.Music Picks: April 24-30

Santa Cruz live music highlights for the week of April 23, 2019





If you’ve been wondering to yourself whether Adele’s “Hello” would make a banger of a reggae song, I can answer that for you right now: yes, very much so. At least that’s the case with Kingston singers Conkarah and Rosie Delmah, who turn the song into reggae gold. It’s already surpassed 97 million views on YouTube. The duo has also covered “Shallow” from A Star Is Born. And Conkarah has a whole slew of reggaefied jams in his catalog from Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” to Shawn Mullins’ “Lullaby.” AARON CARNES

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $10 adv/$15 door. 479-1854.

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Canadian indie trio Douse will inspire your wanderlust with moody textures and expansive soundscapes. It’s the kind of gleaming guitar tones and indie flourishing that inspire impromptu road trips and smartly titled mixtapes to that one someone who almost gets you. Almost. Douse frequently gets dreamy without getting lost, keeping their musical meanderings exploratory, but focused on a goal. It’s a nice balance of sonic adventure, like a backpacking trip in the desert armed with a trusty map. AMY BEE

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $6. 429-6994.   





Burnin’ Vernon rips. He likes to refer to his latest project Aftermath as “From A to Z,” meaning from Al Green to Led Zeppelin. Does that sound like he’s overstating his abilities a bit? He’s not. The originally-from-Texas guitarist has been tearing up Bay Area stages for the last 30 years. He’s shared the stage with bands from every genre: Peter Tosh, Etta James, War. He brings it all. He’s got the funk chops, the rock riffs and the R&B soul. But the real treat is checking out his lead guitar abilities. Some say you can see his finger literally smoking after he’s done soloing. AC

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Flynn’s Cabaret & Steakhouse, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $10 adv/$12 door. 335-2800.



Armed with a quiver of melodies, Pat Hull’s voice is a weapon. Alright, so it might be a weapon of peace, but it’s still just as deadly. Combined with his insightful and reflective lyrics, it’s easy to catch yourself plucking at the ole heart strings. Born in Connecticut, this singer/songwriter now resides in Chico and seemingly draws inspiration from the two, drifting between sounds that capture the cold, history-worn cobblestones of New England to the dusty skies of a California summer. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8 p.m. Lille Aeske, 13160 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek. $10-$20. 703-4183.





Oi! Oi! Oi! Dust off the boots, break out the braces and fill up the scooter’s tank because the original L.A. skins, Doug & The Slugz, are coming to Santa Cruz! They are kicking off the Boss Weekender (a weekend for punks and skins: music, a scooter rally, lots of drinking). Band leader and namesake Doug Dagger is notoriously known as the singer from Schleprock and the Generators. But way back in the fledgling days of 1983, Doug and the Slugz was Dagger’s original group, belting out singalongs about short hair, street honor and lifestyles of the broke and working class. MW

INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $15 adv/$20 door. 429-6994.





Oakland’s Allblack connects two long-standing threads in Bay Area hip-hop. On the one hand, the bounce in his beats and his bike-riding swagger are an outgrowth of hyphy, the sound and image of Oakland at the turn of the millennium. But where hyphy artists were all about the party, for Allblack, the trap is never far away. Not the ATL trap of Migos and Gucci, but the modern East Bay trap of artists like SOB x RBE. Allblack is still on the rise, but he won’t be playing rooms the size of the Atrium for long. MIKE HUGUENOR

INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. $15 adv/$18 door. 429-4135.



The Vandoliers, a six-piece band from Texas, features the kind of gravelly, raspy vocals that remind one of mid-’80s hard rock, so it’s surprising when the fiddles and strings come in and undulate through the crowd in pure Southern rock glory. Songs veer from jubilant punk anthems to folk-rock diddies, all coated in a thick sheen of country pride and Texas twang. It’s probably that Texas audacity that compels the Vandoliers to add horns to several songs, a kind of special middle finger to the world’s expectations of what a dirty, grimy, down-home country rock band ought to be. AB

INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12 adv/$15 door. 479-1854.





Included in Rolling Stone’s list of “New Guitar Gods,” Kaki King is a mercurial force for creative good. Impossible to pigeonhole, her emotionally bare instrumental music is guided only by her virtuoso guitar skills. Jumping between finger picking, acoustic percussion, lap steel, and some full on shredding, King’s discography is lyrical without lyrics, a kind of poetry written outside of language. In 2007, she collaborated with Eddie Vedder and Michael Brook for the Emmy-nominated Into the Wild soundtrack, only one of many high points in a career defined by them. MH

INFO: 8 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20 adv/$25 door. 429-4135.



Claudia Villela’s new album Encantada Live offers a sensational reminder that whether she’s composing at her piano or spontaneously generating new songs on stage, the Rio de Janeiro-born vocalist, percussionist and bandleader is a sonic conjurer who can summon an infinite array of moods, textures and settings. She’s celebrating the release of the album, which focuses on original material, as well as the beloved songbook of Antonio Carlos Jobim. She’s joined by a world-class cast including saxophonist Gary Meek, bassist Gary Brown, drummer Celso Alberti and guitarist Carlos Oliveira. ANDREW GILBERT

INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $28.35 adv/$33.60 door. 427-2227.


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