The Tuesday Feb. 9, Column

jm_7
Yea.. it’s a picture of me…

Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779

Wednesday, Feb. 10, Calvin Ross – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 11, Hat Trick – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12, Foreplay – 7:30 p.m.

Barking Dog Roasters
18133 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 939-1905

Today, Feb. 9, Stewart Degner – 12 p.m.

El Verano Inn
705 Laurel Ave. El Verano – 935-0611

Tonight, Feb. 9, Neelix One presents Karaoke – 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market
Depot Park – 270 First St W. Sonoma

Friday, Feb. 12, Stewart Degner – 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100

Wednesday, Feb. 3, Open – Mic Night – 8 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12, David Thom – 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660.

Thursday, Feb. 11, Dave Hamilton – 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12, Tony Gibson and Dawn Angelosante – 8 p.m.

Plaza Bistro
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466

Friday, Feb. 12, Noam Lemish and George Marsh CD Release Party – 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044

Friday, Feb. 12, Kingsborough – 8:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364.

Tonight, Feb. 9, “New Orleans R&B and American Roots Night with guests” hosted by Dallis Craft – 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12, Junk Parlor – 8 p.m.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

The Friday Feb. 5, Column

With this being the slow time of the year on the local music scene, and so much going on with the national scene, especially with losing some of our classic rock legends, my Editors have let me step off the local podium and look at three of the legends who have recently passed and put together a list of “must have” songs from David Bowie, Glenn Frey and Paul Kantner. The problem is that all three of them could encompass this entire 12-song list, but we’ll try to narrow it down to four each. This should lead to much discussion, as our four songs and your four songs will likely be very different.

glenn-frey
Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey: Although Frey co-wrote with Don Henley some of the most popular songs in rock and roll history as members of the Eagles, there is only a handful that he wrote all on his own, many you likely never heard, so we’ll focus on ones you have heard.

1) Take it Easy – The song that essentially broke the Eagles into the mainstream, was actually a Jackson Browne song that Browne was having trouble finishing. Frey and Browne, along with J. D. Souther and most of the Eagles, were all living in the same apartment complex at the time and Frey took a liking to it and helped wrap the song. It’s Frey that is credited with the phrase “It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

2) Hotel California – One of the most popular songs of all time and it won a Grammy in 1977 for Album of the Year. Much speculation has gone into what the song is actually about, much of it spread by the band itself, and had a number of factors built into it; the lights of Los Angeles at night, one of Henley’s ex-girlfriends and even a murder mystery.

3) Desperado – The title track from one of the lesser know albums, which is actually one of our favorites, Desperado. A western themed album about outlaws and train robbers and more. After the popularity of the first release, simply titled Eagles, the album didn’t garner critical acclaim of it’s predecessor, but did reap the single “Tequila Sunrise.”

4) Best of my Love – One of our favorite ballads of all time, also co-written my Don Henley and J. D. Souther, from the third album, “On the Border.” The album put the Eagles back on the map with three singles, including this one which hit #1 in 1975.

david-bowie
David Bowie

David Bowie: Where to start with this artist? So much ground breaking musicianship, band members that went on to fame in other acts and his flair for, well everything. Wirth over 20 albums to his credit, we’ll try to pick only four songs, and likely no one will agree with any of our picks, but that’s OK.

1) Heroes – From the 1977 album of the same name, co-written by keyboardist Brian Eno and featured guitarist Robert Fripp, who later went on to form “Fripp and Eno.” The song has been covered by numerous artists, including King Crimson and the Wallflowers but our favorite is the Blondie version.

2) Space Oddity – Better known as “Ground Control to Major Tom.” The song is about, space and the space program and a fictional astronaut, Major Tom. Originally recorded in 1969, it featured Rick Wakeman on keyboards, who later went on the band “Yes.”

3) Suffragette City – From the glam-concept album “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” the song featured Mick Ronson on guitar who later worked with Ian Hunter, Roger Daltry and even John Mellencamp. The song was offered to Mott the Hoople if it would keep the band from breaking up. It did not the that act did record another Bowie song and had a hit with ‘All the Young Dudes.”

4) Let’s Dance – The title track from the album by the same name. The album marked yet another new direction for Bowie, and one of the few albums that he did not play a single instrument, he only sang, referring to it as “… a singers album.” You may recognize the guitar work on the album, as it was the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan providing the licks and tone.

paul-kantner
Paul Kantner

Paul Kantner – The “San Francisco Sound” that came out of the Summer of Love and Golden gate park in the ‘60s has been credited to many acts and individuals, but it was the Jefferson Airplane that were the cream of the crop. Started by Paul Kantner after Marty Balin approached him after a show and asked him if he wanted to start a band, according to Kanther in a 2008 interview we did with him, and history was about to be made. A San Francisco native until the end, Kantner actually never liked to leave the City. Again, trying to narrow down a career like his to four songs will be a challenge, bur here goes.

1) Volunteers of America – Balin awoke to see a truck drive by his house with the logo emblazoned on the side. He began writing lyrics and then Kantner wrote the music. It was as simple as that. Released in 1969 as a single to help promote the bands fifth release of the same name.

2) Wooden Ships – Yes, the David Crosby-Stephen Stills song was actually co-written by Kantner but due to contractual reasons was never given credit until years later. It could be the only song played twice at Woodstock, having been played by CSN&Y and then by the Airplane.

3) Ride the Tiger – From the Jefferson Starship’s second official album, the act was in transition with members, but features the hot-shot lead guitar playing of a young Craig Chaquico, who Kantner is crediting with “discovering,” although he denies it.

4) The Mountain Song – From one of Kantners only solo albums, “Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra” and came at a time when the Grateful Dead and the Airplane/Starship were not touring. Co-written by Jerry Garcia, the song debuted in 1983.

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dan-martin
Dan Martin

Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779

Tonight, Feb. 5, Mark Larson Band – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6, the Drifting Rich – 7:30 p.m.

Blue Moon Saloon
19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 996-3055

Saturday, Feb. 6, Karaoke – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 7, Blues Jam – all welcome – 10 p.m.

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille
400 First St. E. Sonoma – 938-7110

Tonight, Feb. 5, DJ Isak– 9 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6, DJ Hi – C– 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market
Depot Park – 270 First St W. Sonoma

Today, Feb. 5, Stewart Degner – 9:30 a.m. .

HopMonk Tavern
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100

Tonight, Feb. 5, Jesse Hanson– 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6, Dan Martin – 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660.

Tonight, Feb. 5, Deluxe – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6, Andrew Freeman – 8 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House
18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs – 938-7587

Sunday, Feb. 7, Karaoke – 7:30 p.m.

Plaza Bistro
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466

Tonight, Feb. 6, John Stowell and Mike Zilber – 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044

Tonight, Feb. 5, the Cork Pullers – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6, Saints and Sinners Ball with the Dixie Giants and T Luke and the Tight Suits – 8 p.m.

Schellville Grill
22900 Broadway, Sonoma – 996-5151

Saturday, Feb. 6, Butch Engle and Styx – 12:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364.

Tonight, Feb. 5, Incubators – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6, Mark Dennis, Mark Willson and Friends – 4:30 p.m. – Left Coast Syncopators – 8 p.m.

Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building
126 First St. W. Sonoma – 938-4105

Saturday, Feb. 6 – Sonoma Valley High Boosters Crab Feed – BackTrax – 6 p.m.
If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

The Tuesday Feb. 2, Column

cork-pullers
the Cork Pullers

Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779

Wednesday, Feb. 3, Calvin Ross – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 4, Garen-Teed and the Dolly Mamas – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5, Mark Larson Band – 7:30 p.m.

Barking Dog Roasters
18133 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 939-1905

Today, Feb. 2, Stewart Degner – 12 p.m.

El Verano Inn
705 Laurel Ave. El Verano – 935-0611

Tonight, Feb. 2, Neelix One presents Karaoke – 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market
Depot Park – 270 First St W. Sonoma

Friday, Feb. 5, Stewart Degner – 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100

Wednesday, Feb. 3, Open – Mic Night – 8 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5, Jesse Hanson – 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660.

Friday, Feb. 5, Deluxe – 8 p.m.

Plaza Bistro
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466

Friday, Feb. 5, John Stowell and Mike Zilber – 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044

Wednesday, Feb. 3, Dance lessons with the Rickey Ray Band – 7 p.m
Friday, Feb. 5, the Cork Pullers – 8:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364.

Tonight, Feb. 2, “New Orleans R&B and American Roots Night with guests” hosted by Tim Eschliman, Lou Rodriguiz and Bruce Gordon – 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 5, the Incubators – 8 p.m.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

The Friday Jan. 29 Column

Tommy Thomsen
Tommy Thomsen

Soundbytes – Bits and Pieces

If there ever was a Sonoma home-town boy, Tommy Thomsen would certainly qualify. Born and raised in Sonoma valley, his family has been living here for over 100 years. Family members adorn the wall in the historic photos in the Swiss Hotel, something Thomsen is proud of. Thomsen has been playing music since he was a freshman at Sonoma Valley High School, heavily influenced by his is mother, a piano player know as “Big Red,” and his Uncle Pete, a milkman, who sang opera on his rounds. Her collection of Big Band 78 rpm records stoked his interest in popular music. After buying his first guitar at Ruggles Music on the plaza in the mid-‘60s, it was all about emulating the blues style of Freddy King, “The Texas Cannonball,” and Jimmy Reed whose playing influenced a string of musicians from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Thomsen hit the road in ’66 to pursue music but the road was a rocky one. Even though he was a member of the Merchant Marines, that did not keep him from getting drafted to the theatre of the Vietnam war. Thomsens conscientious objector status landed him an 18-month stint in Lompoc Federal Penitentiary, finally being pardoned by President Gerald Ford. He was not alone as a musician in prison, as there were many like-minded folks, and Thomsen acquired an acoustic guitar and shared licks with other inmates.

After his release form prison, Thomsen hooked up with the Sonoma County music scene and played with the likes of Sammy Hagar, Commander Cody, Billy C. Farlow, Bill Kirchen and the Moonlighters and Asleep at the Wheel. But, the hand of fate was not yet done with Thomsen and his years of partying were about to catch up with him in a big way. Leaving Sonoma one particular evening on the way back to the merchant ship in Martinez, Thomsen ended up in the Union oil Refinery, although not via the main entrance. The police arrived and that was the beginning of Thomsens sobriety. “My life wasn’t funny by the time I quit. I needed to. It was quit or die.” Thomsens liver was also beginning to fail, also attributed to his prior lifestyle.

Focusing on music, and still in the Merchant marines, Thomsen honed his skills all over the world, and throughout California as well, developing his own unique style of Western swing, which eventually led to his indictment into numerous halls of fame for the genre. Come 1997, his liver was about shot, and fellow musician and friend Norton Buffalo put on a benefit concert for Thomsen in the Sonoma Plaza to help raise funds. The next year a liver arrived and things all seemed well, until last year, when cancer was discovered in the liver. Thomsen beat the odds again and is now cancer-free and as healthy as he’s been in a long time. Alcohol-free for over 27 years, Thomesn sees big things ahead. “I feel like the window is still open to me to do things,” he said. “I’m sounding good, feeling good, getting ready to book the new year.”

Thomsen recently connected with some musical friends in Portland on his way to perform at the Seattle Western Swing Hall of Fame, and the group decided they should put some of those tunes on an album. So they did, which culminated in Thomsens latest release “Crazy ’bout her Gravy,” which is mostly standards mixed in with an original or two.

The release party will be combined with Thomsen’s birthday celebration tonight, Jan. 29, at Rossi’s 1906 dancehall, which Thomsens relatives likely danced at, at 8:30 p.m. and he’s got an all-star band to boot. With him tonight will be Grammy Award winning lap steel guitar player Ken Emerson, Wendy DeWitt on keyboards Kirk ” the madman” Harwood on drums, Ken “Snakebite Jacobs on sax, Bobby Black on steel guitar, Richard Chon on fiddle and Sam Page on Bass. For more info on Tommy, point your browser to tommythomsen.com. For more info about the show, point your browser to rossis1906.com.

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Matt the Electrician

The Listening Room at HopMonk Sonoma presents a double-bill on Sunday, Jan. 31, kicking off at 7 p.m. with Matt the Electrician and Dawn and Hawkes. Matt the Electrician has an interesting story indeed, and yes, he is actually an electrician, or was, when he was honing his skills in Austin TX, he needed money, so in the day he did his electrician gig then immediately after he was off to a club to do a music gig, calling himself “The Electrician” to help explain his attire. Born Matt Sever, he grew up on the West Coast. His parents played John Denver and Pete Seeger songs on the family record player, and Matt spent his earliest years surrounded by the things that would later fill his own music; acoustic guitars, timeless melodies, lyrics that celebrated the joys and heartaches of everyday life, and a strong work ethic.

Matt’s big break came when his song “Got Your Back” was featured in an LL Bean National TV ad campaign in 2010 and “Valedictorian” was featured in episodes of the ABC show Eli Stone and the Lifetime show, Army Wives. He has performed at the Sisters Folk Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Tondr Folk Festival in Denmark, has been a finalist in the Mountain Stage Newsong Festival. As with many American musicians, Matt is big in Japan and Europe, and now touring America to bolster his following locally.

Opening the show will be Dawn and Hawkes. The duo hails from Austin TX. and met almost by accident. “I was out listening to the blues at a little juke-joint in East Austin and asked this pretty girl to dance” says Hawkes, “We were having a good time dancing and found out we were both singer-songwriters.” From there the rest, shall we say, is history. Miranda Dawn and Chris Hawkes joined their talents and formed a male-female fronted band touring the country and sharing songs, shows, and everything in-between. The act first appeared in front of a large audience at the Kerrville Folk Festival, where Dawn was awarded as a finalist in the New Folk competition for emerging songwriters.

For tickets and more info, point your browser to hopmonk.com/sonoma

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Set List – The Rundown

Craig Corona
Craig Corona

Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779

Tonight, Jan. 29, Craig Corona – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30, Calvin Ross and Friends – 7:30 p.m.

Blue Moon Saloon
19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 996-3055

Saturday, Jan. 30, Karaoke – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31, Blues Jam – all welcome – 10 p.m.

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille
400 First St. E. Sonoma – 938-7110

Tonight, Jan. 29, DJ Hi – C– 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30, DJ Isak – 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market
Depot Park – 270 First St W. Sonoma

Today, Jan. 29, Stewart Degner – 9:30 a.m. .

HopMonk Tavern
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100

Tonight, Jan. 29, Chris Hanlin– 8 p.m
Saturday, Jan. 30, Roem Baur – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31, Matt the Electrician – Dawn and Hawkes – in the Listening Room – 7 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660.

Tonight, Jan. 29, Full Circle – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30, Misner and Smith – 8 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House
18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs – 938-7587

Sunday, Jan. 31, Karaoke – 7:30 p.m.

Plaza Bistro
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466

Tonight, Jan. 29, Larry Dunlap and Bobbe Norris – 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
|401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044

Tonight, Jan. 29, Tommy Thomsen Birthday and CD release party – 8:30 p.m
Saturday, Jan. 30, Funktopus and Stone Cold Mollies – 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31, Sweet Potato 5 – 5 p.m.

Schellville Grill
22900 Broadway, Sonoma – 996-5151

Saturday, Jan. 30, Butch Engle and Styx – 12:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364.

Tonight, Jan. 29, Highway Lonesome with Dallis Craft, Gary Potterton, Michael White and Bret Rampone – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30, Mark Dennis, Mark Willson and Friends – 4:30 p.m. – What’s Shakin’ with Roy Blumenfeld, David Aguilar, Tim Eschliman and Bruce Gordon – 8 p.m.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

The Tuesday Jan. 26, Column

Chris Hanlin
Chris Hanlin

Weekday Rundown

Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779

Wednesday, Jan. 27, Calvin Ross – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28, Hat Trick – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 29, Craig Corona – 7:30 p.m.

Barking Dog Roasters
18133 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 939-1905

Today, Jan. 26, Stewart Degner – 12 p.m.

El Verano Inn
705 Laurel Ave. El Verano – 935-0611

Tonight, Jan. 26, Neelix One presents Karaoke – 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market
Depot Park – 270 First St W. Sonoma

Friday, Jan. 29, Stewart Degner – 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100

Wednesday, Jan. 27, Open – Mic Night – 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 29, Chris Hanlin – 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660.

Friday, Jan. 29, Full Circle – 8 p.m.

Plaza Bistro
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466

Friday, Jan. 29, Larry Dunlop and Bobbe Norris – 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044

Wednesday, Jan. 27, Dance lessons with Memory Lane – 7 p.m
Friday, Jan. 29, Tommy Thomsen birthday party – 8:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364.

Tonight, Jan. 26, “New Orleans R&B and American Roots Night with guests” hosted by Tim Eschliman, Lou Rodriguiz and Bruce Gordon – 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 29, Highway Lonesome – 8 p.m.

If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.