By January 3, 2016 Read More →


by Eric Benson

Season’s greeting to you and yours
“If you luv music your gonna love this”

And so it goes another year comes to pass, wrapped up and tied in a bow celebrated at Midnight to chortlings voices to “Old Auld Lang Syne.” The resolutions made, some realistic and some not but we all have good intentions do we not? And in keeping with the reason for the season we hope that in the New Year, we make our piece of the world a little better, a litter brighter. And whether you pay it forward or as Mother Teresa said: “do good things… some will be jealous and question your motives but do good things anyway… because in the end it is not between you and them but between you and god.” With all the struggle and strife in the world most of us are good people, we do good things. There may be an isolated incident of violence somewhere that the press gets a hold of and blows it up into front page news. But the reality is when I am out and about at Blue Monday or wherever there are groups of people most of us behave well, we are the good people doing good things, taking care of each other, doing the right thing. So keep on being good people cause when it comes down to it there is no dichotomy of “us and them”, there is only us and no other. So keep on being good people, pray for peace and pray for rain.

Blue Monday Christmas Party & invitational jam returns to the Barkin’ Dog Grill this year with special guest one of the better guitar-player-singer-front man on the planet Barry Finnerty. Barry has played with Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Brecker Brothers, Dave Mathews, BB King, the Crusaders, Tower of Power and many others. The second Monday Jan 11th will be hosted by house band, the Blue Monday Ultra Lounge Band with lead vocalist, guitar and bass player Dave Souza, Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass, vocals, Dave Hawks on drums, Eric Benson, Pat Governor on Keys, Andrew Rosenblum on horns and sax, and Jamie Dubberly trombonist and arranger. The jam this month will feature: some of Barry‘s arrangements with Jazz, R & B, Funk, Latin 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. If you play come on down and sit in with the best musicians in the area, it’s gonna be smoking.

The Gallo Center for the Arts for Christmas brings in Jan: 15th Celtic Nights, 29th Firefall, 30th tribute Elton John’s greatest hits, and 31st Riders in the Sky, tribute to Roy Rogers.

The State Theatre aside from great films for January on Jan 30th: a night of Cuban music, food and film “Santiago es Santiago.” Speaking of peace on earth, the Modesto Peace life Center brings back John McCutcheon for their annual fun-raizer on Jan 21st. John is a multi-instrumentalist Folk musician that will play a variety of world music styles for the event.

Off the beatin’ track: Newman theatre Jan 9th brings in Sourdough Slim’s wild wooly revue, and Jan 16th Red dog Ash and special Consensus, and the 30th with Tom Petty Tribute The Refugees
Columbia Big Band Benedict show Friday Jan 15th with some Latin fire power: featuring Jamey Dubberly Trombone, Carlos Caro percussion and Mario Flores percussion.

Come back out for third Thursday Art Walk on Jan 28th 5 to 9:00 PM .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.




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