Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Feb 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Making Ugly Music

makingUglymusic1Dick Brundle reveals a new concert series

A former IBM scientist walks into a bar … Make the scientist Dick Brundle, the founder of Fiddling Cricket Concerts, and the bar a coffee bar—the Ugly Mug, that is—and you’ve got a formula for music that is no laughing matter. It’s common for a lot of people who live off the downtown grid to feel a yearning for live music in their neighborhood. But whereas most people simply long for it and gripe under their breath, Brundle, whose alter ego as a concert producer is a hobbie, makes it happen.

Since moving to Soquel five years ago, Brundle has been a loyal customer of the Ugly Mug, grabbing his cup of Joe at the local fixture at least three times a week. Recently, he asked owner Steve Volk to do something no businessman wants to hear: “Will you close your doors to customers?” It would all be in the name of live music for a new concert series promoting local performers in a more structured and promoted format than the usual open mic or tip jar set-up.

“The Ugly Mug is my local coffeeshop and I’ve seen music in there for tips, but I don’t think that format works for anybody except for maybe background cool jazz music,” Brundle says. “People who don’t want music get annoyed and musicians get annoyed because no one’s listening. And if you do that regularly on a regular night, you might as well do it as a concert.”

Volk, a fellow music lover, agreed to give it a go.

Now Brundle, whose Fiddling Cricket concerts have been putting on acoustic shows in small venues for 14 years and who served as the executive producer of the first three Waybacks CDs, has joined forces with Marky Starks of the Acoustic Canyon Society and Sandy Frye, a local musician with her own production company, to align with Volk for the new midweek series being trialed throughout the summer. Every Wednesday the café shuts down at 6:30 p.m. and reopens as a concert venue at 7 p.m. With a cover charge of $7, the series encompasses folk, bluegrass, Celtic, jazz and Americana. The lineup kicked off with the Chojo Jacques Trio followed by Chuck McCabe, Jimmy Chickenpants, local jazz songstress Paula Smith Alder and lap steel guitar marvel Patti Maxine, and this week’s installation on Wednesday, August 12, boasts the Michael Gaither Band.

“Musicians like a place to play where they can expect a significant audience who will listen to them and who will be there because they want to hear them,” the expert in semiconductors- turned-music promoter explains. With a mission to make different brands of acoustic music more accessible and up front in the community, Brundle and his cohorts are relying on their collective mailing lists of concertgoers to keep the series going as a new and consistent outlet for live music in another corner of town.

When asked how he initially got sidetracked from his day job to devote so much of his life toward nonpaying musical endeavors, the veteran editor of scientific journals for 25 years who doesn’t play an instrument explains, “I’ve found two things: Musicians are a lot more interesting than scientists, and all of them are organizationally dysfunctional. Though I’m not good at music and playing in public, I am good at organizing things.” Transitioning from the corporate science world to sweating over nonprofit concert producing, one might say that Brundle is, well, one mad scientist


The Coffee House Summer Concert Series is 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays at the Ugly Mug, 4640 Soquel Drive, Soquel. Tickets are $7. For more information, call 477-1341 or go to cafeugly.com. Learn more about Fiddling Cricket Concerts at fiddlingcricket.com.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits