LIVE MUSIC: Sprague teams with Francis; Silver Spurs; Buck O Nine
by Bart Mendoza
Published - 12/19/12 - 03:16 PM | 5546 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Peter Sprague and Nina Francis will team for a performance at Tango Del Rey Dec. 21.   
                                                                                                                     Courtesy photo
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One of the hardest-working musicians in town is Peter Sprague. Performing with a variety of artists and groups, Sprague’s latest project sees him teaming with La Jolla’s Nina Francis for a concert at Tango Del Rey on Dec. 21. Also performing will be saxophonist Tripp Sprague and bassist Gunnar Biggs, making for a performance with the highest caliber of music possible. Francis is a superb guitar player and songwriter with a wonderful voice, perfectly matched to Sprague’s stellar playing. While the whole performance promises to be inspiring, Sprague’s guitar playing is particularly evocative when he backs Francis and, most impressively, he uses a double-neck guitar, ensuring a bit of extra “wow” factor in the proceedings.

• Nina Francis with Peter Sprague: 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21 at Tango Del Rey, 3567 Del Rey St. All ages.

Country music gets short shrift in San Diego, but that’s not to say there aren’t interesting bands playing just that sort of music in the area. Such is the case with the Silver Spurs, who perform Dec. 22 at Tio Leo’s. The quintet plays a terrific blend of originals and classics that range from vintage tracks like Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” to more modern tracks like David Lindley’s “Mercury Blues.” Whether you enjoy line dancing or just want to kick up your heels a bit, the Silver Spurs’ music is just what the doctor ordered to kick off the weekend before Christmas in fine style.

• The Silver Spurs perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa St. 21 and up. Cover TBD.

One of the most popular bands to emerge from San Diego’s mid-1990s heyday, ska-influenced Buck O Nine performs at the 710 Beach Club on Dec. 28. Perhaps best known for its 1997 hit “My Town,” the band only plays rarely and hasn’t released new music since 2007, but that won’t stop the band’s legion of fans from making this relatively intimate gig one of the hottest year-end shows. It’s unlikely there will be many new songs in the band’s set, but with nearly 20 years of its own classics to choose from, it’s also unlikely that any fans attending the show will leave musically unsatisfied.

• Buck O Nine performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 at the 710 Beach Club, 710 Garnet Ave. 21 and up.

Jazz fans wanting to end 2012 in style will want to head to Dizzy’s on Dec. 30 for a special gig by the All Stars Quartet. Featuring jazz guitar legend Mundell Lowe, guitar hero Jamie Valle, bassist Jim Ferguson and drummer Ramon Banda, the group performs a mix of standards and originals. But no matter what they have on tap for this event, anyone who enjoys six-string prowess won’t want to miss a second. Lowe is truly deserving of the tag “legend,” having performed with everyone from Billie Holiday to Barry Manilow and performing on soundtracks for films like “Billy Jack” and television programs like “Starsky and Hutch.” If you’re a jazz aficionado of any stripe, this concert will be the perfect lead-in to 2013.

• The All Stars Quartet performs at

7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30 at Dizzy’s, 4275 Mission Bay Drive. $15.

There will be plenty of options for entertainment this New Year’s Eve, but one of the most fun events will surely be the special “Feathers & Fur, Top Hats & Confetti” celebration at Café-Bar Europa. Admission price includes dancing, tapas, wines, hats and party favors, and a New Year’s Eve fireworks countdown, along with champagne, dessert and coffee. However, the highlight promises to be music from gypsy-fusion combo Hot Blood Orkestar. One of the hottest musical groups in town, a set from the Hot Blood Orkestar is an instant party from the first note, with an irresistible instrumental sound that will have even the most jaded listener tapping their toes.

• Hot Blood Orkestar performs at 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31 at Café-Bar Europa, 873 Turquoise St. 21 and up.

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