Venue Preview – Funky Fridays – Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
2012 wasn’t a good year for California State Parks, many, including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, were slated for closure in June of that year. Bill Myers and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park Manager John Roney were hiking in the park, lamenting on the closure and what could be done to help. Both had a background in music and friends in the industry and wondered if the amphitheatre in the park couldn’t be used for music events to help raise money.
The idea was solid and well intentioned, but months went by and nothing had happened. That’s when Myers better half, Linda Pavlik asked him ”What have you done, when are you going to make this happen?” Myers hemmed and hawed and Pavlik jumped into action. A former county fair director that used to manage a million dollar entertainment budget, she bought a domain name, built a website and started making phone calls. She even came up with the name ‘Funky Fridays.” The kick-off year was 2013, and a learning year, as park regulations were sorted and getting the word out about the event. They found the event was well received, and were surprised to know most of the attendees were from the Santa Rosa area, and not Sonoma Valley.
Myers and Pavlik are a portion of the group calling itself “Team Sugarloaf,” which is made up of five local, park-supporting, non-profit organizations that have worked together to create a plan to keep the park open to the public, and includes Sonoma Ecology Center as the lead, Valley of the Moon Observatory Association to operate the observatory and related interpretive activities, United Camps, Conferences & Retreats to operate the campground facilities, Valley of the Moon Natural History Association to operate the Visitors Center and assist with volunteers, and Sonoma County Trails Council to maintain the trails.
Funky Fridays contributed over $30,000 to the park last summer, with the event drawing close to 500 people for each Friday night concert.
Food and beverages are available at the amphitheater during all concerts and folks are encouraged to arrive early, as parking gets full. Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks, beverages, or an entire picnic. The evenings can get chilly, so it’s suggested to bringing a blanket or a jacket.
The shows all kick off at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a variety of acts from Sonoma County. The Bruthas will kick off the third season tonight, May 22. For more info, point your browser to funkyfridays.info or call 833-6288.
Local Musician Spotlight – Jon Shannon Williams
Jon Shannon Williams is one of the most colorful of the musical characters we have here in the Valley. You may catch him in one of his club acts, or even busking in the foyer of the Sebastiani Theatre or sitting in the Plaza strumming his signature acoustic guitar.
1) Many musicians in our generation cite the Beatles on “Ed Sullivan” as that moment when they knew music was what they wanted to do. When and what was it that made you realize you wanted to be a musician?
I actually never set out to be a musician, it just kind of happened. There was always music at my house and we had a piano and I used to play with it, write some songs, was my solace for when I felt down or had troubles in my life. I guess when I heard someone else play one of my songs and I heard my own lyrics out loud, I guess that was the moment I knew.
2) That first instrument you owned. What was it and do you still have it?
I do still have it and still play it. I’ve painted it several times. It wasn’t a particularly expensive acoustic guitar, but I’ve never found one that sounds like it. I bought it from a follower of the Grateful Dead who was moving to Hawaii.
3) Who are you’re primary influences in your music?
Hmm… Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Talking Heads. Definitely the Talking Heads, and lately Michael Franti. Franti has such a positive message and his songs are just so upbeat… really digging him lately
4) What CD or playlist is in your car or your iPod?
Ironically, my own bands. Ten Foot Tone and Driven. We’re working on a new CD for Ten Foot Tone called “Taste Good” so I’ve been listening to our songs a lot.
5) Tell us about your current acts.
It’s funny that both of them kind of came from the same place but are in two totally separate places in my life now. Driven was the act years ago and some of the members of that act turned into Ten Foot Tone and recently the guys from the original Driven and I have brought it back. There are a couple songs that both acts do, but the acts really have different goals and agendas. It’s like the right hand and the left hand. There are people that want to be lead singers and people that get to be. I’ve never had the “Rockstar Dream,” I just always wanted to be a good performer. I’ve also been doing a number of solo shows lately as well.
6) If you could have written one song, which one would it be and why?
Imagine by John Lennon. Why? Not sure. It’s not actually my favorite song, but it puts religion and politics in it’s place, I like that part.
Set List – The Rundown
The Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364
Tonight, May 22, Charlie “Cleveland” Hickox, Tim Eschliman and Luis Rodriguez – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, Wild Catahoulas– 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, Diva Singer Night and Community Jam with Dallis Craft and Karla Downey – 7:30 p.m.
Monday. May 25, Graceland Unplugged with Dallis Craft – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26, Big Chief with Lou Rodriguez
Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779
Tonight, May 22, Vitamin Girl – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, Tilted Halos – 7:30 p.m.
122 W Napa St. Sonoma – 935-7960
Tonight, May 22, Old Earth – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, Feral – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, Keady Phelan – 1 p.m.
Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660
Tonight, May 22, Staddler-Gibbons Band – 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, David Thom – 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, Dawn Angelosante and Joe Pennell – 7:30 p.m.
Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards
389 Fourth St. E. Sonoma – 933-3230
Tonight, May 22, Big Iron – 6 p.m.
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466
Tonight, May 22, Stephanie Ozer Trio – 7 p.m.
Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044
Tonight, May 22, 1955 – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, Rewind – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, 3 on a Match – 5 p.m.
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100
Tonight, May 22, Anthony Bello – 5 p.m. – Dawn Angelosante and Joe Pennell – 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, Anthony Presti – 1 p.m. Tom Rhodes – 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, Tom Martin – 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, Listening Room – Box Set – 8 p.m.
B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille
400 First St. E. Sonoma – 938-7110
Tonight, May 22, T Luke and the Tight Suits – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, DJ Hi- C – 9:30 p.m.
B. R. Cohn Winery
15000 Sonoma Hwy. Glen Ellen – 800-330-4064
Sunday, May 24, Jason Bodlovich – 2 p.m.
9380 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood – 933-9305
Tonight, May 22, Tommy Thomsen Band – 5 p.m.
602 Bonneau Road, Carneros – 939-9363
Saturday, May 23, Jaydub and Dino – 1 p.m.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood- 833-6288
Tonight, May 22, Funky Friday’s with the Bruthas – 6:30 p.m.
Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club
574 First St. E. Sonoma
Saturday, May 23, Kanikapila with Del Medina – 2 p.m.
Bump Wine Cellars
521 Broadway Sonoma – 228-9214
Tonight, May 22, Wet is the New Dry – Poets and Musicians – 7 p.m.
Olde Sonoma Public House
18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs – 938-7587
Sunday, May 24, Karaoke – 7:30 p.m.
Blue Moon Saloon
19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 996-3055
Saturday, May 23, Karaoke – 9 p.m.
Sunday, May 24, Blues Jam – all welcome – 10 p.m.