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Previews

21 Jun 2013
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For fans of Donna the Buffalo (“The Herd,” as the band refers to them), the five-year wait for a new album is over: On June 18, the band released Tonight, Tomorrow and Yesterday. However, local fans of The Herd still have a bit of a wait to see the band live: Donna the Buffalo is making a stop at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, Aug. 2. “I told my booking agent, ‘We’re not going out West without booking Pappy and Harriet’s,” said Tara Nevins, in a recent phone interview from New York. Inspired by the old-country music sound, folk music, bluegrass and what has been known as “roots music,” Donna the Buffalo was formed in 1989 in Trumansburg, N.Y., by Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear, the songwriters for the group. In almost a quarter-century together, the band has released 10 studio albums. They even started their own annual…
12 Jul 2013
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After 25 years and nine albums, the Voodoo Glow Skulls aren’t phased by changes in the music industry—and are still going strong with thanks in part to their DIY work ethic. The band will return to the desert to perform at The Hood Bar and Pizza on Thursday, July 18. The Casillas brothers—Frank (lead vocals), Eddie (guitar) and Jorge (bass)—formed the Riverside punk/ska outfit in 1988. “Back in those days in Riverside, backyard parties were the only gigs you could get,” said Frank Casillas during a recent phone interview. “Shortly after, we learned how to play our instruments and had enough songs; it led to us playing at the only local club, which was Spanky’s Café.” At Spanky’s Café, which was a historic venue in Riverside, the band started getting booked to play with headliners like The Dickies, fIREHOSE, and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, just to name a few. The group…
10 Jun 2013
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Despite lineup changes and a breakup, the Doobie Brothers have had a long, successful existence and have racked up a lot of hits. They’re currently touring behind their latest album, 2010’s World Gone Crazy, and are making a stop at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, June 15. The band came together in San Jose, Calif., in 1970. Tom Johnston (guitar, keyboard, vocals) was friends with Moby Grape guitarist Skip Spence, and Spence introduced him to John Hartman (drums), who had moved to San Jose from Washington, D.C., in hopes of collaborating with Spence. Johnston and Hartman eventually decided to form a group and recruited Dave Shogren (bass), starting out as a trio. They soon encountered Patrick Simmons (guitar) while sharing the bill with him at one of their early shows. “We were playing a show one night in Campbell, Calif., and it was the first time we met…
13 May 2013
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When you examine the career of Gregg Allman and the Allman Brothers Band, one word comes to mind: longevity. After largely taking 14 years off from his solo career, Allman, now 65, blew off the dust to record Low Country Blues, and he’s finally taking it on the road after its 2011 release, including a show at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, May 25. Thanks to a career that is approaching five decades, Allman is an icon, both as the front man of the Allman Brothers Band and on his own. There have been lows as well, such as his well-documented battles with addiction, lifelong health problems, band disputes, and the death of his band mate and older brother Duane Allman in 1971. Despite the hardships, he’s continued on, racking up hit records and playing sold-out concerts around the world. When the Allmans founded the Allman Brothers Band…
05 May 2013
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Wade Crawford and the Country Trash will play anywhere, for anyone. In the midst of gigs all over California, and time spent recording their first full-length album, he and drummer Terence Dunn are playing a show at Playoffs Sports Bar in Desert Hot Springs on Saturday, May 18. When I ask the 28 year-old Banning resident, during a recent phone interview, to define the band’s sound, Crawford offers an amusing definition: “California country trash.” Various musicians these days are inspired by Americana and the outlaw country sound; Wade Crawford and the Country Trash are expressing their inspiration in their own unique way. Crawford’s two main influences—Jim Morrison and Waylon Jennings—inspire his vocals and his songwriting, leading to a unique blend of rock music and outlaw country. “I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t normally like country music, but I really like your style…
23 Apr 2013
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While Stagecoach is known for showcasing a wide variety of alternative-country, traditional country and Americana, there’s still plenty of room for the Western music of Riders in the Sky, who will be making their third appearance at the festival, taking place April 26-28. The group’s lineup—Ranger Doug (Douglas B. Green), Woody Paul (Paul Chrisman), Joey the Cowpolka King (Joey Miskulin) and Too Slim (Fred LaBour)—has never changed and has remained more or less intact since their founding. When the group came together in the late 1970s in Nashville, Tenn., they decided to wipe the dust off the Western music sound that was pioneered by Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Throughout their 35-year career, they have become the first “exclusively Western” music artists to join the Grand Ole Opry, and the first Western music artists to win a Grammy (they’ve won two, in fact). They have performed at Carnegie Hall and…
19 Apr 2013
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Stagecoach always features many of the biggest names in country music on the main stage, but the festival also offers a broad variety of artists within country music’s subgenres: Americana, alt-country, folk music, the “California sound” and some sounds that can’t quite be described. Here’s a list of performers whose names appear in smaller print on the Stagecoach poster, yet they are great performers in their own right. Whether you’re roaming around the Empire Polo Club trying to find something different, or you’re looking for something in between performances on the main stage, here are some performers for your consideration. (And passes are still available.) Friday, April 26 The Haunted Windchimes: This five-piece folk group from Pueblo, Colo., has a distinctive sound; they don’t define themselves as Americana, country, blues or bluegrass—but one still manages to hear all of those styles in their music. This is a band that has…
18 Apr 2013
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Moon Block Party, a collective from Pomona, Calif., has for a second year in a row organized an area music festival that overlaps with the Coachella festival. Their intention, organizers say, is not for Desert Daze—taking place on Saturday, April 20—to be an alternative to the monumental Coachella fest, but to add to the number of music-related activities that are available to music aficionados storming the area in April. Last year, Moon Block Party was invited to put on Coachella-related parties. This, they did, but not in a small way: They coordinated musicians and bands to play a Desert Daze Festival for 11 days in a row, largely at Dillon’s Roadhouse in Desert Hot Springs. This year, they downsized to a one-day, festival, at the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca. Phil Pirrone, who spearheads the festival and the collective, explains they found that location. “We scoured the desert to find…