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Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on December 27th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 43 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 43

Songs across seasons: Local musicians played loud and proud during 2017

By JOE PAYNE

For many, music is more than background enjoyement, it’s a way of life. And plenty of those diehards call the Central Coast home.

That’s why 2017 saw numerous concerts to attend every week, from orchestras to bar bands. Local music lovers filled seats with open ears, and talented homegrown musicians helped pack venues as successfully as big-name touring acts.

Though it’s impossible to highlight the breadth of musical genius our area has to offer on just one page, here’s a summary of some of the music that had locals tapping their toes and singing along in 2017.

 

 


The Dogons at O’Sullivan’s Pub
FILE PHOTO BY JOE PAYNE

LAST SHOW

O’Sullivan’s Pub in Santa Maria had its last scheduled concert in February before the venue would close and become The Liberty restaurant (that still hasn’t happened), where local bands that called the pub home reunited for one last hurrah—bands like Hayley and the Crushers, Joe Kidd and The Gash, and The Dogons (pictured). “This night is very sentimental to me, because I got to come out here for the last of it,” said Ben Cabreana, drummer for both Joe Kidd and the Gash and The Dogons. “This is a reunion. It’s kind of bittersweet. It’s very awesome that I’m here for the last of it, but it’s really sad that a kind of legacy is coming to an end.”

 

 


The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society and Orchestra
FILE PHOTO BY COURTESY OF ANDREA DE ANDA

SEASON OF TRIUMPH

The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society and Orchestra closed out its first season with new music director and maestro Michael Nowak on April 22 with the concert The Bold and the Beautiful. The concert featured Beethoven’s iconic “Symphony No. 5 in C minor” along with works by Barber and Brahms. “The concerts have been exciting with a nice variety of music,” Nowak told the Sun. “The audiences are growing, which is good to see, and the enthusiasm in the town is building, which I’m very happy about.”

 

 


SipMusic Club
FILE COURTESY OF RANDALL SENA

PERFECT PAIRING

There are literally hundreds of wine clubs available up and down the Central Coast, but only one comes with a new album from a local band. SipMusic Club began when local singer/songwriter Randall Sena, owner of Certain Sparks Music in Lompoc, slapped his new album cover on a bottle of locally produced wine. He now does the same for local artists throughout the year with their new albums. The May 6 SipMusic Club featured the album Big Seven by Próxima Parada. “We thought it was a kind of fun summer release,” Sena said. “The wine and music pair up in that way. It feels like a summer album, and a rosé definitely feels like a summer wine.”

 

 


Noe Esquivel
FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF NOE ESQUIVEL

GAMING GUITAR

Local musician Noe Esquivel has garnered thousands of views on his YouTube channel, which he’s had since 2007, where he performs covers of video game music. The channel, titled bboynoe, has more than 9,000 subscribers. Fans request covers, Esquivel explained, which he then interprets in a heavy metal style. He started with guitar, but working on his videos spurred him to expand to other instruments as well, he explained. “It kind of evolved into actually learning how to play bass a little bit, learning keyboard, and building songs from the bottom up versus when I was playing with a track I already had,” he said.

 

 


The Lompoc Pops Orchestra
FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF LOMPOC POPS

POPS WITH HONOR

The Lompoc Pops Orchestra always schedules its concerts for Mondays, and so this year decided to program a special concert for Sept. 11 to honor everyone lost in the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Artistic Director and Conductor Brian Asher Alhadeff said the Lompoc Pops often plays patriotic music, but that the program for Sept. 11 was a bit different. “We’re going to use this day to remember that loss and tragedy, but we’re also going to use it as a reminder that we are a strong nation that comes together through the arts and what makes us beautiful,” he said. “And as a conductor, there is a lot of American music that makes us beautiful.”

 

 


Riders in the Sky
FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF RIDERS IN THE SKY

READY TO RIDE

The Sun caught up with Riders in the Sky’s lead singer and award-winning yodeler Ranger Doug before the group performed a concert at the Solvang Festival Theater in May. The former Bluegrass Boy spoke about leaving bluegrass behind for his true love: cowboy songs. “It partly comes from my childhood, because it was still a part of the fabric of American culture at that time,” Doug said. “A kid would like those songs because they weren’t about broken hearts and cheating spouses and things you couldn’t understand. They were about being outside, riding, and singing songs with your friends.”




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