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Gratitude for our local music scene this Thanksgiving

There is much turmoil and uncertainty in our lives, there is bad news and finger pointing. We must remember that life is not like what we see Facebook or Instagram, and life is not a sitcom. This is not time for the airing of grievances. Nay!

There is much to be thankful for here in the Valley of the Tunes. These local musicians took a few moments to reflect and report on what they are thankful for.

Kerry Daly, lifelong singer and superb front vocalist of the Kerry Daly Band, chimed in with a thanks, one that I am sure can be echoed by hundreds of music lovers here in Sonoma, myself included. Daly refers to an event, a cultural milestone really, that few young people today will understand. She wrote, “I am grateful for my grandparents letting me watch The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and for buying me my first album, “Meet the Beatles” (and my first record player).”

Daly continued, “I am also grateful to the Beatles. Their songs introduced me to harmonies. The instilled in me a love of music in a deep way. I listened to their albums and studied the lyrics and harmonies until the next album came out! Then I studied that one.”

“To this day, Beatles music is still my favorite. As a singer, I really appreciate harmonies and lyrics, and if not for The Beatles, maybe I wouldn’t have that appreciation. My grandparents never understood my attraction to the Beatles music, but they supported it. For that I have much gratitude,” Daly added.

Patti Perez, of the Sonoma musical institution Showcase the Band, wrote of her thanks.

“I am beyond thankful to be able to provide music. And for the folks who come out to listen and enjoy. I’m thankful for my husband Louie who pushed me to be on stage in San Francisco for my first gig playing bass after two weeks of learning,” Perez said.

Note: playing bass guitar is not that easy. Perez is just an extraordinary musical talent.

Johnn “King Daddy” Murphy is the omnipresent percussionist of the valley. He was quite brief in his thanks, but very inclusive. Since he has been playing music here in the valley for some 50-plus years, he knows from what he speaks. Murphy said, “I am thankful for all the musicians in Sonoma, all levels and all talented. Music keeps us all together.”

The pithy Graham Edwards fronts several bands in the valley, Loosely Covered being the most active. Like his lead guitar riffs, his comment was tasty and economical. He wrote, “I am thankful for the talented friends (bandmates) and sympathetic listeners, both of whom/which make it possible for me to keep playing out.”

Back to The Beatles. Mark Dennis, he of Vox Populi and MaMaMa fame, added this bit of thankful prose; “I am extraordinarily grateful for (the Beatles album) “Abbey Road”, which has had a huge presence in my life. It pulled me out of a half-year depression when I was 16 after breaking up with my first real girlfriend,” Dennis said.

I, personally, would like to offer thanks to this wonderful community. Sonoma has been my home since moving here in 1982, and I have loved it ever since. I have experienced many ups and downs living within the picturesque confines of these hills, and the place and the people here have always supported me in the good times and buoyed me when necessary. And, like the folks mentioned above, I give tremendous thanks the music and the musicians of this place, the Valley of the Tunes.

Now, what did I do with that Festivus pole?

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