Last barn dance at the Sonoma Grange
Sonoma Valley's Live Music Scene
It was a cause that Lauren Ayers pursued for the last couple years; bring back “old-time dancing” and raise money for the Sonoma Grange in Boyes Hot Springs at the same time, and why not? The Contra dances she was doing in Petaluma were drawing 50 to 80 people on the first Sunday of the month, some even driving from Sonoma to attend.
Whether it was a lack of notice, interest or just another nonprofit fighting for relevance will probably never be known, but the dances never really caught on, and this Saturday, March 16, will be the last “Barn Dance” for the foreseeable future at the Sonoma Grange Hall. If you’re into “Contra” dancing, and maybe that’s the term that confuses folks, as it’s essentially like square-dancing and just about anyone can participate, then this Saturday will be your chance. Back by popular demand will be caller Ken Olcott, who will run dancers through the moves before the music begins, and then continue after the Irish and bluegrass music starts, this month provided by the band Whimsical. Beginners of all ages are welcome, no partner necessary. Dancers under 26 years of age get in free; those over 26 require a small donation. The fun gets going at 7 p.m.
The Trio Con Brio Copenhagen returns to Sonoma after a six-year absence on Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. Presented by the Sonoma Classical Music Society, the act will perform Joseph Haydn’s “Trio in C major, Hob. XV:27,” Frank Martin’s “Piano Trio on Irish Folk Tunes” and many, many more. The Trio Con Brio Copenhagen was founded in Vienna in 1999, and is composed of Jens Elvekjaer on piano, Soo-Jin Hong on violin and Mathias Beyer-Karshoj on cello. They have won top prizes in many of the most influential international competitions, including being the 2005 recipient of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award, one of the most coveted and prestigious in the world of chamber music. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at sonomaclassical.org.
With St. Patrick’s Day falling on Sunday, the annual Rotary party will be held one day earlier, on Saturday, March 16, at the Moose Lodge. The event features a corned beef and cabbage dinner, no-host bar, dancing from BackTrax and a chance to win a $10,000 raffle prize. All funds raised will go toward Rotary scholarships and community projects. The fun gets underway at 5:30 p.m. and only 250 tickets will be sold at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Pharmaca.
The El Verano Inn is turning into Mabuhay Gardens north, about 30 years too late, with another fine showing of local punk rock on Saturday, March 16. Mabuhay Gardens was a club on Broadway in San Francisco which the Ramones, Blondie, the Dictators and just about any punk rock act that came through town played, with local punk talent opening the show. We honestly had no idea there was so much punk talent locally, as it seems there’s been no place for them to play; until now. The show features a Modern Action Records release party for two acts on the bill; Boats and Bad Coyotes, along with appearances by Ruleta Rusa, Braineaters and Sharp Objects. The show goes off at 8 p.m. and there is no cover.
The Kathmandu Corner presents Greg Volker and Jeff Falconer tonight, March 15, for an 8 p.m. show. Saturday, March 16, it’s Ten Foot Tone, also at 8 p.m.
The Plaza Bistro has Jeff Massanari tonight, March 15, for a 6:30 p.m. show. Tonight, Massanari has with him Wayne De la Cruz on the Hammond B3 and Marshall Gentry on drums. There is no cover. Saturday, March 16, it’s Jess Petty, playing his brand of “Rat Pack” hits, for a 7 p.m. show.
Regional reggae act Midnight Sun Massive will be appearing at the Olde Sonoma Public House on Saturday, March 16, for an evening of classic reggae and calypso sounds, starting at 9 p.m.
The Epicurean Connection welcomes Wildflower Weed and special guest Dave Aston tonight, March 15, for a 7:30 p.m. show. Saturday, March 16, it’s Dan Martin and friends, also for a 7:30 p.m. show.
The Annex Wine Bar welcomes Bosonoma tonight, March 15, for a 7 p.m. show. Saturday, March 16, the annex has the Joe Chaplain Band and accompanying the band will be the option for a full prime rib dinner, until all is sold-out. Dinner is at 4:30 p.m. and the show gets underway at 7 p.m. There is no cover either night.
Olive and Vine in Glen Ellen will have the sounds of Tommy Thomsen and Greg Vogenson on Sunday, March 17, that features “Catfish” Jack on harmonica. Showtime is 6 p.m. and is part of the Supper Club Sunday program at the venue.
The Gristmill Bar and Grill in Glen Ellen welcomes the Alan Early Trio on Saturday, March 16, for an evening of jazz standards, kicking off at 6 p.m.
The Eric James Tasting Room welcomes Kevin Zuffi and Tim Eschliman along with “Snakebite” Jacobs tonight, March 15, for a 7 p.m. start time. Saturday, March 16, it’s Lisa Kindred and Austin DeLone, also for a 7 p.m. show.
Murphy’s Irish Pub has the music of Kith and Kin tonight, March 15, kicking off at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, it’s Back Alley Comedy, with Myles Weber for two shows, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets, if available, will be at the door. Sunday, March 17, it’s a St. Patrick’s Day party with the Carrtunes, kicking off at 8 p.m.
The Blue Moon Saloon Saloon welcomes DJ Original Rootsy tonight, March 15, for a 10 p.m. show. The Sunday night blues jam continues on Sunday, March 17, commencing at 10 p.m. There is no cover.
The HopMonk Tavern Sonoma welcomes Black Cat Bone tonight, March 15, for an 8:30 p.m. show. Saturday, March 16, it’s North Pacific String Band, also kicking off at 8:30 p.m. There is no cover either night.
Sonoma Springs Brewery has Wildflower Weed on Sunday, March 17, for a show that will also feature Judy Williams, Kathryn DelChairo and Nathalie Tedrick. The day gets underway at 2 p.m.
The Big 3 Diner in Boyes Hot Springs has Tom Martin tonight, March 15, at 6 p.m. for a no cover show.
The Loop, on the Plaza, has a photography show tonight, March 15, featuring Colin Krauthamer and will have music from Sean Carscadden kicking off at 6:30 p.m.
David Thom has been making a lot of noise at the SXSW Festival this weekend in Austin, Texas, with five shows planned so far at the venue and various after-parties.
E. Z. Kewl will be at Graffiti in Petaluma Saturday, March 16, for an 8 p.m. show.
If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it. Hit me up at email@example.com.
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J. M. Berry knows the local music scene. He also knows website services and social media marketing. Check out his other skills at jmberry.com.
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Editor’s Note: While there is no shortage of great concerts in Sonoma, sometimes it is fun to get out of the Valley. Here’s what you can hear within 45 minutes of fair Sonoma.
Melvin Seals with JGB – Sunday, March 17; HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol; 829-7300
Wynton Marsalis – Saturday, March 16; Napa Valley Opera House; 226-7372
Pablo Cruise / the Edge – Saturday, March 16; Uptown Theater – Napa; 259-0123
Leo Kottke – Thursday, March 21; Uptown Theater – Napa; 259-0123
Imagine Dragons – Saturday, March 16; The Warfield – San Francisco; thewarfieldtheater.com
Kevin Russell Band – Friday, March 15; Last Day Saloon – Santa Rosa; 545-2343