Twenty versatile acts gather on a South Coast mountaintop for two days of music, dancing and camping.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Just getting to the remote site where the annual Nacarubi Music Festival kicks off on Friday is a feat. Once you’re there, it’s like finding gold at the end of a rainbow. In this case the rainbow is miles of steep, twisty dirt roads, and the treasure is 48 hours of seemingly non-stop live music – spanning several genres – and DJ sets. The Range of Light Wilderness, Allahs-Las and Magic Leaves are among the many who will perform.
So is Salinas native Larry Hosford (playing Saturday night), aka Lorenzo. As he approaches 70 years old he’s finding the younger generation has latched onto his Willie Nelson-esque voice and brand of Central Coast honky-tonk. Carmel’s Adam Zerbe – founder of 4th St. Records – recently got him and his band to record 16 of his previously unreleased classics at his Pepper Tree Studio in Carmel Valley.
“I know many people who haven’t heard his music will love it,” Zerbe says.
Hosford’s “Salinas” merges a twangy country and a tongue-in-cheek flare that pays homage to his favorite city.
“The right side of town is wrong, the wrong side of town is right/ Put all the Okies in the U.S. Army and tell them to win all the fights… in Salinas.”
Though Fresh & Onlys frontman Tim Cohen was born long after Hosford began playing folk music on Cannery Row, Cohen’s passion for songwriting is just as strong. The Bay Area musician is such a prolific writer that he started a side project Magic Trick (playing Friday night) as an outlet for his extra songs.
“I don’t sit down and write songs; they just come,” Cohen says. “I think it would be a disservice to them to try to find a home for them before they have a life. With Magic Trick I record everything and with Fresh & Onlys we go into the studio, so I get the best of both worlds.”
The outfit just released its second full-length album, Ruler of the Night. “Invisible at Midnight” merges hallucinogenic sounds and fluttering flute with Cohen’s haunting vocals. The tune eventually gives way to a blistering chorus that’s as moving as it is rocking – a over-the-rainbow journey of its own.
NACARUBI happens June 29-July 1 (gates open noon Friday; close 1pm Sunday), at Nacarubi Ranch, 40 minutes south of Big Sur or 10 minutes north of Gorda, Big Sur. Visit www.nacarubi.com for more.