In our humble opinion, there is no place better in the country to be other than right here in Sonoma Valley on the Fourth of July, starting with the annual parade, presented by the Sonoma Community Center, countless events and activities during the day and ending in the evening with the fireworks over General Vallejo’s home, presented by the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters. There is also plenty of live music, mostly local, that day as well, with the fifth annual All-American Music Festival, presented at Murphy’s Irish Pub. The event is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Community Center. The day kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with Midnight Sun, Local favorites Tudo Bem follow at 2 p.m. and then it’s the Hellhounds at 4:30 p.m., which will be the fourth show in four days for the local bluesmen. The day wraps up right before the fireworks with the Sean Carscadden Trio kicking off at 7 p.m. There is no cover for the show, but donations will be accepted. The Sonoma Community Center, in addition to sponsoring the parade on Monday, July 4, will be presenting the activities in the Historic Sonoma Plaza during the day, which kicks off at 9 a.m. when the food booths open. The parade goes off at 10 a.m. and immediately following will be the traditional patriotic celebration. The live music starts at 1 p.m. with the Joe Chaplain Band, followed by the Latin rock grooves of Bautista.
Ramekins is also getting in on the fun, with a new music series called “Ramekins Live’ which will debut on Monday, July 4, at the event center that will feature Mal Sharpe and Big Money in Jazz for a 5:30 p.m. show.
Speaking of the parade, the Hometown Band is always a big hit, and they are hoping that anyone that wants to march or play with the band in the parade will just meet up behind the barracks on Monday, July 4, at 9 a.m. Dress is blue jeans and red and white shirts. If you’d like to rehearse with the band before, they will be practicing tonight, July 1 and Sunday, July 3 in the McDougal building at the Sonoma Developmental Center. For more info, call 252-2993.
There is plenty of music on Sunday, July 3, as well, with the “official” holiday on Monday. BackTrax will be laying down four sets of classic rock on Sunday, July 3, from noon – 5 p.m. at the B. R. Cohn Winery for the Charity Car Classic and barbecue. The event is a fundraiser for the Redwood Empire Food bank. There is no admission, but donations will be accepted for the cause.
The actual debut of Train Wreck Junction will be at the Swiss Hotel on Sunday, July 3, at 2 p.m. The act is Nick Kardum’s country and western act as he describes as “honkly-tonk music, none of that new country.” The band has been doing practice shows around town, but Kardum promises this will be the “real deal.” There is no cover.
MacArthur Place has “Swingin’ Sunday” on Sunday, July 3, with the Richard Olsen Trio for a 2 p.m. show. Olsen’s trio consists of Benny Watson on piano, Jeff Neighbor on bass, and Kent Bryson on drums.
The El Verano Inn has Fast Corky and the Hubcaps on Sunday, July 3, for a 3 p.m. show. The event is also a chicken barbecue and potluck. There is no cover.
The Olde Sonoma Public House has what we’ve heard is the best kept music secret in town, the father-son duo of Josh and Nelson Kraft on Sunday, July 3, for a 7:30 p.m. show. We’ve yet to catch the act, but have had people text us during previous shows raving about them. Josh Kraft is also celebrating a little still; he got married to his sweetheart of nine years just last weekend. Congratulations. There is no cover for the show.
The Plaza Bistro will feature the Leo Vigil Trio tonight, July 1, for a 7 p.m. show. Vigil plays in several acts, including Leo’s Amigos, The Sleep Bandits, Power Trip and the Leo Vigil Band, Most recently Vigil played with world-renowned harpist and violinist Carlos Reyes. Saturday, July 2, brings the John Kalleen Group to the cozy back-room of the Bistro, also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover for either show, which are presented by the Sonoma Valley Jazz Society.
Katmandu Corner, the name of the new music venue in the back of the Taste of the Himalayas Restaurant, has expanded to two nights of music each weekend. The shows, presented by Steve T. Ney, will have Jason Huybers tonight, July 1, for a 7:30 p.m. show. Saturday, July 2, the corner welcomes Dan Martin, also for a 7:30 p.m. show. There is no cover either night.
Murphy’s Irish Pub has the Sonoma Mountain Band in the snug tonight, July 1, at 8 p.m. Andrew Freeman will be back on Saturday, July 2, also for an 8 p.m. show. Sunday, July 3, the snug welcomes Keeley Valentino. There is no cover for any of the shows.
Lokal has a great duo on Saturday, July 2, with Adam Traum teaming up with Josh Needleman, of the Pine Needles, for an evening of folk, country and some “pickin’ and grinnin’.” The show kicks off at 8:30 p.m.
Kunde Estate Winery will have “North Bay Rock” from Third Party on Saturday, July 2, for an 11 a.m. show. The event is part of a larger winery event, which kicks off at 9 a.m., with a hike, barbecue and wine tasting, but folks are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and just enjoy the grounds and the music.
Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards has the Jami Jamison Band in the tasting room tonight, July 1, at 6:30 p.m. The Friday local music events continue in the tasting room, with an available catered dinner and specials on wine.
Seeds of Learning will be having a fundraiser at the Sonoma Valley Inn today, July 1, with music provided by Matt Versaggi, Adam Spry and Brian Holland, that kicks off at 5:30 p.m.
Landmark Vineyards will have Laurent Fourgo on the patio on Saturday, July 2, for a 1 p.m. show.
The Blue Moon Saloon has the DJ sounds of XXXenos on Saturday, July 1, for a 9 p.m. show. The Sunday night blues jam, continues at the Blue Moon this Sunday, July 3, at 10 p.m.
Local bluesmen the Hellhounds have a marathon weekend, starting tonight, July 1, with a show at Cuvee in Napa at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 2, brings the boys to the First Edition in Petaluma, also for a 9:30 p.m. show and Sunday, July 3, has them in San Francisco Bay, on a Hornblower cruise that leaves pier 3 at 11:45 a.m.
The Jon Popenoe Blues Band will be at Rickey’s in Novato tonight, July 1, for a 6:30 show on the patio by the pool.
Showcase the Band will be in Rio Nido at the picnic grounds on Saturday, July 2, for a 5 p.m. show.