HipCity Cruz
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HipCity Cruz

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Band Americana Acoustic

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Press


"Love Your Local Band"

What began as an innocent collaboration under the auspices of just getting together to jam has become Santa Cruz's newest local band HipCity Cruz(HCC). Last fall, Lynnette and Bruce Mello, husband and wife, and longtime traditional acoustic folk duo were at a Santa Cruz coffeehouse when they happened upon the jazz, soul and blues stylings of Rosemarie Echelson and Jewl Sandoval. "We liked them right away." says Lynnette Mello, HCC's lead vocalist, dulcimer player and flutist. A jam session was set, the four musicians hit it off, the two duos fused and a band was born. What HCC has achieved in melding so many genres is a wholesome and informal-living-room style folk and blues, smoky, earthy, uplifting and immediately accessible. Their songs, an assortment of originals and arrangements of traditional Irish and American folk songs, enjoy an eclectic accompaniment drawing from the enormous trove of instruments HCC's members can play. According to Lynnette, HCC's fledgling sound went over big at the recent Aromas Day fair. Starting their set in front of a handful, HCC quickly drew a crowd. "Afterwards there were people standing in line saying: 'Who are you?,' 'We love your music,' 'How did you get a hold of my favorite song?,' Mello recalls. "We were just so encouraged by everyone's response."
Although this Wednesdays concert will only be the band's third public performance, HCC's ambitions are great. At just a few months old, HCC has plans to record its first album beginning Januray 1. "Personally, I'd love to get on Austin City Limits and the Garrison Keillor hour, and to be able to travel," she effuses with genuine excitement. "We all feel like we were made to be musicians... Music is a really powerful tool of communication and comfort. It gets people to think. It moves them, and that's what we want to do."
--Amanda Martinez - Santa Cruz Good Times


"Hip To Be Square"

..."local four-piece folk and blues outfit HipCity Cruz adds flutes, pianos and the occasional mandolin to give more texture to its soft backwoods ballads. Although recently formed, the quartet features seasoned musicians, including lifetime singer Lynnette Mello and Jewl Sandoval, a familiar face around the Bay area blues scene. The band shines with layered tearjerkers like the veteran inspired, "When You Come Back Home," which sounds like soft rain at a funeral. They also surprise with more upbeat tunes like "Joshua Fit The Battle," which blends plenty of swinging harmonica into a heavy blues riff. With a healthy sprinkling of bluegrass to complement the blues and folk, HCC defines itself as a sharp ensemble that explores plenty of territory without sounding too busy"...Curtis Cartier - Metro Santa Cruz


Discography

"See What Tomorrow Brings" 2008

Photos

Bio

HipCity Cruz is Rosemarie Echelson, Bruce & Lynnette Mello, and Jewl Sandoval. Rosemarie started playing acoustic guitar in college, and has since enjoyed writing songs that express matters of the heart. She is currently studying jazz on the alto saxophone. Bruce's passion in life has been writing songs, playing acoustic guitar and recording his original music. Lynnette has been singing professionally since she was 15 and plays a variety of instruments such as the dulcimer, concertina, flute, recorder, penny whistle, and percussion. Jewl has been rockin the Bay Area and Santa Cruz for several years. He's written a number of blues tunes and has hosted countless blues jams. Now he adds his blues harp and soulful vocal style to this fresh eclectic mix.