Music happenings in and around Sonoma Country – 9/6 – 9/9

It’s a slow weekend after the Labor Day holiday, with harvest right around the corner and wineries ramping up, all the kids are finally back in school and Sonoma County is laying back a bit. If you’re in town this weekend, it’s actually the beginning of one of the best times to be here in Wine Country. There’s still some music options out there so get on out and work off that big dinner you just had.

Wonderbread 5

Friday, Sept. 7 – Wonderbread 5
This band is just flat-out fun. Starting out as a Jackson 5 tribute and eventually becoming a ‘70s – ‘80s tribute act and for over a decade, Wonderbread 5 have been thrilling audiences. Michael, Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Action Jackson round out this unstoppable, international rock and roll party machine. Wonderbread 5 covers everything from Motown to Bean-town and back again.
Venue – HopMonk Tavern –




Solid Air

Friday, Sept. 7 – Solid Air
This is probably the most unassuming act in Sonoma County. They duo has played and recorded with, and even had on their own albums, the likes of Jackson Browne, Elvin Bishop, Barry Melton and more. Their 2007 release, “Solid Air,” was nominated for a Grammy. But you’d never know it. Chris Garcia of the Press Democrat had this to say about them. “Soulfully incandescent vocals; an enormously gifted band.”
Venue – A’Roma Roasters –
Santa Rosa707- 576-7765


Friday, Sept. 7 – Life in the Fast Lane – Eagles Tribute
It’s the Eagles! Well, not really, but tribute acts are hot these days, and these guys put on a good show, and even have a couple female vocalists taking over the lead on some songs. They play all the hits you’d expect to hear. Here’s a snippet from an online review from a recent show in Groveland, CA. “Besides just Eagles hits, they played a few Don Henley favorites such as “Dirty Laundry.” It wasn’t until the second set after the intermission that the party really got started, when more and more of the crowd left their seats to enjoy the dance floor.”
Venue – Mavericks  –
Santa Rosa707- 544-1562

Music happenings in and around Sonoma Country – 8/31 – 9/2

Even though it’s Wine Country Weekend here in Sonoma Country, there’s still plenty of music to pair it with, some even at a winery.

This week, we’ve got legends from many genres all over. The legendary Lester Chambers will be sitting in with his son, Dylan, in Santa Rosa. Huey Lewis is in town with some news and one of the jazz legends of the Bay Area is in Healdsburg. Have a peek below and pair up some local music with that wine this weekend.


Friday, Aug. 31 – E Minor and the Dirty Diamonds
After more than a decade of playing in various Sonoma County bands, the six members of Dirty Diamonds have hit their stride blasting out country rock and hillbilly blues originals that conjure up images of the Allman Brothers, CCR and Hank Williams Sr. along with a taste of Howlin’ Wolf, Ralph Stanley and Tom Waits.
HopMonk Tavern –

Jason Bodlovich

Monday, Sept. 3 – Jason Bodlovich
Jason Bodlovich is an absolute musical monster. Originally from Huntington Beach, Calif, Bodlovich now resides in Sonoma County where he performs with a mix of original projects. Eclectic is a good word to use for his sound as he blends rock, funk, blues, swing, jazz, Brazilian and more. This cross-over appeal has led to opening slots for various artists including instrumental rock guitarist Joe Satriani; jazz artists including Diana Krall and Rites of Strings featuring Al Di Meola Stanley Clarke & Jean Luc Ponty and more. Mostly a guitar player these days, Bodlovich played drums on a tribute album for the jazz legend Ray Brown, where he assembled many of Brown’s original band members.
Lagunitas Brewing Company –


Midnight Sun Massive

Saturday, Sept. 1 – Midnight Sun Massive
This would be my hot pick of the weekend. Midnight Sun Massive is a step back to when reggae music was Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, blended with a little calypso and some blues. The band has been together in some configuration since 1984 in and around the Bay Area. If dancing to a reggae groove hits you this weekend, these are the guys to check out.
Flamingo Hotel – Santa



Huey Lewis and the News


Saturday, Sept. 1 – Huey Lewis and the News
What can we say about this act that hasn’t been said? From their humble beginnings in Marin County in the ‘70s to superstardom in the ‘80s and beyond, the band has had entire albums of songs that almost went to #1 on the Billboard charts, won Grammys, had numerous #1 hits, but s great a recording career as the band has had, it’s their live performances that remain the stuff of legend. They have toured worldwide continuously for more than 30 years. Huey Lewis & The News incorporate a variety of musical influences, including R&B and soul, to create their own unique sound.
Rodney Strong Winery – Healdsburg


Dick Conte

Friday, Aug. 31 – Dick Conte
Dick Conte is a regional jazz legend, from his work on numerous jazz radio stations for almost 50 years, to his performances around the Bay Area at such events as the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Russian River Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Sonoma Valley Jazz Festival, the Calistoga Jazz and Blues Festival, Jazz on the Hill and the Cotati Jazz Festival. Tonight, the pianist will have with him Steve Webber on bass.
Hotel Healdsburg – Healdsburg



Saturday, Sept. 1 – Dylan Chambers
Dylan Chambers grew up around rock and blues and it’s clear the apple didn’t fall from the tree. His father, Lester Chambers from the Chambers Brothers, famous for the hit “Time has come today,” will be joining Dylan’s group Mass Transit on stage
Last Day Saloon –
Santa Rosa

Music happenings in and around Sonoma Country – 8/23

Friday, Aug. 24 – Volker-Strifler
Volker Strifler is probably best known as the “other” guitarist in Robben Ford’s band. Though not exactly a household name, Volker Strifler should be. As a longtime associate of the famous Ford brothers (Robben, Patrick and Mark), Strifler had proven his mettle as a guitarist and singer a long time ago. But with his new CD, “Let the Music Rise,” he delivers the complete package in the form of superb lyrics and vocals, as well as skill as a producer, in addition to his accomplished fretwork.

HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol


Saturday, Aug. 25 – Frobeck
This would be my personal Hot Pick of the weekend – One of the hottest funk rock groups of the North Bay, Frobeck has been entertaining audiences with their original funk rock music since 2005. Boasting a full lineup of high octane lead vocals, bass, drums, guitars, keys, replete with sultry backing vocals, Frobeck covers all the bases. Their songs and musicianship have landed them on stage with such acts as Bill Champlin, Booker T, Ozomatli, WAR, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Los Lonely Boys and many others. With the recent addition of the “Frobeck Horn Stars,” the band has entered into the realm of their musical heroes; Tower of Power, the Sons of Champlin, and Stevie Wonder. You can definitely shake you booty to these guys.

HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol

Brandi Carlile

Saturday, Aug. 25 – Brandi Carlile
From her earliest days on Seattle’s coffeehouse circuit, Carlile has demonstrated an uncommon gift for connecting with fans. Her remarkable vocals, by turns nuanced and raw, brilliantly uninhibited and always expressive convey a palpable emotion that seeps through every song.

Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa

Tuesday, Aug. 28 – Diana Krall
This multi-platinum artist has written a new chapter in acoustic jazz improvisation. Krall has sold more than six million albums in the U.S. and over 15 million worldwide and she is the only jazz singer to have eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums. Her latest project has Krall and her band backing up Paul McCartney on his new release, “Kisses from the Bottom.”

Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa

Saturday, Aug. 25 – Levi Lloyd and the 501 Blues Band
Levi Lloyd is a blues veteran, having played with B. B. King, John Lee Hooker and toured worldwide as the longtime guitarist for the legendary Joe Louis Walker. Lloyds well-worn ’68 Les Paul guitar and lowdown vocals tell it all. The band also won this years North Bay Music Awards for the best blues band.

Tradewinds – Cotati

Music happenings in and around Sonoma Country

Friday, Aug. 17 – Michael Bolivar

Michael Bolivar has performed with many artists such as Lou Rawls, the OJays, Billy Preston, Helen O’Conner, Aretha Franklin, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and many others. Having performed with such a wide variety of musicians, Bolivar has enjoyed the benefits of a diverse repertoire, which is reflected in his performing and recording career.

HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol


Friday, Aug. 17 – Le Hot Jazz Trio

Paul Mehling, the leader of Hot Club of San Francisco (HCSF) and the man dubbed the godfather of American gypsy jazz, discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in grammar school. Decades later the music that took root in his young soul finally bore fruit.  “We have a swing or die approach to the music that’s distinctly American” says Mehling.  “We’re trying to challenge the tendency to slavishly imitate Django’s style, without watering down the gypsy tradition or diluting the music…”

Plaza Bistro – Sonoma Valley


Saturday, Aug. 18 – Tainted Love

Tainted Love is a classic ‘80s rock tribute act, with all the fanfare and showboating you’d expect from a band of that genre. A fun time guaranteed.

Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa


Friday, Aug. 17 – Sugarfoot

SugarFoot is an energetic seven piece band, featuring three part harmonies and a super tight and funky rhythm section. SugarFoot is a high-caliber rythm and blues, rock, funk dance band that will have you dancing from the first downbeat.

Flamingo Hotel – Santa Rosa


Friday – Saturday, Aug. 17 -18 – Bobby Young Project

Strongly influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Sly Stone and Freddie Stone, Young has played and recorded with a long list of people including the Natural Four, Richard “Dimples” Fields, Snooky Flowers, Cool Papa and Zakiya Hooker.

Tradewinds – Cotati