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Sep 18th
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Love Your Local Band

Music - Love Your Local Band

Whoolilicious

Whoolilicious

For 37-year-old multi-instrumentalist/composer/looper John Whoolilurie—aka one-man funk/Latin/jazz band, Whoolilicious—music holds a hefty weight in his life. More than a metaphor for his passion, that weight manifests itself in the form of his “looptility belt-pack”—“I took some looping pedals and put them on a belt, [for] easier, portable performance,” explains Whoolilurie—and his 9-month-old son, whom he carries while rehearsing.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Ancestree

Ancestree

Since its inception three years ago, Ancestree has not only become a favorite in the local reggae scene, but also a Santa Cruz icon. Stickers bearing the band’s name can be found throughout town—from telephone poles, to cars, to bar stools, to bathroom stalls—and their signature yellow school bus makes them hard to miss. The brainchild of vocalist/lead guitarist Tom Maimon and vocalist/guitarist Tomas Gomez—“We are like two wings of the same bird,” says Maimon—Ancestree has been on three tours in support of three albums in its short history.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Time Spent Driving

Time Spent Driving

Though born in San Jose and raised in Ben Lomond, Jon Cattivera is now a mountain man of Boulder Creek and the steering force behind Time Spent Driving. Originally one of the rotating cast of guitar players for seminal Santa Cruz punk outfit Fury 66, Cattivera started playing in bands when he was 15 years old. “My first band was called Illiterate—a pop-punk type band—which is how I got recruited into Fury,” he says. Time Spent Driving, which spearheaded the indie/emo/rock sound in the Santa Cruz area, was Cattivera’s baby from the beginning.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Nora Cruz

Nora Cruz

Manager, roadie, singer, booker and promoter Nora Cruz enters the room like a woman in pursuit of a noble mission. With high heels and a short skirt, Cruz is a head turner—and, full of passion about her new CD, Six is Enough, recorded with her band, the Nora Cruz Sextet. “It’s my first CD in 26 years,” Cruz says with a laugh. After studying opera in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wis. for several years, the big-voiced vixen visited Santa Cruz in 1985 when she was 22 years old.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Little Sister

Little Sister

It’s 8 p.m. on a Monday, and Nate Krohn, the charming frontman for rock quintet Little Sister—a six-piece, if you include his Italian-style moustache, named Giuseppe—still hasn’t done his laundry because he’s preoccupied with the band’s van. “It’s functional, but it has a fuel leak,” he says. “It might blow up.” Hardly defeated, Krohn confesses, “I just made an awesome steak though.” And therein lies the beauty of Little Sister, whose music is also characteristic of an awesome steak: flavorful, tough yet tender, and totally rare.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Sherry Austin & Henhouse

Sherry Austin & Henhouse

For local Americana sensation Sherry Austin and her new band Henhouse, it all started with an obsession with chickens. “I left my solo career when I realized that it felt so good to be playing with these fabulous musicians,” Austin says of her band mates, Tracy Parker, Patti Maxine and Sharon Allen. “I thought that this special great meeting had to be honored, and what better name could we come up with than one inspired by my muse: the chicken.”

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Joe Ferrara

Joe Ferrara

You might know Joe Ferrara from his cameo in The Lost Boys, or as the Yoda figure at Atlantis Fantasyworld who knows everything about superheroes. Or maybe you know him as that guy at Shadowbrook who serenades you with Sinatra classics. The silver-haired celebrity began playing guitar at an early age, and has developed a loyal following in Santa Cruz in the last few decades. “My parents are Italian and they were pushing me towards accordion,” he recalls of his childhood. “There was a waiting list for lessons, and one day my mother said, ‘You were accepted for accordion lessons,’ and I said, ‘Ma, I want to play guitar.’”

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Bonny Getz

Bonny Getz

Bonny Getz is a lot like Link, the mini protagonist of the Legend of Zelda videogame, who toils to obtain the Moon Pearl for protection in the Dark World. Similarly, the 5-foot-1 Capitola singer/songwriter sings “I need some bright moon pearls/so I can wear my worth,” in the title track off her debut album, Bright Moon Pearls, due for release Sept. 2. Getz, 44, doesn’t have a sword to battle tough times, instead she has her mesmerizing vocals and deliberate country/pop tunes.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Johanna Lefever

Johanna Lefever

Regardless of what she tells you, Johanna LeFever is anything but ordinary. Based in the hills of Santa Cruz, the down-to-earth singer/songwriter has conquered multiple musical genres and instruments since childhood—and enjoyed every aspect of her development. Not only a champion of music, LeFever is an avid and insightful writer. “The way I approach my music is to first write prose on my typewriter and then adapt it to music,” she admits, with a laugh. “I am primarily a songwriter. It's my expressive outlet. When I write, I write about love ... you know, the common denominator.”

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Harpin’ Jonny

Harpin’ Jonny

Jonny Troutner (a.k.a. Harpin’ Jonny) has been playing harmonica in Santa Cruz since 1992. “It was a character I created to publicize my previous business, Antolini Masonry and Landscape Supplies,” Troutner explains. “You might have heard the catchy jingles on KPIG.” The gifted harpist has accompanied dozens of local musicians for several decades and has a laid-back disposition that could have been Jeff Bridges’ inspiration for The Dude in The Big Lebowski.

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Music - Love Your Local Band

Danny Mayer

Danny Mayer

Every Tuesday for the last three years, the faithful have gathered at The Crepe Place, spurred on by resident funk band 7 Come 11, and particularly the sounds coming from Danny Mayer’s guitar. This is not to say that drummer Beaumont Bradbury and organist Gianni Staiano aren’t brilliant—they are—but Florida-born Mayer is a revelation. So it shouldn’t come as a total shock that Mayer will no longer be playing with the band beginning in mid-August.

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Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.