By March 2, 2017 Read More →


by Eric Benson

If you luv music you’re gonna luv this

Well folks, safe to say the drought may be over! “When the levee breaks, mama you got to move”. There is so much water out there I am going to flush the toilet twice for good measure, just kidding. Well I am not going to complain about the rain, just do what the Russians do when a torrential downpour occurs, “let it rain!”, and hope you all out there are above flood plain.

Blue Monday Invitational Jam returns to the Barkin’ Dog Grill this March 13th with Ultra Lounge, with special guest to be announced. We have been blessed with great musicians and great attendance every Monday for months now so come on down for all the way live music. We will be playing everything from straight ahead Jazz, funk, Latin, Rhythm and Blues and yes some POP with special guests sitting in for dancing and listening. The band is a super group of all the best players in the area with 7-piece house Band hosting. The Blue Monday Band features: lead vocalist, guitar and bass player Dave Sousa, Johnny Valdes guitar, Tim Allen bass, vocals, Dave Hawks on drums, Eric Benson & Pat Governor on keys, and horn section: Andrew Rosenblum Sax, trumpet, and Jamie Dubberly trombone. Show from 7 to 10 PM with food and drink available in an 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 is bringing in some great shows. I’ve been there for Sheila E (of Prince), Blue collar comedian Ron White, Robben Ford Guitar Army, smoking, and the Guess Who, and Brian Setzer formerly of the Stray Cats Rockabilly Christmas show, Take Six with Manhattan Transfer, Bonnie Rait, holy smokes. For March not to be missed: March 11th Chris Botti with all-star band, March 12: four freshman, March 24th Marvin Gaye experience with Brian Owens, and March 31st Masters of Soul. Critic’s choice: go see Chris Botti you won’t be disappointed music from straight ahead jazz to pop, funk with great arrangements.

An one of my fave’s coming back at you; the Turlock Theatre bringing in Tower of Power March 31st. The band suffered a freak incident in which the bass player and drummer in Oakland stepping behind a train to be hit by another train going the other way, both have survived and are out of critical condition.

The Barkin’ Dog Grill for March features: March 3 Patty Davis Castillo and Tim Allen March Madness, 4th; John Clifton Blues Band, 10th Valley Jazz company, 11th Gordon Kennedy Music center presents, 12th, 4th annual Ernie Bucio scholarship fundraiser, 13th Blue Monday with Eric Benson and friends, 14th 2nd Tuesday of the month poetry with Gillian Wegener, 16th Enochs Jazz band and Thursday Jam with David Dow, 17th Anthony and Nicki, 18th Tony and the Tough times, 24th Dave and Penny show, 25th Gary Gervase and the blues band, 31th Mario Flores Latin band

One of the newer venues bringing in live music in our hometown is the Portal, located at 1324 Caldwell Ave. A converted warehouse space with a dedicated stage with lineup and Hammond B-3 organ! The lowdown on the how down for what’s coming up; 18th Blues with Slingshot and Mr. Skinny Dynamo, April 8th Big Earls dance Party with Shad Harris, and Rob hill. Mr. Uncle Lonny Presents making it happen.
Come back out for third Thursday Art Walk 5 to 9:00 PM for some great art and music in the downtown! .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 venues 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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