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For Jerry 

Donna Jean Godchaux Band and Playful Dead, plus WinoVino, Afro-Cubans and Subdivided

click to enlarge Jerry Garcia
  • Jerry Garcia

Exalted guitar god Jerry Garcia would have turned 70 on Aug. 1, if not for the fact that he proved himself all too mortal in 1995 when a heart attack took his life. Local Deadheads have a couple of ways to celebrate Jerry's legacy this week. Saturday the Donna Jean Godchaux Band plays at Swain's Flat Outpost, out Highway 36 near Carlotta.

Born in Alabama, Donna worked as a singer in Muscle Shoals, backing artists like Elvis (on "Suspicious Minds") and Percy Sledge ("When a Man Loves a Woman") before she met and married keyboardist Keith Godchaux. The couple moved to California and ended up joining the Grateful Dead and "playing in the band" through most of the ‘70s. They also performed in the Jerry Garcia Band, and Jerry helped out on a "Keith and Donna" side project before the couple started the Heart of Gold Band with Steve Kimock. After Keith died in a car wreck in 1980, Donna kept on singing, forming one band after another -- and she's still at it. The latest incarnation of DJGB includes Mark Karan from Ratdog on lead guitar and Mookie Siegel from the David Nelson Band on keys. Will they play some Dead tunes? You can count on it. Guitar looper Jay Roller and local stringband Kindred Spirits open.

On Wednesday, Jerry's actual birthday, Arcata's Deadhead headquarters, Humboldt Brews, celebrates with local Dead tribute Play Dead, redubbed Playful Dead for the occasion due to the inclusion of ace keyboardist Mike Emerson, a former local who moved south and has been playing blues, funk and such in a whole bunch of greater Bay Area bands.

Speaking of tributes, Thursday's free concert at C Street Plaza in Old Town has Joel: The Band, the self-proclaimed "premier rock and roll Billy Joel cover band on the West Coast."

Got Cumbia? Spirit Vibrations presents Antioquia, from Central America via Oakland, mixing cumbia, soukous, funk and rock on Thursday at Nocturnum. Kerry Wing and Robin Applewood open.

WinoVino got its start in 2006 when guitarist Sanford Krones left New Orleans for Austin because of some hurricane and met fiddler/mandolinist Forrest Johnson, also new to Texas. Over time they expanded, adding accordion, percussion, bass, horns, etc. and started exploring the same sort of gypsy cabaret sounds you hear from bands like Vagabond Opera and Fishtank Ensemble. A West Coast tour brings the band to the Jambalaya Thursday with like-minded Lost Coasters Orphan in the Afterlife.

Self-described "blues-rock cosmic country-infused duo with an edge" 7Horse is up from L.A. for a Friday show at the Jambalaya. Phil Leavitt and Joie Calio play dark soulful tunes like "Meth Lab Zoso Stick," which would fit well on Breaking Bad.

The Fieldbrook Summer Music Festival kicks off Friday evening at Fieldbrook Family Market with blues rockers Fieldtown, then goes full bore Saturday starting at noon with State of Play, The Sierra Rose Band, Scotch Wiggly, The Usual Suspects, Black Cat Bone, The John David Young Trio and The Bare Necessities playing rock and blues (and some Dead tunes). The Fest continues Sunday afternoon with The Fickle Hillbillies, The Rezonators and Moonsong among others.

Jeff DeMark tells his tales and sings songs with the latest version of The LaPatinas at the Sewell Gallery Friday, this time out with Rooster McClintock's "Genuine" Jake Wiegandt on guitar. "It'll be a different flavor with Jake," said DeMark. "We'll do a couple of new things including one story with some Merle Haggard songs. I try to keep it fresh, keep the band on its toes."  

Friday at Red Fox Tavern catch The Luminaries, a "conscious hip hop collective" from Venice (Cali, not Italy) who promise to "shine the light and serve the world with ... eclectic high vibe music reminiscent of the golden era of hip hop." The local opener is DJ Gobi.

The note from DJ Gabe Pressure says, "We be doing somthin' new." Well, sort of. Perhaps tiring of the ubiquitous ‘80s dance nights, this time Gabe and his DJ cohorts Anya and Zephyr are spinning "all things '90s" Friday at Nocturnum. Do you suppose some day they'll be doing nostalgic ‘00s dance parties?

Yes, it's time for another Missing Link's Got Soul Saturday night at Humboldt Brews. The usual cast of "misfits, merrymakers and miscreants" (the DJs' description not mine) will once again fill the dance floor spinning vintage vinyl. This month's special guest: DJ ATM from Portland.

The sign tacked to a power pole read simply "Afro-Cuban" with an arrow pointing toward HSU. What did it mean? Howie Kaufman's annual Explorations in Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance "total immersion" workshops are under way this week. A culminating performance Saturday night at the Van Duzer Theatre brings the master teachers together. Lázaro Galarraga, Roman Diaz, Sandy Pérez, Miguel Bernal, Jesus Diaz, Susana Arenas, Silfredo La O and Michael Spiro are among those exploring electrifying Afro-Cuban folkloric music -- rumba, conga, orisha, etc.

The Soulful Sidekicks, Laura Hennings and Ginger Casanova, host a Women's Music Night Saturday at the Westhaven Center for the Arts. Harpist Lonnie Magellan and guitarist Ami Brusca join them along with Eva York, Jasmine Spoelman and Jamila Drecker-Waxman, who will be honoring poet Ruth Mountaingrove.

A Fertile World presents its Third Annual Humboldt Garden Party Saturday and Sunday at its shop on West End Road. Along with tips on gardening, free samples etc. the store will have reggae by Woven Roots on Saturday with The Mighty Redwood Ambassadors and Elephant Dub Brigade Sunday, plus DJ Dub Cowboy and Aydee Dub, and EDM from PsyFi (of Womp Womp Wednesdays fame) and Touch (from Deep Groove Society). Added bonus: Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross rider Julian Dusseau roaring around doing tricks on his dirt bike. 

SoundStick Audio presents the "No Home Like the Road Tour," a blast of hardcore metal Friday at the Eureka Vets Hall. Three L.A. bands, Stand As Giants, The Collected and At Our Expense join forces with Seattle's Seize The Sun on the road. Local teens Subdivided open the Eureka show (at 6 p.m.) with music that's probably not as hard and metallic. Subdivided bassist Jesse Rovai figures his band will fit in "Slightly, but it will def be a departure from what that crowd is used to." This may be one of Subdivided's last shows since Jesse and guitarist Calvin Yeager are both headed off to college soon. (Drummer Chris Nelson is headed into his senior year at Eureka High.) Saturday the trio plays at Blondie's, one of the rare all-ages local venues, with Hoodoo, a blues/rock band from McKinleyville and Hockey Slut a "big beat" band from Fortuna. Next Friday, Subdivided shares a bill with The 51 Cards at another all ages space, Mantova's Two Street Music. Jesse sees finding places that allow under-agers to play as "one of the biggest problems we face as a band," at least so far, although the fact that Calvin will soon be living on the East Coast could be a bigger problem. "We are going to try and practice over some kind of video chat," says a hopeful Jesse.

The Shanty rocks on with a Monday "girls in the garage" show pairing Eureka's hot new lo-fi-fem combo The Lost Luvs with Shannon and The Clams from Oakland, a stripped-down garage band fronted by Shannon Shaw, one of the "Punx" in Hunx and His Punx.

Did you miss Caitlin Jemma's birthday party? You have another chance to hear her Wednesday at the Jambalaya as In Human Creation presents "Beautiful Locals" with Caitlin, guitar wizard Todd Krider and alt. folk songwriter Samuel Whitlach. Beautiful indeed.       

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Bob Doran

Bob Doran

Freelance photographer and writer, Arts and Entertainment editor from 1997 to 2013.

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