Five Acts to Catch At Buskerfest in Long Beach
Mary Bell Good crowd for busking.
Buskers are few and far between on the sidewalks of Long Beach but for one day only, a handful of bands have the approval of the city and a few electrical outlets at their disposal. There seems to be an unintended theme of family bands this year, real and fake, whether that means siblings in harmony or a lingering generational legacy hovering just above the fretboard. Buskerfest is the culmination of Long Beach's stellar outdoor concert series and they are closing out 2013 with a roster loaded with some local bands. Support your neighbors. Here's a group of bands that you should be sure to catch.
Who'd have thought the heyday of guitar/drum duos that play an unhinged Bo Diddley rumble would last so long? Brother C and Sister J took their cues from that Detroit duo that pretended to be siblings in the early '00s. Brother C even has the tight pants and vocal quaver that drives all the girls crazy. The differences come in the little things. His guitar sound digs more into a Texas blues with a funky twang that keeps things moving and Sister J is a much more capable drummer than that other disbanded group. She pummels an even tempo and does more than just let her hair blow in the wind. This set will likely have a lot more heavy riffs than the other.
Gypsy jazz instantly makes anything Woody Allen writes twice as madcapped. That's a cinematic fact. So perhaps when Hedgehog Swing hits the stage you'll receive a text from someone having an affair on a boat or maybe just Alan Alda. Guitarists Luca Pino and Gage Husley have clearly been studying the Reinhardt handbook. Their strum and swing is nimble and tasteful. The addition of a clarinet to that sound sometimes takes things a little too far into the Klezmer corner but that can be forgiven. This is a nice alternative to the more rocking offerings on the bill.