Little Hurricane brings musical storm to SD


The Casbah has been a staple music venue in San Diego for up and coming rock bands since the 90s. Even bands that have gone on to be inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, such as Nirvana, honed their acts within the cozy confines of the rock club on Kettner Boulevard. Located on the outskirts of Little Italy, on most nights of the week, one can revisit these rock stomping grounds of old and find that it offers more than just nostalgia and cheap PBRs –what one sees there is the road-weary passion of new bands hungry to make it big, and perhaps one day be mentioned in the same sentence as the greats that got their start there.

For two nights last weekend, the San Diego based duo, Little Hurricane, performed to sold-out crowds at the Casbah with their energetic blues and soulful rock jams. The homecoming pair’s shows proved to be a successful finale for what’s mostly been a lengthy East Coast tour. With local fans abuzz to see firsthand their beloved hometown blues talent, Little Hurricane has also seen their audience nationwide grow significantly after releasing their third in-house produced album, “Gold Fever.”  

As a duo, Little Hurricane consists of Tone (lead vocals, guitar) and CC (drums, mandolin, backup vocals), but this seemingly minimalist setup ranges from playful, spirited, old school blues to contemporary and, at times, crushing rock hits. Preferring the stage over the studio, Tone and CC bring forth quite a bit of sound in their performances, making them and Rin Tin Tiger a perfect lineup for a show at the Casbah.

Senior Scott Tozzi shared in the blues experience at the Casbah with fellow Toreros.

“That was a really special show,”Tozzi said., “I hadn’t really heard that much local music until going to the Casbah to see Little Hurricane, but now I can tell why rock bands make an effort to tour here and play at that venue. I also really liked Little Hurricane’s musicianship and their use of analog equipment. I think that it’s the same equipment that made those bands sound so good back in the 60s and 70s, it seems like it balances out the digital edge from the technology artists are sometimes using.”

Inside, the venue was nearly at capacity by the time Rin TIn Tiger got up on the bandstand. There were throngs of panting 20-something college students clutching drinks and jockeying for a place to stand with the best view of the performers. Rin Tin Tiger came on and played a set that got people dancing, bouncing, and shouting. The trio released their newest album “Burial Grounds” in June, so their set was heavy with those songs, which range from the moody post-punk of “Speak With Me”, to the mellow and Dylanesque “Tiptoes.”

Next came the tempest of Little Hurricane that the audience was eagerly anticipating.  Soon, Little Hurricane’s own unique, old-timey atmosphere was erected before the crowd of 200. One could see the use of antique cabinets as amps, with quaint table lamps as mood lighting for the set. There were old cowboy boots set in front of the drums, as CC played at her vast kit shoeless. The energy of the crowd’s approval of the pair punctuated the atmosphere with a palpable vitality.

Throughout the show, Little Hurricane demonstrated that they were a raw blues duo that could perform double-duty. CC’s drumming shifted from powerful and hectic to crisp and razor-sharp, while Tone’s guitar style featured heavy riffs, bluegrass-style twang, and soloing. Although Tone serves as Little Hurricane’s main vocalist, C.C. layered each number with her honeyed vocals to songs like, “Breathe.”

The set passed by without any of Little Hurricane’s hits left out. As the grooved atmosphere reached its peak during the last of their songs called “Summer Air,”  the crowd was left enchanted. Needing more, the whole club was able to clap and cheer enough so that the talented artists would eventually rally and play an encore.

With the recent two-night stand at the Casbah, as well as their 2014 album “Gold Fever” still fresh in the memories of their fans, Little Hurricane announced that they are working on another project of soulful blues magic that they’ll put out sometime in 2016.