This year Santa Ynez Valley concert series Tales from the Tavern will enter its 18th year of hosting singers, songwriters and storytellers from all over the globe on its stage. A performance by Aireene Espiritu & The Itch at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 will kick off the 2020 series.
“We’re excited to start this new year of concert programming with a killer R&B band,” said Ron Colone, who along with his sister Carole Ann, produces and promotes the series. “It still focuses on the song, songwriter and storytelling – and it’s still a listening concert,” said Colone. “But we also wanted to bring in more bands and ensembles this season, to enhance the musical experience.”
Joining Espiritu on stage at 7 p.m. at The Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, according to Colone, will be resident Jim Pugh, a virtuoso keyboardist who has toured and recorded with Robert Cray, Etta James, Boz Skaggs, BB King, Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker.
Beyond being a musician, Pugh is a community activist, having created the nonprofit Little Village Foundation. The organization helps musical artists from non-traditional backgrounds who otherwise might not have opportunities to record and be heard beyond their own communities. Aireene Espiritu is one of those artists who has benefited from their mission.
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Colone said that Espiritu's band, The Itch, includes bassist Karl Sevareid, who has performed with Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Witherspoon, Elvin Bishop and the Robert Cray Band; guitarist Bob Welsh, having played alongside Bonnie Raitt, Elvin Bishop, James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins and The Fabulous Thunderbirds; and local drummer Austin Beede, band mate to The Haden Triplets, Alastair Greene, Alberta Cross, Grateful Shred, Dr. Testme.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact 805-697-6335 or go to www.talesfromthetavern.com
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Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.