With the 2009 Bowl season already off and running, it’s news to no one that this summer is going to be a biggie for live music fans. To get things started off right, SOhO will play host to Latin-infused hip-hoppers SambaD¡and reggae rockersThe Goodlandfor the venue’s annual Summer Solstice celebration on Saturday, June 20. Also coming up, the club will welcome Hotel Cafe staple Greg Laswell on Thursday, June 25; San Fran blues rockers The Stone Foxes on Sunday, July 5; and Washington-based pop folkster Tyrone Wells on Wednesday, July 8.
For those looking for an extra-special triple bill, we suggest stopping by the Lobero Theatre on Saturday, July 11, when Sings Like Hell (singslikehell.com) presents acclaimed alt-country voice Alejandro Escovedo with Chuck Prophet and special guest David Pulkingham. Also that night, Club Mercy (clubmercy.com) brings Portland indie roots rockers Blitzen Trapper back to town with openers-and fellow P-Town dwellers-Loch Lomond. The pair will play Velvet Jones at 9 p.m. Further north, heralded country rocker (and big sis to Coral Sea frontman Rey Villalobos) Gina Villalobos will release her new full-length, Days on Their Side, at Goleta’s Mercury Lounge.
On Sunday, July 12, the Santa Barbara Bowl kicks things into high gear with the Blazed and Confused Tour, featuring rap, rock, and everything in between from the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Snoop Dogg, Stephen Marley, and Mickey Avalon. Two days later, the Granada Theatre plays host to a rare pop show, courtesy of seminal folk duo Indigo Girls, who currently are touring in support of their new release, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. The show will be opened by critically acclaimed Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon. Maryland crooner Eric Hutchinson will continue the singer/songwriter trend with a show at Velvet Joneson Tuesday, July 21, in support of his latest, Sounds Like This, and Canadian pop-crooner-turned-country-superstar Jewel will play Santa Ynez’s Chumash Casino on Thursday, July 23.
Late July brings another string of can’t-miss shows from the folks at Club Mercy, including Brazilian samba lover and hip-hop heavyweight Curumin at the Mercury Lounge on Friday, July 24; reggae legend Luciano at SOhO on Tuesday, July 28; and the much anticipated rescheduling of San Fran avant garde rockers, Deerhoof, who’ll hit Velvet Jones with openers oso on Thursday, July 30. The next night, Santa Barbara jam rock giants Animal Liberation Orchestra will take to SOhO for a two-night residency on Friday, July 31, and Saturday, August 1. And on Wednesday, August 19, the club will welcome alt-hip-hop pioneers Arrested Development, who currently are touring in support of their comeback release, Since the Last Time.
Gwen Stefani and her seminal ’90s ska rock band No Doubt will make their big return to S.B. on Wednesday, August 5, when they play the Santa Barbara Bowl with fellow female-fronted powerhouse The Sounds. And following Gwen’s stop through town, we’ll get a heavy dose of girl power by way of jazz star Diana Krall (Sun., Aug. 23) and the rescheduled concert from local pop heroine Katy Perry(Sun., Aug. 30), both at the Bowl, and jazz chanteuse Jessica Fichot at SOhO (Mon., Aug. 24).
Rounding out the summer season, the Bowl plays host to New Wave monolith Depeche Modeand Swedish indie import Peter, Bjorn & Johnon Thursday, August 20. Sings Like Hell brings gypsy swingers the Belleville Outfit and Brooklyn folkie Nels Andrews to the Lobero on Saturday, August 29. And on Saturday, September 5, R&B crooner John Legend will team up with the soulful India.Arie for a show at the S.B. Bowl. Not too shabby for a town that doesn’t see its hottest month-at least weather-wise-until September.