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Trio From Texas to Bring Swing Dance Blues to Alexander's

Guitarist Teddy Morgan and his Sevilles are headed to Ventura by way of Austin.


Coming soon to a venue near you--the zillionth in a seemingly unending series--yet another hot Texas guitarist! This time, it's Teddy Morgan and the Sevilles, a tight trio that will be inspiring the swing dancers to new levels of perspiration at the Sweet Thursday gig tonight at Alexander's in Ventura.

"I think Morgan is the Buddy Smith of Austin," said Sweet Thursday promoter Mike Kaufer, referring to the late, great local guitarist. "He's got that really driving swing dance blues groove, and he's also the biggest seller on Antone's Records."

Before forming this band in 1994, the twentysomething Morgan was known as Kid Morgan when he plucked those strings for the James Harman band, and also played with the Lamont Cranston Band.

Morgan, a Texan like most Californians--that is, from somewhere else--was discovered by former Santa Barbara local Kim Wilson, on tour at the time. Wilson convinced Morgan to move from Minnesota to Austin, which he did, and now he's a Texan on a totally Texas label, Antone's. The first album, "Ridin' in Style" came out in 1994 and a new one, "Louisiana Rain," is being pressed even as this is being written.

* Teddy Morgan's 8:30 p.m. show will set you back $7. Alexander's is at 1050 Schooner Drive in Ventura. Call 658-2000.


Forget rock 'n' roll, here's some important news: Buster is back!

Buster Davis is a man who knows what to do with a tri-tip. He will be bringing his barbecue skills to the second annual Feast and Fest benefit for Kids' Arts, to be held Sunday at the Livery in Ventura. Davis closed his Ventura restaurant after a run-in with his landlord about six months ago.

The benefit will last from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and feature a wide array of good, local folk-rock and roots-rock talent. Headlining will be the Rincon Ramblers with an all-star lineup of Alan Thornhill, Phil Salazar, Dan Wilson, Bill Flores and Jon Wilcox. Also on the bill are Blimp, Ashford Gordon, Jimmy Adams & Friends, Vuja De, Jones & Jones, the Mile High Band, J. Peter Boles, Southern Cross and more.

Kids' Arts is a nonprofit organization that provides free visual- and performing-arts opportunities to foster children and other at-risk children.

* Admission is 5 bucks for adults and free for kids. If you want Buster's barbecue, it's $25 per couple, $15 per person, $5 for the child's plate. Buster will do his thing from noon until 2 p.m. The Livery is at 34 N. Palm Street in Ventura. Call 648-2321 or 654-3204.


Remember how upset the motorcyclists were in 1992 when the state Legislature passed that helmet law? ABATE--the organization dedicated to modifying the helmet law, fighting insurance discrimination and promoting motorcycle safety--lives on.

ABATE is having a fund-raiser every Sunday this month at The Stage in Camarillo. There will be rock 'n' roll and barbecue beginning at 1 p.m. and lasting until it's time for "60 Minutes." Last Call, whose members describe themselves as "Conejo Valley's premiere cover band," will provide the soundtrack. Five bucks covers the music and a tri-tip dinner.

Later that night, those silly '70s refuse to die as the Polyester Pimps (another offshoot of the Boogie Knights) resurrect songs from the Village People, the Bee Gees and others you perhaps hoped--in vain--had gone away.

"You know our motto: Come rage at The Stage," says owner Dave Cotner. The place is starting to be a hit in the Town of Many Malls. Spencer the Gardener will make his debut Friday night, and everyone's favorite Led Zeppelin fans, Led Zepagain, will provide that "Stairway to Heaven" on Saturday night.

* The Stage is at 2258 Pickwick St. in Camarillo. Call 383-0286.


Eric Ericsson's opened Friday night at its new location on the Ventura Pier. Much bigger than the old place at the end of Seward Avenue, the new venue is two stories with a good view. You can check the waves, see the rest of the pier collapse during the next big storm, bite some fish from Eric's extensive menu, but you probably won't see your car towed from the parking lot.

That's because parking--the main problem at the old place--is now free at the pier lot as well as the parking structure. Best of all, the Tijuana Hound Dogs--Frank Barajas and Chris Byrd--are playing every Friday night upstairs in a much larger room than at the old place.

* Eric Ericsson's is the big wooden thing on the Ventura Pier. Call 643-4783.


Randy Rich & the Ravens, the greatest local unsigned blues outfit, will play four times this weekend, leaving you no excuse whatsoever for not checking out this talented trio. It's worth the drive just to hear Rich shred on his original "Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle." The facts: tonight at Champ's in Oxnard, Friday at China Seas in Ventura, Saturday at Joe Daddy's in Ventura and Sunday at Maxie's in Oak View.


Reasons to head up the coast: A pair of popular women rock stars will be prowling the big stage at the Santa Barbara County Bowl this week. On Monday, it's the former leader of 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant. Wednesday, it's that Grammy Award-winning Canadian hit-maker, Alanis Morissette, whose show sold out in about the time it took to read about it. If you know anyone with tickets or your friendly neighborhood scalper, begin calling soon.

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