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In the Mix

Oct 31, 2016 10:43AM ● By Paul Cotruvo

Paul Cotruvo

Fall is my favorite time of year. Life seems to slow down a bit and give me time to reflect on the year. And what a year it has been. The music scene is thriving now more than I can ever remember. So many clubs, restaurants, and festivals are featuring all types of music; it seems something is happening every weekend. As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, I just want to say how thankful I am to the club owners, restaurant managers, committee members, Community Focus, and especially the public that goes out and supports the venues and artists. I feel we are all better for it! Especially in these times, music definitely lowers my stress level. How else could we get through the national election? Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan said it best many years ago, “The times they are a changing.”


There are a couple events coming up that will not only help with the election overload but also make you feel good by giving back. On November 12, the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek hosts “ROCK STARS & STRIPES: The American Rock Experience,” a show that takes audiences on a rock ‘n roll road trip across America, with a celebration of the greatest American rock music of all time. Local musician David Victor, formerly lead singer/guitarist of the band Boston, has put together an amazing show that honors the heroes who serve our community. As a matter of fact, a “Local Hero” will be honored, as voted on by the people. If you know anyone you would like to nominate, you can go online and vote at the following address: The show benefits “Pets for Vets” with ARF. Veterans returning from combat often struggle with PTSD or emotional trauma as they transition back to civilian life. ARF's Pets for Vets program matches carefully selected shelter dogs with veterans in need of therapeutic healing, saving animal and human lives. The Pets for Vets program provides powerful therapeutic and practical benefits for veterans through the quiet, unconditional love of a pet.


The 8th Annual Holiday Pageant and Toy Drive will be held at Armando’s on December 4, from 3 - 7pm. Local musician Chris Bryant from the band Garageland Rodeo started this event as a way to give back to the community. Bands, musicians, and Armando's all donate their time and energy, and all cover fees go to various charities. Scheduled acts this year include Garageland Rodeo, Jim Caroompas, Dan DeShara, Sin Silver, The Acoustic Jangle, The New Frantics, The Killbillies, Midnight Flyer, and the Muddy Roses. And if it is like past years, there will be other, surprise guest artists. Toys go to several local charities, including: Shelter Inc. (family shelter in Martinez and CC County where they keep families together) and Foster a Dream, which supports foster kids in the area. This year they are also accepting non-perishable food donations for Loaves and Fishes, a local food bank in Martinez. And they also donate items to the Martinez/Pacheco Homeless outreach. As you can tell, this event is a must!


So, get out there and support the local musicians and businesses. You will be glad you did!


Quote of the Month: “It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

― Mother Teresa




Paul’s Picks for November:


November 4: Cover2Cover, Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Dr., Pleasant Hill, 8pm

November 5:  Jim Caroompas Quartet, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St., Martinez, 7pm

November 15: Soulful Security, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

November 19: Midnight Flyer, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St., Martinez, 7pm

November 19: Billy Schaub, Rocco’s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, 8:30pm

November 23: Lumberyard, Back 40, 100 Coggins Dr., Pleasant Hill, 7pm

November 23: Queens & Thieves, WiseGirl, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9pm

November 25: Nancy Wright & the Rhythm and Roots band, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm