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Previews

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…
08 Apr 2013
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Stagecoach is a country-music festival, of course, but it’s known for featuring performers across a wide variety of country-music subgenres—and that fits Nick 13 just fine. Nick 13, the frontman and guitarist of the Berkeley, Calif., psychobilly-punk-rock group Tiger Army, is making his second solo appearance at Stagecoach. “It was a bit intimidating. That was my first live appearance as a solo artist,” said Nick 13, in a recent phone interview, about that first Stagecoach performance, back in 2010. “I was playing in the Palomino tent, and the artists immediately following me were Ray Price and then Merle Haggard. There were a lot of old-timers in the audience who were basically saving their seats for those artists. During my act, when I started playing, it got a positive response very quickly. It felt like a real accomplishment to me.” Nick 13 said that when he decided to take that break…
01 Apr 2013
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Alex Harrington—music fans know him as All Night Shoes—says that in the world of electronic music, it’s hard to stay unique. Harrington hesitates when I ask him how he would define his music, which blends ambient and dance music together with a hint of Daft Punk. “I’ve been referring to it as ‘tropical house,’” Harrington says. “I don’t like to put labels on myself, but if I had to put a label on myself, that’s what I would define it as.” The 26-year-old La Quinta resident who once played acoustic-guitar performances in local coffee houses always had a desire to make electronic music. He saved his money to purchase the equipment he needed and made the transition a year ago. He makes his music on a MacBook with Logic Pro software and uses various keyboards and synthesizers. Alex’s initial challenge was to create a sound of his own. “The challenge…
25 Mar 2013
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Note to McCallum Theatre security: Chill. Raul Malo's got this. Mavericks fans are going to dance in the aisles, in front of the stage and at their seats, but it's OK. Malo and the Mavericks fly their fans a kite, effortlessly, instinctively and joyfully. Safe landing guaranteed. Cliques of stylish professional women; two- or three-generation families; aging braided and beaded hippies; loving couples of all ages and genders; folks in cowboy hats, party dresses, wheelchairs and low-slung pants with oversized shirts—they all dance and cheer like it's their birthday. They're having that much fun. Many discovered the Mavericks as a country band, touring with the likes of Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson, and acting as the house band for Johnny Cash specials. The band's 1994 album What a Crying Shame showcased singer and songwriter Malo's fluid Elvis Presley-meets-Roy Orbison vocals in a gleaming Nashville-slick production of honky-tonk dance tunes, seminal…