I’m of the mind that reggae basically begins and ends with Bob Marley, which is why I have to admit my surprise that I’m still listening to Toots and the Maytals’ 2007 album Light Your Light. Even after a couple of years, it’s still kicking around my play pile. In fact, I was just listening to it this weekend, and I especially love “Premature,” the track with Bonnie Raitt about an underage girl who’s being sent home from a religious revival. “Let the girl go home/ Let her go back home/ She’s underage/ She’s not fit for the preacher/ Only adults can go/ To see the sweet carnal show/ Lord she’s the one little girl/ Her mother ever had.”
It’s in my head and it won’t come out!
The album was nominated for the Best Reggae Album Grammy Award, and it teams Toots’ rumbling and soulful voice with a bevy of awesome collaborators. The man’s a legend and for good reason.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS
- DA GODFATHER : Toots and the Maytals have been at the forefront of the reggae scene for four decades. See why when they play Aug. 2 at Downtown Brew.
This is just one of 22 shows Downtown Brew is mounting in August, which is a crazy-huge schedule of live music.
Other DTB shows include Adam Passion with Ryan Delmore on Friday, July 31 (7 p.m.; all-ages; $6 presale or $8 at the door). Adam Passion, formerly known as Briertone, will also be joined by The Lakes during this evening of Americana and folk.
On Monday, Aug. 3, more reggae awaits with Rootz Underground and Resination (7:30 p.m.; all-ages; $10 presale or $12 at the door). According to their bio, “Revolution reggae music—edgy, raw, natural, roots. They are Rootz Underground. That is their sound.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 4, check out Wade Bowen (7:30 p.m.; 18-and-older; $8 presale or $10 at the door). The alt-country artist is a gifted songwriter whose work has been getting better and better.
Feel the heat
The Mid-State Fair marches on. First, don’t forget that on Thursday, July 30, hip-hop fans can soak up the incredible sounds of Grammy Award-winning The Black Eyed Peas, arguably the biggest act to play the fair this year. Members of this global tour de force have all enjoyed successful solo projects, but the sum of their parts still rules the hip-hop world. Cross Canadian Ragweed will be on the Frontier Stage that night, and Zoo to You returns and rock act Project 41 plays the Headliner Stage.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE KOZ AND BRIAN CULBERTSON
- SMOOTH OPERATORS : Smooth jazz starts Dave Koz and Brian Culbertson bring their honey-sweet sounds to the Mid-State Fair’s Grandstand stage on July 31.
On Saturday, Aug. 1, it’s the Country Rodeo Finals in the Grandstand, with Little Texas providing the music. The Outlaws play the Frontier Stage.
Sunday, Aug. 2, it’s pro bull riding in the Grandstand, but you can get some music in too when Mariachi Divas play the Frontier Stage.
For a complete listing of fair entertainment, visit midstatefair.com, where you can also purchase tickets online.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF REHAB
- BAD TO THE BONE : Rehab, who scored a huge hit with “Bartender Song,” appears on Aug. 3 at the Graduate.
They’re no quitters!
If downloads are any indication, Rehab is hot, hot, hot! They’ve sold more than a million downloads of “Bartender Song.” They were also named on the Rolling Stone’s “Hot List” as an editors’ favorite last year. On Monday, August 3, Rehab plays the Graduate beginning at 9 p.m. (18-and-older).
The Atlanta-based quintet fuses hip-hop and Southern rock, and though that sounds like mixing cream corn with ice cream, it’s surprisingly tasty ear candy.
Frontman Danny Boone has corralled Mike Hartnett (guitarist), who has collaborated with Fergie, Pink, OutKast and others; Foz (guitar), who worked with World Soul, Ying-Yang Twins, Lil’ Jon and Bonecrusher; Hano Leather (bass) founder of Attica Sound (one of the first hip hop movements) in Athens, Georgia; and Chris Hood (drums) into a force to be reckoned with.
“Bartender I really did it this time/ Broke my parole to have a good time/ When I got home it was 6 a.m./ The door was locked so I kicked it in/ She was trippin’ on the bills/ I think she was high on some pills/ She threw my shit out into the yard/ Then she called me a bum and slapped me real hard/ And in my drunken stupor/ I did what I should have never done/ And now I’m sittin’ here, talking to you/ Drunk and on the run.”
According to Rehab’s press materials, “With their underground phenomenon ‘Bartender Song,’ fans were able to relate to the lyrics and thus it became not just a song, but also an anthem for bar-goers across the United States who felt connected to the words by their own colorful escapades.”
Even though this is an 18-and-older show, a full bar will be available for those 21-and-older who want to embrace the song’s lyrics! Just saying!
Advance general admission tickets ($15 plus ticket service charge) are on sale now at all Central Coast VALLITIX locations including Boo Boo Records, the Mustang Ticket Office on the Cal Poly campus, at the California Mid-State Fair Box Office in Paso Robles, by phone at (888) 825-5484, or on-line at vallitix.com.
Project 41 is in the studio working on a new project, but they also have a few new gigs this week. “Our show at the Lompoc Flower Festival was a huge success, and Pete unofficially invited us back next year as the Saturday night headliner,” said Project 41’s Mike O’Neill. “We’re looking forward to our next show on Thursday, July 30 at the Mid-State Fair on the Headliner Stage, and we’re also playing Saturday, Aug. 1 at Villa Valderosa Summer Music Festival in Paso Robles and Thursday, Aug. 6 at the Otter Rock Café in Morro Bay.”
- PHOTO COURTESY OF THE USUAL SUSPECTS
- HOT HORNS : The Usual Suspects will deliver a late afternoon concert of oldies on July 31 at the City Park in downtown Paso Robles.
Meanwhile in SLO Town on Friday, July 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., check out dreadedelic reggae and funk sounds of The Shival Experience.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF SEMILLERIMAGES.COM
- LUSH LIFE : The lovely Hilary Langdon sings for the Tipsy Gypsies, who’ll play Sweet Springs Saloon on July 31.
City Nights Jazz continues with vocalist Sacha Boutros joining the Michael Raynor Group on Friday, July 31 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Inn at Morro Bay. Boutros is hot off her tour through Japan (with Red Holloway, so there may be a very special guest attending). Boutros newest CD, Simply Sacha, is a clear demonstration of her sultry four-octave vocal range. “I learned how to sing Bel Canto,” explained the singer. “I decided when I was going to learn how to sing properly, I should start from the beginning, with opera! I studied Bel Canto for several years and sang many Broadway scores as I perform musical theater as well.” Don’t miss her!
Go to Paris! Flo Paris was kind of a big fish around these parts. The gifted singer-songwriter had plenty of fans, me among them, but she decided to take her talent to Nashville. Looks like it was a good move for her since she’s touring back through the West Coast with a new album, Coming Around, to promote. “The record is available as a digital only release for now and for a limited time, you can download the entire album for free or pay what you think is fair for the music!” said Paris. “Follow the link for details: floparis.net/free-music.” See her at the Clubhouse on Friday, July 31. You want some info on her or her new album?
- PHOTO COURTESY OF AUDREY AULD
- SHE COMES FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER : Tasmanian native Audrey Auld (pictured) joins Jill Knight at the next Knight Flight concert at the Clark Center on July 31.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF MATTHIAS CLARK AND THE CRY
- GO AHEAD, CRY! : Check out Matthias Clark and The Cry on Aug. 1 at Sweet Springs Saloon.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF HR7
- THEY WILL MELT YOUR FACE : On Aug. 1, check out HR7 at the Frog and Peach for a booty-shaking show.
Guitarist Toan Chau (Resination, Tipsy Gypsies, Cuesta Ridge) will bring his solo sounds to the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Grand Opening of Gail Johnson’s Johnson Framing Studio (3563 Sueldo, at the end of Granada Dr. in SLO) on Sunday, Aug. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Chau weaves bluegrass, Gypsy jazz, and Django Reinhardt influences into a sound that will stop you in your tracks, hopefully in front of a piece of art or the hors d’oeuvres table. The one-day festival will feature artists Paula Zima and Paula Teplitz as well as Chau.
Grover Beach’s Sizzlin’ Summer Concert Series and Grover Beach Farmers Market continues on Sunday, Aug. 2 from 3 until 6 p.m. with the Martin Paris Band. If you’re a fan of intricate fingerstyle guitar, you’ve got to see Paris. It all happens at the Ramona Garden Park Center.
On Sunday, Aug. 2, the next installment of the Famous Jazz Artist Series at the Hamlet in Cambria features the folks who started it all, series co-producers Charlie and Sandi Shoemake (piano/vibraphone and vocals), who will celebrate 50 years of marriage and musical partnership in a program of songs associated with the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals. They will be joined by one of the West Coast’s top rhythm teams, bassist Luther Hughes and drummer Paul Kreibich. There’s a 4 p.m. show ($15) and a 7:15 ($12), or see both for $20. Reservations are recommended: 927-0567.
Don’t forget that Stuart Mason has a weekly gig at the Gather Wine Bar every Wednesday through August, starting Wednesday, August 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. The Molly’s Revenge guitarist will be performing “oldternative” bluegrass and traditional Celtic music. “South County is great for my music,” said Stuart, “because you never know when one of the brilliant local fiddlers will pop in for a set, and there are some world-class players down there, including Gilles Apap and Jim Mueller!” Sounds like these shows might hold a few surprises.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF AMBIENCE
- BAY AREA ATMOSPHERE : San Francisco-based world rock act Ambience rolls through SLO Town on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at the Frog and Peach and then Thursday, Aug. 6 at Farmers Market.
Glen Starkey likes tacos. You like tacos. Isn’t it weird how much you both have in common? Say yes at email@example.com.
In the world of beat-diggers, vintage vinyl archeologist Andy Votel ranks at the top of the list, unearthing musical artifacts the way Dr. Indiana Jones uncovered treasure. Obsessive in their pursuit of the obscure and obsolete, their label, B-Music, has issued out everything from Pakistani picture house music to Hungarian funk-rock; the emphasis always being the psyched-out, fuzzed-overloaded, rhythmic-centric counter-culture rather than the perspective region’s tradition folk heritage. On this globetrotting collection, they gain the extra collaborative hand of fellow like-minded DJs, acquiring their golden platters to make this a truly one-of-a-kind listening experience. Starting with UK’s The Melodians’ psycho-tropical surf rendition of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” it continent-hops over to the Led Zeppelin-meets-Turkish pop of Bebek and the brain-melting Italian freak out of Braen’s Machine’s “Flying.” For college radio listeners or followers of WFMU’s kooky playlist, this will give you hours of delight and expand the inquisitiveness of your vinyl scouring.
Phoenix hit pay dirt with the help of a fan’s viral video. Editing their opening single “Lisztomania” to a montage of exuberant dance sequences culled from ’80s Brat Pack movies (Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Mannequin), the song gains an instant familiarity and sparks an exhilaration of youthfulness. Even the band has called it “their best video.” But Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, their fourth studio album, carries more tantalizing bop than just its opening number. “1901” buzzes with over-driven synths and full-blown guitars, while “Fences” is a sinuous disco-rock number that emphasizes a sexy groove over the upbeat synth-pop that dominates the rest of the record. A quick reprieve from the constant blissed-out songwriting comes in the mid-album instrumental “Love Like A Sunset Part I,” followed by the golden harmonic hue of “Love Like A Sunset Part II,” which recalls Wings-era McCartney, at least in the vocals. A great summertime album of enjoyable pop.
—Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and mikovision.blogspot.com, where you’ll find archived reviews and soundclips.