If last week was a "mixed bag" of musical events, then this week it's not only a mixed bag, but a Halloween mixed bag of treats. You just reach in a pull out a different type and flavor of candy.
If I had to group these shows in any way, here's how I would do it: 1. The wild and crazy rock shows; 2. The Americana singer-songwriters; 3. Local blues bands; 4. Local boy coming back home. Sure, I could add a few more categories, but then I'd have to go into next week's column.
Starting with that last item, that would be none other than bassist Dave Marotta of the famously musical Marotta family (whose patriarch, 85-year-old Mike Marotta Sr., still plays his beloved accordion at public performances) playing Saturday at 7 p.m.
He'll be joined by the "house band," which includes drummer David Morwood, saxophonist Gary Meek and pianist Marshall Otwell. This is going to be a great show with a number of local luminaries (perhaps some Marottas even, no doubt sitting in with the band).
Dave is a first-call LA studio musician and he's played with a long roster of music stars, including Colbie Caillat, the Mark-Almond Band, Burt Bacharach, Gino Vannelli, Phill Collins, Carl Verheyen, Manhattan Transfer, Bruce Hornsby, David Benoit, Kenny Loggins and many others.
He also plays for movie and TV soundtracks and jingles, conducts bass seminars and workshops and produces music.
Marotta, who took up the bass at age 12 after seeing Noel Redding of Jimi Hendrix's band play at the Monterey Pop Festival, will be touring with guitarist Carl Verheyen in May and June starting in San Luis Obisbo and up the coast to Seattle. Unfortunately, that band will not make a stop in Monterey. The closest show will be at the Little Fox in Redwood City.
The Hyatt has a full weekend of jazz, starting Friday night with Morwood, Otwell and bassist Nat Johnson and the popular Sunday jam from 2 to 6 p.
So, back to the wild and crazy. That would include Tornado Rider, featuring the energetically elfen electric cellist Rushad Eggleston, playing from 7-8 p.m. for an all-ages show and then at 10:30, for a "straight wild adult sneth party," according to Rushad, at Planet Gemini in Monterey.
He added that he will be featuring new jams like "Mr. Bnenkyfoof" and "Evil Mouse Lord!" If you've never seen a Tornado Rider show, it's kind of hard to describe. It's part rock concert, part theater, part fairy tale video game and a whole lot of fun.
Rushad likes to dress in lime-green Spandex with a green elf hat and red sneakers, and that's when he's feeling conservative. Tickets are $10 at the door. There's comedy in between the first and second shows with Daniel Dugar and Mr. Arkansas.
The Billy Martini Show, on the other hand, is sort of the adult, R-rated version of the Tornado Rider show, complete with go-go girls, costume changes and classic '70s and '80s rock. It's like AC/DC on meth and martinis.
Martini, unlike Rushad, favors sleevess shirts, cowboy hats and tats, but also brings a wild theatricality to his shows. He's making his Sly McFly's debut Saturday night at 9. The weekend starts with the ever-popular Money Band Friday night.
For the Americana singer-songwriters, I'll focus on two, Gabriel Gandzjuk and Bryn Loosely and The Back Pages.
Gandzjuk plays with Adam Zerbe and Mark Roth at 8 p.m. Tuesday night at Mundaka in Carmel. In fact, Gandzjuk and friends will play there every Tuesday night.
Loosley plays Friday night at 8:30 at Pierce Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room on Cannery Row.
While both can be grouped under the Americana label (they both feature pedal steel prominently), Gandzjuk's music leans more to the country side, with a gentle, weathered voice not unlike Leonard Cohen, and positive, heartfelt lyrics, while Loosely leans more to the country pop side, with shades of Jackson Browne, Paul Simon and Jason Mraz.
Loosley's first album, 2008's "The Wrecker," features performances by Jackie Greene and Tim Bluhm, while Gandzjuk's latst album, "Second Hand Suit," should be out any day.
The blues bands are Rollin' and Tumblin', playing Friday night at 8:30 at Bullwackers on Cannery Row and 4 p.m. Sunday at Casa Sorrento in Salinas, and the award-winning Red Beans & Rice, which plays from
5-8 p.m. at Plaza Linda in Carmel Valley.
Quick note: Plaza Linda will have to move out of its digs in Carmel Valley within 30 days, but musician/music promoter Kiki Wow can continue her musical bookings in the courtyard there as it transitions into a new restaurant.
Kiki, by the way, plays there Friday night at 7 with flutist Kenny Stahl and the classic rock band Victory Lane. Cover is $10, which includes one drink.
Santa Cruz shows: Guitarist-singer Jim Lewin, who plays with Todd Snider and Great American Taxi, among others, plays at 9 p.m. Thursday at The Crepe Place. Secret Chimp opens.
Actor and musician John C. Reilly, yes that John C. Reilly, plays bluegrass and country Sunday at 9 p.m. at Moe's Alley.
The Michael Jackson tribute band Foreverland plays at 8 p.m. Friday night at Don Quixote's in Felton.
The sixth annual Santa Cruz Jug Band Jamboree is set for 3 p.m. Sunday at Don Quixote's.
Blues guitarist Jimmy Thackery plays at 4 p.m. Sunday for Moe's Alley's Blues and Barbecue session at the Aptos nightclub.