Great news! The music is back!
by BJ Kinkead Blanchard
There are uniquely Glen Ellen sounds: The five o’clock whistle from the Sonoma Developmental Center; the firehouse siren at midnight on New Year’s Eve; and the comforting sounds of our rushing creeks.
Another cherished sound is the melodious tunes which rise from the Jack London Saloon in the evenings. On summer nights, the music drifts up, floats in on the warm breeze through open windows — sometimes with the whoops and sing-a-longs of a happy crowd — and faithfully halts exactly at 10 p.m.
After our long COVID winters, the tunes have returned to the saloon. Glen Ellen’s music impresario Pat Carlin announced that Thursday Night Tunes on the Jack London Lodge Creekside Patio is returning on Thursday evenings, 5:30-7:30 p.m. (for now!). Canceled if raining (if only!). Order your food and drinks at the bar (tip big!). Dig in to your London burger or truffle mac-and-cheese while enjoying local musical groups on the pretty patio by the creek.
There was a “soft opening” on April 7, when local talent Dan Martin played reggae and ska tunes (“ska”, we’re told, is early reggae). Dan “lightens the spirit with his old-school rocksteady rhythms, while maintaining a unique contemporary sound.” Glen Ellen’s own Jon S. Williams performed on April 14.
Coming up on April 21 is Solid Air. A Penngrove duo, Allegra Broughton (vocals, guitar) and Sam Page (vocals, bass, baritone, slide guitar) have been performing around Sonoma County for more than 30 years at fairs and festivals and produced several albums.
Broughton has a strong and plaintive voice — a bit Bonnie Raitt, a bit Wynonna Judd — that can tug at the tear ducts. Their style is based in the progressive, optimistic, good-humored roots music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, for those of us who remember.
The following Thursday, April 28, features Frankie Bourne. Frankie is a California native described as “a prolific singer songwriter and indie darling. A classic rock and California soul artist, his indie music blends with the rootsy tunes of Americana … to produce an alternative sound that is authentic as it is familiar”.
What’s coming up this summer? Possibly show tunes? A string quartet? Opera?
Around here, we support local.
With a history of musical legends like Norton Buffalo and Tommy Thomsen, Glen Ellen has a melodic reputation to uphold. You’ll be on your feet after a margarita or two, dancing with people you’ve never met.
There will be some new faces behind the bar and delivering your garlic fries and mozzarella sticks, so tip well and tell your waitperson or bartender you love them.