.Love Your Local Band: Southern Pacific

Michele Murphy and Michael Owens really wanted to start a band together.

Murphy had been taking voice lessons at Cabrillo and getting voice coaching outside of class. Owens was connected to the local music scene. He’s played in the China Cats, the Post Street Rhythm Peddlers and more. So a couple years ago, he put together an all-star lineup that included members of Mudfrog, Medicine Road and Rose Bud.

They started off with a plan to play covers. But when selecting songs, they wouldn’t go towards the bigger hits that you’d expect to hear.

“We needed to play covers to get used to each other, get a little following, play songs that people want to hear,” says Murphy. “You have to be a real fan to know these songs. Like we do a Little Feat song, and you would think ‘Dixie Chicken.’ That’s the song that everyone knows. Instead we do ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor.’ Not many bands would do that.”

More recently, the band has broadened their sound to include songs by artists like Johnny Cash, Al Green and Paul Simon, and they’ve also allowed some more popular tunes in the set. About six months ago they started to write some originals—and they’re hoping to do a lot more of that in the future.

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“It’s taking a shape that we weren’t really anticipating. But we didn’t really know what we wanted to do,” says Owens. “And as we gained members, we gave everyone freedom of their expression and what they wanted to do. We just let things form naturally. And we’re really happy with it.” 

INFO: 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.


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