Welcome aboard local melody mavens, this is your SR Sessions ambassador speaking. We’ll be taking off momentarily, and we’re expecting a rollicking ride through the Santa Rosa music scene. So, unfasten your seatbelts and feel free to dance around the cabin. You’re about to soar to the local sounds of “The Out There Tapes: A Compilation by Gremlintone”.
Look, listen, learn and download below. But don’t forget to get out there to see these great performers live at your local venue.
And thank you for flying Out There, we hope you enjoy your trip.

“Since you’ve been Gone” by The Easy Leaves

Sonoma County musicians Sage Fifield (Guitar/Vocals) and Kevin Carducci (Bass/ Vocals) keep trucking on with their sweet country sound. Their most recent album, affectionately named “Fresno” released on Omega/Redeye, reflects their love for the laid back scene they found in the central California ag-town. They’re playing a string of West Coast shows this summer, but you can catch them in Sonoma County, at Rivertown Revival in Petaluma on July 22.

“Got to Have It” by Arann Harris

After stepping away from performing for 2016, Arann Harris recently snuck back onto the scene for a few choice gigs, and made a trip to Gremlintone. This rare and anticipated track is a visit from a major player in the local scene, who is sorely missed but far from gone! The track stays true to Harris’s mixture of chilling blues and gritty soul. Bringing the energy, poetry and wicked guitar licks that we all love.


“Sad and Lonesome” by The Brothers Comatose

“Sad and Lonesome” is a rompous ode to the songs that pull you out of the blues. Maybe this foot stompin’ five-piece bluegrass tune will be your new hot-summer pick me up. Petaluma natives Ben and Alex Morrison, on guitar, banjo and lead vocals, Gio Benedetti on bass, Philip Brezina shredding fiddle and Ryan Avellone topping it off with mandolin; their next nearby performance is in San Rafael on July 8 at San Rafael Summer Nights.

“Witness, Witness, Witness” by The Crux

Been wondering, “Where is The Crux?”? Well, now that band leader Josh Windmiller is done directing the Railroad Square Music Festival, Santa Rosa will be seeing more of one of their favorite bands. Voted best folk band by The Bohemian reader’s poll 3 times since their formation, The Crux’s most recent album Crux Interpretum (Aug/2016), was recorded to cassette tape at John Courage’s Gremlintone analog studio. You can catch them this summer at Rivertown Revival in Petaluma on July 22.

“Wandering Woman” by Ashley Allred

Nostalgic, Ethereal, and deep with feeling, song writer Ashley Allred previously of Odd Bird, rocks you into a dream-like tune from the road. Written and performed by Ashley Allred and John Courage; the track gives a sweet taste of their unique and polished vintage style. Ashley will be at Rivertown Revival on July 22 with a full band, and look out for her new album! Set to be recorded in October at Gremlintone.


 “I Can’t Be There” by Frankie Boots

Frankie Boots and The County line = good times. This raucus folk-rock Americana band has been missed, while Frank gets his feet wet in New Orleans. But Frank’s in town, and this song hits the spot. By the time you read this he’ll already be gone, but you can still hear his latest album Pagan Ranch, released in January 2017. A “solo album of 8 Country/Soul heart-warmers” produced at Gremlintone, and recorded while Boots packed his bags for Louisiana.


“Oh Mama” by David Luning

David Luning was raised in Forestville, but has been doing big things countrywide (and getting into trouble by the sounds of it). This summer he’ll be touring the West Coast with his new album “Restless”. If you’re a fan of rock, bluegrass, country combo you’ll love this album. He’ll be back in California at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco on June 23.


 “Serenity Day Spa” by Sean Hayes

On this track, Hayes shows his grittier side, with John Courage accompanying him on electric guitar. But his newest album “Low Light” released in August 2016, is full of slow-jam rock grooves and soul singing. A long time rocker in the Bay Area, with an 8 album discography that starts in 2002.  You can catch him all summer, but he’ll be in Sonoma, at Gundlach Bundschu Winery on August 5.


 “Why Don’t You Love Me No More” by Bootleg Honey

This 5 piece, country/grass, female led group steals hearts everywhere they go. They released new tunes at their last show, with Gwyneth Moreland, and welcomed back founding member Hannah Jern-Miller to the Bootleg Honey lineup! They packed The Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol, and blew the house down. So, we can all look forward to more of that this summer!


 “Two Feet” by John Courage

John Courage has been steadily rocking in the Bay Area for over 10 years, with visits to the Pacific Northwest and Santa Fe, New Mexico. His love for vintage, 70’s guitar rings true throughout his 3 album discography. Courage is not only a featured artist, but the creator and audio engineer at Gremlintone studio. As the loved and revered musician he is, Courage was invited to sit in with Ashley Allred, Sean Hayes, Bootleg Honey, Timothy O’Neil Band, and Arann Harris, in the recording of this compilation. Catch him on July 14 at The Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol, with The Highway Poets!


“Greyhound Days” by Misner and Smith

Megan Smith on upright bass and vocals, Sam Misner on guitar and vocals, and Josh Yenne on pedal steel guitar; Misner and Smith bring to the Americana-folk musical tradition, vivid imagery, poetic lyrics and sweet vocal harmonies. But, story telling is at the base of what ties this group together. Meeting first as actors, it was performing in “Woody Guthrie’s American Song” in 2004 that brought Sam and Megan together, in their love for roots music and harmony singing. This musical bond is a beautiful sight to behold, and you can catch the soulful duo ‘round these parts at The Redwood Café, in Cotati on July 7.


 “Fifteen Cents” by Thistle Creek

Sounding just like an old time blue grass tune, this track will satisfy the fans with a taste for porch sittin and banjo pickin.  Written and played by Imri Vasale, accompanied by Allyson Makuch on vocals; Thistle Creek can’t be found on the internet, but only playing at friends houses, street corners and Farmer’s Markets. But that’s how blue grass is best enjoyed, in the living room, with fellow pickers and someone playing a set of dirty spoons left over from dinner.


“Places” by Timothy O’Neil Band

These guys are ready to party, busy playing gigs all over the bay area. With a folk-punk, bluegrass sound, they are on a steady incline and playing with some of the area’s leading artists. If you feel like getting rowdy with this crew you’ll find them at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol on June 16, with Mr. December and Josh Windmiller from The Crux. Also, at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco, where Tim will be performing solo, opening up for his buddy David Luning on June 23.


Out There in the Middle of Everything will continue to cover exciting new music, art and culture happening in and around Santa Rosa. See us at the next big event, visit our website for exciting articles and updates, and reach out to let us know what you love about this great city!

Get the CD at your favorite SR record store:

Or order it online at the Out There store!

Gremlintone Studio

Gremlintone Studio, created and operated by local musician and all around badass John Courage, is making big waves. Recording some of Santa Rosa’s favorite music, and creating a vibe that only Courage could produce.

The studio started as an experiment, recording a hard rock side project in 2014, with a 4 track mixer that Courage borrowed from Steve Shirrel, of Stanroy Music Center. The project was a blast, and that’s all it took; Courage was hooked on analog. In his opinion, the industry’s eagerness to dive into digital recording has bypassed a lot of great sounding affordable equipment. Chances are, many of your favorite albums were recorded analog. Older gear may not be lightweight and compact, but it still delivers.

With the 4 track, (eventually purchased from Shirrel) Gremlintone recorded The Crux, Oddjob Ensemble, Sharkmouth, Yerba Buena Brothers, Frankie Boots, Freddy Parish and others. The cost of recording an album in a traditional studio varies, but averages around $4-$6,000. But, in his home studio, Courage has created a comfortable, collaborative, affordable recording experience for his friends to, as he put it, “hit the gym” without breaking the bank.

The days of the 4 track have passed, and the studio was recently upgraded to a Tascam 388 eight track recorder at the beginning of their newest project, “The Out There Tapes: A Compilation by Gremlintone” set to release in June.

This project, in partnership with The City of Santa Rosa and Josh Windmiller of The Crux; is a compilation of 13 tracks, from 13 bands, all from Sonoma County, recorded and mixed by John Courage. The tapes were recorded on the Tascam 388 as well as a Tascam 38 1/2″ eight track. Courage says, “Most of the bands were tracked completely live to achieve the essence of their performance. The project was mixed in analog before being transferred to digital for mastering”. Culture Pop Films , our local media guru, came to capture some of the sessions live, making music videos to be released alongside the compilation.

An unprecedented insight into our excellent, eclectic local music scene, “The Out There Tapes” will document a splay of Santa Rosa’s finest musicians, a kind of a time capsule, for music lovers.

The album debuts on June 11, 2017 at the 3rd annual Railroad Square Music Festival But stay tuned to and you’ll  be able to catch a few previews.

In the mean time, support local music and keep rock ‘n’ roll alive!

Santa Rosa or Busk

Busking, or street performing, is a time honored tradition of musicians all over the world.

Its a unique element when experiencing a city, that gives passerby's a window into the sounds of local culture, that they may have otherwise never known.

Any day of the week in front of Oliver’s Market one can encounter an ever-changing gammot of local talent. Irish fiddle one day, blues guitar the next, accordion ensembles, loop artists, percussionists, folk singers; you’re eventually bound to hear something you like, and throw a few bucks in the jar.

In 2010, local musician and artist Aaron Milligan Green appealed to the city, gathering 3,000 signatures from Santa Rosa Residents to make Busking a legal and welcome activity. Anyone can now go into city hall and request a permit to play in public spaces for tips, with certain regulations of course. At the bottom of this page you can download a permit, get the guidelines and read the Street Performers Ordinance.

Try your luck, though! Just like any job, it has its challenges, and takes dedication to be successful. Busking can be an invaluable asset to a musical career. Allowing for the chance to practice, and perfect performances, play in front of people, network, advertise a craft, and make money doing what you love.

We are lucky to live in a place that follows in the footsteps of some of the most enchanting cities in the world, where music is embraced and displayed as a cultural gem. And Santa Rosa is lucky to have so many talented artists, bringing new sounds to our local street life.

Here's just a short sample of the sidewalk sounds of Santa Rosa.

Oddjob Ensemble

After its formation in Santa Rosa’s West End Neighborhood just last year, Oddjob Ensemble seems to have been everywhere in 2016. Directed by local musician Kalei Yamanoha, they recently finished recording their first album.
This six piece consortium, inspired by traditional sounds from around the world, doesn’t just have its finger on the pulse of Santa Rosa, they’re bringing in whole new life.

In their first year, Oddjob made impressive appearances, at The Great American Music Hall, Maker Faire and Lightning in a Bottle. But also close to home, at Railroad Square Music Festival, Rivertown Revival, Lagunitas Skunk Train, and Hopmonk Tavern to name a few. The Oddjob Trio also accompanies Tobias Weinberger and The Traveling Spectacular, writing and performing original scores for a throwback, one of a kind, traveling circus show. To say they’ve been busy, is a total understatement.
Oddjob Ensemble’s self titled album was recorded at Gremlintone Studios near Historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa. Gremlintone houses a vintage, custom built, analog recording studio owned and operated by John Courage. The entire album was recorded onto quarter inch tape, using a reel to reel 8 track recorder, before being sent to Myles Boisen in Oakland for mastering. Courage’s analog approach captures much of the old time sound that many say is lost in today’s digital recordings. His long time love for music, and deep ties in the scene make Gremlintone a special place, and many local musicians looking for that unique sound are finding that Courage has it dialed in.

On February 11, McNear’s Mystic Theatre in Petaluma will host the Double Album Release Party, with The Dixie Giants, The Highway Poets and Oddjob Ensemble. The Dixie Giants will be headlining and also releasing their newest, and all original album, “Dressed and Ready to Go”.
To hear the sweet music, and support local art, visit, or for more info on the album release show please visit