To say Tommy Thomsen is a local music legend would really be putting it mildly. Having grown up in Sonoma Valley since he was a young child, Thomsen has toured the world, yet always makes it back the Valley of the Moon where it all started for him. Starting as a piano player at a young age, Thomsen conquered classical music then discovered “Boogie Woogie” and from there he was hooked. His musical taste migrated to “Western Swing” and he went on to jam with many of the original Texas Playboys and other luminaries of the genre, culminating with his induction to the “Western Swing Hall of Fame” in 1995. Thomsen’s career and success have not come without challenges. A victim of Hepatitis C eventually led to a liver transplant 16 years ago and then stage 3 liver cancer just two years ago. He went back to UCSF where they did the original transplant, and even though he hasn’t touched alcohol in 26 years, ironically the new treatment was to shoot alcohol, as an “alcohol ablation” directly into the liver. At this point, he is essentially cancer-free. In addition, the new experimental drug Sovaldi, has him Hepatits-C free as well after a 5- week treatment. To celebrate his life, he is having his 67th birthday party at Rossi’s 1906 on Saturday, Jan. 31, when he will also be releasing two CD’s. One is “The lost tapes” with Thomsen and the late Norton Buffalo playing as a duo, all captured on 4-track tapes which Thomsen has re-engineered. The other disc is a new one, recorded in Portland Or., where he laid down tracks with the Holy Modal Rounders Boys, which included Roger North on drums and “Diesel” Dave Reich on bass guitar, along with Les Browning on fiddle, saxophone and banjo. Saturdays show will feature Thomsen’s old pal and blues legend Ron Hacker, who played with Tom Waits, doing a solo set, followed by Wendy DeWitt, the “Queen of Boogie Woogie” on piano with Kirk Harwood on drums. The two are just back from their European tour of France, Spain and Switzerland. Then Thomsen takes the stage with a stellar group of seasoned pros. Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs, from Kinky Friedman on saxophone, Sean “Hall of Fame” Allen from Commander Cody on steel and flame thrower guitar, Sam “Rock Bottom” Page on bass, along with his drummer of 30 plus years, Kirk “Madman” Harwood. The show will also have special guests Dave Aguilar, Codi Binkley and Junior Boogie. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tonight, Jan. 30, it’s Central Station with Miles Schon opening the show, which also kicks off at 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 1, it’s an afternoon show with the Tri-Tip Trio, kicking off at 4 p.m.
The “Winter Performance Series” continues at the Sonoma Community Center on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall with an appearance from Joseph in the Well rolling into town on Saturday, Jan. 31, for a 7:30 p.m. show. The acts “Jazz-Rock-Fusion” has been compared to Andrew Bird, the Shins and Grizzly Bear by combining rock, jazz, classical and world music to create a unique genre. “There are a lot of instrumental and improvisational elements that jazz lovers will really enjoy,” said founder Joe Kye. Tickets will be available at the door or before at svbo.org, where you can also find more about the winter music series.
The El Verano Inn has another epic punk rock show on Saturday, Jan. 31, with appearances by He Who Cannot Be Named, Roadside Bombs, Bite, Braineaters and Kitten Drunk. Showtime is 9 p.m.
Muscardini Cellars in Kenwood has “Uncorked and Unplugged” in the tasting room tonight, Jan. 30, with a strictly acoustic performance from Hillary Wicht and Cliff Goldmacher, starting at 5 p.m. Admission includes a glass of wine.
Burgers and Vine presents DJ Isak tonight, Jan. 30 for a night of dance music. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, it’s live reggae music with Dan Martin and the Noma Rocksteady Band, also kicking off at 9:30 p.m. There is no cover either night.
The Annex Wine Bar presents Full Circle tonight, Jan. 30, playing folk classics and blues kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, it’s Hard Travelin’ playing a tribute to Bob Dylan that they are calling “Tangled up in Blue.” Saturday also kicks off at 7:30 p.m. There is no cover but the venue is 21 and over only.
Adobe Road Winery has an open acoustic jam in the tasting room on Sunday, Feb. 1, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. Musicians are welcome to bring their own acoustic instruments; guitars, kazoos, dulcimers, banjos, bongos etc. The venue will also have wines by the glass and cheese plates available.
The Erik James Tasting Room has music tonight, Jan. 30, with Macy Blackmans Praline Trio kicking off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, it’s Stevie Gurr, Tim Eschliman and Kevin Hayes also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover either night, but there is a $10 minimum.
The Plaza Bistro welcomes the Mark Levine Trio tonight, Jan. 30, for a 7 p.m. start. Levine moved to California in 1966 and has worked with the likes of Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, Moacir Santos, Francisco Aguabella, Pete Escovedo, and Cal Tjader. There is no cover.
The Epicurean Connection presents Sally Haggard tonight, Jan. 30, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, it’s Full Circle, also for a 7:30 p.m. show. Sunday, Feb. 1, it’s an early start for Tony Gibson, kicking off at 1 p.m.
HopMonk Tavern Sonoma has Wendy De Witt tonight, Jan. 30 for an 8:30 p.m. showtime. Saturday, Jan. 30, it’s Tom Rhodes, also for an 8 p.m. start.
Murphy’s Irish Pub has Kevin Russel and his So Called Friends tonight, Jan. 30, kicking off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, it’s Savannah Blu, also for an 8 p.m. show. Sunday, Feb. 1, it’s an evening show with the Nancy Briggs Quartet taking the stage at 8 p.m.
The Blue Moon Salon has Karaoke on Saturday, Jan. 31, starting at 9 p.m. It’s the continuation of the blues jam on Sunday, Feb. 1, starting at 9:30 p.m. There is no cover.
Hot 45’s.. good shows within a 45 minute drive from the island..
Super Diamond – Neil Diamond tribute – Saturday, Jan 31
Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco
Wonderbread 5 – Saturday, Jan. 31
Mystic Theatre – Petaluma
Petty Theft – Saturday, Jan. 31
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio
Albert Lee – Saturday, Jan. 31
HopMonk Tavern – Novato
John Wilson – Sunday, Feb. 1
The Fenix – San Rafael
Chuck Prophet – Friday, Jan. 30
City Winery – Napa
Willie Nelson and Family – Monday, Feb. 2
Wells Fargo Center – Santa Rosa
Graycoats – Saturday, Jan. 31
Spancky’s – Cotati
Sebastopol Guitar Festival – Saturday, Jan. 31
Sebastopol Cultural Center – Sebastopol
Tommy Thomsen Pro Jam – Friday, Jan. 30
Twin Oaks Tavern – Penngrove
New Mastersounds – Friday, Jan. 30
Zodiacs – Petaluma