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Wednesday | 26
RHYTHM AND BLUES
He doesn’t look the part, but Nick Waterhouse is quite the blues/R&B singer-guitarist. He’s got style, soul and a smooth sound that falls somewhere in between John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison. Waterhouse, now 29, started playing the guitar at 12, and his first band was a throwback to bands like the Who and the Animals. As he’s gotten older, he’s gotten more into the ’50s electric blues and rhythm and blues that inspired his British Invasion idols. But unlike the instrument-smashing Who or those rowdy early blues players, Nick Waterhouse keeps it nice and cool like Harry Connick, Jr. AARON CARNES
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.
It’s quite a feat to be able to deliver music that is an explosion of extreme primal screams, yet is still eclectic, dynamic and moody. This is precisely what the post-hardcore genre is supposed to be, but usually it’s just a whole lot of screaming. Las Vegas quartet Stolas pull off the delicate balancing act of intensity and complex emotional expression through exceptional musicianship and their incredible composing skills. Their music almost resembles concerto pieces more than punk rock tunes. They released their sophomore record, Allomaternal, last year, and its production value is top notch. Both their records were released on Blue Swan Records, which is Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance’s label. In fact, they were his first signing. They are doing the label proud. AARON CARNES
INFO: 9 p.m. Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-4135.
The ukulele is not Hawaii’s only musical legacy. There is also the gorgeous, easy-going slack-key guitar playing, which is far less known than the ukulele once you get off the island. It’s a style of playing the acoustic guitar that involves unique open tuning, plucking and hammer-ons. But rather than try to explain slack key guitar playing, why not witness it firsthand from the master himself, Ledward Kaapana. But Kaapana is an all-around amazing musician that breathes life into the ukulele, bass, steel guitar and autoharp—and when he sings, his falsetto voice is just dazzling and elegant. AC
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $17/adv, $20/door. 603-2294.
Thursday | 27
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE
Ben Chasney, the artist behind Six Organs of Admittance, is an underground artist who brilliantly balances disparate styles including fingerpicking, Delta blues, noise, experimental, drone and psych rock. The result is a sound that alternates, sometimes wildly, between gorgeous acoustic guitarwork, almost-not-there minimalism and skull-rattling noise-rock. Sound far out? It is. It’s also lovely and challenging in all the right ways. His latest project, Hexadic, is built upon a compositional system Chasney created that allows musicians to rethink music and tap into the unconscious. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy. 9, Felton. $12/adv, $15/door. 603-2294.
Friday | 28
Harlis Sweetwater believes in going large: large dreams, large beards and large sound. Although the Huntington Beach native has played music since he was a child—and has since graced the stage with names like Everlast, Brian Setzer, Etta James and Wilson Pickett, to name a few—the Harlis Sweetwater band formed in 2012 to return rock ’n’ roll to its blues roots. Two albums later, with a third on the way, the man and band have made fans of anyone with Chuck Berry, Johnny Winter and Albert King in their record collection. Sweetwater’s gritty, finger-lickin’ music fits perfectly in the Pocket for a night that promises a large dose of authentic blues. MAT WEIR
INFO: 9 p.m. The Pocket, 3102 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz. $10. 475-9819.
JERRY JEFF WALKER
You know the song “Mr. Bojangles,” right? Did you know it was written by Mr. Jerry Jeff Walker? A singer-songwriter whose own story includes time in Greenwich Village in its 1960s heyday, and working with country outlaws including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt in the ’70s, Walker is one of the quiet legends of country music. A fixture on the Austin music scene who has dozens of albums to his name, Walker bridges the space between folk and country and is one of the senior torchbearers of his generation and genre. CJ
INFO: 8 p.m. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $28/gen, $45/gold. 423-8209.
Saturday | 29
A singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Burkina Faso, West Africa, Malima Kone blends traditional African styles with contemporary world and reggae music to create music that pays respect to his heritage while creating something new for a global audience. A familiar face on the Santa Cruz music scene, Kone recorded his debut album at our own Gadgetbox Studios. Saturday’s performance is a pre-release celebration of the album, complete with Kone’s tight and multi-faceted band, Wemewo. CJ
INFO: 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $12/adv, $15/door. 479-1854.
Black Sabbath might be the fathers of doom metal, but Pentagram are the American sons in this Holy Trinity. For an incredible 44 years, Pentagram has reigned doom upon unsuspecting audiences and have gone through more drummers than Spinal Tap. This is one of those rare bands that has influenced everyone in the genre from Cathedral to musicians like Hank 3, the grandson of country legend Hank Williams. MW
INFO: 9:30 p.m. Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $25/door. 429-4135.
Sunday | 30
MARTIN TAYLOR & BUCKY PIZZARELLI
A swing-era survivor who has accompanied generations of popular music royalty from Benny Goodman and Frank Sinatra to Paul McCartney, seven-string guitar master Bucky Pizzarelli (the father of guitarist/crooner John Pizzarelli) is often at his best keeping company with other guitarists. He certainly can’t do much better than British guitar star Martin Taylor, a sensational player steeped in the Gypsy jazz sound forged by Django Reinhardt. Together, these fleet-fingered improvisers support and challenge each other, offering an irresistible spectacle for guitarheads, jazz lovers and fans of astounding fretwork. ANDREW GILBERT
INFO: 7 p.m. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $30/adv, $35/door. 427-2227.
IN THE QUEUE
Master of the Indian flute. Thursday at Kuumbwa.
Standout electronic duo out of Toronto. Thursday at Catalyst
Local African reggae band. Thursday at Crow’s Nest
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
Indie-psych rockers from Australia. Friday at Don Quixote’s
Bay Area purveyors of “y’all-ternative” bluegrass music. Friday at Crepe Place