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A very big week! 

Lindsey Buckingham and Los Lobos?!?

Pinch me, I’m dreaming! Lindsey Buckingham and Los Lobos in the same week? Damn straight, Skippy! More amazing still, Buckingham is playing a rare show in the historic Fremont Theatre, the same place I saw Los Lobos in 1992 as part of their Kiko tour. Pure magic! The Fremont is an incredible venue for live music, and I’ve always puzzled over why they don’t do more of it there. But here we are, 20 years later, with Fleetwood Mac founder Lindsey Buckingham stopping by as part of his national tour, in which he’s playing intimate one-man shows in venues such a The Coach House, The Fillmore, Boston’s The Wilbur, and NYC’s BB King Blues Club. We’re in good company!

click to enlarge “HOLIDAY ROAD” :  Fleetwood Mac founding member Lindsey Buckingham plays a rare solo performance at the historic Fremont Theater on May 8. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM
  • “HOLIDAY ROAD” : Fleetwood Mac founding member Lindsey Buckingham plays a rare solo performance at the historic Fremont Theater on May 8.

His newest CD, Seeds We Sow, features his remarkable fingerstyle guitar picking and instantly recognizable voice. He’ll be drawing from that album, songs from earlier solo albums, along with some classics from Fleetwood Mac.

“As I’ve grown as an artist, I’ve gotten more and more in touch with my center, and that center is voice and guitar,” Buckingham explains in press materials. “Over time, it has become increasingly vital to express more with less; that is my touchstone now, and the embodiment of that philosophy is what will be largely represented in the new show. I’ve been thinking of doing this kind of tour for a while, and am quite excited to be doing something new, something outside my comfort zone.”

Tickets for Lindsey Buckingham at the Fremont on Tuesday, May 8, are $43, available at Boo Boo Records or other Vallitix outlets. This one’s all ages, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door. This show is brought to you by the fine folks at SLO Brew.

click to enlarge NOT JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM EAST L.A. :  Incredible Latin rock act Los Lobos headlines a massive outdoor concert at Blacklake Golf Resort on May 6, which also features the original line-up of seminal ’80s L.A. punk act X, as well as Mariachi el Bronx. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LOS LOBOS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF LOS LOBOS
  • NOT JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM EAST L.A. : Incredible Latin rock act Los Lobos headlines a massive outdoor concert at Blacklake Golf Resort on May 6, which also features the original line-up of seminal ’80s L.A. punk act X, as well as Mariachi el Bronx.

Now let’s turn our attention to what promises to be the most amazing concert Nipomo has even seen when Los Lobos headlines an outdoor concert at Blacklake Golf Resort on Sunday, May 6. Not only do you get to hear the finest Latin rock act to ever emerge from L.A.’s fertile scene, but there will also be a rare reunion of all four members of L.A.’s seminal ’80s punk rock outfit X. That’s right! John Doe, Exene Cervenka, DJ Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom are back together … again! Holy crap! And to top it off, new L.A. upstarts Mariachi el Bronx will open the show with their punk version of mariachi music. This is one eclectic show! Tickets ($25 to $55) are available at Boo Boo Records and other Vallitix outlets. The all-ages show, brought to you by Otter Productions, Inc., starts at 2 p.m. and goes until dusk.

For the uninitiated, Los Lobos has been around for three decades, but they seemed to burst onto the scene with their fourth album How Will the Wolf Survive in 1984, and they went supernova after they covered six Ritchie Valens songs on the 1987 soundtrack for La Bamba. By the time they released Kiko in 1992, they were living legends. There’s seemingly nothing they can’t do, from hard R&B and blues, to Tex-Mex, country, pop rock, folk, ethereal psychedelic, heartrending ballads, and raucous garage rock.

And then there’s X, which formed in 1977 and released Los Angeles and Wild Gift early in their career—two studio albums that were wildly influential, if not commercially successful. The band was simply ahead of its time. By the time Under the Big Black Sun came out in 1982, people were starting to “get it.” Of course, being a crazed punk act took its toll, and Zoom left the band in the mid-’80s, first replaced by Dave Alvin of The Blasters. The original members have reformed occasionally over the years, frequently delivering more roots rocks versions of their alt-rock songs.

This show ought to be a humdinger!

click to enlarge PRODIGAL DAUGHTER :  Former SLO local Sarah Pillow—now a fancy NYC jazz, opera, and early music singer—returns to play a memorial concert for Alice Jo Duckworth on May 6 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH PILLOW
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH PILLOW
  • PRODIGAL DAUGHTER : Former SLO local Sarah Pillow—now a fancy NYC jazz, opera, and early music singer—returns to play a memorial concert for Alice Jo Duckworth on May 6 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

A tribute for Alice Jo

Anyone who’s paid any attention to the local theater scene knows Alice Jo Duckworth (Oct. 7, 1916 to Feb. 26, 2012), the plucky theater maven who founded the Parish Players. On Sunday, May 6, a memorial concert will be held at 2 p.m. in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (1344 Nipomo Street) that will pay tribute to her rich life as well as raise funds to keep her theater troupe going. There’s a $15 suggested donation, or $10 for students and seniors.

Duckworth—actor, writer, director, and resident of San Luis Obispo for 47 years—will be succeeded as artistic director of The Parish Players by John Pillow, who starred in many of her productions. John and his sister Sarah Pillow, a well known performer currently residing in New York City, will present a musical and theatrical tribute to her life.

The siblings both consider Duckworth a major influence in their artistic paths.

“I remember being directed in a play by Alice Jo when I was in junior high school,” Sarah reminisced, “and I felt a light turn on illuminating the possibilities of where I could go and what I could do as an artist. Alice Jo had lived many places, was open to different cultures and beliefs, and was involved in many different artistic mediums—acting, directing, writing. She proved that I could consider a variety of artistic influences to help shape me as a singer, and I could forge my own way. I thank Alice Jo for that.”

Sarah has traveled to India to sing the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah; has been hailed most recently as “splendid” by The New York Times; and continues to sing a variety of musical styles.

John Pillow recently appeared in his self-created one-man show, By Will ... Alone, a Shakespearean collage weaving sonnets, soliloquies, and songs presented by The Parish Players. The Pillow siblings’ tribute will be of a similar nature, including dramatic readings interspersed with musical selections from Henry Purcell to George Gershwin that were personal favorites of Duckworth’s, highlighting different periods of her 95 years on Earth.

John and Sarah will be joined by special guest readers, and their instrumental collaborators will be pianist-organist Cathy Molnar and harpist Jennifer Sayre.

This promises to be a celebration of a rich and wondrous mentor to many people in the theater community.

Miller-palooza!

Is there a Miller in the house? Yeah, there’s like three of them! Suzy Miller, best known as the spunky choreographer and dancer who brought L.A.-caliber jazz to local dance and theater productions, has recently rediscovered her inner singer!

click to enlarge MILLER TIME! :  Mike Miller and Suzy Miller play shows at The Spot May 4 through May 6. - PHOTO BY SANDRA CORTEZ
  • PHOTO BY SANDRA CORTEZ
  • MILLER TIME! : Mike Miller and Suzy Miller play shows at The Spot May 4 through May 6.

“I am crazy excited to announce my upcoming debut show as a … drum roll please … Singer? Yep. It’s true,” said Suzy. “See, back in the hippie day, I was a Joni Mitchell-esque guitar and banjo playing boho chick. Then the ’80s happened. After a decade of aerobic teaching (‘Keep breathing! Feel the burn!’), cigarette smoking (Hey, it was the ’80s!), and assorted other woohoo ’80s behaviors, my pipes were shot. Twist and turn, decades later, and it turns out I’m now a bluesy raspy alto. Go figure.”

Not one to waste a newly discovered talent, Suzy has teamed with guitarist and singer Mike Miller in a show produced by Mike’s wife Mary Miller, which is called “Miller and Miller by Miller.” The series of concerts also includes special guests Karen Kahn Pearson and Cody Pettit, “both virtuoso singers and fantastic performers,” says Suzy. “We also have one surprise special guest each show (spoiler alert: Cadence Mitchell, Sydni Abenido, Jenna Butz, and Kayla Anderson, among others). The show ranges from gorgeous four-part harmonies to raucous blues, with poignant ballads and hilarious comedic songs, and even a fairy tale rap.”

Expect covers of songs by Simon and Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Amy Winehouse, Cat Stevens, Lady Gaga, The Beatles, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

I missed informing you about the first weekend, but the show goes on with 8 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 to 6, at The Spot. Tickets cost $20, or $15 for students and seniors (474-5011). Proceeds benefit the Nipomo High School Drama Fund.

“This show is a big departure for me, but I figure the ‘is this gonna be a train wreck?’ factor could really work for sales,” quipped Suzy.

Neo old timey? Hells yes!

Banjo player, stepdancer, singer-songwriter, and square dance caller Evie Ladin and her band are returning to the area, touring in support of their deliciously quirky self-titled album on Evil Diane Records.

“I know what good stringband music sounds like, but I also listen to a lot of world music, old and new country, indie rock, soul—music scenes that often don’t overlap that much,” Ladin said about her new album. “In making the album, the music that was old-time had to be real old-time, but I also needed to let songs stretch toward a pop aesthetic, a more contemporary aesthetic. The mix of the two can be very exciting.”

I’ll say! Imagine a mash-up of Michelle Shocked and Emmy Lou Harris!

Ladin’s also the driving force behind the bluegrass outfit the Stairwell Sisters, who have appeared at the Red Barn Community Music Series, where she’ll appear as The Evie Ladin Band on Saturday, May 5, at 6 p.m. ($10 at the door; bring a dish to share and come for the 5 p.m. potluck). This show is made possible through the generous support of KCBX Public Radio and Live Oak Music Festival.

Love bomb!

You can’t fight love, but it gets you in some fights, right? “What happens when two hardheaded local songwriters start making eyes from across a crowded honky-tonk?” asked Reid Cain and Hayley Thomas, also known as The Tarweed Two. “Heartache, that’s what—and plenty of tarnished tunes about love and loss, mischief, pain, and pleasure.”

click to enlarge HONKY-TONK TWO :  The Tarweed Two, Reid Cain and Hayley Thomas, will release their new EP on May 5 at Kreuzberg. - PHOTO BY CURTIS CAMPBELL
  • PHOTO BY CURTIS CAMPBELL
  • HONKY-TONK TWO : The Tarweed Two, Reid Cain and Hayley Thomas, will release their new EP on May 5 at Kreuzberg.

The duo mixes the talents of Hayburner’s Hayley “Rose” Thomas and Red Eye Junction’s Dr. Reid Cain, Esq., who have requested the pleasure of your company at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, at Kreuzberg, where they’ll celebrate the release of their debut EP, One Way to Know, out on vinyl! Yee haw!

There’s some fine tunes in here—twangy, heartfelt, straight outta AM country radio. Rounding out the live outfit is bassist Jamie Mather of Red Skunk Jipzee Swing Band and downtown-busking fiddleman Mr. Greg Buergler.

Pick up a copy of the 7-inch record, a true-to-the-bone country gem along the lines of classic duos Johnny & June, George & Tammy, or Waylon & Jessie.

What’s brewing?

In addition to the Lindsey Buckingham show at Fremont, SLO Brew has three great shows cooked up at their downtown club for the week, starting with the infectiously fun California Honeydrops on Friday, May 4 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $12 presale or $14 at the door). The California Honeydrops feature Polish-born multi-instrumentalist Lech Wierzynsk, who leads the combo through multiple American genres such as blues, gospel, Second Line New Orleans jazz, and early R&B. Formed four years ago in Oakland’s subway stations, they’ve since completed six European tours, played all over the United States, and released two full-length albums without a label or booking agent! These guys put on a whopper of a show!

You can channel your inner Rasta on Saturday, May 5, when Natural Incense returns to the club (7 p.m.; all ages) with Top Shelf opening. Get your country rock on when Shooter Jennings returns on Wednesday, May 9 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 presale or $23 at the door), with Chaparral opening.

More music …

Retro guitar hero Tony Ridge and his awesome roots trio The Cadillac Angels roll into the Pour House on Friday, May 4, with Terry Lawless, at 8:30 p.m. “Terry’s going to help produce as well as perform on our next recording project coming up here in May,” said Tony, who also regaled me with his newest tale from the road. “I had a nice-looking woman come up to me in Jerome, Ariz., last weekend, who was rather well endowed, and she said, ‘You’re older than my tits, but you still ROCK!’ I’m not sure you can print that, but I thought you’d appreciate the story and the sentiment. I sure did.”

click to enlarge CONGRATULATIONS! :  Matt Stone (upper left), Jaxon Buchanan (bottom left), Alec Wingfield (seated left), Jordan Meidieros (standing fourth from left), David Avelar II (third from right, seated), Diego Marquez (second from right), and Noah Nelson (right) were the winners of this year’s 23rd Annual Drum Circuit Drum Competition held April 29 at The Grad. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DRUM CIRCUIT
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DRUM CIRCUIT
  • CONGRATULATIONS! : Matt Stone (upper left), Jaxon Buchanan (bottom left), Alec Wingfield (seated left), Jordan Meidieros (standing fourth from left), David Avelar II (third from right, seated), Diego Marquez (second from right), and Noah Nelson (right) were the winners of this year’s 23rd Annual Drum Circuit Drum Competition held April 29 at The Grad.

On Saturday, May 5, head to Steynberg for Gabrielle Louise and Heartbreak Hill (Jody Mulgrew & Erin Inglish) at 8 p.m. ($15). Louise plays literary singer-songwriter fare with a voice that will remind some of Joni Mitchell. Heartbreak Hill offers tight harmonies and amazing songs. Should be a good one!

California-grown singer-songwriter Amanda West returns to the Central Coast to play Steve Key’s Songwriters at Play showcase on Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in Sculpterra Winery, with multi-instrumentalist Pete Solomon. The two recently released their new single, “Habit,” a tune about changing our ways for the better. Get the lowdown on all the showcases at songwritersatplay.com.

And the winners are …

The Graduate was packed to the gills with drum aficionados during the 23rd Annual Drum Circuit Drum Competition, which featured 20 talented drummers going head to head in two categories. When the smoke cleared, Jordan Meidieros (13) won first place in the under 16 category, Alec Wingfield (14) was second, Jaxon Buchanan (9) was third, and Matt Stone (15) was runner up. In the Over 16 race, Diego Marquez (24) won first, David Avelar II (20) won second, Noah Nelson (12) won third. Congratulations from New Times!

Keep up with Glen Starkey via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at facebook.com/glenstarkey or myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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