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S.B. Musicians on the Rise

Check Out Some of the Newest and Best Bands in S.B.


Every year, The Santa Barbara Independent puts its ear to the ground to hear the newest and best acts of Santa Barbara’s music scene, and boy did we like what we heard this year. From folk to flute, this issue’s roundup features a mix of strong soloists and exciting group acts, and some of the artists have already garnered worldwide acclaim. Whether in their entrepreneurial spirit, their precocious talent, or their sheer ability to rock, what these acts all have in common is an uncanny eye- and ear-catching quality, all with the inviting spotlight shine that comes with being up-and-coming and on the rise. So while fame, fortune, and other factors may draw these acts to bigger cities in only a matter of time, for now we are proud to showcase these homegrown artists in their current state as flag-bearers of new Santa Barbara County sounds.

• Azeem Ward and His Magic Flute: The UCSB flautist and Internet meme tours the U.K.

• Erisy Watt Moves West, Makes Music: The folk singer and Cabin By the Sea series founder sews musical roots in S.B.

• The Olés’ Reggae Resolve: The Isla Vista genre-hybrid band is ready to take the West Coast by storm.

• The Dylan Ortega Band’s Country Soul: The teen and his band buck today’s pickup-truck-and-girls lyrical trends, choosing classic country sound instead.

• Layovr Introduces “Trop Rock”: The S.B. band infuses classic reggae with ’80s rock shredding.

• The Blues and Greys: The S.B. band woos audiences with its dark, indie pop-rock sound.

• Randall Sena- Lompoc’s Music Man: The singer/songwriter’s record, ‘A Form of Prayer,’ is a beautiful collection of dramatic power-pop and thoughtful soft rock.

• Me & Dinosaur Delivers Blues-Rock with a Twist: These live favorites bridle with true up-and-coming energy and untapped potential.

• New Noise Music Festival: The seventh annual event takes place in downtown venues October 15-18.



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