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In the Mix

Mar 03, 2019 05:50PM ● By Paul Cotruvo

Paul Cotruvo

In the Mix

Paul Cotruvo


There are moments in your life when it hits you that you are getting older. And I’m not talking about things like eating dinner at 4pm, wearing black socks with flip-flops, or when your ears become hairier than your head. I’m referring to watching the Grammys. It can be quite sobering to turn on your TV (that’s if I can find the remote) and hear the lineup and nominees. It’s a lot of who? What? Who? Honestly, I have not watched them for a few years because I just don’t know the music.


But this year I decided to jump into the deep end of the pool and sat there with my tea and blanket, wondering if Paul McCartney was gonna show up. Would there be a Led Zeppelin tribute? I knew there would be a Dolly Parton and Aretha Franklin tribute, so I felt safe. And when they announced that Alicia Keyes was the host, I said, “OK, I’ve heard of her!” But I never heard of H.E.R. I bet most of you reading this have not heard of H.E.R either (Btw, H.E.R. is an acronym for Having Everything Revealed. You’re welcome for help in your next trivia contest.) Anyway, she was up for best new artist. She comes out playing a Fender Stratocaster and just slays the song “Hard Place.” She did not win this category but ended up with two Grammys for best R&B album and performance. I’m a fan now!


Next, two other artists come out with a mashup of their songs: St. Vincent’s “Masseduction” won for best rock song, and Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” won for best new artist. It was a great performance, and now I’m thinking, what’s happening to me? Thirty years ago I would have never even listened to these songs. (I’m a rock and roll purist at heart.) Am I soft? Just like Paul Simon wrote, “A man walks down the street. He says, Why am I soft in the middle now, Why am I soft in the middle…” I mean, I am really enjoying this. I can even be hip to my grandkids now. I can say, “Yes kids, I have heard of Childish Gambino, Cardi B., Post Malone, and Bebe Rexha.”


Now, I am not saying that watching this show changed my life; there were some artists that left me wondering, “Huh?” (Artists to remain anonymous.) But now that I think about it, it’s not about getting old or holding on to music from the past. It’s about opening our minds to new sounds and embracing such young talent. I, for one, will try even harder to be more accepting of music that I know nothing about.


So, bringing this back home, I hope we all can take a chance on some of the talent that is here in our area. Take a nap and head out to one of the many venues to hear some music. I’m positive you will be rewarded.


Quote of the Month: “Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art” ~~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec


Paul’s Picks for March:

March 1: Come Together, Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Dr. Pleasant Hill, 7:30pm

March 2: Delta Blues Festival Benefit, El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. 2nd, Antioch, 7pm

March 8: Ray Charles Project, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

March 8: The Big Jangle, Retro Junkie, 2112 N. Main Street Walnut Creek, 9pm                       

March 9: Lavay Smith & the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Armando’s,707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

March 13:  Franke G. & the Conviction, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

March 15: Zoo Station, Dan’s Bar, 1524 Civic Drive Walnut Creek, 10pm

March 21: Duo Gadjo, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

March 30: Dan DeShara, Rocco’s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek, 8:30pm