Published in the August 29 – September 11, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

If you like the blues be sure to kick off your Labor Day weekend at the Second Annual Morgan Hill Free Blues Festival Sept. 1 at Morgan Hill’s Downtown Amphitheater at Monterey Road and East Dunne Avenue. Tony Johns does an amazing job organizing and producing this musical extravaganza.

Included on the bill this year, it’s Burnin’ Vernon at 11 a.m., Alvin Draper 12:45 p.m., Street Lucy 2 p.m., Paula Harris 3:15 p.m., Henrik Martin 4:45 p.m., then Kaye Bohler will do two sets starting at 6 p.m., followed by headliner Maxx Cabello Jr. at 8 p.m. The festival is free. Organizers do ask that you support the vendors and buy food and beverages. Like the Friday Night Music Series bring your low lawn chairs and blankets for a relaxing day in the sun.

Meanwhile, in Gilroy, the Garlic City Concert Series presented by The District Theater is coming to Christmas Hill Park for a five-week series beginning Aug. 31 and running through the month of September. The event is free and family friendly with live bands and DJ’s.

The event opens with The Chicano Allstars and DJ Jammin’ J plus DJ Jimmy G. There will be numerous food trucks each week, craft beers and premium wines along with specialty vendors. Now that Morgan Hill’s Friday Night Music Series is done, this is the perfect place to continue your Friday night dancing fix. There are a few dress code rules such as no baggy pants, gang colors, white tees, back packs, bandanas and sports team attire.

And, of course, no outside alcohol is allowed. It will be a nice local event to put on your calendar every week and hopefully, an annual outing for years to come. Sept. 7 the LA Project will provide the live music and DJ Jimmy G will cover the mix sounds. Area favorites The Hitmen will provide the live music Sept. 14 with DJ Tomas covering the music mix. The Sept. 21 show is canceled but the final show Sept. 29 is Superbad.

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This August marked the 49th anniversary of Woodstock Music & Art Festival, which took place on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Many old hippies continue to celebrate this most legendary music event Aug. 15, 16 and 17 in remembrance of the now famous summer of ‘69. I bring this up because I still have many fun memories of attending the event.

At the time no one had any idea of the impact this festival would have on current and future generations and how it would propel many bands to stardom. Some of the bands that declined to play included The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and The Doors. It was later learned many of the bands that snubbed the offer to perform were extremely remorseful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a concert made up of the bands that didn’t play the event come together to celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2019?

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On the local music scene “Ultimate Celebrity Blackout” by Joseph W. Carrillo was just released April 17. His official website is

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Local Morgan Hill music teacher Greg Chambers was pleased to report they had more than 180 attendees to his fundraiser at The Granada Theater in Morgan Hill and raised a few thousand dollars for the Sobrato/Martin Murphy Band Programs. It might be a good template for other schools to follow.

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Clos La Chance has its music set for September with Super Bad kicking it off at 7 p.m. Sept. 6. The Sunday line-up includes Marcus Miller Sept. 9, Cookin’ Fenny Combo Sept. 16, Paul Kent Solo Sept. 23, and Carlos Padilla Sept. 30. All Sunday music runs from noon to 3 p.m.

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With two Emmy nominations to his credit, recording artist and performer ALFIO is back at Guglielmo Winery by popular demand after his debut performance last year left his fans wanting more. He delivers a mesmerizing concert experience to his fans old and new with a new repertoire featuring classics from yesterday and today, and his award-winning original songs which are destined to become tomorrow’s classics. He effortlessly brings together all generations of music lovers with his powerful vocals combined with his unique, charming, comedic banter. ALFIO makes every song his own taking you on a sentimental, entertaining and joyous journey. The show is Sept. 16. To order tickets, visit the winery tasting room or call the (408) 779-2145. Seating will be pre-assigned so get your tickets now.

Got a music tip? Email “Fenny” at [email protected]

Mark Fenichel