60 and Still Pickin’. Photo courtesy TBFCFF


One of the great joys, for me, of our unique little city is getting to know the folks who choose to live here. Such a cast of characters, especially in the field of music. Scott Ferguson, a 35-year resident of Santa Monica, very well known in the music community, sadly passed away last weekend, at age 69.

He was a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer (Robben Ford’s Grammy-nominated album “Talk to Your Daughter”), stage manager for the Pier concert series, a member of SMMUSD’s Visual and Performing Arts Council, and instrumental for years in keeping the famous, invaluable 60-year-old Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest Folk Festival going, through fire and pandemic.

For a year in 2019 he co-hosted and performed on “The Wildwood Flower Radio Hour” every Sunday night on KXLU, with local rock and roll degenerate turned model citizen Mike Bone. Mike’s wife Lori Nafshun booked the superb local talent. They called Scott “the Professor,” for his vast knowledge of music, especially bluegrass and Americana.

I have known his son Niall, an accomplished cellist, Samohi grad and a great guy, for many years, and offer love and condolences to him, Scott’s wife Emiko, and the whole family. He will be missed, by many.


SOUTHSIDE SLIM – Either my word is gold or the folks at Harvelle’s have ears and a sharp business sense, because I highly recommended they book him a lot more than once, and here he is. Yeah… I think it’s the latter. And I believe they booked him once pre-COVID. Slim absolutely tore it up there recently, with his jaw-dropping guitar work and killer band pushing a mix of soulful blues both slow and frantic, jazz, funk, Latin, soul and R&B, and a guest vocalist who filled the dance floor. Drive, walk or skateboard to Fourth Street to our own venerable 90-year-old blues bar, and bring a sleeping bag: You won’t want to leave until they throw you out at 2 a.m. Thursday. Sat 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s. Santa Monica, $10.

formerDAMN WELL PLEASE ORGAN TRIO, Mardi Gras!! – I first caught Darius Holbert at his home, the late, lamented Liquid Kitty in West LA. I looked at their schedule and saw all these people commenting that they were so excited to be there for his show, some coming from out of state! So I went, I saw and heard, I became a believer. He did well enough as an award-winning composer of music for film, TV and new media, appeared on The Tonight Show, The Ellen Show and France’s Canal +, recorded/toured with/produced Wu-Tang Clan, Dave Brubeck, Britney Spears, Sophie B. Hawkins, House of Pain, Diane Warren, Everlast, President Bill Clinton, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Bobby Brown – that he retired from playing clubs and bars. But when Damian and Jason from the Kitty moved over to Harvelle’s as co-owners, he followed them. So… he now does only one live show a year, anywhere, and it’s for Mardi Gras, at Harvelle’s. Sometimes his “trio” consists of four or five players, sometimes there are a couple dozen on the stage. He plays killer keyboards, sings, herds cats, uh, directs the whole thing from behind the keys, keeps the energy level sky high until the last drunk is kicked out of the joint (because it’s probably one of his players). It sounds chaotic but Darius knows what he’s doing every moment, and it is a rockin’ N’Awlins-style show. Harvelle’s will hang Mardi Gras beads around your neck, provide festive masks to go over your COVID masks, and offer King cake, NOLA beers, the famous mysterious Shark Attack cocktail, and BBQ out the back door. So many reasons to be here that night, all of them delicious. Fat Tuesday 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, SM, $7.


TONIGHT! – HAMILTON — Still with us, but only three more weeks. Tonight – Thurs, Fri, Sat, Tues, Wed, next Thurs 8 p.m., Sun 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m., also Sat 2 p.m., Pantages Theater, Hollywood, $49-3000+, depending on date/time.

HERBIE HANCOCK – What can I say, really? Unquestionably one of the pre-eminent jazz pianists and composers of our time, we’re fortunate to have him in residence here with the LA Philharmonic as their Creative Chair for Jazz. Walt Disney Concert Hall, Sun 7:30 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, $102-145.

TOLEDO DIAMOND — Have you gone to catch his unique show yet, every Sunday night at Harvelle’s, here in SM? I’ve been recommending him for… decades. Trust me. You’ve never seen anything like Toledo. Sun 9:30 p.m., Harvelle’s, Santa Monica, $12.

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS – I know, I’m a well-known hardcore hoops fan but the Globetrotters transcend even sport, they are entertainers, and wizards who use a basket and a ball to create magic, and lots of laughs. My Pop took me to see them when I was about eight, and I still remember it. Everyone should see the Harlem Globetrotters at least once in their life. Sun 1 p.m., Crypto.com Arena, :A, $29-289.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: THE ENGLISH BEAT, The Bourbon Room, 3/4, 5; ARTURO SANDOVAL, Catalina Jazz Club, 3/4, 5; SARAH SILVERMAN & Friends,Largo at the Coronet, 3/5; RICK SHEA, JULIE CHRISTENSEN, 3/6; McCabe’s, JANIS IAN, McCabe’s, 3/11, 12; SOUNDS OF LA with SALAR NADER, Getty Center, 3/12, 13; LA OPERA presents BACH’S ST. MATTHEW PASSION, 3/12. 17. 20.23. 26. 27; MIDORI, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 3/13; HILLARY HAHN, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 3/18, 19, 20; DAVID HIDALGO, RICK HOLMSTROM BAND, McCabe’s, 3/20; LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, McCabe’s, 3/21. 22; LA PHIL plays MAHLER 7th, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 3/24. 26, 27; LA PHIL with ZUBIN MEHTA, MOZART’S GREAT MASS, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 3/31, 4/1, 2, 3.

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 3,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 36 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com