Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
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The Good Sams

music_LYLBTheGoodSamsThere’s nothing like a little ol’ power plant to spark the creative juices. It works in The Simpsons and it works in the Good Sams. While Moss Landing is commonly recognized for its two power plant towers, along with the famous flavors of Phil’s Fish Market, since 2006 the tiny tourist spot has also harbored a lesser-known force to be reckoned with: Smaller in stature but bigger in sound than the aforementioned landmarks, the hillbilly swing of the Good Sams fits the antique-loving scene of the neighborhood while infusing a youthful surf/skate punk aesthetic through its energy and lyrics. Still, let’s talk power plant. Singer/songwriter Andrew Dolan grew up watching the smoke linger out of the imposing towers and over his grandparents’ junkyard. “Every day when the smoke came out of the stacks it looked like things morphing into other things, it was nonstop entertainment,” the 28-year-old recalls. “So the power plant is a huge influence on us.” Take note of one of the trio’s original romps, “Plume’s Doom.” But while modern muses like power plants and skateboarding play some major roles in the local ensemble’s music, it’s the old-time string thumping and country crooning that lays the Good Sams’ foundation. With Corey Helgeson on standup bass and George Brooks on pedal steel guitar, Dolan and Co. will bust out two sets for the Dead Sams’ Music CD-release show on Saturday, Nov. 20. (Half of $10 ticket sales will go toward Baby Matthew, a Moss Landing boy battling leukemia.) Fitting the band’s minimalist, makeshift sound, the gig will take place in an old post office. Seeing that the local building was sitting vacant, Dolan took it upon himself to rent it out as a place to showcase music and art through the end of the year. A benefit of living in a small town? Cheaper rent. Dolan’s known the owners of the building for a long time and says he was given “the local kid deal.” Blazing through heartbreak country blues and punk-informed honky tonk, the Good Sams are now rocking their acoustic gear through a classic bluegrass set-up of one simple mic out of that abandoned post office—all to deliver a show that’s finger pickin’ good.

INFO: 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. 7981 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing. $10 donation.

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