ANGER MANAGEMENT: Violinist and fiddler
Darol Anger began the contemporary string-band
movement three decades ago. He helped mastermind the incorporation
of stringed instruments into contemporary styles and genres such as
jazz, folk, Cajun, and “newgrass.” Since 1977 he has played with
numerous groups, soloed on two dozen records, and helped to produce
many more. He teaches regularly at the Berklee College of Music and
the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, and he has led seminars at reputable
universities around the world. On Thursday, March 16, Anger will
play at SOhO with his current group, American Fiddle
(featuring guitar star Scott
). Fans can expect to hear renditions of Anger’s
past work as well as selections from the quartet’s upcoming album,
Generation Nation, due out April 4. The album features the sounds
of “new acoustic music,” a style forged by Anger years ago, and
combines it with the youthful vision and energy of Anger’s young
bandmates. For tickets, call 962-7776. — Alastair

COLOMBIA’S FINEST: Translating the essence of
Colombia’s musical heritage through accordion-narrated tales,
Very Be Careful is the torchbearer for a vintage
sound. Representing the Vallenato musical tradition of its homeland
is a matter of pride for the quintet. Apparently the commitment to
making people dance is pretty serious too. American ears and feet
are undoubtedly ready to join in on the fun.

Vallenato is a style influenced by a combination of African,
European, and Colombian rhythm and folkloric sounds. The acordeón,
the German incarnation of the instrument, is the solidifying
element. The rest of the eclectic lineup includes bajo (bass),
guacharaca (a notched wooden stick used for percussion), caja
(bongo), and campana (goat skin drum). Very Be Careful has been at
it since ’98, “breaking the barriers of cool and raising the stakes
of hip.” Riding the wave of its newest album, ÑACAS, VBC rolls into
UCSB’s Multicultural Center Theater on Friday, March 10. Call
893-8411. — Tyler Blue

A SPANKIN’ NEW DVD: With a sound best described
as country-blues and a god-like reputation in Japan, the
Asylum Street Spankers have consistently wowed the
masses with more than 1,500 shows in 43 states and 10 countries.
For the band, variety is definitely the spice of life. They have
almost 50 band members with an array of instruments all played
acoustic-style, including but not limited to: piano, guitar,
violin, bass, clarinet, harmonica, banjo, and drums. Though they
have typical blues songs about love troubles, they throw in a few
twists with lyrics about beer and marijuana just to make things
exciting. Together for 10 years, the Spankers just put out their
first DVD called Reassembly in order to “have a record of what
their live show is like” according to Wammo, the band’s creative
director (one of his many roles). Catch them live at SOhO at 8 p.m.
on Sunday, March 12. — Patrick Brogan

MIXED MELODIES: Steve Gillette and
Cindy Mangsen have found the perfect combination
of music, warmth, and humor that have delighted audiences across
North America and Europe. Gillette is the main songwriter of the
duo, whose original tunes have been recorded by more than 100
artists since 1966. He is known for his finger-picking guitar
style — with a flat-pick and two fingers — that nicely complements
his rich baritone. Cindy Mangsen writes songs as well, but focuses
more on the art of songkeeping, the collecting and keeping of
traditional songs that are rich in myth and legend. She too plays
the guitar, but also dazzles on the concertina and the banjo.
Within the last two decades Mangsen has performed on duet
albums — hailed by some as two of the most significant traditional
folk recordings of the ’90s — with Anne Hills and
Priscilla Herdman. Gillette and Mangsen are part
of the Song Tree Concert Series that will take place at the Live
Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Goleta on Friday, March
10, at 7:30 p.m. — PB


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