The massive musical family known as Antibalas (Spanish for bullet-proof or anti-bullets) was born in 1998 in Brooklyn New York, and has since become one of the world’s leading Afrobeat bands, blending Afro-Cuban, avant classical, soul, rock, rap, reggae, and pop music. NPR has called their music “big and fun,” and recommends that “If they come to your town, drop what you're doing and go see them. Wear dancing shoes.”
Kevin Russell, of The Gourds fame, fronts Shinyribs. Whether on his 6-string uke or his electric guitar or singing a cappella, Russell will entertain you like no one else. The freedom with which he moves, coupled with his incredible voice is an experience in and of itself. He’s Burl Ives meets Al Green; Hank, Jr. meets Teddy Pendergrass; Wendell Berry meets Chuck Berry. A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party.
Renowned for his eloquent Americana style, engaging live shows, and off-the-cuff clever observations, John Craigie carries on the legacy of classic singer-songwriters, while blazing a trail of his own. The Stranger appropriately dubbed Craigie, “the lovechild of John Prine and Mitch Hedberg, with a vagabond troubadour edge.” When Craigie plays, it’s one of those special shows that can make you laugh and cry in the same song.
Straight out of Havana, Cuba comes Orquesta Akokán, which takes its name from the Yoruba word meaning "from the heart." This blazing ensemble plays deeply soulful mambo that revives the spirit of Benny Moré and the Buena Vista Social Club. The ferocious and pedigreed wind and rhythm sections consist of musicians from storied groups including Irakere and Los Van Van. Their talent captured the attention of Daptone Records, which released its debut Spanish language album in 2018 to feature the band.
Soul Scratch is rooted in the principle that, through the healing power of music, the world may be made into a joyous, loving place where all of humanity can come together under the umbrella of love and togetherness. Founded by bassist Johnny Chou, guitarist Joel Givertz, and drummer Adam Greenberg, and adding Matt Reale’s horn lines and Dale Spollet’s vocals, Soul Scratch has blossomed into one of the mainstay powerhouses in the SoCal soul scene.
The Sons of the Soul Revivers, a San Francisco-based gospel quartet, was formed in 1970 by three brothers to carry on the work of their father’s original Soul Revivers from the 1960s. The brothers, guitarist/singer Walter Morgan Sr., and singers James and Dwayne Morgan, have spent a lifetime of singing in church together and, with their band, present hand-clapping, soul-reviving traditional gospel music that will lift your spirit.
“I was captivated from the first note to the very last. Incredible. I couldn’t stop moving and neither could the audience. SSR’s had EVERYONE on their feet, moving, their entire set. They took us to church and then some.” --Erika Olsen | Asst. Artistic Director, Waterfront Blues Festival, Portland, OR
Over time laced with an array of musical influences and experiences, Arthur Watership has cultivated a unique sound and style that is often compared to Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Scout Niblet. Arthur Watership is the name given to the spirit that comes from the passion in performance; the ghost at the helm of life's journey. Arthur Watership songs are centered around a love of nature and a longing to return to it, and the human mishaps that bring us back. The band is built of a small and sturdy crew of musicians on a variety of instruments ranging from pedal steel to the rare Viola da Gamba.
The Sam Chase & The Untraditional hails from San Francisco, California. This juggernaut of a band blends rock-n-roll with folk music while maintaining the sensibilities and attitudes that come from growing up on a healthy diet of punk rock. The leader of the band is The Sam Chase himself, a natural storyteller whose powerful and weathered voice brings good cheer wherever it is unleashed . With boot-stomping orchestration and lyrics that have been immortalized on the tattooed skin of their fans, The Sam Chase & The Untraditional don’t mess around.
The San Luis Obispo-based Cimo Brothers are led by guitarist and violinist Jack and Daniel Cimo, who also perform in the group Moonshiner Collective. They are both classically trained, but have also explored the realms of jazz, tango, rock and folk. They are avid songwriters, with original compositions vaguely reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel, The Kinks or Devil Makes Three. Their passion for music is driven by the belief that music has the power to bring people together and inspire love and positive connection.