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JazzView-Bright Moments in Store

Jazz & World View – Eric Benson By Eric Benson

More bright moments in store. While my critic’s choice of events to go to in October is not a spooktacular event, if you have not heard of Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, you should go to the State Theatre on October 6th. Dan is an eclectic lyricist who uses the swing idiom to tell tales of life with humor drier than the dust bowl. “Love makes the world go round, ah that and the Columbian Cocaine Cartel, those two things ladies & gentlemen.” He always has an incredible band and features the Lickettes on vocal harmony. Tunes such as “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away”, “I Scare Myself”, and “Where’s the Money…When You Won’t Give Me Nothing Else” are classic. Also at the State: Leo Kottke, king of slide guitar and finger pickin’ is coming Oct. 12th, and Beatlemania comes through Sunday Oct. 14 at 3 p.m. Check out

The Gallo brings in Jake Shimabukuro, the Jimmy Hendrix of Ukulele Oct. 9. I know it’s a stretch but Jake is nothing short of amazing. He has redefined the instrument with shakes of Jazz, rock, classical, Hawaiian, and folk music with technical and soulful chops. Don’t look for Jake to play with his teeth or set his instrument on fire though. And Doc Severinsen, 30 yr. alumni from Johnny Carson, plays Oct. 10 with more depth than TV could support. His band incorporates Spanish music, Jazz, movie music even Gypsy Jazz ala Django Reinhardt.

Reg Evans of Central Valley Music group is bringing in some hard hittin’ legends of Latin Rock. Friday Oct. 19 Sapo with Richard Bean headlines with opener Latin Essence and El Marauder at the Fat Cat Music House. Richard was the lead singer for the Platinum hit “Suavecito.”

For a family friendly all age venue, the Barkin’ Dog Grill in downtown Modesto serves up some good food with a side of music. The Dog’s highlights for October are: 5th: Blue & Beige fronted by saxman Marty Martinez, 6th: Big Earl & the Cryin Shame, 12th: La Loma Junior High School band fundraiser with director Ulysses Chavez, 18th: hosts Art Walk with David Dow running the Jazz Jam, and come out for the best in down home Blues with theMofo Party Band on the 26th. These guys are killer and the guitar player will likely walk the bar while playing his face off. Google the: for the lineup.

More on the family friendly gigs, Vito’s restaurant in the downtown has Eric Benson and friends with special guest on steel drums and percussion the mighty Ross McGinnis playing Jazz to Caribbean grooves Saturday Oct 13th. Also on the bill are my daughter Caeli Benson on vocals and piano, and Stephanie Bershay vocals and guitar sitting in with the house band playing rock to Amy Winehouse, gotta support these kids and create opportunity! Show 7:00 PM, Jazz time. Call 576-1851 for info.

More music on the local scene: Deva Café Thursday night Ramble features the house band Big Earl & Poorhouse Millionaires. Big Earl & Poorhouse Millionaires is also doing a Sunday morning gig at Deva’s so come down 10-12 noon.

Need to get me, Hit me at:, or give me a holler at (209) 918-7033.

Peace out Eric Benson



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