Go See Hear In L.A. July 29-Aug. 3 (The Los Lonely Boys/Hold Steady edition)


It’s not quite “all in the family” this week but there certainly are a number of family-based shows happening. Sean and Sara Watkins do their rather regularly scheduled Family Hour at Largo on Wednesday. The Alvin boys continue their much-appreciated reunion with a free show at the Federal Bar on Sunday. Saturday night, McCabe’s hosts the Psycho Sisters Vicki Peterson and Susan Cowsill, who actually are sisters-in-law but they sing like they are blood relations.

Tues July 29

Top Show: Craig Finn leads his Hold Steady troops into the El Rey armed with a new cast of colorful characters populating tunes on their terrific Teeth Dreams disc, which was released in March. Opening the show is Cheap Girls.

Wed. July 30

Top Show(s): The Watkins Family Hour welcomes an especially excellent guest in the wonderful Tift Merritt to the Largo stage. Pete Anderson will be talking guitars – something he knows a few things about – at the Grammy Museum.

Talented local rockers King Washington will be doing their thing at the Hotel Café.

Thurs. July 31

White Arrows deliver their synth-y rock ‘n’ roll to the Troubadour while things will get a little wilder at the Echoplex when Daptone Records’ Budos Band dishes up their brew of hard-rocking, psychedelic-dosed funk. They’ll be previewing tunes from their forthcoming Burnt Offerings album.

Fri. Aug. 1

Chatham County Line bring their Carolina-bred bluegrass to the Mint. They have a new CD Tightrope to share. More acoustic-based musical merriment can be enjoyed at the Pasadena Levitt Pavilion where local faves Dustbowl Revival will be playing. Longtime blues goddess Janiva Magness showcases her new album Original at McCabe’s. Landing at the Satellite will be SoCal rockers Janks and a promising band out of Canada named Arcade Fire headlines the Forum tonight and Saturday with the Unicorns serving as their opening act.


Sat. Aug. 2

Top Show(s): KCRW and the Annenberg conclude their Country In the City concert series with Wynonna and the Big Noise but make sure you see opener Nikki Lane. More fantastic females can be experienced at McCabe’s where the Psycho Sisters (Vicki Peterson and Susan Cowsill) celebrate their long-awaited debut that has been 30 years in the making. David Kilgour, who led the important New Zealand band The Clean makes a welcome stop at Los Globos with his new outfit, The Heavy Eights. Her new album All Or Nothin’ is one of this year’s best.

The Greek will be heating up with blistering double bill of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Los Lonely Boys. Singer/songwriter Matt Wertz has a set at the Hotel Café. YACHT, who has launched a really cool app (5 Every Day) dons their musical hats for a show at the Inner City Arts Campus with White Fang. One of my favorite local acts Rich McCulley will be at the Cinema Bar with Anna Maria Rosales; each playing their own songs together (that makes sense in my head). Also on the bill is alternative country veteran Bob Woodruff. Roots-flavored rockers Red Wanting Blue has a date at the Bootleg HiFi as well as playing at Federal Bar on Sunday morning as part of the Mimosa Music Series (more on that…right now)

Sun. Aug. 3

Top Show: The day’s best show takes place early – Phil and Don Alvin are the main event at the Mimosa Music Series at the Federal Bar. As mentioned in the Saturday listing, Red Wanting Blue will be playing too.

Mon. Aug. 4:

If you are looking for something to do on Monday night, School Night at Bardot is always a good bet and tonight UK neo-soul singer Liam Bailey will be showcasing tunes from his upcoming Flying Buddha/Sony Masterworks debut Definitely Now.

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Go See Hear In L.A. L.A. July 24-28 (The Tyde, The Tins & The Birds of Chicago edition)

I still am playing catch-up and it is feeling like a perennial state but hopefully this gives you a good idea of what shows are happening in the next set of days.

Thurs July 24

The Santa Monica Pier welcomes a pair of young upstarts: Papa and Cayucas. Another local band, Yacht, has a launch party event at the Mack Sennett Studios to celebrate the new app – 5 Every Day. It really is a cool app about cool things to do around L.A.

 Fri. July 25

Top Show: While Friday night has an air of nostalgia, the show that tops my list is the Birds of Chicago gig that is happening at the Hotel Café. Fronted by JT Nero and Allison Russell, this ensemble (from, yes, Chicago) serves up some quite tasty roots music that well worth checking out.

Among the oldies but goodies, there is a show by folkies Don McLean and Judy Collins at the Fox Performing Arts Center. David Lindley, a name that was one every third album made by a Southern California pop/folk/rock musician in the ‘70s, gives a free show at Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion. The Go-Go’s ruled in L.A. during the early ‘80s and they will be playing the Pacific Amphitheater. Friday nights were Jon Brion’s at Largo during ‘90s and he returns with special guests for his now monthly show this Friday. It’s country dude night at the Greek with Dierks Bentley headlining a bill with Chris Young, Chase Rice and Jon Pardi.

Sat. July 26

Top Show: Free shows are hard to beat particularly when it is the pairing of Shelby Lynne and Jamestown Revival that is show #2 of the KCRW/Annenberg summer series of country music. Last Saturday’s show with Sturgill Simpson and Gregg Allman was quite memorable. If you are going, try to get there early to find a nice spot for your blanket and time to get some food from the trucks.

Meanwhile the Clientele and the Tyde roll up at the Satellite. Haerts, the Lower 48, and Au Revoir Simone share the Roxy bill. Tara Jane O’Neil teams up with Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs for a multi-media show at the Hammer.

 Sun. July 27

Top Show: The Echo hosts a benefit for the SCCC’s Traum Training Program and scheduled performers include Tony Gilkyson, Sarah Stanley and Waynesboro (featuring Randy Weeks and Ramsey Midwood).

More nostalgia is in order at the OC Fair as John Kay & Steppenwolf take you on a magic carpet ride.

 Mon. July 28

Top Show: Josiah Early has an early set at the Hotel Café to showcase his fine new EP The Virginia, Lay Me Down, which comes out on the 29th.

The Buffalo-based indie pop rockers The Tins aren’t wasting their time in L.A. They will do an early show at the Bootleg and a late one at the Mint. Hope their GPS is working well.

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Go See Hear In L.A. July 16-21 (The Wainwright Report

Okay, so I am way, way behind on my emails but hopefully this presents enough of the shows taking place over the next few days.

Wed. July 16

Boz Scaggs zags to his jazzier side at the Hollywood Bowl where he’s performing with Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin and Eliane Elias. It’s A Sunny Day In Glasgow tonight at the Bootleg when the buzzed about rockers come to play.

Thur. July 17

Top Show (s): It is hard top a free show from master singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III; he’s going to be performing Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park. But also ranking right up there is Tom Freund’s show at the El Cid, which is an album release show for his terrific new disc 2 Moons. The provocative Kristeen Young lands at the Satellite. Just don’t mention the name Morrissey to her. Surely Lorraine, fronted by Anime Wong, returns to the House of Blues.

Fri. July 18

Psychedelica-tinged folk-rocker Jonathan Wilson heads down to 7th & Fig for a free show while the Satellite presents an evening with Susanna Hoffs, whose guests include Petra Haden and Fred Armisen.

Sat. July 19

Top Show: Gritty Texas troubadour Jimmy LaFave, who has done projects of songs by both Woody Guthrie and Mr. Bob Dylan, has a free show at Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion.

Ringo Starr brings his All Starr Band (which includes Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolle and Steve Lukather) to the Greek. Singer and sometime actress Jewel performs at the Valley Performing Arts Center while actress and sometime singer Minnie Driver will be at the Hotel Café. Down at the OC Fair, it’s reggae night with Ziggy Marley headlining.

Sun. July 20

Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napoliano will be rockin’ at the Hotel Café.

The Happy Together will bring some good ‘60s nostalgia vibes to the OC Fair. This year’s tour features Peter Noone, 3 Dog Night’s Chuck Negron, Grand Funk’s Mark Farner, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Gary Lewis & The Playboys and, of course, The Turtles. The reggae vibes will head north to the Hollywood Bowl where Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy and Don Carlos and Dub Vision will be playing. The Crookes start their swing through SoCal with a show at Fullerton’s Slidebar, followed by a gig at School Night on the 21st and the Satellite on the 23rd.

Mon. 21

Martha Wainwright shares her songs at Largo. I couldn’t resist starting and ending with a Wainwright.

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Lucinda Williams News That’s A Real Lu-Lu

Rejoice Lucinda Williams fans! And anyone else who has been waiting for Williams’ next batch of new songs. The 3-time Grammy winner is prepping her first studio album since 2011’s Blessed and get this: it’s a double disc!

Due on Sept 30, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone contains 20 new Williams tunes, and a cover of the late J.J. Cale‘s “Magnolia.” The open track is a particularly personal effort as it is based a poem written by her father (noted poet Miller Williams). The CD, which Williams is releasing on her own, new label Highway 20 Records (via Thirty Tigers), features such talented folks as Tony Joe White, Ian McLagan, Bill Frisell and Jakob Dylan, to name a few, and master session man Greg Leisz co-produced the disc with Tom Overby.


In case you are counting, this is studio album #11 from Lucinda. And we’re eager to hear what musical roads she is traveling down on this record.

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Go See Hear In L.A. June 30-July 7 (The John Doe, John Fullbright, John Philip Sousa edition)

Monday June 30

Top Show: The one and only Ronnie Spector will sing songs and tell stories when she performs her autobiographical show, Behind the Beehive, at the Roxy. John Doe and a whip-sharp band (that includes Cindy Wasserman, guitarist Jesse Dayton and drummer Brady Blade ) will stir things up at the Viper Room. Doe has just released a terrific Best of on Yep Roc. The talented young troubadour John Fullbright has a sit-down at the Grammy Museum to share his songs from his latest, Songs.

Noah Pikleny & Gabe Witcher team up – along with some expected special guests – for a night of some acoustic virtuosity at Largo. SomeKindaWonderful displays why they are some kinda hot band when they do School Nights at Bardot and return with a gig at the Sayers Club on July 1.

Tues. July 1

The phine upcoming rock band PHOX serves up the hooks, with some interesting twists, at the Echo.

Wed. July 2

Top Show: The Hollywood Bowl’s July 4th celebration starts today with Steve Martin, Edie Brickell and the Steep Canyon Rangers performing with the Bowl’s orchestra.

Thurs. July 3

Top Show: Memphis garage rockers The Reigning Sound will rule at the Bootleg. The Greg Cartwright-fronted band is celebrating their cool Merge debut Shattered. The recently revived Detroit punk rockers Death will appear at the Roxy. I don’t know if you can call Death a “feel-good story.” But these guys have been called the first black punk band. They didn’t get a fair shot in the 1970’s, but now the surviving members are back playing their music (and have been the subject of the documentary A Band Called Death. The eclectic Americana outfit, The Duhks, who also have recently reunited, have a free show at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena. Folk icon Joan Baez shares the Greek Theater bill with the Indigo Girls.

Kenny Loggins, meanwhile, has a concert at the Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks, while the Peaking Lights and the Pharoahs play a free show at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park.

Fri. July 4

Go forth and enjoy some fireworks and John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa.  photo by Elmer Chickering

John Philip Sousa. photo by Elmer Chickering

Sat. July 5

Top Show: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a true American institution, graces the stage at the Ford Amphiteatre.

King Washington reigns at the Satellite on a bill that also includes the Absolute, Wires In The Walls and Ivory DeVille.

Sun. July 6

The Grand Ole Echo features Rose’s Pawn Shop, Patrolled by Radar, Cashew & Cleary and Cliff Wagner. Amen Dunes performs at Complex in Glendale (don’t go to the Church on York – its original locale – cuz it can’t host shows anymore).

Mon, July 7

The Midwestern roots duo The Pines share the bill at the Troubadour with S. Carey (from Bon Iver). Meanwhile, the Swedish duo Vulkano dishes its post-punk music at School Night at Bardot.


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News From June: Resurrected James Brown Live, Robyn Hitchcock in Judy Collins Mode and The Milk Carton Kids’ New Tour Buddy

Here are some news items from this month that has caught my attention.

Showtime announced that it will do a series on the life of roadies, entitled Roadies. What makes this exciting news is that it comes from Cameron Crowe and Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, Wicked) and J.J. Abrams also are involved. Hopefully it will be better than the 1980’s movie Roadie, which was a big hot mess despite being directed by Alan Rudolph (Welcome To L.A.) and featuring Alice Cooper and Blondie (and starring Meatloaf).

The legendary songwriter Gerry Goffin passed away on June 19. With his then-wife Carole King, he wrote classic tunes like “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Up On The Roof” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” He has been in the news of late due to the success of the Carole King musical Beautiful. Their daughter Louise Goffin also has a fine album Songs From A Mine coming out next month.

Here is one of my favorite versions of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” done by Maureen Tucker

Rhino has a particularly “special” project in the pipeline. The Best of the Specials, due Sept. 9, holds 20 tracks including “A Message To You, Rudy,” “Nelson Mandela” and “Ghost Town.” It’s a CD only version of the Specials retrospective that came out as a CD/DVD in 2008. Real Gone Music, meanwhile, will release a special double disc covering the career of the Dream Academy in July. The collection contains their biggest hit, “Life In A Northern Town,” as well as rarities.

It’ll be a James Brown world at Sundazed in July. The label will unveil Love Power Peace – a 3-LP set commemorating Brown’s 1971 Paris performances. Brown has conceived this material as a triple Brown had conceived releasing it as a triple album but his grand plan fell apart when members of his dynamite band, the J.B.’s left the group. It is finally being released the way the Godfather of Soul had intended and the CD’s material was mastered from Brown’s mixdown reels.

Bobby Patterson

Bobby Patterson

Texas soul man Bobby Patterson is a legendary cult figure whose songs have been covered by Albert King and Golden Smog. He’ll be releasing a rare studio album July 22 on Omnivore. Produced by Zach Ernst (from Black Joe Lewis’ band), the album comes packed with raw, authentic music that lives up to its title: I Got More Soul!

If band names like the Magnificent Soul Survivors and the Fantastic Gospel Travelers get you excited, then keep your eyes out for The Soul of Designer Records. This 4-CD set gathers together gospel music released on the Memphis-based Designer Records label between 1967-77. Designer was a “custom” label where bands would put their money done to record some sides. The collections serves up a wealth of intriguing music that represents a secret history of American roots music. Big Legal Mess Records will be putting this out on Sept. 30.

Another side of Memphis is represented by the Reigning Sound. For their Merge debut Shattered (coming July 15), the Greg Cartwright-fronted outfit has knocked out a spirited set of tunes that feels vintage without feeling old-fashioned.

Robyn Hitchcock and producer Joe Boyd have done some “stories and songs” gigs together in recent years. Now Boyd has produced Hitchcock’s new album The Man Upstairs, which Boyd describes as something Judy Collins might have done for Elektra in the mid-1960s. It’s an eclectic folk album filled with a mix of covers and originals. The covers include the Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost In You,” Roxy Music’s “To Turn You On” and The Doors’ “The Crystal Ship.” The album, which has cover art from Gillian Welch, arrives Aug. 26 on Yep Roc.

Welch makes a musical appearance on the new album from Peter Rowan. A Bill Monroe alum, Newgrass pioneer and co-founder of Old And In The Way, Rowan has had a remarkable, influential career and shows few signs of slowing down on Dharma Blues, which arrives July 8 courtesy of Elk Run and Omnivore.

David Mayfield Parade

David Mayfield Parade

Congrats to David Mayfield for signing with Compass Records. Over the past few years, the David Mayfield Parade has been one of the bright new faces in the new Bluegrass scene. Expect a CD from Mayfield (who is the brother of Jessica Lea Mayfield ) in September.

Dale Watson delivers his third volume of Truckin’ Sessions on Red River Entertainment on July 8. The disc comes loaded with timeless country tunes that truckers and non-truckers can enjoy.

Coming Aug. 19 is Rain Plans, the new albums from Israel Nash on Loose/Thirty Tigers. Nash, who has developed a European following, serves up some psychedelic-dipped Americana that suggests the ragged rustic rawk of Neil Young.

Shovels & Rope (aka Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent) unveils their sophomore album Swimmin’ Time, on Aug. 26. There is much anticipation for this one given how great their debut was.

Ruthann Friedman

Ruthann Friedman

Light in the Attic, who has helped throw the spotlight on cult figures acts like Rodriguez, Michael Hurley and Karen Dalton is distributing Wolfgang Records’ album of new material from Ruthann Friedman. Chinatown, which features a guest shot by her old pal Van Dyke Parks, is the first studio effort in around 40 years from the woman who wrote the hit, “Windy.”

Freak Folk darling Vashti Bunyan has a new album (her third since her 2005 musical return) arriving Oct. 7 – Heartleap, which comes out on the DiCristina label.

Something else to look for this fall is the tour that the Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz have teamed up to do. They’ll be supported by violinist Alex Hargreaves, bassist Paul Kowert and cellist Nathaniel Smith. It should make for a special evening of acoustic music, and here’s hoping this tour leading to some recording as well.



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Go See Hear In L.A. June 23-29 (The McLagan-McLachlan edition)

The weather might not yet be hot enough for “mad dogs and Englishmen,” but this week offers an invasion of British hall of famers. Steve Winwood, who was known in his younger days in Traffic and Blind Faith, plays the Pantages on the 24th before he goes out on the road with Tom Petty this summer. Also, on the 24th, John Mayall returns to town with a concert at the Saban Theater. Mayall, who has a new album A Special Life, served as a father figure for the UK blues/rock scene in the ‘60s (Clapton, Bruce, Fleetwood and McVie are a few big names who played in his bands). Ian McLagan manned the keyboards in those hard rockin’, hard partying bands, The Small Faces and The Faces and played with a ton of other groups. Now based in Austin, McLagan has a rollicking, and worldly wise, CD United States (his first new one in a handful of years) that he will sharing at the Mint on the 25th. By the way, folks who drive along La Cienega, you might recognize the cover art.

 Mon June 23

Carise Blanton gives jazz a touch of New Orleans in new CD, Not Old, Not New, which she will showcase at the Hotel Café.

Tues. June 24

Top Show: St. Paul and the Broken Bones will be blasting out some dynamic R&B-fueled rock at the El Rey. Their CD Half The City ranks as one of the strongest debuts of the year.

Strong Feelings is Doug Paisley’s first album since 2010. It is a welcome return from this Canadian troubadour. Spanish Gold and Clear Plastic Masks can be found at the Troubadour.

Wed. June 25

Inara George, Susanna Hoffs, Dan Bern and the Living Sisters are among the performers who will salute the power pop things that Mike Viola has done at the Largo in a show that benefits the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Thurs. June 26

Heather Maloney and Darlingside, who hail from Western Massachusetts, arrives at the Hotel Café to play their rural pop. Colin Hay, of Men At Work fame, will be working the room at Largo. The Satellites has a fine triple bill featuring Early Winters, Chris Stills and Distant Cousins. The Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena will be reverberating with the blues when Janiva Magness plugs in her guitar and plays. She also has a gig at McCabe’s on June 28.

Fri. June 27

Top Show: Karl Wallinger has reassembled his World Party, which will make a rare local concert at the Troubadour.

All Hail, Chuck Prophet when he recreates his Temple Beautiful at McCabe’s. Or you can catch Kathleen Grace as she shares songs from her splendid No Place To Fall at Room 5 or see Merle Jagger, for free, at the Farmers Market.

Sat. June 28

Top Show(s): Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – a true living legend of American music – performs at McCabe’s. Lee Fields is an awesome old-school soul man. Along with his band the Expressions, he’ll be lighting up the stage at the Troubadour. Sharon Van Etten, who is soulful in a haunting way, headlines the El Rey. Her new CD Are We There is another impressive offering from this ever evolving artist.

Sarah McLachlan, who recently released a new album Shine On, headlines the Greek. The Owls and a solo turn by Into It. Over It share the Roxy bill. Sean and Sara Watkins host one of their fabulous Family Hours at Largo

Sun. June 29

Top Show: David Garza and Gabe Witcher are among the friends playing with Gaby Moreno at Largo

The surviving members of Devo will get together at the Wiltern to play their favorite hits. The Grand Ole Echo hosts a Warren Zevon tribute. Wildcat! Wildcat! will run wild at the Petersen. The local rockers unleash their debut No Moon At All in early August.

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