If it’s April, then that means the Sonoma International Film Festival is back in action and with many music-themed movies and plenty of live music as well. The big event is tonight, April 4, with the screening of “Born in Chicago” at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building. The story revolves around the ’60s icons of urban blues, including Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and how the musical torch was passed the coterie of an unlikely next generation admirers, among who were Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel and Corky Siegel. Doors open at 7 p.m., film screens at 8 p.m. with a live show including some of the performers in the film at 10 p.m. There will be an encore screening at Murphy’s Irish Pub on Saturday April 5, at 1 p.m. without a show following.
“Take Me to the River” which just won the Audience Award at SXSW where it had its world premiere, is a celebration of the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The movie features Terrence Howard, William Bell, Snoop Dog, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby “Blue” Bland, the North Mississippi All-Stars and many more. The film will screen twice, Saturday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre and again on Sunday, April 6, at 11:45 a.m. at the Vintage House senior center.
“Chronic Love” follows the flamboyant Grammy nominated Cuban-born and New York based singer CuCu Diamantes on her tour around Cuba. The film interweaves footage of live musical performances with a fictional love story narrative. First screening is tonight, at 8 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre, immediately following the Latin Fiesta in the Back lot tent. The second screening is at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the La Luz Center.
Live music in the back lot tent continues throughout the weekend with today, April 4, with Sean Carscadden from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jeff Falconer from 1 to 3 p.m. and Carlos Herrera from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5, it’s Rick Hardin, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Chi McClean from 1 to 3 p.m. and Dan Martin from 3 to 5 p.m. The live music continues Sunday, April 6, with Don Trotta from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., JMB and the Big O from 1 to 3 p.m. and Fancy Mother with Sue Albano from 3 to 5 p.m. Ten Foot Tone will also be at the Maysonnave House from 3 to 5:30 p.m. A festival pass is required to attend any of the movies and back lot music, and day passes can be purchased at the back lot tent.
Burgers and Vine has two shows this weekend, starting tonight, April 4, with the Whiskey Thieves. Saturday, April 5, it’s classic rock with Loosely Covered. Showtime both nights is 9:30 p.m.
The Annex Wine Bar has the Mark Larson Trio tonight, April 4, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, it’s Keith Andrew also for a 7:30 p.m. show. There is no cover for any of the shows but the venue is 21 and over.
The Epicurean Connection presents the Highway Poets tonight, April 4, for a 7:30 p.m. show. Saturday, April 5, it’s Jake Barrett and Company also for a 7:30 p.m. start. Sunday, April 6, it’s Lindalou and Michael, kicking off at 1 p.m.
The Erik James Tasting Room has music tonight, April 4, with the Left Coast Syncopators, featuring Snakebite Jacobs, Tim Eschliman and Kevin Zuffi, kicking off at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5, it’s Charlie Hickox, Tim Eschliman, Bob Scott, also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover either night.
HopMonk Tavern Sonoma presents Keith Andrew for an 8:30 p.m. show tonight, April 4. Saturday, April 5, the tavern welcomes the No Buenos. There is no cover and the shows are family-friendly.
The Plaza Bistro welcomes the Dana Land Trio tonight, April 4, for a 7 p.m. show. Said Larry Vuckovich, jazz pianist, “Dana brings a most positively infectious spirit and energy to the bandstand and to the audience. The musicians, as well as the audience are immediately affected by her strong rhythmic and melodic phrasing and her soulful vocal sound. The enjoyment that she has while performing has a lasting effect on everyone who hears her.” There is no cover for the show.
Showcase the Band is at the Moose Lodge on Sunday, April 6, for a 4 p.m. show.
The Cork Pullers are in Suisun at Ledgewood Creek Winery on Saturday, April 5, kicking off at noon.
The Jami Jamison Band is at Sally Tomatoes in Rohnert Park tonight, April 4, for a 7 p.m. show.
Stephanie Ozer is at the Hotel Healdsburg on Saturday, April 5, for a 6:30 p.m. show. Andrew Emer will be with her on bass.
If your gig isn’t in my column, you didn’t tell me about it. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.
J.M. Berry’s Hot 45s
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.
Annabella – Sunday, April 6; HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol; 829-7300
Big Head Todd and the Monsters – Saturday, April 5; The Fillmore – San Francisco;
Emmylou Harris – Saturday, April 5;
The Warfield – San Francisco;
It’s a Beautiful Day – Saturday, April 5;
Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio; 415-662-2219
Jerry Hannan – Sunday, April 6; Rancho Nicasio – Nicasio; 415-662-2219
Honeydust – Friday, April 4; HopMonk Tavern – Novato; 415-892-6200
Buck Nickels and Loose Change – Saturday, April 5;
Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley; 415-388-3850
Santa Rosa Symphony – Sunday, April 6;
Donald and Maureen Green Music Center – Rohnert Park;
Johnny Tsunami – Friday, April 4;
Twin Oaks Tavern – Penngrove; 795-5118