The Tale Of A Trip Out Of The Beach Cities To Hear Shari Puorto Band At LA’s Sagebrush Cantina
I love live music and hearing bands, so when the opportunity came up to roll up to LA’s famous Sagebrush Cantina to do just that, I jumped at the chance. And jumped in the car with the band leader, Shari “El” Puorto of the Shari Puorto Band.
But to do so meant that I had to get out of The Bubble. That’s right, I was leaving the South Bay Beach Cities of Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. On a Friday night!
I laugh at this because to some people who live here, the mere thought of leaving the South Bay Bubble makes them shiver. You can’t pry them out of the bars on Hermosa Beach’s Pier Ave., if you had a crowbar. The only thing that makes them leave are the words “last call!”
Me, I’ll take off anywhere that has the promise of fun. And this certainly was fun. Shari’s an awesome singer who’s got a bluesy/rapsy voice and belts out original tunes mixed in with a few classic rock covers. Plus, she was at the Sagebrush Cantina, one of the landmarks bars in Los Angeles.
Sagebrush is in the Malibu Canyons of Calabasas and is most famous for its Sunday champagne brunches that lead to an afternoon of beer drinking on its large outdoor patio. And in the summer, quite often the band that entertains the crowd is the Shari Puorto Band. By the way, Shari lives in The Bubble and often plays Hermosa Beach bars such as Cafe Boogaloo and Saint Rocke.
I had not been to Sagebrush in years. In fact, I’ve only been there once. A bunch of us rambunctious and adventurous South Bay party souls got a limo and went up on a summer Sunday. It was okay, but not overwhelming on that particular day, so I was anxious to return.
My neighbor joined me in a heartbeat. When she lived in the Valley, Sagebrush was her regular hangout. But the South Bay Bubble had been preventing her from going there for some time.
Of course, it always helps to have a designated driver, and hitching a ride with Shari made it a no-brainer.
Well Shari kicked it, and we enjoyed getting to know her super-talented guitar player, Johnny Hawthorn, whom we picked up in Culver City on the way to the gig.
The bar itself was not overly busy; it was mainly filled with diners, who stayed for the music. Inside, a few local 20’s something drinkers spilled in to have drinks. But after talking with the bartender (a nice-looking brunette, I must point out), I learned the place is at its peak on warm weekend afternoons.
So it was hardly a wild night. There was no swinging singles action that’s so prevalent in the South Bay. Well, except for my neighbor when a trio of young neighborhood guys proved they have a lot of practice to go before they could ever be considered smooth talkers, but other than that it was tame by South Bay standards.
But the Budweiser bottles and Longboard Lager drafts I drank went down really easy, each gulp assisted by Shari’s rocking performance. There’s something about good live music that makes my beer disappear. My neighbor opted for margaritas and both of us ended the night pleasantly primed.
What would we have done in the South Bay? Same thing as usual, same bars with the same people. We were glad we popped The Bubble.
PubClub.com will be doing a full review of Sagebrush Cantina, so check the site for the post.
Check out Shari’s band and schedule at reverbnation.com/sharipuortoband.
And Johnny’s website is: johnnyhawthorn.com.