Thursday, April 15, 1999
Dave Van Ronk, one of the true legends in folk music, returns to Monterey County for a show at Carleton Hall.
Van Ronk is one of those guys who showed up in the Greenwich Village scene in the early ''60s and influenced most everybody that is anybody. You can''t talk Bob Dylan, or Ramblin'' Jack Elliott, or Joni Mitchell or the generation of distinctive singer/songwriters that followed them. Van Ronk''s unapologetic growl, mixed with his masterful fingerpicking guitar style, broke massive ground for everyone who has followed.
And that alone should be enough to guarantee him a place in American music''s hall of fame. But what''s probably just as significant is Van Ronk''s willingness to explore different kinds of music--from blues to traditional folk to ragtime. And just about every song he sings comes out sounding like it came straight from his soul; it doesn''t matter whether it''s "Teddy Bear''s Picnic" or "Hoochie Koochie Man."
If you didn''t catch him last time he was in town, don''t miss him this time around.
Dave Van Ronk, Friday, 8pm. Carleton Hall, 373-7379.
The hills above Santa Cruz are not the typical breeding place for blues, yet they have spawned one of the most highly touted of the young members of the blues crew. Rusty Zinn, who is still a couple years shy of 30, is no stranger to Santa Cruz audiences, but his appearances in Monterey County have been few and far between.
That''s partly because, for the five years since his critically hailed debut release, Sittin'' and Waitin'', he''s been in demand and touring around the country.
Zinn released his follow-up CD, Confessin'', earlier this year and he''s doing a full-tilt tour in support of the recording, which includes a stop at Doc''s this weekend. According to the press material, Zinn woke up to the blues at age 15 when he first heard a Muddy Waters recording. Listening to his sultry, smoky guitar and vocals, it sounds like Zinn never quite recovered from that first experience. But that isn''t to say that he''s a Muddy imitator: There''s enough West Coast jump and swing to give Zinn his own distinctive sound.
Whether you''re a true blueser or you just want to shake your moneymaker, Zinn''s the guy to fill your prescription.
Rusty Zinn, Saturday, 9pm. Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.
There''s a ton of good string music in town this week, most of it provided by Nina Kelly by way of her Springfest Jamboree.
The jamboree, basically three nights of bluegrass, features some of the hottest names in contemporary bluegrass. The fest kicks off on Thursday with The Fox Family. Sisters Kim (lead vocals, guitar) and Barb (vocals), and brother Joel (banjo, vocals) are joined by fiddle player Brantley Kearnes, who played with Dwight Yoakam for a number of years.
On Sunday, David Parmley and Continental Divide take center stage with their blend of traditional and original songs. Vocalist Parmley first made his name performing with his father Don Parmley''s band, The Bluegrass Cardinals.
The fest winds down on Tuesday with Salamander Crossing, a Boston-based group that crosses over from folk to bluegrass.
Springfest Jamboree: Fox Family, Thursday, 7:30pm; David Parmley and Continental Divide, Sunday, 6:30pm; Salamander Crossing, Tuesday, 7:30pm. All shows at The Media Room. 372-5641.
Also getting in on the string action is Morgan''s, where fiddle/mandolin player Peter Ostroushko is playing.
Ostroushko''s solo debut in 1995, Heart of the Heartland, made it onto the Top 10 list annually compiled by Billboard Editor Timothy White, and won an Indie Award for Acoustic Album of the Year from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. His most recent release, Pilgrims on the Heart Road, is the second in a proposed trilogy of albums that blend folk, country, classical (sort of) and even a taste of Latin percussion. It''s an interesting album that keeps your ears on their toes as it melts from the loving waltz rhythm of "Twilight of Our Years" to the Randy Newman-esque "My People" to the intense ballad "Down on the Plain of Reeds," about the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam war.
Over the years, Ostroushko has been a sought-after session musician who first appeared on Bob Dylan''s 1974 Blood on the Tracks. Since then, he''s appeared on more than 100 albums for artists that include Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal and Chet Atkins.
Peter Ostroushko, Tuesday, 8pm. Morgan''s Coffee and Tea, 655-6868.
And on Saturday, vocalist Mary Anne Randl breaks out of her usual jazz genre for a folkish concert with Ames Anderson (mandolin, guitar, dobro, vocals) and special guest Amy Krupsky (Celtic harp). Randl and Ames have teamed up as a regularly performing duo called Simple Pleasures with a list of local performance dates stretching into July.
Simple Pleasures, Saturday, 8pm. The Media Room, 373-7379.