One of America’s greatest, most influential, and legendary cult bands, Flamin’ Groovies came out of the San Francisco area in 1965 playing greasy, bluesy, rock & roll dashed with a liberal sprinkling of British Invasion noise. Caught in a double bind of playing the wrong kind of music at the wrong time (as well as not looking the part), the Groovies were almost completely forgotten as the Fillmore/Avalon Ballroom scene spotlighted long jams and psychedelia. Flaming Groovies fame spread abroad with a larger, more enthusiastic following in Europe while the punk movement began. “Shake Some Action” with the Groovies Friday, April 25th at The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz. Showtime is 9 pm. The Groggs will open.
Acclaimed Irish-American band Solas will be presenting traditional and original Irish tunes and songs at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 2pm. This matinee show will feature the story of “Shamrock City,” about a mining town in Butte, Montana through the eyes of an Irish immigrant (Michael Conway, the great-great uncle of Seamus Egan, one of the founders of Solas) at the turn of the 20th century in a multimedia presentation. Solas has been performing together for some 18 years, releasing 11 albums and winning the award for Best Celtic Recording from the Association for Independent Music three times. They’re known for their fresh arrangements of old traditional tunes plus compelling topical original songs. Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (fiddle, vocals) anchor the band and are joined by Mick McAuley (accordions, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Niamh Varian-Barry. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.
Amy Hanaiali’i was nominated five times for “Best Hawaiian Music Album” at the Grammys but never won. Then they removed the category. She pays it no mind since she has 22 Na Hoku Hanohano awards (Hawaii’s equivalent of the Grammy awards) and is Hawaii’s top selling female vocalist of all time. She’s making a rare appearance in Santa Cruz County at Don Quixote’s in Felton on Wednesday, April 2nd; come find out what a real Hawaiian diva sounds like. Showtime is 7:30 pm; there is no reserved seating so get there early.
Sylvia Herold and the Rhythm Bugs bring hot swing tunes and retro pop songs from the 1930s-1960s to Don Quixote’s in Felton on Tuesday, April 1st at 7:30pm. Sylvia, popular singer and guitar player from the SF Bay Area (also a member of Wake the Dead, Cats and Jammers, and Euphonia), and her bandmates sing lush three-part harmonies backed by virtuoso instrumental arrangements from high-society jazz to lowdown Basin Street ballads. Their latest “The Spider and the Fly” CD has a hot spot for the past six weeks on the CMJ Jazz charts. Jennifer Scott (Jennifer Scott Trio, piano) and Ed Johnson (guitar) are top notch jazz singers, arrangers and composers who along with Cary Black (Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, Dan Hicks, bass) join Sylvia for this evening of swinging songs from a bygone era of lighthearted and fun American jazz and pop songs.
Top 40 radio played the instrumental “Grazing in the Grass” to death in 1968. Many adventurous music fans got to see South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela the year before right here. Masekela and his band were featured performers at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He also provided the trumpet solo for The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star”. Fast forward to an incredibly diverse career – helping to free Nelson Mandela, joining Paul Simon on the breakthrough world music of “Graceland”, working on the Broadway musical “Sarafina”, writing his biography – and you begin to see what a treasure Hugh Masekela has been to the world of music and South African culture. Join his 75th Birthday Celebration at the intimate Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz Monday, March 24th. Showtimes are 7 and 9 pm; best get tickets in advance for this birthday party.
Scott Hansen, also known as synth ambient electronic music producer Tycho, has just released his second LP. Once strictly a solo project, Tycho has now evolved into a three-piece band providing plenty of energy and euphoria at their live shows. Their debut performance in Santa Cruz will take place at The Catalyst on March 19th. Showtime is 9 pm…or so.