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31 Mar 2014

The Blueskye Report, April 2014: ZZ Top, The Temptations, Big and Rich, and Much More!

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Diana Krall stops by the McCallum Theatre at 8 p.m., Friday, April 11 Diana Krall stops by the McCallum Theatre at 8 p.m., Friday, April 11 Mark Seliger

April brings Coachella and Stagecoach to the valley, of course—but there are a lot of other great music events going on as well.

The McCallum Theatre is winding down the 2013-2014 season—but in a big way. At 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 1, John Anderson and Tracy Lawrence will be performing. John Anderson had some success in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but in the late ’80s, his career was at something of a dead end. Then in 1991, Anderson staged one of the biggest comebacks in music history with his multi-platinum album Seminole Wind. Tracy Lawrence has had a steadier career ever since he arrived on the scene in 1991; multiple albums of his have hit the country Top 10. Tickets are $25 to $65. Diana Krall will be stopping by at 8 p.m., Friday, April 11. The acclaimed pianist and vocalist is considered one of the best modern jazz artists and has won five Grammy Awards so far. She’s married to Elvis Costello and is the mother of twin boys—yet her career is still going strong. Tickets are $75 to $125. McCallum Theatre, 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert; 760-340-2787; www.mccallumtheatre.com.

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has one music event you won’t want to miss in April. ZZ Top (right) will be stopping by at 9 p.m., Friday, April 4. The Texas-based blues and rock band has become well known for their guitar-driven sound, as well as their beards—although Frank Beard, the band’s drummer, doesn’t have a beard. Go figure. Tickets are $75 to $115. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995; www.hotwatercasino.com.

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has a great schedule during the month of April. Il Divo will be appearing at 8 p.m., Friday, April 4. This is the second stop in the Coachella Valley within a year for the operatic vocal group, featuring members from Spain, Switzerland, France and the United States. Tickets are $59 to $109. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 5, Rob Thomas (pictured below) will take the stage. Thomas is the frontman of Matchbox 20, one of the most successful bands of the late ’90s. He also has a couple of solo albums to his credit. Tickets are $39 to $79. At 8 p.m., Saturday, April 19, The Temptations and The Four Tops will be performing. These legendary groups were both pioneers of the Motown/soul sound. Otis Williams is now the only remaining original member of The Temptations, while Abdul “Duke” Fakir is the only remaining original member of The Four Tops. Still, both groups are most definitely worth seeing. Tickets are $29 to $69. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway; 760-342-5000; www.fantasyspringsresort.com.

Spotlight 29 Casino will be hosting Sugar Ray at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 5. Frontman Mark McGrath has become a Ryan Seacrest-like figure by hosting various television shows, and the band is best known for its pop radio hits—so many don’t know that the band started out by playing with an edgier sound that approached punk. In fact, many of their friends and contemporaries were quick to criticize them when they moved toward pop. Tickets are $25 to $45. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566; www.spotlight29.com.

Morongo Casino Resort Spa has an event in April that will get many country music fans excited. At 9 p.m., Friday, April 4, Big and Rich will be stopping by. Big Kenny and John Rich have billed themselves as playing “country music without prejudice” and are known for teaming up with various rock and hip-hop musicians. They have also worked with country rapper Cowboy Troy. One of their biggest hits, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” is a staple on jukeboxes, karaoke song lists, and cover-band set lists. Tickets are $69 to $79. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499; www.morongocasinoresort.com.

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has a lot of Coachella-related events going on that you can read about elsewhere in this issue, but other great stuff is happening at the venue in April, too. At 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 9, folk-rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will be stopping by. In a little more than a decade of existence, the group has released five albums to critical acclaim and international success. Tickets are $25. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com.

The Hood Bar and Pizza will be welcoming back Amigo the Devil at 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 9. Amigo the Devil brands himself as performing “murderfolk.” He’s a rather talented banjo player who has plenty of songs about the dark side of life. No, this isn’t your parents’ folk music by any means. Admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220; www.thehoodbar.com.

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