Live music highlights for the week of September 6, 2017.
I recently showed my six-year-old niece a video of Jake Shimabukuro playing his ukulele. I’ve also shared videos of him with my 71-year-old mom and a friend whose musical taste rests firmly in metal. Shimabukuro transcends music in a way that’s tricky to describe. He’s so damn good at his craft that things like genre and even medium fall away to reveal a creative and technical master. His latest album, Nashville Sessions, is a jazz album that pushes Shimabukuro’s skill set further still. If you have an appreciation for the little uke, you’re likely already familiar with Shimabukuro. If it isn’t something you’ve gravitated to before, but you have a taste for artistic mastery, check this guy out. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $37/gen, $52/gold. 423-8209.
GEORGE KAHUMOKU JR.
Hawaiian cowboys and cowgirls are a thing—and an interesting aspect of Hawaiian history and music. Slack key guitarist/songwriter/storyteller George Kahumoku Jr. fully embraces the paniolo/paniola culture—he raises goats and grows taro on his farm on Maui—and is one of its most beloved musical ambassadors. In 2015, the multiple Grammy-winning artist released Paniolo Slack Key: Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy—his latest offering in a long list of outstanding albums. A regular visitor to the Santa Cruz area, Kahumoku shares the rich Hawaiian music tradition in all of its forms with audiences around the world. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $17/adv, $20/door. 335-2800.
Psychedelic soul. It sounds like the kind of music you listen to after your second or third dose of acid, when the Grateful Dead jam has finally started to bore you. But really, bands like Monophonics proudly wave this genre’s flag, because it highlights their diverse influences—everything from Pink Floyd to Funkadelic. In other words, a couple tabs of acid will go nicely with this groove-heavy, deeply layered music. With San Francisco’s Monophonics, expect things to fall less on the Pink Floyd freakout-jam side of things, and more on the laid-back groove side. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
There’s a scene in the 2000 indie film High Fidelity where a record store hipster, in an attempt to impress a girl, plays her a taste of Green Day, then a snippet of virtually unknown ’70s U.K. punk band Stiff Little Fingers. Indeed, Stiff Little Fingers laid the groundwork for what Green Day was doing. Back then, obscure but highly influential bands like Stiff Little Fingers were the darlings of such hipsters. Nearly two decades later, all of us have become internet savvy music historians. But that doesn’t make Stiff Little Fingers any less incredible and remarkably influential. This is their 40th anniversary tour. How amazing is that? AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/adv, $22/door. 429-4135.
STEVEN GRAVES BAND
This past June, a federal judge granted the Lakota people a major victory in their on-going battle with the U.S. Government over the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. However, the nearly year-long protest and months of litigation required major funding for legal representation—which local musician Steven Graves hopes to help with. This Sunday, Graves and his six-piece band will play a benefit for the Lakota People’s Law Project and the Standing Rock Legal Defense Fund. Make sure to catch their latest single, “Stand For the People,” which is currently being considered Song of the Year for this year’s Native American Music Awards. MAT WEIR
INFO: 7 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12. 335-2800.
California five-piece Café Musique plays gypsy, swing, tango, folk and something the members have dubbed “wild classical.” Comprising Brynn Albanese—whose resume includes work with the Boston Symphony and the Hague Philharmonic—on violin and vocals; former pub owner Duane Inglish on accordion; Craig Nuttycombe, who toured with Jimi Hendrix and Canned Heat, on guitar and vocals; multi-genre and multi-instrument master Fred Murray on bass and vocals; and Eric Williams, who has worked with Tori Amos and Taj Mahal, on guitar, ukulele, bouzouki and vocals, the group is a musical treasure of the Central Coast and beyond. CJ
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/gen, $32/gold. 427-2227.
THE MAGPIE SALUTE
Most bands would be blown away to hear that their first show sold out. While we’re sure the Magpie Salute was thankful to fans, it didn’t hurt that they were formed by Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien, all members of the world-renowned Black Crowes. Joining the trio are Matt Slocum, Adrien Reju, Katrine Ottosen and Joe Magistro—all from Robinson’s solo project—for a rock ’n’ roll experience that draws on influences from the Small Faces to Sly and the Family Stone. MW
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $27/adv, $30/door. 429-4135.
Israeli-born, New York-based trumpeter Avishai Cohen possesses a gorgeous, warm, glowing tone and uncommonly poised sense of structure. During his six-year run with the SFJAZZ Collective, he often stood out with smart, elliptically lyrical compositions, and his concept seems to have evolved in interesting directions since then. His recent album, Cross My Palm With Silver (ECM), is a striking, quietly dramatic journey featuring rising 21-year-old Israeli pianist Gadi Lehavi, veteran Israeli bassist Barak Mori, and drummer extraordinaire Marcus Gilmore (a longtime member of pianist Vijay Iyer’s trio). ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $25/adv, $30/door. 427-2227.
RYAN JOSEPH ANDERSON
In 2014, Ryan Joseph Anderson was the talk of several Americana-loving music blogs for his debut solo record The Weaver’s Broom. The songwriter was already known from his group Go Long Mule. But his solo outing married a certain grittiness with a warm simplicity. “Straight to the point” is an understatement. His new record City of Vines is a much lusher example of his songwriting. Indeed, he told Glide Magazine that he went from a four-piece band to a 10-piece band for this record. He still evokes the emotion of the gruff Everyman, but it has the anthemic quality of all those heartland rock ’n’ roll artists that seem to be so popular in the rust belt. AC
INFO: 9 p.m. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.
IN THE QUEUE
Seattle-based country, rock and bluegrass group. Wednesday at Don Quixote’s
Renowned Scandinavian jazz vocalist. Thursday at Kuumbwa
Indie folk and rock outfit from San Francisco. Saturday at Crepe Place
All-woman AC/DC tribute band. Saturday at Catalyst
GOLDEN STATE/LONE STAR REVUE
Blues artists Mark Hummel, Anson Funderburgh and more. Sunday at Moe’s Alley