Lake County Music Guide – 3.21.23

Yesterday (Monday) at 5:24 PM ET, the Sun’s rays shined directly onto the Equator – no more to the north than to the south – as it announced the first day of Spring. As I walked around my yard, I noticed my Lavender plants are blooming, small wildflowers are making their presence known, and my plum tree is already dropping petals all over the place. Spring has certainly sprung! I love this time of year. Last night, when I got home from my gig at the Blue Wing Saloon, I began watching a series called Friday Night Lights on Netflix. But I barely got past the intro, where I was captivated by the instrumental theme music. It was a simple 50 seconds of pure and innocent wonderment. I kept listening to it over and over. I looked it up, and it was written and performed by a musician named W.G. Snuffy Walden, doing his take on a soundtrack from the original movie by a band called Explosions in the Sky. I only wished it would play longer. Here’s the live music schedule for the week of 3/21 through 3/27…

Lake County Music Guide – 3.14.23

It’s got to be some sort of phenomenon! Walmart, all the LC Boutiques and thrift stores are reporting that all their green clothing items have completely sold out. One would think something like St. Patrick’s Day is somewhere on the horizon!… Shiver me timbers! Okay, Friday really is St. Patrick’s Day, and there’ll be more St. Patrick’s Day music-related events in both the LC and MC than you can find petals on a dozen Shamrocks. Ar fheabhas!!! Just so nobody misses out I’m gonna list them all, (well, at least all I’m aware of…). Here’s the live music guide for the week of 3/14 through 3/20.

Buy Mike and Danny a Beer: Busking for Brewskis at Kelsey Creek Brewing

Tuesday afternoon in Kelseyville, August. Mike Guarniero and Danny Prather perch on barstools next to the front window, half-full beer glasses on the floor next to them. Danny’s taken the lead on a Neil Young tune he’s finishing, and odds are they’ll switch it around on the next song. Between the two of them, they could play all day and never repeat a tune. Danny gives a hearty strum on his guitar as the song ends, then grins as he leans over and takes a sip of his beer. Caroline Chavez, co-owner of Kelsey Creek, sees his glass empty and quickly brings over two full ones. “Now everybody,” she says, walking the smooth walk of a skilled bartender, “You all need to pitch in. I’m the only one buying them beer right now.” Mike and Danny happily grab their full brewskis, sip off the foam, and start a new song.

Lake County Music Guide – 3.9.23

I’m about to pop the top off a bottle of Kelsey Creek Brewing’s “Lemmy” and I gonna savor the flavor while putting together this week’s live music schedule. Ahh, yeah! Just so you know, this is 22 ounces of mind-blowing, ass kickin’ brew from one of our favorite LC breweries. And being as it’s a stout, it pretty much covers all the important food groups. But enough on that, (or is there ever enough?). Hey live music peeps, got some good news for ya. I dropped in last week at the new Hot Cow Bar and Grill, (formerly The Spot in Clearlake), for a meal, a brew and an introduction to the manager. They’re gonna have live music here again, WOOHOO! But because of the weather it’s gonna be done in baby steps – starting this weekend indoors with Karaoke, but the following weekend a band is scheduled to be rocking the joint! More on that later. The menu is the usual burger and sandwich fare with occasional specials, (sorry Mojo, no deep-fried soup…) and, of course, a full bar. As a Clearlakian I’m stoked! Much more to come… Here’s the live music schedule for the week of 3/9 through 3/13.

Lake County Music Guide – 2.28.23

Do we have to worry? No folks, there were no floods, famine, plagues, locusts, pestilence, boils, or even dogs and cats living together. It was just snow, and for most of us, it’s pretty much melted. I know the power outages are an inconvenience – mine was out for 30 hours and I did what Leslie Ann Warren did in the Mel Brooks’ movie, “Life Stinks” – I wore many layers of clothes to keep warm, (a brilliant scene, BTW. I’ll never look at homeless women the same way…). Some others don’t expect their power to be back on until March 3 or 4, but it’s still not the end of times, especially when it comes to live music here in The LC. Just got some good news about the future of The Spot in Clearlake – it’s now called The Hot Cow Bar and Grill, it’s now open and rumors have it that they plan on keeping it a live music venue. Woohoo! But more on that next week. Here’s the live music schedule for the week of 2/28 through 3/6…

Lake County Music Guide – 12.20.22

The good news: it’s gonna be a pretty busy week in terms of holidays and observances, where Hannukkah started two days ago on Sunday, Winter Solstice happens on Wednesday, Christmas is on Sunday and the doubleheader of Kwanzaa and Boxing Day occurs on Monday. The bad news: because Christmas eve is on Saturday and Christmas Day is on Sunday, many places will be closed for these observances. But despite those days being sans live music, there’s at least one joint each day from Tuesday through Saturday to go out and get your live music fix. WOOHOO!!! Here’s the schedule, plus an updated NYE rundown for the week of 12/20 through 12/26.

Lake County Music Guide – 12.13.22

“Eenie weenie chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak!” Anybody out there remember where this famous quote came from? Here’s a hint… Boris Badenov referred to this dynamic duo as “Moose ‘n’ Squirrel.” Okay, times up! It’s a line from the Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, which aired from 1959 through 1964. Like most kids, I would watch cartoons, but this was pretty much the only one I really liked because it was silly in a Three Stooges sort of way – full of puns, sarcasm, self-referential dialog, and other socially unacceptable wordplays, especially so for impressionable children like I was. I would watch the show with friends, laughing hysterically – but they didn’t really get it. I could relate to the patience and empathy of Rocket J Squirrel, marveled at the perseverance of Bullwinkle J Moose, who never stopped trying despite his constant failures, and sneered at the comic depiction of Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale, and Fearless Leader. This, to me, was cartooning at its comic best. Okay, maybe I’m entering into my second childhood, but I hope you don’t mind me including references to the show throughout this music schedule. Here’s the live music guide for the week of 12/13 through 12/19…

Lake County Music Guide – 5.12.22

This week’s activities should run the gamut between Shredding and a Car Show, with lots of live music events scrunched up in between. With Friday, Saturday and Sunday predicting good weather, the outdoor events are stacking up, while the indoor ones are gonna be just as busy. Enough prattle – here’s the live music schedule for the week of May 12th through May 16th…

Some Great News: The First Sunday Jam is Back!

Technically, the First Sunday Jam is an open mic, but don’t for a second think it’s the kind with poorly played guitar riffs sung by tone-deaf singers. Nope. This jam is made for musicians. John wanted a chance to play more with his friends, so he decided to schedule it on Sunday, the one day of the week that hardly ever has music scheduled. And every musician in the county knows about it. In one night, the ever-changing band will play classic rock, blues, jazz, a bit of reggae, fusion, and original tunes. It’s like visiting every musical event in Lake County at once.

Jammin’ at Konocti Vista Casino

The sun’s setting behind the casino, leaving imprints of red and orange on Hogback Ridge across the lake. Kids swim in the pool, laughing and splashing each other. People spread across the grass, swaying to the music while on the stage, the Higher Logic Project, Lake County’s local reggae band, has just finished their set. Now it’s time for reggae legend Pato Banton. “We’re going to chill the vibe for a bit here. Antoinette ‘Roots Dawtah’ Hall kicks in on the keyboards. Sing with me,” Pato begins. “Life, oh life. Life is a miracle.” He stops for a second and holds the mic out to the audience. “Now you know the lyrics. It’s your turn.”

There’s A New Band in Town: Breaker One-9

The sun’s still above Cobb, but it’s steadily easing behind it, stretching the light into the four-car garage, where, tucked in a corner and surrounded by sound-dampening cloth, Breaker One-9 finishes up a song. A few thumps and bass notes fiddle around, then quiet as the band takes a break from practicing their first set. In an empty bay of the garage, papers, a tablet, and Diet Coke spread across the pool table. Mike Mendenhall sits at its edge in a foldup chair, his knees pressed against the table.

Lake County’s Musical Ambassador: Meet Mike Guarniero

While you may not know musician Mike Guarniero personally, odds are you’ve seen him play. For years he has been involved in the Lake County music scene and played with over twenty different bands. You might have heard him play with his band, Dr. Groove, which regularly has performed in the county. Or you might have caught his Lake County Music Guide, which posts on Facebook and in The Bloom (when there is live music).
Sitting in the courtyard of Pogo’s Pizza in Kelseyville earlier this week with Mike felt as if we were seated with a long-time friend we haven’t seen in a while. You might feel the same if you are a music lover in Lake County; Mike’s friendly personality makes conversation easy.


It’s nine in the evening at Robinson Rancheria. The Kentucky Jugglers have finished warming up and kick into their first song, “Keep on Rockin’ me, Baby.” On the left of the stage, Danny Hogan, a black cowboy hat on his head and cowboy boots on his feet, plucks away at his bass. It’s been a while since he’s played; over a year ago, he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. But now he’s back, and stands tall, thumping away to the beat. Tonight is special, and not just for Danny. Once the band found out about Danny’s illness, instead of replacing him, they decided to stop their gigs and wait until he got better. Tonight, they are playing together for the first time in over a year.

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