For lovers of music and iconic Sonoma County moments, there was no better place to be Thursday night than the heart of Monte Rio.

A stone’s throw from the storied encampment at the Bohemian Grove, a coterie of world-class musicians and comics staged a rocking, dazzling show in the river town’s redwood-ringed natural amphitheater.

Most of the performers in the 106th anniversary Monte Rio Variety Show came from the Bohemian Club of San Francisco’s redwood camp, where the exclusive, men-only summer retreat concludes this weekend.

The Monte Rio show, a benefit for several community organizations, drew a cheering, dancing, happily howling crowd of nearly 2,000 people.

They showered delight and approval on country star Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn and his performance of “Rock My World.” Accompanying him, brilliantly, was a dream band that included Ray Benson of the nine-time Grammy winning “Asleep at the Wheel,” violin magic-maker Carlos Reyes and guitarists Tim Nichols, co-writer of the Tim McGraw hit “Live Like You Were Dying” and Jeff Silbar, co-writer of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The lighting and sound were impeccable, the weather was perfect and the fans seated on bring-your-own beach chairs found plenty to eat and to drink, and to marvel at.

Proceeds from the ticket sales and concessions will go to the Monte Rio Fire Services Foundation, St. Catherine of Siena Church and the Monte Rio School Foundation.

Family fundraiser

To make a donation to Ralph's family, visit the Family Fund.