Cuts of Honey

A LITTLE BIT OF HOME: It’s been good times for ex-Santa Barbarans recently up in the Bay Area: The Coral Sea had its first shows in both San Francisco and Oakland, Petracovich regularly plays tiny bohemian cafés, and even Nerfherder Renaissance Man Parry Gripp does art shows here. Best of all, Tony Sevener’s new project Honeycut had its live debut as part Noise Pop 2006. Since his days with Summercamp, Sevener has played up here in multiple acts as a drum machinist, pioneering the live use of the MPC drum machine/sampler. One band is General Elektriks, the soul/jazz creation of French keyboardist/crazy-man Herve (a k a RV) Salters and the other is the folky, mod, ’70s-inspired crooner Bart Davenport. Honeycut features all three and a bit of everything. Think Black Crowes with Stevie Wonder keyboards falling between the sweetest AIR-style number and some prog-rock/post-punk anthem. Did I mention the harmonica finale? While Honeycut might’ve felt apprehensive making a live debut in front of a mob of the biggest smarty-pants music snobs I’ve ever sweated against, you couldn’t tell — the band couldn’t have been received more enthusiastically. The debut record is due out this spring on the DJ Shadow/Blackalicious (who play UCSB’s The Hub on May 1) label, Quannum Projects. — Dru Allen

UNIVERSAL RAMBLING: Tim Reynolds knows a thing or two about roaming. With a childhood spread across places as diverse as Germany, Alaska, and St. Louis, his heritage gives him cause to declare he “comes from nowhere mostly.” And while he might still be wandering, nowadays he tends to do it musically. So it is rather fitting the name of the guitar virtuoso’s new album — Parallel Universe — reflects an eclectic musical undertaking that meanders just as freely and widely as his upbringing did. He plays SOhO on April 23 with Markus Eaton. — Brett Leigh Dicks

STAYING POWER: With a batch of songs that are a communiqué of life itself and a voice as charming and earnest as the words she sings, there is a sense of timelessness about the music Sonya Kitchell throws forth. That’s surprising, since the Massachusetts native is only 17. And while she might aspire to produce a catalogue as substantial as the Beatles and a career as enduring as U2, she ultimately just wants “to write a lot of songs that stick around.” With an upcoming Sing Like Hell engagement at the Lobero Theatre on April 22 (with the Cynical Girls) and an album the caliber of Words Came Back To Me, she’s off to an exceptional start. — BLD

JAZZ APPRECIATION: The Santa Barbara Jazz Society celebrated Jazz Appreciation Month by presenting one of the West Coast’s top quartets two Sundays back. Leader and pianist Mike Melvoin, who just received the “Musician’s Musician” award from UCLA Jazz Studies, joined tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb (who’s in the company of Sonny Rollins), bassist Tony Dumas, and drummer Ralph Penland to deliver an impeccable performance where every note and accent was perfectly placed and nuanced. On the good-deed front, Bones Howe, society president and legendary producer, informed that all profits from these monthly concerts are donated to high school scholarships. — Stanley Naftaly

GO WITH GREENE: In an effort to leave the other Dylan-influenced singer/songwriters in his wake, Jackie Greene recently added an arsenal of horns, organs, and eclectic percussion instruments to his mélange of rock and roll. This Sacramento, California native is stopping by Santa Barbara during his Left Coast tour from Seattle to Los Angeles. Hear his tried-and-true folk as well as his newfound, twangy electric rock, when he hits SOhO next Wednesday, April 26. — Rebecca Riley

LEFTOVERS ARE GOOD: Other shows to be on the lookout for this week are the return to SOhO of Spencer the Gardener and Peyote Surf Trip, who’ll be playing in a benefit for Surfrider on Friday, April 21 … For an off-State Street alternative, check out the emerging mecca that is Legends on Milpas, where Sam Adams plays Friday night and then the soulful London Underground does their thing Wednesday … And for an on-campus option, check out L.A.’s OneRepublic, who claim to be heavily influenced by the “uplifting vocal delivery and emotional undercurrents” of U2. They play under UCSB’s Storke Tower on Monday, April 24, for free.

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