Maxx Cabello Jr. & the Breakdown
San Jose local Maxx Cabello Jr. is known for his guitar chops, his soulful voice and mixing it up with a wide range of styles. He plays everything from slow soul jams, blazing electric blues and Latin rock. In the case of his video, “My Love,” he digs into old-school romantic soul, a throwback to the days before the style was dominated by drum machines and synthesizers.
A quick Google search reveals footage of Cabello playing accomplished eight-minute blues guitar solos (with touches of Duane Allman-esque slide work on “Heartbreaker”), but the simplicity of “My Love” makes it a good place to start for people new to his music. Like the video, the song is smooth and sweet—just a straightforward love song.
The video holds special significance because it helped Cabello land an opening spot at San Jose’s Jazz Summer Fest this year after submitting it to festival organizers in a contest where people voted for the song they liked best. “My Love” won by a landslide.
Yeshua & the Hightones
Yeshua Orozco’s dreads are sort of like his playoff beard—he’s been growing them for as long as he’s been in a band, and they seem to be bringing him luck. His seven-piece San Jose reggae group, Yeshua and the Hightones, quickly made a mark on the scene and has been getting the kind of rock gigs that are often off-limits to musical proponents of Jah. Maybe it’s something about the blues and Latin grooves they bring to the island sound. Maybe it’s the talent of the musicians he surrounds himself with, who are clearly versed in musical traditions from the world—and able to cut loose on a mean guitar solo, as well. Or hey, maybe it’s the hair.