The Homegrown Showcases put together by Cathryn Beeks are some of my favorite events to attend. Mostly populated with local acts these shows epitomize San Diego’s diverse music scene, take place at many of the various venues our city has to offer and give an array of music makers the opportunity to show off their talents. On Monday, June 25 the Homegrown showcase at Anthology made good on all of its promises. Eight bands in four hours seems like an incredible feat to pull off. But the evening ran seemingly smooth with bands playing roughly 20 minute sets, videos (mostly from the artists) playing on screens around the venue between bands and Beeks lending her velvety voice as MC.
Out of eight very different acts the styles ranged from country to pop to rock and all the bands had their merits. There were a few distinct highlights for me and so away we go with my reviews for three of the bands. Chime in with your own favorites or make it out the next showcase so we can compare notes!
Talk Like June: It’s no surprise that Beeks introduced this group as her “favorite unsigned country act.” They are extremely talented. From stunning lead vocals by Suzanne Harper to meandering guitar solos by Eric Bird they simply command the audience’s attention. While I wouldn’t classify myself as a fan of country I still have an appreciation for what this group does and it is a fact that they will inevitably grow their following with live shows like this. Check out “California” for a clear representation of their style and sound.
Jerry Olea and The 805 Drifters: Olea looks the part of old time rock ‘n’ roll and with his band he offers a sound to match. There is a swanky vibe to these tunes anchored by the soulful lead vocals and blues-tinged melodies. The guys just finished up a residency at The Griffin, they hit the showcase stage at the San Diego fair tonight (Thursday June 28) and you can keep up on their shows here. Check out “CV Shuffle” for a catchy song with a funky beat.
King Washington: The only non-San Diego band to hit the stage brought rich harmonies and layered nuances that presented yet another style to the showcase. Cramming as much power and depth as possible into their quick set the quartet offered a vintage sound with contemporary updates. The balance and distinction of multiple singers is reminiscent of some of my favorite bands including the UK’s Gomez (my all time favorite band) as both bands offer a Beatles-esque appeal. The group is currently playing in support of their recently released album “The Gears” which I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the past few weeks. Check ’em out and join me in getting the boys back to SD stat! Here’s a couple links so you may dip your toes into the KW sound. “Fourth of July” on SoundCloud (listen, download, rinse, repeat) and “Bawl and Change” on YouTube (watch, share, rinse, repeat)
These were the stand-outs for me this particular night and that’s one of my favorite things these showcases. I find new artists to follow, check out tracks online or pick up a CD at the show, and have new talents to experience around San Diego (and sometimes beyond.) I highly recommend you keep up to date on these Homegrown and ListenLocalSD events.