Thelma Houston at the Black Cat Cabaret

Yep, you read it correctly, Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and actress Thelma Houston will be performing at this years benefit for Pets Lifeline, the Black Cat Cabaret, to be held tonight, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Field of Dreams. Houston is no stranger to performance, touring for over 43 years and still doing over 200 shows a year. The musical director for this years “Cirque-like” performance is Robin Finck, who toured for years as guitar player for Guns and Roses and Nine Inch Nails and was a member of Cirque Du Soleil in 1996. The cast this year is also very musical, with Gabriel Harris on African drums, Ross Gualco on keyboards, Gabe Noel on bass, Zack Harmon on drums and Holiday Childress on vocals and guitar. There will be three shows, two are evening gala events to be held at 7 p.m. both days, and a special childrens show on Saturday, Sept 17, at 1 p.m. For more info, call 996-4475.

The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art opens a new music-related exhibit on Saturday, Sept. 17, titled “Sonido Pirata.” Sonido Pirata is an exhibition exploring sound, memory, and cultural history. Based on the phenomenon of pirated music and its methods of distribution as forms of cultural resistance, the artists in the exhibition make use of appropriated sounds and images.

Sonido Pirata refers to “knock-offs” in the same way that black-market luxury goods, such as Gucci and Prada handbags, are counterfeited in the fashion industry. Sonido Pirata can be thought of as pirating out of necessity, in order to allow direct access for consumers to acquire “name brands” at a reasonable price. The access is also a reference to music culture, such as in Latin America, where aspiring bands and musicians do not consider themselves to have “made it” until their music is pirated and sold by street vendors on the black market. The exhibit runs until Jan. 1, 2012. For more info, point your browser to

The Grange Hall in Boyes Hot Springs will have the third in a series of community barn dances on Saturday, Sept. 17, kicking off at 8 p.m. and will feature Heartstrings, with Debra Tayleur on keyboard and two fiddles, playing Irish and bluegrass songs. The type of dancing is called “Contra” and has similar moves to square dancing but claims to be even easier. Stuart Moody teaches every dance before the music starts and then continues calling while the band plays.  No experience or partner is necessary. Cool clothing and comfortable shoes are suggested. For more info, call 939-9999.

JMB & the Big O

The Kathmandu Corner has the debut of JMB and the Big O tonight, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. Both are members of BackTrax and will be playing as an acoustic duo for the first time. Saturday, Sept. 17, the corner has Marty O’Reilly, also for an 8 p.m. show. Monday, Sept. 19, the corner welcomes Kathryn DelChairo and Jon Williams for a night of songs and theater at 6:30 p.m. There is no cover for any of the shows.

Norton & Friends

Murphy’s Irish Pub has the Two Rock Ramblers in the snug at 8 p.m. tonight, Sept. 16. Saturday, Sept. 17, the Perfect Crime returns for a night of folk, blues and ballads. Shows both nights start at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, is a special day at the pub, when the latest CD from Norton Buffalo and friends will be released, and many from his old band will perform. Buffalo passed away in 2009, but there is a lot of unreleased material stashed away. Many of his friends will be on hand for the debut. Showtime is 4 p.m.

The Plaza Bistro welcomes the Chris Amberger Trio tonight, Sept 16, for a 7 p.m. show. Saturday, Sept. 17, the bistro has the Amanda King Duo, also for a 7 p.m. shoe. There is no cover either night.

Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards welcomes 5 A.M. back to the tasting room tonight Sept. 16, for a 6:30 p.m. start.

The Swiss Hotel welcomes the Jami Jamison Band in for an early evening show on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 5 p.m. on the back patio. There is no cover.

Sean Carscadden

Sean Carscadden and his trio will be at Steiners Tavern tonight, Sept. 16, for a 10 p.m. show.

The lounge in the Carneros Bistro has a special show tonight, Sept. 16, when Jenny O makes an appearance for one-night only as part of their “Rlife LIVE” program. RLife LIVE showcases an eclectic fleet of emerging artists at various Renaissance Hotels throughout the world. Tonights show kicks off at 8 p.m.

Noche Tropical will be playing the celebration of Mexican Independence Day on Sunday, Sept. 18, behind City Hall. The show features Aztec dancers as well. The event starts at 2 p.m., with the band taking the stage at 6 p.m.

El Verano Inn welcomes back the Maldonado Brothers on Saturday, Sept. 17, for a show that goes off at 9 p.m. The Brothers have new material that will debut, and are looking forward to “delivering high energy jams and getting the crowd on their feet and dancing.” The band is comprised of several Sonoma Valley musicians, including Ralph Cetola Maldonado, Jeff Hunter Maldonado, Hugo Knef Maldonado and Randy Cook Maldonado. There is no cover.

Centre du vin in the Ledson Lounge has Amber Gougis on Saturday, Sept. 17, for a 7 p.m. show. Gougis combines down-home blues with French chanson to deliver a seductive and soulful performance. There is no cover for the show.

Landmark Winery and Vineyards welcomes Chi McClean to the patio of the tasting room on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. Many may remember McClean form his backstage performances at this years Sonoma International Film Festival.

The Studebaker Cheesecake Cafe, which replaced Fiorini on Napa St. has an open-mic Monday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m. “Corner of the Sky,” The evening is modeled after the old Center of the Universe Cafe, previously held 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.

Many locals are out of town this weekend, starting tonight, Sept. 16, when Stephanie Ozer heads to Healdsburg at the Healdsburg Hotel for a 7 p.m. show.

Showcase the Band will be in St. Helena in the St. Helena Plaza tonight, Sept. 16, for a 5 p.m. show.

The Jon Popenoe Blues Band is in Napa at Uva Trattoria tonight, Sept. 16, for an 8 p.m. start.

Crossfire will be at the Flamingo Lounge in Santa Rosa tonight, Sept. 16, for a 9 p.m. show.

The Hellhounds will be at Cuvee in Napa tonight, Sept. 16, for a 9:30 p.m. show. Tuesday, Sept. 20, the local bluesmen will be featured in a film documentary titled “Roots of Music Americana.” The documentary is part of the Luna Fest Film Festival in Santa Rosa. The film will air immediately after a performance by the band. For tickets and more info, point your browser to Showtime is 6 p.m.

Mad and Eddie Duran will be in San Francisco at Rose Pistolas on Saturday, Sept. 17, kicking off at 7 p.m.

Tommy Thomsen has been invited to sit in on a birthday tribute to Hank Williams to be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Club Deluxe in San Francisco. Thomsen and others will be backed by the New Drifting Cowboys.

Adam Traum will be playing a weather-permitting show in Stinson Beach at the Sand Dollar on Sunday, Sept. 18, kicking off at noon.


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

The Jamie Clark Band – Saturday, Sept. 17.
Peri’s – Fairfax

Stompy Jones – Saturday, Sept. 17.
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio

The Ford Brothers – Friday, Sept. 16.
Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa

Herbie Hancock – Sunday, Sept. 18.
Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa

Joan Osborne – Saturday, Sept. 17.
The Fillmore – San Francisco

Joan Osborne – Friday, Sept. 16.
Napa Valley Opera House

Lee Ritenhour – Saturday, Sept. 17.
Napa Valley Opera House

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