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Dirty Cello kicks off summer concert series in Rohnert Park

Concerts at SOMO Village

All concerts will be held at SOMO Village Event Center, 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park. Information: somoconcerts.com

Redwood Grove shows:

7 p.m. May 14 — Dirty Cello with Sebastian St. James, $40.

6:30 p.m. May 28 — Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra with Caitlin Jemma, $40.

6:30 p.m. May 29 — David Luning with John Courage, $40.

June 14 — Coffis Brothers with Ismay, $30–$40.

6 p.m. June 29 — Ghosts of Electricity, $40–$50.

July 22 — T Sisters with Wolf Jett, $30–$40.

Aug. 13 — Sam Chase & The Untraditional with King Dream, $30–$40.

(Prices go up by $5 a month before the date and again a week before.)

SOMO Concerts:

June 3 — Stephen Marley with Skip Marley, $41–$66.

June 25 — The Freshtival, presented by by Bay Area Brewers Guild and HenHouse Brewing Co., $25–$74.

July 20 — Dispatch with O.A.R., $49.50.

Rebecca Roudman and her Dirty Cello band have performed at the Oakland Zoo, a California nudist camp and all over Iceland, but never at SOMO Village in Rohnert Park.

“This will be our first time,” Roudman said. “We’ve been wanting to do it. We want to perform in that beautiful redwood grove, and it’s the perfect time. People want to go out now.”

Dirty Cello will open this year’s outdoor concert series May 14 at SOMO (shortened from Sonoma Mountain).

The series runs through mid-August and includes local favorites David Luning, Sam Chase and others.

“For the second year of my SOMO Redwood Grove series I wanted to continue the momentum that sold out each date last year. These dates highlight some of the best local talent that I have enjoyed working with,” said promoter Bryce Dow-Williamson.

The separate SOMO Concerts series will present shows by Stephen and Skip Marley and Dispatch with O.A.R. in June and July.

Dirty Cello began 11 years ago as a duo featuring Roudman and her husband, Jason, a guitarist. Now it has grown to a quintet.

“Sometimes we put together a larger group called the Dirty Orchestra, but right now, it’s a five-piece band,” Roudman said.

The band survived during the COVID-19 pandemic by performing outdoors wherever possible.

“We’re a band that can’t stand still. We really missed performing for people. I read that the animals at the Oakland Zoo missed people. There’s no one else around, so we performed for goats,” Roudman said

“One elephant came close and started moving around, and I thought it was dancing,” she added. “But the zookeeper said, ‘Get back, you’re agitating the elephant.’”

Last summer, Dirty Cello toured Iceland, performing in tiny towns with as few as 40 people.

“We performed at a former herring processing plant in Hjalteyri and brought in 65 people, which was more than the population of the town,” Roudman said.

“At one point, we went far north to the town of Thor’s Harbour,” she added. “It was the only venue for miles around.”

The high point was playing at an American cowboy festival in Fjardarborg, where Icelanders dressed up according to what they thought the real article looked like.

“Some wore cowboy hats, some wore camouflage and some wore both,” Roudman recalled.

As far as the band’s nudist resort performance near Santa Cruz goes: “What was interesting about that was they did wear masks, but nothing else.”

The band has recorded more than half a dozen albums over the years, and found the coronavirus shutdown a good time to make another.

“We have our own recording studio and when we get a chance, we record original music and more. We made a compilation of fan favorites from the ‘60s, like ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Me and Bobby McGee.’ We’ll probably play some of those at the show,” Roudman said.

“We have a great repertoire, and never have a set list, so if someone in the crowd wants to hear how Eric Clapton would have sounded like on the cello, we can do that.”

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.

Dan Taylor

Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat

Do you take fun seriously? I know I do. Tell me what you want to know about arts and entertainment in the North Bay to make the best use of your leisure time and money. As a longtime local arts journalist, I have learned where to look and who to ask.

Concerts at SOMO Village

All concerts will be held at SOMO Village Event Center, 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park. Information: somoconcerts.com

Redwood Grove shows:

7 p.m. May 14 — Dirty Cello with Sebastian St. James, $40.

6:30 p.m. May 28 — Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra with Caitlin Jemma, $40.

6:30 p.m. May 29 — David Luning with John Courage, $40.

June 14 — Coffis Brothers with Ismay, $30–$40.

6 p.m. June 29 — Ghosts of Electricity, $40–$50.

July 22 — T Sisters with Wolf Jett, $30–$40.

Aug. 13 — Sam Chase & The Untraditional with King Dream, $30–$40.

(Prices go up by $5 a month before the date and again a week before.)

SOMO Concerts:

June 3 — Stephen Marley with Skip Marley, $41–$66.

June 25 — The Freshtival, presented by by Bay Area Brewers Guild and HenHouse Brewing Co., $25–$74.

July 20 — Dispatch with O.A.R., $49.50.

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