Donavon Frankenreiter

Known for laid-back surf grooves and rich, honey-thick vocals, surfer-musician Donavon Frankenreiter sings from his heart. His breezy, positive songs deal with faith and joy, love and loss, self-examination and freedom. A longtime friend of Jack Johnson, the noted surfer makes his home in Hawaii with his wife and two sons. Donavon Frankenreiter’s easygoing simplicity resonates with his loyal fans, who enjoy his infectious warmth, polished song craft, and surf-folk-rock grooves with a taste of the blues. In 2015 he live-streamed a song a day during a two-week recording session in Texas, and he also toured in Brazil at the Monstra Alma Surf Festival along with Animal Liberation Orchestra, G Love, and Matt Costa. Earlier this spring, Donavon Frankenreiter performed throughout the islands of Hawaii.

Ozomatli

Multi-genre, multicultural, unclassifiable Ozomatli has been keeping the world dancing for more than two decades. This Grammy-winning sextet from L.A. celebrates a blend of sounds including Latin, rock, world fusion, salsa, jazz, hip hop, funk, reggae, and rap. Known for their activist viewpoints, members of Ozomatli have long advocated for farmworkers rights, immigration reform, and social justice. The band has given concerts in many countries, often as U.S. cultural ambassadors sponsored by the State Department. They have performed for the Obamas and accompanied some of the country’s major symphony orchestras. Innovation and creativity continue to define Ozomatli, whose latest recording, produced by drum and bass reggae legends Sly and Robbie, re-imagines classic Latin hits with a reggae dancehall feel.

Jackie Greene

A captivating and compelling performer, Jackie Greene throws his heart into his special melodic blend of rootsy blues, rock, gospel, and folk. A self-taught guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and vivid songwriter, he became a coffeehouse favorite as a teen in Sacramento and played most of the instruments on his first album in 2002. In recent years, Jackie Greene has collaborated on musical adventures including joining the Black Crowes as lead guitarist on a world tour; performing in the supergroup Trigger Hippy; and playing lead guitar with Phil Lesh and Friends. Greene has wowed audiences at major U.S. festivals, and has toured with Los Lobos, Mark Knopfler, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Government Mule, and many more.

Paul Thorn

A Southern storyteller with plenty of tales, Paul Thorn learned to sing a mix of gospel, R&B, and country styles in his preacher daddy’s Mississippi church. Paul Thorn, a former prizefighter who’s been called a Southern Springsteen, has a warm-peaches-and-molasses voice and a trademark sense of humor. With a down-home perspective, colorful characters, and salt-of-the-earth delivery, he charms audiences with music and stories, The Paul Thorn Band’s shows ricochet from humor to poignancy to rock ’n’ roll, collecting a hugely loyal fan base along the way. Playing together for 20 years, the dynamic band brings Thorn’s songs to life. Band members are Bill Hinds (electric, acoustic, and slide guitar), Michael “Dr. Love” Graham (piano, organ, synthesizer), Ralph Friedrichsen (bass) and Jeffrey Perkins (drums, percussion).

Lee Fields and the Expressions

An old-school American soul artist, Lee Fields has been compared to James Brown. Born in North Carolina, he has recorded 16 albums and 40 singles since his first single in 1969, and is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Lee Fields built his chops in the golden era of Southern R&B, and is known for ageless deep ballads, soulful inflections, and occasional funk. His band of topnotch musicians, the Expressions, adds to the explosive on-stage dynamics with two horns, guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums. Lee Fields continues to follow his dream, performing the raw, gritty soul sounds of a bygone era. A musical treasure, he was also tapped to provide additional vocals for a 2014 movie autobiography of James Brown.

Sara Watkins and Langhorne Slim

First up in this set is banjo-wielding singer and songwriter Langhorne Slim, described by the New Yorker as having “Leadbelly’s gift for storytelling and Dylan’s gift for captivating crowds.” With his guitar and banjo-driven hybrid of folk, rock, pop, and soul, and a high-pitched timbre to his voice, Langhorne Slim has been an audience favorite at major music festivals. Playing next is L.A.-based fiddler and singer Sara Watkins, who’s been in the spotlight ever since she was a teen, when she and her brother Sean, along with Chris Thile, formed progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek. Known for her imaginative interpretations and arrangements, Sara Watkins wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on her latest recording. She and Langhorne Slim will likely collaborate at the end of the set.
Sara Watkins' Website
Langhorne Slim's Website

Nick Waterhouse

Mixing ’50s R&B and club jazz with ’60s soul and boogaloo, young guitarist and singer Nick Waterhouse brings modern-day energy and coolness to his throwback sound. With a clear, expressive voice and a Gibson hollow-body guitar, Nick Waterhouse rewinds time and re-imagines songs in his own musical vision. He started his career as a vinyl DJ and worker in a San Francisco record store specializing in rare R&B and soul singles. His first 45-rpm record in the vein of mid-century R&B was an underground dance party success that brought a full band, plenty of gigs, and global acclaim. Also an accomplished music producer, Nick Waterhouse has worked with L.A. Latin stars the Boogaloo Assassins, Leon Bridges, and band-leader Jon Batiste.

Birds of Chicago

With a fresh, soul-rich sound that feels like new secular gospel music, Birds of Chicago tap into deep veins of emotion. These two highly accomplished artists have developed a fervent following, taking their audiences on a musical ride full of heart, grit, energy and fun. Each member of this husband-and-wife duo is extraordinary on their own, and together they create a beautiful and captivating synergy. Allison Russell, from Canadian roots band Po’ Girl, makes every word and every note count with her soaring vocals, while singer and songwriter J.T. Nero, who fronted his own band, brings a restrained rock swagger. Drawing heavily on gospel tradition, Birds of Chicago’s latest album was produced by Joe Henry and features stark, elemental imagery and a complex soundscape.

 

The Brothers Comatose

One of Americana’s hottest “bohemian bluegrass” folk bands, the Brothers Comatose deliver a rowdy, freewheeling, contemporary sound that redefines down-home tradition for a current generation of fans. This rollicking string band is anything but comatose, generating a fierce energy onstage and on the dance floor at major festivals including High Sierra, Delfest, Outside Lands, and Pickathon. Brothers Ben Morrison (vocals and guitar) and Alex Morrison (vocals and banjo) grew up in a musical household in San Francisco, eventually picking up instruments, honing their harmonies, and posting fliers in their Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to find other like-minded musicians for the Brothers Comatose (Gio Benedetti, standup bass and vocals; Philip Brezina, fiddle; Ryan Avellone, mandolin).
YouTube Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoCMW9sDjZo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njHZgnprrW8
 

Sam Outlaw

Leading the rebirth of L.A.’s modern country scene, accomplished singer/songwriter Sam Outlaw puts his own vibe on classic honkytonk and troubadour pop. Rolling Stone magazine called Sam Outlaw one of the top country music artists to see. Born in South Dakota as Sam Morgan, he performs under his late mother’s maiden name of Outlaw. He switched careers from advertising to music when he was 30, and started working with Ry Cooder, who coproduced and played on his first album. Sam Outlaw, who calls himself “a drifting cowboy looking for sushi,” won this year’s International Album of the Year at the U.K. Americana Awards for “Angeleno,” which was produced by Ry Cooder and Joachim Cooder.

Vaud and the Villains

This scintillating 19-piece retro New Orleans-themed orchestra and cabaret experience has been described as “American noir meets Moulin Rouge.” Created in L.A. by actor/singer/saxophonist Andy Comeau (“Vaud Overstreet”) and his wife Dawn Lewis (“Peaches Mahoney”), Vaud and the Villains features elaborately costumed dancers, powerhouse vocals, and a musically rich mélange of New Orleans jazz, gospel, blues, R&B, and rock. Each of the many characters in this over-the-top spectacle has a unique on-stage story to tell. Something like a 1930s New Orleans orchestra and cabaret show with contemporary references thrown in, Vaud and the Villains puts on a visually and musically captivating show, with a spunky spirit that’s contagious. This grand-scale retro collective was featured in a recent Showtime series.

Joe Craven & The Sometimers

Self-described as a “Norcal free range folkasaurus trio,” Joe Craven and The Sometimers mix freestyle folk, world, and roots music. Blending various guitars, upright and electric bass, dobro, lap steel, mandolins, fiddle, cowbell, and a fun assortment of percussion instruments, Joe Craven and The Sometimers (Bruce MacMillan and Jonathan Stoyanoff) celebrate what they call a new kind of “POP” music: pursuit of possibility. Multi-instrumentalist Craven, known for his “no genre left behind” style of music-making, has played with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, David Lindley, Jason Marsalis, and many others. Crackerjack picker MacMillan (guitars, dobro, lap steel) has been featured at many California festivals. Acclaimed bassist Stoyanoff, who attended Berklee College of Music, has performed with a wide variety of well-known musicians.

Moonshiner Collective

A project of SLO County multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Dan Curcio, Moonshiner Collective features a varied lineup of musical collaborators. Drawing from a diverse range of upbeat folk-rock-Americana grooves, the band gets its name from Curcio’s experiences playing in the moonlight with friends while living in a yurt overlooking the ocean in Cayucos. Moonshiner Collective’s soulful concerts feel like an unforgettable campfire jam, bridging gaps in generations and genres with passionate, good-time music. Curcio, former lead singer and guitarist of longtime SLO favorite Still Time, sings of family, love, optimism, nature, and community. Moonshiner Collective has shared the stage with Ben Harper, Michael Franti, Ziggy Marley, Jackie Greene, and David Lindley.

The Tipsy Gypsies

Jump-starting this year’s festival with an irresistible dose of musical passion, San Luis Obispo favorites the Tipsy Gypsies bring a spirited sensibility to the musical styles of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s. Since their beginnings as a gypsy jazz group a decade ago, this dynamic group is now a full electric ensemble with a wide-ranging repertoire of lively blues, jazz, pop, rock, swing, and soul that appeals to all ages. Hilary Langdon’s soaring vocals create the Tipsy Gypsies’ signature sound, along with the accomplished musicianship of guitarist Forrestt Williams, violinist Allan Dick, bassist Brian Lanzone, and drummer Daryl Vandruff. Their crowd-pleasing mix of musical treats includes cover tunes from a bygone era and snappy originals by Langdon and Williams.

Jessica Fichot

Armed with an accordion, a toy piano, and multilingual vocals, Jessica Fichot takes listeners on a twisting journey from the French chanson tradition into Gypsy jazz, Chinese 1940s swing, international folk, and her own imagination. Much like her hometown of Paris, she’s French at heart with a soul that’s truly international. Jessica Fichot has performed for packed houses in France, China, Spain, Mexico, Canada, and across the U.S. Born in upstate New York to a Chinese mother and French father, she spent her youth in France, earned a degree in audio engineering in Paris, and studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music. She has penned countless children’s tunes as well as songs for ESL programs in a dozen countries.

Rey Fresco

Widely considered one of Ventura’s most popular bands, Rey Fresco plays a multi-cultural mix of rock, reggae, world, soul, and Latin rhythms. A 36-string arpa jarocha Veracruz harp is one of Rey Fresco’s lead instruments, creating a unique sound. Lead singer Roger Keiaho was born in Fiji; Xocoyotzin “Xozo” Moraza was born and raised in Ventura, and has been playing Veracruz’s traditional son jarocho music for years on harp, requinto jarocho, and jarana; Shawn Echevarria ignites the audience with his pumping bass lines; and drummer Andrew Jones uses his surfboard-making skills to create custom fiberglass drum kits, including the one he plays with Rey Fresco.

Liz Vice

Named as a singer to keep an ear out for by NPR and various music publications, Liz Vice meshes urban contemporary gospel with soul and R&B. After a successful career in the film industry, including casting for the “Portlandia” TV series, she realized her true calling is performing gospel music. With her dynamic soulful vocals and timeless lyrics reflecting a deep-rooted spirituality, Liz Vice headlined Aspen’s On the Rise music series last year. Overcoming a serious illness and personal obstacles, she recently relocated from Portland to New York City. Liz Vice has opened for the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Avett Brothers.

Alec Lytle

With a sound reminiscent of ’60s and ’70s folk, Alec Lytle reminds listeners of a simpler, calmer time. Accompanied by his small traveler-style Martin guitar, his lilting tunes move through a delicate interplay of voice and acoustic instrumentation. Alec Lytle spent much of his musical career in a support role, singing harmonies and playing upright bass, before realizing his own nuanced Americana-influenced folk songs needed to be heard. This Santa Cruz Mountains-based musician has played in clubs from L.A. to San Francisco, cafés in Thailand, and public squares in Brazil. He often performs with an ever-changing group of musicians known as Them Rounders.

Dan Curcio

One of SLO County’s most well-known band front-men, this talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is also recognized for his solo performances. With his warm, soulful voice and introspective lyrics, Dan Curcio was selected to open the Live Oak main stage a few years ago. Originally from Sacramento, he first picked up a guitar after dreaming in high school about playing in a band. His award-winning former band Still Time was one of San Luis Obispo’s most popular. A blend of rock, blues, funk, and a little bit of country, his music aims to carry listeners far away from stress. Dan Curcio also performs later this morning on the main stage with his band Moonshiner Collective.

Soul Scratch

One of the mainstay powerhouses on the West Coast soul scene, Soul Scratch is a hard-hitting groove machine. With a love of ’60s and ’70s soul, this San Fernando Valley-based band uses rock-solid rhythms, soaring horns, and silky vocals to create their own interpretation of soul music. Soul Scratch is dedicated to the idea that the healing power of music brings humanity together with love and joy. Blue-eyed soul singer Dale Spollett is joined in the band by Johnny Chou, Joel Givertz, Adam Greenberg, and Matt Reale.

Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan

Known as America’s good-time blues ambassadors, Santa Barbara’s Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan have been dishing up their signature brand of blues with a funny bone for nearly four decades. Ball has played harmonica on countless film and TV soundtracks and hundreds of CDs; he has penned five instruction books and a couple of novels. Sultan has also written instruction books, including an encyclopedia of blues licks and patterns for guitar. He performs and records with an amazing array of Martin guitars, including the Kenny Sultan custom 000-18.

Wordsauce

Eight-piece hip-hop-jazz-funk band Wordsauce mixes funky, soulful hip-hop instrumentation with a rhythmic lyrical form and open-minded songwriting, creating a multi-dimensional sound that captures audiences of all demographics. This San Luis Obispo-based jam band is known for pumping out booty-shaking dance music, feeding off each other’s energy. Formed by drummer Bill Gerhardt and bassist Wesley Price in 2009, Wordsauce also includes Kevin Strong, guitar; Shawn Warnke, guitar; Samuel Franklin, sax; Eric Mattson, turntable; Rick “Risko” Loughman, vocals; and Patrick “June” Braddock, congas and vocals.

Bryan Titus Trio

With elements of bluegrass, acoustic rock, gospel, country, and blues, Santa Barbara-based Bryan Titus Trio always seems as if they’re having fun. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Bryan Titus pens stories of American life, with strong characters and iconic images. Originally from Connecticut, Bryan Titus lists his influences as Ray Lamontagne, Alison Krauss, and Derek Trucks. Adding an indie-rock feel to the emphatic, from-the-heart vocals are upright bass player Jon Ossman and percussionist Chris Wonzer. The Bryan Titus Trio has been touring this spring to support their new EP.

Carolyn Sills Combo

With their trademark brand of Americana meets folk-country-western, the Carolyn Sills Combo pays homage to the “tasty twang” of vintage jukeboxes. Known for their dance-ready spaghetti western swing, this Santa Cruz band has been nominated for best western swing album, western swing group, and western swing female performer by the Academy of Western Artists and the 2016 Ameripolitan Awards. Slapping out the backbeat rhythms on her upright bass, Carolyn Sills has a voice that yearns for the music scene of years past. Her combo features a lineup of stellar musicians, including her guitarist husband Gerard Egan.

Stolen Thunder

Rising stars Stolen Thunder deliver exuberant rock ’n’ roll influenced by modern metal and classic rock. They will perform a special acoustic concert on Stage Too. These young Santa Barbara musicians garnered the highest number of votes in a nationwide VH1 music video contest about the importance of music education in schools, and went on to win Santa Barbara’s Battle of the Bands. Stolen Thunder has played at Fiesta Santa Barbara, L.A.’s Whisky-a-Go-Go and House of Blues, and was also part of the No Kid Hungry campaign with Kenny Loggins and Jeff Bridges. Stolen Thunder features lead singer and guitarist Katelyn; Christian Pelonus on lead guitar, drums, and vocals; and Jackson Eddy on bass.

Joe Koenig and the Homewreckers

With a folksy alt-country sound he calls Texas soul, Joe Koenig (pronounced Kay-nig) is well known on the Central Coast for his reflective soul-baring lyrics and earthy, compelling singing. Raised on a farm in Concrete, Texas, he started playing weekly gigs at a local church as a teenager before earning a scholarship to Cal Poly, where he and his college roommates developed a cult following for their rock band. His latest band, The Homewreckers, features Koenig on guitar and lead vocals; Pat Brug on lead guitar and backing vocals; bassist Jackie Hancock; and drummer Jeff Farber.

The Monroe

Featuring the powerhouse vocals of Morgan Monroe, this Atascadero-based band has evolved from its earlier “roll soul” sound into a new incarnation with swinging ballads and riveting rhythms. Mixing tones of soul, rock’n’roll, reggae, gospel, and folk, The Monroe performed live on KCBX Public Radio this spring, and won New Times Music Awards for Best Live Performance and Best R&B Song. In addition to gospel-influenced Morgan Monroe, the band includes longstanding member Robert “Dr. Isapony” Vesnaver on keys, trumpet, and vocals, plus lyricist and singer Stevie Ray Stinson and guitarist Loom Fittuce.

The Turkey Buzzards

This duo from Morro Bay calls their sound “Americana bearded outlaw country flannel folk,” singing tunes of simple beauty in a duet style reminiscent of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. After meeting at the Libertine Pub, Dylan Nicholson and Eric Patterson recorded a live album, “Hobos Don’t Call It Camping,” after hours at Central Coast Music. The Turkey Buzzards have been featured at Couch by Couchwest, an annual online music festival for bands that can’t make it to Austin. The duo recently toured the U.S., including California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and North Carolina.

Mama Tumba

A high-energy dance band steeped in powerful African and Latin rhythms, MAMA TUMBA uses world beats and onstage African dancing to spread a message of oneness and positive vibrations. This SLO County-based ensemble has earned a loyal fan base, packing the dance floor wherever they perform. Members of MAMA TUMBA are West African master drummer and musical director Antiye Menseh on drum set, congas and djembe; percussionist Tim Costa, who toured with Pato Banton and the Wailers; guitarist and percussionist Paul Trent, the band's founder and driving force; bassist Brian Lanzone; guitarist Aaron Burger; lead vocalist Lauren Riffle; Jordan Adams, trumpet, Brad Croes, Saxophone; Colin Dean, trombone; Karrie McKinney on flute, vocals and djuns djuns (African bass drums); and percussionist Justin Perkins.

Mark Adams & His Band

Acclaimed Templeton, California, singer-songwriter Mark Adams has been writing and recording original music for two decades. His unique narrative songs deal with the growing pains of incoming wealth, boomtown exploitation, and nostalgic resistance. Mark Adams’ tune “Where’s My Town”, which has become a favorite on KCBX, tells the story of small towns on the Central Coast and all over. It’s included on his latest recording, “Switcheroo,” which he’s officially releasing at Live Oak, featuring Mark Adams’ vocals, electric guitar, 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars, and harmonica. The accomplished musicians who make up his band add a dynamic edge, creating grooves that are easy to hang on to.
You’ll hear Greg Boaz on bass, Jim Doyle on drums and Bob Hamilton on pedal steel.
 
 

Ozokidz

Capturing the innovation and liveliness of Grammy winners Ozomatli, this special interactive performance by our Saturday night headliner is designed for children and their parents. With fun, catchy, and danceable tunes, OzoKidz features all-original children’s music with a message. Youngsters and their parents are invited to dance, jump, shout with joy, and play along on OzoKidz kazoos during this delightful, low-volume concert. “Moose on the Loose” is a family-favorite tune, along with other songs that help kids learn about trees, good bacteria, balloons, birthday parties, and more. Most of the members of Ozomatli are fathers, although they enjoy acting like kids onstage for their OzoKidz concert! 

Hot Licks Talent Show

Come and cheer on our very own future Live Oak stars.