Music Friday Live

Frutas: Sin Color’s debut album set to rocket to the top.

August 22, 2017

Patrick O’Heffernan (Hollywood) You can always tell when an artist or band is going to rocket to the to the top.  They collect an award or two before their first release, draw big crowds when they play locally, and have an overflow audience for the album release party.  Sin Color – the duo of Crisia Regalado and David Aquino – has done all of that and something else – their debut album, Frutas,  is more than debut – it is ready now for prime time.  Not bad for two kids who just turned 20. Frutas is a tour de force of musical craftsmanship and sheer talent.  Each of its ten songs is a gem – there is no filler here. Crisia’s opera-trained voice soars and swoops and soothes, supported by David’s superb guitar chops and the backing of Latin Grammy-nominated accordion mistress Gloria Estrada, the great border blues duo The Dank Band, and the percussion genius of Buyepongo, all guided by top producer Eugene Toale.  For artists so young to assemble such a highly regarded group of artists and [Read More]

Music Friday Live

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

August 14, 2017

    Patrick O’Heffernan (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 made the giant leap from classical music to raw and gritty blues and the rest is history.   A new page in that history is the release of her latest album,  Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew.  This is a knock out blues  triumph. Put on your headphones, clear your schedule because Jackie Venson Live at Strange Brew will hit you in the gut where real blues belongs.   Venson has always been a standout in the blues world, not only because she has a voice that goes from delicate and seductive to in-your-face-with-the-pain-of-the-blues, but because her guitar playing achieves a level of precision at the top [Read More]


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

June 22, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan 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 baskets or  queued up at the restaurants surrounding the Plaza and the bars in the Plaza.  They settled into chairs or brought their own while the sun went down, auguring the arrival of música especial.   Accompanied by urban sound effects, Caloncho and his band filtered on stage, plugged in and took their positions.  The party was on as the Sonoran-born, Guadalajara-based singer songwriter kicked it off with his soothing summer night anthems of soft tempos and Latin indie-dream pop, animated by a very active trombone/keyboard player who added not only notes, but humor.  At one point, the fans’ heroine, Guatemalan-born LA-based Latin Grammy winner Gaby Moreno joined Caloncho, eliciting applause so loud [Read More]


Shouting “Hep Hep”  Parlor Social blows the roof off at The Mint with neo ragtime. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 20, 2017

    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 the stage leading the audience in clapping, finger-snapping and singing their signature song “Let Me Hear You Say Hep Hep” . The party was on and the room was lovin’ it.   The band was opening for New Orleans-based Big Sam’s Funky Nation, whose horn-led, jazz rock rhythms kept the momentum going as part of the Hunnypot Live Music night at the Mint.   Max Nickou opened the evening, warming up the growing crowd with sky-high guitar chops and solid rock with a twist.   Proving again why Parlor Social is the undeniably best live act in Los Angeles if not the nation, their “Feathered Fro-hawk- Futuristic-Art-Deco-Centric-Harlem-Renaissance-Hep-Music” [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Darla Beaux at the Hotel Cafe: the growth shows. By Patrick O’Heffernan

June 2, 2017

(Hollywood) 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 “In The Pines” I have heard in a long time, her husky voice was just fine with me. The fact that she could pull off a powerful, flawless set while not at her best shows how much this teenage singer/songwriter has grown.  If the growth continues, I expect to see her filling much larger venues in a year’s time. Asa teenager, Darla has a lot of time to grow, and she is working hard to make it happen.  Originally from Atlanta, GA, she has re-located to LA to work with Sera Roadnight, well known in the local music community for her deft skill with [Read More]


La Santa Cecelia launches Amar y Vivir at a packed party at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

May 9, 2017

Patrick O’Heffernan (Hollywood) La Santa Cecelia, the modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture and rock and world music,   and their management company Criteria Entertainment threw a jam-packed release party for  Amar y Vivir, the unique visual album of Mexican and Latin American music. The video/album was shot and  recorded in a blistering 5 days in Mexico City, in streets, bars, parks and iconic locations like the Plaza Santo Domingo, the Zócalo and Salón Tenampa. The evening, preceded by a live acoustic set and vinyl signing at Hollywood’s famous Amoeba Records,   kicked off with a full-screen viewing of the video, followed by Santa Cecelia’s trademark dramatic entrance.  From there on it was fiesta-time as the band belted, crooned, soared and celebrated a set list of 7 songs, started with the title song, “Amar y Vivir.  The crowd – jammed elbow-to-elbow from the control booth in the  back of the cavernous room to the stage ion the front — swayed, clapped , sang along and danced whenever a few feet of space appeared.  Mostly, they poured loved [Read More]

Music Friday Live

Revolutionary Soul: Derek Davis releases a work of genius for his first every solo album.

May 6, 2017

  Patrick O’Heffernan It is not often that I encounter an artist that I can’t quite categorize, or even want to. Derek Davis is such an artist.  With 28 years of recording and touring, 12 albums, and three bands,  he is a legend in rock.   Who can forget the machine-gun tempo of  Bad Man Cometh, the howling metal message of American Jihad or the addictive head banging of Love Star. But at the same time, where do you put the sweet melody of Troubadour and or the acoustic pop sensibilities of  The Promise – all songs on the same album.  Davis is a remarkable musician and his first solo album, Revolutionary Soul  continues his tradition of  remarkable, not-quite-categorizable music.   In Revolutionary Soul, Davis writes the music, plays all the instruments and produces most of the songs, further breaking the category boundaries.  It’s blues, it’s rock, it’s funk –  is it something that incorporates and transcends all of the above.  And it is addictive.   Davis is famous for his sharp writing and signature guitar [Read More]