Donkeys, Sharrows, Mike Castle Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., July 19, 9 p.m. 2014

I’ve got to salute the Donkeys for sticking to their guns: on their recent fourth album, Ride the Black Wave (Easy Sound), the San Diego foursome cleave tightly to the mellow SoCal sound they’ve been playing since day one. They’ve throttled back on the Gram Parsons worship, but they’re still all about chill, cosmic Americana-tinged rock—sometimes adulterated with silly ersatz Indian flavors (the tabla beats and tanpura drone on the bland instrumental “Imperial Beach”) or half-baked Hawaiian pop (the washed-out “Brown Eyed Lady,” which has nothing to do with the Terry Callier song). The title track is hard to resist, with its moody atmosphere and languid melody, but much of the record settles for the merely pleasant—hardly the way to guarantee that people will still be listening to it next year (or even next month). —Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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