It often feels like the list of “Things We Miss Due to Coronavirus” gets new additions every day. However, for many, the loss of live music has long been at the top of said list. While musicians have been trying to do their best with live performances on various computer platforms, it’s just not the same.
In May, local music industry veteran Scott Ferrara was sitting and pondering this while sipping a beer on the patio at Petaluma restaurant and beer company Taps which is located adjacent to the Petaluma River turning basin. His eyes fell upon the work-in-progress dock area for what will soon be a small craft center where the public can rent kayaks, canoes and boats. He got an idea.
Ferrara thought “it would be cool if we could have a band play on the dock,” he says from the same spot at Taps where inspiration struck. “People can watch from here or come in on their kayaks and canoes to watch too.” He mentioned the idea to Taps proprietor Eric Lafranchi who not only loved the idea, “he was the one who thought to make it a fundraiser for Petaluma Small Craft Center.”
As often happens when the door of creativity opens, circumstances were that the 4th of July weekend was a few weeks away and the holiday fell on a Saturday. Ferrara reached out to friends in Marin-based cover band Rock Candy to play the gig and they accepted. Ferrara then threw local singer/songwriter Kevin P. White on the bill to open the show and the event went off without a hitch. Listeners lined the patio at Taps and many people, including families, rowed in for a closer look.
Now Ferrara has again booked Rock Candy for Saturday, September 5 which is Labor Day weekend (whatever that means these days) and added Marin County up and comers The Happys to the bill. Timothy O’Neil will play a set as will The Incubators Chris Chappel who will partner with the always funky Todd Bugbee to open the show. The event is free and open to the public.
While the July 4 gig went well, there were some crossed wires that occurred. Unbeknownst to Ferrara and Lafranchi local winery Adobe Road had also booked a musical act that day, a much mellower act that was soon drowned out by the raucous Rock Candy.
This time around, Ferrara sought out local businesses to support the show and has found the reception positive all around. “Adobe Road was the first to get on board with the event. Other sponsors followed easily,” Ferrara says. From there he nabbed other turning basin adjacent restaurants like Ayawaska, Dempsey’s and Baskin Robbins and also tapped local purveyors of hot sauce F.A. Ninos to sponsor the event. Taps will feature menu items that utilize the sauce and attendees can also take home sauce samples. Ferrara says “It was really cool to go around to the businesses see their excitement and participation. Everyone is excited for something to look forward to.”
While indeed, 2020 summer concerts have been a less than a communal affair, ingenuity and the need to dance seem to always find a way to surface.