October 28, 2002

LITTLE VALLEY VINEYARD'S Main Street bistro has been selected by "Diablo Magazine" as one of the 40 best places in the East Bay for hearing great music. The list will come out in the magazine's next issue, but we couldn't wait to share the news. And boy, is that kudo justified! The place has been humming with memorable musical acts several times each month, and the schedule for the next month or so is awesome.

As my deadline for this column is Friday, I'll have to tell you next week about the great time we're going to have tonight enjoying the music of Freebo, one of the Bay Area's most beloved guitarists and song writers. And if you missed Friday's gig, you can still hop over to Sandi Bohner and Bill Webster's Little Valley Vineyard Wine Tasting Room and Espresso Bar (you can see why locals call it the Bistro, or just, Sandi's!) and catch Patty and Abigail, Hambone, Michael McNevin and more.

Patti and Abigail are two swinging, singing moms from Fremont. They play guitar, write music, and create lyrics about love and life, infused with both humor and pathos. They have developed a very appreciative group of fans and just released their first CD, "Patty and Abigail - Here We Go." The ladies have been performing at festivals, clubs, coffee houses and wineries throughout Northern California and receive raves for their beautiful harmonies and evocative lyrics. Patti and Abigail will be performing at Little Valley on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. and the cover charge is just $5.

On Sundays, Sandi and Bill offer free afternoon music concerts suitable for families from 1 to 4 p.m. This Sunday (Nov. 3) the show stars Hambone, a gifted local musician specializing in blues, swing and jive. And on Nov. 17, Sunol's own Jeroen Engelberts returns with Nightmare on Bourbon Street. Don't let the name scare you off from bringing the kids - Bourbon Street's jumpin' blues are family friendly…just ask Jeroen's two kids!

Then on Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., there's a real treat in store when another Fremont musician, Michael McNevin, shares his musical take on life growing up in Niles and his many travels around America. Michael has two albums out, "Second Story" and "Sketches," which includes photos of his incredible Etch-a-Sketch™ drawings. A reviewer from "Acoustic Guitar Magazine" wrote, "I don't know what's best about "Sketch" - Michael McNevin's music or his Etch-A-Sketch™ drawings that accompany each song. McNevin is a singer-songwriter of the highest order..."

No kidding, you've got to see these creations to believe them. And you can, at www.michaelmcnevin.com, along with lots of cool biographical info. The music and art of "Sketch" has been featured on CBS' "Evening Magazine" as well as the FOX Network News. He often displays his drawings in conjunction with his concerts, and the Ohio Art Company, maker of the toy, now sponsors drawing workshops for him at festivals and schools.

Many of Michael's songs capture indelibly the life he shared in Niles with his three older brothers. The "Acoustic Guitar" piece described a few of Michael's tunes: "'Two Feet Ahead of the Train' reenacts a close call he had on a train trestle when he was ten years old. 'John's Cocoons' details the spring ritual of his eldest brother John hatching a shoebox full of giant Polyphemus moths all over the house. And 'Bagger' describes his days working in the town grocery store."

Folks from Sunol can certainly relate to the subject matter, but whether you live in a small town or simply appreciate good music and wonderful stories, this is a performance not to be missed. And of course, all shows include the opportunity to sample Little Valley's excellent wines and bistro fare. Tickets for Michael McNevin's show are only $5, and it's a smart move to make reservations for what is sure to be a standing-room-only event. Call 925-862-9006 to snag your seats for all of these terrific concerts.

CALENDAR NOTE: Since you've got your date books out, please make a note that the next Alameda Creek Alliance meeting is tomorrow (Oct. 29) in the community room at Sunol Glen School. Find out how you can get involved in restoring Alameda Creek and view a slide show and update from the California Wild Heritage Campaign. And as always, you can check www.sunol.net for news and info on ACA, Little Valley Vineyard and many more of Sunol's organizations and businesses.

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