Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop

Mia Zuniga

When: Fri., Jan. 18, 9 p.m. and Fri., May 9, 8 p.m. 2008

Singing with a subtle lisp, Pittsburg-based R&B artist Mia Zuniga sounds sweet, earthy, and maybe a little rough around the edges -- in an India.Arie sort of way. What distinguishes her from the average balladeer is the sophistication of her arrangements: textured, groove-driven rock jams that combine electric and acoustic instrumentation, and sound more like classical Motown than most of Zuniga's contemporaries. The lisp is a cool affectation, too, since it seems completely uncontrived and gives her voice a girlish quality. Fresh on the heels of her debut album, Stories Such as These (released by the indie label Love Music), Zuniga is just beginning to make waves in the Bay Area scene. She performs Friday, May 9, at Maxwell's Lounge (341 13th St., Oakland). 8 p.m., $10, $15.

Rachel Swan

Price: $10

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