Cool Tunes and Lively Vibes at Muddy Waters Café

Leona Cheung

An unexpected burst of music emerged from quiet Santa Barbara Thursday night at Muddy Waters Café, a chill venue for showcasing new music from underground musicians. All types of bands are welcome to perform at the café, whether they specialize in rock, pop, instrumental, hip-hop or more. Diverse performers Ross Hammond, Oso Street Outreach and Cenozoic presented their talent to a mature, yet hip audience on Oct. 13.

Sacramento-based Ross Hammond started the night simply, with his guitar. His music filled the cozy café with soft and beautiful sounds. In his first piece, he incorporated a new technique, which he ran and tapped his fingers along the guitar strings to make beats that sounded like trickling notes. His next songs ranged from darker sounds, with slow, rhythmic chords to short, sweet ditties.

Hammond’s performance seemed to have pleased the crowd.“I liked the dissonance, the crazy aspects of it. It was very beautiful and quiet,” said Heather Hartley, a Santa Barbara local who is a frequent attendee at Muddy Waters.

Next up was Oso Street Outreach, with Phil Taylor taking on vocals and guitar, Andrew Fedders on bass, Will McClintock on trumpet, Colter Fraizer on drums and special guest violinist, Kristen Spalding. They livened up the mood with upbeat folk music from Romania, Turkey, and other cultures. The pieces ranged from Yiddish wedding songs to western country pieces. Taylor impressed the crowd with his rapid-fire guitar playing and loud vocals. Oso Street Outreach’s liveliness in general definitely shone through their music and got the crowd going. There was not a single person in the audience who was not either foot tapping, finger strumming, or head bobbing.

Concert attendee Erin Bray said, “I really liked the combination of Balkan music and the reinvention of traditional folk songs.”

Cenozoic was the last group of performers of the night. The group features Charlie Roberts on the keyboard, Angus Forbes on drums and Colter Frazier, from Oso Street Outreach, on percussion. The newly formed trio played mostly instrumental rock. An amalgamation of performers from different groups, Cenozoic said they were excited to combine their different backgrounds and skills to form a new sound for standard instrumental rock.

Overall, the concert was a peaceful break from the dubstep-blasting party scene of Isla Vista. For anyone who likes coffee, music and a good atmosphere, Muddy Waters is a good place to visit.