If you couldn’t make it to Nashville for the Americana Music Festival, you can certainly find solace in the shows taking place here in L.A. this week. In fact, there is glut of great shows, plus a couple cool festivals of note. Here are the deets…
The Bluegrass Situation presents The Americans and their rootsy rock ‘n’ roll at the Hotel Café while the folksy indie rockers Carbon Leaf show up at the Mint.
Top Show(s): The superlative Marty Stuart and his band, his Fabulous Superlatives, spin their magic at Pepperdine’s Smothers Theater. The wonderful songstress Lizz Wright showcases her new album Freedom & Surrender at Largo. The multi-talented Blake Mills headlines at the Downtown Palace Theatre while the soulful rockers The California Honeydrops come down from SoCal to play the Troubadour. Their new CD, A River’s Invitation is a powerhouse shot of roots rock that is worthy of your attention. The local brother/sister duo The Oh Hellos really caught my attention the well-crafted folk-rock on their upcoming CD Dear Wormwood that is coming out next month. They have a show tonight at Santa Ana’s Observatory and at the Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church on the 19th.
Springtime Carnivore will serve up their charming pop at the Bootleg. George Thorogood brings his lean and mean blues-fueled rock ‘n’ roll to Beverly Hills’ Saban Theater while a younger breed of roots rockers, the New Orleans-based The Revivalists headline at the Teragram Ballroom. You can catch the assaultive rockers Le Butcherettes at an Amoeba in-store.
Tops Show(s): Indie rock icon Mac McCaughan has put out his first solo album Non-Believers after years fronting Superchunk and Portastatic. He’ll be at the Echo tonight with Mike Krol opening and at the Getty tomorrow with Flesh Wounds. The Old 97’s, superstars in the No Depression scene, have a show at the Troubadour. Their most recent CD, 2014’s Most Messed Up, show that they still have that great blend of twang, hooks, heart and humor. Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals will dishes out some brilliant bluesy music at the Greek.
Rob Zabrecky has been doing the magician thing for a good while now but once upon a time he fronted the terrific L.A. Possum Dixon. He will be doing both magic and music at the Steve Allen Theater tonight. Wendy Waldman, a veteran of the SoCal 70’s singer/songwriter scene has a free show at Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion. Singer/songwriter Donovan Frankenreiter has a show tonight at the Canyon in Agoura Hills and tomorrow at the Teragram Ballroom. Lo-fi Swedish band Summer Heart performs at the Bootleg. Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Outlaws make for a badass Southern rock double bill at the LA County Fair – if only this were still 1977.
Festival Break #1. While the Kaaboo Festival is happening down San Diego way, it has a really impressive lineup. If I have it all straight, Friday has Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Fitz and the Tantrums, Los Lobos, Brett Dennen, Ozomatli, Allen Stone, Delta Rae, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Jamestown Revival, The Revivalists, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and Knox Hamilton. Saturday’s schedule includes Zac Brown Band, Counting Crows, The Roots, Spoon, Rodrigo & Gabriela, X, Lucero, Ozomatli, Old 97’s, Justin Townes Earle, The Revivialists and Fairground Saints while Sunday holds Ben Harper, Grace Potter, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Brandi Carlile, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave., Donavon Frankenreiter, Dawes, JJ Grey & Mofro, White Buffalo, Minnie Driver and Dirty Dozen Brass Band. And those are just the acts that interest me.
Top Show(s): The cult rock ensemble The Continental Drifters (which includes Susan Cowsill, Peter Holsapple and Vicki Peterson among its many talented players) have a special reunion tonight and tomorrow night at the Morgan-Wixson Theater. They are benefit shows for the Wild Honey Foundation and also coincide with a recently released Omnivore collection of archival material Drifted: In the Beginning & Beyond. The exciting alt. country outfit Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers will work things up at the Troubadour. Surf guitar legend – okay, just guitar legend – Dick Dale will bend some strings at Malibu’s Casa Escobar. Los Lobos, the subject of a fine new book by Chris Morris, have a free show at MacArthur Park’s Levitt Pavilion.
The always engaging Brandi Carlise will be at the Wiltern and Lila Downs headlines the Pantages Theater. The Ghanaian performer Rocky Dawuni returns to town with a free performance at Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion. The talented troubadour Teddy Thompson has a McCabe’s gig. Kenny Loggins’ current project, the Blue Sky Riders, surface at Pepperdine’s Smothers Theater. Singer/songwriter Judith Owen plays the Hotel Café and Train rides into the LA County Fair for a show.
Festival break #2. Saturday’s Long Beach Folk Revival Festival also takes place this weekend. While more modest then Del Mar’s Kaaboo, it still has an impressive lineup. Bands include Deer Tick, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, the Brothers Comatose, Moonshine Collective and the recently revived Legendary Shack Shakers. Oh, and they have a family stage too.
Top Show(s): The Legendary Shack Shakers show in at Spike’s in Rosemead with another good singer/songwriter Joe Fletcher. The great Darlene Love celebrates her triumphant solo album with a sold out show at the Whisky where she’ll be backed by Steven Van Zandt and friends. Another legend Dr. John has a show at the Saban. Sam Baker, billed as Austin’s folk poet (which is pretty accurate) has a show at McCabe’s.
It’ll be a night of intriguing, atmospheric music at the Roxy as Jenny Hval and Briana Marela share the bill. Chris Cornell has a solo album out and will play Disney Hall tonight and San Pedro’s Warner Grand tomorrow night. Hemming (the Linda Perry protégé) opens both concerts. Dan Bejar’s quirky rock band Destroyer performs at the Regent Theater with Frog Eyes. Rockers Radkey hits Long Beach’s Alex’s Bar tonight and the Echo on Monday the 21st.
A screening of the documentary The Motels: Live at the Whisky won’t be screened at the Whisky but at the Regent Theater. Riothorse Royale and Reno Bo appear at the Satellite while A Place To Bury Strangers will rock up the house at the Echoplex.