FEELIN’ IRIE: Arguably the best
California-grown reggae band touring today, Soul Majestic returns
to Santa Barbara this week for what is sure to be a skank-heavy and
brick-rockin’ good time at SOhO this Friday, January 26. Headed up
by S.B.-native Eric-I (aka Eric Iverson), the Santa Cruz-based band
has had more than its fair share of epic shows throughout the years
in the 805, including a magical late-summer affair at El Capitan
Canyon a few years back. A seven-member band — complete with a
wicked percussion section, the occasional horn or two, and the
spine-tingling, smile-making vocals of Oriana Sanders — the group
is taking time out from recording its new studio album to come and
give concert goers a crash course in roots rock done right.

Speaking last week on the telephone, Eric-I expressed his
excitement about coming home and trying out some of the band’s new
material. “What we’re doing now is music that means something to us
and makes us happy. … I think it’s going to be a great night,” he

And it’s about time. In the day and age of fading reggae stars
and half-ass efforts by one-time legends, Soul Majestic delivers an
invigorating and full-tilt, ass-shaking show that simultaneously
reminds you of the power of the Jamaican sound and proves that good
reggae is far from dead. And with a cover charge of only $10 and
Eric-I’s forecast of two very long sets, this Friday looks to be
yet another special evening with that sweet Majestic music.
 — Ethan Stewart ISLAND
Singer/songwriter Makana comes to S.B. by way
of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. But don’t be fooled by his young and handsome
face — this bright talent has been performing for more than 20
years and has shared the stage with such acts as Sting, Santana,
Michael Franti, and local favorite, Jack Johnson. Although he has
given up the ukulele, Makana still incorporates traditional
Hawaiian sounds in his set, as well as bluegrass, rock, and folk.
This international blend of music with an island twist is a
first-class cure for the mid-work-week blues. The show and benefit
for the local Surfrider Foundation is Tuesday, January 30 at 7:30
p.m. at SOhO.  — Nicole de Ayora

RECORD BREAKER: For those of you jonesing for
your weekly jazz fix, legend Al Jarreau will take the stage at the
Chumash Casino Resort this Friday, January 26. A former nightclub
singer at the Troubadour, Jarreau is a multifaceted musical veteran
and the only person in history to have Grammys in three separate
categories: jazz, pop, and R&B. And if that’s not enough for
ya, how about this tidbit: Jarreau was recently honored by having a
muffin named after him. Seriously. Isn’t that reason enough to hit
the road for the Chumash?  — Sheyla Molho

FIDDLERS ON THE ROAD: Longtime stompers of S.B.
soil, Peter Feldmann and the Very Lonesome Boys take their
folk-tinged bluegrass over the hill to the Santa Ynez Valley. The
five-piece band — now in its 10th year and credited with founding
the S.B. Old Town Fiddlers’ Convention — will take the stage at
Santa Ynez Grange Hall this Saturday, January 27 at 8 p.m.
— Sarah Hammill

ELEMENTAL ELECTRIC: After a holiday lull, the
music scene picks back up where it left off with a bevy of
selections for just about any music lover. Country blues master
John Long will take the stage for the Santa Barbara Blues Society’s
annual Member Appreciation Show on Saturday, January 27 at 7 p.m.
in Warren Hall at Earl Warren Showgrounds. On the downtown circuit,
Indy employee Will Engel shows his after-hours side with a night of
music featuring friends Ted Hoagland and Samantha Tobey, to debut
his latest release This Could be Heaven at SOhO on Wednesday,
January 31 at 7:30 p.m. Later in the week, catch reeling renditions
of Pink Floyd with Which One’s Pink? The powerhouse breaks it down
at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31 at SOhO.  — NdA
GENIUS’S VELVET LANDING: The string of solid
hip-hop continues at the Velvet Jones this weekend, when Genius,
aka GZA (pronounced “jizza”), of the Wu Tang Clan comes to the
State Street club on Friday, January 26, with DJ Muggs of Cypress
Hill fame. GZA, whose post-Wu solo effort Liquid Swords still
shines as one of the lyrical gems of the ’90s, and Muggs
collaborated on last year’s critically acclaimed Grandmasters
album. Known for his word-heavy raps describing the urban
underworld through a lens of militant spiritualism, GZA remains a
force of quality in a genre increasingly weighted down by
commercialism and crap. And, this month, GZA and the rest of the Wu
Tang Clan dropped Unreleased — which is a remixed album of
never-before-heard tracks — and Natural Selection 2.0: A Digital
Survival Guide, a digital-only release featuring the help of Pete
Rock, Talib Kweli, and MF Doom. Friends showing up for Friday’s
show include Akil of Jurassic 5, fellow clanmember Killah Priest,
and Self Scientific.  — Matt Kettmann


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