Local group Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan will perform their 40th Anniversary Celebration concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara.
Although they both had been playing individually for years, Ball and Sultan met and began making music together in 1979 when they were guests on local radio KCSB. After they had played a song, the station received a phone call offering them $15 and a pizza to come play at the Sojourner.
They accepted, but only after holding out for free beer. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Flying Fish/Rounder recording artists have been playing their unique blend of guitar and harmonica blues, rags, and good-time music to diverse audiences for 40 years. Their live performances include concerts, clubs and festivals worldwide.
Together and separately, they have worked on film scores, TV soundtracks, commercials and sessions. They’ve appeared on television internationally, have played for audiences of 300 million via Voice of America; they are frequent guests of National Public Radio.
Between them they have issued 14 CDs, 12 instructional books and several DVDs. In addition to working with Sultan, Ball has played on some 260 CDs, and Sultan was recently honored by Martin Guitars with his own Signature Model 000-18KS.
With a career born and nurtured in Santa Barbara, Ball and Sultan have played local venues from the smallest dive bar to the County Bowl, but the Lobero Theater is their favorite.
— Tom Ball.