Recap: 2011’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival

The weather was ideal, there was a beer truck tapped with New Belgium Brewery’s Beers (among others), and the artists delivered. Yes, ’twas such a good time at the 2011 McDowell Mountain Music Festival, that I think that, over a week later, I’ve finally fully recovered. Of the three days of music on the main stage, I missed only one band – Friday’s opener Paper Snowmen. Sorry Paper Snowmen, I’ll make it up to you somehow.

Day One

After settling in at the hotel late Friday afternoon, meeting up with my buddy Trevor, and cracking a couple beers in the room, we caught the free 24×7 shuttle to the parking lot of the Compound Grill – transformed for the weekend into a grassy, musical nirvana. The vibe – as expected – was low key, laid back, and live and let live. Just the way I like it.

I rolled in just in time to hear Martin Sexton‘s opening guitar plucks. Now, last year, I saw him backed by a full band at a regular gig inside the Compound, and Nils friggin’ Lofgren (E Streeter and Crazy Horser) popped on stage for the last hour. So, there was a mighty lofty precedent set. It was a cool set though. Was I blown away? No. But Martin was playing the 6:30 to 8:30 slot on opening night, so there were conflicts. Meeting up with friends, grabbing some food (tacos were $1 a piece opening night, compared to $3 a piece the rest of the weekend), and making my maiden voyages to the aforementioned Beer Trailer of Goodness. Now beer lovers, take note – tapped on the truck and available all weekend long were: Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Mothership Wit, and Blue Moon! Heaven, I tell you! Yet there were still people ordering Coors Light – Golden Colorado’s natural pee water. I’ll never understand that.

Martin Sexton
Martin Sexton

JJ Grey and Mofro were up next to close out Friday evening on the main stage. Good, down home southern fried blues rock. The highlight for me was when JJ channeled his inner Otis Redding, and belted out a song called “That’s How a Woman Wants To Be Loved By a Man”. The Stax sound filled the venue, and the people were happy. This was, for me, the highlight of Friday. Admittedly, I found parts of the set a little generic at times. Mofro are veterans of the festival scene, and know how to lay down a set, but some of the lyrics and hooks occasionally leveled out a little too much for my taste. I wasn’t as wowed as when I saw them last year at the ACL Music Festival. Still, though, overall satisfaction damn high in the setting of the MMMF. JJ is a great frontman and a beast on the harmonica.

JJ Grey
JJ Grey
JJ Grey and Mofro
ladies in the front

JJ and the band wrapped up the set, and it was time to head inside the Compound for the late show with jam/electronic wizards Particle. The keyboards on stage right captured my attention from the start (much like they do on the albums I’ve heard). Cool, electro/techno-inspired sounds and fills while the rest of the band drove into jamband happyland. It was all instrumental (at the least the first set was) and included, one must not forget, a cover of Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F”, aka the theme from Beverly Hills Cop.

At set break, I succumbed to Friday-night-after-a-long-work-week exhaustion, and it was back to the hotel.

Day Two

After a decent slumber at the Sleep Inn ($52 per night!), it was time to drive back to the southeast valley and gather my wife and my two music loving girls (they have no choice, poor things) for Saturday and Sunday’s festivities.

We made it back to the venue about halfway through Saturday’s opener, Phoenix’s own Kinch. I’d heard great things about these guys, and the handful of songs I saw did not disappoint. Balls out guitar-driven indie rock. Really creative, good hooks, and an energetic bunch of guys. They’re playing a handful of dates as Jimmy Eat World’s opener, and some others on their own. I recommend ’em if they stop through your town (


Next up was my favorite local band, What Laura Says. Psychedelic, retro, imaginative… I’ve used all these adjectives before, but they stick. I truly dig these guys. They played a smattering of tunes from both of their studio albums, Bloom Cheek and What Laura Says Thinks and Feels (their debut): “Training”, “Keep Running Shoes Special”, “Couldn’t Lose Myself If I Tried”, among others. Their third record, Talk, comes out May 24th. If you’re in Phoenix, you can hit the album release bash on May 20th at the Icehouse in downtown Phoenix.

What Laura Says
What Laura Says

Former Meters bass-man George Porter was up next on the main stage with his band Runnin’ Pardners. It was time for tha funk – New Orleans style. We got the Allen Toussaint-written “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley” and Little Feat’s “Sailin’ Shoes”… of interest here is that both of these tunes showed up on Robert Palmer’s 1974 debut album, and who backed him up on the record? The Meters. Interesting… speaking of the Meters, the show was not without its Meters tunes – most notable was “Liver Splash”.

George Porter
Runnin' Pardners guitarist Brint Anderson
Runnin' Pardners sax player Khris Royal

George Porter took a small break, then pulled double duty as the bass player for 7 Walkers (, also featuring Louisiana’s Papa Mali, multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard and former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. They have a swampy, loose feel, which showed itself in “New Orleans Crawl” and their theme song “7 Walkers”. But for me, they hit their stride with a collective assault of tunes by the good ol’ Grateful Dead: a slow burning “He’s Gone” inevitably conjured up images of the late great Jerry Garcia. Papa Mali looks sort of like a backwoods bayou cousin of Jerry, doesn’t he? George Porter took lead vocals on “Sugaree”; then Papa brought us home with “New Speedway Boogie” and the always welcome “Turn On Your Lovelight”. I will always have a soft spot for those Dead tunes. I was lucky enough to catch ’em 10 times toward the end (in ’94 and ’95), and hearing the songs in a nice setting like MMMF just put me in a great place.

Papa Mali of 7 Walkers
Bill Kreutzmann
Matt Hubbard of 7 Walkers

Then it was SOJA (Soldier’s Of Jah Army), a reggae group from Washington, D.C. SOJA was one of the bands I was completely unfamiliar with coming into the festival. After watching these white rastas rock the festival crowd, I was converted. Singer/guitarist Jacob Hemphill and bassist Bobby Lee (the birthday boy) were energetic and inspired, leading the band through their catalog of good time and socially conscious tunes. A small horn section (sax and trumpet) and drums and percussion added just the right flavor.

Jacob Hemphill of SOJA
Jacob Hemphill of SOJA
Rafael Rodriguez and Bobby Lee (SOJA)

Headlining the main stage Saturday night was Australian one-man wonder Xavier Rudd. Like Martin Sexton the night before, I had seen Xavier once before backed by a band (at the Marquee Theater in Tempe), but at MMMF, he came solo – if you can really call it solo, the way he worked his rig of percussion, stompers, didgeridoos, guitars, and bits & pieces. It was unreal at points. The coolest for me was when he’d launch into these trance-like club beat chants, using his mouth on the didge and pounding out these sick rhythms on the assortment of drums. Xavier transformed that place. The sounds he unleashed coupled with the trippy lighting had me questioning where I was exactly in the time/space continuum. If you see a Xavier Rudd show announced in your town, GO.

Xavier Rudd
Xavier Rudd

It was time to head into the Compound once again for the late show – the Otis Taylor Band taking the stage this time. Otis has a cool thing going – part blues, part folk… Down and dirty, raw.. notable in the band was female fiddle player Anne Harris and a straight ahead rock guitarist Jon Paul Johnson. Both of them infused some unique elements into Otis’ raw sound and lead banjo playing. Fun show during that first set. Yeah yeah, once again, the day caught up and I headed to bed.

Day Three

On Sunday, after a nice breakfast at First Watch, a breakfast joint recommended by my photog-man Owen Brown, we set up shop at the festival before the first band hit the stage – that first band being Orgone.

Hadn’t heard of Orgone before the lineup announcement, but, like SOJA, they impressed the hell out of me with their funky rhythm guitar & horn driven L.A. sound. It was instrumental soul & funk, straight out of the 70’s (I found similarities with Brooklyn’s Budos Band). But they also brought out an L.A. soul singer, introduced as Aphrodite, though Google won’t help me find any info on her (checked “Afrodite” too). She sang a few tunes, including a cool version of “Funky Nassau”. These guys set the tone for the day for me. It’s a shame some folks missed them, their funky 70’s vibe was a great backdrop to a sunny early afternoon – and they finished with Funkadelic’s “Cosmic Slop”, for cryin’ out loud.

Orgone - photo by Pete Icke
Guitarist Sergio Rios (Orgone) - photo by Pete Icke
Drummer Sean O'Shea (Orgone) - photo by Pete Icke

Next up was Brooklyn’s Rubblebucket, a hard to categorize band. Singer Kalmia Traver sounded at times like Bjork, other times like the singer from Swing Out Sister (during a song called or including the words”I Don’t Cry”). Oh come on, you remember Swing Out Sister. “Break Out”, anyone? Okay, I’m a little older. But there was definitely an 80’s vibe to their sound. There was also an afrobeat element, with trumpet, trombone, Traver on the baritone sax, and even a traditional African guitar.

Kalmia Traver (Rubblebucket)
Kalmia Traver (Rubblebucket)

Anyone who saw Rubblebucket undoubtedly was entertained also by the Sedona Hippie. Now, there must be a story behind this gent, and I’m sure he’s well known up in Red Rock Country – but this was THE happiest hippie you have ever laid eyes on. Clad only in tie-dyed long underwear, homeboy skipped around the venue for all of Rubblebucket’s set. He hugged people, he lifted people and spun them around, he had a few serious sessions of ring around the rosie… I mean, the dude was HAPPY, and was not messing around. No shame in his game – bulge be damned… Props to the Happy Hippie.

The Happy Hippie
More Happy Hippie

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears! I’ve been enjoying this Austin retro power-soul band for a couple of years, and was looking forward to my first live show. Joe Lewis sounds like a seasoned pro – I was surprised to see he was just a kid in his 20’s. It was great to experience Lewis’ loud soulful pipes, the full on blast of the horn section (the Hard Proof Honeybear Horns), and the backing rhythm licks of Josh Duhamel-doppleganger Zach Ernst on guitar. They hit the crowd hard with new tunes like “Scandalous”, “Booty City”, and older ones like – you got it – “Bitch I Love You”.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
The Hard Proof Honeybear Horns and guitarist Zach Ernst
Black Joe Lewis

So then it was time for my second Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show in as many weekends. I caught Alex Ebert and his merry commune the week before at the Railroad Revival Tour in Tempe (along with Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons). I was especially excited about this gig because my kids were along, and like a lot of kids, they love “Home” and “Janglin” – and they adore Jade Castrinos, Alex’s co-singer in the band. I took the girls over side stage before showtime, tracked Jade down, and asked for a photo with my girls…

Jade and my Girls (photo by Pete Icke)

Cool right? They were stoked. So then we waited. And waited. Not sure if Alex was exhibiting diva-like behavior, but the set finally got rolling over an hour past its scheduled start. But all was forgiven when they kicked off the show with “Janglin”, and, one daughter in each arm, we stood front and center and sung along, all three of us. They were thrilled, and I was thrilled seeing them thrilled.

Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Jade Castrinos

Nora Kirkpatrick

A few tunes went by, and, for reasons those outside of the Magnetic Zeros Circle may never know, Jade left the stage and never came back. For their biggest hit, “Home”, Alex brought up a few audience members to sing Jade’s parts. It was entertaining and all, and must have been exciting for the chosen ones, but it was disappointing not to have Jade on stage trading lines with Alex. All in all though, Alex and the Zeros pulled off a great closing set. As the crowd thinned out, Alex joined the crowd in front of the stage and had everyone sit down with him as he sang the final tune. It was a pleasant, mellow ending to another great weekend at MMMF.

Highlights for Me:

  • Orgone, What Laura Says, Xavier Rudd, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
  • Blue Moon, Mothership Wit, Ranger IPA on tap (and not running out all weekend!)
  • Air conditioned trailer rest rooms. Didn’t have to squirt in a port-o-potty all weekend!
  • The swiss turkey burgers were tasty, especially with those warm plantains.
  • The Happy Hippie. See above.

Some Observations:

  • This is one of the most kid-friendly events around, but the kiddos need food & beverage options. Vitamin Water, regular water, and soda got old real fast. An ice-cold lemonade stand would have made a killing. How ’bout a sno-cone stand? Popcorn and popsicles? French fries and chicken strips? (Props to that Ice Cream van though!) We have to keep those kids happy…
  • Water Sprayer Guy – Year after year you deliver, spraying the hot festival goers with a cool mist. Hats off to you, water sprayer guy…
Water Sprayer Guy
Water Sprayer Guy - photo by Pete Icke
  • Yes, we all still miss Westworld, and hopefully in the future, the festival will return there. But I can’t stress enough how great a job the organizers do in transforming an upscale Scottsdale strip mall parking lot into a music lover’s paradise.
  • It seemed like a good sized crowd, with lots of good people supporting a great festival and two great charities. Here’s hoping MMMF keeps growing in popularity here in the Phoenix area. Those of us who attend do our best to spread the word, but let’s be real – you mention MMMF to co-workers and acquaintances, and only a few have heard of it. It’s up to all of us to keep promoting it, and hopefully the talent budget next year is even greater. Pull in a couple big names, interspersed with some of the lesser known acts, and it’s bound for bigger & better things.

Thanks again, MMMF! And everyone, mark your calendars for next year, the dates have already been announced: April 20-22, 2012.

Onward and upward!

Credits: All photos by Owen Brown Photography unless otherwise noted.

Recap: Martin Sexton (and Nils Lofgren) at the Compound Grill

All photographs courtesy of OWB Photography. Click for larger images.

You may not come across many people in your daily life who are familiar with the music of Martin Sexton – much less seen him perform live. But anyone I’ve encountered who has seen his live act – people I know personally, online, etc. – has nothing but rave reviews for the guy.

Now I know why.

Martin Sexton, backed by the talented Ryan Montbleau Band (who also opened the show with an impressive 45 minute set), rolled into town last night for one of the opening gigs of his tour in support of a new album – Sugarcoating.

It was a 90 minute dose of a little of everything: roots, rock, gospel, blues, soul… and to sweeten the pot even further, who shows up to sit in for the entire second half of the show? E Streeter and local resident Nils Lofgren, that’s who! Being someone who worships at the altar of E Street – I was pretty excited.

I had spotted Nils right before the show started – wearing a jacket, t-shirt, jeans, and sporting a “I Could be Illegal” button on his lapel. He was sitting at a table not six feet away from me. And when he walked by, I had to do it: “Excuse me. Are you Nils Lofgren?” In a cool and calculated fashion (like it was the 20,000th time he’d heard this question), he extended his hand and replied “Yeah man, how are ya.”

So it was pretty cool taking in the first part of Martin’s show with Nils and his gang sitting right by me.

The first part of Martin’s set focused largely on new tunes from Sugarcoating. “Found”, the album opener, featured a beautifully sung “America the Beautiful” intro. “Sugarcoating” morphed into the first verse of “Amazing Grace.”

It’s these types of moments where Sexton stands out from the rest. His lower register singing voice is unique as is, but when he lets loose with his higher register voice – often stepping away from the microphone to really let loose – it’s hard not get goosebumps and lose yourself in the moment. And when the music includes moving standards like “America” and “Amazing”, it’s a great showcase for Martin’s supreme vocals.

“Diner” was the first Martin Sexton song I ever heard, the song that made me seek out more of his stuff. So I was happy to hear it as the second song of the night.

After a string of new tunes, the crowd really came alive during “Angeline” – from his 2000 Wonder Bar album – singing along during the fun chorus.

For “Glory Bound”, the band left the stage, leaving Martin to sing with his plugged in acoustic. It was before “Glory Bound” that Nils Lofgren stood up, walked past us and made his way through a door sidestage. When the band came out after “Glory Bound”, out came Nils with them – launching into a slow, bluesy “There Go I”. Nils launched into one of his signature solos, toying with the effects pedals and poking at the fret board…it was a sight to see – especially in the intimate confines of the Compound.

I thought Nils would sit in for one song and call it a night. But he never left the stage. He was there for the rest of the show. He joined Martin and the band for the Texas blues boogie of “Ice Cream Man”; the reggae rhythm of “My Faith Is Gone”; a short blast of Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker”; the beautiful “Always Got Away” (a favorite of mine from the new record); the playful feel of “Failure.”

The encore started with the slower, gospel-tinged “Black Sheep”. Then, it was really time for church.

Martin: “Hallelujah!” Crowd: “Hallelujah!!” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It was joy & inspiration all around as Martin and the band dove into “Turn On Your Lovelight”, intermingled with “This Little Light of Mine”, and whipped the sold out crowd into a spirited frenzy. It felt like a revival, and as Martin, Nils and the band left the stage, it was hard to come down and call it a night.

But as the saying goes, leave ’em wanting more. And that they did.



Set List

Martin Sexton
The Compound Grill
Scottsdale, AZ

May 5th, 2010

Love Keep Us Together
America the Beautiful > Found
Boom Sh-Boom
Livin the Life
Sugarcoating > Amazing Grace
Stick Around
Glory Bound
There Go I **
Failure **
Heartbreaker (instrumental)**
My Faith is Gone **
Always Got Away **
Station Man **
Real Man **
Ice Cream Man **


Black Sheep **
Turn On Your Lovelight / This Little Light of Mine **

[** with Nils Lofgren]

Show Alert: Martin Sexton this Wednesday at the Compound Grill

Photo by Crackerfarm

Over the years, I’ve heard from numerous people about the great live show that Martin Sexton and his band put on. This Wednesday, I’ll finally get to experience it for myself. Martin Sexton is just kicking off a nationwide tour, and Scottsdale’s Compound Grill is one of his first stops. The Ryan Montbeau Band will be opening the show, and then backing Martin up for his set.

If you’re in the Phoenix area, come on down to the Compound –  this Wednesday, May 5th. Martin will be playing lots of stuff from his new record, Sugarcoating, as well as some rarities and favorites.

Buy Tickets Here.

Here’s a recent video blog from Martin…

Recap: 2010’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival

I’ll admit, my first feeling was of disappointment when I found out a few months back that the 7th McDowell Mountain Music Festival was scaling down – from the spacious polo field of Scottsdale’s Westworld to the parking lot adjacent to the Compound Grill. But my feelings quickly changed to ones of thankfulness and support toward a genuinely good group of people who were determined not to fold it up and call it quits in these tough economic times.

After spending most of Saturday and all of Sunday at the festival, it was clear to me that not only had the festival organizers pulled it off, but they had created a very special and intimate experience for everyone involved. By scaling down the event and bringing everyone and everything closer together, it actually helped enhance the experience. I couldn’t help but feel a stronger sense of community than years past. By the end of the weekend, there were familiar and friendly faces everywhere I looked. And of course, the cozy atmosphere also brought us all closer to the great music.

There was no hot black asphalt to be found within the festival. Fresh green sod had been laid end to end, side to side. The food tent featured a delicious and unique menu provided by the adjoining Compound Grill – delicious turkey burgers, Korean BBQ tacos (teeny-tiny, but delicious), chicken & rice bowls, burritos, and churros with Prickly Pear Jam (a favorite of both my daughters). The beer tent featured about a dozen microbrews – New Belgium brews, Abita, Flying Dog, and others. There were vendors and crafts for the kids…

Ticket Giveaway: Late Night at the Compound with Steve Kimock & Crazy Engine

What are you up to this weekend? If you can make your way to north Scottsdale’s Compound Grill, you’ll find the surroundings taken over by the McDowell Mountain Music Festival. Vehicles will be kicked to the curb, sod will be laid down, a big stage will go up, and the people… they will come. Look forward to sets by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Trombone Shorty, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and others (see MMMF’s site for full lineup details).

Late Saturday night (showtime @ 11pm), within the cozy confines of the Compound Grill, Bay Area guitar whiz Steve Kimock will take the stage with his new band, Crazy Engine. Steve has been part of the jam/psychedelic/prog rock scene for a number of years. He co-founded Zero in the 80’s, formed his own Steve Kimock Band in 2000, and has played a part in Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Phil Lesh & Friends, and the Other Ones.

Joining Steve in Crazy Engine is longtime Jerry Garcia Band member Melvin Seals on Hammond B-3 and keys, Trevor Extor on bass and vocals, and his 22-year old son John Morgan Kimock on drums.

I’ll be there enjoying the show, so why don’t you? I’m giving away a pair of tickets. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below. Keep in mind this is a late night show that starts at 11pm and will jam into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re serious about rocking out all night long with Steve Kimock & Crazy Engine, drop a comment in below. I’ve heard Steve’s a pretty amazing guitarist to see live, so this should be something extra special given the small club feel of the Compound Grill.

I’ll pick a winner from the Comments section on Thursday. Good luck!

Two Times One Night: Los Lobos at the Compound Grill

Los Lobos delivered as expected last night at the Compound Grill in Scottsdale. The wife was a great sport, and powered through two full shows with me – an 8pm dinner show and a 11pm late show. Friends Jen and Brian also rocked out all night along with us.

The Compound Grill is a brand new venue, having been open only a few months now, and it was built with live music (and good food) in mind. So the atmosphere was just fantastic – a small club feel, friendly and attentive staff, and a great sound system.  The early show was sold out with the max capacity of 200 people, so it felt like the coolest private party I’d ever been to.  Eating dinner, putting back a pint or two, with Los Lobos as the house band.

After the first show, most of the folks cleared out, leaving those of us who were in it for the two shows. I was expecting it to fill up again, but the late crowd ended up being probably 80-100 people tops.  This only elevated that private party feel. Guitarist Cesar Rojas set the celebratory atmosphere from the very beginning – toasting “Salud!” with a glass of red wine. He toasted “Salud” throughout the night, right up through the last tune of the night as the clock ticked past 1am (“Bertha”).

The highlights were many. The cover tunes included a blistering 1-2 punch of Neil Young’s “Down by the River” into Jimi’s “Are You Experienced?” in the first show (jaw dropping solos by David Hidalgo, Cesar, and Louie Perez); a great cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “300 Pounds of Joy”; Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy”; another Jimi cover, “Red House” near the end of the late show; and of course their popular take on the Grateful Dead’s “Bertha”.

Another cool moment: slow dancing with my wife at the foot of the stage, as Lobos played a 50’s doo-wop ballad, “Daddy’s Home”. Dancing slow with the lady, and looking up to see Los Lobos playing five feet away? Priceless.

Of course, Los Lobos has a rich catalog to draw from – and the night featured old and new (full set list below) – including great versions of “Kiko”, “Evangeline”, “I Got Loaded”, and the always raucous “La Bamba”/”Good Lovin'” combo, which whipped the dance floor into a frenzy, and Hidalgo inviting a few young ladies to dance on the stage.

I always get instantly nostalgic after a great live music experience – so tonight feels a little bittersweet. The feeling I get while watching Los Lobos live is one I’d like to carry around with me every day of my life. If you’re one of the many who haven’t seen Los Lobos live, please put it on your bucket list and find out what this feeling is all about…


Cesar threw a few CD’s into the crowd last night. My wife grabbed a hold of one – their latest CD, Los Lobos Goes Disney. We listened today, and the album is a blast. It also contains a slow, beautiful tune called “Not in Nottingham” (from Robin Hood).  Check it out…


Buy the MP3 of Not In Nottingham

Check out the whole album:

February 20th, 2010
The Compound Grill, Scottsdale, AZ

8pm Show

La Pistola y El Corazon
Saint Behind the Glass
I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)
One Time One Night
Happy Birthday – electric
Chuco’s Cumbia
Dream in Blue
Down By The River (Neil Young) >
Are You Experienced? (Jimi Hendrix) >
Kiko and the Lavender Moon
Let’s Say Goodnight
Ay Te Dejo en San Antonio
Soy Mexico Americano
Volver, Volver
Road to Gila Bend
Don’t Worry Baby

Mas y Mas

11pm Show

La La La La La (Blendells)
Luz De Mi Vida
Whiskey Trail
Why Do You Do?
Wicked Rain
The Neighborhood >
300 Pounds of Joy (Howlin’ Wolf)
Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
That Train Don’t Stop Here
Daddy’s Home (Shep & the Limelites)
Red House (Jimi Hendrix)
I Got Loaded
La Bamba > Good Lovin’ > La Bamba (Ritchie Valens)

Bertha (Grateful Dead)

Los Lobos – Live & Late Night this Saturday in Scottsdale

This is already the perfect time of year here in the Phoenix area – sunny, 75 degrees, and Spring Training about to kick into high gear – but when I got the news earlier this week that Los @#@! Lobos will be in town this Saturday, I about spun around and did the splits James Brown style – and that is not an easy feat.

This Saturday nightLos Lobos will play not one, but two shows at one of the valley’s newer live music venues: The Compound Grill in north Scottsdale. They’re slated for a 8:00 show and a late night, down n’ dirty 11:00 show.

Look, if you’re in Arizona, and especially if you’ve never seen Los Lobos – a national treasure of a band – you need to make your way to the Compound Grill on Saturday night. Do yourself and your friends a favor, and experience a quintessential American band: roots, Tex-Mex, 50’s rock & roll, Latin, Americana, rhythm & blues… there are few things as satisfying as the live Los Lobos experience.

I know this is the ultimate fluff piece, but seriously people, look to the sidebar, Los Lobos are permanently enshrined in the Ickmusic Hall of Fame!

Long Live Los Lobos! And see you Saturday night!

Buy tickets from the Compound Grill Web Site.