.Things to Do in Santa Cruz: April 19-25

The Infamous Stringdusters, Seized Up, Tech N9ne and More


DUSTBOWL REVIVAL WITH GA-20 After spending years on the road, Dustbowl Revival never stopped making their joyful, booty-shaking soul songs and cut-to-heart folk-rock ballads that lift their transcendent live shows. After celebrating over a decade of sonic adventuring, playing thousands of shows in 10 countries and counting, the group collected a devoted fanbase coast-to-coast. After throwing five of their own virtual Sway-At-Home festivals during the shut-down, featuring nearly forty artists, the constantly evolving group of string and brass players led by founding members Z. Lupetin, Josh Heffernan and Ulf Bjorlin are excited to welcome a new wave of talent to the band, after emerging from a pandemic touring hiatus. $25/$30 plus fees. Thursday, April 20, 9pm. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. moesalley.com

COCO MONTOYA In a career that spans almost four decades, Montoya has gone from drumming for blues icon Albert Collins to holding the lead guitar spot in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers to leading his own band and touring worldwide. Coco Montoya’s fifth Alligator album, Coming In Hot, is full of everything that has made Coco an international blues icon—soaring, searing guitar, rich, soulful vocals and songs that combine power and intensity with eloquence and melodicism. The tracks range from blistering, hard-rocking blues to potent shuffles to fervent, moving ballads. Montoya’s unpredictable guitar playing and soulful vocals blend seamlessly with a backing band featuring bassists Bob Glaub (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Lee Lewis) and Mike Mennell (Jimmy Buffett, John Fogerty), keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Taj Mahal), rhythm guitarists Billy Watts (Eric Burdon) and Johnny Lee Schell (Bonnie Raitt) and drummer Tony Braunagel. $25/$29 plus fees. Thursday, April 20, 8pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

LARRY & JOE Larry & Joe is the duo of Joropo maestro Larry Bellorín (Monagas, Venezuela) and Grammy-nominated bluegrass and old-time star Joe Troop (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). These two virtuosic multi-instrumentalists fuse their respective Venezuelan and Appalachian folk traditions on the harp, banjo, cuatro, fiddle, upright bass, guitar and maracas to prove that music has no borders. Based in the Triangle of North Carolina, both men are versatile multi-instrumentalists and singer-songwriters on a mission to show that music has no boundaries. The bilingual program features a distinct blend of their musical inheritances and traditions, and storytelling about how music and social movements coalesce. $27/$42. Friday, April 21, 7:30pm. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. kuumbwajazz.org

THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS After finally being in the same room for the first time in six months, the Infamous Stringdusters seized the moment for their revealing new album, Toward the Fray. Inspired by self-reflection and a strong sense of solidarity, the project documents the Grammy Award-winning group’s remarkable growth as instrumentalists and songwriters. Released on their label, Americana Vibes, the collection firmly establishes the band’s stature in the modern acoustic music landscape. They’ve built a solid and enduring fan base among traditional and progressive audiences. Travis Book (bass), Andy Falco (guitar), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), Andy Hall (Dobro) and Chris Pandolfi (banjo) wrote the songs on Toward the Fray separately, sending simple phone demos to each other during lockdown. Fueled by friendship and a mastery of their instruments, the 13-track collection feels live, but not necessarily loose, due to a synergy developed over the last 16 years of playing sheds, clubs and festival stages nationwide. $40/$44 plus fees. Saturday, April 22, 9pm. Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. feltonmusichall.com

SEIZED UP WITH WESTERN ADDICTION AND THE VAXXINES Santa Cruz’s beloved Seized Up erupted as a loud blur, courtesy of Bl’ast singer Clifford Dinsmore, Fast Asleep guitarist Danny B., Good Riddance bassist Chuck Platt and the Distillers/Nerve Agents drummer Andy Granelli. The supergroup was inspired after Fast Asleep had stopped performing, and Dinsmore was eager to start something new with the guys, knowing it would be a great mix. A flashback of what all members are into, and that’s driving hardcore punk. Seized Up worked with Paul Miner at Buzzbomb Recording to record 11 songs for their full-length debut. People have demanded more since making their live debut in December 2019. Sometimes, wishes do come true. $15. Saturday, April 22, 8pm. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. thecrepeplace.com

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‘THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME’ Based on Mark Haddon’s acclaimed novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was originally adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens. The story follows Christopher, a young man with an extraordinary mind: he knows every prime number up to 7,057, every country and capital in the world and that yellow and brown are to be avoided like the plague. When someone murders his neighbor’s dog, Christopher is driven to discover the culprit. He embarks on an investigation that unwittingly uncovers family secrets that shatter his reality and launch him onto a path into the unknown. The original London and New York productions won multiple awards, including a Tony Award, Olivier Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama League Awards. $19.50; $17.50/students. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm through April 30. Black Box Theater (inside the Crocker Theater), Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos. cabrillo.edu/vapa

POPPY CHAMPLIN WITH PATTI MAXINE Poppy Champlin has a career that spans three decades. Her television appearances on Oprah, Joan Rivers, Comics Unleashed, LOGO, Comedy Central and Showtime are proof of her hard work and longevity. She has opened for numerous comics on her climb to headlining. Rosie O’Donnell, Paula Poundstone, Bill Maher, Ray Romano, Caroline Rhea, Richard Belzer and Bruce Vilanch, just to name a few. Champlin is always full of hot topics, fresh perspectives and solid punchlines. As an openly gay comedian, Champlin says she can now talk honestly about her relationships with women, but since she is not in one at the moment, she’s not focusing on that. Joining Poppy is the incomparable lap steel virtuoso, Patti Maxine. $25 plus fees. Sunday, April 23, 5pm. Greater Purpose Brewing Company, 21517 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. theneighborspub.org/events

TECH N9NE WITH KUNG FU VAMPIRE Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and entrepreneur, Tech N9ne does it all. In 1999, he and business partner Travis O’Guin founded the record label Strange Music. He has sold over two million albums and featured his music in film, television and video games. In 2009, he won the Left Field Woodie Award at the mtvU Woodie Awards. His stage name originated from the TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun, a name given to him by rapper Black Walt due to his fast-rhyming Chopper style. Yates later applied a deeper meaning to the name, claiming that it stands for the complete technique of rhyme, with “tech” meaning technique and “nine” representing the number of completions. San Jose’s Kung Fu Vampire began breakdancing at six and taught himself to rap and sing as a hobby. At 12, his aunt began taking him to see concerts and introduced him to a goth. He never looked back. $37/$42 plus fees. Sunday, April 23, 9pm. The Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. catalystclub.com

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Adam Joseph
Before Delaware native Adam Joseph was brought on as managing editor for Good Times Santa Cruz in 2021, he spent several years with the Monterey County Weekly as a music writer and calendar editor. In addition to music, he has covered film, people, food, places and everything in between. Adam’s work has appeared in Relix Magazine, 65 Degrees, the Salinas Californian and Gayot. From January to May 2023, Adam served as Good Times’ interim editor.
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