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San Diego supergroups invade the Local Music Database

New ensembles mixing and matching players from established bands

Jack City Blues Band
Jack City Blues Band

The most recent band pages in the Local Music Database include several new “supergroups,” mixing up players from established — and mostly still extant — ensembles.

Jack City Blues Band plays boogie, jump, swing, and powerhouse blues. Featuring Jack Naughton (guitar) and Sandra Naughton (bass), both inductees in the Western Swing Hall of Fame, along with Eric Alcarez (drums), their album Wide Open Blues was just released.

The Gods-of-Science is a hard-rock-centered and punk-inclined group that includes members of Counterfit, Spare Change, Say Vinyl, and Rochelle Rochelle. Locals can get a first look at their stage show on January 23 at the Casbah.

The Jimmy Lewis Band is a four-piece rock band featuring members of Superunloader, the Styletones, Pocket, and the Grass Heat. Players include Lewis on guitar and vocals, backed by Chris Torres (bass, vocals), Jeff Kelley (drums), and Ben Moore (keyboards).

Nukem was formed in June 2012 by guitarist/vocalist Steve Brogden (Howler) and bassist Don Lauder (formerly of Under the Stone), with the addition of Psychotic Waltz drummer (and local record store owner) Norm Leggio and Cage guitarist Dave Garcia. After opening shows for acts like LeatherWolf and Metal Church, they recently recorded a demo planned for release in early 2014.

Kenseth, Brandon & Jason is a new Sleeping People side project featuring Brandon Relf (Innerds) and Kenseth Thibideau (Thingy, Montalban Quartet). Citing influences like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Slint, Into the Moat, Minus the Bear, Faraquet, King Crimson, and Tool, the group has only performed occasionally, but is reportedly planning to record several tracks.

Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters

Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters mix Lee’s native Texas bayou background with the sounds of Louisiana to create a spicy gumbo of zydeco, Cajun, and New Orleans jazz dance music, playing both original and traditional tunes. A video for the song “Lorainne” can be viewed on their Reader band page, and you can catch them live on February 2 at the Encinitas Library.

Second Cousins, formed in 2012, started as an acoustic trio of guitar, banjo, and mandolin that quickly expanded into a full band, exploring various sonic textures that reinforce the songwriting aesthetic that the band was born from. With folk-inspired songs reinvented through the textures of our times, the group includes Tim McStallion, Baustin Urns, Dillon Casey, and Kirk Portuguez.

Rachel Drexler

Rachel Drexler is a singer and vocal coach who fronts the Pier Group, founded in 1991 and frequently found playing the Escondido Elks Lodge and Trellises. The trio originally began entertaining aboard San Diego's Invader Cruises. After Invader sold its business to Hornblower Dining Yachts, the band remained for another two years before moving to San Diego Harbor Excursions and then taking up residencies at various landlubber venues around town.

Jazz singer Lisa Hightower first came to local notice while working with guitarist Peter Sprague. Her just-released album Conversations, recorded with acoustic guitarist Mark Augustin, was recorded live, with no overdubs, including covers of songs by Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, and Johnny Mercer.

Deadly Birds, formed in 2011, includes Cleveland Jim Gladstone (vocals), Christopher James Oppold (guitar), Daniel Kurtz (drums), and Johnny Rey (bass). You can catch them playing live on December 21 at the Griffin in Linda Vista and on New Year’s Eve at Galligher's Pub & Grill in O.B.

Falling Doves was founded last year by Chris Leyva (Blizzard), who grew up in Mexico City and describes the group as “A collection of old friends and professional touring musicians. The band was made to accompany me and my diverse songwriting catalog,” The ensemble includes drummer Cameron Foley and Italian transplant Stefano Belforte.

“I met Stefano the Saturday night he arrived in Los Angeles, he had literally been here three hours...we had a full band by Monday, and he moved here from Italy. The name the Falling Doves came from an article I read about birds falling all over Italy and Rome, and I just felt, What’s next, you know? End of the world?”

To add or edit a band page in the Local Music Database, begin at Band Page Edits.

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Jack City Blues Band
Jack City Blues Band

The most recent band pages in the Local Music Database include several new “supergroups,” mixing up players from established — and mostly still extant — ensembles.

Jack City Blues Band plays boogie, jump, swing, and powerhouse blues. Featuring Jack Naughton (guitar) and Sandra Naughton (bass), both inductees in the Western Swing Hall of Fame, along with Eric Alcarez (drums), their album Wide Open Blues was just released.

The Gods-of-Science is a hard-rock-centered and punk-inclined group that includes members of Counterfit, Spare Change, Say Vinyl, and Rochelle Rochelle. Locals can get a first look at their stage show on January 23 at the Casbah.

The Jimmy Lewis Band is a four-piece rock band featuring members of Superunloader, the Styletones, Pocket, and the Grass Heat. Players include Lewis on guitar and vocals, backed by Chris Torres (bass, vocals), Jeff Kelley (drums), and Ben Moore (keyboards).

Nukem was formed in June 2012 by guitarist/vocalist Steve Brogden (Howler) and bassist Don Lauder (formerly of Under the Stone), with the addition of Psychotic Waltz drummer (and local record store owner) Norm Leggio and Cage guitarist Dave Garcia. After opening shows for acts like LeatherWolf and Metal Church, they recently recorded a demo planned for release in early 2014.

Kenseth, Brandon & Jason is a new Sleeping People side project featuring Brandon Relf (Innerds) and Kenseth Thibideau (Thingy, Montalban Quartet). Citing influences like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Slint, Into the Moat, Minus the Bear, Faraquet, King Crimson, and Tool, the group has only performed occasionally, but is reportedly planning to record several tracks.

Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters

Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters mix Lee’s native Texas bayou background with the sounds of Louisiana to create a spicy gumbo of zydeco, Cajun, and New Orleans jazz dance music, playing both original and traditional tunes. A video for the song “Lorainne” can be viewed on their Reader band page, and you can catch them live on February 2 at the Encinitas Library.

Second Cousins, formed in 2012, started as an acoustic trio of guitar, banjo, and mandolin that quickly expanded into a full band, exploring various sonic textures that reinforce the songwriting aesthetic that the band was born from. With folk-inspired songs reinvented through the textures of our times, the group includes Tim McStallion, Baustin Urns, Dillon Casey, and Kirk Portuguez.

Rachel Drexler

Rachel Drexler is a singer and vocal coach who fronts the Pier Group, founded in 1991 and frequently found playing the Escondido Elks Lodge and Trellises. The trio originally began entertaining aboard San Diego's Invader Cruises. After Invader sold its business to Hornblower Dining Yachts, the band remained for another two years before moving to San Diego Harbor Excursions and then taking up residencies at various landlubber venues around town.

Jazz singer Lisa Hightower first came to local notice while working with guitarist Peter Sprague. Her just-released album Conversations, recorded with acoustic guitarist Mark Augustin, was recorded live, with no overdubs, including covers of songs by Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, and Johnny Mercer.

Deadly Birds, formed in 2011, includes Cleveland Jim Gladstone (vocals), Christopher James Oppold (guitar), Daniel Kurtz (drums), and Johnny Rey (bass). You can catch them playing live on December 21 at the Griffin in Linda Vista and on New Year’s Eve at Galligher's Pub & Grill in O.B.

Falling Doves was founded last year by Chris Leyva (Blizzard), who grew up in Mexico City and describes the group as “A collection of old friends and professional touring musicians. The band was made to accompany me and my diverse songwriting catalog,” The ensemble includes drummer Cameron Foley and Italian transplant Stefano Belforte.

“I met Stefano the Saturday night he arrived in Los Angeles, he had literally been here three hours...we had a full band by Monday, and he moved here from Italy. The name the Falling Doves came from an article I read about birds falling all over Italy and Rome, and I just felt, What’s next, you know? End of the world?”

To add or edit a band page in the Local Music Database, begin at Band Page Edits.

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If you were to click every band page link in this article, you'd be accessing over 800 pages of Local Music content, including articles and interviews with band members, discographies with track lists and album art, related "upcoming concert" event pages, links to all the other Reader band pages connected with each individual musician, plus several dozen playable MP3s and embedded videos -

Dec. 14, 2013

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