Punch Bros. Bark up a New Tree 

By Steven Libowitz   |   May 16, 2023
Mighty Poplar plays the Lobero on Wednesday, May 17 (Courtesy photo)

Banjo player Noam Pikelny and guitarist Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers have teamed up with bassist and founding former member, Greg Garrison of Leftover Salmon fame, and mandolinist Andrew Marlin (Watchhouse) to form a bluegrass bound band called Mighty Poplar. Born out of impromptu backstage jams at festivals, Mighty Poplar lets the members return to their roots of pure genuine bluegrass, now with top-level musicianship of experience anchoring the interplay. Mighty Poplar’s debut tour stops at the Lobero on Wednesday, May 17. 

More Notes of Note Around Town 

Continuous Signal: A Pink Floyd Affair specializes in the recreation of a Pink Floyd concert including light shows, inflatables, and more. Its current project is a celebration of Floyd’s landmark album Dark Side of the Moon, which is marking its 50th anniversary year. We’re wondering if anyone has reached out to longtime Santa Barbara resident Alan Parsons – who, as the record’s engineer, was responsible for many of the album’s ambitious sonic aspects – about the gig slated for the New Vic on Saturday, May 13. 

Dirty Knobs, featuring Mike Campbell, the guitarist who was part of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the entirety of the band’s span, returns to SOhO on Sunday, May 14. As he will at each show this month, Campbell will be playing a new signature Duesenberg 30th Anniversary guitar, which he’ll sign and give to the purchaser after the concert to support his Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund. Special guest blues guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart will likely be holding onto his ax, apparently. 

Choral Concerts Closer

Santa Barbara Master Chorale is next to wind up its current season and in the process will wrap up its first year under new artistic director and conductor, David Lozano Torres. Currently also conductor of the UCSB Lumina Choir, assistant conductor of the UCSB Chamber Choir, and artistic director and conductor of the choral ensemble Vocal Affinity, Torres – who is also completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at UCSB – will lead the SBMC in a program called “Be Not Afraid” on Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, at First Presbyterian Church. The choral concert features “Requiem” by John Rutter, from whom the program’s title is drawn, plus works by Dan Forrest, Elaine Hagenberg, and others. Call (805) 563-2360 or visit www.sbmasterchorale.org.


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