Otis Taylor

BLUE’S CLUES: Bessie Smith will surely be looking down from her place in music legend heaven on Thursday, September 20, but this time she won’t be singing the “St. Louis Blues.” Instead, she will witness the evolution of the style of music she made so popular back in the 1920s. Otis Taylor brings his “trance blues” to the Midland School Amphitheatre in Los Olivos, making the transition from summer to autumn a little more soulful. Though he often bends his notes around lyrics that range in topic from murder to homelessness, Taylor isn’t all about doom and gloom. Whether he’s plucking a banjo or strumming a mandolin, Taylor’s atmospheric songs will put any eager listener into a blues-induced daze. Midland Amphitheatre, 5100 Figueroa Mtn. Rd., Los Olivos. Call 688-5114 or visit for details. -Jessica Small

HOMEGROWN: It’s time once again for the Santa Barbara Songwriter Showcase. Rich Phillips-this month’s main act-is a mastermind of accessible and inspiring lyrics and chords. Phillips will dominate the stage with Kenny Edwards, who will showcase a slew of tragically beautiful sounds from his debut CD, Ordinary Man. Opening acts include pianist/guitarist/vocalist Delaney Gibson, who has been dubbed a “pop/alternativixen,” and guitarist Lanny Sherwin, a multiple award-winning children’s songwriter. All four artists promise to mix up Thursday’s showcase into an evening of creative diversity. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see and hear the newest display of Santa Barbara talent Thursday, September 20 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Jensen Guitar Mainstage, 2905 De la Vina St. -Stephanie Flint

BLUE EGGS AND HAM: Not long ago, when you wanted to hear honkin’ harmonicas and tasty blues grooves deeper than the dish of your pizza, you went to Chicago. Some say that the golden age of Chicago blues has come and gone, but Nick Moss & the Flip Tops hope to prove otherwise. Moss and company have a sound as big as the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s, as well as the approval of blues deity Buddy Guy. What more could you ask for? How about a scrumptious breakfast buffet? You can have the best of both worlds during SOhO’s Blues Brunch on Saturday, September 22 at 1 p.m., 1221 State St. Call 962-7776 for reservations or visit sohosb.com. -Tyler Vickers

PARTY ON: It’s never a good idea to over-think rock. Just ask the Supersuckers, who boast such classics as “Hungover Together,” “Pretty Fucked Up,” and “Must’ve Been High.” Showing a love for both rock and country, the Supersuckers scratch out a musical hybrid all their own while earning a ballsy live reputation. They have recently announced their North American tour dates-including an appearance at Farm Aid, an Illinois benefit concert made famous by the likes of Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Bob Dylan. Don’t take it from us; see for yourself when they come to Velvet Jones (423 State St.) for a beer-guzzling good time on Friday, September 21. Call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com for info. -Levi Michaels

FAR AND AWAY: Santa Barbara-born world traveler Joss Jaffe returns to town on Sunday, September 23 for a special night of Eastern-tinged, reggae-infused music. Jaffe’s performance will celebrate the release of his debut album, titled Off Into the Unknown. A formally trained-and skillfully talented-tabla player, Joffe has practiced devotional chanting since he was a young boy, and studied drumming with Nepalese master Homnath Upadhyaya. Joining him on stage at SOhO will be S.B. world music staples the Dream Continuum. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online at sohosb.com. -Aly Comingore

METAL 101: Head on down to Velvet Jones for a night of brutally forceful metal with a group of guys who certainly know how to rock. Retrodemon-an S.B. super-group composed of band members from Ultraspank, Indica, Kronix, Creature Feature, and Scarecrow-will be celebrating the release of their new CD Demonstration with fellow metalheads Easy Chief and Holeshot. With influences like Black Sabbath, early Metallica, and Queens of the Stone Age, it’s no surprise that Retrodemon knows how to “rock furiously” and remind us all what metal bands are supposed to sound like. After so many years of jamming under their belts, Retrodemon will easily show us a thing or two about partying hard and rocking even harder. The ruckus starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 22. Call 965-8676 or visit velvet-jones.com for details. -SF

Phil Lesh

BUILT TO LAST: As summer nears its end, the Santa Barbara Bowl seems determined to keep the good times rollin’. On Saturday, September 22, head up the hill for a very special evening of jam rock with Phil Lesh & Friends. The former Deadhead will take to the stage alongside friends Jackie Green, Larry Campbell, John Molo, and Steve Molitz at 6 p.m. Tickets range from $44.50 to $55.50 and can be purchased online at . -AC


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