He’s been here long enough to call him local, although the genre of music he plays doesn’t lend itself to many Sonoma Valley venues. Guitarist Eric Barnett arrived on the scene in 2004 after a fairly successful career as a working studio musician from the East Coast. Moving the family west, he thought he’d settle down into a different lifestyle, but like he said in a radio interview from 2006, “it never really goes away.” He saw an ad on Craigslist for an instrumental guitarist for jams and maybe more, so he answered the ad. For the next couple years, the trio jammed semi-regularly and then it turned into gigs, demos, and even appearances. Barnett was one of the finalists in Guitar Player magazines “Guitar Superstar” competition, where he was able to rub elbows with the likes of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. One thing led to another, with gigs around the North Bay with local metal acts. The quality of the music was not going unnoticed, and as an instrumental act, the band started to stand out. The deciding moment came recently when the band was signed to a record deal with Magna Carta Records, home of such artists as Steve Stevens and Steve Morse. The band, which includes Kevin Aiello on drums and Uriah Duffy on bass, whose credentials include Whitesnake and Christina Aguilar, will be having a CD release show tonight, March 9, at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. “The title, “Road Less Traveled,” felt like a description to us,” said Barnett. “In this day and age of pop music, being in an instrumental band is, in itself, a statement.” Tickets will be available at the door for the 8 p.m. show, where the band will also be shooting a video. For more about the band, point your browser to www.pointsnorthband.com.
We were lucky enough to get invited to a singer-songwriter showcase this week at the home of the Music Nomad, Rand Rognlien, where he and Jeff Bundschu had six Indie rock and local acts playing a couple of tunes each. Local Sarah Summers was one of the acts, and my friends, you need to see this young woman perform before she runs off to college. Telling original stories far beyond her years on this earth mixed with excellent finger-picking guitar, if she wasn’t going to college, she’d be ready for a record deal. The evening was topped off by an amazing performance from Kelly McFarland, who with only a banjo and her voice had the small crowd mesmerized. Judging from her comments about Sonoma, she’ll be back soon. Music Nomad provides free online resources for all independent musicians on their website at www.musicnomad.com.
The Joe Chaplain Band presents “Way Out West” at the Sonoma Community Center on Saturday, March 10, kicking off at 7 p.m. In addition to his regular band, the night will feature local Diva Sheila Whitney and Monica McKey. For tickets and more info, call 938-4626.
Ramekins Event Center welcomes Manual Barrueco for one night only on Saturday, March 10, for a 7 p.m. show. The evening also includes a meet and greet with the artist after the show. Barrueco typically performs at such venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and internationally at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, so this is a unique opportunity to see an intimate performance. For tickets and more info, call 933-0450.
Adam Traum will be at HopMonk Sonoma on Saturday, March 10, for a 9 p.m. show.
Murphy’s Irish Pub presents Dinner Theater with a presentation of Moll tonight, March 9, presented by Kate Kennedy. The show includes dinner, which starts at 5:30 p.m. For tickets and more info, contact the pub at 935-0660. Saturday, March 10, the pub has Dan Martin for an 8 p.m. show. Sunday, March 11, it’s Sean Carscadden and Marty O’Reilly for an early show, kicking off at 6:30 p.m.
Sonoma Springs Brewery welcomes the all-original music of Calvin Ross on Saturday, March 10, for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover.
The Plaza Bistro has John Stowell and Mike Zilber tonight, March 9, for a 7 p.m. show. Saturday, March 10, it’s the Jazz Komradz for one night only, also for a 7 p.m. show. The band features Graham Bruce on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tim Campbell on keyboards, Andy Dillard on drums and percussion and Bryan Girard on alto and tenor saxophones. Four long-time friends and instrumentalists comprise a formidable array of compositional and improvisational talent. There is no cover for any of the shows at the bistro.
The Whiskey Thieves will be at Quincy’s Pub in Rohnert Park tonight, March 9, for a 9 p.m. show.
The Jason Bodlovich Group will be at the Lagunitas Tap Room today, March 9, at 4:20 p.m.
The Jami Jamison Band is at Papas Taverna in Petaluma on Saturday, March 10, for a 7 p.m. show.
The Hellhounds will be in Petaluma at the First Edition Saturday, March 10, for a 9:30 p.m. show.
Mad and Eddie Duran are at the historic Cliff House in San Francisco tonight, March 9, for a 7 p.m. show.
Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island
Jackie Greene – Friday -Saturday, March 9 – 10.
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma
Frobeck- Saturday, March 10.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa
Dumpstaphunk – Sunday, March 11.
HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol
Foreverland – Friday, March 9.
Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco
John Lee Hooker Jr. – Friday, March 9.
Biscuits & Blues – San Francisco
Harvey Mandel – Saturday, March 10.
George’s Nightclub – San Rafael
Petty Theft- Friday, March 9.
Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley
Pegi Young – Tuesday, March 13.
Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley