Three to see: Music worth catching around Sacramento

Published: Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am

The Quick & Easy Boys — funk and rock, 9 p.m. today at Harlow’s

Their tag line pretty much says it all: “Yeah bud!” In a Portland, Ore., music scene renowned for introspective folk and biting indie rock, power trio the Quick & Easy Boys have emerged as a fists-in-the-air, country-fried funk-rock phenomenon. Guitarist Jimmy Russell is an as-yet unheralded surgeon on guitar, running circles around funky and progressive hooks, stopping only to squeeze in a kind of honky-tonk ramble. Q&E opens for Brubaker, the latest vehicle for Neil Franklin and Gene Smith of area rock wunderkinds Kai Kln and the Ricky & Del Connection. Phil & the Blanx also perform. Yeah bud! 8 p.m. doors. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $10 adv/$12 d.o.s. (916) 441-4693;

Sean Hayes — folk rock, 3 p.m. Saturday at the American River Music Festival

Listening to Sean Hayes, it’s hard to imagine him as a young boy. He stirs up the image of an oracle who dropped out of the sky and landed on a street corner with little more than some modest rags and a guitar. Such is the humble quality of his songwriting — honest, sweet, endearing, mysterious and virtually impossible to ignore. Nevertheless, his music reveals what he listened to as a boy: shades of vintage soul, folk, R&B and even tinges of reggae. It’s hard to know which version of Hayes will show up — the thrift shop folk troubadour, or the soul man with the nine-piece band he brought to last month’s Petaluma Music Festival. Hayes is joined at this weekend’s American River Music Festival by the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Paul Thorn, Dead Winter Carpenters, Hot Buttered Rum and many others. The festival runs through Sunday, Henningsen-Lotus Park, Lotus. $40 to $59. www.americanrivermusic


The Features – pop rock, 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Harlow’s

Try as you might, it is simply impossible to ignore the qualities of Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell in Features vocalist Matt Pelham’s immaculately varnished delivery. When Pelham’s vocals intertwine with his bandmates’ equally emphatic and shiny riffs, this Nashville foursome falls somewhere between the southern swagger of Kings of Leon and the creative lunacy of the Mars Volta. 6:30 p.m. doors. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $10 advance; $12 Sunday (916) 441-4693;

Looking Ahead: Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Oct. 4 at Harlow’s

Thanks to their viral sensation “Van Sessions” videos and the critical kudos she is accruing, Bluhm and her band are developing a stranglehold on the national Americana scene. This one will sell out. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $16 advance; $18 day of show.

Read more articles by Aaron Davis

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