THANKS TO GIVE: It may not always feel like it, but there is still a lot to be grateful for. You’re alive, for one, and with that comes daily surprises from the life yet unlived, each day of present and future unfolding with a sky and air supply and the sound of birds, reasons to feel alive. And if your ears still function, you can take in music, that life-giving thing, and they will praise you in thanks for the feast of sound.
So should your hungry ears lead you to the streets of downtown S.B. and all related crossroads with your buddies from back in the day, you will likely be hitting up the bars. And let me tell you: If you like live music with your reunions, you’ll have a lot to be grateful for.
REUNITE THE NIGHT: The Brewhouse (229 W. Montecito St.) is always a great and lively option to get back together with friends or family, and this week they will have entertainment throughout the week, with Joe Lombardo’s classic rock and grooves on Wednesday, November 23, reggae favorites One Two Tree on Friday, November 25, acoustic R&B brothers the Kinsellas on Saturday, November 26, and then the bluesy duo Stiff Pickle on Wednesday, November 30, all beginning at 8:30 p.m.
If you, like me, love to reunite with old pals at the Mercury Lounge (5871 Hollister Ave., Goleta), then maybe we’ll bump into each other on Wednesday, November 23, when The Tens touch down. Perhaps you’re more in a James Joyce mood (513 State St.), where the Kinsellas keep up their Friday-night slot, and the venerable Ulysses jazz outfit holds it down Saturday, both at 7:30 p.m.
PARK YOUR EARS: Perhaps you recall strolling along the cozy concrete confines of Parking Lot 9 one dark night and hearing the dulcet tones of Bruce Goldish, the guitar master whose expressive finger-style guitar had a way of making even the most mundane midnight hour magical. Even though the city tried to shut him down, his music rings on, and you may hear him at the fiery and starlit back porch of Blush Restaurant + Lounge on Wednesday, November 30, starting at 7 p.m.
COLD SPRINGS ETERNAL: Thanksgiving is a great time to have a holiday in your own city, and the Cold Spring Tavern (5995 Stagecoach Rd.) is just far away and secluded enough to feel as if you’re a world apart from S.B. Keeping up their traditions as traditions go, a great roundup of Americana, bluegrass, and folk musicians fill out the weekend, with Grass Mountain standing tall on Friday, November 25, at 7 p.m.; beachy rockers Green Flag Summer at 2 p.m. and the travelin’ sounds of the Bryan Titus Trio at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 26; and some post-turkey tri-tip blues revival with Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan at 1:15 p.m. and Little Jonny and the Giants at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 27.
MUSIC OF THE WORLD: After you’ve done your seasonal culinary pledge to all things traditionally and perhaps retroactively American, use Black Friday to open your palate to flavors from across the world, just as multiculturally American now as the turkey feasts. Reggae-influenced peace-bringer Zephan McIntyre brings his good vibes music to Brasil Arts Café (1230 State St.) on Friday, November 25, 7 p.m., while venerable world traveler David Segall will bring his groovy and peaceful music to Seven Bar & Kitchen (224 Helena Ave.) on Sunday, November 27, at 7:30 p.m.