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Stories by Dave Good

Paula Boggs Band comes to town

Former Starbucks executive shares her new soul-folk brew at Winston's in O.B.

I had to ask — what did Paula Boggs’s dad say when she announced that she was ditching her career as lead counsel for the Starbucks corporation in exchange for a career as a musician? ...

Blues Hall of Famer John Hammond Jr.

...descended from one of America’s wealthiest capitalists

Inside the protected and ever-dwindling world that is modern blues music, John Hammond Jr. is a rock star. In a notable career that spans back to the 1960s, the Blues Hall of Famer and Grammy ...

Itchy, scratchy, catchy Glasmus

Borderland goth-rock band finding its niche in San Diego scene

Itchy, scratchy techno-tronica that makes my eardrums feel mistreated. Glasmus has that, along with the capacity to re-create the sounds of a ’90s Tijuana disco band. Or weird polit-tronica: “New World Odor,” for example, is ...

The versatile Devotchka

Four players, 12 instruments, their own odd universe

A band named “Girl”: at least that’s what the group’s members (none of whom are Russian, by the way) claim Devotchka stands for in that particular language. No, this is a four-piece based in Colorado, ...

Rolling green

Cathryn Beeks converted an old bread truck into a mobile recording studio and more

“This area is my mobile studio,” Cathryn Beeks says, sitting in the forward passenger area inside an old bread truck painted lime green and black. On Facebook, the singer/songwriter/show producer now also lists her occupation ...

The Sabbitch is back

All-female Sabbath tribute rocks Soda Bar on Saturday

Over the years, Black Sabbath has proven to be an easy mark for the creative tribute band. In a recent issue I wrote about Mac Sabbath, a bona fide tribute that, while keeping the music ...

Los Lobos survives

...with a Mexican-American take on jazzy-bluesy-funky rock-and-roll

Alas, once again Los Lobos got snubbed by the nominating committee that oversees who does and who does not enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans have expressed indignation via social media, but ...

Honky-tonk outsider Wayne "The Train" Hancock hits town

The Texas twanger brings the juke joint to Soda Bar Friday night

Wayne Hancock. His nickname is “the Train,” and his act is what remains of honky-tonk, a scarce form of entertainment these days. In truth, honky-tonk defines a type of venue and an era more than ...

White Buffalo roams in the shadowy parts of life

Jake Smith tours town in support of his latest, Love and the Death of Damnation

The White Buffalo and Jake Smith are one. It’s not an alter ego so much as a nickname that stuck. When he calls the Reader from his home in Los Angeles, I ask him about ...

The holy grail of Christmas presents

Model railroading is the world's greatest hobby

The Internal Revenue Service is on fire! Red-and-blue emergency flashers scat about the structure, but this is a fire that will never, ever be put out. “As you can see,” Nick Pecoraro offers, “the firemen ...

Musicians making movies

We got robot...

What do Stewardess bassist Grant Reinero, Vinyl Junkies record-swap founder Eric Howarth, No Knife’s Brian Desjean and Mitch Wilson, Rebecca and Demetrius Antuna from art-metal band Kata, and Ghetto Blaster guitarist John Cota have in ...

Forty years of Robert Cray

Blues slinger more of a singer?

Forty years of Robert Cray: all the while, some among us are waiting for that guitar of his to quicken into flames, rather than smolder like last night’s fire. Not a very heroic guitar hero, ...

Urban agriculture is what we call it

“I’m not a farmer. I’m a community organizer."

Cats are a problem. We gotta enclose the areas where we’re growing.” Diane Moss breaks it down for a visitor. “You gotta be careful with your compost. It’s composting,” she explains, “and that brings the ...

Honky-tonker Nikki Lane

Country-rock outlaw wants All or Nothin'

Yep, it’s country music through and through, with plenty of South Carolina drawl, reverb, guitar twang, and liberal amounts of pedal-steel guitar to close the deal. But don’t be fooled by Nikki Lane’s alt-rock roots ...

Holly Golightly Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

British duo the Brokeoffs play Casbah Saturday night

When finally we connect by telephone, Holly Golightly is in transit somewhere in Minneapolis, recovering from two weeks of road flu. The conversation is abbreviated by random bouts of coughing. The Brokeoffs — two people, ...

Houndmouth rings the Band's bell

Indiana Americana coming to Belly Up Friday the 13th

Houndmouth is one of those bands for which the songs seem to play themselves, minus fanfare or any particular direction. That’s an illusion, of course. The melodies and the storylines rise above the sloppy musicianship ...

Roots Covenant is me

San Diego reggae band on the trials of being a San Diego reggae band

“The scene here’s really healthy,” says Mike Benge. The Helix High School band director is talking about the popularity of reggae music in San Diego. “It’s one of the more healthy music scenes here, next ...

Death to Bushwalla! Long live Bushwalla!

Trip-hop comic kills off his alter ego

These are the last days to catch Bushwalla performing as Bushwalla. According to his own crowd source funding campaign, the singer/songwriter plans to retire the stage name and alter ego he has performed as for ...

Blues bad boy Jonny Lang grows up

Lang takes the stage at Belly Up on Tuesday

Years ago, blues guitarist Walter Trout (who recently came back from the near-dead) saw the handwriting on the wall. “Every town I go to has got its own teenaged guitar slinger these days,” he complained ...

Seattle sludge slingers

Mudhoney's back at Casbah Saturday night!

Possibly no one that saw this band live in 1988 expected them to be around for more than a few weeks, let alone 30 years, and not because they were awful, but because Mudhoney was ...

Gram Rabbit's desert space rocktronica

Jesika von Rabbit's band hops into Belly Up on Wednesday

Gram Rabbit, from Joshua Tree, California, has been around for at least a decade and has released several albums, beginning with 2004’s Music to Start a Cult To. An underwear manufacturer broke them out in ...

Year-long La Mesa Village renovation takes its toll

New sidewalks, no customers

Sometime during the final weekend of August, Ari Bejar made a decision that would reverberate throughout the downtown La Mesa Village. He carefully hand-lettered his final message in chalk on a menu board, and come ...

A Phil Woods thing

Charles McPherson remembers the Grammy-winning jazz-sax player

“The last gig I played with Phil Woods was in April, in Newark, New Jersey,” hometown bebop saxophonist Charles McPherson tells the Reader. “It was one of his last shows. It was kind of a ...

Beth Hart: The blues in tattoos

The saucy singer hits Belly Up Friday night

She is the embodiment of every one of the best of the blues stylists I grew up listening to during the ’60s and the ’70s. Beth Hart has got Janis Joplin and Etta James and ...

Trending: Rock bands that do R&B

Leading the way: Vintage Trouble

It’s the new big thing: pairing a soul-singing frontman with a hard-driving rock outfit. Vintage Trouble may be to blame (in part) for the success of the trend. They’ve been strong ever since they went ...

Jackson Boone's hippie heart

Portlandian touring through town with his second set of psych-folk, Natural Changes

Starlit has been called one of the best new releases to come out of Portland in the past year. The song collection centers around Jackson Boone’s new-found sobriety, they say. Whatever. Here is a singer/songwriter ...

San Diego radio personality Sue Delaney remembered

Goodbye to Sue

“She raised the bar,” KGB FM morning-show cohost Coe Lewis says of the radio personality who held her same position some 32 years ago. “Sue Delaney was a game-changer,” Lewis explains. “I think she was ...

Professor Longhair's prized pupils

The New Orleans Suspects' musical gumbo can make anything sound like a party

A NOLA super-group, if ever there was one. The New Orleans Suspects started out under a different name a few years ago as the result of some jam sessions at a New Orleans nightclub called ...

The cheeky swagger of Twin Peaks

From Mom's basement to opening dates with Wavves

From one mom’s basement to your ears: the four core members of Twin Peaks (nothing to do with the television series of the same name, they once told a reporter) know each other going back ...

La Mesa Village's Cosmos...closed. Yelp!

Coffee shop (and much more) seems a casualty of sidewalk improvements

Not a good start to the week for early risers or musicians: on Monday morning, September 1, the regulars at Cosmos Coffee Café in La Mesa arrived to find locked doors and a hand-chalked sign ...

Steve 'n' Seagulls fiddle with heavy metal — literally

Finnish folkies play hard-rock covers with old-time gear in four-part harmony

It seemed at first like another Internet prank: last summer, someone posted a video of a quartet of hillbillies out in the snowy woods, surrounded by farm implements and barn animals, playing on accordion, banjo, ...

Homegrown's got a new harvester

Josh Damigo on local radio, bands, and the San Diego Music Awards

“Yeah, Mookie and I are doing Homegrown Hour,” Josh Damigo tells the Reader over lunch at a La Mesa coffee shop. Mookie is San Diego Uptown News reporter Marc “Mookie” Kaczor. “I’ve always thought I ...

Damned North Park

The Damned's drummer Pinch finds solace in Spring Valley

“I know what the weather’s like back home. My wife keeps bloody complaining about it.” This, followed by a case of the giggles. It’s Pinch, the Damned’s drummer of the past 16 years, on the ...

The Aristocrats — hippies on jazz

Trio makes a meal of the Kentucky Meat Shower of 1876

Stranger than fiction by a country mile: the Kentucky meat shower, as reported by the New York Times in March of 1876 was a filthy (and thankfully short-lived) rain of little pieces of raw meat ...

Teagan Taylor's family band

Local singer, jazz-pop trumpeter comes of age

I met Teagan Taylor, the singing pop-jazz trumpeter, a few years ago at a party. Not just any party — it was Larry Zeiger’s pre–New Year’s Eve annual goody. Taylor was in her early teens ...

Good gets Metz

Our pop culture critic likes it loud and Metz II delivers

That a fan base committed themselves to Metz post haste is further proof, I think, of the theory that every person has at least one big primitive scream locked up somewhere deep inside them that, ...

Cowboy Mouth's primal scream

New Orleans–based alt-rock vets set up at Soda Bar Saturday night

Everybody’s got a primal scream locked up inside they just can’t let out, right? Reason enough to go to Cowboy Mouth — they’ll do it for you. I think the fomenting of public catharsis is ...

Three minutes to Nashville

San Diego country singer finds greener pastures

“All my friends and family are here,” country singer/songwriter Suzanne Harper tells the Reader, “but it’s time to go.” Go where? She and her husband Ross, their two children, and a fellow band member named ...

Putting faces to the Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Web-hit psychedelic rock trio sells out Casbah

In 2010 a singer/songwriter and guitarist named Ruban Nielson posted an original track to his Bandcamp site. Pop music bloggers got their hands on it, reposted it all over the internet, and due to the ...

The Producers

They bring out the best in you.

“The producer is an ego booster, a cheer leader, and a critic. It’s all about getting them to do their best work.”

Carlsbad or bust

Annual music festival turns to Kickstarter for support

The simple math works like this: another $8000 needs to be pledged this week or the Carlsbad Music Festival gets a big fat zero. At the time of writing, 32 potential donors have thus far ...

Chappo's call to action

East Coast rock-rollers explore black holes, time warps, and parallel universes

There’s this band called Chappo, and the opening 16 bars of their song “5-0” are a call to action for the generation of us who grew up in the midst of the first wave of ...

A new look for jazz: Natalie Cressman

Trombone vocalist slides into Dizzy's P.B. digs

The new face of jazz (or at least one of them) has tattoos and wears yoga pants. Raised on Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms, with straight-ahead instrumental chops worthy of a Wycliffe Gordon and yet equally ...

G Burns: the screaming red Ferrari of jug bands

Local folkies will take you waaaaaaay back at the Black Cat

“Jug band — the term refers to a specific style of music and a specific historical period,” Clinton Davis tells the Reader. “And most of those bands were in the 1930s and ’40s, and they ...

Willie, Johnny, and Patsy Were Here

Rough and rocky travelin’ led them to Bostonia Ballroom

“Jerry Lee Lewis just beat the hell out of the piano. He used his feet on it. He broke three keys.”

Bully for Bully

The death of grunge left Alicia Bognanno wanting more

The voice does not sound like it should be coming out of that singer’s body. I’m talking about Bully’s front person Alicia Bognanno, and I love it when that happens. The unexpected vocal skirmish that ...

Flan's the man

Tim Flannery trades his cleats and glove for a nice pair of boots and an acoustic guitar

The hometown singer/songwriter contingent is possibly the fittest and most obvious of the various music scenes in San Diego. Witness the number of open-mic nights (sometimes two or three a day) at area venues. In ...

Locals going global

San Diego joins the worldwide Make Music Day at Balboa Park

On Sunday, June 21, as part of the Balboa Park Centennial, San Diego will join some 700 cities around the globe in a one-day event called Make Music Day. First launched in France in 1982, ...

Every day is Sunday for Slackers

San Diego ex-pat saxman returns with his rocksteady act

The Slackers from New York City have a San Diego connection: meet David Hillyard, the band’s sax player. Now 45, he was born here and raised in a neighborhood in the northern part of La ...

Cabo or bust

Annual music caravan through Baja turns philanthropic

This is how Jonathan Savage’s email begins: “It isn’t often I ask for help with my extra-curricular activities, but I’m in need of a little extra financial push to kick off a fundraising campaign for ...

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