HWS’s roving reporter Eric Friedman (Lucky Rubes) checked out the Riptide and saw that the drywall is up, meaning the electrical and plumbing are in, meaning that the opening is about 6-8 weeks away. Yes!
Alisha Amnesia has been on a roll booking rockabilly during her shift at Club Deluxe every Friday. Veteran musicians who have been keeping under ground, or at least under the radar, have been stepping up for these gigs. Danny Santos (DS & the Savoys), Steve Merritt (Stillmen) and Derek McDonald (Golden West Trio) have joined up as the Bim Bam Boys and usually play every first Friday, but Santos is working through a hand injury, so on March 4th the Bay Area’s newest rockabilly band, The Jukebox Charlies, will fill their slot. These veterans are Eric Reedy and Greg Yanito from the B Stars/Hi-Ball Hot Shots, plus Hank Maninger (Stompy Jones, Hacienda Brothers) fronting the trio.
Amnesia (the club, not Alisha), has begun a “Honky-Tonk Thursday” every third week. Laura Benitez and the Heartache kicked it off in February along with a new, rockin’ country band from Santa Cruz, Jesse Daniel. Local favorites The Bitter Diamonds and The Haymarket Squares, a punkgrass outfit from Arizona, are booked for March 17th.
Amnesia’s “Honky-Tonk Thursdays” are the handiwork of Mischa Gasch (Miss Lonely Hearts), who has also been booking “Western Wednesdays” at The Crêpe Place in Santa Cruz. Amnesia’s and The Crêpe Place’s regular twang nights are anchors for Northern California mini-tours that Gasch has been organizing through TourMore, which pairs local bands with touring bands and sets up more gigs for both.
Hopmonk Tavern, which serves up music on weekends at locations in Novato, Sebastopol and Sonoma, has planted a new flag in Penngrove, just north of Petaluma, where it has taken over the Twin Oaks Tavern, a former school house that has long served as a watering hole and an on-again, off-again music venue. It has been mostly on-again under veteran booker Sheila Groves‘ management, and she’s staying on to help Hopmonk. HWS’s Sonoma County correspondent Tom Moylan reports that there’s a planned revitalization of the venue’s back area and an intent to preserve the place’s inherent funkiness. It’s kick off party with Soul Section happens on 3/5.
Speaking of on-again, off-again and funkiness, the Ivy Room in Albany, just North of Berkeley, has changed hands for about the third or fourth time in the last decade and the music is back. The Rumble Strippers are scheduled to play there on 3/14, it’s “official” opening party is on for 4/2, and the New American Farmers (a recent incarnation of Mars Arizona) play on 4/30.