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The biggest month for music in the Coachella Valley is here, thanks to Coachella and Stagecoach—and even if you’re not going to either of the fests, there are still plenty of other things to do.

The McCallum Theatre has a variety of shows in April, the last big month in the theater’s 2016-2017 season. At 8 p.m., Thursday, April 6, the daughter of Lucy and Desi, Lucie Arnaz will be performing her favorites from the Great American Songbook, backed by the Desert Symphony. Tickets are $67 to $115. At 8 p.m., Friday, April 7, get ready to laugh with Rita Rudner. Rudner is a legendary comedienne and will have you in stitches. Tickets are $37 to $87. At 8 p.m. Saturday, April 22, actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth will perform songs from Glee, Wicked and various Broadway standards. Tickets are $57 to $97. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a great April schedule. At 8 p.m., Friday, April 7, Kenny Loggins will be performing. Loggins has had quite a career, including “Danger Zone” from Top Gun (and, more recently, Archer), “I’m Alright” from Caddyshack, the main song for the Footloose soundtrack—and a lot of hits that weren’t in movies. Alas, when I interviewed Loggins at Stagecoach in 2013, he was more interested in the M&Ms he was eating off of a napkin than my questions. Tickets are $39 to $69. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 8, Creedence Clearwater Revisited will be returning to the desert. The PR rep told me the group has a new singer, Dan McGuinness, who had subbed at various times for former vocalist John Tristao. Tickets are $39 to $59. At 8 p.m., Friday, April 21, David Crosby will be stopping by for a solo performance. On top of his work with Crosby, Stills and Nash, he was a member of The Byrds, and he’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with both bands. Tickets are $39 to $59. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 800-827-2946; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa is hosting several sold-out shows in April, but as of our press deadline, there was still one show with tickets left: At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 22, actor and comedian Kevin James will be appearing. James had a successful run on the show The King of Queens, and achieved some degree of movie fame by playing Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It seems in recent years that he’s been in too many bad projects produced by Adam Sandler. It should be interesting to see how his stand-up comedy will be after years of sitcoms and films. Tickets are $65 to $95. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Spotlight 29 casino has a couple of events to consider. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 22, ’80s/’90s R&B sensation Keith Sweat (upper right) will be performing. Some of the best R&B music of that era was written and performed by Sweat; he’s released 12 albums and won the Favorite Male R&B/Soul Artist Award at the 1997 American Music Awards. Tickets are $25 to $45. I can’t believe I am about to write this sentence: At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 29, Extreme Midget Wrestling will be returning to Spotlight 29. I honestly don’t know what to say here. Like anyone else, people with dwarfism are doctors, scientists, actors and actresses—yet people often first think of crap like this when it comes to dwarfism. Also, most people with dwarfism prefer the term “little people.” Whatever entertainment floats your boat, I guess. Tickets are $20. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa, much like Agua Caliente, is hosting a lot of great April shows that are already sold out. Get ready for glistening beefcake when Thunder From Down Under returns at 8 p.m., Friday, April 7. Tickets are $25—and the show was close to selling out as of our deadline, so act fast. At 9 p.m., Friday, April 28, Jana Kramer will take the stage. You may know her from One Tree Hill or (gag) Dancing With the Stars, but both her albums have reached the Top 5 on the U.S. country charts. Tickets are $29. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace is the place to be in April, especially during Coachella and Stagecoach, when a lot of the festival acts stop by. At 8 p.m., Thursday, April 6, the band named after a KCRW DJ, Cherry Glazerr will be performing. Considering KCRW has been playing the band quite a bit, and Chery Glaser herself said she’s honored by the band’s name, it’s worth going to check them out. Tickets are $14. At 4 p.m., Saturday, April 8, Brant Bjork will be bringing back his Rolling Heavy-sponsored Desert Generator festival. On the bill this time are Earthless, Orchid, The Shrine and Black Rainbows. Tickets are $55 to $295. At 9 p.m., Sunday, April 30, hot off a Stagecoach performance, Son Volt will perform. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

Take note of this Coachella-related event: At 9 p.m., Thursday, April 13, Goldenvoice and FYF will present Young Turks in Palm Springs at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The show will feature Ben UFO, Four Tet, Francis and the Lights, Jamie xx, Kamaiyah, and Sampha with special guests PNL. Tickets are $30. Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs; 760-778-6262; aeglive.com.

The Date Shed has one event scheduled. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 8, Katchafire (below) will be performing. The reggae band from New Zealand is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the stop at the Date Shed should be pretty epic. Tickets are $25 to $35. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., Indio; 760-775-6699; www.dateshedmusic.com.

Published in Previews

In the late ’60s, Creedence Clearwater Revival jolted the rock ’n’ roll world. With a hard-blues sound and vocalist John Fogerty’s powerful voice, the band went on to record music over a five-year period that has stood the test of time.

However, by 1972, it was all over.

Some 23 years later, the band would enjoy a rebirth, of sorts, when bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited, in 1995. The current lineup also includes vocalist John “Bulldog” Tristao—whose vocals are just as strong as Fogerty’s—as well as lead guitarist Kurt Griffey, and guitarist Steve “The Captain” Gunner.

The band will be performing at the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs on Friday, March 18.

During a recent phone interview, Stu Cook talked about the reunion.

“We were originally interested in just playing some private or corporate shows,” Cook said. “It didn’t work out that way, and we ended up playing in public. It hasn’t stopped ever since. We eventually got to doing those corporate shows, but not until much later.”

Creedence Clearwater Revisited shows are often attended by a surprising number of young people, many of whom know Creedence’s material going back to the ’60s.

“It’s crazy, isn’t it? I think it’s a lot of things,” Cook said. “We always had a broad audience, and we had to joke among ourselves that the audience was 8 to 80 years old. We cut across every social demographic there is in terms of education, and it’s pretty amazing. The young people, I would attribute to classic-rock radio, and people passing it on to their kids, their brothers and their sisters.

One thing in the band’s favor is its appearance on countless soundtracks. The Forrest Gump soundtrack in 1994 included the Creedence song “Fortunate Son”—and went on to sell 12 million copies. The band’s music has appeared in comedies, dramas, war films and history-related films and documentaries.

“If you like movies, music goes well with movies. You’ll probably find Creedence in movies,” Cook said. “We’ve been in a lot of them. The most successful was Forrest Gump. There have been a lot of other ones. The Big Lebowski is one where we had two songs (featured in the movie), and we’re actually in the script where the cops ask Jeff Bridges about his car getting stolen. It’s amazing, and we’ve been so blessed when writers and artists incorporate us into their work. It’s a real honor.”

Cook said he enjoys seeing the eyes of audience members light up when the band performs.

“I don’t have a preference, but I like ‘Down on the Corner,’ and ‘Born on the Bayou’ is good,” he said. “It’s fun to play them all, but it’s fun to watch the audience reaction when we’re playing them. We can’t see much with the light in our eyes, but we can see back half a dozen rows, and it’s always interesting when people recognize another song.”

Creedence Clearwater Revisited, after 21 years, has not recorded any new material, and the members currently have no plans to record again.

“We’re a live-band performance project, and that was the idea from the beginning,” Cook said. “We have a double live album out, and it went platinum. It captures the state of the show back in 1996, and we don’t feel it’s a good idea to add songs to this catalog. The live band is what we’re trying to focus the fans’ attention on.”

Retirement isn’t in the current equation, either.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that popped up someday down the road,” Cook said. “Life is short, and there’s far more behind me than there is in front of me. I’m thinking of that at some point, but as long as we’re physically able to tour, and we’re still having fun playing and delivering the music at a high level, we’ll keep on doing it. We have no plans to retire at this point. It’s too much fun!”

However, Cook said he knows what he’d be doing if he were to retire.

“More scuba-diving, more golf, more paddleboarding, more kayaking and more travel,” he said. “I’m a pretty active guy, and there’s a lot of stuff that has to wait while I’m touring. I’d do more of the things that’d have to wait.”

Cook said the music industry has changed a lot since he started—and not necessarily in good ways.

“I think the thing that’s changed the most, and for the worst, is that people don’t feel it’s necessary to pay for music,” he said. “That’s how people make their living, and it’s taking food off the table. If you hear a song that you like, can you not afford 99 cents? Where else can you get something you really like for 99 cents, and you get to keep it forever. It’s crazy that people think intellectual property can be passed around like a warm can of beer.”

Creedence Clearwater Revisited will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, March 18, outdoors at the Spa Resort Casino, 401 E. Amado Road, in downtown Palm Springs. Tickets are $40 to $50. For tickets or more information, call 888-999-1995, or visit www.sparesortcasino.com.

Published in Previews

In the late 1960s and early 1970s. Creedence Clearwater Revival produced what would become legendary rock anthems—and even headlined Woodstock in 1969.

On Friday night, Oct. 17, Creedence Clearwater Revisited—the current incarnation of the band, notably without Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty—stopped by The Show at Agua Caliente, and gave one remarkable performance.

The only Creedence Clearwater Revival member currently playing in Creedence Clearwater Revisited is bassist Stu Cook. The band is fronted by former People! guitarist Johnny “Bulldog” Tristao and includes Steve “The Captain” Gunner on guitar/keyboards/percussion, and World Classic Rockers guitarist Kurt Griffey. CCR drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, a usual member of Creedence Clearwater Revisited, is not participating in the current tour.

The group walked onstage and began to tune their instruments as an intro track played. When the instrumental track stopped, the band got down to business, opening with “Born on the Bayou.” Johnny “Bulldog” Tristao has the same vocal style as John Fogerty—and is just as good on guitar. As a result, the music sounds as if it’s coming from the orginal Creedence Clearwater Revival, with no decrease in quality.

“Green River,” “Lodi” and a rocking performance of “Commotion” followed. Stu Cook then told the audience the band was going to play a song that was true 40 years ago, and is still true today—“Who’ll Stop the Rain,” which John Fogerty has said was inspired by the band’s appearance at Woodstock. During “Suzie Q,” the band decided to extend things a bit by including a jam with Griffey trading guitar riffs with Tristao, and Griffey turning in an extended solo, of sorts.

The performance of “Hey Tonight” was electrifying and one of the highlights of the set. The members then delved into unexpected territory and performed a cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” before featuring their “world music” portion of the set, with “Down on the Corner”; and then the “country music portion,” with “My Back Door.”

Toward the end of the show, the band performed a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” which included an endless jam of guitar solos by Griffey. When the song was finally over, the drum solo began.

After “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary,” it was time for the closing song of the 90-minute set—and “Fortunate Son” was the obvious way to end it.

Ever since Stu Cook and Doug Clifford dusted off Creedence Clearwater in 1995, it’s been obvious why this band is still a draw: The members keep the music and spirit of Creedence Clearwater Revival going strong.

Published in Reviews

October is here, and in theory, we should begin to get some relief from the oppressive heat.

In theory.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has two excellent events coming up that you probably shouldn’t miss. First, the Experience Hendrix Tour will be coming through at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. The lineup is packed with big names, including Buddy Guy, Billy Cox, Zakk Wylde, Jonny Lang and many others. As you can probably guess from the name, the tour pays homage to Jimi Hendrix, and has been going for more than a decade. Tickets are $29 to $69. And now for something completely different: Cheech and Chong and WAR will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24. Cheech and Chong are the comedy world’s biggest stoners, of course, thanks in part to films such as Up in Smoke, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, and Nice Dreams. And if anybody asks, Dave’s not here, man. Tickets are $29 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 800-827-2946; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has two fine events scheduled. The Beach Boys will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Former Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson came through the Coachella Valley in late August, so a performance by the Beach Boys should be a nice follow-up; however, keep in mind that technically, Mike Love is the only original member of this group of Beach Boys, although Bruce Johnston, a touring member since 1965, is also part of the lineup. There’s no word on whether or not John Stamos will be performing on the drums. Tickets are $45 to $75. Creedence Clearwater Revisited will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook (bass) and Doug Clifford (drums). The group formed in 1995 to play a couple of shows that a friend of theirs wanted to put on—and then they decided to tour. This did not sit well with Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty; Fogerty filed suit against Cook and Clifford, forcing them to perform under a different name until the courts ruled in favor of Cook and Clifford. Tickets are $40 to $60. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has a couple of events worth mentioning. They’re back: Thunder From Down Under returns to Morongo at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $25. If mostly naked men aren’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know that Paquita la del Barrio will be performing at 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24. The renowned singer has been fighting sexism in Mexico since 1970—and she’ll put you on the spot if you give her any flak. This is a show definitely worth checking out. Tickets are $59 to $69. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

The Purple Room reopened as The Purple Room Restaurant and Stage just before Labor Day. Machin’, The Judy Show and The Michael Holmes Trio still have their usual weekly residencies, and the fine folks there have added the David Ring Duo on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. They play jazz and old favorites from the American Songbook. There is no cover. The Gand Band will be ending their snowbird season in Chicago and returning to the Purple Room at 8:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3. Tickets are $10. The Gand Band is also leading some themed events in October, such as Tiki Chic on Friday, Oct. 10, and an ’80s Halloween on Friday, Oct. 31. The Purple Room Restaurant and Stage, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422; www.purpleroompalmsprings.com.

The Copa in Palm Springs has a full calendar in October. At 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, and 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3, Suzanne Westenhoefer will be appearing. Known as a panelist on GSN’s I’ve Got a Secret, and for her LOGO Television comedy special A Bottom on Top, this lesbian comedian will have you laughing for sure. Tickets are $20 to $40. At 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, Gloria Loring will be stopping by. The actress and singer has released several albums and helped compose the theme songs for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. Fun fact: She was married to Alan Thicke—and is Robin Thicke’s mom. Tickets are $40 to $60. Jazz singer/songwriter Tony DeSare will be appearing at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18. DeSare’s songs have appeared in films such as The Tooth Fairy and My Date With Drew. Tickets are $20 to $40. Copa, 244 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs; 760-866-0021; www.copapalmsprings.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has booked several great shows. Dawes will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11. The Los Angeles folk-rock band has played the late-night talk shows, performed with Jackson Browne at an Occupy Wall Street event, and received acclaim from critics and fans alike for their albums. Tickets are $25. At 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, The New Pornographers (above) will be performing an outdoor show. The band’s blend of pop and indie-rock has made them popular since they formed in 1999. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider the lineup: Neko Case, Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Kathryn Calder of Immaculate Machine, John Collins of The Evaporators, Todd Fancey of Limblifter, and independent filmmaker Blaine Thurier. Wow. Tickets are $30. Tycho with Com Truise will be at Pappy’s at 7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 26. Tycho is a well-known ambient-music artist and producer, and Com Truise is a solid name in dance music. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hard Rock Hotel’s schedule is heating up. At 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24, it will be “Dive-In Movies” night, with the Palm Springs Film Society screening the Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense, in the pool area. It’s a perfect pairing of venue and film, isn’t it? Admission is free. BB Ingle will be having his Annual Halloween Bash at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31. I can vouch for the fact that it’s a lot of fun. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $30 at the door; 21 and older only. Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-325-9676; www.hrhpalmsprings.com.

Bar is hosting a special event at 9:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9. The Rebel Noise will be playing the first show of the band’s California tour for the hometown crowd. Also on the bill are CIVX and former War Drum guitarist John Marek. Admission is free. Bar, 340 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs; 760-537-7337; www.barwastaken.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza has two events that should not be missed. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 3,punk veterans Guttermouth will be returning to The Hood. The controversial and humorous punk band puts on an excellent show. Tickets are $10. At 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, the Koffin Kats (below) will be stopping by for a Halloween show. The Detroit psychobilly group’s performance would be a perfect way to celebrate Halloween. Admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.facebook.com/thehoodbar.

The Date Shed is back with an encouraging calendar of events going into 2015. At 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, rapper and producer Warren G will be performing. In 1994, his song “Regulate” was a major hit. Tickets are $25. The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe Street, Indio; 760-775-6699; www.dateshedmusic.com.

Here’s some advance notice about an early-November event: Celebrate the Day of the Dead on Saturday, Nov. 1, and Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Dia De Los Muertos festival in Coachella, at Rancho Las Flores Park. Scheduled to perform are Chicano Batman, Noel Torres, Banda Nachos, La Santa Cecilia, La Bikina and others. There will be food vendors, art exhibitions, and many other things Day of the Dead. This is a great event for all ages. Tickets start at $20. Rancho Las Flores Park is located at 48350 Van Buren St. in Coachella. For more information, visit www.diadelosmuertosusa.com.

Published in Previews