Rum, Ivey, Boxes

RIDE THE RUM TRAIN: Hot Buttered Rum leads an existence tailor-made for cartoon adaptation. Cruising the country in a veggie oil-fueled bus, the five bluegrass minstrels come across with such overwhelming positivity, one might question whether they’re for real. Leaving a wake of good vibes onstage and off, these guys have established themselves as ambassadors of a bluegrass renaissance. Only a handful of years removed from their High Sierra hatching, HBR has developed a lofty reputation across the country, exposing a new generation to the joys of string music and pioneering — with tasteful rock, pop, and funk inspiration — a trademark sound delicious enough to butter anybody’s bread. Touring in support of their breathtaking new album Well-Oiled Machine, the fun-loving quintet is known to transform concert venues into cauldrons of frenetic bliss. Come to SOhO this Saturday, May 27, and throw yourself in the mix.   — Tyler Blue

POISON IVEY: Borders Books is hosting a free in-store performance of Melissa Ivey on Sunday, May 28, and Monday, May 29, at 2 p.m. This show is part of a pre-CD release series, effectively incorporating the buzz of a CD release into the length of an entire tour. Renowned nationwide for her self-sustaining business sense, infectious personality, and killer live performances, Ivey won the Denver Westword Showcase singer/songwriter award in 2005. She’s performing at the downtown Borders with Coles Whalen. — Rebecca Riley

SONGS FOR YOU: Trinity Backstage never disappoints with its monthly concerts, which this weekend features John McVey, whose 1996 debut Circle of Friends earned him the National Academy of Songwriters’ Acoustic Artist of the Year Award. In addition to writing, recording, and performing, McVey is a producer and engineer at Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colorado, adding a different dimension to his involvement in the music biz. If you’re lucky, Trinity organizers Doug Clegg and Kate Wallace might also take the stage to accompany McVey. Get backstage at the Trinity Episcopal Church this Saturday, May 27, at 8 p.m., for $8. Visit — Felicia M. Tomasko

HER MAGiSTiR’S SECRET SERVICE: Santa Barbara’s newest supergroup, MAGiSTiR, is ready to unleash a whole lotta sweet sounds at Rocks on Thursday (yes, tonight, May 25!). Formed from the nucleus of perennial songster Robin Howe McIlrath’s eponymous band, MAGiSTiR has added Dave Loeppke on keys and Darin Fiechter on second guitar, plus a shiny new drummer, bassist, and lead guitarist to fill out their classic Santa Barbara sound, which brings to mind Toad the Wet Sprocket, but brings with it a gust of fresh pop-rock breeze that’s all their own. Check out their Myspace ( for some sample tunes, then come to Rocks at 7:30 p.m. for the real deal. Also appearing are power-rockin’ Entoven and kooky-rockin’ Earl. A splendid time is guaranteed for all. — Brier Random

STEADFAST WARRIOR KING: Continuing to be a breath of fresh air with the new release of his sophomore CD, Hold the Faith, Warrior King exercised a lyrically heartfelt, spiritual, and lovers-rock approach during the KJEE-sponsored Reggae Tuesday, May 23, at Cooney’s. Backed by the Bay Area’s conscious hip-hop-inspired Wisdom Creation Band, this young roots and culture Rastafarian appeased the audience with his international smash hit and debut song “Virtuous Woman” as well as “Everyday,” which is on Bob Marley’s “Forever Loving Jah” riddim. Once known as Junior King, Warrior King’s energetic and engaging style, alongside Reuben, his enduring Ethiopian flagman, certainly left a distinguished impression on reggae fans, as did Wisdom, who is set to release second album soon, titled, Growth & Elevation. No doubt, truly a night satiated musically! — Lady J

OTRAS COSAS: Tonight, Thursday, May 25, Reds in the Funk Zone is hosting a night of experimental music, with influences ranging from Brian Eno to Merzbow. … Danceable indie rock overtakes the Velvet Jones this Friday, May 26, with the arrival of the Tender Box, whose debut The Score on Swing House Records has popsters itching for more. The L.A.-based quartet was set to play with Mon Frere, but that band canceled due to the high price of gas. Regardless, it’ll be a blast-off show, so check it out. … The Durango Songwriters Expo comes to town on June 1 (see next week’s Indy for a feature), and it’s involving SOhO on Wednesday, May 31, for a preview, with the likes of AM, Warren Sellers, Alyssa Moreno, Amanda Williams, Amelia White, and Randi Soyland-Vamos playing short acoustic sets. … Santa Barbara son Gabe Lackner is back in town for some shows, including a Thursday, June 1, gig at SOhO, where fans can expect his homemade offerings of urban soul, original R&B, and roots-tinged rock. — Matt Kettmann

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