Tag archives: songwriter

Molly’s Game is Great Music
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 1, 2022

Palo Alto-raised, Boston-trained, Nashville-based guitarist/singer-songwriter Molly Tuttle inspires critics to manufacture metaphors to describe her dexterity on an acoustic six-string guitar – “her fingers are like 10 Olympic athletes” or “she could pick your pocket without breaking stride.” That’s not surprising since after years of participating in bluegrass jams all over Northern California, Tuttle broke […]

Colvin’s Steady Career
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 24, 2022

Singer-songwriter Americana roots-rocker Jason Isbell has won four Grammy Awards since separating from the Drive-By Truckers, and with his band 400 Unit represents some of the best of Southern rock music today. But the opening act for the concert at the Arlington Theatre on February 26 isn’t far behind.  Thirty-three years into her career, it […]

Reflections with a Musical Legacy
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 3, 2022

SoCal native Karla Bonoff came of age during the early days of the emergence of the singer-songwriter in Los Angeles, playing her original songs on open mic nights at the famous Troubadour in the late ‘60s, where she met lifelong friends Kenny Edwards, Wendy Waldman, and Andrew Gold. The foursome formed Bryndle and made a […]

Tuttle’s Bluegrass Throwdown
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 29, 2022

SOhO has secured a bit of a booking coup for the end of the month in Molly Tuttle, the singer-songwriter-guitarist who became the first woman to win the International Bluegrass Music Awards’ Guitar Player of the Year awards in 2017 and repeated in 2018, when she was also named the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of […]

Finding the ‘Good in the Heart of Life’
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 25, 2022

The COVID pandemic has been an ongoing career if not a personal crisis for a lot of musicians around the world. But for Drew McManus, the shutdown actually afforded him a chance to slow down, regroup and, most importantly, reconnect with his roots in the mountains of Montana. Although he was born in the western […]

Béla Fleck: His Heart Belongs to Bluegrass
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 14, 2021

Credit Béla Fleck’s son for sparking the banjo master’s desire to return once again to his bluegrass roots. Fleck, who was first inspired to take up the five-string instrument as a child when he heard Earl Scruggs play the theme song for Beverly Hillbillies, has long since become an ambassador of the instrument who has […]

Broussard’s Journey: Bayou to Lullabyes and Back
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 7, 2021

Singer-songwriter Marc Broussard made his stage debut before he reached first grade, belting out “Johnny B. Goode” at age 5 as a guest singer in his father, Louisiana Hall of Fame guitarist Ted Broussard’s, famous band The Boogie Kings. Swamp pop and blue-eyed soul runs through his veins and makes up his bones. But classic […]

A Friend in Need
By Richard Mineards   |   January 21, 2021

Montecito singer-songwriter Brad Paisley, who was generous with his music and contributions during the 2018 mudslides disaster, as well as being a major supporter of the Unity Shoppe along with fellow musician Kenny Loggins, brought major help to Nashville, Tennessee, after the Christmas bombing, I learn. Brad, 48, who has sold 11 million albums and […]

Fisher Finds a Way
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 24, 2020

If a sudden affliction of acute flaccid myelitis resulting in becoming a quadriplegic wasn’t enough to stop Santa Barbaran Grace Fisher from pursuing her musical dreams, the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t contain her from continuing her community Christmas celebration. This year’s Winter Music Showcase from her Grace Fisher Foundation – which was pre-recorded using proper protocols […]

Gillies Goes from ‘American Idol’ to Star of His Own Heart
By Mackenzie Boss   |   December 24, 2020

No one could fault Santa Barbara singer-songwriter-guitarist Jackson Gillies for letting early success go to his head. After all, while still battling both Type 1 diabetes and a painful skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa, Gillies was a surprise winner of the 2016 local Teen Star competition at a sold-out Arlington Theatre at age 15, sang […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 16 George Pendergast, Drummer and Co-Founder of Dishwalla
By Joanne Calitri   |   December 3, 2020

Prodigious drummer George Pendergast picked up his first drum kit at the age of five after watching The Merv Griffin Show, and at 21 went on to live the dream as a professional musician recording in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Santa Barbara, which remains his home base to this day no […]

House Calls: No Other than Giddens
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 19, 2020

It’s doubtful we’ll hear Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style,” which Rhiannon Giddens covered so memorably a decade ago as part of a genre-busting, talent-bursting display by her then-band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Grammy Award-winning outfit that blended acoustic instruments with a decidedly modern approach. Indeed, Giddens, an operatically trained singer, songwriter, fiddler and […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 14: Musician Keith St. John
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 12, 2020

Artist Keith St. John is the true representation of the American dream: love it, work at it, keep it fresh, and it’s yours. And true to his nature, he has remained prolific in creating music throughout the lockdown, with virtual concerts, recording, composing, and some outdoor live shows with COVID-19 guidelines. Here with sage advice […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 13 Multi-instrumentalist Musician Elle Archer
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 5, 2020

Musicians are here to provide wisdom and comfort for a traumatized world, and to uplift the voices of the downtrodden,” says Elle Archer, a Portland-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Managed by Seth Loeser at Silver Morning Management, and recently signed with Kill Rock Stars, Elle’s band Shaylee is a project aimed at conveying youthful queer exuberance […]

All Too Real
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 1, 2020

On January 9, 2018, Ken Grand went through the kind of hell most of us could never even imagine. That was the night that a torrential downpour resulted in the infamous Montecito mudslides and debris flow that killed 23 people. Among the casualties was Grand’s wife, Rebecca Riskin, the popular professional ballerina turned realtor whose […]

Marjorie Luke, Staying Ripe in Stale Times
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020

Venues and artists throughout the world are struggling with how to thrive or even survive during the extended pandemic. For Marjorie Luke board president Rod Lathim, joining the zeitgeist of endless Zoom performances proved completely unpalatable. Instead, the Luke – which only a year or so ago started producing its own events rather than simply […]

KT’s Coronavirus Compromise
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 20, 2020

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall was all set to make her Santa Barbara debut at the Lobero Theatre on January 8, back when COVID-19 barely had a name, just the novel coronavirus that seemed to be contained in China. Then illness forced the show to be postponed and rescheduled for October. But the coronavirus crisis has […]

The Arts, “Lockdown Series” Part 2: The Formidable Jade Hendrix
By Joanne Calitri   |   August 13, 2020

From performing as a solo artist on the Ojai-Ventura music scene, to opening for Ronnie Spector in Los Angeles and the English Beat in Ojai, to gigs with her band on the main stage at the NAMM show and L.A., one thing sings out clearly: Jade Hendrix is a phenomenal female artist. The thirty-something singer-songwriter […]

Conviction of the Heart: Singer Supports a Favorite Local Stage
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 25, 2020

What if they threw a concert and nobody came? That’s a situation famed Santa Barbara singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins will face when he performs at the venerable Lobero Theatre on Sunday, June 28 – with absolutely no one in the audience. Of course, the only reason the show wouldn’t fill the historic theater’s 600 seats is […]

Phillips Performs on Facebook to Cope with COVID and Racial Divides
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 4, 2020

It was exactly one week since George Floyd died in custody of the Minneapolis Police when Glen Phillips and I talked earlier this week over the phone. The issue of institutional racism and police brutality was weighing heavily on his mind, and would show up six hours later in that Monday night’s solo Zoom show, […]