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01.06.10

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Santa Cruz Music Calendar

Jan 6 - 12, 2010


Thursday | 1/7

CANNONS & CLOUDS

San Francisco folk set Cannons & Clouds' Myspace page has a scrolling list of no less than 300 bands, from Arcade Fire to Zion I, that they say have influenced their style. We'd boil the list down to a solid 10, but they'd all be good ones. Singer Zachary Blizzard, for example, has a full-range croon, occasionally drifting into a high falsetto, and bringing hints of Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie. And rest of the quintet's understated instrumentation—especially Brittany Gale's addition of the wistful electric harp—invokes Seattle indie blues quintet Band of Horses. But at the end of the day, Cannons & Clouds have a sound all their own, and one that's getting a lot of attention in the Bay Area these days. Crepe Place; $8; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)


RON KAPLAN

Even though he's a California native, Santa Cruzan Ron Kaplan has a lot of love for the Big Apple. On this tour—titled "Ron Kaplan Sings New York!"—Kaplan uses his signature baritone to pay tribute to the city's great musical institutions, from the Brill Building to Broadway. While Kaplan's primary interest is with the standards, he has a musicologist's knowledge of New York's musical history, and has unearthed some long-forgotten chestnuts to perform aside instantly recognizable numbers such as "New York, New York" or "On Broadway." Kuumbwa; $12 advance/$15 door; 7pm. (Paul M. Davis)


Friday | 1/8

DAVID HILLYARD AND THE ROCKSTEADY 7

A player with jazz chops who is doing his damnedest to revitalize ska, David Hillyard is reminding folks that the genre can do more than score comedy montages in Will Farrell movies. For the past two decades, Hillyard has been a veritable scholar of the genre, doing stints in the Donkey Show and Hepcat. With his latest outfit the Rocksteady 7, Hillyard brings jazz improvisation to a roots reggae sound reminiscent of the Skatalites and Burning Spear. It's vital, virtuosic stuff that meant for skanking, not yuks. Crepe Place; $8; 9pm. (PMD)


Saturday | 1/9

SHANE DWIGHT

Even though he looks as if he just showed up from a Guitar Center photo shoot, Shane Dwight is a serious player. A roots-rock guitarist imbued with the righteous flame of the blues, Dwight has been marked as a young talent to watch by roots music aficionados the nation over. Fans of George Thorogood and Tommy Castro will find much to like in Dwight's muscular blend of rock, country and the electric blues. Verve Lounge; price TBD; 8pm. (PMD)

ALBINO

Laying it down heavy, San Francisco's Albino reignites the revolutionary Afrobeat fire originally lit by Fela Kuti. Instead of taking a mannered, academic approach to the form, Albino resurrects it with the mad glee of a witch doctor: it's manic, densely layered dance music that aims to engage the mind as it moves the hips. The band's professed mission statement is "music is the weapon," remaining true to Kuti's vision of popular dance music that could move mountains, or at least regimes. Fresh off appearances at the bacchanalian desert frenzy that is Burning Man, Albino is sure to rip into its compositions with the precision of a finely tuned machine. Moe's Alley; $10 advance/$12 door; 9pm. (PMD)


Sunday | 1/10

HONEYBOY EDWARDS

On Jan. 30, 2010, Blues Hall of Fame inductee and Mississippi music legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards will receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. At age 94, it seems the least they could do. Honeyboy, along with friend and fellow nonagenarian, the 96-year-old pianist Pinetop Perkins, lays claim to being one of the two last original practitioners of Mississippi Delta blues, the oldest of the genre's many schisms. Belting out exactly the kind of gravely throated, string rattling yarns about catfish, whiskey and the devil himself that come to mind when thinking of a 94-year-old bluesman doing his thing, this guy is the real deal when it comes to authentic American music from the South. Note: show starts early, in time for Bingo! Don Quixote's; $12 advance/$14 door; 2pm. (CC)


Tuesday | 1/12

MURALI CORYELL BAND

Born in New York to two musicians, including famous jazz-fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, Murali Coryell has music in his blood. Wanting to escape comparison and competition with his father and brother (also a famous musician), Murali Coryell started playing a more mainstream style of blues and soul to the delight of fans across the country. While he's escaped the shadows of his relatives, Murali Coryell has drawn comparisons to legends like Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix. At every stop in his tour different local session musicians back up Murali's tender soulful voice and catchy guitar licks, making each show something unique. Don Quixote's; $10; 7:30pm. (Brian Harker)

ROBBEN FORD & Trial By Fire

Robben Ford's complex jazz and blues guitar riffs have earned him four Grammy nominations, along with positions on different guitarist-of-the-century lists. Born to a country & western singer/guitarist and a piano player, Ford is the third of four musical brothers. He picked up the sax at age 10, taught himself guitar at age 13 and went touring with his brother's blues band straight out of high school. Ford then went on to play with music legends such as George Harrison and Joni Mitchell before becoming a blistering guitar legend in his own right. Tonight he performs with former Ray Charles guitarist Michael Landau, Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Gary Novak as part of Trial By Fire. Kuumbwa; $23 advance/$26 door; 7 and 9pm. (BH)


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