.Things to do in Santa Cruz

Week of June 26, 2024




Historians know “Shays’ Rebellion” as a late-1780s uprising of impoverished Massachusetts farmers. Bluegrass fans know it as a foot-stomping single from the Alabama band the Mountain Grass Unit’s Places I’ve Been album. The twanging trio, composed of Luke Black on acoustic guitar and banjo, Sam Wilson on upright bass and Drury Anderson on vocals and mandolin, has taken the bluegrass world by storm over the past few years. With their take on southern culture and superb musicianship, plus heroes ranging from Jerry Garcia to Billy Strings, they are set for a journey as epic as those they bring to life in song. ADDIE MAHMASSANI

INFO: 8pm, Felton Music Hall, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $17/adv, $22/door. 704-7113.




First, calling Argentinian artist Juana Molina “indie pop” is a cop-out. While she does incorporate these elements into her music, “folktronica” covers her sound more precisely. Combining poppy, folksy vocals with soft electronic melodies, Molina forges her own path, making music for Bon Iver, Björk and Four Tet fans. The daughter of a tango singer father and actress/model mother, the entire family fled the ’76 Argentinian coup for Paris. Molina first gained celebrity as a comedian and television star throughout Latin America. It’s no surprise her music is so eclectic; familial ties give Molina the courage to create avant-garde art on her own terms. MAT WEIR

INFO: 8pm, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $26/adv, $30/door. 479-1854.




Nate Salman of Waterstrider lives to create immersive worlds of sound. The band began as an experimental dance group filling the rooms of Salman’s housing co-op over a decade ago during their time as a student at UC Berkeley, and it has gone through many evolutions since then. The Oakland-based singer’s latest album, Overturned, leans toward art rock, with cascading strings and intricate synths taking fans into new psychic realms. Salman has a knack for bringing the lessons of nature to life, merging ancient mythology with imagery of redwoods, ouroboros and the like—all in an unforgettable, ethereal falsetto. AM

INFO: 8pm, Catalyst, 1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $17/door. 713-5492.


The five-piece psychedelic rock band the Cohesion has been a chameleon of a band— a feat not all acts can pull off. However, this ragtag group of musicians is as malleable as they come, sculpting and changing genres, styles and time signatures, often within a single song. Led by Dave “The Drummer” De Leon (The Talking Drum podcast), the Cohesion has fluctuated over the years, sometimes as a trio, quartet or—like now—a quintet. Their live show is for jammers, and the proof is in the many live recordings floating around the internet. For anyone looking to dance and rock out without losing their head in a mosh pit, the Cohesion at Blue Lagoon is the perfect date. MW

INFO: 9pm, Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 423-7117.



Cristina Vane headed out onto the wide-open roads of the US at 18, playing whatever venues would host her. She steeped herself deep in American roots music, leaning heavily on classic blues and old-time rock ‘n’ roll. She grew up all over Europe, spoke four languages, and had a heritage in Guatemala, creating a sense of identity that felt much more fluid than the troubadours that came before her. In this exploration, she found herself and spilled it all over her sophomore record, Make Myself Me Again (2022), a deeply personal and sublime American roots album that tinkers with and revels in Americana genre conventions. AARON CARNES
8pm, Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $14/adv, $18/door. 429-6994.




California-based singer-songwriter and guitarist James Patrick Regan may be best known as the founder and leader of the Deadlies, who describe themselves as Northern California’s “most dangerous surf band.” He also carved out a solid career as a well-regarded solo act and released the album Urban Slack in 2008. With the Deadlies and as a solo act, Regan has opened for a lengthy list of major touring acts, including the B-52’s, Blue Öyster Cult, the Mavericks, Lisa Marie Presley, Greg Kihn and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. DAN EMERSON

INFO: 5:30pm, Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Soquel. Free. 316-0662.



This band is basically a family; Hank and Ella are a married duo from right here in Santa Cruz, and the Fine Country Band is made up of their close friends. As a whole, they perform locally and can be heard on everyone’s favorite radio station, KPIG. Their songs are honky-tonk and Americana-inspired ditties suited to spinning around on sawdust-covered floors and whistling along to the tune. Hank is the singer-songwriter, Ella’s on the fiddle—the whole band has a background in bluegrass, which informs their sound.  Plus, there’s a guy on the pedal steel! JESSICA IRISH

INFO: 5pm, El Vaquero Winery, 2901 Freedom Blvd., Watsonville. $10. 607-8118.




The ukulele is a beautiful, unassuming little instrument on its own, but it becomes something more in the hands of Jake Shimabukuro. It is not trying to sound like a guitar, but it will gently weep when Shimabukuro covers the great George Harrison. It will front an orchestra, cover a Disney song, and launch into an original composition alongside a cello. The breadth of this ukulele’s range is due to Shimabukuro’s talent and artistry; he’s clearly dedicated to discovering every type of sound a ukulele can create. One thing’s clear: Shimabukuro and the ukulele belong together. JI

INFO: 8pm, Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $40. 423-1854.





Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter has the resonant tone and facility on his instrument that jazz players strive to achieve. Since launching his career in the early ’90s as a sideman for major names like Paul Motian, Dave Holland and Dave Douglas, Potter has become one of his generation’s most prolific, highly regarded saxophonist-composers. He’s won several DownBeat Rising Star awards and was named saxophonist of the year in 2013 by the Jazz Journalists Association. In March, Edition Records released his 26th album as a leader, titled Eagle’s Point. At Kuumbwa, Potter will collaborate with bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Kendrick Scott. DE

INFO: 7pm, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $42/adv, $47.50/door. 427-2227.


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