The popular summer music series at Sebastiani Winery and Vineyards is back and tonight, May 2, the kick-off act is the Sue Albano Band. Albano has put together a formidable group of local musicians to back her, adding Chris Caselli on guitar to pair with her longtime guitar partner Mark Dennis. The act also boasts Nick Cordellos on drums, Steen Berrig on harmonica and Keith Ridenhour on saxophone. The night kicks off at 6 p.m. and the venue is kid and dog friendly, but no outside alcohol is allowed, including beer. Somehow the rumor abounds that every Friday is a food truck Friday event, and although there is typically a food vendor each Friday, the food trucks are only around the last Friday of every month. Outside food and picnics are allowed and there is no cover for the event.
Jack London State Historic Park is beginning the Sunday piano concert series this Sunday, May 4, for a 2 p.m. show. Until 1988, Jack London’s 1901 Steinway grand piano sat untouched for 30 years, since the death of London’s wife, Charmian. At the urging of park rangers Greg Hayes and Matt Atkinson, park volunteer Jud Goodrich rounded up six other pianists launching the Jack London Piano Club to once again make music with the cherished piano. This week, guest vocalist will be Laura Benward performing the “Rites of Spring” themed piano recital to benefit the park. Since 2011, the Piano Club has presented quarterly concerts, and has raised more than $7,000 to benefit operations at the park. Tickets and more info can be found at jacklondonpark.com or by calling 938-5216.
The second annual Tamale Cook-off is being held on Sunday, May 4, at Cornerstone in Carneros and will feature performances by Tudo Bem, Mariachi Nueva Generación, and local favorite, Ballet Folklórico Quetzalén. A variety of children’s activities, games and crafts will be offered throughout the day, including a bounce house and face painting by Popo the Clown. The tamale cook-off starts at 11 a.m. with a panel of local celebrity judges selecting the winners of “Sonoma’s Best Tamale of 2014.” All festival attendees can sample tamales and place their votes for the “People’s Choice” award winner. Advance tickets and more info can be found at cincodemayosonoma.com with a limited amount of tickets available at the door.
The El Verano Inn has two acts on Saturday, May 3, kicking off with local rockers Paulie Hips and the Childbearers, and headlining will be High Voltage, a Bon Scott-era AC/DC tribute act. Having played a show with the act, we can say they stay true to form with classic AC/DC numbers. Showtime is 9 p.m. and there is no cover.
Burgers and Vine presents the local reggae act Dan Martin and the Noma Rocksteady Band tonight, May 2. The act is quickly grabbing a large regional following. Saturday, May 3, it’s Trainwreck Junction, laying down classic honky-tonk country music. Both shows kick off at 9:30 p.m. and there is no cover. Sunday, May 4, the venue welcomes local up-and-comers Traffic Jam for a 3 p.m. show. The act took top honors at last year’s Battle of the Bands at the Sonoma County Fair. There is no cover for that show as well.
The Annex Wine Bar has Craig Corona tonight, May 2, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, it’s Don Trotta also for a 7:30 p.m. show. There is no cover for any of the shows but the venue is 21 and over.
HopMonk Tavern Sonoma has Christine Havrilla on the beer garden stage today, May 2, for a 5 p.m. show. Later, on the tavern stage, it’s Hi-Ball Hot Shots at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, the garden stage welcomes Rovetti and Meatballs, for a 1 p.m. show. Later on the tavern stage it’s Steep Ravine for an 8:30 p.m. show. Sunday, May 4, the garden stage has Dave Hamilton for a 1 p.m. show. There is no cover and the shows are family-friendly.
The Erik James Tasting Room has music tonight, May 2, with Charlie Hickox, Tim Eschliman and Bowen Brown, kicking off at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, it’s Macy Blackman, also for a 7 p.m. show. There is no cover either night.
Murphy’s Irish Pub presents Andrew Freeman Saturday, May 3, for an 8 p.m. show. Sunday, May 4, the weekly pro-jam session featuring Vanguard Jazz Ensemble begins at 1 p.m. Later that night, it’s Shards of Green for a 7:30 p.m. show.
The Moose Lodge welcomes Showcase the Band for a 4 p.m. dance party on Sunday, May 4.
The Epicurean Connection presents the Crux tonight, May 2, for a 7:30 p.m. show. Saturday, May 3, it’s Jack Wagner and the Cowpunk-Bluegrass Standard also for a 7:30 p.m. start. Sunday, May 4, has an early start for Smooth Hound Smith, kicking off at 1 p.m.
The Plaza Bistro welcomes Charged Particles tonight, May 2, for a 7 p.m. show. The trio’s repertoire blends jazz styles with elements from Latin, classical, funk, and more. The act brings a similar approach to playing arrangements of tunes by other jazz artists and traditional jazz standards, including favorites by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Richard Rogers and other composers of America’s most popular songs from decades ago, each played with a new twist. There is no cover for the show.
The Blue Moon Saloon has karaoke on Saturday, May 3, kicking off at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 4, the saloon presents the continuation of the blues jam, starting at 10 p.m. There is no cover.
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.
Petty Theft – Friday, May 2; 19 Broadway – Fairfax;
The English Beat – Friday and Saturday, May 2 – 3;
HopMonk Tavern – Sebastopol; 829-7300
Toad the Wet Sprocket – Saturday, May 3; Uptown Theater – Napa; 259-0123
Harvey Mandel Benefit Bash – Sunday, May 4;
Biscuits & Blues – San Francisco; 415-292-2583
Tom Rigney and Flambeau – Saturday, May 3;142 Throckmorton – Mill Valley; 415-383-9600
Pride and Joy – Friday, May 2; Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley;
Davey Pattison’s Gamma – Sunday, May 4;
Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley; 415-388-3850
Asleep at the Wheel – Wednesday, May 7; City Winery – Napa; 260-1600
Lydia Pense and Cold Blood – Thursday, May 8;
City Winery – Napa;