- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- MEN WITH A MISSION : (left to right, back row) Little Robbie Kimball, Tim Jackson, Peter Yelda, Louie Ortega, Randy Pybas, and (left to right, front row) Josef Kasperovich, Frankie Paredes, Bill Donley, and Lance Robison are a few of the more than one dozen musicians who will play a fundraising benefit at Chili Peppers on May 22, to help a family of employees who lost their home to a fire.
You see, the Nino de Riveras lost their home a couple months ago when a small appliance fire made it uninhabitable. The residence was attached to Chili Peppers on Broad Street, the business where several of the family members work. Now the various members of the clan are scattered here and there, trying to recoup their losses so they can once again reunite.
I’m a big fan of Chili Peppers, eating a chili Colorado burrito at least once a week, and I’m not the only one—a lot of local musicians love the place and the people who work there, too, which is why Peter Yelda, who lives next door, decided to hold a fundraiser this Saturday from 12:30 to
7 p.m. on the restaurant’s enclosed patio. It’s free to attend, but Peter’s hoping folks will bring a few extra bucks to toss into a jar for the family: The more than one dozen musicians are all performing for free.
The event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with Rio Salinas, a trio consisting of Grammy-winner Louie Ortega, Frankie Paredes, and Randy Pybas. For the record, Louie’s a fan of the carnitas and chili verde, Frankie likes the chili verde, and Randy a fan of the chili verde and chicken tacos.
Little Robbie Kimball, host of the KCBX show “Pickin’ Up the Tempo,” hits the stage next. Ever vigilant of heart disease, Robbie favors the Mediterranean squash burrito.
Longtime SLO rocker Tim Jackson, who’s morphed into a fine acoustic solo folk and Americana artist, hits the stage next. He keeps his slender rocker body thanks to the chicken burrito.
Next up will be Dorian Michael and Lance Robison. Dorian wasn’t available for the photo op, so I couldn’t get his order, but Lance is a chicken taco lover.
Bob & Wendy hit the stage next, and they, too, couldn’t make the photo shoot.
Then Peter Yelda & Friends will take to the stage, followed by the grand finale, a set by Café Musique. Somewhere in there you’ll also get Bill “Carnitas” Donley and Josef “Chili Verde” Kasperovich.
“There won’t be any harmonica playing,” promised Pybas.
“And it’ll be a good time for a great cause,” added Robison.
“We know we’re not going to raise enough to get them a new house,” said Yelda, “and it doesn’t even matter how much money we raise. If people show up, have a bite and a beer, it’ll show the family people care about them.”
“Plus it’s great to rally behind a mom and pop store,” added Jackson. “These days everything’s a chain, but Chili Peppers is a family operation, and there aren’t many left.”
Man, I am so freakin’ hungry now! See you this Saturday.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF SOUL SAUCE
- BOSSES OF THE SOUL SAUCES : (Left to right) Keenan Michael Vallone, Bruce Sorensen, Chet “CT” Hogaboom, and Tommy Lee Nunes are Soul Sauce, inveterate players in a new quartet who will release their debut self-titled CD on May 21 at Sycamore Mineral Springs
Soul Sauce’s lead track “Summerland” sounds like a page ripped from the Jimmy Buffet songbook, a breezy, island party track that simply demands a cold Corona in one hand and dance partner in the other.
If you’ve never heard of Soul Sauce, that’s OK, they’re brand new, but you probably know the guys behind the band, especially CT and Tommy Lee, who have been in so many great local bands over the years that I simply don’t have space to name them all.
CT, known for his soulful R&B voice, turns his attention to more tropical sounds. In fact, the band heads into reggae country on “Safe to Say,” then transitions into a heartrending ballad song by Tommy Lee on “Pieces.”
CT rocks out on “Velvet Elvis,” while “Hard Heart” is a funky little acoustic number sure to get your butt shaking. The band goes Latin on “Latiñia,” a blazing instrumental that feels like a galloping ride on a hot desert, sun blazing down, wind in your face. It’s got enough “surf” elements to pass for a Dick Dale number. All in all, this is a tight little 13-track album that mixes classic rock sounds, soul, Latin, reggae, alt-country, and pop.
If you’re a young kid, this material might not float your boat, but look down and if you’re wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Soul Sauce may be your match made in heaven. See them from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 21, in Sycamore Mineral Springs’ Palm Room. It’s free.
- PHOTO BY CMS PHOTOGRAPHY
- HIPPY HEART : The sweet and funny Americana singer-songwriter Rachel Sedacca rolls through town on May 21 to The Clubhouse, one stop on her West Coast tour. She’s endorsed by Florida-based Luna guitars and plays their beautiful “Dragonfly” acoustic guitar with mother of pearl inlay work.
Soulful, bluesy, Americana singer-songwriter Rachel Sedacca is rolling through town again, always welcome news.
“I’ll be coming through SLO again, kicking off my Northwest tour to Seattle and back in my school bus this May,” wrote Sedacca. “My last tour ended suddenly in Denver with an ankle broken in three places. Ouch! But I’m back on the road and headed through California and Oregon, up to the Seattle area and back, starting with a Friday, May 21 gig at The Clubhouse. I’ll be playing with an amazing young guitar phenom, Nick Chausse, who hails from Seattle. I’m really excited as I have some new songs that I consider to be some of my best work.”
She’ll play a 7 to 10 p.m., all ages show, for $5 at the door.
Inspired by the spirit of Janis Joplin and encouraged by the sounds of Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, and Sheryl Crow, Rachel also points to years of Grateful Dead shows for steeping her in an eclectic musical tea and an appreciation for fusing genres, seasoned by time on the road.
She tours around in her 1971 converted GMC school bus “Patience,” complete with kitchen, restroom, and her purple and green bedroom sporting her comfy mattress from home.
“This is what keeps my feet on the ground,” she said. “I can always pull over and make some food, take a nap; I can always find my toothbrush.”
- PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
I’m not quite sure how to describe what I’m listening to. I hear banjo and double-bass, which isn’t especially unusual, but add in the sounds of classical Indian tabla and suddenly this is unlike anything I’ve known. Now I hear Edgar Meyer bowing the bass in traditional classical music fashion, then I hear Béla Fleck finger picking the banjo in a nod to bluegrass. Through it all comes the polyrhythmic sounds of Zakir Hussain. India, classical, bluegrass … all arranged like a classical composition? It’s truly stunning!
This Monday, May 24, Fleck, Hussain, and Meyer will grace the Performing Art Center’s Cohan Center at 8 p.m. The concert is rescheduled from a show originally slated for last October, which was postponed after Hussain’s mother passed away. In the interim, the trio’s CD, The Melody of Rhythm, was nominated for a Grammy.
Each member is considered a virtuoso of his respective instrument, and all three are known for their genre-hopping ways. Fleck was a member of New Grass Revival, founder of the avant-garde fusion group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and the artist nominated for Grammys in (by far!) the most different categories: country, pop, jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, spoken word, composition, and arranging.
Hussain is considered the supreme classical tabla virtuoso of his generation, having accompanied almost every great Indian sitar, sarod, or sarangi master worth mentioning, from Ravi Shankar to Ali Akbar Khan to Shivkumar Sharma.
Meyer is a classically trained bassist who’s played at the highest level in bluegrass and jazz genres as well, with Joshua Bell, Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Sam Bush, Alison Krauss, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, and Mark O’Connor. He also plays guitar, banjo, voila da gamba, mandolin, and dobro.
“When I play with Zakir, I’m not an Indian musician but we can find a place to meet,” said Fleck in press materials. “Along with carrying the top level of Indian classical music in his veins, Zakir is incredible at understanding music from all over the world and collaborates effectively with an amazingly diverse number of musicians. (Plus), Edgar is one of my longtime pals and influences. I’m thrilled to find a new way to collaborate with him.”
“Working with Béla and Edgar is an experience that transcends musical collaboration,” added Hussain. “Certainly it is a creative effort unprecedented in my own life—a way of looking at melody and rhythm through their eyes, affording me another way of expressing myself through my instrument.”
Meyer agreed, noting, “The give and take between musicians is often very defining. Ideally, I’m more focused on Béla and Zakir than I am on myself. From the beginning, Bela’s vision on the instrument transcended traditional expectations and Zakir brings a complete re-defining of tabla without any loss of traditional values.”
A free pre-concert lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion, presented by Cal Poly Music Dept. faculty member Ken Habib. Student and adult tickets range from $20 to $48 (756-2787).
- PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CHOP TOPS
- DANGEROUS ROCK’N’ROLL : The Chop Tops explode onto the Downtown Brew stage on May 27!
- CELLPHONE PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
- DANGEROUS ROCK’N’ROLL : The Sons of KD Elder explode onto the Downtown Brew stage on May 27!
I like my rock’n’roll dangerous. It should smell like gasoline, taste like whiskey, look like a circus freak wrestling an alligator, feel like the creeping hand of a small death, and sound like a fight between a leviathan and a chimera.
On Thursday, May 27, two bands that fit that descript to a T—The Chop Tops and opening act The Sons of KD Elder—will descend on the Downtown Brew stage like winged-horse-driven hot rods (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $8 presale or $10 at the door).
The Chop Tops features Sinner, a drummer who prefers to stand and beat those skins like a red-headed stepchild. When he found Shelby and Bret Black (formerly of Three Bad Jacks), he knew these psychobilly aficionados could fulfill his dream of playing the most dangerous rock’n’roll ever rendered.
The Sons of KD Elder play so hard they’ll burn their image into your retinas! You’ll hear them right into next week! This is rock the way it was meant to be, fast, loud, and out of control!
Downtown Brew has a couple of hot shows before next Thursday, including alt-rockers Frightened Rabbits and Maps & Atlases on Thursday, May 20 (7 p.m.; all ages; $13 presale or $15 at the door), and soulful Americana rocker Jackie Greene on Friday, May 21 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $16 presale or $18 at the door).
- PHOTO COURTESY OF ONE DROP
- READY TO ROCK STEADY : The San Diego-based Reggae and ska quartet One Drop hits the Frog and Peach on May 21.
Reggae and ska act One Drop hits the Frog and Peach this Friday, May 21. The San Diego-based quartet’s newest album, 2008’s Mission Blvd, is a rhythmic mix of reggae, rock-influence, and even a little ska thrown in for good measure. Makes sense since they say they’re inspired by Steel Pulse and The Police.
Come celebrate Wine Festival Weekend at Castoro Cellars and enjoy some great food, “Dam Fine Wine,” and some music to boot. The 28th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival is scheduled from May 21 to 23 at wineries throughout the Paso Robles growing region. At Castoro Cellars Winery and Tasting Room, on Friday, May 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., there will be an informal evening featuring an oyster tasting and music by Impromptu ($30 per person, or $25 each for Wine Club members). On Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy Sangria and crêpes ($14 per person, or $12 for Wine Club members). And on both Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23, Impromptu returns for more live music, with Zzah joining in on Sunday. Call 238-0725, ex. 14, or email email@example.com.
- PHOTO COURTESY OF MUD THUMP
- GOOD OLD BOYS : On May 22, check out the Morro Bay Folk and Fiddle Festival with Mud Thump and two other bands, culminating with an old-time jam.
If you’re down Nipomo way, enjoy some barbeque and blues on Saturday, May 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. when the Chronic Blues Band plays a free show at Rancho Nipomo BBQ (108 Cuyama Ln., 925-3500). Bring some money for their damn fine barbeque!
- PHOTO COURTESY OF DJ LOGIC
- THE TURNTABLE IS AN INSTRUMENT! : Turntablist DJ Logic spins on May 22 in the Performing Arts Center with Cal Poly’s University Jazz Band No.1.
The Chronic Blues Band strikes again this week when they play Sunday, May 23 at 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chronic Cellars Winery (2020 Nacimiento Lake Dr., Paso Robles). Amazingly, $5 gets you the music, barbeque, and wine. WTF?
- PHOTO COURTESY OF DELILAH SHANK
- GO FRENCH! : Coalesce Bookstore presents Delilah Shank in a show billed as “Delilah Sings! An Afternoon of Classic French Cabaret,” on May 23.
On Sunday, May 23, Andy Martin, regarded by most musicians and critics as America’s leading jazz trombone player, is the next attraction at the Famous Jazz Artist Series at the Hamlet in Cambria. Martin, besides his award-winning jazz recordings, is also one of the country’s foremost commercial studio musicians, appearing regularly on such productions as the Academy Awards Show and Dancing With The Stars. He’ll be joined by bassist Luther Hughes, drummer Colin Bailey, and series co-producers Charlie and Sandi Shoemake. (vibraphone and vocals), during two performances, 4 p.m. for $15 and 7:15 p.m. for $12, or stay for both and pay $20. Call 927-0567 for reservations.
Singer-songwriter Mason Reed returns to the area with a show at Frog and Peach on Tuesday, May 25 and again on Thursday, May 27. Though he calls Tucson home now, his heart is still very much in the Los Angeles area as evidenced by his planned “Mason Reed Presents” show series to take place Friday nights at Enterprise Fish Company in Santa Monica. Reed’s ties to LA date back to 2005 when he gave away everything he had except his writings, his guitar, and a small bag of clothes, broke his lease in Denver, Colorado, and moved to California to pursue his dreams. “I decided to invent my own life,” Reed said. He’s been after it ever since.
The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble performs at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Los Osos at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 26. The event is public and your freewill offering will help support the group. Founded in 2003 under the leadership of Kirill Sokolov, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, his goal is to bring Russian music to a wider audience. The first half of the performance will be classical and church music, the second half Russian folk songs.
It’s back and bigger than ever!
The New Times Music Awards are back and promise to be even better than last year’s.
We learned a lot on our last go-around, like how many talented acts are out there and how difficult it is to judge the various styles in comparison to one another; that’s why this year we’re dividing the contest into six genres: classical/jazz; rock/alternative; hip-hop/rap/electronic/DJ; folk/bluegrass/Americana; blues/R&B; and reggae/worldbeat. You can enter up to three songs in each category, and our panel of three industry experts will award first through third place in each genre. Then they’ll pick an overall winner.
For the songwriting portion of the contest, we’ve compiled a panel of three published songwriters, who will judge this competition separately. Again, first through third prizes will be awarded.
Like last year, we’ll compile a CD of the best of the best, and we’ll let readers judge via the Internet, voting for a Readers’ Choice Award.
We’re also doing an Album of the Year Award, which is free to enter. The CD must have been recorded between June 21, 2009 and June 21, 2010. Find a copy of the entry form on page 75 of this issue, or go online to newtimesslo.com. The deadline for submissions is June 21.
The awards will be presented during a four-day music festival, running Thursday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 22, including an all-day fest on Saturday, Aug. 21 in Mission Plaza. It’s going to be awesome!
Glen Starkey thinks you’re all winners. Tell him to stop pandering to you at firstname.lastname@example.org.