By February 10, 2015 Read More →


Jazz and BluesView
by Eric Benson

If you luv music your gonna love this

By Eric Benson
Hey folks I know the valley fog has descended and chillin ya to the bone but I hope I can entice you into coming out on one of these blustery nights and warming yourselves in one of our eateries while listening to some music to soothe your soul. Some nice things happening in the downtown this month, hope to see you there.

Blue Monday Party & invitational jam returns to the Barkin’ Dog Grill the second Monday of the month, Feb 9th with the Ultra Lounge Group with virtuoso acid-Jazz guitarist Barry Finerty. Barry is an eclectic monster guitarist that can play anything from Coltrane Giant Steps to Tower of Power funkafied lines to Rhythm and Blues. He’ll be playing music off his new rhythm & Blues based album” Nothing’s Gonna Be All Right,” recorded in Hamburg Germany while he was touring in Europe. Barry has played with the Brecker Brothers reunion tour, Chester Thompson of TOP, Dave Mathews, Miles Davis and many others. The house band features Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass, vocals, Dave Hawks on drums, Pat Governor & Eric Benson on Keys. The jam features Jazz, R & B, Latin, Funk and a little of everything else with special guests sitting in for listening and dancing. Show from 7 to 10:00 PM with food and drink available in all age venue. Call the Dog for reservations: 572-2341. Blue Monday is sponsored by ModestoView.

And coming down March 15 for some Sunday afternoon jazz house party style will be John Stowell another virtuoso Jazz guitarist that will be playing duo with local Jazz guitar slinger Johnny Valdes. Show in causal environment will be 5:00 to 8:00 with catered New Orleans cuisine ala my son Christopher Benson burnin some Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, sautéed greens in bacon, Ribs and Crab Cakes. There is no charge but we will pass the hat to pay the band. Guitar clinic at 5:00 PM with food at 6:00. Bring your own bottle can call for the directions, Eric Benson cell 918-7033. Or email me:<>.

The Gallo Center for the Arts continues with their diverse booking in Feb features: 6-7th MSO Back & Handel, 13th Paul Thorn, 21st with Lyle Lovett and acoustic band, 27th Amy Grant, and 28th Jefferson Starship. Save the date Bonnie Rait be coming Wed May 20th! I grew up playing her music cutting a rug dancing in living room house parties as a teenager listening to her bluesy first album. And Lyle Lovett in any configuration is always great. Saw Marcus Roberts’s legendary New Orleans pianist last month playing a Steinway grand and aside from an amazing Jazz master playing there was also a good room of people coming out for Jazz, keep hope alive!

The State Theatre did well with a sold out show for Elvin Bishop Jan 24th, Mr. Procrastinator myself did not get tickets and missed the show, bad for me but great for the State. And don’t dilly dally on Tommy Emanuel coming to the State Feb 7th. Tommy is truly a guitar players’ guitarist, a seasoned player that has played heavy metal, Rock, Blues, classical, and now a melding of the many styles in a solo guitar accompaniment style. He is hilarious and his chops are incredible.

Live music in DEWZ Wine Bar in Feb continues live music on Friday and Saturday nights 7 to 10:00 PM, incorporating the best local musicians playing in the intimate wine bar environment. What I have booked for all you music lovers is: Fri 6th John King & Robin Montgomery Jazz guitar duo, Sat 7th Josh Rosenblum solo guitar and vocals, Fri 13th & 27th Francesca Bavaro piano & vocals, Sat 14th & 28th Tim Allen piano & vocals doing Elton meets Billy Joel, Fri 20th Pat Durr of Homegrown Band with friends, Sat 21st band XO with Xiandani Avila vocalist and Odalys Caro piano. The room is small so best to call for a table if you know you’re coming.

One night stands: A night to remember by Northern Cal women’s Music fest Feb 6th: with Francesca Bavaro, Lovecore, Amy Obenski and others Café Deva, Valentine’s Day with Grace Liberman Feb 8th Beth Shalom, Red Dog Ash & AJ Lee Feb 14th Newman Theatre.
Lowdown on the jam session in the downtown: Barkin’ Dog Thursday night jazz jams with Dave Dow, Queen Bean Sundays open mike night also in an all age environment.

Remember please support our local live venue’s for live music and the arts. So take some time out to hear some live music and the arts of our own town as well this month, think globally and act locally. All the best, peace out! Eric Benson, cell 209, 918-7033.



Posted in: community, news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.