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Americana singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney plays The Siren 

Texas-bred singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney's fifth album, Married Alone, developed like many of her albums—with a trip back into her vault of unreleased songs. Her career exploded in 2006 with her debut, Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame, and the prolific songwriter has always written more songs than she could release.

"I have a lot of older songs that still make the cut of like, 'Am I gonna put this on a record?' And I always start with those songs, songs that have been important to me for whatever reason. And then I try to build around that. It doesn't necessarily have to be around a theme, but sometimes it turns out to be that there is one," Sweeney explained in press materials.

click to enlarge HEARTBREAKER Numbskull and Good Medicine present Americana singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney at The Siren on Feb. 27. - COURTESY PHOTO BY DERREK KUPISH
  • Courtesy Photo By Derrek Kupish
  • HEARTBREAKER Numbskull and Good Medicine present Americana singer-songwriter Sunny Sweeney at The Siren on Feb. 27.

The result is a collection of "confessional songwriting, image-rich narratives" from an album about "loss and healing." Despite its theme, it's not as dark as one might suppose. It opens with "Tie Me Up," on which Sweeney sings to a would-be suitor, "You can tie me up, but baby you can't tie me down."

On the title track, she's joined by country legend Vince Gill, and they sing, "There may be rings on our fingers, but we're married alone."

"My jaw hit the floor when I heard that song, because I had just gone through my second divorce, which is also cliché of a country singer," Sweeney said. "I was still pretty raw about my divorce, but also very candid and trying to find levity in the situation. You have to be able to laugh at yourself at some point and not let it just totally get you down."

See Sunny Sweeney with special guest Erin Enderlin in The Siren on Tuesday, Feb. 27 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $25 at

Numbskull and Good Medicine has a slew of shows this week, starting with Déjà vu: Olivia Rodrigo with DJ Blade Trip on Friday, Feb. 23, at Club Car Bar (8 p.m.; all ages; $12 presale at or $15 day of show). Rodrigo, a singer and actress, is best known for starring on the Disney television programs Bizaardvark and the mockumentary High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

The White Buffalo with special guest Dave Hause plays on Saturday, Feb. 24, at BarrelHouse Brewing (6 p.m.; all ages; $25 at I've written many times about singer-songwriter Jake Smith. The tall, deep-voiced performer always puts on a great show, and his newest album, Year of the Dark Horse, is exceptional.

Hear the music of Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, and Brazil when B-Side Players perform on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Club Car Bar (7 p.m.; all ages; $15 at You might recognize funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop with dashes of Cumbia, Samba, and more.

click to enlarge ROOTS AND BEYOND Soak in the incredible brass and strings sounds of The Dustbowl Revival at Club Car Bar on Feb. 29. - COURTESY PHOTO BY BOB TURTON
  • Courtesy Photo By Bob Turton
  • ROOTS AND BEYOND Soak in the incredible brass and strings sounds of The Dustbowl Revival at Club Car Bar on Feb. 29.

Always entertaining The Dustbowl Revival plays Club Car Bar on Thursday, Feb. 29 (8 p.m.; all ages; $23 at, with Abby Posner opening. DR is known for pushing the boundaries of roots music. The brass and strings band started 13 years ago when Z. Lupetin, "a Chicago native who attended college in Michigan came to LA to be a screenwriter, grew disillusioned with his job in advertising, and placed a hopeful ad on Craigslist," the band's bio explains. Members have come and gone, but each incarnation has brought new layers to this complex musical collective.

"Maybe we don't know where this journey will take us or how long it will last," Lupetin acknowledged. "Music elevates us, lifts us up, makes us change our minds, takes us out of our comfort zones. If just one person can be moved by just one song, that's enough."

Fremont Theater

Don't forget that Bermudian reggae star Collie Buddz plays this Thursday, Dec. 22 (8 p.m.; all ages; $13.50 to 27 at Kash'd Out and DMP open.

click to enlarge GENRE BENDERS NYC funk metal band Living Colour plays the Fremont Theater on Feb. 27. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LIVING COLOUR
  • Photo Courtesy Of Living Colour
  • GENRE BENDERS NYC funk metal band Living Colour plays the Fremont Theater on Feb. 27.

Also at the Fremont, see NYC funk metal band Living Colour on Tuesday, Feb. 27 (8 p.m.; all ages; $28.50 at Formed in 1984, they're known for their varied influences from heavy metal to funk to jazz to hip-hop to punk and beyond. They rose to fame with their 1988 album Vivid, and they've scored hits with tracks such as "Cult of Personality," "Love Rears Its Ugly Head," and "Time's Up."

The Siren

In addition to the Good Medicine and Numbskull shows, this week The Siren also presents the PinkHouse Band on Friday, Feb. 23 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; free). This alt-rock act plays originals "sprinkled with complementary customized covers within the set list."

On Saturday, Feb. 24, Rage Against the Machine tribute band Babes Against the Machine performs (8 p.m. 21-and-older; $22 at, with Pearl Jam tribute band The Faithfull. According to the club, "Babes brings crunching metal riffs and machine-gun rapping to effectively recreate RATM's familiar massive all-out sonic assault," and The Faithfull said, "Our goal is ... re-creating the music, the energy, and the emotional intensity of a Pearl Jam show." That's a whole lot of '90s rock coming your way.

SLO Brew Rock

Folk & Barrels Fest will bring a bunch of great music to the club when The Tens (10 p.m.), the Shawn Clark Family Band (9 p.m.), Chris Beland (8 p.m.), and Max MacLaury (7 p.m.) on the main stage on Friday, Feb. 23 (doors at 6 p.m.; all ages; $15 presale at or $20 day of show), with folk artist Azere Wilson on the Stills Stage (5 to 7 p.m.; free). "Come on out for a night of local folk music with some of our favorite bands in all the land," the club announced. "We will be celebrating all things Americana with drink specials, delicious barbecue, and a bunch of epic music!"

The Clark Center

If you love Queen but never saw them before Freddie Mercury passed in 1991, Gary Mullen & The Works might be the closest you'll ever come. They present One Night of Queen at the Clark Center on Saturday, Feb. 24 (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $45 to $75 at Mercury imitator Gary Mullen won the talent show Stars in Their Eyes with his vocal and visual imitation.

Cal Poly Arts

The Taj Mahal Quintet and opener Sona Jobarteh play on Saturday, Feb. 24, in Cal Poly's Performing Arts Center (7:30 p.m.; $45 to $69 at Three-time Grammy winner Taj Mahal is an iconic bluesman with a 50-plus-years career. Gambian musician Sona Jobarteh, one of the first female Kora virtuosos, opens the show. She's a living archive of the Gambian people.

click to enlarge TEEN SPIRIT Sandspits are one of four indie bands playing Bang the Drum on Feb. 23. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SANDSPITS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Sandspits
  • TEEN SPIRIT Sandspits are one of four indie bands playing Bang the Drum on Feb. 23.

More music ...

Indie rock lovers, fasten your seatbelts because four bands are coming your way this Friday, Feb. 23, when Nor-Cal dream pop act Rainbow City Park plays Bang the Drum with Couch Dog, Sandspits, and Universe (6:30 p.m.; all ages; $10). Rainbow City Park "draws inspiration from '90s alt-rock acts such as Third Eye Blind and The Smashing Pumpkins, infusing their music with a modern twist akin to the sounds of Boy Genius and Snail Mail." Garage rockers Couch Dog is a quartet of Cal Poly students and winner of SLO Battle of the Bands. The Sandspits are a local surf and indie rock band.

The Basin Street Regulars present another hot jazz concert with The Starlight Dreamband and the SLO High School Honors Band this Sunday, Feb. 25, in the Pismo Beach Vets Hall (jam at 11 a.m., concert at 1 p.m.; $15 general, $10 for members at The Starlight Dreamband features the Central Coast's finest musicians playing dance music "with a more than casual nod to the great American standards." Opener the SLO High Honors Band is a 17-piece group featuring the school's best.

Conversation with ...

King Crimson founder Robert Fripp and the band's co-producer and manager David Singleton present Englishmen Abroad, a conversation with Robert Fripp and David Singleton, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Cuesta College Performing Arts Center (7:30 p.m.; $65 to $75 at According to press materials, the event "is an opportunity to ask the questions that get us out of bed in the morning.

"Where does music come from? What does it take to survive the music business? When does the impossible become possible? Can music change the world? Why did Fripp put on a tutu and dance to Swan Lake at the end of his garden?" Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at [email protected].


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