Patrick O’Heffernan

Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew hits you in the gut where real blues belong

(Los Angeles) Austin-born and still Texas-based Jackie Venson is a Berklee College of music trained-blues rock guitarist – not a common combination –   who blows the roof off every venue she plays in.  Trained in classical piano, Venson has multi-instrumental chops plus a voice that can drip with emotion or belt with blues.  She picked up the guitar shortly after graduating from Berklee and ...

No Small Children: mild-mannered teachers by day, tear-your-face-off alt. rockers by night.

(Los Angeles) No Small Children is a band like no other.  Born on an elementary school playground in the spring of 2012, the trio are school teachers by day and a phenomenally successful hard rock band by night.  And they move very fast.  Three months after deciding to use their recess breaks as band practice time they had an EP out, countless shows behind them and an East Coast tour booked.  Plus...

Mucho baile at Gran Performances with Buyepongo and Sidestepper leading the dance

(Los Angeles) It was dance, dance, dance with  LA-based polyrhythmic cumbia-rock-funk-merengue band Buyepongo and electroacústica Columbian music group Sidestepper. Both dance pavilions at the California Plaza were elbow to elbow with writhing crowds that spilled over into the VIP seats and the picnic areas, rocking out to music that just wouldn’t let you stay seated.  The hugely popular and resol...

Gabby Moreno and Caloncho create a magical night at Grand Performances 2017

LOS ANGELES. Gaby Moreno and Caloncho created a magical night Saturday at Grand Performances in California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.  About 2000 people filled the two-level sunken plaza,  facing a sparkling pond in front of the expansive stage, backed by dancing water spouts and skyscrapers sporting the projected Grand Performances logo.  Lights twinkled all around, families opened picnic bas...

Shouting “Hep Hep” Parlor Social blows the roof off at The Mint with neo ragtime

LOS ANGELES  The Mint LA was packed shoulder to shoulder when Dessy Di Lauro, resplendent in a brilliant white dinner jacket and her red hair exploding out from beneath a black skullcap took the microphone and called out to the audience, “Are You all ready to have some fun?”  As “Yeah!” echoed around the venue, she and husband piano player-accordionist, Ric’key Pageot  danced in a tight circle on ...

Jazz singer Nancy Sanchez releases American Novio – a joy in any language

(Los Angeles) You can take Nancy Sanchez out of jazz, but you can’t take jazz out of Nancy Sanchez,  which is why her new album, American Novio, is both a superb work of art on its own and a step forward in cross cultural understanding.   American Novio (“American Boyfriend”) is a solid return to her Mexican music roots, but the guitarrón and vihuela notes and Mexican rhythms are delivered with th...

Kris Angelis is melodic, hypnotic and addictive in the new Heartbreak is Contagious EP

(Los Angeles)  I have been listening to Kris Anglis’ new EP, Heartbreak is Contagious over and over since I recently had her on my radio show, partly because I can’t stop and partly because every time I listen I hear something musically and emotionally new.  As with all things Angelis, Heartbreak is Contagious is melodic, hypnotic, and dense with addictive emotion. Three of songs on the EP explore...

Darla Beaux at the Hotel Cafe: the growth shows

Darla Beaux was sick Wednesday night when she opened at the Hotel Cafe’s intimate stage. She warned us that she would be singing in her husky voice. And then she let loose with the best singing I have heard from her since I began following her budding career about a year ago. From her new single “Trippin on Tears” to one of the most haunting versions of  1870’s folk song &#...

Flora Cash talks about their new album – a glowing world of melancholy music

(Los Angeles)  Flora Cash is a duo composed of Minnesotan Cole Randall and Swede Shpresa Lleshaj, now based in Stockholm, Sweden. In their latest album, Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine), they have distilled feelings from their own love story into notes, lyrics and emotions that are an adventure into a misty world of melancholy without sadness.  They met on Soundcloud in early 2012 and by the ...

SWIRL roars back with a new album : an interview with Duane “DT” Jones

(Los Angeles) Hard rock often gets a bad rap.  The distorted guitars, pounding drums, campy visuals, screamed lyrics can all distract  people from the reason hard rock is so popular: it has important things to say. Great hard rock bands know how to marshal words, notes, rhythms, technology, and vocals to deliver a message.  SWIRL is such a band. Their message is clear – choose your path, stand up ...

A borderless bond of fun. Mar Abierto by Jenny and the Mexicats

(Los Angeles) Jenny Ball – the “Jenny” in Jenny and the Mexicats – tells a story of playing in a packed sit-down venue in Europe where the audience was listening obediently in their chairs until one fan could not resist the music, jumped up and started dancing and singing along.  The band was delighted but the police came in and forced him to sit down and stop singing.  So the band invited him up ...

Two headliners and a brilliant new venue: Alih Jey and Vanessa Zamora lite up the Civic Center Studios.

(Los Angeles)Sapo Verde Music stepped out in a big way this weekend with an all-star program of female artists at the newly remodeled DTLA venue Civic Center Studios. A packed house was treated to Latin-Grammy nominated rock guitarist Alih Jey and wildly popular Vanessa Zamora.  Opening act Ruzzi warmed the house up with her gut-grabbing electric guitar licks and Cuñao backed the girls-with-guitar...

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