1/22/20 - CRUZ CONTRERAS with ETHAN BALLINGER

Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Cruz Contreras has roots in Tennessee and Michigan, but has impacted Americana music worldwide. Joining him is the harmonic Ethan Ballinger.

The frontman and founder of The Black Lillies also co-founded Robinella and the CCstringband and has collaborated with musicians such as John Oates, Jim Lauderdale and Langhorne Slim. Cruz’s projects have topped both the Billboard and Americana radio charts, won Independent Music Awards, and been nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year award. He has appeared on nationally broadcast television including Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CMT, VH-1, GAC, Bluegrass Underground and PBS Television’s Sun Studio Sessions. His music has been lauded by outlets as diverse as American Songwriter Magazine, Rolling Stone, NPR’s Morning Edition and Vanity Fair, among others.

Contreras will release his debut solo album in Spring 2020, which is co-produced by and features the guitar playing of Ethan Ballinger, one of roots music’s most respected guitarists. Ballinger’s supple playing, harmonic sense and aural complexity make sense for a man who splits his time between playing with roots doyenne Lee Ann Womack and garage country’s Aubrie Sellers, while also producing lauded artists like Peter Bradley Adams and Ryan Culwell. But while his unique guitar sensibilities embody some warped combination of Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Cropper, Tony Rice, and Link Wray, what’s startling is the lush emotionalism, the way sounds quietly layer and build, and the rhythmic propulsions. When Contreras and Ballinger come together, the result is intangibly melodic, surreal, otherworldly … an atmospheric, distorted sonic dreamscape.

Ethan Ballinger.The supple playing, harmonic sense and aural complexity make sense for the man who splits his time between playing with roots doyenne Lee Ann Womack and garage country’s Aubrie Sellers, while also producing lauded artists like Peter Bradley Adams and Ryan Culwell. But while his unique guitar sensibilities embody some warped combination of Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Cropper, Tony Rice, and Link Wray, what’s startling is the lush emotionalism beyond the words in his own music, the way the tracks quietly layer and build, the rhythmic propulsions and well, the places he goes.

Born to a pair of touring bluegrass playing parents in Tennessee, Ballinger picked up the fiddle at age 3, piano at 7, and then moved on to guitar at 10, “because my friend had drums, and we had a garage band.” Unbeknownst to the musically precocious child, who latched onto playing the melody on the bass string, they had arrived at something called “surf rock.”


Wednesday January 22, 2020 | 8:00 PM | $20.00
Reservations: (626) 798-6236


Reservations are strongly suggested. Seating is limited.
Call 626.798.6236 for Reservations Between 10 A - 10 P
Pay by Cash or Check. Sorry … No Credit Cards
No payment necessary when you make telephone reservations. Pay by cash or check at the door at the time of the show.

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