Rockers get Zenbu gig; write song about La Jolla

By Jenna Jay

Forget dinner and a movie. Dinner and chillin’, live music is back in town, thanks, in part, to the soul-infused rock ‘n’ roll duo C & H. The act stars “C,” drummer/vocalist Jimmy Carslake and “H,” guitarist Rick Harshal. The mellow rockers have become the resident act Thursdays at Zenbu in La Jolla, where they perform, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Reach C&H at (858) 352-8707. Hear their music at Rick Harshal is seated; Jimmy Carslake is standing. Jenna Jay

C & H said they are tuned to the restaurant scene because their rock music commands attention without being the ear-ringing, head-banging noise rock that signifies the musical genre. Instead, Carslake and Harshal perform with what they call “low-volume intensity”; that is to say, to a certain degree, quieter rock.

“Who says you have to play loud?” posed Carlsake, who plays the drums with brushes at restaurant performances. “Who says that even rock ‘n’ roll music has to be loud? People can talk in a place like this [while we're playing], yet they are listening. We aren’t just like in the corner and on the mantle.”

The intimacy of venues, such as Zenbu, and even Hennessey’s Tavern, where C & H has also performed, brings a certain art to the duo’s music that patrons can observe from just a few feet away from the set.

“People are gathering around Jimmy because he’s doing all this intricate brush stuff and people typically can’t get very close to drums,” Harshal said. “They get right in there and see all the stuff he’s doing.”

C & H won’t put a label to their style, other than to say they are both steeped in soul, blues and rock ‘n’ roll genres. The rockers perform their own original lounge-y songs like the recently recorded, “She Danced Right into My Life,” and “Mellow Down Easy,” at gigs, also offering their spins on classic rock and even R&B songs, such as Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.”

“Those songs have an emerging sound that is C & H,” said Carslake. “I don’t want to say too much bluesy, but it is groove, soul, rockin’ soul. We really cannot put a finger on it and that’s cool. We’re not just slotted into one niche. We’re gonna let the public decide it.”

Carslake and Harshal came together unofficially playing parties and other events in the early 2000s. The duo blossomed into a two-man band, recording original music and performing in San Diego venues over the last few years.

C & H has an affinity for La Jolla and Carslake, a former resident, co-wrote an ode to the picturesque beach town, “La Jolla.”

“We just tried to give the image of this great coastal town,” Carslake said. “The song says, ‘Come away with me, I will take you there to the Jewel by the Sea, a place beyond compare. Quiet conversation, a table just for two, I hear the music but all I see is you. Oh La Jolla in the night, she comes to you, La Jolla midnight rendezvous. La Jolla like a diamond pearl she calls to me, the Jewel by the Sea.’ … It says it all.”

“La Jolla” is up for re-release in the future, and C & H also has plans to do a showcase, shoot a music video, and record an album. In addition to Thursday night gigs at Zenbu in La Jolla, catch the guys on Friday nights at Zenbu’s Cardiff-by-the-Sea, 2003 San Elijo Ave.

Where to hear music live in La Jolla

Aquamoree: 8-11 Fridays, 1250 Prospect St.

Barfly: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, 909 Prospect St.

Beaumont’s: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 5662 La Jolla Blvd.

Café Milano: 5 p.m. alternating Fridays/Saturdays, 711 Pearl St.

Hennessey’s Tavern: 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 7811 Hershel.

Finch’s Wine Bar: 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, 7644 Girard Ave.

Grill at La Jolla Hotel: (Formerly Clay’s) 7-9 Fridays (some Saturdays) 6 p.m. Sundays, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive.

La Valencia: 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays; 7-10 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 1132 Prospect St.

Manhattan: Thursdays-Saturdays, 7766 Fay Ave.

Tabu Sushi: 10 p.m. Thursdays, 7734 Girard Ave.

The Shores Restaurant: 5 p.m. Thursdays, 8110 Camino del Oro.

• Zenbu: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 7660 Fay Ave.

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Posted by Staff on Jun 21, 2011. Filed under A & E, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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