History of Hell

Photography by David Bazemore

Sings Like Hell is dedicated to the idea that not all great musicians are famous. Many of the greatest singers, songwriters and musicians toil away in bars and at house concerts for years, sleeping in vans or couchsurfing. It’s a beautifully tough life.

In 1997, we decided to showcase these troubadours in the gorgeous Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, and created a subscription concert series to bring them off of the road for a night of “rock star” treatment in an acoustically excellent environment with great sound and lights, and, most importantly, with an audience who really knows how to listen.

We have premiered performances by The Avett Brothers, Damien Rice, Lake Street Dive, Jason Isbell, Rufus Wainwright, among many others, and settled in with old friends like Mose Allison, Van Dyke Parks, Doc Watson, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, Jesse Winchester and Rodney CrowellDave Alvin is a frequent visitor, as is Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express. We love music and we love it live!

We’ve been honored by the generous appearance of artists who can sell out much larger venues: Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Tracy Chapman, Randy Newman, Jeff Bridges and John Hiatt to name a few…but our focus remains on emerging talent and on established songwriters who are continuing to write compelling songs. Sings Like Hell is a place to discover new music.

Sings Like Hell presents one show per month, organized in two annual series of six shows each.

The series subscription rate has been fixed for many years at $150 for all six shows, +$24 facility fees. Subscribers have the same seats for all shows, can buy additional tickets at the subscriber rate and hang out with the artists after the show at a reception out front. It’s fun!

Sings Like Hell is a 501(c)3 not for profit corporation, and we operate on ticket sales and sponsorships.  Twenty+ years down the road, we are still in love with what we are doing: connecting artists and audiences in the beautiful Lobero Theatre.

Series #40

Saturday, January 21 at 8:00 pm
An Entire Evening of Jackshit & Friends

Saturday, February 25
Alejandro Escovedo + Jessie Malin

Saturday, March 25
The Mastersons + Mike Stinson

Saturday, April 22
An Evening with Eric Andersen and Dan Navarro, Steve Postell and Danny Kortchmar

Sunday, May 7
An Evening with Rodney Crowell

Saturday, June 24
Charlie Faye & The Fayettes

Series #39

July 16, 2016
Possessed by Paul James + Richard Buckner

August 27, 2016
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper + Michael Fracasso

September 10, 2016
Sara Watkins Band + Special Guest

October 15, 2016
Pete & Maura Kennedy with Radoslav Lorkovic + Dead Rock West

November 19, 2016
Bill Carter + Special Guest

December 2, 2016
Eric Taylor + Kevin Gordon

Series #38

January 23, 2016
Jackshit + Friends

February 26, 2016
Aoife O’Donovan Band + Special Guest

March 26, 2016
John Fullbright

April 23, 2016
Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express + Garland Jeffreys

May 21, 2016
JIMMER + Hamell on Trial

June 18, 2016
US Elevator featuring Johnny Irion + Berkley Hart

Series #37

July 18, 2015
CALICO The Band + Patrolled by Radar

August 15, 2015
The Kennedys + Freedy Johnston & Wally Ingram

September 19, 2015
Colin Hay + Kip Boardman

October 17, 2015
Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe + Angela Easterling & Brandon Turner

November 21, 2015
Phil Alvin & Dave Alvin with the Guilty Ones + Special Guest

December 4, 2015
Stone Cupid featuring Julie Christensen & Sergio Webb + Marty O’Reilly