The Monterey County Fairgrounds once again takes center stage this weekend with the three-day Monterey Bay Reggaefest pumping out some old-school reggae from artists such as Maxi Priest, Lloyd Brown, Capleton and Judy Mowatt and some new-school upstarts such a Zehn, Hooliganz and Spawnbreezie bringing in the younger contingent.
At least one festival performer, Mystic Man, is performing outside the festival, Saturday night at 10 at Carbone's in New Monterey. Cover is $5.
Also, Planet Gemini is hosting Reggaefest after-parties all three nights, which is convenient since it's located just across the street from the fairgrounds. Tickets are available at the door and details are at www.planetgemini.com or on the planet's Facebook page.
Elsewhere around the county there's not much reggae, but a lot of everything else, which is getting to be a regular occurence around here. In fact, one of the most difficult questions I have to field every week is, "So, what's going on this weekend, musicwise?" or something to that effect.
The problem with that question, aside from the fact there are just too many idle thoughts and useless information in my noggin, is that I don't know what the questioner's taste in music is. And there's a little bit for almost every taste around here.
Classic rock bands? Check. Metal? You got it, Jose (or rather at Jose's). Jazz? Why, of course. Jam band rock? For the love of Jerry, yes. Folk? Blues? Country? Yup, you betcha and you're darn tootin'
OK, enough of that nonsense. What is going on around town? Sometimes too much, if you ask me. I recently attempted and completed six shows in one night, which was actually relatively
So here are some of the shows (chronologically, just to be fair) that caught my attention or tickled something in my cranium, musically speaking. If some of your favorites aren't here, well, too bad, start your own column!
· Whiskerman and Christina Bailey Thursday night at East Village Coffee Lounge. Folky, dreamy pop psychedelia from Graham Panzer, a multi-instrumentalist whose brothers play in that great heavy metal acoustic string band (really) Judgement Day. And Bailey was (is?) a member of honeymoon. How can you go wrong? $5 at the door, all ages.
· Scott Cooper Acoustic Trio Friday night at the Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room in Monterey. Cooper is the guitarist for the Dead tribute band China Cats, but his credits are as long as your arm (Secret Chimp, Gary Gates Band, Rusty Zinn, Banana Slug String Band, Stackabones, Deep Blue Sea, etc.) and his excellent new jammy/New Orleans rock 'n' R&B CD "A Leg Trick" hit No. 5 on Relix Magazine's jam band radio charts. His trio includes Michael Owens from the China Cats playing drums and Terry Sheilds on upright bass. 8:30 start, $5 door.
· Joshua Paige Band Saturday night at 9:30 at The Running Iron in Carmel Valley. He
· Goldenboy and The New Familiar with The Shants Saturday night at 8:30 at The Alternative Cafe in Seaside. Melodic pop-rock from road warrior Shon Sullivan, who has performed with Neil Finn, Elliott Smith, the Rentals and the Eels.
· Singer-songwriter Severin Browne returns to Plaza Linda in Carmel Valley, 7-9 p.m. Saturday. A veteran of the folk scene, Browne, yes, is the older brother of Jackson Browne and, yes, his music shows an affinity for his brother's far-ranging works. By donation.
· Two punk metal shows with
· The Songwriters Acoustic Showcase Tuesday night at 8:30 at Carbone's. Held the last Tuesday of every month, this event features veteran songwriters as well as newcomers to the game. This month's showcase features Mike PZ, Dan Guzman, Mike Dilks, Button Phace, Adam Behan and Jonathan Glines. No cover, 21 and older, more info at www.Cowboystarr.com.
· The Something Cool Trio and Norma and Richard Mayer, 3-5 p.m. Sunday at the Pacific Grove Art Center, a fundraiser for the center. Jazz, love songs, classical. Intrigued?GO!
Some happenings in Santa Cruz:
Foreverland, Ribsy's Nickel and Extra Large will perform at the California Beer Festival Santa Cruz, 12:30 - 5 p.m.Saturday, July 28 at Aptos Village Park, Aptos. More than 70 craft beer vendors and several food vendors will be on hand. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, which provides financial support to Santa Cruz County student athletes to assist in their pursuit of both scholastic and athletic success. Giammanco is the late daughter of longtime Monterey resident Annie Giammanco. Tickets and info at californiabeerfestival.com.
Singer Meklit Hadero performs Thursday at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Stunning new Brazilian pop-jazz singer Lu'sa Maita performs Monday night at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Albert Lee Band plays Wednesday night at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Lee is one of the greatest rock-country guitarists most people have never heard of. But just ask Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and Joe Cocker. They know.
New Orleans soul and blues with Quinn DeVeaux & The Blue Beat Revue, plus Lynn Drury, Wednesday night at Moe's Alley.
The Grandmothers Of Invention, the reincarnation Of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention featuring original members and alumni, Saturday night at Moe's Alley.
Singer Chris Webster and guitarist Nina Gerber Thursday at Don Quixote's in Felton.
Jam band Moonalice, plus David Jacobs-Strain Friday night at Don Quixote's in Felton.
Hawaiian multi-Grammy winner George Kahumoku Jr. Sunday night at Don Quixote's in Felton.