What could be a better entrée to Jack Johnson's low-key California strumming than one of the beach-bum heartthrob's favorite bands? Given its shared dedication to sand-in-the-sandals, brushfire fairytales, it's no surprise Jack handpicked ALO (short for Animal Liberation Orchestra -- not a PETA action group but a band intent on liberating your inner animal) as his current tour mates. The San Francisco four-piece splashes gentle funk and simple, blue-eyed soul over breezy, keys-driven grooves. A longstanding, road-tested staple of the West Coast underground, ALO is revered on the jam-band circuit for its impassioned live shows that come off as much as calming, group-hugging love-ins as goofy, all-night rock fests. ALO's recent backyard barbecue masterpiece, Flying Between Falls, is a sunset-smokeout showpiece of the band's sugar-coated sound. Johnson's guest spot on "Girl I Wanna Lay You Down" yields exactly the kind of slinky foreplay shuffle that endears ALO to California dreamers everywhere.
ALO opens for Jack Johnson at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $35. Call 561-962-4109.
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