By Dennis Strazulo

STEWARDS OF A Historical Gem

There will be no shortage of exceptional live music at Sweetwater Music Hall as 2021 comes to a close and the beat will continue at the nightclub with outstanding acts appearing from the get-go in 2022. 

Multi-talented, Americana singer-songwriter, Jackie Greene will warm up the mid-December calendar with his soulful vocals and bluesy guitar riffs for five sold-out shows during his “residency” at Sweetwater December 16-19. The fun continues on December 22 for the not-to-be-missed seasonal convergence the Christmas Jug Band, made up of San Francisco Bay Area luminaries, including Gregory Leroy Dewey (Mad River, Country Joe & the Fish, Marty Balin’s Bodacious DF), Austin de Lone (Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe), Tim Eschliman (Etta James, Rhythmtown-Jive, Commander Cody), Ken “Snakebite” Jacobs (Kinky Friedman, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Rhythmtown-Jive) and Blake Richardson (Bobby Hebb, Hot House). Born in Mill Valley in 1977 with a debut at the then Old Mill Tavern and featuring the late Dan Hicks, this eclectic group of musicians will wow you with their acoustic folk-skiffle-swing holiday hijinks!

The year will not go out quietly at Sweetwater with The Pimps of Joytime hitting the stage for two funkified nights on December 28 and 29, bringing their soul sound and dance music to Mill Valley just in time for the release of their just announced new album, Reachin’ Up. Two chances to experience the band’s blending New Orleans and Bay Area funk elements with Brooklyn’s DIY music scene…while dancing the year away. The dance party continues December 30 with Hot Buttered Rum, a souped-up string band of five uniquely gifted musicians who weave their love of bluegrass, folk, jazz and soul into a riveting strain of Americana.

 Known also for their riveting appearances at music festivals around the country, where they have found their way into the hearts, minds and bodies of fans nationwide, experiencing the band within Sweetwater’s intimate environment is sure to be a treat as they warm up the stage for a New Year’s Eve celebration with local favorites, Monophonics. Fresh off their multi-city national tour, the psychedelic soul stalwarts are home for the new year where they will lead their homies into 2022 with their trademark sound and a healthy dose of new and warm textures that will saturate Sweetwater’s speakers.

The elevated quality of music at Sweetwater will carry over into 2022 when one of America’s finest instrumental guitarists, Johnny A, makes a very special appearance on January 9. The Grammy Nominated, Boston Music Hall of Fame Inductee will perform  in a completely “solo” intimate atmosphere at the cozy venue. Guitar aficionados will surely be delighted by the show which is being dubbed as a “living room experience” and will demonstrate why both Gibson and Epiphone guitars have honored this brilliant artist with three signature model guitars designed to his specifications.  The ultimate strumming experience continues at Sweetwater just a few days later on January 12 when Andy McKee, recognized as among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists, brings his energy to Mill Valley for yet another incredible show. McKee, a fingerstyle virtuoso who hails from Topeka, Kansas, became an internet sensation when three of his videos were concurrently the most watched on YouTube. Since then he has toured internationally performing over 200 live shows a year, and now it will be Sweetwater’s turn to play host. Yasmine Williams, another acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and budding star out of New York University, with her own modern style of playing of imaginative music, will also appear on January 12.

Live music is back and thriving in downtown Mill Valley. Expect it to continue in full force in 2022. Watch this space for more!

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