Dogsled Race Inspires Local Composer’s Song Cycle

Mar 16, 2016

Inspiration is where you find it. For Robin Eschner, most recently, it was in the deep snow and cross-cultural history of far northern Minnesota.

  Eschner's extended song cycle isn't just written for a multitude of singers; the music also represents a host of voices from pre-history to the present.

A New Home for Funky Fridays

Mar 10, 2016
Sonoma County Regional Parks

  Funky Fridays, a popular series of fundraising concerts in the Sonoma Valley has found a new home for the coming summer season, and it seems that everyone involved couldn’t be happier.

Hear more about the history and interior details of the Hood Mansion in this North Bay Report from October, 2006

  The upcoming fourth season of Funky Friday concerts will feature these performers.

May 27

When and where to see and hear great LOCAL music in the North Bay!

A Musical View from Inside San Quentin

Dec 26, 2015
Audrey Auld

Every inmate inside San Quentin prison has at least one story to tell. Some of them were melded into music by the late Audrey Auld. The North Bay singer-songwriter talks about that process on today’s archival North Bay Report from last June.

Mixed in with the regrets, longing, anger and remorse shared by the inmates in her writing sessions, Auld also found the ingredients for a love song of sorts—one that she says is the essence of mixed emotions.

Dr. Elmo's Holiday Hit Endures

Dec 23, 2015

  With Christmas almost here, we revisit the man behind one of silliest songs of the season. From the North Bay Report archives, here’s our 2004 interview with Dr. Elmo Shropshire.

John Trudell, 1946-2015

Dec 10, 2015

John Trudell, who died Tuesday, was a poet, a soldier, a musician, and an outspoken activist for Native American issues. He spoke with KRCB during a North Bay visit several years ago, and today we revisit that archival North Bay Report.

Eloquent, impassioned and powerful, Trudell's words were his greatest strength, even in his music vidoes. See two examples below.

An Introduction to the Theremin

Sep 9, 2015

  The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s annual fall Chataqua revue features an eclectic array of local performers. This year, they include local actor, writer and mime Eliot Fintushul playing an unusual electronic instrument called a Theremin. He explains and demonstrates how it works in this archival North Bay Report from 2007.

Tickets for the current OAEC Chataqua performances can be purchased here, as long as any remain available.

Musical Play Memorializes Labor Icon

Jun 10, 2015

  Long-ago labor organizer Joe Hill used music to make his point. Now his music is central to a biographical play about Hill's life, which returns to Sonoma County this weekend, with singer-songwriter John McCutcheon in the title role.

  In his biography of Joe Hill, The Man Who Never Died, author William Adler theorizes that Hill foresaw that his death might help to spread his pro-labor message, and ensure his legacy. It's an interesting speculation, says McCutcheon.

During our KRCB-FM Radio 91 "Spring FUNds Drive" - we have some of the hardest tickets to get: 3-day passes to Bottle Rock Napa Valley 2015! These 3-day general admission passes are SOLD OUT! But - we have 2 pairs! These hard-to-get tickets could be yours - with your donation of $600.00 per pair. 

For the week of February 17, 2015:

Robert Earl Keen: Happy Prisoner - The Bluegrass Sessions is an album unlike any other in his storied catalog. Inspired by the bluegrass and acoustic music he grew up around, Keen has put his unique stamp on fifteen standards and other beloved tunes (twenty on the deluxe edition) by Flatt & Scruggs, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, even Richard Thompson. Special guests include Lyle Lovett and Natalie Maines on vocals, Nickel Creek's Sara Watkins on fiddle, and Danny Barnes on banjo.

Russian River Inspires Unconventional "Opera"

Dec 25, 2014

  The Russian River is the setting, the subject, and even a part of the soundtrack for an unusual “opera,” that is premiering this weekend outside of Healdsburg. Fittingly, it’s called “Stages of the Russian River.”

 You can get a feel of the flavor of the Stages of the Russian River opera from  the rehearsal video clip below.

1960s Theme Powers Hall of Flowers Designs

Jul 21, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  The Hall of Flowers is always a powerful attraction at the Sonoma County Fair. This year, they’re going all… er, far out with brilliant and elaborate illustration of their 1960s theme—Flower Power.

In addition to the expansive murals that frame either end of the Hall of Flowers, which are redrawn every year, designer Greg Duncan says he also tries to create a new layout of the exhibits on the floor each time.


Charting California's Place in Country Music

May 13, 2014

 California’s large and influential role in the history of country music was widely overlooked or discounted, until a local writer with roots in the Central Valley took pains to fully tell that story.

California’s influence on country music added a chapter in the 1960s, as bands like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen and Asleep at the Wheel, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles found ways to meld country and rock.  But in Gerald Haslam’s analysis, there were other stylistic threads emerging as well.

Public Schools Week Is Back

May 8, 2014

  Public Schools Week, a public display of local student’s projects and activities, gets underway tomorrow. Today, we get a preview.

The kick-off for Public Schools Week will be held from 4-5:30 Fridayt afternoon at Coddingtown Mall. See below for a full schedule of events—which continue through next Tuesday.

Friday, May 9 

A Life of Rhythm

Feb 18, 2014

From pounding out a rhythm on kitchen implements as a child, to traveling the world with a hand drum and an open heart, Marin County resident Barbara Borden has lived life to the pulse of her own beat. It’s a journey traced in the new documentary film, Keeper of the Beat.

As a high school and later, college student, Barbara Borden began to realize her fixation on drumming was unusual for her gender, but even then, Borden says, she was too deeply into her craft to be dissuaded.

Every year, more than 2,000 acts swarm to SXSW — and every year, NPR Music painstakingly handpicks 100 of the music festival's best discoveries for a downloadable six-hour sampler called "The Austin 100," and it's virtually guaranteed to contain something you'll love that you didn't know existed.

The Race to Save the Record Plant

Nov 11, 2013

  From 1972 into the new century, The Record Plant in Sausalito saw dozens of memorable songs and albums created in its studios. Today, a last-minute fund-raising effort is underway to preserve the space for further music-making.

'Sunshine Daydream' Sees the Light of Day

Jul 31, 2013

  It’s Grateful Dead night at the movies all across America on Aug. 1, as a 41 year old concert film produced by a Santa Rosa man finally makes it to the big screen.

There are North Bay screening sites in San Rafael, Mill Valley and Napa. None in Sonoma County. See a complete nationwide list here.

Roy Zimmerman’s Wake Up Call

Jul 18, 2013

There is serious intent and a compositional pedigree behind the musical political satire of Roy Zimmerman. Bruce Robinson helps peel back the process behind his topical comedy.

Roy Zimmerman performs Friday night, July 19 at 8 pm at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa.  The videos below offer a preview.

Cotati Celebrates 50 Years as a City

Jul 11, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

A few months after Rohnert Park observed its 50th anniversary, the City of Cotati is about to do the same. But the smaller city actually has a much longer and more intriguing history.

  It’s no accident that people have lived in what is now Cotati for centuries, says Pru Draper, the city’s unofficial historian. It’s well positioned for human habitation, then and now.

Solas / Terry Allen

May 18, 2013

Combining music with conversation on E-Town
Mondays at 7 pm
May 20 – Solas / Terry Allen

The Irish music sounds of Solas (pic), who burst on the music scene some 15 years ago, joins legendary songwriter Terry Allen on our stage this week. Allen makes his first stop in E-town in two decades.

Grace Slick's New Medium

May 15, 2013
Joel Lipton

For much of her life, the White Rabbit has been an iconic image for Grace Slick. Once the central metaphor for her huge hit with the Jefferson Airplane, the rabbit now serves as a signature element in her prolific paintings.

Darrell Scott / Leftover Salmon

May 11, 2013

Combining music with conversation on E-Town
Mondays at 7 pm
May 13 – Darrell Scott / Leftover Salmon


Master songwriter Darrell Scott has earned the respect of peers and music critics all over the world. He joins us today, along with Leftover Salmon, a band who for more than 20 years has continued to provide a high-energy “festival experience” for their fans.

Flashback Shakes Things Up

May 5, 2013

Flashback Shakes Things Up
Tuesday, May 7 at 7 PM


In a decidedly oblique tribute to James Bond, the musical selections featured on this month’s Flashback program will be shakin’, not stirred. Participants will include the likes of The Paul Butterfield Band, The Beatles, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Canned Heat, The Jeff Beck Group and the Blues Project. It’s a whole lotta music you won’t want to miss.

Brett Dennen / Razia Said

May 4, 2013

Combining music with conversation on E-Town
Mondays at 7 pm
May 6 – Brett Dennen / Razia Said


Well known for his great lyrics and unwavering dedication to environmental and social activism, Brett Dennen performs with his full band this week. Also joining us is Razia Said (pic), who hails from Madagascar. Razia dedicates her musical career to raising awareness of the critical impact of slash and burn agriculture and climate change in her native country.

World-class artists on E-Town in April

Apr 27, 2013

World-class artists on E-Town in April
Mondays at 7 pm

April 29 – Martin Sexton / The Milk Carton Kids
   Long-time guest and friend Martin Sexton regales us with songs and stories that span his career. Then up-and-coming folk duo The Milk Carton Kids (pic) demonstrate why they receive a warm welcome wherever they perform.

World-class artists on E-Town in April

Apr 20, 2013

World-class artists on E-Town in April
Mondays at 7 pm

April 22 – CAKE / Danny Barnes / Eliza Gilkyson, Celebrate Elwha, Pt. 2
   Part 2 of a multi-day event commemorating the nation’s largest dam removal project.

Outbeat in April

Apr 19, 2013

Outbeat in April
Sundays at 8 PM

April 21 – Outbeat Collage
   Host Mikala Kennan welcomes performing artist and educator Chris Fritzsche. Internationally known as a counter-tenor vocalist, Chris is a frequent soloist with Bay Area vocal and instrumental ensembles. He is a former member of the vocal group Chanticleer and has sung concerts in some of the world’s most renowned venues. He currently serves as Music Director for the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa.

Outbeat in April

Apr 12, 2013

Outbeat in April
Sundays at 8 PM
April 14 – Outbeat Music

In conjunction with an upcoming benefit concert, Host Mikala Kennan features music and conversation with local, award-winning, singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine (pic). Join us for an intimate look at the man and the musician behind this talented performer.

The Covers Story

Apr 9, 2013

A 12-inch square offers artists a flexible frame for all kinds of artistry, so it’s little wonder that many record album covers have become such memorable images. A new documentary examines the stories behind some of those covers, and KRCB’s Bruce Robinson talked with the film-maker.

The Cover Story is being shown twice this week at the Sonoma International Film Festival, at 10:30 am on Thursday, April 11 (at Murphy's Pub) and at 9 pm on Saturday, April 13 (at the Vintage House).