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In the Mix - Summer Comes to a Close

Aug 28, 2017 08:54AM ● By Paul Cotruvo

Summer Concerts by the Lake, Pleasant Hill City Hall. Photo by

Summer Comes to a Close

Live Music Still Thriving to Ease You Into Fall


In the summertime when the weather is hot/You can stretch right up and touch the sky. – “In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry


So here we are, nearing the end of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. What a summer it’s been. I still can’t find that White Rabbit, but I think I did see a lot of girls with flowers in their hair. Far out! The music scene has been thriving in our neck of the woods, and everyone seems to have had a groovy time. So many different festivals and concert series over the summer have enriched our community. Summer of Love celebrations included Lafayette’s month of music, Pleasant Hill Blues and Brews, Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival, Moraga Concert Series, and many other cities with live and free music on Thursday nights. Who knew Thursday would be the new Friday? One of my favorites this year has been the Downtown Martinez Music and a Movie. Hope they do that again next year. Great concept and family-friendly. We need to keep this summertime thing going as long as possible, so I thought I’d give you some recommendations to put on your calendar and ease you into fall. Kind of an extended Paul’s picks!



The 29th annual Music and Market, held in Todos Santos Plaza on Thursday Nights in downtown Concord, never disappoints. The legendary singer Annie Sampson closes out the series on September 14. An amazing singer who performs anything from gospel to rock. Show begins at 6:30pm.


Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill continues to make your Sundays a little better with their annual Summer by the Lake Concert Series on the lawn in front of City Hall, at the corner of Gregory and Cleaveland. You will always find quality music and a fun atmosphere. The Groove Doctors close out this series on September 3. Dancing on the lawn is required. Show starts at 6pm. Also in Pleasant Hill, the First Thursday Summer Concert Series continues. September 7 features the funky East Bay Mudd. These guys bring it every time. Bring your dancing shoes! Show starts at 6:30pm.



September also has two of my favorite events. On September 16, the 19th annual Delta Blues Festival, held in Waldie Plaza in Antioch, always brings quality blues music. This year will be no exception, with performances by Chris Duarte Group, Terrie Odabi, Lionel Young, Brad Absher & Swamp Royale, featuring Might Mike Schermer (oh yeah), Ron Hacker, and Roharpo the Bluesman. Show begins at noon. And it’s free!



And in Lafayette, on September 22 (my, how time flies), the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival will be held on the weekend of September 16 and 17 (see details on the back page). It’s always one of the best festivals in the entire Bay Area, not only because the wine, beer and food is great, but the music lineup is always stellar! This year will feature many tribute bands such as Foreverland, The Bell Brothers, Zebob, East Bay Mudd, The Sun Kings, and The Big Jangle. For the times and schedule, check out


And, finally, over at the Historic Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette, there will be two great events going on. On September 1, the one and only Will Durst brings his political humor (we need this more than ever), and on September 2, local band Dream Posse will be performing songs from their upcoming CD, plus a bonus special set celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Opening this show will be The Lost Weekend, featuring the amazing Stephanie Rickher. Go to for more information.


Have you filled your calendar yet? Get out there, fly your freak flag, and support local music and venues. I know I have not put my lava lamp, granny glasses, and Nehru jacket away yet. Peace!


Quote of the Month:

Come on people now/Smile on your brother/Everybody get together/Try to love one another/

Right now. Written by Mich Hansen, Jonas Jayberg, Phillip Jackson


Paul’s Picks for September:

September 2: Lavay Smith & the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

September 3: Groove Doctors, Pleasant Hill Summer by the Lake, Gregory & Cleaveland, 6pm

September 7: Dream Posse, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 8pm

September 7: Sin Silver, Rocco’s Pizzeria, 2909 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, 8pm

September 9: Kyle Jester, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St., Martinez, 7pm

September 22:  Garageland Rodeo, Roxx on Main, 627 Main St, Martinez, 7pm

September 24: The Sunday Paper, Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez, 4pm