Skip to main content

Our Community Focus

In the Mix Honoring Steve Sage

Apr 03, 2017 02:49PM ● By Paul Cotruvo

Paul Cotruvo

“April come she will/When streams are ripe and swelled with rain.” ~ Paul Simon


Spring season is upon us, folks. It is a time of rebirth and revival, full of new possibilities. What better way to welcome in spring than with songs that capture this feeling of new beginnings.


Music is the one thing that can always draw me back to childhood days or capture the mood I am in at any given moment. Not to sound too preachy, but there is something spiritual about the power of songs. My friend Mark Stanley wrote a beautiful song years ago called, “When Spring is Here.” It’s about walking home from school on a nice spring afternoon and falling in love. Every time I hear this song, I am drawn back to middle school days in Lafayette, remembering the innocence of young love. Other songs that put me in a great mood are “Groovin’” by The Rascals, “What is Hip” by Tower of Power, and just about any Beatles song. They will always lift me up and make the day just a little bit better. Whatever the song, music can transport us to a moment in time. The relationship between music and memory is powerful.


It made me think of other songs that capture a feeling or are just fun springtime songs. (I feel a list coming on.)

1)    “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles. After a winter filled with cold and rainy weather, this song is all about a brighter day.

2)    “Centerfield,” John Fogerty. Nothing brings baseball back more than putting on this song. “Put me in Coach; I’m ready to play!”

3)    “Spring Breakdown,” Luke Bryan. Reminiscing about the good times of spring break.

4)    “April Come She Will,” Simon & Garfunkel. Beautiful song about the changing seasons.

5)    “I Can See Clearly Now,” Johnny Nash. One of the most uplifting songs of all time.

6)    “Waking Light,” Beck. A beautiful song about new beginnings. “When the morning comes to meet you/Open your eyes with waking light.”

7)    “A Father’s First Spring,” The Avett Brothers. Amazing song of how the birth of a baby changes your life. “I never lived 'til I lived in your light/ And my heart never beat like it does at the sight/ Of you baby blue.”

8)    “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring,” The Beach Boys. Harmonies, Harmonies, Harmonies!

9)    “A Beginning Song,” The Decemberists. Song about hope and love.

10) “April in Paris,” Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. One word -classic.


A playlist of these songs would be the perfect soundtrack to start your day. Let me know what you think.


Spring also means it’s the start of another great music scene in our area. So many cities now have beer and wine festivals, music in the park, outdoor music on restaurant patios; there’s music everywhere. So get out there and support all the local musicians and events.


As I was finishing up this article, I heard the news of the passing of Chuck Berry. If it weren’t for Chuck, there would be no rock and roll. Period. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were influenced by his music. I think every guitar player’s first songs were Chuck Berry’s: “Johnny B. Goode,” “Back in the USA,” “Roll over Beethoven,” “School Days,” “Maybellene,” and so many others. He was one of the first musicians inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I think Bruce Springsteen put it best in his tweet: “Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived. This is a tremendous loss of a giant for the ages.” Hail Hail, Rock and Roll!


Quote of the Month: “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party’”

~ Robin Williams


Paul’s Picks for April:


April 1:  Jim Caroompas, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St. Martinez, 7pm

April 7: The Hot Licks, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

April 8: Sin Silver, Rocco’s, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, 8pm

April 8: Lumberyard, WiseGirl, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9pm

April 13: The Lost Weekend, Rocco’s, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, 8pm

April 15: The New Frantics, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St., Martinez, 7pm                                     

April 21: Wonder Bread 5, Dan’s Bar, 1524 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, 10pm

April 28: The Big Jangle, WiseGirl, 1932 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, 9pm

April 30: The Sunday Paper, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm