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Saturday: Ex-War Members Lowride Back To San Pedro

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Lowrider Band promo (Custom).jpg

All your friends know the Lowriders, but they may not know exactly where to find them nowadays. While there is a band, nominally called War, that performs “Spill The Wine”, "Why Can't We Be Friends" and “The Cisco Kid” around the world, its current incarantion is reduced to one original member, keyboardist Lonnie Jordan, who apparently leases the rights to use the name from the band’s old manager and producer, filling out the ranks with young players-for-hire.

Meanwhile, the other four living members of the classic War lineup from 1969 to 1978 - guitarist Howard Scott, drummer Harold Brown, bass player/ Pedro native B.B. Dickerson and harmonica wizard Lee Oskar - are still together, and still playing their old songs. But because of the legal situation with their band's trademark, they have to use an assumed name, the Lowrider Band, that makes them sound like a tribute band … paying tribute to themselves.

But don’t be fooled. The Lonnie Jordan-led version of War is plenty slick and professional, but the greasy magic of those indelible Afro-Cuban-funk-soul classics really comes alive onstage in the hands of its creators. The jam-band tendencies that served these players so well in the 70’s are still in effect, as evidenced by recent Youtube clips. Oskar’s virtuoso harp wrangling was a major highlight of the Blues Harmonica Blowout tour that stopped in Redondo Beach a few months ago, more than holding its own against such heavyweights as Charlie Musselwhite and John Mayall. There's to be no faking of the funk on any level.

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With East LA-based Latin R&B legends Tierra filling out the bill, expect the Warner Grand to be shaken to its foundations by the time the night is through. This rare Southern California appearance is a benefit for a special college fund for the children of Wilmington.

Artist photo courtesy of The Agency Group.

The Lowrider Band and Tierra perform at the Warner Grand Theater, 478 West 6th Street, San Pedro on Saturday June 27. Tickets, $40 and $25, are available online.