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Trash cans make the best percussion instruments

Delta Spirit, Blaise Guld, Debora Galan, Israel Maldonado, Ryan Hiller

Delta Spirit
Delta Spirit

Alt-rockers Delta Spirit learned their trade by playing a local club circuit that included the Beauty Bar, the Sports Club, and the Ken Club. They first garnered attention while touring with Tokyo Police Club, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and their Monarchy Music labelmates Cold War Kids. The group’s rootsy debut EP I Think I’ve Found It ranked number nine on the Best of ‘07 list at the influential music blog Daytrotter. After making their network TV debut September 3, 2008, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, their song “Trashcan,” featuring actual trashcans used as percussion instruments, became a popular radio hit. Last year, the band teamed up with Deer Tick (a group that has longtime associations and collaborations with Delta Spirit) for the FriendSHIP Tour. They just released the title track of their upcoming synth-heavy sixth album, One is One, due May 20 via New West Records. It’s their second album in only two years, after a six year hiatus preceding their last effort, Into the Wide, and several solo releases from frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez. They’ll play the Belly Up in Solana Beach on May 21.

Blaise Guld

Singer-songwriter Blaise Guld first earned local notice fronting rock-n-reggae group Mad Traffic, later signing with Blindspot Records and releasing a number of solo works. His album Past Forward was nominated Best Pop Album at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards. Early 2016 saw Guld appearing on a vinyl-only local band compilation from Blindspot Records, Sounds From the Stratosphere, also featuring Manual Scan, Super Buffet, Pony Death Ride, and Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra. The record was released on splatter-color vinyl in a deluxe sleeve, limited to 500 copies. Last year saw the release of his collaborative track with synth wave artist, Night Viber, a 4-song EP also named Night Viber. Guld has found steady performance work on local dinner theater stages, with upcoming gigs scheduled at Bellamy’s in Escondido (May 7), the Mission Bay Resort (May 15), and downtown’s Garage Kitchen & Bar (May 28).

Debora Galan

“I go for a groovy vibe,” says lounge singer-percussionist Debora Galan, “mixing old jazz and Latin jazz standards with lounge music, along with whatever surprises I decide to add in.” Born in Madrid, Spain, Galan was singing at family gatherings before they moved to the U.S. when she was eight. After her family moved to Washington DC, “I learned my first Mexican rancheras and was performing them at school functions. By the time I graduated high school I had already had my first paid professional gig. I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life, and that was my dream from that point on.” In 1987 Galan settled in San Diego, where she joined the Carlsbad-based variety band OSM and expanded her repertoire to include gospel and contemporary Christian music. From there, Galan went on to perform with Burt Brion, Steven Ybarra, Deborah Flores, and the Fabulous Pelicans. In 2008 she struck out on her own, appearing around town and on tour as a soloist and with her band Silk. She’ll perform on Saturday, May 7, at La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel, as well as May 29 at the Kona Kai Resort & Marina on Shelter Island.

Israel Maldonado

Acoustic troubadour Israel Maldonado has been performing professionally for over three decades. At the age of seven, he and a group of friends joined Banda Infantil del Dif, a children’s orchestra in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico. At age ten, he began to train in classical guitar. Maldonado moved with his family to Carlsbad when he was 14, learning percussion on the drum line at Carlsbad High School and later joining the guitar ensembles at Palomar College and San Diego State University. After relocating to Point Loma, Maldonado played in a series of Latin-influenced local bands, including Agua Dulce, Sambrasil, Sol E Mar, Puente and a trio called Tres con Todo. He also performs around town solo, hosts open mics, and teaches guitar, bass, and Latin, including Brazilian and AfroCuban percussion, having established his Israel Maldonado Music organization in 1996 when he booked his first club gig at Café Sevilla. He appears Tuesday, May 10, at Cannonball in Mission Beach.

Ryan Hiller

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ryan Hiller describes his music as “a blend of soul, funk, groove, acoustic, jazz, and rock. Most of my gigs around town are solo performances, and they sound a bit different from a whole band. I use a series of pedals including a loop station during my solo gigs, and this allows me to create a much bigger sound than a guitar and microphone alone.” Hiller moved from New Orleans to San Diego in 2006, having played Winstons a few years earlier. “After Katrina, I knew I needed a change,” he says, “and the beautiful women and beaches of sunny California were the perfect lure.” Hiller has performed in acoustic duos, rock trios, hip-hop jazz groups, a twelve-piece horn funk/soul band, and a large format gospel choir with over 50 people. He’s opened up for the Steve Miller Band, Lyle Lovett, Keb Mo, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, John Scofield, Styx, Black Eyed Peas, Chris Issak, and Brandi Carlile. Musical collaborators include T-Bone Burnett, Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s, and singer Jessica Simpson. In addition, his expertise has also garnered him sponsorship from Fender, Taylor Guitars, Sennheiser Microphones, Gator Cases, and LR Baggs Pickups. He plays the Waterbar in Pacific Beach on Thursday, May 12.

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Delta Spirit
Delta Spirit

Alt-rockers Delta Spirit learned their trade by playing a local club circuit that included the Beauty Bar, the Sports Club, and the Ken Club. They first garnered attention while touring with Tokyo Police Club, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and their Monarchy Music labelmates Cold War Kids. The group’s rootsy debut EP I Think I’ve Found It ranked number nine on the Best of ‘07 list at the influential music blog Daytrotter. After making their network TV debut September 3, 2008, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, their song “Trashcan,” featuring actual trashcans used as percussion instruments, became a popular radio hit. Last year, the band teamed up with Deer Tick (a group that has longtime associations and collaborations with Delta Spirit) for the FriendSHIP Tour. They just released the title track of their upcoming synth-heavy sixth album, One is One, due May 20 via New West Records. It’s their second album in only two years, after a six year hiatus preceding their last effort, Into the Wide, and several solo releases from frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez. They’ll play the Belly Up in Solana Beach on May 21.

Blaise Guld

Singer-songwriter Blaise Guld first earned local notice fronting rock-n-reggae group Mad Traffic, later signing with Blindspot Records and releasing a number of solo works. His album Past Forward was nominated Best Pop Album at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards. Early 2016 saw Guld appearing on a vinyl-only local band compilation from Blindspot Records, Sounds From the Stratosphere, also featuring Manual Scan, Super Buffet, Pony Death Ride, and Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra. The record was released on splatter-color vinyl in a deluxe sleeve, limited to 500 copies. Last year saw the release of his collaborative track with synth wave artist, Night Viber, a 4-song EP also named Night Viber. Guld has found steady performance work on local dinner theater stages, with upcoming gigs scheduled at Bellamy’s in Escondido (May 7), the Mission Bay Resort (May 15), and downtown’s Garage Kitchen & Bar (May 28).

Debora Galan

“I go for a groovy vibe,” says lounge singer-percussionist Debora Galan, “mixing old jazz and Latin jazz standards with lounge music, along with whatever surprises I decide to add in.” Born in Madrid, Spain, Galan was singing at family gatherings before they moved to the U.S. when she was eight. After her family moved to Washington DC, “I learned my first Mexican rancheras and was performing them at school functions. By the time I graduated high school I had already had my first paid professional gig. I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life, and that was my dream from that point on.” In 1987 Galan settled in San Diego, where she joined the Carlsbad-based variety band OSM and expanded her repertoire to include gospel and contemporary Christian music. From there, Galan went on to perform with Burt Brion, Steven Ybarra, Deborah Flores, and the Fabulous Pelicans. In 2008 she struck out on her own, appearing around town and on tour as a soloist and with her band Silk. She’ll perform on Saturday, May 7, at La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel, as well as May 29 at the Kona Kai Resort & Marina on Shelter Island.

Israel Maldonado

Acoustic troubadour Israel Maldonado has been performing professionally for over three decades. At the age of seven, he and a group of friends joined Banda Infantil del Dif, a children’s orchestra in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico. At age ten, he began to train in classical guitar. Maldonado moved with his family to Carlsbad when he was 14, learning percussion on the drum line at Carlsbad High School and later joining the guitar ensembles at Palomar College and San Diego State University. After relocating to Point Loma, Maldonado played in a series of Latin-influenced local bands, including Agua Dulce, Sambrasil, Sol E Mar, Puente and a trio called Tres con Todo. He also performs around town solo, hosts open mics, and teaches guitar, bass, and Latin, including Brazilian and AfroCuban percussion, having established his Israel Maldonado Music organization in 1996 when he booked his first club gig at Café Sevilla. He appears Tuesday, May 10, at Cannonball in Mission Beach.

Ryan Hiller

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ryan Hiller describes his music as “a blend of soul, funk, groove, acoustic, jazz, and rock. Most of my gigs around town are solo performances, and they sound a bit different from a whole band. I use a series of pedals including a loop station during my solo gigs, and this allows me to create a much bigger sound than a guitar and microphone alone.” Hiller moved from New Orleans to San Diego in 2006, having played Winstons a few years earlier. “After Katrina, I knew I needed a change,” he says, “and the beautiful women and beaches of sunny California were the perfect lure.” Hiller has performed in acoustic duos, rock trios, hip-hop jazz groups, a twelve-piece horn funk/soul band, and a large format gospel choir with over 50 people. He’s opened up for the Steve Miller Band, Lyle Lovett, Keb Mo, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, John Scofield, Styx, Black Eyed Peas, Chris Issak, and Brandi Carlile. Musical collaborators include T-Bone Burnett, Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s, and singer Jessica Simpson. In addition, his expertise has also garnered him sponsorship from Fender, Taylor Guitars, Sennheiser Microphones, Gator Cases, and LR Baggs Pickups. He plays the Waterbar in Pacific Beach on Thursday, May 12.

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