Local Musician Spotlight – Rob Sundberg
You probably already know Rob Sundberg and don’t even know it. In addition to being a North-Bay performing musician for close to 40 years, Sundberg is also the stage announcer for the Uptown Theater, the Sausalito Art and Music Festival and many other smaller venues. Born and raised in Novato, and full disclosure, we grew up together playing music in many “rival” bands in Novato, even playing together on the Hill Jr. High School basketball team, where Sundberg came full circle and now teaches there himself.
Having played many styles of music over the years, jazz, swing and funk seem to be the genres where Sundberg often lands, and even leads the church band at his church in Novato every Sunday.
One of the current acts is Black Cat Bone, who promises “Acoustic rock, blues and mayhem” will be at HopMonk Sonoma in the beer garden on Saturday, Sept 10, at 1 p.m. Lets see how he handles the usual six questions.
1) Many musicians in our generation cite the Beatles 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?
RS > It was when I saw the back cover of Alice Coopers “Love it to Death.” I saw those guys on the back and thought, wow, that’s a long ways from Novato. Right then I knew.
2) That first instrument you owned. What was it and do you still have it?
RS> Well, I still have the violin that I got in 4th grade but the first “real” instrument was a Music Maker bass, a shorter version of a Fender bass. I wish I still had it, but I traded that for a Ferner Precision and on and on.
3) Who are you’re primary influences in your music?
RS > For me I would say Alice Cooper of course, Prince, DEVO, Radiohead, AC/DC. I’m kind of all over the place. For my acts it’s more acoustic, especially for this duo. We like to engage the crowd with witty banter and encourage audience participation. We like to change up the lyrics a bit and have fun. I mean, who wants to just sit there and stare at the band
4) What CD or playlist is in your car or your iPod?
RS > The Michael Schenker Group. Marty Friedman, Prince, some DEVO. Oh, and the Dictators with “Handsome Dick” Manitoba.
5) Tell us about your current acts.
RS > Black Cat bone, the acoustic duo we’re bringing to Sonoma on Saturday, the Value Kings, the act I started in 1987 is still going strong, Slop 40, dance music for any occasion, I occasionally play with Swing Set and the Praise Band that I lead at the Novato Presbyterian Church each Sunday.
6) If you could have written one song, which one would it be and why?
RS > “Untouchanle Urge” by DEVO. Mainly for it’s energy and directness.
Merle Haggard Tribute at Rossi’s 1906 Roadhouse.
It’s country music with heavy doses of Merle Haggard when Attila Viola and the Bakersfield Boys come to Rossi’s 1906 Roadhouse on Saturday, Sept. 10. Viola and his Bakersfield-inspired honky-tonk act draws heavily from Haggards musical catalog, along with some of Haggard’s cohorts from back when classic country music was in it’s heyday.
Viola has assembled a group of worthy musical veterans to back him up, including Ian Lamson on guitar, who spent 10 years on the road with Elvin Bishop, Sam Smiley on the Fender Telecaster who has actually written books about the Roy Nichols style of Telecaster guitar, Rob Clot on pedal steel, having played the instrument for over 30 years and Viola, who was heavily involved in the New York City country music scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s, on lead vocals. The show kicks off at 9 p.m. and we’re told to let you know to bring your dancin’ shoes.
It’s a debut of two types, as we can’t seem to remember anyone playing randomly in the LaCasa Grande Plaza area next to the historic Sonoma Barracks on the Plaza for free, but both will be happening on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 12 p.m. when Disco Rae and the Hot Rockets will be playing the “Celebrating Sonoma Good Nature” event for the fifth annual Wine Country Optics and Nature Fair
The act recently opened up for Charlie Musselwhite for the “Piper Street Block Party” in Healdsburg and hasn’t looked back with a lineup of shows slated for this summer in to the fall. The act features Rachel Sierra on vocals, Sean Erickson on lead guitar and vocal harmonies, Jon Chevalier on drums and Craig Rusert on bass playing pop, rhythm and blues and reggae hits with a fresh touch on classic rock and funk. The event is free and open to the public with all ages welcome.
Set List – The Rundown
Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, Sept. 9: Full Circle. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10: Tangled Up in Blue Band. 7:30 p.m.
Barking Dog Roasters, 18133 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma, 939-1905
Saturday, Sept. 3: Under 18 yrs Open Mic 3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4: Maya Wiggs. 3 p.m.
B. R. Cohn Winery, 15000 Sonoma Hwy. Glen Ellen, 800-330-4064
Sunday, Sept. 11: JMB and the Big “O” with “King Daddy” Murr, Bob McBain and Cliff Hugo. 2 p.m.
Cornerstone, 23570 Arnold Dr, Carneros, 933-3010
Saturday, Sept. 10: Tim Curley Duo. 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: Aldo Mosca Duo. 1 p.m.
Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, Sept. 9: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.
HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, Sept. 9: Sean Carscadden. 5 p.m. David Thom and Friends. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10: Black Cat Bone. 1 p.m. Garren Benefield. 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: Craig Corona. 1 p.m.
The Maple Ring, 655 Kenilworth, Kenwood
Sunday, Sept. 11: Radar. 3 p.m.
Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, Sept. 9: Three on a Match. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10: Mostly Strictly Bluegrass. 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: David Thom. 2 p.m.
Muscardini Cellars, 9380 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, 933-9305
Saturday, Sept. 10: “Simmer Down Saturday” with the T Luke and the Tight Suits. 6 p.m.
Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Saturday, Sept. 10: Karaoke. 7:30 p.m.
Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall, 401 Grove St. El Verano, 343-0044
Tonight, Sept. 9: Tri-Tip Trio. 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10: Attila Viola and the Bakersfield Boys. 9 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: Brandon and the Bees Knees. 5 p.m.
Schellville Grill, 22900 Broadway, Sonoma, 996-5151
Saturday, Sept. 10: Butch Engle and Styx. 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: Butch Engle and Styx. 12:30 p.m.
Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards, 389 Fourth St. E. Sonoma, 933-3230
Tonight, Sept. 9: The Poyntlyss Sistars. 6 p.m.
Sonoma Barracks, 20 E. Spain St, Sonoma, 935-6382
Sunday, Sept. 11: Disco Rae and the Hot Rockets. 12 p.m.
Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, Sept. 9: Ryan Tatarian. 6 p.m. Sean Carscadden. 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10: Full Circle. 5 p.m. Magic. 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11: “Open Mic and Mimosas.” 1 to 7 p.m. Acrosonics. 5 p.m.
If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it. firstname.lastname@example.org