Party at the Ranch
BARN DANCE The Ranch at Lake Sonoma hosts a monthly Sunday music series, which began on April 28. Craft beer and sunset views available. (Photo by Christian Kallen)

Summer afternoons are filled with live music most days of the week in Wine Country, and judging by the release of scheduled artists from local cities and venues, summer is already well underway. But one popular local venue for weekly music in town is closing at the end of the month—and its future is anything but clear.

Hudson Street Wineries has announced its “Last Dance” series, the final month of Friday band performances which began in 2018. Held in the historic barrel room of the Old Roma Station at the corner of Hudson and Front streets, the so-called “senior rave” brought out the locals from 5-8pm starting in 2018. But as of the end of May, the lease is up and the music will be silenced.

“The barrel room where we hold our events was the original French-American Wine Company winery, one of the first wineries built in Healdsburg in the late 1800s by Georges de Latour, of Beaulieu Vineyard fame,” said Tim Shippey, owner of one of the four current Hudson Street Wineries labels. Shippey Wines, and another partner Owl Ridge, are both ceasing operations with the end of their leases, unaffordable under new ownership.

The barrel room will continue on its usual Sundays this coming month, with local bands and neighborhood customers until the May 31 finale. Scheduled then are the bands Adults in the Room and the Hudson Street All-Stars, gathered to say goodbye.

Summer Sunday at the Ranch

Summer unofficially began last Sunday up at the Ranch at Lake Sonoma, when violinist-rocker Michelle Lambert took the stage with a five-piece band and filled the dance floor with high-stepping hoofers. Healdsburg locals seem to enjoy the Ranch despite the 14-mile drive, and familiar faces that may even skip the Plaza’s regular Tuesday night music revel are seen here.

The Barn is open for business with local wine and craft beer from 11am to 5pm from Thursday through Monday, but live music is invariably loud and happening on the last Sunday of the month, starting at about 5:30pm. Coming up are Sol Fuse (May 26), Volker Strifler Band (June 30), BoonFire (July 28) SoloRio (Aug. 25) and Flowstone (Sept. 29). The Wurst is usually the food vendor.

Well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome; some tables and chairs are available. There is no cover. More information at

Healdsburg Tuesday

Birthday dancer
TUESDAY It’s always someone’s birthday at Tuesday in the Plaza, Healdsburg’s regular weekly live music concert and dance party.

Healdsburg’s Tuesday in the Plaza series will begin on May 28 and continue through the summer months until Aug. 27. Generally the City of Healdsburg is the last city in the area to publish its summer music series, holding off on partial announcements until the full slate is booked.

Though the quality of live music in the Plaza is consistently high, with the occasional nationally-known headliner, the city’s budget for this year’s series is a bit constrained due to a less-than-expected award from the Chamber of Commerce. In previous years $15,000 has gone toward the series; this year that number has been cut to $5,000 due to the Chamber’s shifting priorities toward “heads in beds” for tourism-centric events.

“Performer bookings are still a work in progress, but we may need to look at reducing performer expenses to offset some of the grant funding reduction,” said Community Services director Mark Themig. “The show will go on, it just might be a bit different than years past.”

Windsor Thursday

From blues warrior Coco Montoya on May 30 to Beatles tribute band Hey Jude on Aug. 29, Windsor’s Summer Nights on the Green series plays to almost every musical taste once this summer. The 22nd annual program, held Thursdays on the Windsor Town Green, partners with the Farmers’ Market at 5pm, which offers farm-fresh produce and food vendors until 8pm, with music beginning at 6pm.

In Windsor, tribute bands dominate the lineup. Five of them fill the 13-show summer including Kalimba on June 13 (Earth Wind & Fire), the Purple Ones on June 20 (Prince), the Parrotheads (Jimmy Buffett) on July 17, Sacred Fire (Santana) on Aug. 15 and Hey Jude on Aug. 29. Throw in a Latin Rock show and several Louisiana bands and there’s hardly any room left for Americana. The complete list can be found at

Cloverdale Friday

Cloverdale Friday Night LIve
CROWD SURFING Attendees watch the Coffis Brothers in Cloverdale one Friday last summer.

Friday night the party moves to Cloverdale, perhaps the region’s most robust community music program, Friday Night Live at the Plaza. It is tied to a street fair with handcrafts as well as foods and produce, which starts at 6pm and closes off Cloverdale Boulevard between First and West Second streets.

The music, which starts at 7:30pm, is held in a smallish plaza that spreads wide rather than deep, so get there early for the best choice of seating. Two bands are sometimes featured, so read the fine print on the posters. The Friday Night Live series kicks off with local Americana wonder boy David Luning and band on May 24, and from there the bands play genre roulette until Aug. 30, with no full-on tribute bands in sight.

It’s coordinated by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance, and the place to go for more information is

Santa Rosa Sunday

Sunday’s Live at Juilliard Park music series will begin in a couple months, and the City of Santa Rosa has just announced the talent, starting with John Courage on July 14 and continuing weekly until Aug. 18 with The Pulsators. 

The roomy historic downtown park, between South A Street and Mendocino Avenue just south of the mall, is a perfect place for an end-of-weekend picnic. Although food trucks are usually on hand, the location is a perfect picnic place for the whole family. Music from 5-7pm, details at  

SUNSET A summer Friday Night Live at the Cloverdale Plaza comes to an end at sundown.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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