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Magic Band closes out 2021 Tuesday Night Market season

The last Tuesday Night Market is coming up, and it seems like it just got going. But with harvest in full swing, it’s time for the show to close.

Bringing the run of great live music to a close on Tuesday, Sept. 28 will be The Magic Band. This 10-piece band — the biggest was saved for the last — will bring a solid dance mindset to the evening.

Band leader and drummer Jim Holland said, “We're approaching this more as a concert where we start out hot and just keep turning up the heat. We are basically a soul band with lots of surprises.”

Holland is a familiar figure on the west side of the City of Sonoma, as he delivers mail to hundreds of households for USPS. His job and his route, that street beat, is one he loves. “When it’s cool out, I get to move and run. It’s just the heat that kills me,” he said.

Ellie James has been added as the featured vocalist for the Magic Band. Holland said, “She is just incredible. I know her mom, and she was always telling me about her daughter, what a great singer she is. Turns out she was right.”

James, only 24, is a very musical soul. She said, “I was raised by two parents with amazing music taste, so I grew up listening and playing a lot of Motown, Hendrix, Carole King and more.”

When asked about the role she will play in the Magic Band, that of a young person sharing the stage with, shall we say, older musicians, James grew thoughtful. She discounted any age thing, then said, “Getting to sing some of my favorite songs with such incredible musicians is a huge honor and pleasure, I think we're really going to blow the socks off Sonoma!"

Holland is a New York native and spent many years in wedding bands there. “We would literally do 100 weddings a year, for almost 14 years,” he said.

All that experience adds up to a band leader who can read a room. Or, in this case, read a horseshoe.

For the farmers market show, they will be playing “a lot of classic rock and soul.” The set list is under wraps, but Holland said, “You will know every song we play but we do some classics that you don't normally hear a live band perform.”

A Sonoma resident since 1995, Holland has been in many local bands. His experience with the country-club circuit has him setting his sights on those high-paying gigs, and he has assembled a group of musicians more than qualified to bring down the house in those exclusive venues.

The Magic Band is Holland on drums, James up front on vocals, the excellent Sean Allen on guitar, Ron Lacey on keyboards, and an “amazing three-piece horn section” featuring Brad Katana, Rene Junkins and Tony Malfatti. Additional lead vocals will be sung by Annette Moreno. The bottom-end guy, the bassist, is Dan Walters. Local Don Trotta will serve as the second guitarist.

The band leader admitted he’ll pack the stage area. “It’s a big band … I’m hoping the tip jar gets pretty full.”

Holland summed it all up with, “We will have a lot of friends in the crowd; it’s gonna be killer.”

The Magic Band brings Sonoma’s magical Tuesday Night Market to a close with their set starting at 6 p.m. The vendors start selling, your last chance to buy their unique offerings, at 5 p.m.

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