.River Area Musician Missing, Loved Ones Say

4) Friends and family members of Sky Daniel O’Banion, a well-known and loved local blues musician and father of two from the Lower Russian River area, say he’s been missing for nearly a month now. His sister Valerie posted a “MISSING” poster on Facebook last week, and says she’s been handing out physical flyers around town as well. “He has graying blonde hair and blue eyes, is 6’2″, 225 lbs,” the flyer says. “He was last seen in Guerneville 1/21/24.” And the mother of Sky’s children, Rhiannon Guerrero, said in her own post: “He has not been seen or heard from in over three weeks. He is… a hard person to miss. He was last seen in Guerneville but is known to frequent many spots in Sonoma County. Please keep a look out for him.” (Rhiannon tells me that a missing person’s report has been filed, but I haven’t seen anything official from police yet.) One of Sonoma County’s most famous blues musicians, Charlie Musselwhite, commented on Facebook: “We used to communicate regularly and then he just disappeared and I’ve been wondering what happened and haven’t heard a thing.” Sky’s sister Valerie is asking anyone with information about his possible whereabouts to call her at (707) 703-0084. For decades, Sky has been a regular gigger at music venues across the county, oftentimes playing blues harmonica and singing alongside guitarist Derek Irving. But friends say online that he’s been “struggling” for a while. For what it’s worth, a few years ago, Sky set up a GoFundMe to help make ends meet. “I’ve got the blues because I done went n’ injured my harmonica holdin’ hand!” he wrote on the fundraising page. “The Doc told me it’ll probably be around 6-8 weeks of squeellin’ and healin’ until I can put it back to work again. That also means that now I’m outa work until then too. See it aint just my harmonica holdin’ hand that I done messed up, but it’s my nail holdin’ while I hammer-it-in hand, my ladder holdin’ while I’m climbin’ it hand, my bolt holdin’ while I’m wrenchin’ it hand.. You get the idea. So I’m pretty much outa work and outa luck until my hand gets aaall healed up. And I guess that also means I’m pretty much outa dough ’till then too. Now if it weren’t for me  tearin’ up my mic & harmonica holdin’ hand, I’d probly be workin’ on settin’ up a live gig right this very minute.  But I can’t even play my way outa the blues this time. If you’re the kinda person who’d buy me a cuppa joe when I was feelin’ down and out, well, here’s your chance..” (Source: Facebook Groups & Nic Alberico & Valerie Bird via Facebook & Sonny Lowe via Facebook & Rhiannon Guerrero via Facebook & North Bay Live Music & GoFundMe)


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