The “Howl” benefits Altimira Middle School

The Cork Pullers

We guess it’s close enough to Halloween to have an event called “The Howl’ and that’s what it will be, at Little Switzerland on Saturday, Oct. 22. The main ticket features dinner and entertainment, but a ticket for just the entertainment portion of the evening is also available. The evening gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with appetizers, silent auction, raffle and a buffet dinner, all a benefit for Altimira Middle School. At 8 p.m. the live show starts with the Cork Pullers, with El Verano School teacher Tim Curley at the helm, followed by Flash Fiction, led by Altimira teacher Mike Curtin. House DJ Bubbawill also be on hand to spin dance and Latin favorites. For more info and tickets, call 933-0519.

The Mix is back at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art on Saturday, Oct. 22, with a musical theme that makes the current exhibit come to life. On display currently, and until the end of 2011, is called “Sonido Pirata” and focuses on the “art” of pirated music, something that is a badge of honor for many Latin American musicians. Spinning the tunes that night will be DJ Juan Kamenney of Club Unicornio, who is also featured in the exhibit. An additional bonus will be a special appearance by Cristina Victor, star of “Cooking with Miami” who will be doing Cuban-American food preparations during the Mix. The fun all starts at 8 p.m. The event is free to museum members, with a specially priced ticket for the night available at the door, or you can become a member of the museum and entrance to that, and many other events at the Museum are free. For tickets and more info, point your browser to

Local singer-songwriter Natasha James is up for two 2012 Grammys this year, one for best new artist and another for best country song, for her tune, “My Country has the Blues.” The song is currently number two on the New Music Weekly country charts. To cast your vote, point your browser to Good Luck Natasha!

The second annual Jewish winemakers celebration has gotten so large, organizers had to move this years celebration to the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building. The event goes off on Sunday, Oct. 23, starting at 1:30 p.m. and features wines from over 20 Jewish connected wineries, traditional Jewish snacks and live music from Simka and Stephanie Ozer. Tickets will be available at the door, or in advance at Reader’s Books or Tiddlewinks.

The Hellhounds

The Hellhounds are back in town tonight, Oct. 21, at the Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards tasting room. In addition to the wine specials, dinner will be offered by Community Cafe. The night kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and there is no cover.

If you miss the Hellhounds tonight, you can catch them on Saturday, Oct. 22, in Napa at Uva Tratoria for an 8:30 p.m. show.

The Jami Jamison band is in town for the weekend. Well, kind of in town tonight, Oct. 21, at Papas Taverna over the hill on Lakeville Highway for a 7 p.m. show. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the band will be at the Moose Lodge for a pre-Halloween party where costumes are encouraged, but not required. Good thing too, as we’re still working on our Van Halen costume. There is a ticket that includes dinner and music, or you can just come to the dance after dinner. For tickets and more info, call 996-3877.

Murphy’s Irish Pub has the Tonewoods tonight, Oct. 21, for an evening of acoustic Americana, ragtime and British folk, kicking off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, has High Country, playing traditional and contemporary bluegrass, also at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, brings local favorites EZ Kewl back to the Pub, for an early show that starts at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows.

The Plaza Bistro has the Andrew Emer Trio tonight, Oct. 21, for a 7 p.m. show. That night, Emer will have with him Eric Vogler on guitar and Greg Wyser-Pratt on drums. Saturday, Oct. 22, brings in Allison Scull and Vince Martin for a show that also kicks off at 7 p.m. There is no cover for either show.

Plan Be will be at the new Grist Mill in Glen Ellen at the Jack London Village tonight, Oct. 21, starting at 7 p.m.

The centre du vin in the Ledson Hotel welcomes Jess Petty and Ken Chambers on Saturday, Oct. 22, kicking off at 6:30 p.m.

HopMonk Tavern Sonoma has music today, Oct. 22, starting at 5 p.m. with Glenn Carter. Later in the evening, Danny Montana takes the inside stage at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, the tavern welcomes Timothy O’Neil for a 1 p.m. show. Later that night, Garrin Benfield takes the stage at 9 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. Michael L. Castle takes the outdoor stage. There is no cover for any of the shows.

Chris Hanlin

The Kathmandu Corner has music tonight, Oct. 21, from the Penny Hens, kicking off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, brings in singer-songwriter Chris Hanlin, also for an 8 p.m. show. There is no cover either night.

The Blue Moon Saloon has Izzy and the Catastrophics on Saturday, Oct. 22, kicking off at 10 p.m. How much of the Kesstronics are still left in the band is not clear, but a good time is promised by owner Michael Renke. Sunday, Oct. 23, the Sunday night blues jam continues at 9 p.m.

Stephanie Ozer will be at the Hotel Healdsburg on Saturday, Oct. 22, for a 7:30 p.m. show.

Showcase the Band will be playing an Oktoberfest at Michel-Schlumberger Winery in Healdsburg on Saturday, Oct. 22, at noon. The event is by reservation only. Call 800-447-3060 for reservations and more info.

The Whiskey Thieves are on the road to the HopMonk Tavern Sebastopol tonight, Oct. 21, as part of a three-band night. The band takes the stage at 10:15 p.m.


Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island

Petty Theft – Friday, Oct. 21.
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma

Wonderbread 5 – Saturday, Oct. 22.
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma

Yngwie Malmsteen – Wednesday, Oct. 26
The Fillmore – San Francisco

Lindsay Buckingham – Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Uptown Theater – Napa

Nick Gravenites – Saturday, Oct. 22.
George’s Nightclub – San Rafael

Anthrax – Testament – Sunday, Oct. 23.
The Warfield – San Francisco.

September 11 events remembered in Sonoma

Tommy Thomsen

Sonoma will be taking part in the remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, with events presented all day Sunday, Sept. 11, by the Sonoma Community Center. The day will begin at 6:58 a.m. at the firehouse on 2nd Street West with the final bell ceremony, a moment of silence, and Perrin Cutting singing the National Anthem. The firehouse museum will also be open. At 9 a.m., the reading of the names will begin in the Grinstead Amphitheater in Sonoma Plaza. At noon, behind City Hall, the Hometown Band will perform, as well as a bagpiper performance. At 1 p.m. the official ceremony begins, with Teressa Byrne Foss sings the National Anthem, Rev. Nancy Taylor delivers the Benediction and Mayor Gallian, Councilman Ken Brown and 9/11 First Responder Fred Gusman will all speak. Following the ceremony, the Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble, the Sonoma Valley Chorale and the St. Andrew Singers will all present a performance that will include “Kyrie” which is being performed all over the world that day, as part of “Global Song for Peace.” The afternoon will wrap up with the Hot Flashes, led by Cynthia Tarr, followed by Tommy Thomsens All-Stars performing in the amphitheater until 4 p.m. Throughout the day, the Sonoma Community Center will have food and beverages for sale behind City Hall.

Brian Nova

Brian Nova is back in town for two shows at the Plaza Bistro this weekend, kicking off tonight, Sept. 9, and again on Saturday, Sept. 10. Nova called Sonoma home for several years, before moving on to Seattle. Nova has played and toured with some of the legends of jazz, including Joe Pass and Herb Ellis, and even recorded his latest CD with Steve Miller at his home studio. Shows both nights start at 7 p.m. and there is no cover.

The Kathmandu Corner has expanded the nightly live music to three nights a week, adding Monday night and billing it as “locals night.” Tonight, Sept. 9, the corner welcomes the Paper Dolls. Saturday, Sept. 10, brings in Sarah Summers and Monday, Sept. 12 has Sean Carscadden. There is no cover for any of the shows.

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards has the Rolling Blackouts in the tasting room tonight, Sept. 9, for a show that kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

El Verano Inn has the antics of Ten Foot Tone on Saturday, Sept. 10, for a show that starts at 9:30 p.m. There is no cover.

Centre du vin in the Ledson Hotel has Jess Petty and Ken Chambers on Saturday, Sept 10, for a show that kicks off at 6 p.m.

Little Switzerland welcomes back the San Francisco Starlight Orchestra on Saturday, Sept 10, for a 2 p.m. show. The orchestra was started in 1986 as a tribute to the 1920’s ballroom dance orchestras of the day. The 14-piece band plays dance classics and encourages you to “come dressed to dance the fox trot, Charleston, tango, rumba, waltz, lindy and more.” For reservations and more info, call 938-9990.


JoyRide will be at Steiners Tavern tonight, Sept. 9, for an 8 p.m. show. There is no cover.

Larsen Family Winery will be hosting a Future Farmers of America benefit on Saturday, Sept. 10, at the winery. The event, which kicks off at 4 p.m., includes dinner featuring tri-tip from Sonoma Market and homemade chili, among other items. There will be a live auction hosted by Ed Vaughn and live music from the Rich Little Band. For more info or to purchase tickets, contact Becky at 938-3031 ext.104.

Landmark Winery and Vineyards presents Sharman Duran in the courtyard on Saturday, Sept. 10, starting at 1 p.m. There is no cover.

the Spazmatics

Gundlach Bundschu Winery is presenting the “Shake your Bundschu Dance Party” on Saturday, Sept. 10, that features ‘80s new-wave rockers the Spazmatics. Era-specific costumes are optional, but encouraged. There is also a shuttle that runs from the winery to the Sonoma Plaza every 30 minutes during the event. For tickets and more info, point your browser to All tickets will be held at will-call.

Michoacana Natural Ice Cream in Boyes Hot Springs has the local high school act Refuge on Saturday, Sept. 10, kicking off at 7 p.m. If you are interested in showcasing your musical talents, call the shop at 938-1173.

The new Studebaker Cheesecake Cafe, which replaced Fiorini on Napa St. will begin to have open-mic every Monday night, starting Monday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. They are billing the evening “Corner of the Sky” and are modeling it after the old Center of the Universe Cafe, that used to be at the Sonoma Community Center. The evening will encourage spoken word as well as music performances. To reserve a spot or for more info, call Stephan at 503-564-4184.

Sonoma Springs Brewery has the duo of Tom Martin and Corey Jennings tonight, Sept. 9, for a show that kicks off at 7 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub has local bluesmen the Hellhounds tonight, Sept. 9, for an evening of Chicago and delta style blues. Saturday, Sept 10, the pub brings in the ever-popular Larry Carlin and his mostly, simply bluegrass act. Shows both nights start at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, has an early show that features Sean Carscadden and Sarah Summers, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows.

Shiso Sushi and Grill will have live music in their new location in Maxwell Village on Saturday, Sept. 10, with Dan Martin at 9 p.m. The venue will also have a special late night menu available. There is no cover.

The Whiskey Thieves will be on an actual island this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 10, as they travel to Angel Island to the Cove Cafe for a show that starts at 2 p.m.

The Hellhounds are back in Napa at Uva Trattoria on Saturday, Sept. 10, for an 8 p.m. show.

Natasha James will be all the way down in Mountain View at the Art and Wine Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10, kicking off at 11 a.m.

The Joe Chaplain Band will be playing a benefit for the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Services, of which he is a member, on Saturday, Sept 10, at Ursuline High School in Santa Rosa. Tickets will be available at the door, with a discount for children.

Mad and Eddie Duran will be in Benicia at the 1st Street Cafe on Sunday, Sept. 11, for a 2 p.m. show.


Last week in our piece about John Salz, we identified him as a nurse at Sonoma Valley Hospital. Although he worked at the hospital for 22 years, he was not a nurse. We regret the error.


Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island

Wonderbread 5 – Friday, Sept. 9
19 Broadway – Fairfax

Shana Morrison – Saturday, Sept. 10.
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio

Tommy Castro – Sunday, Sept. 11.
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio

UFO and Points North – Thursday, Sept. 15.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa

Willie Nelson – Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa

Vinyl – Friday, Sept. 9.
HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol

Wine Country Ukulele Festival – Friday, Sept. 9.
Napa Valley Opera House

Bruce Hornsby – Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Uptown Theater – Napa

Chicago – Thursday, Sept. 15.
Uptown Theater – Napa


Michael Zilber at the Plaza Bistro

Jazz saxophonist Michael Zilber, will grace the back room at the Plaza Bistro tonight, April 22. Zilber has performed or recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Henderson, John Handy Holmes and John Stowell, among many others. Jazz legend Dave Liebman calls Zilber “one of the best composers and players around anywhere, period!” Zilber’s album “Stranger in Brooklyn,” was named one of the top 30 CDs of all time by Zilber-led groups have headlined at Festivals and venues from Yoshi’s in San Francisco to Bach Dynamite Dance hall in Half Moon Bay, and he recently shared the stage with the Wayne Shorter Quartet in the San Francisco Jazz Tribute. Zilber also runs the Los Medanos College jazz studies program and has a doctorate from New York University. Showtime is 7 p.m. and there is no cover.

The Dark Lord Byron will be at the Olde Sonoma Public House tonight, April 22, for his debut performance, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. The Dark Lord records all his own tracks, and then performs live on top of them.

If you miss the Dark Lord tonight, you can catch his act at the Barking Dog in Boyes Hot Springs Saturday, April 23, for a 6 p.m. show.

Hopmonk Tavern Sonoma will have the debut performance of the Magnetics, which features Sue Albano, Mark Dennis and “the Monster” Bob Edmondson tonight, April 22, for an 8:30 p.m. show. The band has been really looking forward to playing the venue, and will have a few new tunes to showcase as well.

Murphy’s Irish Pub will have the Sweet Burgundy Trio tonight, April 22, for an 8 p.m. show. The all-female trio will be playing folk and rock songs. Saturday, April 23, the pub welcomes High Country, playing traditional and contemporary bluegrass music, also at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 24, the pub will have the acoustic sounds of Tudo Bem members Dave Aguilar and Peter McCauley for an evening of songs that will include a variety of genres, except Celtic. That is an early show, kicking off at 6 p.m.

Natasha James, hot off the huge success of her latest album “Tequila Time,” is back in the studio recording the single and title track for her next album called ‘My Country has the Blues.” The album is being engineered by Ronnie Rivera at the Marin County recording studio “The Site.” James has recently returned from a successful European tour that may also spawn a live album. In addition, James will shortly embark on some selected Northern California dates in support of the newest album. Stay tuned for more info.

The Free Radicals are back in action as well, with a bunch of new studio tracks coming our way in preparation for a new CD. The band consists of Don Trotta and Chris Caselli on guitar and vocals, Marius Pelsma on bass and Jim Holland on drums. Both Pelsma and Caselli did stints with Natasha James and Holland is a well-known local drum teacher, operating the Drum School of Sonoma and has written books on drumming, such as “The Best Double Bass Book Ever.”

Adam Traum will bring his solo act to Meadowcroft Winery at Cornerstone Sonoma in Carneros on Saturday, April 23, for an afternoon of folk, country and Americana, kicking off at noon. Traum is a great finger-picker as well as a singer-songwriter.

Sonoma’s own Sinatra, Stan Pappas will be on the road to Rickey’s Restaurant in Novato on Saturday, April 23, to perform his Frank Sinatra tribute for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover, but reservations are requested by calling 415-883-5952.

Sonoma’s own bluesmen the Hellhounds will be in Napa this weekend on Saturday, April 23, for an 8 p.m. show.

Points North featuring Eric Barnett on guitar, will be at George’s Nightclub in San Rafael tonight, April 22, for a night of instrumental rock. Playing with Points North that night on bass will be Uriah Duffy, formerly of Whitesnake. The band will be opening for the Memorials. The show kicks off at 8:30 p.m.

Hot 45s – Shows within a 45 minute drive from the Island

Pride and Joy– Friday, April 22.
19 Broadway – Fairfax

Ron Thompson and the Resistors – Saturday, April 23.
Peri’s – Fairfax

Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Friday, April 22.
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma

Vicious Rumors – Saturday, April 23.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa

Yo! Pizazaface – Friday, April 22.
HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol

Foreverland – Michael Jackson Tribute – Saturday, April 23.
Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco

Paul Simon – Wednesday, April 27.
The Fillmore – San Francisco

Tommy Castro – Saturday, April 23.
Uptown Theater – Napa

Natasha James takes more awards

Riding on the coat tails of her award of “Country Album of the Year” at last years Los Angeles Music Awards, this year, Natasha James takes the honors of “Country Songwriter of the Year” for her hit album “Tequila Time.”  In its 20th year, the Los Angeles Music Awards is the longest running independent awards show of its kind. The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 18, at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. Congratulations Natasha.

With the season winding down, there’s not a lot of live music action this weekend, so lets get right to what’s going on.

The Neil Buckley Octet will be at the Plaza Bistro tonight, Nov. 5, for a 7 p.m. show. The band plays what’s called “1950’s West Coast Cool Jazz” As legend has it, Californian (predominantly white) jazz musicians went to New York in the ‘50s. These musicians mixed with the mostly black bebop musicians and were also influenced by the “smooth” sound of black saxophonist Lester Young. The style that emerged became known as “cool jazz”, which avoided the aggressive tempos of bebop. Cool jazz included intricate arrangements, innovative forms, and songs having a thoroughly composed sound while never neglecting virtuoso improvisation. There is no cover for the show.

The Lodge at Sonoma has jazz legend Dick Conte in the lounge tonight, Nov. 5, for a 7 p.m. show. Conte will be playing standards and originals from tracks among his four albums. Saturday, Nov. 6, brings John MacKay to the lounge, also for a 7 p.m. start. There is no cover for either show.

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards will continue its Friday night music series in the tasting room tonight, Nov. 5, with the Jon Popenoe Blues Band for a 6:30 p.m. show. According to tasting room manager Chris Johnson, the popular Friday night series will continue through mid- December, with talk of a ramped down version throughout the winter. There is no cover for the shows and typically a local chef is serving dinner. Call the tasting room at 933-3200, ext. 4 for more info.

Murphy’s Irish Pub has the Sonoma Mountain Band tonight, Nov. 5, for a night of blues, folk, bluegrass, and retro tunes, kicking off at 8 p.m. The band is the longest running act at the pub. Saturday, Nov. 6, brings in the smokin’ guitar licks of Andrew Freeman, also for an 8 p.m. show. Sunday, Nov. 7, the pub invites everyone to a classic pub jam, which kicks off at 6 p.m.

Mondo American Beer Garden has the rock steady reggae sounds of Dan Martin on Saturday, Nov. 6, for a 7 p.m. show.

Imagery Estate Winery is keeping the afternoon music going this weekend with the Cork Pullers making an appearance on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, brings in the jazzy sounds of EZ Kewl for a 1:30 p.m. start. There is no cover for the shows and families are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the winery grounds.

EZ Kewl will be laying down a dinner set tonight, Nov. 5, at the Schellville Grill at 7 p.m.

Static People are on the road to San Francisco for a show at Kimos on Sunday, Nov. 7, for a 9 p.m. show.

Being Giants baseball fans for over 40 years, we want to shout out congrats to the team for grabbing the World Series title this week. Not music related? The news was sure music to our ears.