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Ray's Delicatessen & Tavern, Petaluma: This unassuming old-school spot in Petaluma pairs wine and craft beer with soups, salads and housemade gourmet sandwiches. There's free live music every Friday night and open mic on Wednesdays. Pair rock n' roll and bluegrass with a glass of pinot from Hook & Ladder in the Russian River Valley. View music calendar. 900 Western Ave, Petaluma, 707-762-9492, rays-deli.com.
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Geyserville Gun Club, Geyserville: Opened by Chef Dino Bugica, owner of next-door Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria, this watering hole is "almost too absurdly wonderful to be true," according to Heather Irwin, Sonoma Magazine's dining editor. (Think "Pepto-pink" bathroom stuffed with a ram's head, a crystal elk antler chandelier and Sophia Loren, legs askew, gazing down from a giant poster). While it may not serve Diavola's famous pizza, one of the best in the county, it does serve up delicious bar bites, craft cocktails, and free live music on Saturday nights. 21025 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, 707-814-0036, geyservillegunclub.com.
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The Elephant in the Room, Healdsburg: This new craft beer and wine bar hosts live music every weekend, as well as many weeknights, on an outdoor stage. The venue, also called "The L," is a collaboration between KC Mosso, a local musician and music promoter, and Paul Stokefeld, owner of the Toad in the Hole pub in Santa Rosa (another great venue for live music). With connections in the music and beer industry, Mosso and Stokefeld are set to bring the finest brews and bands to The L. View music calendar. 177 A Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, elephantintheroompub.com. (Photo: winecountrytable.com)
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The Fern Bar, Sebastopol: In addition to creative cocktails, mocktails and shrubs (drinks made with vinegar), this retro restaurant and lounge serves up free live music in the bar. Each night has a different musical theme: Monday is locals night, Tuesday is blues day, Wednesday is all about unwinding with chill music, Thursday invites guests for jazz, Friday is for fans of fusion, Saturday is dealer's (DJs) choice, and Sunday offers an eclectic Americana journey. View music calendar. Music starts 9 p.m. Thurs-Sat, and 7:30 p.m. Sun-Wed. 6780 Depot St, Suite 120, Sebastopol, 707-861-9603. fernbar.com. (Kelly Puleio Photography)
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Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol and Sonoma: A local trendsetter when it comes to combining live music with great eats and drinks, Hopmonk hosts free live music in the beer garden as well as a concert space for larger acts, such as Pete Yorn, Primus, and Citizen Cope. The original Hopmonk in Sebastopol, opened in 2008 by Dean Biersch of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, has a free open mic night every Thursday. In addition to Sebastopol and Sonoma, there's also a Hopmonk in Novato. 230 Petaluma Avenue, Sebastopol; 691 Broadway, Sonoma, hopmonk.com. (Estefany Gonzalez)
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Twin Oaks Tavern, Penngrove: This old honky-tonk bar, which now operates under Dean Biersch's Hopmonk brand, has been around in one form or another since 1924. Today it serves up live music, karaoke, line dancing and open mic nights, as well as good food and cold drinks. Many performances are free or cost $10 per person, expect many regulars seated at the bar. View music calendar. 5745 Old Redwood Hwy., Penngrove, 707-795 5118, hopmonk.com/twin-oaks. (Photo by Chris Hardy)
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Redwood Cafe, Cotati: This downtown Cotati cafe is a mecca for music lovers with a full roster of up-close-and-personal entertainment, ranging from Celtic music to first-class cover bands, from Zydeco to jazz. There's a dance floor in front of the stage, which fills up quickly with dancers of all skill levels. Join in on line dancing or bring your own instrument to play along with the Irish band. Some acts on Friday and Saturday nights have a cover charge, so check their calendar in advance. View music calendar. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati, 707-795-7868, redwoodcafe.com
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Brew Coffee and Beer House, Santa Rosa: One of the most inclusive and welcoming spots in all of Sonoma County, Brew is the kind of place where you start your day with a pour-over and end it with a pint (doing some work on your laptop and/or playing a board game in between). Along with the hot and cold brews, there is a large selection of pastries, sandwiches and quiche and there's open mic every Tuesday, RuPaul’s Drag Race Nights on Thursdays, and Queer Night Fridays. Check Facebook for events. 555 Healdsburg Ave, Santa Rosa, 707-303-7372, brewcoffeeandbeer.com.
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Murphy’s Irish Pub, Sonoma: This Irish pub on the Sonoma plaza is a locals' favorite, and with good reason. There's something for everyone here: Kids eat free on Sundays, while every Friday and Saturday night offers trivia, comedy and free live music. Traditional Irish dishes like fish and chips, bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potato) and shepherd's pie are on the menu, as well as Guinness, Irish ale and other British brews. View music calendar. 464 1st Street East, Sonoma, 707-935-0660, sonomapub.com.
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Russian River Vineyards, Forestville: On Sundays, pair live music with Russian River Valley pinot and wood-fired pizza on one of our favorite patios in wine country. Many events also feature live music from local bands. 5700 Hwy. 116 N., Forestville, 707-887-3344, russianrivervineyards.com
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Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa: Paradise Ridge has brought back its popular Wines & Sunsets event, happening every Wednesday throughout the summer (their Santa Rosa tasting room is yet to reopen following its destruction in the October 2017 fires). The outdoor event, which takes place in the winery's hillside amphitheater, features live music from local bands, Rockpile wines by the glass or bottle and bites from popular local restaurants -- Zazu, The Fig Rig and more -- served via food trucks. A great place to take in the sunset to the sound of music. Advance tickets are $5 for wine club members, and $10 for general admission. View calendar.
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B.R. Cohn Winery, Glen Ellen: Concerts have long been a staple at this Glen Ellen winery (founder Bruce Cohn is the former manager of the Doobie Brothers). Since two years, they host a late summer event in collaboration with BottleRock Napa Valley: the Sonoma Harvest Music Festival. Taking place over the course of two consecutive weekends (Sept 14-15 and 21-22), this year's festival will be headlined by Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Death Cab for Cutie and Chvrches. 15000 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen, sonomaharvestmusicfestival.com.
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Rodney Strong Vineyards, Healdsburg: Rodney Strong's popular Summer Concert Series, now in its 29th year, draws a crowd with acts that appeal to all ages -- although baby boomers will be especially excited by this year's concert by The Beach Boys. Alanis Morissette kicked off the concert series this summer, "pregnant and empowered," and late night show host Jay Leno will close it; he is the first comedian to perform here. 11455 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg, rodneystrongconcertseries.com.
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Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma: Gundlach Bundschu's Huichica Music Festival, named for the Native American tribe that once inhabited the region, has a charm and style all its own: it's intentionally modest in scale and built on the concept that "music, wine and food are best shared in a beautiful, intimate setting with a warm and friendly attitude." This year's festival was June 12-13, check back for information about next year's event. 2000 Denmark St, Sonoma, gunbun.com.