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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Modesto, CA Music Scene

Modesto plays an important role in rock and roll history, as it was the setting for the 1970s flashback on the 1950s film, American Graffiti. Other than that, the city is mostly known for its farmland and affordability. In the 2010 Census the metropolitan population was over 420,000. Campuses include California State University at Stanislaus and Modesto Junior College. The local scene is covered by The Modesto Bee. Notable artists from the area include Carol Channing, Jason Lytle and Shane Minor. In the 2000s the Downtown district was revitalized. The history of the Modesto music scene has not included many acts who have gone on to national success.

Modesto Music Acts

Christine McGrew * JD Greer * Arms 'N Astronauts * Not For Nothin * Marirose & The Gypsies * Third World Empire * Blackwoods * Ron Parker * Craft Spells * Emanuel David * Beneath the Embers * Richard Flinders *

Modesto Local Music Scene History

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, which led to the closing of music venues across the country, music fans could find local music online with the ModestoView and Modesto Area Music Association presentation of MAMA Virtual Live. Some of the acts that performed online for the series included Geovanie Brooks, Joe Barretta, The Sensations and Rockin' Roulette. Community radio station KCBP 95.5 FM also gave exposure to local acts on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Gallo Center for the Arts is awarding a $1,500 prize for the winner of the 2018 Valley Talent Project in August. Musical categories in the annual competition include male and female vocals, dance single/duet, dance ensemble, instrumental and band. The showcase will also include an original song competition and specialty acts. Grand prize and category winners will be decided by a panel of judges.

Modesto has been the home of many hard edged bands in the punk and metal genres. The High Voltage Band is the top punk band in the region in 2013, according to ReverbNation's charts, while Zombie Death Stench is the top metal band. Other rock acts in the area include Geoff F Water, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and Wicked Hickie. Christine McGrew is one of the leading singer songwriters in the area. Her song "Here We Go" is one of the region's most organic artistic pop/rock gems.

The city is also known for Christian/Gospel artists such as San Joe, Luke Clark and IllumiNate. Hip hop/rap artists in the area include Looney Lilith, Kolor Blind Souljas and Joey B. The city also has a love for twang as some of the leading country acts include the Chris Creek Band, the BluesBox Bayou Band and Richard Hall.

A song that stands out in the region with the potential to be recognized beyond the region is "Diamond Eyes" by Americana artist Marirose & The Gypsies. Their music blends rock and country with memorable catchy melodies. One of their more laid back gems is called "Hiding Me." Their songwriting rivals national acts in the Americana genre and do not sound like other bands in the genre that is stacked with a lot of soundalike acts. The band is fronted by singer Marirose and has been active since 2008. They performed at Lower Level Studio in April.

"Music at the GMC" was launched in January 2016 as a series of monthly concerts at Gottchalk Music Center in Modesto. Shows will be held on Friday and Saturday nights through June. Performers throughout the series include Alzara & Brother Spellbinder, Eliza Rickman, Snow Apple, Halfpence & Haypenny and Cooking With Turf.

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