Soundbytes – Bits and Pieces
We know people have busy lives, but even this week we ran into people who had no idea the Sonoma Music Festival was happening this weekend, with, once again, Bruce Cohn bringing some of the biggest names in Classic Rock to an intimate location, this time at the Field of Dreams at 151 First. St. W. right in downtown Sonoma Tonight, Oct. 2, the weekend kicks off with Carlos Reyes, America and Chicago for an evening show with doors at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, it’s a Beatle, Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, which includes Todd Rundgren, Gregg Rolie, Steve Lukather and more along with local favorites Pablo Cruise opening the evening show with doors also at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, it’s a daytime show, with doors at 11 a.m. that will have Pat Simmons Jr., Lara Johnston, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, the Edgar Winter Group, Gregg Allman and the Doobie Brothers w/Michael McDonald. This weekend was also just proclaimed “Sonoma Music Festival Weekend” by Mayor David Cook with an official proclamation. The charity concert has moved from the famous estate winery that features Cohn’s name to the Field of Dreams in downtown Sonoma. Over the years, the concert has helped raise over 6.5 million dollars for local and national charitable causes, with this years being Fisher House for Vets, Redwood Empire Food Bank, American Legion Post #489 and Bread and Roses. For tickets and more info, point your browser to sonomamusicfestival.com.
The official Sonoma Music Festival “After Party” is at B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille tonight, Oct. 2 with the Bad Jones and Saturday, Oct. 3 with 1955. The Bad Jones hail from the Bay Area and known formerly as Soul Pie. Upon changing their name, the band has reemerged with a new attitude and sound in efforts to focus their strengths as songwriters, and more importantly to shed a fresh and reverent light on what they see as the currently dormant state of Rock and Roll. 1955 consists of several local Sonoma Musicians, including Sasha Papadin on vocals and guitar, Kieran Maloney on drums and backing vocals, Dane Gaffney on bass and Jake Studer on lead guitar. The act prides itself on lean tight songs with a cinematic sweep to them, propelled by a stripped down garage rock vibe and an unbridled live energy. A throwback to the simplicity and clarity of early rock and roll songwriting, the songs recall the energy of the bands’ heroes, but bristle with a modern, moody edge. Shows both nights kick off at 10 p.m. and there is no cover either night.
If you’re not “Ringo-ing” on Saturday Oct. 3, many local musicians are putting on a fundraiser at Rossi’s 1906 to help out victims of the Valley fire in Clearlake. The acts include Sons of Charles, Dan Martin, Tony Gibson and Dawn Angelosante, Liz Fanora Jones, Jon Shannon Williams, DJ Saucy 1, the Bumblin’ Bones, Tilted Halos and solo sets from belly dancing troupes. The evening kicks off at 5 p.m. and will go until late in the evening. There is a suggested donation at the door.
Once again, Jeff Bundschu has quietly booked a big-name musician to show up at the winery for another intimate show, this time with Rufus Wainwright on Sunday Oct. 4, for a 6 p.m. show. Wainwright is a true renaissance man, having a music, and acting career with seven albums to his name and numerous credits in movies, television and theatre. Son of Louden Wainwright III, the younger Wainwright’s rise to fame has not been without challenges. Addiction and the struggles of his own sexuality has shaped his view of the world and that is reflected in his songs. His much acclaimed, self titled debut album in 1998 had Rolling Stone magazine proclaim it as the best album of the year and Wainwright as the best new artist. His latest work, titled “Out of the Game” is described as more danceable than his previous work and was preceded by a 19-disc release of all his work, including all unreleased tracks. This show will be more intimate on the hillside amphitheatre at Gundlach Bundschu Winery. Tickets will be available at the door and carpoolers of three or more receive complimentary parking. For more info, point your browser to gunbun.com/calendar
Song List – Sonoma Music Festival songs
This week we’ll feature the eight headliners from the upcoming weekend and try to pick a favorite song from each one, and this was a tough list for us, as totaled up, these acts have hundreds of hits with some being absolute iconic Classic Rock tunes. Check it out and see if you agree. We will preface this with the fact that we became a teenager in 1973, so that may slant things just a little.
This act is considered one of the icons of soft classic rock, with hit after hit in the early ‘70s. “The Tinman,” “Horse with No Name,” “Ventura Highway” and more. The act even had legendary Beatle producer George Martin produce them for years, but we’re going to go with “Sister Golden Hair” as our favorite.
Where do you start with this act? From the guitar-laced years of Terry Kath to the pop hits from the Peter Cetera era, originally called the Chicago Transit Authority, the song “I’m a Man” is stuck in our heads as it was the first song we actually saw a band perform live in a garage, albeit over and over, opening the door to us wanting to actually be a musician. “Color My World,” “Does anybody really know what time it is” and many more over the 30 plus albums the act has released, but we’re going to go with the classic “25 or 6 to 4” as the one.
A Marin County favorite that featured former members of Stoneground, the act had a cup of coffee on the Billboard charts in the mid ‘70’s with hits like “A Place in the Sun” and “Whatcha Gonna Do” which both were chart toppers, but we’re going to go with ‘Love Will find a Way.”
Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band
Seriously, a Beatle in Sonoma? The hits this man has been involved with and played on changed the course of music and even history. Having been in many bands, the drummer may not get songwriting credits for much, but without a solid drummer, a band is nothing. Ringo is all that and more. We could go on and on about his band in itself, but for us, our favorite Ringo song is the one co-written by his former band mate, the late George Harrison, with “It Don’t Come Easy.”
The 1972 classic, which featured the late Ronnie Montrose on guitar, “Frankenstein” changed keyboards and rock music for good. Winter invented the keyboard strap to allow him to move about the stage like a guitar player. Essentially a blues man, his covers of classic blues songs and stage performances have kept him out of the top-40, but the man has been performing almost non-stop his whole life. “Free Ride” was always one of our favorites so we’re going to go with that.
Once again, where do you even start. The man is a musical legend that crosses numerous genres, has weathered musical changes and had hits throughout the years. From the Allman Brothers to his solo career, the lines sometimes get blurred. I mean it’s Gregg Allman. A personal note: While playing a dusty bar in Marin County when Gregg lived there in the mid-90’s, the legend wandered in and asked if he could sit in with us and “just put the gravy on the taters” After we gathered ourselves and were able to speak, we proceeded to do a whole set of Gregg’s tunes. We were a southern rock tribute act and knew most of them anyways. To us, one of the best songs ever written is “Midnight Rider” so we’re going with that.
The next two we need to preface. One of the Doobie Brothers albums is called “Cycles” and throughout the career of the band, they have certainly had them. Now, if you were a Doobie Brother you are always a Doobie Brother, but to us the act had two distinctly different flavors.
Doobie Brothers – Tommy Johnston era
This version of the band was the background music of our teenage years, from “Listen to the Music” to “China Grove” and on and on, an hour didn’t go by when a Doobie Brothers song was not being played on the radio. One of the first acts to also cross between the AM and FM bands, the “Album Orientated Rock” crowd dug them as well. As much as we love the rockin’ tunes, “South City Midnight Lady” from “The Captain and Me” lands as number one for us in that era.
Doobie Brothers – Michael McDonald era
The act took a decidedly different direction in this era, focusing on a more jazz-based sound and featuring McDonalds unique vocals. “Takin’ it to the Streets” featured Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, veteran of Steely Dan and the songs clearly showed his influence, leaning more towards soft-rock and soul than the hard chords from the Johnston era. Again, so many hits to chose from, but we’re going with “What a Fool Believes.”
Rundown – The Set List
The Sonoma Speakeasy and American Music Hall
452 First St. E. ste. G. Sonoma – 996-1364.
Tonight, Oct. 2, John Allair and Julia Harrell – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Full Circle – 4:30 p.m. – Stevie Gurr, Tim Eschliman and Lou Rodriguez – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4, Mark Dennis – 3:30 p.m. – Diva Singer Night and Community Jam with Dallis Craft and Karla Downey – 7:30 p.m.
Monday. Oct. 5, Graceland Unplugged with Dallis Craft – 7:30 p.m.
Annex Wine Bar
865 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 938-7779
Tonight, Oct. 2, Dawn Angelosante and Tony Gibson – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Steve Froberg – 7:30 p.m.
Murphy’s Irish Pub
464 First St. E. Sonoma – 935-0660.
Friday, Oct. 2, Ten Foot Tone – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Andrew Freeman – 8 p.m.
Rossi’s 1906 Dancehall
401 Grove St. El Verano – 343-0044
Tonight, Oct. 2, Dave Gonzalez – 9 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Valley Fire Benefit – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4, Tri-Tip Trio – 5 p.m..
691 Broadway Sonoma – 935-9100
Tonight, Oct. 2, Jacob Westfall – 5 p.m. – Hillwilliams – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Dan Martin – 1 p.m. Roem Baur – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4, Johnny Nash– 1 p.m.
B&V Whiskey Bar and Grille
400 First St. E. Sonoma – 938-7110
Tonight, Oct. 2, The Bad Jones – 10 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, 1955 – 10 p.m.
B. R. Cohn Winery
15000 Sonoma Hwy. Glen Ellen – 800-330-4064
Tonight, Oct. 2, Dustin Saylor – 12 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Don Trotta – 10:30 a.m. – The Remedies – 2 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4, Lee Howards Musical Universe – 2 p.m.
Sonoma Valley Regional Library
755 W. Napa St. Sonoma – 996-5217
Saturday, Oct. 3, Alan Early Trio – 2 p.m.
Field of Dreams
151 First St. W., Sonoma – SonomaMusicFestival.com
Tonight, Oct. 2, Carlos Reyes, America, Chicago – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Pablo Cruise – Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band – 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4, Pat Simmons Jr., Lara Johnston, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Edgar Winter Group, Gregg Allman, the Doobie Brothers w/ Michael McDonald – 11 a.m.
420 First St E. Sonoma – 996-4466
Tonight, Oct. 2, Dick Conte Trio – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 3, Nancy Briggs – 6 p.m.
Olde Sonoma Public House
18615 Sonoma Hwy. Boyes Hot Springs – 938-7587
Sunday, Oct. 4, Karaoke – 7:30 p.m.
Blue Moon Saloon
19380 Sonoma Hwy. Sonoma – 996-3055
Saturday, Oct. 3, Karaoke – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 4, Blues Jam – all welcome – 10 p.m.