The Friday, March 11, Column

Box Set Duo

Soundbytes – Bits and Pieces

The Listening Room inside HopMonk Tavern has another show this weekend with Box Set on Sunday, March 13. These guys are kind of a big deal. Having played together now for over 23 years, a chance meeting in a cafe of Jim Brunberg and Jeff Pehrson has led to 12 albums of original music over the years. Mostly playing as a duo, the time has taken it’s toll, taking “thousands upon thousands of miles on the road, a handful of awards, several ill-fated record deals and two houses built of broken B strings.” The act is part music and almost part comedy show, with witty banter going back and forth between the songs. The lyrics touch on politics, relationships and everything in-between.

Described by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls as “a cross between the Grateful Dead and the Smothers Brothers” and according to Phil Elwood of SF Gate, “Box Set is the most attractive, artistic and fascinating of recent new bands. Pehrson sticks to acoustic guitar, Brunberg occasionally shifts to an electric; he sometimes plays harmonica and trumpet. Their lyrics and vocal harmonies are unbelievably imaginative and attractive – and musical. Although once compared to the David Crosby-Graham Nash vocal team, Brunberg and Pehrson are incomparably more talented and appealing; if comparisons are helpful, think of a strong-voiced Simon and Garfunkel mix – and occasional suggestions of Simon’s song-structuring.” Pretty big words.

The duo has been busy pursuing other endeavors the last few years, with Brunberg running his own music venue, Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon and Pehrson is running around with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s band, Furthur. Doors are at 7 p.m. and Showtime is 9 p.m.

If you want to get up close and personal with Pehrson and his musical tastes, you can catch him spinning vinyl (as in records) at Winery Sixteen 600 earlier in the day, kicking off at 1 p.m.


With Spring right around the corner, many of the evening events are beginning to open back up with music. Mark your calendars for April 1, at 6 p.m. when BackTrax kicks off the Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards Friday Night music series, Muscardini Cellars in Kenwood kicks off Wine Down Fridays on May 6, and Funky Fridays at a new venue at the Hood Mansion,  kicking off on May 27, with the Bruthas.


Vitamin Girl

Set List – The Rundown

Annex Wine Bar, 865 W. Napa St. Sonoma, 938-7779
Tonight, March 11: Full Circle. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 12: Vitamin Girl. 7:30 p.m.

Blue Moon Saloon, 19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma, 996-3055
Saturday, March 12: Karaoke. 9 p.m.
Sunday, March 13: Blues Jam – all welcome. 10 p.m.

B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille, 400 First St. E. Sonoma, 938-7110
Tonight, March 11: DJ Hi – Cal. 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 12: DJ Hi – Isak. 9 p.m.

Friday Farmers Market, Depot Park, 270 First St W. Sonoma
Today, March 11: Stewart Degner. 9:30 a.m.

HopMonk Tavern, 691 Broadway Sonoma, 935-9100
Tonight, March 11: Vintage Grass, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 12: the Aqua Velvets. 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 13: Box Set – in the “Listening Room.” 7 p.m.

Murphy’s Irish Pub, 464 First St. E. Sonoma, 935-0660
Tonight, March 11: Kith and Kin. 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 12: Mostly Simply Bluegrass. 8 p.m.

Olde Sonoma Public House, 18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs, 938-7587
Sunday, March 13: Karaoke. 7:30 p.m.

Plaza Bistro, 420 First St E. Sonoma, 996-4466
Tonight, March 11: As Tres Meninas. 7 p.m.

Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall, 401 Grove St. El Verano, 343-0044
Tonight, March 11: Sonoma Sound Syndicate, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 12: Rewind, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 13: Stacy Robin. 5 p.m.

Schellville Grill, 22900 Broadway, Sonoma, 996-5151
Saturday, March 12: Butch Engle and Styx. 12:30 p.m.

Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall, 452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma, 996-1364
Tonight, March 11: What’s Shakin’. 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 12: Full Circle. 5 p.m. Steve Willis, Bobby Cochran and Nancy Wright. 8 p.m.

Vintage House senior center, 264 First St. E. Sonoma,  996-0311
Sunday, March 13: Anastasia Dedik.  3 p.m.

Winery Sixteen 600, 589 First St. W., 721-1805.
Sunday, March 13: Vinyl Sunday with Jeff Pehrson, 1 p.m.
If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it.

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