The local School of Rock is where Jordan Krimston got his start with bands such as Pandemonium and Lua. “The more important things that I think students usually take away from School of Rock are staying humble and grounded and just being more thoughtful, on and off stage,” he tells the Reader. “I was teaching there for a little bit, and it’s remarkable to see how much kids grow socially through music.” His next group, Big Bad Buffalo, released their debut 2012 EP while Krimston was still in high school. “I don’t think of myself as a prodigy, that’s more of what Gilbert Castellanos’ Young Lions are or something. I’ve just always been obsessed with music and noise, and I definitely can attribute that to my Deadhead parents.” Among his other musical projects are Band Argument (an analog-digital hybrid), Weatherbox, and Miss New Buddha. His debut solo EP Turn the Page was released last year, featuring guest turns from guitarist Joey Harris (Beat Farmers) and the wizard of the Wurlitzer, Jackson Mansfield (the Obsessives). A new solo LP called Bushwacking is due out February 5, which Krimston says was “recorded pre-Covid, but this has basically been a quarantine bedroom record.”
“Drinking a beer is easy,” says Fuzz-Huzzi singer-guitarist Allen Camp. “Writing, recording, and releasing a song is not. But we’re not letting covid stop us. Fuzz-Huzzi has been busier than ever in the studio. We are creating, writing, recording, and releasing a song on Spotify every 14 days, then we’re celebrating with a beer.” The band, which has seen an almost complete roster turnover and announced multiple hiatuses since forming in Imperial Beach circa 1994, plays Southern California rock with an indie feel and a classic-rock approach, specializing in a funky, bluesy alt-vibe. Their previous album Ghosts came out in September last year, promoted with singles such as the immodestly titled “I Am Rock N Roll.” Their current 14-day Song Challenge kicked off September 4 with “Let It Shine,” including a two-fer of Christmas songs on November 27, “Angels Heard on High” and “Little Drummer Boy.” The most recent track debuted December 25: “Today,” a listener-suggested acoustic version of a previously released song. “We had so much fun that we recorded nine unplugged tracks for an album called Lost Dog that we’re releasing in January with an outtake reel,” says Camp.
Folk Uke is a comedic acoustic duo featuring Willie Nelson’s daughter Amy Nelson and Arlo Guthrie’s daughter Cathy Guthrie. The two met in the late 1990s, when both worked at Croce’s downtown restaurant bar run by Jim Croce’s widow. Hitting it off, Nelson took Guthrie to buy her first ukulele, and soon they were writing songs together and appearing at outdoor concerts such as Woody Fest, the annual Oklahoma celebration of Guthrie’s grandfather. Since recording their self-titled debut album in 2005, they released follow-ups in 2011 (Reincarnation) and 2016 (Starfucker), with both of their famous fathers making guest appearances. Their song from the Orange is the New Black soundtrack, “Motherfucker Got Fucked Up,” hit number one on Spotify. The pair just dropped two new tracks, “Don’t Bite Beyoncé” (“My fiancé knows Beyoncé, but it doesn’t faze me ‘cause I’m friends with Jay Z”) and a Trump-roast called “Small One” (“And then in the debate you were so proud, you bragged out loud, about how well you are endowed, but you must have a small one to act like such a big one”). A cartoon video for the latter track is streaming online, animated by Amy’s brother Micah Nelson and his wife Alex Dascalu Nelson (aka Particle Kid and Sisterlu).
Raised in Mexico City, Falling Doves frontman Christopher Leyva made his solo debut in 2008 solo with Singled Out, produced by fellow troubadour Lee Coulter and nominated for Best Local Recording at the San Diego Music Awards. His 2009 release, 27, was nominated for two SDMAs. “Looks like I’m headed to Abbey Road in the age of the pandemic,” says Leyva, currently recording a solo album called Liverpool at the iconic British recording studio made famous by the Beatles. “I’m still somehow in this dream, you know.” Leyva has been retracing the Fab Four’s steps by playing overseas clubs from the Beatles’ history (places like the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg Germany), posing for a statue of the late bassist Stu Sutcliffe, and meeting up with Pete Best, which led to performing locally with the original Beatles drummer at Queen Bee’s in March 2018. The Abbey Road sessions are being done with engineer-producer Chris Bolster (Foo Fighters, Kate Bush, Oasis), with pre-production already completed in Liverpool at Motor Museum and Liverpool Sound Distillery. “I’m still here making music,” says Leyva, “and it’s a cool new album in the midst of the grim reality we’re all in.”
The daughter of a Lebanese father and a Mexican mother, native San Diegan Sacha Boutros grew up playing soccer, attending the University of San Diego on an athletic and academic scholarship. She trained on the field with hall-of-famer Jean Willrich and played soccer semi-professionally for ten years before choosing to pursue a full-time career as a jazz singer. Boutros has gone on to open for Julio Iglesias and Marvin Hamlisch, as well as performing at jazz festivals across the U.S. and Mexico, with Riviera magazine once naming her as one of the “hottest music artists to come out of San Diego.” Over the course of her career, which has included multiple overseas residencies in France, she also learned to speak French, Italian, Spanish, and English, as well as a bit of Arabic, Portuguese, and Swiss-German. “I am always learning,” she says. “I am classically trained, yes sir, I sing opera and have a four-octave range.” Boutros has a new single now available for streaming or purchase online, inspired by her recent musical sojourns overseas (where she’s becoming a marquee headliner), “Reviens-Moi.”