The Friday, Dec. 23, Column

Timothy Benton

Soundbytes – Ameripolitan Awards

We have a couple locals up for awards at the Ameripolitan awards in 2017 and you can even help them win, but first, lets get to know them a bit.

Timothy Benton isn’t sure how it all happened, maybe it was his grandparents playing country and honky-tonk records when he was young, or maybe it was the Johnny Cash albums of the ‘90s, where Cash really stepped away from some of the traditional country music roots and even covered songs by bands like Nine Inch Nails, but for sure it was the soundtrack for a movie called “The Gift” with Merle haggard and Waylon Jennings that did it for Benton. “I was in such a trance listening to that disc while driving on the 405 I missed my own exit.” This was during Benton’s stint in Los Angeles where he was trying to be an actor, and like many, the “City of Angels” didn’t take long to send him packing.

Back home in Northern California, Benton still wanted to be in the television-movie arena, and he managed to hook up with a production company in Marin County that was producing shows for the Home and Garden network, HGTV, where he went from lighting and sound to being a full-blown producer, showcasing many expensive home rebuilds in the county. Family life called and he became a stay at home dad with his twin children, but needed a creative outlet. He had listened to the local community radio, 91.3 KSVY and thought that sounded like it might be fun to put together a show that featured classic country and metropolitan music, and after a quick chat with the station, he was given the 10 p.m. slot on Tuesday night, for his show called “Wine Country” where he paired wine and classic country music. The show has gained popularity since it’s inception in 2014 and Benton is now a “Guy at 5” on the radio, with his show airing every Friday at 5 p.m.

He attributes his success to being in the right place at the right time, but the show was also nominated in 2016 for “Ameripolitan Music’s Best DJ” in the world apparently, as the contest is International.  Benton went to Austin Tx to promote himself and even thought he didn’t win last year, in his words “I felt like I was winning the entire time.”

Benton is up for the same award this year. You can help him hit his mark at the link at the end of the piece below.

But wait, there’s more.

Sean Carscadden
Sean Carscadden

Local singer-songwriter-guitar player extraordinaire Sean Carscadden is also up for an award.

Carscadden, born and raised in Sonoma Valley, is a unique guitar player, essentially self-taught, and placing him in a musical genre is tough, as he is almost one of his own. Unlike many, where music was an inspiration to begin playing, to Carscadden it was almost an afterthought. He had no real interest in music and no record collection, but starting a band sounded like fun, so at the age of 12, Carscadden was tagged as the guitar player. His father had an acoustic guitar lying around and Carscadden grabbed it and the band was born. After a couple lessons with a friend’s mom, he was hooked.

Since that time, Carscadden has played with hundreds of musicians, dozens of local acts and taught hundreds or young musicians. One of his acts, on his own record label “Delta Bound Records” is also up for an Ameripolitan for the “Best Outlaw Group 2017.”  Miss Lonely Hearts, the name of the act, has played hundreds of shows and traveled thousands of miles over the last three years all over the country, doing it “old school” by sleeping in vans, playing shows, selling merchandise and sharing their music with the country, and the wages have indeed paid off. The latest disc, released in spring of this year and titled “Lost Highway” has garnered critical acclaim from their peers in the industry and beyond.

To vote for the local nominees, point your browser to You may have to scroll down a bit to find them. You have until Jan. 8, 2017 to vote. For more info about Sean Carscadden and Delta Bound Records, point your browser to For more about Timothy Benton, point your browser to


Ten Foot Tone

Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, Dec. 23: Keith Andrew. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 24: Closed

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, 400 First St. E. Sonoma, 938-7110
Tonight, Dec. 23: DJ Isak. 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, Dec. 23: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, Dec. 23: Chris Chappell. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 24: No Music

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, Dec. 23: Ten Foot Tone. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 24: No Music

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, Dec. 23: Ryan Tatarian. 6:30 p.m. Levi Lloyd. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 24: No Music
Sunday, Dec. 25: Closed

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


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