Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Jason Ricci in San Jose Sunday; but otherwise, there is no live town like Santa Cruz
Jason Ricci, one of my favorite artists in the world, plays JJ's Blues in San Jose on Stevens Creek Sunday, for $12 or some pittance.
You will thank me. If you like jam bands, he's got the best on the road right now. If you like the blues, he's all over it.
If you remember the days when Hendrix and the Doors blazed paths across the country---or if you don't, and you want to revel in music as exciting as that era's before anyone else knows about it--this is your chance.
The guy covers everyone from Little Walter to Sun Ra and has some great originals.
I saw some of his competition last night in Santa Cruz, John Popper and Blues Traveler, who were better than I expected, but lean more toward pop and jamming than anything else.
Popper and crew rifled through songs, stopping only once or twice to acknowledge the audience. I think he needs to connect more, to let them digest what is going on instead of blazing through it all.
Even the Dead, the jammiest of all jam bands, stopped to tune and chat occasionally.
Blues Traveler played the Catalyst. Down the street, at the Crepe Place, the once and future Bob Dylan, Dan Bern held court, for an acoustic one-man set of old and new material.
Bern is a contagious performer, with Dylanesque wordplay, and catchy tunes, who spits it out so well, he makes it look easy.
Hard to believe this small college town can support so much live music on a Tuesday. But there's more tonight: "African Artist of the Century" Youssou N'Dour plays the Rio Theatre, while Bern plays again at the Crepe Place across the street.