The Sound of Wine Land: The JaMCellars Stage was the largest at BottleRock 2016, yet it wasn’t big enough to contain all of Michael Franti’s energy when the singer decided to play a number of songs barefoot amongst the crowd and inviting fans to dance alongside him.
The Oakland-born musician is a free spirit blowing wherever the wind takes him once he hits a stage. His carefree attitude is present both in his live performances and the beautiful lyrics he sings.
It’s refreshing moments like these which make it hard to predict what Franti will do next while catching him live. But what else would you expect from a musician who spends time between concerts promoting holistic lifestyles and organizing pre-concert yoga meetups in communities while touring?
If you remember Franti’s early projects like the Beatings, a punk band with hip-hop influences formed in the mid-1980s, or his early ’90s hip-hop band the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, bits and pieces from those projects still come across whenever Michael Franti and his band Spearhead perform.
Oftentimes, feel-good tunes like “Say Hey (I Love You),” a song about finding love through hard times and “The Sound of Sunshine,” about keeping your head up when nothing seems to go your way, have you bobbing your head along to a cheerful happy beat before you realize the deeper meaning behind the songs.
Outside of creating music and practicing yoga, Franti and his wife founded the Do It For The Love Foundation in 2013 to grant live concert wishes to people living with life-threatening illnesses, challenges and wounded veterans. Continuing with the singer’s humanitarian work, Franti and his band Spearhead will perform a North Bay Fire Relief benefit concert at Robert Mondavi Winery along special guest Vintage Trouble with all ticket sales directed to the Napa Valley Community Foundation.
Details: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18; Robert Mondavi Winery, 7801 St. Helena Highway, Oakville; $50-$150; robertmondaviwinery.com
Sister Sister Sister: Finding organic chemistry between musicians isn’t easy, well unless you’re born into a band like T Sisters, who have crafted songs since childhood. The band consists of twins Rachel and Close Tietjen and their sister, Erika Tietjen.
From the moment you hear the band, the close-knit family vibe is present as creative sparks fly and they transfix you with their animated musical numbers.
To classify the Oakland trio under the umbrella of Americana or country would be an injustice to the band’s beautiful string arrangements with a hint of blues and folk. Songs with high-powered fiddles and classic country tunes like “Train Wreck” balance with blues-guitar-infused songs such as “Bird Song” to keep you engaged. The different musical genres make it difficult to classify the Oakland-based band into just one category of music.
Over the past few years, you may have caught T Sisters perform at Kate Wolf Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival but luckily, the trio will stop by Petaluma for a more intimate show at the Mystic Theatre.
Details:: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25; Mystic Theatre, 23 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma; $17; mystictheatre.com
Time for a Mule: Jamison’s Roaring Donkey makes mean drinks, including more than 10 different vodka and ginger beer-infused mules at only $8 each. Stopping by for a drink is a treat all its own but what’s better than drinks and a free concert?
BATTLE OF THE BREWS
When: Craft Cup, ‘Wich Hunt sandwich contest, 1-4 p.m. Saturday. March 28; Main Event, 4-8 p.m.; beer taps close 7 p.m.
Where: Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa.
Admission: $40 for the Main Event; $95 for Craft Cup, ‘Wich Hunt and Main Event.