Hot Sounds: It’s Summer in the Village

Simeon Flick, Mike Strawbridge and Eric Oberschmidt of the acoustic trio Scratch performing at Beaumont’s in Bird Rock. Pat Sherman photos

La Jolla live music venues
• Barfly: (DJs) 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 909 Prospect St.,
• Bird Rock Coffee Roasters: (acoustic) weekends (times vary), 5627 La Jolla Blvd., (858) 551-1707,
• Beaumont’s: (R&B/funk, rock, acoustic) 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday, 5662 La Jolla Blvd.,
• Café Milano: (light jazz) 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 711 Pearl St.,
Eddie V’s: (jazz) 6 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday, 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1270 Prospect St.,
• Finch’s Wine Bar and Bistro: (jazz, flamenco, blues, bossa nova) 6-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m. Sunday, 7644 Girard Ave.,
• Il Covo Italian restaurant: (varies), 8008 Girard Avenue,
• La Valencia: (flamenco/salsa, Latin jazz) 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1132 Prospect St.,
Manhattan Of La Jolla: (piano, jazz, standards) 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 7766 Fay Ave.,
• Marine Room: (piano, blues, jazz) 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2000 Spindrift Dr.,
• Porters Pub & Grill: (hip-hop, indie) times and dates vary, 9500 Gilman Drive,
•Prospect Bar and Grill: (singer-songwriters, classic rock, beach, acoustic jams), 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 12 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 1025 Prospect Street #210,
• The Shores Restaurant: (jazz/blues, Latin jazz) 6 p.m. Monday, 8110 Camino del Oro.,

Robin Henkel will bring his delta blues guitar stylings to Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 16. Photo by Dave Good

By Pat Sherman

Though La Jolla is well known for its chamber music and brushes with internationally-renown classical composers, there are just as many opportunities in and around the Village for people to let loose to a live rock, funk or soul band — sans the traffic, crowds and general pandemonium of a trek to downtown San Diego.

David Heine, owner of Beaumont’s eatery in Bird Rock, started out with live music one night a week, and watched the demand steadily rise.

The venue now offers live music five days a week (including Sunday brunch), which typically begins with acoustic sets from the likes of Simeon Flick and Matt Commerce on Wednesdays and Thursdays, escalating in volume and attitude to weekend acts such as local rock and blues powerhouse, Ladie Dottie and the Diamonds.

“It’s a mix,” said Heine of audiences, which include regular patrons, curious passerby and artists’ fan bases.

The Trunks with (from left) La Jolla High School senior Paul Castelluzzo, Lucas James, Mike Hom and Jay Sancioli performing at last month’s Gator by the Bay festival in San Diego. Courtesy photo

“The band’s usually setting up through dinner service, so diners want to stay and see what happens,” he said. “They’re intrigued. … If it’s a great band, they just stay for the night and nobody leaves.”

Heine recalled a recent performance by local Johnny Cash tribute band Cash’d Out that drew a standing-room only crowd. The band is set to return to Beaumont’s Saturday, July 7, and early reservations are recommended.

“They play all over town, but they’d never played in La Jolla,” he said. “We had a line of about 150 people to get in. … It was a little bit out of our box, but it’s all about the fun, the music and the energy — and it was just a perfect night for so many guests.”

Heine said he finds inspiration for his lineup in the most unusual places, recalling one Saturday night when a band’s antiquated equipment blew a main fuse in the restaurant.

Fortunately for Heine, a guest enjoying the show was able to get his electrician down to fix the problem the following morning.

In the process of getting the power back on, the electrician mentioned in passing that he had a band, Mia and the Octopuses, and asked if they could play there one night.

“It was unequivocally one of the best bands I ever had,” Heine said.

Though the female lead singer has since departed, the band still plays as Scratch, an acoustic rock ‘n’ roll trio that covers everything from Steely Dan and the Beatles to Alice in Chains.

“They’re all just guys with daytime job guys who are phenomenal musicians,” Heine said. “They come here about once every four weeks and just blow the roof off.”

Gavin Linde, managing partner of Prospect Bar and Grill said live music has also been a huge draw on his outdoor patio overlooking La Jolla Cove.

“When you’re in La Jolla and it comes to an oceanfront patio, it’s us, George’s or Eddie V’s,” he said. Being a sports bar gives the establishment a relaxed atmosphere that is suited for the beach vibe singer-songwriter acts Linde books, in the vein of Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews.

Lady Dottie & the Diamonds will perform 9 p.m. June 30 at Beaumont’s in Bird Rock. Courtesy photo

A frequent performer includes Joaquin McWhinney “Quino,” lead singer of Big Mountain, the San Diego reggae pop band whose cover of Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way” reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts.

“San Diego has a lot of young talent,” Linde said. “They set up by the glass railing and they’re a tremendous draw for us. … It’s uniquely La Jolla.”

La Jolla High School senior and guitarist Paul Castelluzzo was able to snag his 1960s acid jazz foursome, The Trunks, a steady gig at Il Covo Italian restaurant in on Girard Avenue. The band performs there Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 to 10 p.m.

“It’s a brand new restaurant and it’s got a really cool atmosphere to it,” Castelluzzo said. “We’re just so close to the people that every show is like we’re making new friends.

“We’re just trying to bring jazz back,” he added. “It’s pretty dead — especially in San Diego.”

Castelluzzo said playing before a live audience can be both cathartic and demanding, forcing the band to be more precise.

“It’s like one of the only times I can just really let go,” he said. “It feels really good … (and) It’s fun to watch my band grow as musicians.”

The trunks also perform this Saturday, June 9, 1 to 4 p.m. at Cliffhanger Cafe, at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

For more great live music, don’t miss the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s inaugural Haute La Jolla Nights event, this Saturday, June 9.

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Posted by Pat Sherman on Jun 6, 2012. Filed under A & E, Featured Story, 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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