By DONNA BALANCIA – Malibu Rocks Hollywood, a new Monday night music event at Lucky Strike Live, got off to a rockin’ good start.
Presented by the Malibu Guitar Festival, the new program is expected to bring a range of great guitar players to Lucky Strike each Monday.
In its first night of weekly performances, Malibu Rocks Hollywood launched with top-tier guitarists and musicians.
Guitarist extraordinaire Mike Hayes opening for featured performers The Kenneth Brian Band with special guest Robert Randolph.
The Malibu Guitar Festival is a popular event held annually in Malibu, created by Doug DeLuca and John Watkin. Last year, Richie Sambora and Orianthi were among the headliners. Hayes, The Kenneth Brian Band and Randolph played as well.
In introducing the Mike Hayes band, Kiefer Sutherland once referred to Hayes and his group as “one of the most beautifully melodic and fun bands of our time … one of the tightest bands that I’ve seen … one of the greatest guitar players I’ve seen since Stevie Ray Vaughn.” And that’s no lie.
Hayes is a thinking person’s blues player. He knows the history of the genre, and he is clearly an expert in his passion.
Hayes’ outward appearance is deceiving as he appears soft spoken and quiet. When he gets on stage it’s a different guy. Hayes is excellent, with guitar skills that go far beyond most of the blues or any other guitarists out there. He plays the music any which way, including over his head and behind his back. He is truly a master, with a strong voice to boot.
The Kenneth Brian Band is an innovative group, combining a few different styles of rock. The Kenneth Brian Band has a new EP out called Blackbird and it’s worth more than a listen. The band has some rythm driven upbeat songs and one of the things that was impressive is Kenneth’s taste in covers. On Monday night, the band played a cover of “Freeborn Man,” that rivalled the Outlaws’ very own performance of the classic tune.
Randolph needs no introduction and instead, his humble presentation takes over. The funky musician known back East for his work with Robert Randolph and the Family Band, joined the Kenneth Brian Band on Monday night and fit his pedal steel guitar right on in.
As the frontman for Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Randolph is considered one of the most prolific players of the “sacred steel” around. His training is from church where he grew up back in New Jersey. He is fortunate to have had some hits, he’s had some deals with the NBA, and has opened for Eric Clapton.
The performances at Lucky Strike were riveting, and The Kenneth Brian Band had another special guest sit in.
Scott Thurston of Tom Petty and Iggy and the Stooges fame, manned the keys.
The music community welcomes an additional night of good music as Tuesday and Wednesday nights have brought jam nights back, much to the delight of music lovers. Now Monday nights also will hit the right notes.