As we noted last week, we're in the midst of Tucson's music-festival season. West by Southwest got things rolling last month, and anyone who attended Festival en el Barrio Viejo knows that these things have the power to transcend being just a bunch of bands playing in the same place, on the same day.
Festival en El Barrio Viejo was something more—with several generations of people enjoying themselves equally, with top-notch entertainment as the magnet that pulled them all together. Kudos to Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents; Curtis McCrary (an occasional Weekly contributor), Ryan Trayte, Doug Biggers and all at the Rialto Theatre; KXCI FM 91.3, which received a nice chunk of change from the event; and, of course, Calexico and all the bands and musicians who performed their hearts out. Due to an injury, I wasn't able to be there very long, but I can't begin to count the number of times I got chills in the short time I was there. Check out Mari Herreras' post about the event on The Range, our blog. There was some serious voodoo happening that day.
However, not all festivals are created equal, and the two notable ones this week are certainly aimed at a more-specific audience than the Festival en el Barrio Viejo. But there really is some sort of magic that can happen when people gather together with a common interest, and music gets to the heart of that faster than just about anything short of a political rally.
This is the point where I would normally tell you that KFMA FM 92.1 and 101.3's regular KFMA Day hits town this weekend, and then proceed to poke fun at the lineup of acts. I take no joy in doing so, but it's often far too easy not to do.
I do, however, take joy in letting you know that this year's roster is one of the better in recent years. Headlining the show is Muse—the station's biggest "get" since Metallica a couple years ago—whose artful combination of pop, prog, orchestral pop and hard rock has made the British band fan and critical favorites on both sides of the pond. Co-headlining is dreamboat Jordan Catalano's Jared Leto's commercially huge 30 Seconds to Mars, and sharing the bill are Silversun Pickups, Five Finger Death Punch, Switchfoot, The Dirty Heads and Neon Trees.
Gates for the all-ages KFMA Day open at noon, Sunday, April 11, at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road, and music runs until 10 p.m. Tickets are available for $35 at all Catalina Mart locations or online at kfma.com, the same site to check for more information.
Now in its eighth year, Country Thunder, which runs from Wednesday, April 14, through Saturday, April 17, in Florence, is one of the nation's largest country-music festivals. While the list of acts playing usually focuses on modern country-radio acts, the festival's organizers always throw a bone or two to traditionalists, too.
This year's fest kicks off on Wednesday, April 14, at the Howlin' Coyote Saloon; the remainder of the festival takes place on the event's Main Stage. Here's a selection of some of the acts performing, by day:
Wednesday, April 14: Neal McCoy, Eric Church, The Grascals.
Thursday, April 15: Miranda Lambert, Gary Allan, Jo Dee Messina, Collin Raye.
Friday, April 16: Keith Urban, Kevin Costner and Modern West, Luke Bryan, Randy Houser.
Saturday, April 17: Kid Rock, Willie Nelson, Big Kenny, Chris Young.
Country Thunder takes place at 20585 E. Price Station Road, in Florence. General-admission tickets are $65 per day ($25 for Wednesday), or $119 for a four-day pass. VIP packages, kids' tickets and camping arrangements are also available. All the info you could possibly want is available at countrythunder.com.
Speaking of local festivals, the 25th annual Tucson Folk Festival (May 1 and 2) is right around the corner, and that means the Tucson Kitchen Musicians' Association, the nonprofit organization that hosts the TFF, will this week be holding its annual Spring Fundraiser. (The Folk Fest may be free to attend, but it's far from free to execute.)
The fundraiser will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, at Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court Ave., and here's what the schedule looks like, in order of appearance: Namoli Brennet (11 a.m.), The Tryst (11:45 a.m.), Stringbean Orchestra (12:30 p.m.), Copper Moon (1 p.m.), Womansong (1:45 p.m.), Big Jim Griffith (2:30 p.m.), Greg Morton and Jim Stanley (3:15 p.m.), Kevin Pakulis and Larry Lee Lerma (4:15 p.m.), The Wyatts (5 p.m.), Last Call Girls (6 p.m.) and Spirit Familia (7 p.m.).
Admission is $10, or $7 for TKMA members. For further details, head to tucsonfolkfest.org, or call 623-6024.
Five years ago, at the fifth-anniversary celebration for Humane Borders (an organization that provides humanitarian assistance to those in need along the U.S.-Mexico border via emergency water stations), Pablo Peregrina, a first-generation immigrant born in Nogales, Sonora, and now a local singer-songwriter, made a public commitment to compose a CD on the theme of border issues. This week, that promise is fulfilled in the form of Traveling Soles, a self-released CD that contains 18 songs.
The CD-release event, titled "Border Songs and Stories," will feature Pablo performing songs from Traveling Soles; dancers from ZUZI! Dance Company performing alongside him on a song; readings from authors Eva Zorrilla Tessler of Borderlands, Maria Sara Villa of ZUZI!, and the Weekly's own Margaret Regan; and an installation by visual artist Debbi McCullough, whose art is composed from trash and belongings left in the desert by migrants.
Border Songs and Stories begins at 7 p.m., Friday, April 9, at ZUZI! Theater at the Historic YWCA, 738 N. Fifth Ave. Admission is a suggested donation of $10. More info is available at zuzimoveit.org or by calling 629-0237.
You likely know that the legendary folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie passed his musical genes onto his similarly celebrated son, Arlo Guthrie. But you may not know that the music of the Guthrie family now extends a couple more generations.
The Guthrie Family Rides Again, which takes place at 8 p.m., Friday, April 9, at UA Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., will feature performances from Arlo; his son Abe; his daughters Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee Guthrie; and Sarah Lee's husband and musical partner Johnny Irion. Even Arlo's grandchildren will join in on select songs. Tickets range from $15 to $52 and are available at the Centennial box office, online at uapresents.org or by calling 621-3341. Use the same number for questions.
Congrats to Zocalo's Jamie Manser and attorney Dan Rylander, who are gettin' hitched this weekend! In keeping with the couple's generous nature, they're inviting the public to their live-music-filled wedding reception at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., on Saturday, April 10. Music begins at 7:30 p.m. and will include performances by Fourkiller Flats, The Tryst, Al Perry, Cheepness, Greyhound Soul, The Kate Becker Project, Cathy Rivers, The Shantowskis and Maggie Golston. Admission is free, and the soon-to-be newlyweds request that donations be made to the bands and the Rialto Theatre Foundation at the door. More info by calling 740-1000.
Patty Griffin and Scott Miller at the Rialto on April 13; CD-release concert by Domingo DeGrazia and Beth Daunis at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun on April 10; Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs and Tom Walbank and the Ambassadors at Plush on April 12; Mark Growden with special guests and video screenings at The Screening Room on April 9 and 10; Voodoo Glow Skulls and Authority Zero at The Hut on April 14; Candye Kane at Old Town Artisans on April 10; Pan Left Benefit featuring Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout, Mean Beans and Emily Spinach at Club Congress on April 9; Tucson Tattoo Expo After Party featuring Black Cherry Burlesque, Wolves and Cadillac Steakhouse at Surly Wench Pub on April 10; Crucible Zine Metal/Hardcore Fest at Skrappy's on April 9; Ryanhood and Tyrone Wells at the Rialto on April 9; JJ Heller benefit concert for the Christenson Family at the Vail Theatre of the Arts on April 9; Voices for Children benefit at The Rock on April 10; Shannon Curtis at Plush on April 14; Greyhound Soul and The Swim at Sky Bar on April 10; Gila Bend, The Wyatts and Rich Hopkins and Luminarios at Plush on April 9; The Wonder Years at Skrappy's on April 12; Mouse Fire, Real Phony, Jurassic Parking Lot and Greater Bird of Paradise at The HangArt on April 9; Igor and Red Elvises and Ghost Cow at Plush on April 10; AC/DC tribute band B/S at the Main Street Concert Center on April 10; The Haymarket Squares at Plush on April 13.