Nearly a dozen local music acts unite in Salinas to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
The lowest point of local music promoter/singer-songwriter Kiki Wow’s life was about 20 years ago while she was living in L.A. She was going through a divorce, involved in a child custody battle and had a boss that made Gordon Gekko look like a sweetheart.
“I felt completely broken,” she says.
One day after work, Wow came across a duo performing at a small coffee house.
“The music moved me greatly – from depression to a much better place,” she says. “I recognized at that moment the value of music and how it heals.”
Wow also realized what she was destined to do for the rest of her life.
“There’s not a lot of money to be made,” she says. “I do it because I love it. It’s important to keep people happy in these times and music does that. It’s a great comfort to me.”
Saturday’s Musical Montage also aims to heap on plenty of the healing Wow associates with music: Two-thirds of proceeds will go to Hurricane Sandy relief and another third to local grief counseling nonprofit Arms of Angels.
Initially, Wow planned on featuring four of her favorite party bands, but she decided to take advantage of the sizeable space with an overstuffed sequence of area all-stars going off as frequently as every half hour.
“I have been looking for a place to have a proper event since the closing of [the old] Plaza Linda,” she says. “Now I have the most perfect venue with professional sound and lighting. This is such a blessing because it came out of nowhere when it was needed the most.”
The plan: Treasured local groups covering a wide range of styles, from violin pop to new wave-post punk. “I’ve been doing this long enough to know you have to have a plan,” Wow says. “But rarely does anything go according to plan.” That said, listeners can safely expect the following flavors:
Dave Holodiloff Trio (2pm): The multi-instrumental mandolinist digs performing so much one band can’t keep him satisfied. Between bluegrass fave Microtonic Harmonic and the gypsy jazz renderings of the Treetop Trio, Holodiloff is as versatile as he is busy. Treetop’s standout saxophonist Ben Herrod and bassist Steve Uccello join the energetic Holodiloff for a set that will span genres, jam hard and should include a Grateful Dead cover or two.
Bryan Diamond (2:35pm): One of the area’s most ubiquitous forces, Diamond has been performing seven nights per week since last May – five at Isabella’s and two at Spanish Bay (though he’s shifting his schedule for winter). Saturday, he will do what he does best: unleash spot-on classic rock covers on guitar that he delivers with a voice that can cut like… a diamond.
“Everybody likes something they’re familiar with,” Diamond says. “That’s what I do best.”
Kenny Stahl (2:55pm): The flute is to Stahl what the basketball is to Michael Jordan. The Chicago native originally had aspirations to become a classical musician, but took a different musical path, embarking on a lifelong mission to convince jazz purists the flute belongs in the genre just as much as the trumpet.
Peter Mellinger (3:15pm): The young prodigy will have a few minutes to blow minds with his must-hear-to-believe rendition of “Stairway to Heaven” on violin.
Martin Shears (3:25pm): For more than two decades, the bald-headed Brit has been melding new wave and post-punk driven by a voice that’s a cross between R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Squeeze’s Chris Difford. Original tunes like “Beautiful Losers” ignite such an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for ’80s John Hughes movies you can almost feel Molly Ringwald’s presence.
Long Distance Flyers (4pm): Someone once said that you’re either a Beatles or a Rolling Stones person. LDF frontman guitarist Terry Shehorn is both. The Monterey mainstay has been churning out equal parts Stones and Fab Four for decades, from “Honky Tonk Woman” to “Please Please Me.” Bluesman Michael Martin will sit in.
Phoenix Rising (5:15pm): On paper, the Bay Area duo – pianist Wendy Loomis and flutist Monica Williams – may come off as new age yoga music in the vein of Enya. But in person, the pair concocts a blend of neo-classical acoustic jazz intertwined with world beats and thoughtful lyrics.
Valley Soul (5:50pm): The word is still not out on this young sextet – bassist James Collard, slide guitarist Joe Scardina, guitarists Tomas Howbert and Adam Ingram and percussionists Richard Tripps and Steve Belleci. That won’t be the case for long.
Kiki Wow and The Vibe Tribe (6:25pm): Wow herself leads the earthy folk outfit as it provides a counternote to dance bands and classic rock.
Red Beans & Rice (7:55pm): Founding member and guitarist Gil Rubio attributes the local outfit’s lasting popularity to its divergence from the norm. “Going to clubs or bars is like hearing the same song played by different bands and we never do that,” he says. RB&R’s most recent release, New Recipe, wafts spicy political funk in the spirit of Marvin Gaye.
Troy O’Shann and Friends (9:10pm): The iron-lunged blues singer – who’s played with Blues at Eleven, Honey Hush and Victory Lane – will front an all-star cast of surprise guests. It will be Monterey County’s answer to the supergroup craze and much better than Crooked Vulture.
THE MUSICAL MONTAGE happens 2-10pm (doors at 1pm), Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Fox Theater, 241 Main St., Salinas. $20 advance; $25 door. 758-8459. www.kikiwow.com/event/reserve.asp?2807