A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Rapper Gift of Gab performs at Chrome Lotus

Big-name rappers performing in Santa Rosa aren’t all that common, so Friday’s (Jan. 10) appearance by Gift of Gab is worth noting. Under the stage name Gift of Gab, Timothy Parker of Oakland is half of the Bay Area hip-hop duo Blackalicious, with DJ Chief Xcel. On addition to three albums with Blackalicious, Gift of Gab has recorded two solo albums and the 2008 all-star album, Mighty Underdogs. He will perform at 10 p.m. at the Chrome Lotus, 501 Mendocino… Read More »

Sebastopol’s HopMonk Tavern hosts Johnny Downer Memorial Celebration

Sebastopol’s HopMonk Tavern will host the fifth annual Johnny Downer Memorial Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 4, honoring a local musician and raising money to support music education. A popular local guitarist, Downer died in 2009. The Johnny Downer Music Memorial Fund was set up by his mother, Carol Esonis. Over the last four years the fund has raised more than $16,000 for sheet music, instruments and music teachers. The tribute will feature some 40 musicians, starting at 1:30 p.m. in… Read More »

Toad in the Hole pub hosts “GreenHopFest” Oct. 13

The ever-genial Paul Stokeld is throwing another party at his Toad in the Hole pub in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square district. The second annual “GreenHopFest,” a celebration of the hop harvest starts at precisely 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, at the pub, 116 Fifth St. The event fetures fresh hop ales from local breweries, burlesque by Feral Fox and Violet Streak, and live music by the Philip Der Stein Sextet and the Gypsy Trio. Information: thetoadpub.com.

Singer-songwriter Maia Sharp plays Aubergine in Sebastopol

  Singer and songwriter Maia Sharp, who has recorded five solo albums, including last year’s “Change the Ending,” will perform Thursday, July 25, in Sebastpol. In addition to her solo career, she has written songs for and collaborated with Cher, Trisha Yearwood, Terri Clark, Bonnie Raitt, Edwin McCain and Art Garfunkel. The show opens with the Shivering Timbers duo at 8:30 p.m. at Aubergine After Dark, 755 Petaluma Ave. Admission: $10. Information: auberginebarandcafe.com, 861-9190.

Keys and Shul duo plays at Aqus Cafe in Petaluma

Petaluma singer Stefanie Keys and San Francisco guitarist Dave Shul will team up for an evening of acoustic duets from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Aqus Cafe, 189 H. St., in Petlaluma. Keys has performed as lead singer with Big Brother and the Holding Company, once fronted by Janis Joplin. Shul toured with Michael Franti and Spearhead for 14 years, and has performed with Counting Crows, Billy Preston and Dave Mathews. No cover charge. Information: (707)… Read More »

Jamaican vocal stars The Melodians play at Cotati’s Redwood Cafe

Before reggae, there was the Jamaican Rocksteady style of music, and you have a chance to see a live show by a couple of the genre’s pioneers. The Melodians, formed in 1965 in Kingston, Jamaica, bring their current tour to the Redwood Cafe at 8240 Old Redwood Highway in Cotati at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25. The show will star the group’s surviving original members, Tony Brevett and Trevor McNaughton. Co-founder Brent Dowe died in 2006. Dan Martin and the… Read More »

Next ‘Sonoma Songbirds’ concert set for Sebastopol

What name could possibly be better for an all-woman Americana quartet than this one? Foxes in the Henhouse. Can’t top that. The group will appear in the next “Sonoma Songbirds Concert,” starring recently transplanted Seattle singer and songwriter Jill Cohn, at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at Aubergine, 755 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. Foxes in Henhouse features Pamela Joyce, Dorian Bartley, Kathy Mezger and Linda Sullivan. The show also will include the Sonoma County duo Beautiful Weirdos, featuring Alan Watt and… Read More »

Comedy nights start in Rohnert Park

After a trial show in November, local comedians Brian Thomas and Nick Hoffman return Tuesday, Jan. 8, to launch a monthly open mic comedy night at the Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park. The shows will run from 8:30 to 10 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month in the bowling alley’s lounge at 300 Golf Course Drive. Sign-ups for those who want to stand up and be funny will start at 7:30 p.m. before each show. There’s no cover… Read More »

‘Sonoma Songbirds’ return to Last Day Saloon

After headlining a “Sonoma Songbirds” show at the Last Saloon in September, transplanted Seattle singer and songwriter Jill Cohn returns there this week with a slightly different line-up. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Last Day Saloon, 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa. The line-up includes: –  Jill Cohn, performing with Sonoma County guitarist Dave Sampson of the Old Jawbone band. – Katie Phillips, Sonoma County guitarist,  singer and songwriter, with drummer Mark Tarlton. – Jen… Read More »

‘Sonoma Songbird’ concert at Last Day Saloon

“Wine, women and song” has become an outdated cliche,  but it does apply, in  a way, to an interesting musical event coming up. Wine is optional, but there will be lots of women and song at the “Sonoma Songbird” concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. The lineup includes: – Seattle singer and songwriter Jill Cohn, performing with Sonoma County guitarist Dave Sampson of the Old Jawbone band. – The… Read More »