No matter how much you think you love guitar music and guitar history, Deke Dickerson loves it more. He writes for publications such as Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, and The Fretboard Journal, and he’s writing a biography of guitar legend Merle Travis.
He organizes an annual Guitar Geek Festival in Anaheim, and he’s the kind of guy who seeks out old-school players like Larry Collins, a child rockabilly star in the ’50s who played an early double-neck guitar, because he’s that big of a guitar nerd.
Dickerson himself is a helluva player who started at 13 playing rockabilly with his first band, The Untamed Youth, in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri. At 22, he relocated to LA and formed the Dave & Deke Combo with Dave Stuckey and later Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Fonics. He now tours as Deke Dickerson & the Whippersnappers, playing The Siren next Thursday, Dec. 8 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $15 at eventbrite.com) with The Bonneville Phantoms opening.
Dickerson plays everything from roots rock to alt-country to hillbilly blues to surf rock and more. He’s “provided rootsy music for a slew of television shows and movie projects, including scoring the music for a Paramount Pictures film starring Johnny Knoxville, Action Point,” according to press materials.
Two of his songs are featured in Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure theme park, and he’s “well known as a historian of roots music and regularly contributes liner notes to reissue projects for such labels as Capitol, RCA, Bear Family, and Sundazed.
If guitar music is your thing, Dickerson’s the man!
Don’t forget Numbskull and Good Medicine have three shows at The Siren this week starting with punk legends Agent Orange on Thursday, Dec. 1 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 at goodmedicinepresents.com or $22 day of show) Freewill and Carry The 9 open.
Santa Margarita local Jade Jackson plays Sunday, Dec. 4 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $18 at goodmedicinepresents.com). She’s got a couple of solo records out that were produced by Social D frontman Mike Ness as well as a collaboration with Aubrie Sellers called Breaking Point.
Finally, two very fine country singer-songwriters—Brennen Leigh and Sunny Sweeney—play The Siren as a stop on their On the Loose Tour this Wednesday, Dec. 7 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $22 at goodmedicinepresents.com). Leigh’s songs have been recorded by Lee Ann Womack, Rodney Crowell, Charley Crockett, and many others. Sweeney has a new album, Married Alone, that’s been getting rave reviews. Should be a good one!
Local band gone big Próxima Parada returns to their old stomping grounds to play the Fremont on Friday, Dec. 2 (8 p.m.; all ages; $28.46 with fees at seetickets.us), with Hermosa Beach R&B act The Charities opening.
Próxima formed at Cal Poly, and they mostly write songs about personal growth, trying to make universal connections with their ever-growing audience. From Cal Poly to national touring, the band is on an incredible journey and they’re just getting started.
Rakim (née William Michael Griffin Jr.) is a master of the microphone, a rapper and record producer who rose to fame as one half of Eric B. & Rakim, who’s been dubbed The God EmCee, known for his masterful internal and multisyllabic rhymes. His album with Eric B., Paid in Full, was named the greatest hip-hop album of all time by MTV in 2006. Rakim is also known for three solo albums, 18th Letter, The Master, and The Seventh Seal, and on Saturday, Dec. 3, he’ll perform his show “Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of 18th Letter” (8 p.m.; all ages; $37.69 with fees at seetickets.us).
Don’t forget quintessential Cali rockers The Mother Hips play Thursday, Dec. 1 (7 p.m.; all ages; $25 at ticketweb.com). For 30 years, these friends who met at Chico State have been cooking up breezy, ’70s-inspired, psychedelic, and Laurel Canyon-style rock.
Yächtley Crëw—the Titans of Soft Rock—plays on Wednesday, Dec. 7 (7 p.m.; all ages; $20 at ticketweb.com). The band just signed with Jimmy Buffett’s Mailboat Records and announced an extended engagement at The Palms in Las Vegas. Prepare to be flooded with the sounds of soft rock hits by Christopher Cross, Hall & Oates, TOTO, Steely Dan, Michael MacDonald, and more.
Finally, New Jersey-born Breland, a real musical chameleon and genre-jumping singer-songwriter, plays his Here For It tour next Thursday, Dec. 8 (7 p.m.; all ages; $15 general and $50 VIP at ticketweb.com; $20 day of show). Inspired by everyone from the Beatles, Rascal Flatts, Prince, and Stevie Wonder, he’s created some amazing songs, like “My Truck,” a country song with hip-hop flare that went viral on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
It’s that time of the year, which means Kerry Irish Productions returns to the Clark Center with An Irish Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 3 (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $40 to $58 at clarkcenter.org). Amazing Irish music, incredible dancers, and beloved holiday favorites await: “Silent Night,” “Carol of the Bells,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and more.
The 16th annual Winterdance Christmas Celebration happens Sunday Dec. 4 (4 p.m.; all ages; $25), with seasonal music by New World String Project to fill your ears and champion Irish dancers to melt your eyeballs. Sponsored by KCBX Public Radio, this annual tradition presents virtuosic performances on exotic instruments like nyckelharpa, cittern, Celtic harp, and cajon, as well as fiddle, guitar, and octave mandolin.
Singer-songwriter Emily Franklin is now playing a weekly show every Thursday, including Thursday, Dec. 1, at SLO’s Saints Barrel (1021 Higuera St.; 7 p.m.), and also this Friday, Dec. 2, at SLO Cider Co. Don’t miss this talented young songwriter with a lovely voice.
Cal Poly has a trio of shows this week starting when the Cal Poly Choirs present the sixth annual Holiday Kaleidoscope on Friday, Dec. 2, in the SLO PAC (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $10 students and $15 to $20 for the public at (805) SLO-4TIX). Expect a lot of holiday music.
The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble presents their Fall Concert with special guests the Morro Bay High School Choirs on Saturday, Dec. 3, in the Spanos Theatre (7:30 p.m.; all ages; $10 students and $20 general at (805) SLO-4TIX). Among other Middle Eastern music, the groups will perform an adaptation of Joy Hirokawa’s arrangement of “Lamma Bada Yatathanna,” a foremost example of Arab art music.
Finally, the Cal Poly Symphony will begin its concert season with The Madrone String Quartet on Sunday, Dec. 4, in the SLO PAC (3 p.m.; all ages; $10 students and $15 to $20 for the public at (805) SLO-4TIX). The concert will feature side-by-side performances of chamber music and Antonín Dvoák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”
The SLO Wind Orchestra presents Holiday Magic with conductor Jennifer Martin and saxophonist Ron McCarley this Sunday, Dec. 4, in the Cuesta College Performing Arts Center (3 to 5 p.m.; all ages; $10 students, $20 general, and $30 premium at tickettailor.com). Hear classics such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Nutcracker Fantasy,” “What Child Is This?” and a holiday sing-along.
Mike Vitale plays the house concert series Tunes on Mentone next Thursday, Dec. 8 (7 p.m.; $20 to $30 cash donation requested at the door; RSVP at my.listeningroomnetwork.com/event-bthlvCAUS20221208#bio). All collected funds go to the performer. Vitale is an LA-based singer-songwriter whose voice and music are often compared to Paul Simon, John Mayer, Sting, Dave Matthews, and Peter Gabriel. Δ
Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at email@example.com.