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Summer is upon us—officially, even, as of the night of June 20. Why don’t you beat the heat and enjoy a great show or two?

Agua Caliente Casino Report Spa’s June schedule is a little light, but there are a couple of things worth mentioning (beyond a sold-out Moody Blues show on Saturday, June 3). At 7 p.m., Saturday, June 17, you’ll need to get your shout-outs to your “shorty in lockdown” ready, because the Art LaBoe Summer Love Jam will return. All joking aside, there’s some great music on the lineup this year. Funk legend ZAPP is one of the acts worth going to see, as the group has been sampled by several hip-hop artists, including Dr. Dre. Tickets are $45 to $65. If you never got to see Pink Floyd play a live show, you missed out, since the members have stated there will be no reunion—ever. But at 9 p.m., Friday, June 30, you can experience Pink Floyd’s music set to lasers at Paramount’s Laser Spectacular. Some of these laser shows with Pink Floyd’s music can be pretty cool—plus it beats sitting at home watching Netflix. Tickets are $20 to $30. The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, 32250 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 888-999-1995;

Fantasy Springs Resort Casino has just one big show in June—but it’s huge. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 9, get ready for some serious laughs, because Chris Rock will be stopping by. Chris Rock has been incredible to watch over the years, given how well he always reflects the times in his stand-up routine. I still love the bit he did about Lil’ Jon and rap music, which has become one of his best-known standup moments. Tickets are $89 to $149. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio; 760-342-5000;

Spotlight 29’s entertainment slate for June is also a little light, but there is one thing you won’t want to miss (aside from the Ziggy Marley show, which you can read about on Friday, June 2, here at At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 24, Los Chicos del 512 will be performing a tribute to Selena. The group will perform all of Selena’s music that you know and love. Tickets are $20. Spotlight 29 Casino, 46200 Harrison Place, Coachella; 760-775-5566;

Morongo Casino Resort and Spa has several great events on the calendar. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 2, Marlon Wayans will bring the funny; tickets are $23 to $29. Be sure to check out my interview with him here. That same night, at 10 p.m., Friday, June 2, power-pop band The Romantics (upper right) will perform. This is a show you should see if you’re a true rock ’n’ roll fan. The Romantics had a couple of big hit songs: “What I Like About You” and “Talking In Your Sleep.” The band’s lineup once included Blondie drummer Clem Burke; he’s no longer with the band, but three original members are! Tickets are $20. Keeping with the ’80s theme, at 10 p.m., Friday, June 16, new-wave band The Motels will be appearing. The Motels had one or two hits in the ’80s and then faded away, before re-forming in 1998. Martha Davis still fronts the band—and still believes in the music. Tickets are $20. Morongo Casino Resort Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon; 800-252-4499;

Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace will be the place to go this summer for great live music—and the venue’s June calendar is packed. Read my interview with the Tijuana Panthers here; the band will perform at 9 p.m., Friday, June 2, and tickets are $15. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 9, Mick Rhodes and the Hard Eight will take the stage. Rhodes was once the front man of the Los Angeles punk band Human Therapy, and now performs in this spectacular alt-country band. If you can’t make it to the show, at least check out the band on the streaming services. I can almost guarantee you’ll like it. Admission is free. At 9 p.m., Saturday, June 10, New Orleans R&B/country band The Deslondes will be returning to Pappy and Harriet’s. The band’s New Orleans sound is timeless; The Deslondes really do have something going for themselves. After seeing the group perform at Stagecoach, I can tell you it’s a fun band to watch. Tickets are $15. At 9 p.m., Saturday, June 24, psychedelic rock band The Black Lips will be returning. The band’s shows are often pretty insane. While they’ve behaved themselves at Pappy and Harriet’s the last couple of times, they’ve been known to get naked, vomit, set things on fire and so on. War Drum front man Jack Kohler once told me a story about how when he worked for the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs, he was told to deliver shaving cream to the band’s hotel room—and found the band shaving a group of women from head to toe. Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown; 760-365-5956;

The Purple Room has some familiar names returning in June. At 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, America’s favorite dragapella group, The Kinsey Sicks, will be performing the Things You Shouldn’t Say show. Tickets are $30 to $45. At 8 p.m., Saturday, June 17, The Buddy Holly Review will do its thing. As a fan of Buddy Holly, I’ve been interested in this show; I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun. Tickets are $25 to $35. At 8 p.m., Friday, June 30, there will be a benefit for the American Cancer Society featuring Debby Holiday (below). Debby Holiday is a star on the rise with two hit singles, “Never Give Up” and “Key to Your Soul.” Tickets are $25 to $35. Michael Holmes’ Purple Room, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-322-4422;

The Hood Bar and Pizza has a couple of events, starring local bands, that are worth your consideration. At 9 p.m., Friday, June 2, there will be a metal show with Drop Mob, Perishment, Instigator and In the Name of the Dead. Considering how long as Drop Mob has been around, it’s good to see the band finally being noticed. Admission is free. At 9 p.m., Thursday, June 8, Courtney Chambers, Caxton, and 5th Town will take the stage. This should be a fun show; all of the bands are female-fronted—and rather talented. Admission is free. The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-636-5220;

Published in Previews

The Deslondes have a fun, rustic, old-time country sound to their music. Hailing from New Orleans, they’ll be sure to be a delight at Stagecoach on Sunday, May 1, and are one of the bands you want to include in your schedule. They’ll also be performing at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Friday, April 29. For more information on The Deslondes, visit Guitarist and vocalist Riley Downing was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13, and here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Byron Jones Opry, with my grandparents north of Kansas City, Mo.

What was the first album you owned?

On vinyl: Johnny Rivers at the Whisky à Go-Go.

What bands are you listening to right now?

A lot of old 45s, mostly. But I listen to music on the Interweb as well, mostly buddies’ bands or bands from word of mouth, such as C.W Stoneking, Twain, the Banditos, Cactus Blossoms, Pat Reedy and the Longtime Goners, as well as Luke Bell who is at this festival.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Pop country, and most pop music, actually.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

This guy from the Kansas City area named Gary Kirkland made a record I found a long time ago called Gary Kirkland With Remnants of Buzzard Creek and Other Yahoos. I would have loved to see that band play live.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Old pop country.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I really enjoy the sound at The Basement in Nashville and Off Broadway in St. Louis.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“I was born a rambler and I’ll die a rambler way, it’s always been you see. Ooh I was born a dreamer and I’ll die a dreamer somewhere I ain’t supposed to be,” Kiki Cavazos.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Probably the most (were the) members of Broken Wing Routine, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Sundown Songs. I met most of them a long time ago in Oklahoma at (the) Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, and they not only influenced me to write and sing, but to travel with those songs as well.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Merle Haggard: “What month did you say you wanted to tour?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Duane Eddy’s “Stalkin’.” Ha ha! I don't know; play something good!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Reverend Gary Davis’ New Blues and Gospel.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Jimmy Jay, “Run Wild (While You’re Young).” (Scrolll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

The soul of New Orleans is a force in the music of the Deslondes—with some vintage country music thrown in, too.

You won’t want to miss them when they perform at 8 p.m., Friday, July 17 at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.

“The music scene in New Orleans is pretty eclectic, and there’s a lot of live music,” said bassist Dan Cutler during a recent phone interview. “What we were mostly involved in, for a lack of a better word, was Americana. (The residents of New Orleans are) big fans of musical history as well as history in general. I feel like there have been a lot of different styles of American music over the years, and they’re appreciated in New Orleans.”

He explained that New Orleans has both traditional venues and nontraditional venues.

“Traditional jazz, brass bands and stuff like that—everyone loves it,” he said. “I think the big part of the music scene that we’re involved in is a big acoustic music scene, because of … playing on the street for tips—which is primarily an acoustic music venue, as far as I’m concerned. Anything you can play acoustically and don’t have to plug in—that stuff is pretty popular amongst our scene of friends.”

Cutler explained how the Deslondes formed in New Orleans’ music scene. “Sam (Doores, vocals and guitar) came to New Orleans, and he was really into folk music. … He was into songs that were written over the past 100 years. We found all kinds of folk music down here that people like to play that sounds like Eastern European folk music. When I came here, I was really into a lot of country and bluegrass music, and that’s how I started playing. I grew up listening to country rock ’n’ roll, like Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons. When I met Sam, he was into the folky stuff, and in my mind, I was into country and bluegrass. We started out a lot more rocking than we are now, and we actually had a full drum kit, and I played electric. It turned into this more acoustic/electric hybrid, and that’s where it is now. When we met Riley (Downing, vocals and guitar), he was into folk music, but as we got to know him, (we realized) Riley probably has the most eclectic music taste out of all of us.”

Roots music is going through a resurgence, of sorts, with many more people becoming more receptive to roots-style music known as “Americana.” Cutler said that everywhere the band goes, people enjoy the sound.

“It varies from song to song, I guess,” he said. “A lot of our stuff sounds sort of different. If we’re playing in the Southwest, they’re really into country music there. People are pretty receptive everywhere we’ve been, but I think that has less to do with the style of music and more with the presentation.”

Of course, being in a roots/Americana band isn’t necessarily lucrative, but Cutler said there are ways to make it pay off if you’re resourceful.

“It’s definitely hard to make a living being in one band. A lot of people don’t have the luxury of putting all their eggs in just one basket,” he said. “A lot of us have full-time jobs and little gigs we play. … You need to figure out different kinds of ways to make ends meet. It’s really hard to make money touring, but we’ve been touring for so long as a band, and Sam and I have been touring around the country now for seven or eight years, so we’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out how to budget, where to go, and where we’ll make more money. In New Orleans, it’s a great place to be a musician, because you can … make a pretty good living at least five or six months of the year, maybe more, depending how many gigs you have, and how many bands you’re in. For three or four months when it’s humid with no tourists, you go everywhere else where it’s beautiful.”

Before the band was known as the Deslondes, some members performed under the name Tumbleweeds. The self-titled debut as the Deslondes, recorded for New West Records, was released in June.

“We recorded it over a couple of years,” he said. “The first album we did as Tumbleweeds was sort of more of a hodgepodge, because we recorded the songs in different places. This album was recorded entirely in Nashville, so it has a sonic consistency, which is great. Recording-wise, maybe half of it was pretty well-rehearsed and well-thought out, but a lot of it was figured out in the studio.”

The Deslondes will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, July 17, at Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit

Published in Previews