Following its sixth year at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, and stellar performances from The Roots, Fishbone, Cypress Hill and many others, the Cali Roots Festival has gained enough momentum to claim May as the season of dreads and reggae-rock on the Peninsula. In 2016, the three-day gathering (May 27-29), which is officially the world’s largest reggae-rock festival, will deliver another strong lineup featuring Atmosphere, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution and Stephen Marley. And that doesn’t include Saturday’s headliners, yet to be announced.
September on the Monterey Peninsula has been Monterey Jazz Festival season for nearly 60 years. The 59th incarnation (Sept. 16-18) of the world’s longest consecutively running jazz fest is still in the process of putting together another versatile lineup, but they have announced drummer/composer Terri Lyne Carrington as their 2016 Artist-In-Residence.
But there’s more music where that came from: The big Peninsula shows scheduled during the months between Jazz Fest and Cali Roots appear here:
Dwight Yoakam at Golden State •Jan. 20
One of the reasons Dwight Yoakam attracts fans who usually don’t listen to country music: His brand of country hearkens back to an era when, according to the man himself, “country music used to have a very edgy rock-and-roll energy.” As one ofBillboard Magazine’s Top 25 Country Stars of the past 25 years, the musician/actor continues to attract from outside the country music box: A couple of years back, Beck reached out to Yoakam and co-produced two tracks on Yoakam’s acclaimed 2014 record 3 Pears.
The Beach Boys at Golden State •Jan. 22
From their vast surf-soaked song catalog of Top 10 gold to their deeper work, a la Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys have beenlike two different bands in one. Currently, the outfit is truly split into two bands, but only one tours as The Beach Boys; now original members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston bring The Boys’ namesake to Monterey. Big Sur resident/founding original member Al Jardine and musical genius Brian Wilson may not be involved with this incarnation, but the songs still yield infinite moments of nostalgia.
Charlie Musselwhite and The North Mississippi Allstars at Golden State •Feb. 18
Charlie Musselwhite has released more than 20 albums over the past five decades. His seminal 1966 debut Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band is a classic cornucopia of back-alley blues and fuzztone guitar, fueled by Musselwhite’s gritty voice. The blues veteran never struggles to churn out new material.
“I love the music, and if you love something it’s always fresh,” Musselwhite said back in 2012, weeks before playing the now-extinct Monterey Bay Blues Fest. “I’m always looking for new ways to say the same thing or new things to say.”
Also on the bill: The North Mississippi Allstars, who mesh a furious southern blues-rock-roots combo that’s attracted a large jam band following.
Classic Albums Live Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced at Sunset •Feb. 19
“Manic Depression,” “Red House,” “Fire” and “3rd Stone From The Sun” make up just a third of the tunes off Hendrix’s game-changing debut Are You Experienced.
Clifton David Broadbridge takes on the challenge – accompanied by a group of accomplished musicians – of re-creating one of the greatest electric guitar rock albums of all time, note-for-note, by the greatest guitarist rock and roll has ever known.
This isn’t one of those circus sideshow tributes doused in flamboyant costumes and funny wigs. This is a collection of serious rockers who enjoy sharing their love for Jimi with the world. All proceeds benefit Beacon House.
Peter Frampton Raw, An Acoustic Tour at Sunset •March 15
If you were around in 1976 and owned a turntable, there’s a good chance Frampton Comes Alive! was in your record collection. Hits like “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way” and the talkbox-heavy “Do You Feel Like We Do” helped the British rocker’s double record become one of the all-time best-selling live albums in the world. In Carmel, Frampton will be joined by longtime collaborator Gordon Kennedy and his son, singer-guitarist Julian Frampton. All proceeds benefit Beacon House.
Jake Shimabukuro at Sunset •April 9
Shimabukuro’s original ukulele reconfigurations of classics like “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and, more recently, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” are transcendent musical miracles. Watching the Honolulu native churn out complex Jimmy Page solos on the toy-like instrument is like watching an amazing magic trick. But this isn’t an illusion. Shimabukuro is the real deal.
And the other notable 2016 shows are also legit: The Smithereens play songs from the Who, excerpts From Tommy and The Smithereens’ Greatest Hits (Jan. 22), Wynonna & The Big Noise: Stories & Song (Feb. 18) and Vince Gill (March 22) are all appearing at the Sunset Center, and Salinas native Jackie Greene (March 19) and Clint Black (April 21) are set to play GST.