The local king of the open – mic

Steve T. Ney

You’ve read his name in this space many times, Steve T. Ney. But who is this guy? Ney grew up in Los Angeles, but like many an expatriate, he landed in Sonoma, but not until after playing all the big clubs, like the Roxy, the Whiskey and many more on Sunset Strip. The ‘80s were a good time, but in 1993, Ney’s time was done, and having some friends in Sonoma, he came for a visit.

It took a couple weeks to realize he was no longer on the 405 freeway and the hand gesture of Sonoma was a little different than the one used in the southland, but what to do? Ney took a job replacing screen doors. The third day on the job, he was assigned a job at Murphy’s Irish Pub, then in the space where the Taste of the Himalayas is currently, and told then owner Larry Murphy “…it would sure be nice to work here.” The rest, they say, is history.

Ney settled into a singer-songwriter role for his own satisfaction and started pulling pints of Guinness for others satisfaction, and then when the pub moved across the alley to its current location, and really started to blossom into a live music venue, Ney began to run the open-mic sessions. For the last seven years, Ney has been at the helm of those shows, which then expanded to an open-mic at the upstart Olde Sonoma Public House, but it was during the time that Murphy’s Irish pub was undergoing a remodel, and the pub was using the space in the back of the Taste of the Himalayas as a temporary location, that Ney and owner Chhring Sherpa began talking. Always a big supporter of the local music scene, Ney thought what if he and Sherpa were to do an intimate live music venue that featured local singer-songwriters? And with that, the Kathmandu Corner was born. The venue, now open for almost 9 months, was just gaining popularity with the locals, and apparently with the ABC (alcohol beverage commission) as well, and although the bar was in a fine position for just a dining location, if the venue wanted to have regular live music, the bar would have to be relocated across the room, according to ABC regulations. The burden was too much to bear for Sherpa, and the live music portion at the venue was dropped. Ney has developed a nice corral of performers and clearly knows how to run a music venue and would love to continue his vision in another location. Is that your venue? If you think so, give Ney a call at 287-7109.

Junior Boogie

The El Verano Inn and Junior Boogie are presenting a blues extravaganza on Saturday, March 3, with the Bay Area Blues Society Caravan of All-Stars performing a no cover show for one night only. The band has played with some of the big names in blues, such as Etta James, Robert Cray and B. B. King. Showtime is 9 p.m.

The Meritage Martini and Oyster Bar has an artist reception for local artist Nina Gorbach on Sunday, March 4, and in addition, Jose Smith will be there playing the Paraguayan harp, accordian and bossa nova guitar. The reception begins at 3 p.m. and there is no cover.

Sue Albano and Mark Dennis are stepping away from their current act, JoyRide, for a night and playing as a duo at the Repo Art Show presented by the Arts Guild of Sonoma tonight, March 2. The event is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Community Center and there will be food and wine, as well as custom art pieces created by many local artisans. The gallery is at 140 E. Napa St.

John Burdick Band

John Burdick is back with his own band at the Sunday Songwriter Sessions at Olive & Vine in Glen Ellen on Sunday, March 4, for a 5 p.m. show.

Showcase the Band will be busy this weekend starting Saturday, March 3, with the annual Sons of Italy dinner dance held at Father Roberts Hall at St Francis Solano church, kicking off at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 4, has the band at the Moose Lodge where they will be playing European dance music and hoping to capture the crowd that used to go to the dances at Little Switzerland. The Moose have been busy at the lodge, with a new lounge and dance floor for the venue. Showtime is 5 p.m.

The Jason Bodlovich Trio will be at Beer-vana in the Sonoma Community Center on Saturday, March 3, for the celebration of all things beer. The event will also have the judging of the amateur brewing contest as well as food and a commemorative glass for all attendees. Doors open at 5 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door.

Murphy’s Irish Pub welcomes the Sonoma Mountain Band tonight, March 2, for an 8 p.m. show. Saturday, March 3, the pub has the popular guitarist Andrew Freeman, also for an 8 p.m. show. Sunday, March 4, it’s the traditional Celtic sounds of Kith and Kin for an early show at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows at the pub.

The Plaza Bistro has Brian Andrus and his Latin jazz trio tonight, March 2, which features with Aaron Germain on bass and Nina Ott on piano. Showtime is 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, its local jazz legend Dick Conte playing as a duo with Steve Webber on bass, also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover either night. Conte is on the road tonight, March 2, to Healdsburg for a 7 p.m. gig at the Hotel Healdsburg.

The Blue Moon Saloon has Reggae tonight, March 2, with DubBoom! performing live “Rap-n-Roll” music featuring DJ Bacchus, DJ Kellicot and DJ DonTron. Showtime is 9 p.m.

Chris Hanlin is on the road to the HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol on Saturday, March 3, for 9 p.m. show.

The Hellhounds are in Cotati tonight, March 2, at the Tradewinds for a 9:30 p.m. show. Saturday, March 3, the local bluesmen find themselves in Napa at Uva Trattoria for an 8 p.m. show.

The Tonewoods will be in Petaluma at Aqus Cafe on Saturday, March 3, for a 7 p.m. show.

Dr. Joel Rudinow will be presenting “Parlor Professors of the Piano: The New Orleans Piano Tradition” on Monday, March 5, at Ellis Hall on the Petaluma campus of Santa Rosa Junior College. Showtime is 1:30 p.m.

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

Shana Morrison – Saturday, March 3.
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio

Wonderbread 5 – Saturday, March 3.
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma

Pete Stringfellow – Saturday, March 3.
HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol

Super Diamond – Friday, March 2.
Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco

Joe Luis Walker – Friday, March 2.
Biscuits & Blues – San Francisco

Chris Cain – Saturday, March 3.
Biscuits & Blues – San Francisco

Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings – Saturday, March 3.
George’s Nightclub – San Rafael

Korn – Sunday, March 4.
The Warfield – San Francisco.

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