band on the Central Coast. Now this talented group of high schoolers will join the Cuesta Jazz Ensemble for a concert on Saturday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. in room 5401 of the Student Conference Center at Cuesta College. Tickets are $10 general admission or $7 for students. Call 546-3198 for more info.

The Hot & Cool Orchestra--which plays a mix of original folk, swing, jazz, blues, Gypsy, and tango music--performs on Saturday, March 8, at 8:30 p.m. at The Clubhouse at This Old House. The cover charge is $10 for this all-ages show. Singer-guitarist Ted Waterhouse leads the band, which includes fiddler Allan Dick, accordionist Duane Inglish, and upright bassist Fred Murray. They'll be playing tunes from their excellent new CD Red Beans and Caviar.

Think of it as an early Christmas present to themselves. I'm talking about Fish Out of Water's fourth Hawaiian Islands tour, which unofficially kicks off with a farewell show at Frog and Peach on Tuesday, March 11, at 9:30 p.m. A working vacation in Hawaii, eh? No wonder I hate these guys. And I'm not the only one. The local rock, funk, reggae, and hip-hop act led by frontmen/cousins Brandon and Kyle Moon are looking to recoup losses from their recent $350 fine for playing an impromptu gig at 2 a.m. in Mission Plaza. I called the cops, and I don't even live downtown! Known for playing in their bathrobes, the band wrapped themselves in Christmas paper for a recent photo shoot. And you thought what you got for Christmas was bad! Sheesh!


Glen Starkey doesn't believe everything he thinks. Commend him on his wisdom at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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