Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 31
Get down in old townLucia's Wine Co. holds an open mic and regular live music in the heart of Old Town Orcutt
BY JOE PAYNE
A good, weekly open mic event can be a catalyst for a musical community. If a location has the right ambiance, attitude, and turnout, something special can form.
I walked into the Lucia’s Wine Co. tasting room on Oct. 3 for the new Wednesday night open mic and was quickly grabbed by the location’s relaxed atmosphere, cool aesthetics, and friendly staff. A PA system was set up and ready for any performers, wine was being poured, and there was a comfortable buzz among the humble crowd there.
“We just started doing the open mics here,” said Ben Gonzales, co-owner of Lucia’s Wine Co., “and it’s still building a crowd. We think it’s really going to take off.”
Gonzales owns the winery and tasting room with his wife Lucy. Though the duo has opened a new winery (their first vintage was a 2009), they’re no strangers to local wine or winemaking. Ben Gonzales comes from a family of grape growers from Fresno and now oversees three vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley. He buys his grapes from these vineyards—grapes he essentially planted.
“We are making new vintages, and they are getting better every year,” he said, “Our second vintage is definitely better, so we are just going to get bigger and better and fill the niche.”
They opened their tasting room in December 2011 in the heart of Old Orcutt on Clark Avenue, sharing the same sidewalk as Kay’s Orcutt Country Kitchen, Elmer’s, and others. Since opening, they’ve poured wine, hung art, and started scheduling live music on Fridays as well as the open mics on Wednesdays.
The open mic I attended may not have been crowded, but it was packed with talent. Gonzales’ own son Steven performed original rap music to his own beats.
“He rocked the place,” Ben said. “He has been doing rap music since he was in high school.”
I had the luck to run into my friend and longtime collaborator Champion McConnell, a talented singer/songwriter and regular among many local open mic events. We performed several songs together with a warm reception from the crowd.
Also performing was local landscaper-by-day, musician-by-night Danny George, who played guitar and sang old Americana tunes. Also a familiar musical face around town, George said he enjoyed the new venue.
“I’m just hoping for a renaissance of music in Orcutt ever since the Loading Dock died,” he said. “I’m going to be coming in every Wednesday and I hope everyone else does too.”
The music of Fae
Solvang Faeriefest is a gathering of artists, musicians, storytellers, and more in the magical spirit of Fae. The festival will feature live music by the Pirates Charles, Wolf Holler Revival, Kristi Bride, and Heather Dale on Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Solvang Festival Theater, 420 2nd St., Solvang. Cost is $6 to $8. More info: 794-8958, firstname.lastname@example.org, or solvangfestival.com.
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro present “ROCKtober” Wednesdays in October featuring live music and a themed costume party each night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 17 is “Superhero Night,” Oct. 24 is “Rock/Pop Star Night,” and Oct. 31 is “Fright Night.” The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro is at 400 E. Clark, Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
Get down to the 510
The 510 Event Center presents a live blues jam featuring local musicians led by Juan Marquez and Sangria Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. DJ Orlando entertains Thursday nights starting at 10 p.m. (dress code enforced). DJ Orlando also spins for “Margarita Night” every Monday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Saturdays feature an open mic from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday nights are Latin night featuring live norteño and banda music. Call for times. The 510 Event Center is at 510 South Broadway, Santa Maria. More info: 928-5510, email@example.com, facebook.com/510eventcenter, or 510eventcenter.com.
The magic flute
The Chumash Casino and Resort presents Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull in concert on Oct. 18. The resort is at 3400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. More info: 1-800-CHUMASH or chumashcasino.com.
Bringing the jazz
The Santa Maria Inn presents “A New Twist on an Old Favorite” in the Tap Room, featuring performances by Mezcal on Fridays. Mofongo performs the first Saturday of each month, the Sammy Labastida Jazz and Blues Band performs the second Saturday of each month, Louie Ortega performs the third Saturday of each month, and Lawless and Dean perform the fourth Saturday of each month. The shows take place in the Tap Room, Santa Maria Inn, 801 S. Broadway, Santa Maria. More info: 928-7777 or santamariainn.com.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including the country music of Von Cotton on Oct. 12 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Brant Cotton and Friends is Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. Von Cotton performs Oct. 13 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs.” Tales from the Tavern presents Michael on Fire Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.