30 or so years ago, when we were seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd for the first time, if anyone would have told us that someday the band would be playing 5 miles from our house and we’d actually be writing about it, we’d have had to have asked you what you’ve been smoking. Since the plane went down in 1977, taking the life of frontman and songwriter Ronnie Van Zant and others, the band has almost become as a place where the alumni of southern rock come for a home. Still fronted by Ronnies younger brother Johnny Van Zant, the band has one
original member, Gary Rossington, still touring. But that doesn’t mean the band is without punch, Rickey Medlocke, formerly of Blackfoot, is currently one of the guitar players, of which whose father the song “The Ballad of Curtis Lowe” was written about. Members of the Outlaws and Damn Yankees have also toured with the band. Bruce Cohn has outdone himself with this years 25th anniversary of the Fall Music Festival. The charity event starts on Friday, Sept. 23, with an auction fundraising dinner in the olive grove on the winery estate, with guest chef Guy Fieri. Saturday, Sept. 24, is when the music kicks off at 11 a.m., with Carlos Reyes, Jeff Watson, Greg Kihn, Leon Russell, Sammy Hagar with Joe Satriani and the Doobie Brothers rounding out the day. Sunday, Sept. 25, kicks off at 11 a.m. also, and welcomes Carlos Reyes, Lara Johnston, Leon Russell, Little Feat, the Doobie Brothers with Jim Messina and Lynyrd Skynyrd wrapping up the day. There is also a second stage dedicated to Bruces brother Marty Cohn, who died after a short battle with cancer earlier this year. On that stage will be local acts Frobeck, the Zen Pilots, Lara Johnston and Will Champlin, Eddie Bush, Black Market Blues and the Rich Little Band. This year, the charities that will benefit from the weekends events will be the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Glide Memorial, Santa Rosa Memorial Trauma Center, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation and local and national veterans organizations. As of this writing, tickets are still available, but both days are expected to sell out. For more info, point your browser to www.brcohn.com.
The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival is also this weekend, starting tonight, Sept. 23, in the historic barracks on the Plaza with Pride and Joy at 6 p.m. The weekend-long festival is the second-longest running festival in the state of California, second only to the Rose Parade, and celebrates the bounty and harvest, which seems to be a little late this year, The festival, with its all-volunteer board, in addition to donating all proceeds to chosen local non-profits, foots the bill for the Plaza so that over 20 additional local non- profits can raise funds and awareness for their causes. Local music in the Plaza behind City Hall is a big part of the weekend, with Saturday, Sept. 24, kicking off at 12:30 p.m. with Train Wreck Junction, followed by Dan Martin, the Whiskey Thieves, Out of the Blue, Tommy Thomsen and Dan Littlefield. Sunday, Sept. 25, has Sean Carscadden kicking off at noon, followed by Mad and Eddie Duran, the Hellhounds, the Dick Conte Trio, Paula Odabi and Pure Soul with Rue Manouche wrapping up the day. There is no admission for the event.
Murphy’s Irish Pub welcomes Misner and Smith tonight, Sept. 23, for a night of Americana, folk and blues, kicking off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, has the Timothy O’Neil Band, also at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 25, welcomes Billy Jo Valentine, for an early show kicking off at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows at the pub.
Centre du vin in the Ledson Hotel welcomes Jess Petty and Ken Chambers on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 7 p.m. show.
Shiso Sushi in the Maxwell Village Shopping Center has Tony Gibson with Dawn Angelosante on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 7 p.m. show.
The Plaza Bistro has jazz tonight, Sept. 23, with an appearance by the Pamela Rose Trio at 7 p.m. With Rose tonight will be Wayne De la Cruz on the Hammond B-3 organ and Jeff Massanari on guitar. Saturday, Sept. 24, the bistro welcomes saxophonist Mike Zilber and his duo. Zilber has performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt, to name just a few. Showtime Saturday is 7 p.m. also, and there is no cover either night.
Brian Cline will be at Landmark Winery and Vineyards on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 1 p.m. show.
Little Switzerland has a rocking show on Saturday, Sept. 24, kicking off at 9 p.m. Josh Kraft and his Metallica tribute act Motorbreath will play a set, followed by the Braineaters, a Misfits tribute act then Motogruv headlines the night.
The Kathmandu Corner has the Penny Hens tonight, Sept. 24, for an 8 p.m. show. Saturday, Sept. 24, the corner welcomes Dan Martin, also for an 8 p.m. show. Monday, Sept 26, the corner has Jason Walters, for a 6:30 p.m. show. There is no cover for any of the shows.
HopMonk Tavern Sonoma welcomes the Tonewoods on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 9 p.m. show. The band plays a mix of acoustic Americana, British, and classic folk songs and ragtime.
The Olde Sonoma Public House has Karaoke with Kat on Sunday, Sept. 25, kicking off at 8 p.m.
Papas Taverna in Petaluma off Lakeville Highway will have Ten Foot Tone playing a special birthday celebration for Mary Serafini on Friday, Sept. 23, kicking off at 7 p.m. The public is welcome.
Jon Popenoe and Tom Wolfe will be at St. Clement Winery in St. Helena on Saturday, Sept. 24, for a 1 p.m. show.
Dawn Angelosante will be at Acacia Vineyards in Napa today, Sept. 23, for a 4:30 p.m. show.
The Hellhounds will be in Napa tonight, Sept. 23, at Cuvee for a 9:30 p.m. show. Saturday, Sept. 24, has the bluesmen at the Tradewinds in Cotati for a 9 p.m. show.