Mendocino Stories


             Events in Mendocino and at Hill House Inn

Saturday, October 10 at Hill House Inn, Mendocino
Dance to the music of Soul Survivors on Saturday October 10. They bring on the Motown sound with a mix of R&B, Soul, and flavors of Stax and Altantic Records. Keyboards and vocals from Billy Schieve, Jamie Gilliam on guitar and vocals, along with vocalist Sharon Garner, Johnny Bush on bass and Richie Rosenbaum on drums - there you have a solid sound of emotion. Come out for a fun and energetic walk down Motown Lane.

Billy Schieve began playing music when he was seven years, taking accordion lessons and practicing one solid hour every single day (german mom!).  At age 14, he taught himself piano, organ, guitar, bass, and drums and was playing clubs in the Chicago suburbs by age 16, playing rock n roll, blues, r&b, soul, and jazz.  He continues working and playing music, professionally, incorporating many styles and genres. Billy has had the honor to play music with Paul Horn, Badfinger, and the Beach Boys. At his stage in his career, he is mainly interested in playing music that is gospel-based (soul, r&b, jazz, blues) and tries to emulate Ray Charles as much as he possibly can!

Many local musicians look at Jamie Gilliam as the guitarists' Guitar Man. He was playing his dad's guitar at about 5 years old and he says he is still learning". Having played in many different groups over the years all over the nation, Jamie is quite happy here on the coast with a much more relaxed lifestyle. He will play at every opportunity and realizes this great opportunity to hook up with the Soul Survivors. "They are all high caliber musicians who make playing a joy, and after all thats what it's all about - "Happiness and Joy" So plug me in and let it rip!"

Originally from New York City, Richie Rosenbaum got his foundation studying with New York based classical percussionist Joe Castka. New York gave him the opportunity to see some of the greats up close. He is proficient in many styles of music, ranging from original Rock and Pop, Funk, Latin, West African High Life. His credits include performing with the internationally acclaimed West African band Hedzoleh Soundz, former Byrds member Gene Parsons, Mendocino's Horse Badorties, Judy Mayhan, Mambo This!, Samba Jamba and the list goes on. Currently he is a member of Soul Survivors, The Go To Guys and Bongo Latte.

Sharon Garner has been singing as a lead vocalist in a number of blues, rock and jazz bands since the 1970’s. In Marin County, she sang in a blues/jazz band called Crosscurrents opening for many greats. On the Mendocino Coast, she first sang with the Brown Brothers and in a band with Denny Lunsford, Gary Moran, and Peter Temple. In the late 90’s she helped form the popular blues/funk band, Dyzfunkshun. Today she sings with a variety of jazz & pop musicians including Soul Survivors, Lounge Noir, The Swingin’ Bob Ayres Boonville Big Band, John Gilmore and Nina Mera and the Flat Fives.

Rounding out this fine collection of musicians is multi-instrumentalist Johnny Bush on bass, coveted by many area bands. A Mendo High graduate, he has been playing the local music scene for 35 years. He has shared a stage with David and Bonnie Raitt, played a European summer tour with Jenny Kerr and recorded in the studio with Bill Bottrell. He is also a member of The Mighty T-Bones.

Doors open at 6PM with a full bar and casual dining; music at 7:30PM. $10 at the door. 937-1732.

Saturday, October 17 at Hill House Inn, 10701 Palette Dr, Mendocino

Steven Bates and Friends - Well, this is exciting - Steven Bates on guitar and vocals, Jon Faurot on guitar, David Hayes on bass, Ralph Humphrey on drums and Jeffrey Walsh on guitar as an acoustic dance band. Can't wait to hear this combination of fabulous musicians on Saturday, October 17 at Hill House Inn, 10701 Palette Dr, Mendocino.

$10 at the door. Doors open at 6pm for casual dining and full bar. Music starts at 7:30pm. 937-1732

Saturday, October 24 at Hill House Inn, 10701 Palette Dr, Mendocino

More dance music for you with The "Smokey Jalapenos"' when they play the Hill House Inn on Saturday, October 24. The band plays a variety of classic rock (sometimes with a twist), blues, reggae, Americana, and Celtic music. Butch Kwan on guitar, violin and vocals, Frank Casian on guitar, Andrew Navarro  on bass and vocals, and Sam Arkintok on drums. Music starts at 7:30PM.

Back in the 80's there was a band called Hot Property that played in Mendocino and Fort Bragg. When Andrew Navarro (the bass player's son) was getting married, he asked if the band called Hot Property would get together to play the wedding. He remembered the band from growing up as a kid so they got together and played the wedding and have decided to reform the band and call it "Smokey Jalapenos".

Doors open at 6PM with a full bar and casual dining; music at 7:30PM. $10 at the door. 937-0554.

Saturday, October 31 at Hill House Inn, 10701 Palette Dr, Mendocino

Time for a Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 31 at Hill House with The Mixed Nuts and their collection of Swing, Latin, calypso, jazz, and the musically unexpected. The Mixed Nuts, an off-shoot of Kevin and the Coconuts, was originally the brainchild of drummer, Dan Albrecht, who, in this group, plays piano and sings. He is joined by Steve Paul on trumpet, vocals, steel pan, banjo and accordion; Paul Schulman on congas; Daney Dawson on acoustic upright bass; Tom Rickard on drums and special guests.

Prizes for best costumes! Doors open at 6 pm featuring casual dining and full bar. Music starts at 7:30 pm. $10 at the door. 937-0554

Hill House Presents Hit and Run Theater on Friday and Saturday, November 6 & 7

Hill House presents Hit and Run Theater & Friends Comedy Weekend with improvised fun, games and stories. They will play at the Hill House Inn of Mendocino on Friday and Saturday, November 6 & 7. The shows will start at 7:30PM. Each show is unique, so plan to come out for both!

Hit and Run Theater first came together in the late 1970s, with Kathy O’Grady as one of its charter members. Steady Jill Jahelka has been with the group for more than 10.  Long-time Hit and Runner Steve Weingarten performs and designs the group’s sets. Doug Nunn coaches the Mendocino High School Improv Club each.

The delightful Christine Samas has charmed Hit and Run fans for the past six years with her voice and smile. Dan Sullivan returns to Hit and Run once again from his comedy-writing. Rounding out the cast is voiceover artist Ken Krauss. Joshua Raoul Brody of Bay Area Theatresports returns to provide musical accompaniment for both evenings’ shows.

Special feature for this weekend’s engagement is another Song Improvisation Workshop for beginners … and the terrified!” led by Joshua Raoul Brody, music director for San Francisco's BATS Improv. Every workshop has been a great hit, with rave reviews and students returning. The workshop will be held Saturday afternoon at the Hill House from 1 – 4PM. Says Joshua, “Starting with the very basics — breathing, ear training, vocal production — students are led gradually and painlessly through all the elements that go into making a song, culminating in solos, duets, group numbers, even opera!” Joshua has been teaching song improvisation for over thirty years. Workshop cost is $30 in advance, $40 at the door.

All Ages Welcome! Doors open at 6:00 PM for casual and full bar, Theater opens at 6:30PM. Come early for best seating. General admission is $15 at the door. For more information about the shows call Pattie at 937-1732

Hill House Presents Songs of Jackson Browne on Saturday, November 14

On Saturday, November 14, a group of local musicians is joining together to perform songs of Jackson Browne plus some others. The "Singer/Songwriter" genre stretches across the heart strings, telling personal stories of mistakes and triumphs and utilizes rich harmonies to express the deep emotional content. Music will start at 7:30PM at Hill House Inn.

The core band for this event is Billy Schieve and Jamie Gilliam of The Go To Guys and Soul Survivors, and Philip Dunn and Sean Van Buskirk of Highway One. Other musicians and vocalists will include Richard Fienburgh, Morgan Daniel, Sherry Jones, Sue Sisk, Mark Gauche and Pattie DeMatteo plus some special guests.

As a focus of the evening, Jackson Browne's music will be very familiar because of the songs he has written and recorded like Runnin' on Empty, Doctor My Eyes, Rock Me on the Water, The Pretender, Before the Deluge - and the many musicians who have covered his tunes, from Bonnie Raitt to Pearl Jam, Don Henley to the Eagles, Tom Rush, Karla Bonoff, Linda Ronstandt and Emmylou Harris, New Grass Revival and Greg Allman.

Doors open at 6PM with full bar and casual dining. Music at 7:30PM. Tickets are $20, available at and by calling 707-937-1732.

Hill House Presents a Dance Party with Swing Noodle on November 21

Bringing Gypsy Swing and some Jazz standards, welcome Swing Noodle to the stage at Hill House Inn on Saturday November 21. Come on out for some toe-tapping dance music with Erick Kolberg on guitar; Steve Paul, trumpet; Pete Gealey on bass; Tom Rickard on drums; Larry Kellogg, mandolin.

Doors open at 6PM with full bar and casual dining. Music at 7:30PM. $10 at the door. 707-937-0554

Hill House Presents a Dance Party with The Mighty T-Bones on
November 28

Here's a great way to continue your Thanksgiving holiday celebration - dance till you drop! Rock'n Rhythm 'n' Blues with The Mighty T-Bones is just what you need. Come on out to the Hill House Inn at 10701 Palette Dr, Mendocino for some great dancing' music on Saturday, November 28.

Band members are Michael Ward, Michael Lono Bissen, Ed Reinhart, and Johnny Bush, making nearly three decades of live music together and separately here on the coast.

Doors open at 6PM with full bar and casual dining. Music at 7:30PM. $10 at the door. 707-937-0554

John Chamberlin Art Show and Sale, December 4 - 13 at Odd Fellows Hall, Mendocino

A comprehensive exhibit of 40 years of John Chamberlin's creations will fill the Odd Fellows Hall Gallery from December 3 through 13. Because John always encouraged young people to pursue their art, all proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Mendocino Coast Children's Fund and MUSE, Mendocino Unified School Enrichment program.

Starting in 1969, when John first arrived, his art was part of Mendocino culture. His signs, like the Gallery Bookshop sign that we still see on Main Street, were everywhere.  His posters let us know about boogies and theater and benefits.  We danced to the music he played in a dozen different local bands, and his artwork graced many an album cover.  After John died in 2013, at his memorial person after person expressed the desire for a chance to see his work collected, shown and available.

Now the community will have that chance.  Well known local artist Bob Ross has volunteered to curate and hang the show.  The art will include posters, both originals and copies, random sketches, a little bit of napkin art, and some signs, for sale at all price ranges. There is an extra treat for John's fans - The very first John Chamberlin calendar!  It features a full color poster reproduction for each month. The calendar, with all new artwork, will be published every year. What a great time to do a little gift shopping!

There will be samples of John's commercial work, from early sketches to finished product. Some large originals will be available by silent auction.  After the gallery show closes, all of John's original art will be given to the  Kelley House Museum to be stored in their archives. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, local musicians will be playing acoustic tunes in the second story of the gallery, a perfect place to hear acoustic music.  Many local favorites will be playing.

Odd Fellows Hall is at Kasten and Ukiah Streets, Mendocino, and the gallery is open from Friday December 4 through Sunday December 13. Friday and Saturday evenings, music starts at 7:30. Come see great art, hear great music, stroll down memory lane and contribute to our children's artistic and musical futures.

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