Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 7:30 pm | Overcast 60º

 
 
 
 

Paul Mann: Whiskey Chimp, Jonny Two Bags Bring Americana Music to Plaza Playhouse in Carpinteria

Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, guitarist of Social Distortion, leads his solo project band through much of the material on his first solo album, “Salvation Town,” during a concert at Carpinteria’s Plaza Playhouse Theater.
Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, guitarist of Social Distortion, leads his solo project band through much of the material on his first solo album, “Salvation Town,” during a concert at Carpinteria’s Plaza Playhouse Theater. (L. Paul Mann / Noozhawk photo)

Two of the members of Social Distortion, one of Southern California's most resilient punk rock bands, brought their respective side projects to a sold-out show at the Carpinteria Plaza Playhouse Theater.

Bass player Brent Harding and his Ventura-based band Whiskey Chimp opened the show with an astounding display of Americana bluegrass musicianship. The other band members include Stanley Gonzales on ukulele and vocals, Cory Scrivener on guitar and vocals, Chris Cairns on banjo and vocals, and mad musician Bill Flores on accordion, fiddle, dobro and clarinet.

The group features remarkable vocal harmonies that lend themselves to the bluegrass genre. But rock, punk and blues influences are mixed with a wit and satire that give the band their unique flare. Taking advantage of the near perfect acoustics of the tiny theater, the band played a 90-minute set that had the packed house dancing in the aisles.

Harding returned to join Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, guitarist of Social Distortion, with his solo project band. He led the band through much of the material on his first solo album called Salvation Town, which was released last year.

While the band's sound was American roots-based music, the tone was edgier than the Whiskey Chimps and closer to a rockabilly groove, but still far from the punk rock anthems of Social Distortion.

The two groups offered up a full night of original Americana musi  in the perfect setting of the Carpinteria venue.

Click here for a list of upcoming shows, including one featuring original Byrds member Chris Hillman.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

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