We’re not talking about a newly uncovered hit from the 60’s by the Thirteenth Floor Elevator… but, first, before I explain, and before you do another thing, put this in your date book as a “must attend” musical event:
“A Celebration of Life” honoring the memory of Michael Whitwell, this Sunday, November 1, from 4pm until 10pm, upstairs at Graziano’s in downtown Petaluma.
Musical guests will include Peter Welker All-Star Band featuring vocalist Jeff Oster, with the stellar Randy Vincent on guitar, Crossfire, Hillside Fire, D’Bunchovus, Larry Potts and Friends, and The Gary Vogensen Group.
Michael touched the lives of so many people – he was what we refer to as a “class act.” In the musical community there is a huge out-pouring of love and concern – and memories of a wonderful musician -but also, there is great concern for Michael’s wife Catherine – who as you can imagine, is hard pressed to deal with the mountain of bills and medical expenses from Michael’s treatment for cancer.
YOU can help support this fundraiser to help out with the consequences of a long illness – even if you don’t have time to hang out and enjoy the show, please do stop by and make a donation. Every little bit helps!
Graziano’s will provide a “no host” bar, and an appetizer menu if you’re hungry – their donation of a really nice place for this benefit to occur is wonderful, and we’re all grateful! So, you’re officially invited to come join the celebration of a world-class musician’s life, and share the music, memories and fun!

The very same day, in Cotati, The Tradewinds is hosting a benefit for John Gaines, a long time bartender and pillar of the musical community. John’s commitment to presenting live music has spanned over 30 years, and he has supported countless benefits over the years. John is one of the good guys!
Now, the musical community is doing what it can to help him out, with an all day affair, starting at 1:00 PM and going well into the night.

Performing bands include: the Pulsators, the Volker Strifler Band, A Case of the Willys, Levi Lloyd, Detroit Disciples, Hillside Fire, Shade, Blues Defenders, Dr. Joel Rudinow and many special guests. Food will be available from Ron Martin of Woody`s BBQ. A $10.00 donation is requested at the door, and there will be raffle prizes throughout the day. Please stop by the “Winds” in Cotati, and give a little help to someone who has helped so many.

OK? You can do two events in a day, right? Whatever you do, do not miss Peter Welker’s set at 7:30 PM at Graziano’s. Come on! The guy is the Mozart of Petaluma! Did you know that his bands haven’t rehearsed in 37 years? How do they do it?


The music you will hear springs from the imagination, mind and fingers of Peter Welker — he writes out everyone’s part in charts that can take 70 to 80 hours per tune to complete! The other day I held the charts for an upcoming live CD that the band will be recording, live, at Mesa Recording here in the North Bay. Want to guess? Over 5 pounds of musical notation — every note played in Peter’s mind before even one of his world-class cast of all-star players makes a sound. That’s spectacular, right?

I’m going to be talking more about this amazing musician, because he is one of the best, and, one of the most modest and humble musicians you’ll ever meet. So stay tuned for more about Peter Welker.

Plus, for those of you who are concerned about band volumes — the Peter Welker All Star Band is essentially acoustic, and is “hearing friendly.”

Two benefits and a genius? This is YOUR community! Please support these benefits with your own compassion in action. Thank you.