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Arann Harris Retires From Music

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016

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After more than a decade of playing a crowd-pleasing and foot-stomping brand of folk rock, Sonoma County songwriter Arann Harris is hanging up his hat and guitar, apparently for good. Harris performs a farewell concert this weekend, June 4, at McNear’s Mystic Theatre in his hometown of Petaluma.

The word from Harris is that he’s giving up a life on the road to focus on his family and work at Windrush Farm. Founded by his mother, Mimi Luebbermann, the working sheep farm produces quality wool fiber and educates the public about farm life through classes and camp events.

While it’s understandable, it’s no less a huge loss for Sonoma County’s music scene. Harris has long been a regular figure at the North Bay’s best events as well as its many clubs and venues, both with his own Farm Band and alongside fellow songwriters like David Lunning, Frankie Boots and others.

For this final concert at the Mystic Theatre, Portland blues duo Hillstomp and veteran solo performer Sean Hayes join Harris in what’s expected to be a blowout party. Get details on tickets and more by clicking here. 

Best of luck, Arann. Thanks for the music and the memories.

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Listen to Sugar Candy Mountain’s “666”

Posted by on May 31, 2016

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Oakland indie-pop band Sugar Candy Mountain describe themselves as the Beach Boys on acid, and by the sound of their latest offering, that sums it up quite nicely.

The band’s sophomore album, 666, is due out in July. In advance of that beastly release, they’re letting us in on the record’s title track. It’s a head trip of sublimely drugged out and jangly laidback guitars and vocalist Ash Reiter – a Sebastopol native – singing an ode to Satanic summers in an ethereal tone.

Sugar Candy Mountain performs this Saturday, June 4, at HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol with Salt Suns and Indianna Hale. Get details here, and click on the box below to listen to “666” now.

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Green Music Center Story Told in New Book

Posted by on May 24, 2016

GMC_BookThe visually stunning and acoustically renowned Weill Hall is the crown jewel of Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center. Though the hall has been around since 2012, the process that lead to its existence dates back to the 1990s, when Donald and Maureen Green  first envisioned a performance space for the Santa Rosa Symphony on the campus of the university.

Now, the stories of this ambitious endeavor is told through revealing and personal stories in the new book, “For the Love of Music,” available now through the Sonoma State University Bookstore, in the lobby of Weill Hall at the Green Music Center and at Copperfield’s Books.

The book was conceived by Marne Olson, wife of SSU president Ruben Armiñana and vice chair of the Green Music Center Board of Advisors, as a tribute to the donors and staff who brought life to the music center, now considered one of the premiere music halls in the country.

Aside from tales of Weill Hall’s creation, the book also offers a history of the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Green Music Center’s equally impressive Schroeder Hall, completed last year. 

Subscriptions for the Green Music Center’s 2016-2017 season are on sale soon. “For the Love of Music” retails for $39.95. Contact the SSU bookstore at 707.664.2329.

 

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Watch the Music Video for Royal Jelly Jive’s “Dear Mr Waits”

Posted by on May 19, 2016
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Bay Area favorites Royal Jelly Jive are beloved for their blend of swing revival and soulful grooves, and the band employs all the tricks of their trade in their upcoming album, Stand Up, due out on June 24.

This week, the band previews their latest with a new video for the album’s first single, “Dear Mr. Waits.”

If you are familiar with North bay music, you may have already guessed the titular Mr. Waits is, in fact, iconic songwriter and reclusive west Sonoma County resident Tom Waits, who regularly records at Prairie Sun Studios, where Stand Up was also recorded.

Royal Jelly Jive will be appearing at the sold-out BottleRock Napa Valley on May 29 and the free Railroad Square Music Festival on June 5. Check out the details here.

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The Wine Train Gets in the BottleRock Mood with David Pack

Posted by on May 18, 2016
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photo by Stacey Pack

Napa Wine Train is riding the rails in the spirit of BottleRock for two nights with Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter David Pack and several superstar wineries on May 27 and 28.

Best known as the co-founder and frontman of 1970s rock band Ambrosia, Pack has performed at BottleRock for the past two years. For 2016, the Napa Valley resident and multi-platinum selling artist takes to the train for two consecutive “After-BottleRock Wine Train Hang” shows where he’ll play his classic hits while the train rolls through the valley.

Joining Pack for both nights are wines from Far Niente, Silver Oak, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Gargiulo Vineyards, and Casa Piena; all of whom collaborated with Pack on his 2014 “Napa Crossroads” album. Also joining Pack on Saturday, May 28, is indie rocker Robert Schwartzman, lead singer of the band Rooney, who also appeared on “Napa Crossroads.”

The vintage Napa Valley Wine Train picks up passengers for these concerts at 10pm on May 27 and May 28 at the Wine Train’s Pop-Up Restaurant and Bar while the train is parked by the 3rd Street festival gate. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Get tickets here.

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Narada Michael Walden Brings His Evolution to Mill Valley

Posted by on May 17, 2016

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Drummer, songwriter and producer Narada Michael Walden is the man behind more than 50 Number One hits, working with everyone from Mariah Carey to Jeff Beck with great acclaim. Last year, Walden released his latest solo album, Evolution, a funky and soulful collection of tunes that harken back to the musician’s origins with joyful energy.

Released on his own imprint, Tarpan Records, the new record features special guest musicians including Nikita Germaine (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan) on vocals, Frank Martin (Tuck & Patti, Jose’ Neto) on keyboards, Angeline Saris (Gretchen Menn, Zepperella) on bass and vocals and Matthew Charles Heulitt (Zigaboo Modaliste) on guitars.

This Saturday, May 21, the Marin-based Walden brings his latest evolution in music to Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley for a power-packed concert with Martin, Saris and Heulitt on hand to help him perform classic hits and new songs alike in a passionate night of music. If you haven’t heard Evolution yet, click on the video below to hear the title track. Tickets are available here.

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Listen to Emily Jane White’s New Single, “Frozen Garden”

Posted by on May 13, 2016

EmilyJaneWhite-TheyMovedInShadow-LPjacket-ART-OUTLINESinger and songwriter Emily Jane White’s mysterious new album, They Moved in Shadow All Together, is already out in Europe, but fans here in the states have had to wait patiently to hear the latest from the darkly experimental Oakland-based artist and Fort Bragg native.

Until now, as White this week unveiled the lead single from the new record, “Frozen Garden.” The song is a lush and melodic journey through dense layers of instrumental textures, with White’s voice acting as a guiding light breathlessly leading the listener ever deeper into the tangled brush.

They Moved in Shadow All Together will be released in the US on June 10 through Talitres Records. Get your copy by clicking here.

Donate to the Upcoming Musical Instrument Drive

Posted by on May 5, 2016

 

musicforschoolsGot some spring cleaning to do? Have an old trumpet or guitar or even a tambourine taking up space in your closet? Now’s your chance to de-clutter and help a student in need at the same time. The Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is hosting a Musical Instrument Drive this Saturday, May 7, at Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa, where students from across Sonoma County will perform while any and all instruments are accepted for donation, to go to the Luther Burbank Center’s Music for Schools program.

The program’s mission is simple; provide instruments to kids who otherwise could not afford one. Since it’s widely known that musical education is an important aspect to a well-rounded education, this outreach program is important.

Music for Schools relies on instrument and cash donations (for repair) to place instruments into the hands of students from low-income families. This weekend’s drive is one of the program’s major donation days, and local students who have already received these gifts will be on hand to display their talents. As an added bonus, anyone who donates an instrument will get a box of See’s Candies Springtime Truffles (while supplies last.)

The full performance schedule is  below, for more details, click here.

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Next Level Grants Now Available for Musicians

Posted by on May 2, 2016

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Last month, the Next Level Showcase and Conference introduced Sonoma County music lovers to an array of local musicians and bands, and introduced those musicians to several industry professionals and insiders who led a daylong symposium revolving around the business of music.

Now, Next Level is in full swing of its second phase, a grants program where five Sonoma County musicians can each win $2,500 to help them in their musical endeavors. These grants will be paired with ten hours of one-on-one consulting with industry experts to help encourage the most effective use of the grant funds.

Under the direction of Creative Sonoma–an arts program with the county’s economic development board–and in association with the North Bay Hootenanny, Next Level’s grant program is made possible by a donation from the Hewlett Foundation. Grant applications, due June 6, are available now online.

Later this month, Next Level is holding an applicant Q&A session on Tuesday, May 17, at 1pm, at the Creative Sonoma offices, 141 Stony Circle, Ste 110, Santa Rosa. Applicants can call into the meeting as well, 707.565.8996.

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BottleRock Announces Aftershows

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016
Michael Franti plays at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley on May 26.

Michael Franti plays at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley on May 26.

Last week, BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival broke the news that it had already sold out all three days of its fourth annual fest, taking place in Napa May 27 to 29. For those who’ve missed out on the event, there’s now a ray of hope, as the fest has announced a week of aftershows taking place in and around Napa Valley.

The lineup of artists appearing at various venues range from songwriter Michael Franti to comedy duo Cheech & Chong to classic hip-hop group the Pharcyde to gypsy punk ensemble Gogol Bordello; meaning there’s something for everyone. There will also be pre-fest shows on Thursday, May 26, and a post festival performance by Rodrigo y Gabriela on Monday, May 30, at Uptown Theatre.

Check out the full list below, and grab tickets to these concerts at bottlerocknapavalley.com.

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