- PHOTO COURTESY OF JOURNEY UNAUTHORIZED
- '70S FLASHBACK! : Journey Unauthorized, fronted by Perry Stevens (center), recreates the look and sound of the '70s and '80s super group. See them Oct. 18 at Downtown Brew.
# Can you imagine how hot it must be to wear a Steve Perry wig and sing Journey songs under hot stage lights? Think of it: Sweat's pouring down your face, threatening to make your eyeliner run. You're probably wearing one of those tailed tux jackets, so your pits are hot enough to smelt copper. No doubt you've got what has to be an aluminum-wrapped cucumber shoved in a sock down your jeans, so "little Stevie" and his nutty pals might be baking themselves into impotence. That's commitment, people.
Welcome to the world of Perry Stevens (Get it? Not Steve Perry, but Perry Stevens!), lead vocalist of Journey Unauthorized, the preeminent Journey tribute act, whose webpage boldly announces that Perry Stevens is "without question, one of the greatest vocalists in rock'n'roll today who captures the entire essence of the Journey vocal sound."
Stevens didn't begin his career as a Steve Perry impersonator. In fact, he fronted his own band, Atlantis, and has "performed for over a million people as an original recording artist and as an entertainer for hundreds of Corporate America events."
All I know is if you're going to be a Journey tribute band, you might as well go all the way--the wig, the jacket, the cucumber (okay, technically I have no evidence of the cucumber, but let's not ruin a perfectly good story with a bunch of joyless facts). The wheel in the sky has got to keep turning, you can't stop believing, you got to keep lovin', touchin', squeezin'--otherwise, who's crying now?
Check out Journey Unauthorized on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Downtown Brew. Doors for this $15-at-the-door, 21-and-older show open at 7:30 p.m.
Our own living treasure of jazz interpretation, Ms. Inga Swearingen--she who won the Montreaux Jazz Fest International Vocal Competition, she who has appeared on The Prairie Home Companion several times, she who sings like a scatting angel--welcomes jazz pianist Bill Peterson to the West Coast for a special performance of new originals and some old favorites.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF INGA SWEARINGEN AND BILL PETERSON
- SWEET SOUNDS OF JAZZ : Local jazz singer Inga Swearingen and touring piano great Bill Peterson play Oct. 19 at Cuesta College and again on Oct. 20 at Coalesce Bookstore.
# The two performers' have collaborated many times in the past and recorded the album Reverie in 2005.
Monster bassist Dylan Johnson will join in on Friday, Oct. 19, when the trio performs at Cuesta College, Room 7160, at 8 p.m. Donations are welcome. For more information, call the Cuesta College Music Department at 546-3195.
You can also see Inga and Bill perform on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay along with a combo featuring Dave Becker and Ron McCarley on woodwinds, George Stone on keys, Dylan Johnson on bass, Darrell Voss on vibraphone and percussion, and the Morro Bay High School Sax Quartet. The same ensembles, minus Inga and Bill, performs at Coalesce on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m.
A donation of $20 (these are fundraisers for the SLO Jazz Federation's cable access show Your Jazz Show) is asked of all audience members and can be reserved at Coalesce Bookstore or can be charged by phone at 772-2880.
Three for the price of one
Blackalicious, The Mighty Underdogs, Crown City Rockers--any of these acts is a killer draw on its own, but all three under one roof, during one night, for one low prices of $20 advance (at DTB Box Office or Boo Boo's) or $22 at the door no way! Well, way, because it's happening at Downtown Brew on Tuesday, Oct. 23, with doors opening at 8 p.m.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF BLACKALICIOUS
- BACK IN BLACK : Blackalicious (pictured) joined The Mighty Underdogs and the Crown City Rockers at Downtown Brew on Oct. 23 for a triple bill of booty shaking fun.
# The triple bill is possibly because The Mighty Underdogs are a new West Coast super group featuring members of both Blackalicious and Crown City Rockers (Quannum MCs Gift of Gab, plus Lateef the Truth Speaker, plus Headnotic of Crown City Rockers).
Crown City Rockers will open the night at 9 p.m., and then the Mighty Underdogs will showcase tracks from their forthcoming debut release at about 9:45. Blackalicious closes the night, beginning at 10:45.
In other Blackalicious news, next year the ensemble's debut Melodica on Quannum, which was released in 1995 on SoleSides with only 1,500 copies pressed, is being reissued, marking a career milestone and the rebirth of an album that's been long extinct in stores.
Urban hipsters and booty shakers unite!
Hit the Road
The Virginian region know as the Crooked Road has produced a lush tapestry of Appalachian music, and now the national tour of
- PHOTO COURTESY OF CROOKED ROAD
- THIS ROAD COMES TO YOU : "Crooked Road Project: Mountain Music of Virginia" will be on stage at the Christopher Cohan Center on Oct. 24 to share the vibrant, living musical culture of the Virginian region know as the Crooked Road.
"This performance is unique and rare treat," said Joshua Kohn, programming manager for the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the tour's producer. "The energy level and expertise of these young performers and the masters that accompany them is astounding. This traveling celebration of authentic old-time bluegrass, mountain gospel, ballad singing, and flatfoot dance will highlight the hold that these traditions still have in the Blue Ridge Mountains."
The performers hail from this historic region and acquired their skills from their forebears, learning traditions passed down from generation to generation, with musical roots stretching back centuries "to when the musical traditions of the African banjo and European violin combined and created uniquely American sounds."
National Heritage Award Fellow and Appalachian guitar master Wayne Henderson, bluegrass banjo virtuoso Sammy Shelor, family old-time string band The Whitetop Mountain Band, old-time fiddle and banjo masters Kirk Sutphin and Eddie Bond, the up-and-coming bluegrass band No Speed Limit, and a young keeper of ancient mountain ballads and songs, 19-year-old Elizabeth LaPrelle, will share the stage for this special evening.
A pre-concert lecture will be given by Crooked Road Project member and noted folklorist Jon Lohman at 7 p.m. in the Gallery Level Lobby of the Performing Arts Center. General public tickets for the performance are $28 and $34, with student discounts available on all seats. Drop by the PAC Ticket Office or call 756-2787.
Local duo Bob & Wendy are the featured act at this week's songwriters showcase on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Clubhouse, where all ages are welcome and there's no cover charge. Bob & Wendy Liepman have played all over the Central Coast for more than 20 years, with Bob on cello, mandocello, and harmonies, and Wendy taking lead vocal and guitar duties. Tim Novoa will sit in as a percussionist for this show, which also features eight or so other singer-songwriters playing three-song sets. Steve Key hosts the weekly event.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF SLO WIND ORCHESTRA
- BLOW, BABY, BLOW : The SLO Wind Orchestra opens its 2007-'08 season with a multi-faceted concert on Oct. 20 in the Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos.
# Three heads are better than one, as are three voices, three instruments, and three songwriters' skills, and you'll be on the recipient end off this trifecta, this hat trick of talent, if you head to Last Stage West for U4ea's Friday, Oct.19, $5 show from 6 to 9 p.m. The trio has a new limited-edition CD called Bootleggers that's a great showcase of their collaborative talents. U4ea (The Euphoria Project) features San Francisco-based singer-songwriter piano man Gentry Bronson and Atascadero musicians Ron Hagadone (top-notch guitarist, producer) and Sharine Borslien (vocalist-songwriter, flutist). The three will also be featured on Coast 101.3 FM's "The Bill Pesso Show" at 8:15 a.m. to perform live and talk about their music.
Jazz guitarist John Stowell will offer a guitar clinic Saturday, Oct. 20, beginning at 2 p.m. at Matt's Music Stage and School in Paso Robles. According to Matt, "Whether you're a jazz fanatic or are just treading into the jazz world lightly, this is the guitar clinic for you! If you're a beginning, intermediate, or advanced professional player, you'll benefit and come away with more tools in your tool box!" The cost for the two-hour clinic is $20. Call 237-0054 to reserve your spot!"
I'm listening to the new Red Eye Junction album Outlaws and Heroes, and singer/rhythm guitarist Reid Cain's voice sounds like a buzz saw nasally cutting through burly logs made of western legends. The quartet of twanging countrified faux rednecks delivers a covered wagon full of originals that so perfectly fit the AM radio western music idiom you'd swear you've heard them before. What else would you expect from a band fronted by a lead singer who has a custom-made mic stand made of rebar with a special beer holder welded on? Check out the band's CD release party on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Sweet Springs Saloon.
The SLO Wind Orchestra performs Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m. in the Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos, playing
- PHOTO COURTESY OF SMALL TOWN SLEEPER
- SMALL TOWN, BIG TIME : Small Town Sleeper will bring its hard pop to O'Reilly's Bar & Grill on Oct. 20.
Afro-Brazilian funk masters SambaD? promise to have you up and dancing on Saturday, Oct. 20, when they return to Downtown Brew with special guests Bangoshe! You'll feel like you're at Carnival in Brazil, Cuba, or New Orleans as SambaD? captures the sights, sounds, and the soul of a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras celebration. Doors open at 8 p.m., and advanced tickets are $8 at the venue or $10 the day of the show.
Now is a great time to see vocalist Dawn Lambeth and the Usonia Jazz Band, and fans of the hot '30s swing music of Django Reinhardt especially won't want to miss their free "Swing in the Colony" show from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, at Atascadero's Sunken Gardens, where LA-based master guitarist John Reynolds and his brother Ralf, who is one of the world's greatest jazz washboard players, will join the ensemble. Fans of the Reynolds Brothers will be happy to hear that they'll stick around Saturday night to play another swing dance under the billing of John Reynolds and His Hollywood Hotshots, and will return the following weekend for the Pismo Jazz Jubilee on Sunday, Oct. 28 playing as the Reynolds Brothers' Rhythm Rascals.
Orange County's self-proclaimed underdogs Small Town Sleeper are heading to SLO County to play O'Reilly's Bar & Grill on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 9:30 p.m. The quartet, which opened for Daughtry at the Mid-State Fair this summer, will be joined by local boys Machine, one of six finalists at this year's Winery Music Awards.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF GREG ABATE
- STRAIGHT OUTTA NYC : New York City sax player Greg Abata is the featured player at the Oct. 21 Famous Jazz Artist Series concert at the Hamlet in Cambria.
# Sunday morning dancers, prepare to get your groove on. On Sunday, Oct. 21, the woO! will host the ?bermeisters of funkazoidal vibrations, the inspirationators of ecstatic movement, none other than Scott Andrews's 4AZ1. Come dance improvisationally and non-verbally during a continuous, two-hour set of energetic music from 10 a.m. until noon at SLO's Monday Club. A $15 entry fee--or $8 for students, seniors, and first timers--is requested at the door.
New York City saxophonist Greg Abate is the featured performer at the next Famous Jazz Artist Series concert at the Hamlet in Cambria, on Sunday, Oct. 21. Abate, whose latest recording is Live at Birdland on the Candid label, will be joined by bassist Luther Hughes, drummer Paul Kreibich, and concert co-producers Charlie and Sandi Shoemake (piano/vibraphone and vocals, respectively). There's a 4 p.m. show for $15, and a 7:15 show for $12--or see both for $20. Reservations are recommended by calling 927-0567.
The North County Songwriters Showcase is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m. in Matt's Music Stage and School, when host Steve Key brings up to a dozen performers of original music for an evening performance. "Think of it as a song tasting," Key said. "Instead of Pinots and Cabs, you can sample ballads, blues, and many other styles of original music." A $5 donation is suggested for this all-ages showcase.
I doubt that Jake Shimabukuro (pronounced she-ma-BOO-koo-row) needs much help from me to promote his Wednesday, Oct. 24, Downtown Brew show. He's been back a couple of times already, and people can't get enough of his jaw-dropping, virtuoso ukulele playing, whether he's ripping through his interpretation of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" or one of his own richly composed tunes. He's unquestionably one of the instrument's greatest players, with lightning-fast fingers and an upbeat stage presence that makes his shows too much fun. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and costs $20 advance (at the venue or Boo Boo Records), or pay $25 at the door if there are any seats left!
Mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 25, because that's when Three Bad Jacks, The Hydramatics, Tornado Bait, and Stellar Corpses will comprise a roots rock quadruple bill at Downtown Brew. "Three Bad Jacks are the bastard sons of rock'n'roll greats like Elvis Presley, Joe Strummer, Johnny Cash, and Joey Ramone," according to themselves. This one's 18-and-older and costs $11.50 advance at Boo Boo's. Good enough for me.
Little Wings--Soft Pow'r
Though very much a collaborative effort, it's Kyle Field's tender
--Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX's "Night Train."
DJ Shadow--Funky Skunk
Though many of his earlier albums featured a flawless blending of instrumental breakbeats from numerous sources of inspiration--
--Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX's "Night Train."
Glen Starkey had his whole left side cut off. He's all right, now. Express your sympathies at firstname.lastname@example.org.