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Dave Arvizu graces the Gold Room, a Sunshine Studios Christmas, and more 

click to enlarge Southern-tinged rockers Saving Abel will bring their “18 Days of Christmas” tour to Sunshine Studios on Dec. 21.
  • Southern-tinged rockers Saving Abel will bring their “18 Days of Christmas” tour to Sunshine Studios on Dec. 21.
With the holidays now directly on our doorstep, it’s a quieter period for live music, but there’s still plenty of offerings that should be enough to coax you outside.

For starters, Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the Gold Room, local music fans will get more of local singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dave Arvizu, which is always a good thing. While some of Arvizu’s recent appearances have been reunions with his popular band Big Back Yard, active from 1993 to 2001, this outing will showcase Rvzoo and The Sugar Spun Elephant Band, with whom Arvizu released the LP Guiding Star in December 2017.

The Sugar Spun Elephant Band itself has featured a fluctuating lineup around Arvizu for live appearances, and this show has a bit of an all-star feel to it, with appearances by the likes of Dewey Steele, Gabe From the Future, Matt Podschweit, Cynthia Robinson, Liz Lowry, Bob Braidwood, Rich Brown and local pedal steel wizard George Duncan.

During the year since Guiding Star’s release, Arvizu’s efforts seem to have found purchase with listeners. Various music criticism outlets have been exuberant in their praise of the album, with Warlock Asylum calling it “Undisputedly, one of the best albums of the year” and freelance music journalist Alex Faulkner describing it as “a pop rock masterpiece that rewards repeated listening.”

Indeed, the album’s charms are many, showcasing Arvizu’s songwriting talents through a variety of styles. “When I Was Young” and “Give Me More” are refreshing, breezy Beatles-pop; “Which Way to Run” is a rootsy ballad; the elegant, piano-led “A Song for Joyce” would sound at home among pre-rock ’n’ roll standards; while “Lonely Desert Wind” and the title track push things into ever-lusher territory.
The Sugar Spun Elephant Band’s performance of Guiding Star will be free and live-streamed on KCOS Digital Media but, frankly, that just means you should attend live and watch the stream again later with your visiting relatives when there’s a lull in conversation.

Meanwhile, at Sunshine Studios, a very familiar face will be returning to the stage on the evening of Friday, Dec. 21, when Southern-flavored hard rock act Saving Abel’s “18 Days of Christmas” tour winds its way back to bassist Scott Wilson’s home base. Wilson, of course, while not on tour, lives in Colorado Springs and acts as the producer par excellence in the “Studios” portion of Sunshine Studios. (Incidentally, if you caught prog-metal trio Source at the Zodiac last week, you’ve heard one of the many acts who have benefited from Wilson’s award-winning production talents.)

Wilson, for those who don’t already know, played bass in the Grammy-nominated post-grunge act Tantric before joining Saving Abel in 2017. In 2016, he was named the fourth-greatest modern rock bassist by rockmusic.com.

Saving Abel, meanwhile, are stalwarts of the rock and alternative charts, with their self-titled first LP being certified gold and their single “Addicted” achieving platinum status. Joining the band at their Sunshine Studios appearance are Black Oxygen, Chute Nine, The Endless Line and Elevated Sickness.

Send news, photos, and music to reverb@csindy.com.

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