Thursday, 28 January 2021

Arts & Life

UPPER LAKE Blue Mondays at the Blue Wing Saloon and Cafe continued on Labor Day, a fitting cap to the last holiday weekend of summer.

Rob Watson and Friends jammed the blues for a perky, festive dinner crowd.

The band consisted of Rob Watson on bass, Levi Lloyd on guitar, Robert Reason on keyboards and Andre Williams on drums.

They did two sets of material that showcased the talents of the players. Song selections included Listen Here, You Got Me Runnin', Cissy Strut, What's Goin' on, Mr. Magic and Use Me.

The Blue Wing has released their current schedule of music for Sunday Brunches and Blue Mondays for the month of September.

Sunday brunch lineup includes:

  • Sept. 9, Stephen Holland

  • Sept. 16, Don Coffin and Dave Hooper

  • Sept. 23, Dan Meyer Trio

  • Sept. 30, Jim Tuhtan


Appearing on the Blue Wing Monday blues lineup:

  • Sept. 10, Levi Lloyd and Rob Watson

  • Sept. 17 and 24, Twice As Good (Rich and Paul Steward)

Thurman Watts writes about music and culture for Lake County News.


LOWER LAKE The Old Time Bluegrass Festival will be held at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park in Lower Lake Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23.

The event will bring together local and regional musicians for performances on two stages, as well as a full schedule of musician workshops throughout the day on such topics as banjo, fiddle, flat-picking techniques for guitar, and old-time singing.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments for workshops and informal jam sessions behind the ranch house.

Headliners of the festival will be the Adobe Creek Bluegrass Band from Petaluma, and the Barefoot Nellies, Knuckle Knockers, Julay Brandenburg and the Nightbirds, and Crossroads Bluegrass Gospel all from the Bay Area.

Other entertainers include the local Elem Indian Tribe Dance Group, who will kick off the event, plus local groups Andy Skelton and the Konocti Fiddlers, Bluegrass Contraption, Pat Ickes and Born to Ride, the Clear Lake Clickers, Don Coffin and the AMIA Live Wire Choir, and Jim Williams. Evan Morgan from Cobb and Paul Gruen from Sebastopol also will perform together. Other local and regional bands are expected to join the lineup before the festival.

The Old Time Bluegrass Festival will feature demonstrations and vendors selling old-time handmade crafts, Art in the Barn, a wine garden featuring Lake County wines, and a beer garden, as well as food prepared by local service clubs and local schools’ culinary programs.


Vendors and organizers will be dressed in period attire, which includes rural farm clothing such as cotton shirts, pants and suspenders. Attendees are encouraged to dress the part, and examples of period attire are available on the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association Web site,

The Kiwanis Club will be decorating and facilitating the beer and wine gardens, among other things. Event T-shirts will be available courtesy of the Rotary Club, and with the help of Porter Street Barbecue, the club will serve biscuits and gravy Sunday morning, in addition to providing other services.

“The most important thing about it is to bring local service clubs together to promote quality community events oriented toward families. Children and grandparents all generations can find something fun to do there,” said Frank McAtee, one of the four event coordinators.

Other coordinators are Anna McAtee, Don Coffin and Ellen Lundquist.

During the family-friendly festival, making tule dolls and panning for gold are just some of the many children’s activities.

“The kids loved it last year; there was real gold they could pan for,” said Anna McAtee.

The Old Time Bluegrass Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Sunday’s emphasis will be on bluegrass gospel.

Advance tickets are $20 for Saturday, $15 for Sunday, or $25 for both days. At the gate, tickets are $25 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday, or $35 for both days. Children 12 and under are free and must be accompanied by an adult.

Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association Bluegrass Memberships are available for $100. With this, members get four two-day passes, an event T-shirt, and two newsletters per year, which outline how proceeds from the event are being spent.


Purchase of a ticket includes admission to the event, all entertainment, workshops, wine and beer gardens, and Art in the Barn. The event will be held rain or shine.

The Old Time Bluegrass Festival is sponsored by the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association and the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Proceeds will finance camps and enhancement for the park so children all over the lake can use the facility. Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association will be hiring interpretive specialists to work with school groups that visit.

These trained docents can give visitors the full educational experience in the areas of science, performing arts and history. Native Americans began settling at the marsh 10,000 years ago. Today’s visitors examine the village sites, artifacts, and the ecology of the marsh.

“The purpose of the event is to give students an opportunity to learn about local history and culture through curriculum and guest speakers and to provide them with pride and appreciation for where they live,” says Anna McAtee.

“The event itself is an excellent educational and cultural experience for attendees,” she adds.

For tickets or for more information about the Old Time Bluegrass Festival or the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association, call (707) 995-2658 or (707) 994-0688 or visit


The Dispersion of Africans and African Culture Throughout the World: Essays on the African Diaspora

Editor: Dr. Lois Moore, University of San Francisco

Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press

Dr. Lois Moore of the University of San Francisco edited this remarkable compilation of scholarly essays on the history and cultures of African descent people around the world. The aim is to educate scholars and contribute to international and multicultural scholarship on African Descent people. Broad in scope, the nine-chapter text identifies and discusses the decimation of Rwanda; exodus of Ethiopian Jews; experiences of African slaves in Portugal, Ecuador, Belize, the Danish West Indies, Mexico, and the Georgia Sea Islands; and the legacy of the slave trade on the Americas, Canada and the Black Church in the United States.

The editor writes that nowhere in history were people as widely dispersed throughout the world as those of African ancestry. Africans abandoned their homeland for numerous reasons, forced out by drought and famine; migrated due to persecution; taken as slaves; or left as explorers, soldiers, or skilled workers. Ultimately, they all faced loss, oppression, discrimination, polarization, poverty, disease and often death.

The text discusses how without their homelands and families, and facing major barriers, people of African origin were adaptive. To the degree possible, they retained their own languages, music, dance, traditions, and spirituality. These resourceful and persistent survivors successfully adjusted to new environments, governments, rituals, and systems.

European colonialism and economic imbalance are key themes in the text. Senator Aloysie Inyumba of Rwanda opines in the foreword that Africa’s current social and economic problems are linked to historic foreign interference, meddling, and disruption of sovereignty.

Various chapters detail the way Colonialism stratified groups according to political, economic and social power. It institutionalized humiliation, distrust, fear, ethnic hierarchy, and racism. Identity politics began when rape, intermarriage, and polygamy produced a diversity of skin tones. Even African descendants learned to define themselves in new ways.

The text explores the abuse of both natural and human resources as it relates to the African Diaspora. Colonialists exploited natural resources, like the forests of Belize in South America, and developed capitalist economies requiring increased human labor. Racist ideology was used to justify exploitation of African slaves. Myths were perpetuated that Africans were stronger than indigenous people, better suited to the climate, and more resistant to diseases like malaria.

What Africans were not, was passive. According to the chapter, “Belize: From Colonial Territory to Independent Nation,” Africans resisted slavery, clinging to their culture and tribal traditions. They demonstrated great resilience, fortitude, and thrust for freedom.

Research in “Esmeraldas of Ecuador,” tells of slaves treated worse than animals in the Spanish colonies of South America and the Caribbean. “Esmeraldas were able to maintain the thriving spirit of resistance and rebellion characteristic of the African people. Subsequently, kidnapped Africans, escaped slaves, free blacks, and indigenous people formed liberated and self-ruled communities.”

I teach multicultural community and international relations to graduate business students. My course is enriched by students from around the globe. During the class, students research cultures other than their own to build stakeholder relationships and plan strategic communications.

As future world leaders, it is essential that students learn to understand and respect diversity. One need only look at current world affairs to know the devastating consequences of social division and disruption of national autonomies.

Not only is this book immensely valuable to sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and researchers, but also to readers who find cultural and ethnic history fascinating. These marvelous essays demonstrate the importance of persistence, creativity, individualism, and pride in unique heritages. As we share a common humanity, we also share an anthropologic birthplace, Africa.

For more information, see the publisher's Web site at

Susanne N. La Faver holds a master's degree in public administration and is an adjunct professor with Golden Gate University. She lives in Hidden Valley Lake.


Jim Waters sitting at the piano and Phil Mathewson, standing and wearing his Elton John-style, oversized sunglasses. Photo by Joanne Bateni.

LAKEPORT Cafe Victoria's Musical Break was held Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

Lakeport looked like a ghost town without the usual hum of traffic by the cafe.

But the show must go on and Phil Mathewson and Friends came directly to the cafe from their Art in the Park performance.

Bobbie G. continued on the bongos and Jim Waters tickled the ivories on Victoria's house piano.

Phil did his original songs and threw in a few covers including "Kansas City." There was a steady stream of customers seeking cold drinks like ice coffee and smoothies. Some even stayed awhile to listen to the music.

Check Cafe Victoria's entertainment calendar for her next event by calling 263-1210.


LAKEPORT – Art in the Park/Pastels in the Park sponsored by the Lake County Arts Council will be held today, Saturday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Library Park.

Local musicians including Phil Mathewson and Jim Waters (performing between 2 and 3 p.m.) will play at the Gazebo.

There will be face painting, a chance to decorate the sidewalk with chalk and other artsy stuff. Artists and craftspeople will display their work for sale.

The event is free.

For more information call the Lake County Arts Council, 263-6658.


Lake County resident Dave Hooper was the featured performer at Tuscan Village's Aug. 24 concert. Photo by Joanne Bateni.

LOWER LAKE Everyone arrived at 5:30 p.m. for the concert on Aug. 24 but, due to the heat, Dave Hooper decided to start at 6:30 p.m.

So the resourceful patrons walked up the path to the Terrill Cellars Winery and enjoyed a sampling of the locally made wines. Two reds; a Cab and a Syrah, were offered, in addition to a Chardonnay and a Blush. After enjoying the wine, everyone marched back to the vineyard where Dave was tuning up.

Dave is a prolific songwriter with many CDs to his credit and he had all of them available for sale. He is also a fiction writer who has just completed a novel about Santa Catalina Island in the 60s and is currently in search of a publisher.

He sang mostly his original tunes which were well known to his fans who often sang the lyrics along with Dave.

Dave spends his winters in Austin, Texas, and mentioned that a springtime in Texas is like a summer in Lake County. He sang a few songs about Texas and California from two of his CDs.

A fan requested "Ring of Fire," a Johnny Cash tune written by June Carter, which Dave performed quite well. Then he sang an old Elvis song which never became a big hit, "I Got a Mess of Blues" which sounded almost as good as the King.

Dave Hooper is from Lake County and plays at various venues around the Lake so if you missed this performance or want to see him again just keep looking and you'll find him playing in a pub somewhere.

Next Friday, Aug. 31, the duo from Hidden Valley, Connie Miller and Bill Barrows, will be doing vocal harmonies along with Bill's guitar strumming. Come early for wine tasting.

David Neft encores with his keyboard on Sept. 14 in case you missed his first concert or want to see him again. Dave has a loyal following so this may be a crowded event.

Call 2 Goombas at 994-DELI (3354) for more details or to get on their calendar.


Upcoming Calendar

01.29.2021 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Building resilience webinar
01.30.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
02.06.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
02.06.2021 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Wrangler Round-Up fundraiser
02.13.2021 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Lake County Farmers’ Finest Saturday market
Valentine's Day

Mini Calendar



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