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Delta Spirit: Together in Long Beach

Matthew Vasquez swears that he still busks for spare change. “I made, like, 30 bucks on a street corner in Kensington, London, a couple of months ago.” He has busked regularly since he was a kid, and even though his band Delta Spirit is now an international touring act, he calls busking one of the most honorable things a musician can do. In fact, had Vasquez (a native Texan who was just passing through San Diego on his way to Los Angeles) not sat down to sing and play guitar outside a bar late one night in the Gaslamp, it is likely that Delta Spirit would never have happened. “I met Brandon [Young] while busking.”

In the beginning, Delta Spirit learned their trade by playing a local club circuit that included the Beauty Bar, the Sports Club, and the Ken Club. They drove to Orange County gigs in a rusted green van they would often spend the night in. They dumpster-dove behind Trader Joe’s (“the best,” says Vasquez, “because they double-wrapped their throwaways”). When a cabin in Julian came available, they stocked up on alcohol and recorded their debut Ode to Sunshine over two five-day sessions.

We talk via phone. I can hear an acoustic guitar chugging out some rustic chords in the background. That’s Kelly Winrich, writing a song out on the front porch. “A lot of songs on History from Below are the product of three years of writing songs in hotel rooms and presenting them to each other at sound check.” Now they write music together, and that they live within walking distance of each other in Long Beach should help that process. “Long Beach is basically like North Park,” says Vasquez, “and all of our close-knit friends just kind of migrated here.”

Darker My Love and the Fling also perform.

DELTA SPIRIT: House of Blues, Friday, December 10, 7:30 p.m. 619-299-2583. $16.

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Praga: Italian at a Czech restaurant in Mexico

Not many pedestrians. No mariachis. And definitely no striped zebra-donkeys.

Matthew Vasquez swears that he still busks for spare change. “I made, like, 30 bucks on a street corner in Kensington, London, a couple of months ago.” He has busked regularly since he was a kid, and even though his band Delta Spirit is now an international touring act, he calls busking one of the most honorable things a musician can do. In fact, had Vasquez (a native Texan who was just passing through San Diego on his way to Los Angeles) not sat down to sing and play guitar outside a bar late one night in the Gaslamp, it is likely that Delta Spirit would never have happened. “I met Brandon [Young] while busking.”

In the beginning, Delta Spirit learned their trade by playing a local club circuit that included the Beauty Bar, the Sports Club, and the Ken Club. They drove to Orange County gigs in a rusted green van they would often spend the night in. They dumpster-dove behind Trader Joe’s (“the best,” says Vasquez, “because they double-wrapped their throwaways”). When a cabin in Julian came available, they stocked up on alcohol and recorded their debut Ode to Sunshine over two five-day sessions.

We talk via phone. I can hear an acoustic guitar chugging out some rustic chords in the background. That’s Kelly Winrich, writing a song out on the front porch. “A lot of songs on History from Below are the product of three years of writing songs in hotel rooms and presenting them to each other at sound check.” Now they write music together, and that they live within walking distance of each other in Long Beach should help that process. “Long Beach is basically like North Park,” says Vasquez, “and all of our close-knit friends just kind of migrated here.”

Darker My Love and the Fling also perform.

DELTA SPIRIT: House of Blues, Friday, December 10, 7:30 p.m. 619-299-2583. $16.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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