July is coming on strong, get ready for hot days and hot bands at the plaza on Friday nights as Friday Night Live rolls on. July 5, the Carolyn Sills Combo bring their take on the Americana sound with what the band calls “spaghetti western swing,” and with a moniker like that, you know it’s got to be good. And it is — rollicking beats, tight, expressive vocals and two gunslingers on lead guitar and lap steel guitar. It’s fun and infectious.
On July 12, it’s The Turbans. Technically from England, they like to say they “bind together music from manywhere,” and that does just about perfectly describe their eclectic world music sound. Band members originally hail from places like Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Greece and England, and that cultural diversity really comes out in their polyrhythmic, harmonically rich sonic tapestry. All that and dance beats too. It’s sure to be a mind-bending evening.
On July 19, tune in to Radio Free Honduras. From Chicago by way of Honduras, this group features the songs of Charlie Baran, who once hit the Billboard No. 1 Top Latin Songs while still residing in his native country. Now living in the U.S., he has been joined by some top talent from the Chicago scene, long a source for great music and musicians. Romping Latin rhythms and soaring melodies combine to form a joyful noise that will have you moving and swaying and singing along.
Come July 26, don’t forget Remember Jones. Imagine a tight-beyond-belief show band reminiscent of any of the great backing bands of Motown, or Tower of Power at their best, fronted by a silky-smooth soul crooner who can also belt out the fire and furious blues. Actually, don’t imagine it — go see Remember Jones at the Plaza. It’s a good thing the stage area is largely concrete, because these guys will burn it down for sure.
Friday Night Live is produced by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, and is an example of the excellent work they do to support the Arts in Cloverdale. Visit cloverdaleartsalliance.org.
Friday isn’t the only night for live music here in Cloverdale. Saturday Nights are alright at Cloverdale Ale Co., hone of world-class local brew and fine local musicians. July 11, it’s Jazz Thursday with Big Blue House, serving up their monthly smorgasbord of swingin’ jazz, jazzy funk and groovin’ blues, and even some Jimi Hendrix. Yes, Jimi Hendrix. Check it out. 6 p.m. start.
On July 13, it’s bluesy-country rock from Crow’s Landing. Classic covers from a wide range of genres and heartfelt originals, delivered from two different lead vocalists who also harmonize beautifully together, and they even have some songs about life in Cloverdale. Check out their sly humorous take on the town. It’s a 6:30 p.m. start.
July 26, cool down with the Haute Flash Quartet, four fabulous females with flying fingers and velvet voices. Specializing in an alluring blend of classic American swing and that mysterious genre known as “gypsy jazz,” their free-wheeling spirit and high level of musicianship is a true treat. Gorgeous vocal harmonies a la the Andrews Sisters backed by Django-style cabaret jazz. Close your eyes and be transported. There’s a 6:30 p.m. start.
Support Live Music in Cloverdale! Remember, they call it playing music, but it ain’t nothin’ but hard work, years of it, and having an appreciative, supportive audience is what makes it all worth it.
Paul Schneider lives and writes and plays music in Cloverdale and other Sonoma County venues. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.