Ok, you weren’t quick enough to snag Beck tickets for his El Rey show on the 22nd. There are still several great shows for that night and the rest of the week.
The 22nd boasts the second night of young British singer Lianne La Havas’ local showcases. Monday, she’s at the Bardot and Tuesday it’s the Bootleg. She has really cool sound – it’s laidback but compelling jazzy, soulful thing that’s in the Corinne Bailey Rae neighborhood. Another young songstress Charlene Kaye will be at the House of Blues both 22nd and 23rd in advance of her second album Animal Love.
Tuesday too, Trampled by Turtles will be stomping at the Music Box. While the Minnesota-based acoustic group is known for their rousing live shows, their terrific new album Stars and Satellites finds them in a little more laid-back mode. Folks who have discovered the energizing Americana sounds of bands like the Avett Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show should do yourself a favor a check these guys out.
I was a fan of Robert Francis’ indie debut One By One and now his has his label debut on Vanguard, Strangers In The First Place. The singer-songwriter has a record release show at the Troubadour, appropriately enough, on May 23.
My Thursday pick is the first L.A. appearance by Tré Williams and the Revelations. These soul sensations have an old school sound that definitely has a contemporary spark to it. They’ll be filling the Mint their sweet music.
Also on the Thursday, Hugh Laurie makes a quick exit from playing Dr. House to playing the blues at the El Rey. The Masonic Lodge, meanwhile, hosts New Zealand-born Kimbra. She’s perhaps best known for her appearance on Goyte’s hit “Somebody That I Used to Know,” but she is a stylish singer in her own right.
On Friday, the Swedish band, We Are Serenades – featuring Adam Olenius (Shout Out Louds) and Markus Krunegard (Laakso) – will be performing their catchy pop tunes at the Bootleg.
The holiday weekend offers a number of interesting choices. Two of the best American song-crafters have shows on Saturday night. Freedy Johnston, best known for his indelible “Lucky One” and most recently in a project called The Hobart Brothers and Lil’ Sis Hobart with Susan Cowsill and Jon Dee Graham, will be at the Mint on Saturday. Loudon Wainwright III has shows Saturday and Sunday at McCabe’s as he had a new album, Older Than My Old Man, which comes stocked with more witty, worldly wise Wainwright songs.
Alex’s Bar will welcome two punk rock veterans – The Urinals and the Avengers (led by Penelope Houston). The Avengers are celebrating the release of a 2-CD set that includes the long-unavailable Pink Album
The Johnny Cash tribute band, Cash’d Out, will be walking the line at the Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach on Saturday. This is the only Cash tribute band endorsed by JohnnyCash.com. Baby Boomers will be “takin’ it easy” to the Wiltern to see Glenn Frey in a solo Eagle show.
Roots music fans will want to head to the Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park for the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival. The festival (which has a Mardi Gras parade, kids’ stages, crafts and other activities) boasts a strong lineup of performers, including the fabulous Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson; a Muddy Waters Tribute featuring blues legend James Cotton, Muddy’s son Mud Morganfield, Paul Oscher, and other members of the Muddy Waters band, Rod Piazza, Rosie Ledet, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble and the colorful blues belter Candye Kane, who recently had cancer surgery. and more.
Sunday offers another festival, the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA, which continues on into Monday. Sunday, however, is the day I would recommend as it features the Roots and Booker T. Jones, with rising star Gary Clark Jr. playing too. Sunday also features a solo show from Deadstring Brother frontman Kurt Marsche and then you find a BBQ to unwind at on Memorial Day Monday.