There is no shortage of tribute bands in the South Bay. Almost every night of the week, the Beach Cities host bands that specialize in mimicking the voices, sounds, appearances and gestures of music idols.
Over at Live at the Lounge, folks are doing things a little differently.
Andy Hill and Renee Safier, along with their band Hard Rain, are the musical duo that has brought Dylanfest to the South Bay for the last 23 years. This year, they’ve started branching out beyond Mr. Zimmerman tunes to host artist-centric events at Live in the Lounge. Andy and Renee have performed a version of their favorite rock and roll movie The Last Waltz and a night of Neil Young songs at the Lounge this year.
Thursday they host an evening of Van Morrison, featuring none other than Van’s daughter, Shana Morrison.
“We don’t intend to sound or look like the artist we’re playing,” Hill said. “We just want to honor the music and the songs that we love. This time we’re honoring the music of Van Morrison and we are so fortunate to have his daughter Shana on the bill.”
Shana, 43, is the daughter of the Irish-born music legend and his ex-wife, Janet “Planet” Rigsbee Minto, who possesses her own spot in rock history. And while her father certainly informed her early musical life, Shana is a proper musician in her own right.
“After I graduated from college, I sang with Van for about a year,” Shana said, noting that she toured with her father and sang duets on two of his albums in the 1990s. “Then I did own my own thing for 20 years with my own band and made my own records.”
Shana has released five albums since 1999 and released the two most recent under her own label, Belfast Violet Records. Violet was her paternal grandmother. She tours regularly and plays gigs frequently in Northern California, where she resides. She is also back playing with her father; Van is on the verge of retirement and Shana has been involved in many of his farewell shows.
But Thursday’s performance is new territory for the seasoned songstress.
“I have never done one of these types of shows before,” she said. “I always pay a little tribute to Van and play a few songs of his at my shows, but it’s always mostly my own music.”
Andy Hill is Shana’s keyboardist when she plays shows in Southern California.
“Shana and I did a show together at the 705 [in Hermosa Beach] a few years ago,” Hill said. “And I’ve been a huge fan of Van since i saw The Last Waltz when i was 17.”
Shana is one of several special guests at Thursday’s show. She will perform five or six of her dad’s songs, mostly her favorites.
“I love doing “Sweet Thing”. I actually recorded that song on one of my albums,” Shana said. “And I love the more uptempo songs: “Wild Night”, “Moondance.”
“There will be older songs, newer songs,” she said. “It’s a really good mix.”
“We will play lots of big hits, of course,” Hill said. “But we’ll also do a few deeper cuts that will delight the long-time Van Morrison fans.”
The evening of Van Morrison will be held at Live at the Lounge, which Hill describes as “the perfect venue for our vision: small and intimate with great sound.”
The tribute to Van Morrison is at 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 24 at Live at the Lounge, 1018 Hermosa Avenue in Hermosa Beach. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and there is a two item minimum for food and drink. For more information and to purchase tickets visit liveatthelounge.com.