The Friday, Dec. 8, Column

Ian Hinkley

Local Musician Spotlight – Ian Hinkley

Sometimes it’s pre-ordained, your destiny, no matter how hard you try to deny it. Ian Hinkley was born in Seattle but after a couple weeks’ time, the family had moved to Southern California, then nine years later moved to Sonoma, where Hinkley has called home ever since. His mother was a folk singer and guitar player and his brother David, 13 years his senior and also a local musician, played guitar and sang as well. Young Hinkley broke his musical teeth on a harmonica when he was just two years of age, learning Ray Charles tunes, and the family would sit and play and sing harmonies to Neil Young and other folk songs.

Hinkley joined his first “official’ band when he was 18, and no coincidence it was with older brother David, an act called the Cavemen, where he stayed for seven years, playing in local bars and clubs even when he was underage. After the band ceased to exist, Hinkley tried to convince himself music just wasn’t worth pursuing, and wondered why he wanted to do it in the first place. Was it notoriety? Girls? Boredom? He had no idea, so he stopped, but often found himself noodling on the guitar as his daughter slept and it dawned on him. This was never going to go away. It was in him and he really had no choice in the matter but to play. He decided to begin to write some songs and got some friends together and the Bumblin’ Bones was born.

Four years later the act is still going, with a minor personnel change, bringing in Jesse Spencer of Uncle Jesse and the Porch Junkies to fill the bass slot. This weekends performance will be the debut of the new line-up. Where you ask? The Bumblin’ Bones will be taking the stage at the El Verano Inn with the Jon Shannon Williams, the Gentlemen Soldiers and Half People tonight, Dec. 8, for an 8:30 show that will benefit Springs Fire Relief. Let’s dig a little deeper into Hinkley’s musical past.

1) Many musicians in our generation cite the Beatles or Elvis Presley on Ed Sullivan as that moment when they knew music was what they wanted to do. When and what was it that made you realize you wanted to be a musician?

IH > It wasn’t really anything like that. In fact, I had spent a significant amount of time trying to convince myself that music just wasn’t what I wanted to do, it just wasn’t for me. But I kept finding myself drawn back to the guitar, and one day, after two years I wrote a song and realized that this was it. Music is what I wanted to do.

2) That first instrument you owned. What was it and do you still have it?

IH > Well, other than that harmonica, It is a Fender acoustic that was handed down to me from my brother David and handed to him by my mother. I guess I should pass it along to someone else but I just love playing it so much.   

3) Who are you’re primary influences in your music?

IH> Funny, because what I think are my influences are not what everyone else hears in my music. I’d like to think I’m more a Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen type of guy, but other keep saying it’s kind of like the White Strips, but it’s not intentional.   

4) What CD or playlist is in your car or your iPod?

IH > Really new music is all I’ve been listening to lately, and mostly female orientated, people like Thao, Mirah, Mitski and Sharon Van Etten.

5) Tell us about your current acts.

IH > Mainly it’s the Bumblin’ Bones at this point. I was involved with the Bowie tribute that I was really into, was doing the Shakedown Choir for a while until Stevie (Steele) moved to san Diego, but mainly only the one act.    

6) If you could have written one song, which one would it be and why?

IH > I’d have to say “Cigarettes and Coffee” by Otis Redding. It’s simply the most beautiful song I know. For a more pop kinda thing, I would say Little Dragon by Ritual Union. It’s the perfect pop song that isn’t all “call me baby.”     


Half People

Set List – The Rundown

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, 400 First St. E. Sonoma, 938-7110
Tonight, Dec. 8: DJ Cal. 9:30 p.m.

El Verano Inn, 705 Laurel Ave. El Verano, 935-0611
Tonight, Dec. 8: Jon Shannon Williams, Half People, Gentlemen Soldiers and Bumblin’ Bones. Benefit for Springs fire relief. 8:30 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, Dec. 8: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St. Sonoma, 938-5277
Saturday, Dec. 9: Justin Townes Earle. 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 11: Olivia O’Brien. Benefit for Norcal fire relief. 7 p.m.

Hanna Boys Center, 17000 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, 996-6767
Sunday, Dec. 10: Valley of the Moon Music Festival presents fire relief benefit with Tanya Tomkins, Eric Zivian, Cynthia Black, Laura Gaynon, Kumiko Sakamoto and Chris Whitley. 4 p.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Saturday, Dec. 9: Nate Lopez. 8 p.m.

The Laugh Cellar, 5755 Mountain Hawk Dr., Santa Rosa, 843-3824
Saturday, Dec. 9: Steven Kent. 7 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Tonight, Dec. 1: Ryan Tatarian and Matt Silva. 6:30 p.m. 

The Reel Fish House and Grill, 401 Grove St. El Verano, 343-0044
Tonight, Dec. 8: Grateful Bluegrass Boys. 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9: “Sonoma Proud Festivus Party” toy drive and fundraiser with Rich Little and the Mighty Creatures of Habit.7 p.m.  

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, Dec. 8: Bruce Gordon, Jenni Purcell and Jodi Stevens. 6:30 p.m. Girl Friday. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9: the Marks Brothers. 5 p.m. Iko Ya Ya. 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 10: T Luke – Solo. 5 p.m. Acoustic Blues Jam. 8:30 p.m.

Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 996-5217
Saturday, Dec. 9: Dave Rocha. 2 p.m.

St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 16290 Arnold Drive Sonoma, 996-6024
Saturday, Dec. 9: Sonoma Valley Chorale Holiday Concert. 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 10: Sonoma Valley Chorale Holiday Concert. 3 p.m.

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

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