Blues After Sunset
Now is the time to find inspiration in all sorts of soulful media.
Thursday, March 1, 2001
Mardi Gras is behind us and, in the aftermath of Fat Tuesday, we''re warming up for the long stretch to spring time musical antics. Most people would tell you to stay home, watch TV and hope for peace this weekend, but that just makes too much sense.
At March''s opening, two places dedicated to the local line of intimate entertainment stage events to both soothe and embroil the soul in a tapestry of music. The first place of infinite fascination is at Sly McFly''s, where Friday night hails the return of blues guitarist John Garcia. Garcia made his first appearance at Sly''s last October, when he showcased a compendium of styles all rooted in his past ventures with blues legends like BB King and John Lee Hooker. Hooker considers Garcia one of the best guitar players he knows (ranking him even over BB King). Now we''ll get another good dose of Garcia and at one of the best places to see any kind of show in town.
Other weekend Sly shows include Arthur Adams and Kaye Bohler. In the coming weeks, the Cannery Row nightclub welcomes Tommy Castro on March 16. Sly McFly''s shows start at 8:30pm. For more info, call 649-8050.
The weekend marks the initial anniversary of Ocean Thunder. A year ago, Ray Askew sold the farm on dreams of owning a great local bar. He works his club like a maniac to make sure everyone is happy and that the bar remains original and also provides hometown attitude any night of week. At first, Ocean Thunder got pegged as a "biker bar," which was somewhat accurate. But as the year ran its course, OT expanded into a place where anyone and everyone found enjoyment and refuge.
Ocean Thunder kicks off its celebration on Friday with the reigning reggae kings of Monterey, Jonah & the Whalewatchers. Jonah performed at Morgan''s Coffee & Tea during the Valentine''s Day weekend and brought another crowd into "positive vibration." The group is straight out of the spiritual significance book of Jamaican reggae. J&WW are positive, progressive and unifying in a way rarely seen anywhere in music right now. By the way, this show is free.
On Saturday night, OT hosts blues rockers Lorelei & the Road Kings featuring diva Lori Hofer. The band helped open up the bar a year ago with a style and grace all its own. Hofer is a vocalist without many equals in terms of attitude and charm. If Ocean Thunder had a soundtrack CD, Lorelei & the Road Kings would be first on a long list of bands with real soul and not just great marketing ploys.
Ocean Thunder concludes its celebratory weekend with a Sunday barbecue featuring sounds by the Cruisin'' Deuces, whose members also deserve some staying-power credit despite a serious lack of media attention devoted to their musical genius. All Ocean Thunder shows start around 9pm. For more info, call 643-9169.
I would also like to announce the entrance of a new musician to the local scene: Ms. Diane Wegner. Wegner sent me her CD >...any girl I want, after my personal rant about a lack of female perspectives hereabouts. Not expecting anything but light, fancy, grrrlly folk, I was pleasantly surprised by Wegner''s work. The opening title track is pleasantly tough as nails. Wegner''s voice visits both the Natalie Merchant and Janis Joplin sides of the track. For more info, call Wegner at 643-1002.