What's hotter than July? The Sonoma County music calendar, of course

Share this story

What's hotter than July? The Sonoma County music calendar, of course

Sonoma Wine Country has first-class entertainment to couple with our elixirs and give you the summer days and nights that the rest of the world dreams of. And what better way to celebrate our nation's birthday than the best of music, munching and merlot? Here's a list of our top picks for a weekend excursion or extended visit.

Friday, July 4

4th of July Fireworks Spectacular with Judy Collins

Weill Hall and Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
When you consider Judy Collins's iconic rendition of Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now' is nearly 50 years old, it's even more amazing she's still playing packed shows. Collins has long been known for her folk songs and social activism, which makes her the perfect patriot to ring in the nation's birthday in the North Bay.

The legend will sing selections from her catalogue, as well as patriotic standards like 'God Bless America', before the night ends with fireworks. The best part? The Santa Rosa Symphony will accompany Collins in what's shaping up to be a unique evening.


Thursday, July 10 and Friday, July 11

Mystic Theatre, Petaluma
As a native of Maui, singer-guitarist Anuhea is no stranger to the melding of musical genres, and her music reflects this. Her latest album mixes rhythm and blues, soul, hip-hop, funk, and of course the reggae sound that pervades Hawaii.

Hailing from a musical family, the 28-year-old followed her passion after stints as a TV anchor and pageant contestant. Her growing fan base is thankful for her decision, as will be the folks at the Mystic this month.


Friday, July 11

Prince Tribute featuring Dr. Fink of the Revolution

Phoenix Theater, Petaluma
The endurance of Prince's music is incredible but completely justified, considering the breadth of the genre-blending master's classic 80s output.

Dr. Fink, the original keyboardist for backing band The Revolution, is turning the Phoenix into Purple Rain's 'First Avenue' for a funky, rockin' show that pays tribute to the eccentric musical genius. Don't miss this chance to see Dr. Fink recreate his classic licks from Prince's iconic period, namely the albums from 1980's Dirty Mind through '88's Lovesexy.


Saturday, July 12

The Unauthorized Rolling Stones
Rio Nido Roadhouse, Rio Nido
This resort town on the Russian River always provides great tunes to complement the natural beauty of the area. This month brings us the best in rock n' roll by way of the Unauthorized Rolling Stones, the acclaimed local tribute band that recreates the Jagger/Richards experience in a more personal setting.

Would you rather see good musicians perform 'Ruby Tuesday' up close or pay a month's mortgage to watch the Stones on a giant TV screen? See you guys at the show.


Thursday, July 17

Pat Metheny and Bruce Hornsby
Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa
Over the last 30 years, there aren't many guitarists and pianists who've reached the levels of Pat Metheny and Bruce Hornsby, respectively. Santa Rosa has the pleasure of hosting these two masters together in what could be the North Bay's most anticipated concert of the summer.

Hornsby starts the evening with renowned drummer Sonny Emory, who's worked with legendary groups like Earth, Wind & Fire and Steely Dan. Jazz luminary Metheny and his band will perform songs off his Grammy Award-winning Unity Band album—his first in 32 years to feature tenor saxophone.


Friday, July 18

Kacey Jones
Occidental Center for the Arts, Occidental
Gilroy's own Kacey Jones has had quite a career in country-western music. After a successful stint as a Nashville songwriter that included a Top 5 hit for Mickey Gilley, she used her talents to make people laugh, becoming a humorist in the vein of Kinky Freidman.

Her award-winning trio Ethel & The Shameless Hussies lasted four years, before she went solo. Her current show presents selections from all her personas, from tender ballads to gut-busting comedy songs. Couldn't you use a few laughs with your tears?


Sunday, July 20

Lyle Lovett and his Large Band

Weill Hall and Lawn, Green Music Center, Sonoma State University
Lyle Lovett has long been a household name, but not everyone knows him for his music, which is a gorgeous blend of country, swing, blues and other forms of American music.

The Texas master and his famously big band will perform songs from his 2012 album Release Me, which features original compositions, covers of standards like 'Brown Eyed Handsome Man,' and a duet with k.d. lang, his peer in the expansion of country-western music.


Friday, July 25

Craig Corona
Vino di Amore Wine Lounge and Art Gallery, Cloverdale
Craig Corona's shows bring the best of the American singer-songwriter tradition. His 2012 album About Time is incredibly personal, drawing on his own life experiences growing up in Long Island and living in Boulder, Colo., where he discovered bluegrass. His set is rounded out by folk and country covers that span the last five decades, all delivered through a warm, emotive voice that touches listeners.

Saturday, July 26

D-Lo and Philthy Rich
Phoenix Theater, Petaluma
The Phoenix is still the North Bay's headquarters for local and visiting hip-hop, and July brings us a wealth of local stars. Coming together for an exciting double bill are the Bay Area's own D-Lo and Philthy Rich, who's promoting his recent RBC Records debut N.E.R.N.L.

Find more info about things to do, restaurants, and hotels in Sonoma County.

Written by David Sason.

Tina Luster