Sure, thousands of out-of-towners are coming through this weekend for the Santa Cruz Blues Festival, but there is plenty of music to hear at night for the locals, also.
Moe's Alley, off Soquel Drive by the Kids R Us, is the spot where the festival musicians play their "after" shows and can be home to some surprise jam sessions. On Friday night, Moe's offers hot New Orleans newcomer, Mia Borders (listen here), and San Jose-grown blues man, Chris Cain (hear here).
Borders was a big hit at the San Jose Jazz Festival last year, where I thought she was smoking hot. Cain, well, he blows me away every time I hear him. He's the lesser-known successor to B.B. King. Tickets are $15 at the door for this 9 p.m. show. Details. here.
On Satuday, Moe's offers up California folk rock slinger Dave Alvin, formerly with the Blasters and X and the Knitters. He debuts his new band, the Guilty Ones. He's irresistible, dark and poetic. Check him here.
Sunday, it's Tommy Castro, who may be the biggest thing yet to come from San Jose. He's been rewarded in Memphis with a boatload of blues awards, and he never seems to stop touring and bringing down the house. Listen up. Tickets are $20 in advance and $20 at the door for both of these shows.
The Crepe Place is the place to catch up-and-coming stars long before they are stars. Lydia Loveless, a country singer with balls, according to her reviews, sounds like she's got a bright future. Columbus-born, with strong doses of Patsy Cline, this youngster is too young to sound so hard. That's what I like about her. Check it out.
It's $8 at the door for her 9 p.m. show, opened by Steven Griswold.
Saturday afternoon at 1:30, the Crepe has a free belly-dancing festival, which sounds like the perfect accompaniment for some late-morning breakfast crepes.
Then at 9 p.m., it hosts Santa Cruz soul band, the Inciters, which has some sweet singers and soulful horns. Check out the Inciters here. Tasty, right?
The band is teamed with Riverside ska revivoes, the Revivers. Check it out, mon, here.