Ken Leighton

Ken Leighton contributes regularly to the Reader's Blurt music column.

Articles by Ken Leighton

Pedal to the metal

"There are at least 1000 guitarists for every steel-guitar player."

When retired veterinarian Jim Palenscar opened the Steel Guitars of North County store 15 years ago, he knew his storefront was destined to be more about personal gratification than a business slam-dunk. “It’s such a ...

Youngblood blues

Casey Hensley's record deal avoids the sometimes messy

To help launch her career internationally, North County blues belter Casey Hensley turned to Vizztone Records’ more streamlined approach to market her first album, Casey Hensley Live, featuring Laura Chavez, released three weeks ago. “This ...

Goodnight, Irenic

North Park church rumored to be ending band appearances

The Irenic, the 70-year-old North Park church building that for the past six years doubled as a 450-capacity music venue, seemed to be the perfect place for headliners who wanted an all-ages venue but were ...

Spice Pistols aim to entertain

"What was missing was the visual aspect of a live show."

The point of the Spice Pistols — a bunch of middle-aged rocker dudes who sing Spice Girls songs as if they were played by the Sex Pistols — is not just about gender-bending camp. ”It’s ...

Finnegan Blue's conga line starts to move

"We finally clawed our way into the North Park Festival of the Arts.”

Anna Lee Fleming was born and raised in North Park. “I have definitely seen a transition,” says the founder/songwriter/lead singer of Finnegan Blue. “When I was first going to school my parents wouldn’t let me ...

Reggae-ready for 2018

Longtime President's Day concert rebranded "Boomshaka"

As noted in a September 6 “Blurt” article, the popularity of reggae was pointing to a resurrection of the all-day reggae festival that had been held at the Valley View Casino Center (Sports Arena) every ...

Boom — new music fest in I.B.

P.O.D. partners with Mike Halloran for summer concert pierside

P.O.D., the South Bay rap-metal band that broke out 25 years ago with radio hits such as “Alive” and “Youth of the Nation,” was on the radio recently to announce its Lower Left Fest, a ...

And the alt-rock-radio war raged on

Big shows, longtime DJs, and Art Laboe cram into the 94/9 vs. 91X picture frame

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Timothy Joseph never imagined his band playing the Sports Arena, which over 50 years has also hosted everyone from Bowie to Zeppelin. The Buckfast Superbee indie-rock quartet launched in 1997 and went dormant eight ...

Longtime busker in the house

Lena Evans isn’t done playing the street — she’s done living there

Homelessness tormented singer/songwriter Lena Evans for much of the past two decades. “I grew up in San Diego. I’ve been homeless on and off since I was 14 by simple choices and mistakes I made ...

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