So, who doesn’t like the music columnist? Many, apparently, after last Fridays rant here in the column. Seems many were quick to point out that there is a venue in town that has been providing live music on a regular basis for years. How we missed that fact is beyond us, but Murphy’s Irish Pub, with over 200 live shows each year, certainly qualifies as a proper music venue. In fact, with lights, a permanent sound system and a regular schedule for music, it’s the closest thing to a nightclub we have here in Sonoma Valley. The pub also hosts several local music events throughout the year to help non-profits in the Valley, including the Sonoma Community Center, F.I.S.H and more. In addition, the venue hosts plays that feature productions by Kate Kennedy, Rose Murphy and the Avalon Players.
We reached out to Bill Pollock, one of the owners and pub manager Hunt Bailie, and the duo showed us some of the major improvements going on in the snug (the back room) to make it an even better venue for live music. First, all the poles in the room are being removed, to make for a wide open line of sight to the new stage, which is also being built, along with expanding the entrance and squaring it up with the patio and including a large door that will open into the patio on summer evenings for the outdoor patrons to enjoy. Add to that new permanent stage lighting and improvements to the 30 thousand dollar sound system recently installed and there you have it.
New booking manager and local musician Sean Carscadden will also be focusing on having more local acts when the pub re-opens, which is anticipated to be the first week of March. But in the meantime, the live music continues across the alley in the temporary pub location behind Taste of the Himalayas tonight, Feb. 11, with Kelley and Jeckel for an 8 p.m. show. Saturday, Feb. 12, has local picker and grinner Adam Traum for a night of folk, country and bluegrass, also at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 13, has the man himself, Sean Carscadden for an early show at 6 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows.
The second annual pancake breakfast fundraiser for the Sonoma Valley High School Music Department, billed as “The Music Lovers Pancake Breakfast,” will help raise funds to send the members of the three choirs and two bands from the school to the Heritage Festival competition, to be held in Anaheim, CA. this spring. Last year, Sonoma Valley High School groups brought home four silver medals from the prestigious festival. The event is Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In addition to the breakfast, attendees will be able to enjoy music from Jon Popenoe, EZ Kewl and the schools own Jazzberries. Tickets will be available at the door.
Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards will be having a Valentines dance party tonight, Feb. 11, which will feature BackTrax, with Sue Albano and Friends opening the show. Emcees for the night will be local crooner Jeff Gilbert and Diana Dawn, a Marilyn Monroe tribute artist. The dinner, at 6 p.m., is sold out, but dance only tickets can be purchased at the door at 7:30 p.m.
In case you somehow missed it, Sonoma Jazz Plus has announced the headliners for this years shows, and they are blockbusters. Sheryl Crow, who routinely sells out stadiums, will headline the Saturday, May 21, show. Look for that night to sell out fast. Friday, May 20, brings the kid from El Cerrito up to wine country, when John Fogerty, whose band Creedence Clearwater Revival essentially provided the soundtrack to life in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, takes the big stage. Sunday, May 22, has the Gipsy Kings. Support acts will be announced at a future date. Tickets this year are online only and Sonoma residents will have first dibs on tickets starting on Monday, Feb. 14, by going to the website at www.sonomajazz.org and using the code of “sweet” on checkout. Tickets to the general public will go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The Moose Lodge will have a Valentines celebration on Saturday, Feb. 12, with Showcase the Band and a prime rib dinner. The evening gets underway at 6 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door, with a discount available for Moose Lodge members.
The Plaza Bistro has the Khalil Shaheed Trio in the back room tonight, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. Shaheed has toured and performed with Jimi Hendrix, Woody Shaw and Taj Mahal, and has been featured as a jazz soloist with the Oakland East Bay Symphony Orchestra. As a recording artist, he has appeared on nearly 20 albums. There is no cover for the show.
Sonoma Springs Brewery has the sounds of Dawn Angelosante tonight, Feb. 11, starting at 7 p.m.
As part of the Olive Festival celebration, the new El Dorado Corner Cafe (where the kitchenette used to be) will have music from Michel Michelis on the French barrel organ tonight, Feb. 11, starting at 6 p.m. The venue now has wine and beer on tap, and a tidy updated appetizer menu.
The San Francisco Starlight Orchestra will make its monthly appearance at Little Switzerland on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. The orchestra is booked for the second Saturday of every month until November, 2011, and encourages folks to come dressed to dance the fox trot, Charleston, tango, rumba, waltz, lindy, one-step, two-step, carioca, and more.
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves has an evening of romantic Spanish music on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m. that will feature Eric Symons and Patrick Imbimbo. Now in its twentieth year at the winery, Symons will begin the evening on the lute, performing music from some of the Spanish masters, then Imbimbo will be introduced for his debut live performance. Imbimbo is 60 years old, a student of Symons, and has just recorded an album. For tickets and more info, call 933-1999.
Steiners Tavern has the dance sounds of DJ Dave on Saturday, Feb. 12, kicking off at 10 p.m.
Local bluegrass picker David Thom will be sitting in with some of the big names in bluegrass on Saturday, Feb. 12, in a tribute to Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley at 8 p.m. There will also be an encore performance on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the same venue. For tickets and more info, point your browser to www.sfbluegrass.org.
A lot of locals are on the road this weekend, so we’ll run them down quick, as we’re running out of column inches.
EZ Kewl will be at A’Roma Roasters Saturday, Feb. 12, for an 8 p.m. show.
Out of the Blue, with Curtis Duff on drums, will be at the French Garden Restaurant in Sebastopol tonight, Feb. 11, and Saturday, Feb. 12. The shows kick off at 7 p.m.
Uva Trattoria in Napa has an all Sonoma Valley weekend with Jon Popenoe taking the stage tonight, Feb. 11, and the Hellhounds playing the trattoria on Saturday, Feb. 12, both shows at 8 p.m.
Tudo Bem will be at the Rio Nido Roadhouse on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 8 p.m.
The Sonoma Sinatra, Stan Pappas will be playing Rickey’s Restaurant in Novato tonight, Feb. 11, for a 7 p.m. show.
We also want to apologize to the Rich Little Band for running an old photo of the band in last weeks column.
Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island
Jules Broussard Valentines Dance– Saturday, Feb. 12
19 Broadway – Fairfax
Shana Morrison – Saturday, Feb. 12.
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio
Pat Jordan Band – Saturday, Feb. 12.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa
Hannah Jern-Miller – Wednesday, Feb. 16.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa Symphony Set Five – Saturday, Feb. 12 – Monday, Feb. 14.
Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa
Kenny G – Saturday, Feb. 12.
Uptown Theater – Napa