The Friday, July 28, Column

Annex Wine Bar – Photo: Scott Hales

Spotlight – Last days at Annex

This weekend marks the closing of another music venue in Sonoma Valley, when the Annex Wine Bar closes its doors for good on Sunday, July 30, after not being able to come to terms of a lease with the new owners of the property. Important to note the adjoining Community Cafe is not affected by the closure of Annex. The Annex provided a venue for just about anyone to perform, a step up from an open-mic, but not really a big stage. The venue wasn’t the highest paying in town, as a wine bar open for four hours a day, the budget wasn’t large enough to bring many established acts into the venue, but many acts enjoyed the “living room” vibe created by owner, Margie Brooke and would play there for much less than other venues. More than one act got their start there and many more solo performers got to prove that they were in fact good enough to play in front of an audience. We can say from experience, that many a show there was quite extraordinary, and with apologies to Billy Joel from “Piano Man,” often we heard “Man, what are you doing here?”

The weekend finale starts tonight, July 28, with Peace of G which features members of Ten Foot Tone, Plan Be and more, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, it’s Don Trotta playing rock, reggae and blues, also at 7:30 p.m. The finale is scheduled for Sunday, July 30, when the venue opens early at 3 p.m. and the day kicks off with Calvin Ross and Friends, followed by Full Circle at 4 p.m. and Wildflower Weed at 5 p.m. Wrapping up the evening will be a combination of bands that will include Sonoma Sound Syndicate, the Mark Larson Band and a possible reunion of the DaveEdJohn Quartet, who all kick off at 6 p.m. The evening will end at 9 p.m. as they literally have to move everything out of the venue by midnight. Thanks Margie for making a place for music to happen, and happen it did.

Which begs the question; what exactly is happening with the live music scene in the Valley? In the ten years we’ve been penning this column we’ve seen ebbs and flows but in the end, it never seems to change. There are a handful of venues that could be considered actual music venues, with a stage, lights and sound provided, but most are still move some tables out of the way and plug the band in to a circuit that may or may not be the same one as the blender. God forbid we be anything like Napa, but in that time, Napa has added the Uptown Theatre, the Blue Note Cafe, Silo’s and more that all bring name brand talent to that Valley. Why can’t we have that here? The reasons are too endless to even go into in this small piece. Where would these acts play? The most obvious would be the Sebastiani Theatre, which boasted a packed house just last weekend for Sean Carscadden’s farewell concert. Unfortunately, for proprietor Roger Rhoten to remain competitive in the movie market and keep first run movies on his screen, he needs to show movies most every Friday and Saturday night.

This Valley also has a dislike to cover charges for live music like something we’ve never seen. We all know money talks and perhaps it’s time to start to place value on a musical performance like we do with movies, plays, art showcases, wine tasting and other things we gladly shell out ten dollars for without blinking. If there is the potential for someone to actually get paid, maybe the venues create themselves. There are also challenges in City limits with the noise ordinance. Maybe it’s because we tend to hang with a musical crowd, but it seems most people we know like live music, and many venues are packed with like minded people enjoying live music every weekend.

Maybe it’s time to take live music seriously, or not. The choice seems to be up to you, the listener.


Nate Lopez

Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, July 28: Peace of G. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 29: Don Trotta. 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 30: “Final Day Blowout” with Calvin Ross and Friends, Full Circle, Wildflower Weed, Sonoma Sound Syndicate and the Mark Larson Band. 3 p.m.

B. R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy. Glen Ellen, 800-330-4064
Sunday, July 30: Lorin Rowan. 2 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, July 28: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

Hood Mansion Lawn, 389 Casa Manana Rd. Santa Rosa, 833-6288
Tonight, July 28: Funky Fridays with the Poyntlyss Sistars. 7 p.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, July 28: Timothy O’Neil. 5 p.m. the Aqua Velvets. 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 29: Smorgy. 1 p.m. Dawn Angelosante and Tony Gibson 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 30: Nate Lopez. 1 p.m.

Larson Park, 329 DeChene Avenue, Sonoma, 539-8092
Sunday, July 30: Springs Farmers Market with Jeffry Hellman. 4 p.m.

Madrone Estate Winery, 777 Madrone Rd. Glen Ellen, 939-4500
Sunday, July 30: French Oak Gypsy Band. 1 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, July 28: Four Shillings Short. 8 p.m.

Muscardini Cellars, 9380 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 933-9305
Saturday, July 29: “Simmer Down Saturday” with Full Circle. 6 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Tonight, July 28: Ryan Tatarian and Matt Silva. 6:30 p.m. Reggae Night with Byron Borges. 8 p.m.

The Reel Fish Shop and Grill, 401 Grove St. El Verano, 343-0044
Tonight, July 28: the Carl Green Band. 7:30 p.m.

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards, 389 Fourth St. E. Sonoma, 933-3230
Tonight, July 28: the Jami Jamison Band, also “Food Truck Friday”. 6 p.m.

Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma, 938-4626
Sunday, July 30: Kitchen Concert Series with Judy Bowles and special guest Jessica Terwilliger. 6:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, July 28: T Luke and the Tight Suits. 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 29: Kerry Daly Band. 5 p.m. the Fabulous 45’s. 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 30: Acoustic Soul  5 p.m. Acoustic Blues Jam. 8:30 p.m.

Viansa Winery, 25200 Arnold Drive, Carneros, 995-4740
Saturday, July 29: Pacific Standard. 12 p.m.
Sunday, July 30: Craig Corona. 12 p.m.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *