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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cloverdale Comments: FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE!

We're one of "America's Coolest Small Towns"! Many thanks to Sonoma Gazette readers who cast ballots for Cloverdale in Budget Travel Magazine's 2010 "Readers Poll". With 74,390 votes we are #2 in the nation and that means good news for all of Sonoma County.

And it's a good bet that Friday Night Live (FNL), our free concert series, is one reason we did so well. When I saw the 2010 band lineup, I knew it would bring us and our visitors another sizzling summer of happy, crowd-pleasing, got-to-get-up-and-dance nights in our Downtown Plaza.

Like almost everyone in town, as well as folks around the county and beyond, Roz and I mark our calendars for every Friday evening from June 11th through September 3rd. Starting at 5:30 p.m. for the Cloverdale Certified Farmers Market we stroll about enjoying fresh local produce, arts, crafts and whatever great food, craft beer, local wines and non-alcoholic beverages* strike our fancy or we may take advantage of the popular local restaurants offering early bird and late night specials.

Then, at 7 p.m., the music and festivities start in the Plaza where, especially on Friday nights, there are no strangers only new friends. Singles, couples, kids, grandparents and the occasional, but always well-behaved, pooch--everyone makes a "Genuinely Cloverdale" small town evening of it! We either take a seat in front of the bandstand or bring our own lawn chairs and set them up early along the Plaza. Out-of-town visitors can get a lodging discount by calling Historic Inns of Cloverdale (800) 894-1737 and mentioning Friday Night Live.

Once again the all-volunteer Cloverdale Arts Alliance (, which produces the ragingly popular series with underwriting support from the City of Cloverdale and a number of generous local businesses and winery sponsors, has delivered something special for every taste. Take a look and then plan on being with us:

June 11: Zigaboo Modeliste, sponsored by Real Goods Solar & Pedroncelli
New Orleans Legend called "the Godfather of Groove", Ziggy takes us to funk depths no one else could possibly reach.

June 18: Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88s, sponsored by Ace Hardware & Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Inspired by the great jump n' boogie outfits of the late 40s and early 50s this is the music that gave birth to good old "rock n' roll".

June 25: Orgone, sponsored by Antiques & Uniques, Hanna Winery and Long Gamma Wines
RELIX magazine says, "...terrifically unfussy, big slabs of grizzled R&B, greasy as fatback ...recalls the majesty of Sly & the Family Stone."

July 2: Bill Noteman & the Rockets, sponsored by Century 21/Les Ryan Realtors & Lone Oak Winery
Blend of Chicago blues and rock and roll known as "West Coast Jump". Classic "roadhouse sound".

July 9: Mark Stuart & the Bastard Sons, sponsored by Ron & Jane Pavelka/Frank Howard Allen & Trentadue Winery
Austin, Texas band burns up the road with a high-octane groove in the spirit of Country Outlaws like Willie and the Man in Black.

July 16: SambaDa, sponsored by Redwood Credit Union, deLorimier Winery & Reynoso Vineyards
Mixing contemporary sounds with the roots of Brazilian culture. Irresistible samba-reggae-funk style that gets people up and dancing.

July 23: Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, sponsored by A&M Satellite/Dish Network & Trione Winery
Sultry vocals, classic jazz, swing blues. Authentic 40s and 50s style recalls Bessie Smith and Dinah Washington. Inspires, entertains.

July 30: Steve Pile Band, sponsored by Exchange Bank & Foppiano Vineyards
Down home voice of a country crooner. Blues, rock and melodic African guitar music topped off with a little cowboy swagger.

August 6: Carne Cruda, sponsored by Reuser, Inc. & Mirassou Wines
World's premier Post-Latin band! Unbridled energy. Blending Surf with Cumbia, Son with Soca, traditional with indie.

August 13: Gator Beat, sponsored by KRCB-FM & the Outlaw 7 Artisan Winery Group
Brand of South Louisiana music, combining traditional Cajun, Zydeco, New Orleans R&B to weave masterpiece of live energy.

August 20: Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, sponsored by Dolph Green, Kristin Kurpinsky/Edward Jones & Mendocino Vineyards
One of the world's most respected practitioners of American roots music, western swing, rockabilly, traditional country.

August 27: The Uptones, sponsored by Ray’s Market & Clos du Bois Winery
One of the most popular bands in the Bay Area. Rolling Stone says: "Sitting down at an Uptones show is like keeping your eyes shut at a movie."

September 3: Earl Thomas & the Blues Ambassadors, sponsored by Furber Development & Cellar 8/Souverain Wines
Four-time San Diego Music Award winner. One of world's most respected blues artists, a latter day Otis Redding brings down the house as our season finale.

* FNL respectfully asks that we help them comply with the conditions of their ABC permit by not bringing outside alcoholic beverages to the concerts and disposing of any alcoholic beverages purchased at the shows before we leave.

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