The Friday, Feb. 17, Column

Mikey Cannon

Mikey Cannon – Cannon School of Music

Sometimes when you’re on tour with your band, you roll into a town, then you meet a girl, then next thing you know you’re no longer with the band and opening a music school in the town with the girl. Well, that doesn’t happen to just anyone, but it happened to Mikey Cannon.

Born in 1976 in San Diego, Mikey Lee Cannon had music around him most of his life. His father played guitar, although not professionally or in an actual band, but jamming with his buddies and local musicians with young Cannon always nearby. When his father traded an old Toyota Corolla he had fixed up for a drum set for young Cannon, well, that was it. Essentially self taught, Cannon would go to rock concerts with his father, Santana, Rush, but it was the musicians that his father jammed with in the garage that influenced Cannon the most, and being able to play with musicians much older than himself brought him to a world of drumming that focused on Latin, Brazilian and world-rhythm beats, that would eventually shape his own personal style of playing.

Canon joined his first “real” band when he was 17, and as he focused on music, continued on to San Diego State University where he got a bachelors degree in music and hooked up with a touring act called the “B Side Players” and toured much of the country. When Cannon was 32, he eventually ended up in New York City which lasted a couple of years. “New York is a rough city” recalled Cannon. “Trying to be a musician and have a job and just get around, man, I won’t do that again.”  But it was while he was working at the Drummers Collective in New York that he hooked up with an act called “Izzy and the Catastrophics” and they were touring places that Cannon had never been; the south, New Orleans, and more. It sounded like a good idea to Cannon so off he went. The band leader had a girlfriend here in Sonoma, so not actually one of the stops on the tour, it became one. Cannon met a woman here as well, a singer, and a relationship was formed. Cannon left the touring act and settled in Sonoma, where the two started a music school, but the couple was not destined to be together forever. She had dreams yet to fulfill, and Cannon feeling that and knowing those feelings, let go, and off to Nashville she went, with Cannon staying in Sonoma, his new home town, and manned the school on his own.

The school started in 2013, and Cannon claims he has not advertised or promoted anything, yet. The students were all referred word of mouth and there never seemed to be a shortage of new musical learners. He still has the original location in Agua Caliente and had a temporary second location in the former Lanning Structures building in Boyes Hot Springs, but things just weren’t working out. An opportunity presented itself on the eastside of Sonoma, at the old sign shop across from the little league fields at 254 1st St. E. Cannon has pursued it diligently and just this last week got approval from the Planning Commission to proceed with his dreams. “We had to agree to a lot of things and we plan to comply with every one of them” said Cannon. “This is a great facility and we plan on having some open mics, not like in bars, but for the younger musicians in town that may or may not be our students.”  Cannon is hoping to open the facility March 1.

Cannon hasn’t been resting on his laurels. He keeps his chops up while playing with the Sean Carscadden Trio, 3 on a Match and T Luke and the Tight Suits. The regional act Frobeck recently called but Cannon had to decline. “With the school coming up full time, I need to be local a lot more” said Cannon. You can find out more about Cannon and the school by pointing your browser to



Rubber Soul – Photo: Melania Mahoney

Rubber Soul at the Woman’s Club

How many causes can one band help in one night? Well, at least two on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club, when the local acoustic Beatles tribute act Rubber Soul takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. The act has put together a new show that will showcase all the number one hits that the Beatles had throughout their career. Students from Altimira Middle School will be on hand to prepare and present small hot bites and sweet treats as well as teas and lemonade, and accepting donations to support their summer educational trip to New York and Washington DC. The door and proceeds from the beer and wine sales will go to the Woman’s Club to help with the funds to restore the historic building. The building celebrated it’s 100th birthday last year and a series of fundraisers have been held to keep the building functioning and up to date, and new codes as well. Tickets for the show can only be purchased at the door the night of the show. To learn more about the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club, point your browser to

Ike Reilly

Ike Reilly at Hopmonk

It’s a rare Monday night show at Hopmonk Sonoma on Monday, Feb. 20, when Ike Reilly comes to town for an intimate solo show, kicking off at 8 p.m. Reilly has seven albums under his belt since hitting the scene with his solo work and his touring band “the Ike Reilly Assassination.” With former careers as a grave digger and a hotel doorman, one could glean plenty of songwriting material from those experiences. Reilly uses humor to combat despair as his songs tell tales of love, lust, struggle, drugs, drinking and the underdog. His latest release, “Born on Fire” could be his best to date, garnering critical acclaim from the New York Times, Esquire Magazine and Tom Morello of Rolling Stone declared Reilly as “…one of the best American songwriters of the last 10 years, both in delivery and lyrics. It’s, like, part Springsteen, part Replacements.” Reilly will be performing many songs from the latest album at the Monday show. There is no cover for the show.


Mark Larson

Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, Feb. 17: Mark Larson Band. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18: Tangled Up in Blue. 7:30 p.m.

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, 400 First St. E. Sonoma, 938-7110
Saturday, Feb. 18: DJ Cal and DJ Sol. 9 p.m.

El Verano Inn, 705 Laurel Ave. El Verano, 935-0611
Saturday, Feb. 18: Fly by Train and Flat Broke and Busted. 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, Feb. 17: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, Feb. 17: the Straw Wattles. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18: Smorgy. 8 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 20: Ike Reilly. 8 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, Feb. 17: Rivertown Trio. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18: Andrew Freeman. 8 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Tonight, Feb. 17: Reggae Night with Byron Borges. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb.18: Karaoke. 7:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, Feb. 17: Ryan Tatarian. 6:30 p.m. Junk Parlor. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18: Acoustic Soul and Friends. 5 p.m. C. Z. and the Bon Vivants. 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 19: Fly by Train, 5 p.m. Acoustic Blues Jam. 8:30 p.m.

Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club, 574 First St. E., 938-8313
Saturday, Feb. 18: Rubber Soul – Acoustic Beatles Tribute.  7 p.m.

The Starling Bar, 19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma, 996-3055
Sunday, Feb. 19: Half People. 7:30 p.m.

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

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