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A benefit concert for Nathan CohonÕs memorial fund will be held Thursday at Plaza Linda in Carmel Valley.

We're in our second week into 2013, so you would figure that folks are taking a collective breath (sigh of relief?), taking stock of where they are and where they want to be going, and generally taking things easy. It was, after all, a whirlwind of activity this past holiday season (isn't it always?).

And with the insistent rains, with only a day here or there without dark, wet skies, people can't be faulted for wanting to stay in, hunker down and cocoon (are we still using that term?).

But this week alone, we have a benefit show for a local concert promoter, a CD-release party, a book-release party and concert, the debut of a new music venue with a relatively new trio, the triumphant return of an alumni of a local high school, and the second anniversary of Hawaiian Night at a local eatery that showcases music.

Now that doesn't sound like cocooning to you, does it? Sure, there are a few venues that are still dark or operating at a reduced schedule (Bullwacker's, Hyatt Regency's jazz series, East Village, Sardine Factory), but by and large things are getting back to "normal," whatever that is.

I was going to take this list chronologically, but let's go out on the proverbial limb here and take this by significance/importance. You may disagree, but this column is a dictatorship, not a democracy (you "Walking Dead" fans may recognize that line. Too bad I can't come up with anything as clever as a "Ricktatorship.") So off we go:

· If Pati Cohon's name doesn't ring any bells, her always-smiling face might bring you a flash of recognition.


Pati is the one taking tickets, answering questions, finding seats for patrons, anything to take the pressure off of concert promoter Kiki Wow and her Plaza Linda music series.

Just before Christmas, Pati took her 21-year-old son, drummer Nathan, to the hospital to take care of what everyone thought was a persistent cold. Doctors ran tests and to everyone's shock, the diagnosis came back: Nathan had leukemia. Four days later, Pati's only son died in the hospital, just before Christmas.

After the shock subsided, somewhat, Kiki jumped into action, called in many of her favors and put together a benefit at Plaza Linda Mexican eatery in Carmel Valley that features massage therapists, body workers, artists and musicians, a silent auction, and all proceeds from tips, auction and the restaurant's sales going to Pati to take care of funeral and other expenses related to Nate's death.

The event, from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, features free massages from 4 p.m. on and music from Wes Kelly, Bob McLaren, local bluegrass band Scarlett Road, Guitar Bob & The Vibe Tribe, Michael Chatfield from The Money Band, K Mello & Mike Mahoney (InBtween), classical flutist Sam Johnston, The Next Blues Band and special guest musicians from Nate Cohon's band.

Donations, of course, are welcomed and details can be had from Kiki Wow at 235-7662 or online at

· I first heard guitarist Aron Forbes when he was a teen playing in the teen-age blues band, The Blue Tones. Several years later I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Aron snagged the guitar chair on the house band for Simon Cowell's post-"American Idol" show, "The X Factor" and through that gig was able to tour with teen chart-toppers One Direction.

Lately he's been focusing on his own project with rock singer Eric Brown called Aedio and with his retro jazz rock group Magnolia Memoir.

Now Forbes, 27, is returning to his alma mater, Carmel High School, to perform Friday night at 7 with both Aedio and Magnolia Memoir, in the third show of the Carmel High Singer Songwriter Guild. Students and teachers will provide opening acts for Forbes' two bands.

By the way, the show will be the world debut of the new Aedio album. Tickets, $10 general and $6 students, are available in the CHS ASB Office or online at

To catch some music by Forbes' two groups, try Twitter at @aediotheband (website still under construction) and

Local singer-songwriter Gabriel Gandzjuk celebrates the release of his new album "Second Hand Suit," Saturday night at Golden State Theatre in Monterey.

Word is that Gandzjuk wil be accompanied by most of the musicians on the album, all local musical stalwarts: Mark Roth, Nico Georis, Shaun Elley, Charlie Wallace, Melissa Underwood and Derric Oliver.

With his distinctive, fine sandpaper voice and poetic, romantic style Gandzjuk treads across folk, country and acoustic rock territory in an easy-going fashion, as if born to the trade.

Opening will be the Song Preservation Society an alt-folk trio known for its stirring vocal harmonies often compared to Crosby, Stills and Nash, Paul Simon and the Fleet Foxes.

Show is at 9, doors at 8:30, $10 at the door. Listen at


· The new venue is Ed's Courtside Bistro at Chamisal Tennis & Fitness Club just off of Laureles Grade. Performng will be True North, a new folkish trio that features Carmel Valley singer-songwriter Janni Littlepage and Eva Hillered and Patrick Rydman from Sweden.

Details at 235-7662 and a video clip here: youtube/7is9NjZgOYo.

This just in: Brit superstar rock band Yes plays the Golden State Theatre on March 10. Go to for details.

Fiery Colorado singer Nina Storey plays Saturday at Moe's Alley to celebrate the release of her new album. 8:30 p.m. show, doors open at 7:30 p.m., $15 advance, $20 door, with special guest, Santa Cruz singer-songwriter Tess Dunn. Both will play their full bands.

Wake The Dead, the Celtic all-star Grateful Dead jam band plays Friday night at 8 at Don Quixote's in Felton. $15 adv./$15 door. A Fiddling Cricket show.

Also at Don Quixote's, guitarists Jerry Miller (of Moby Grape) with Terry Haggerty (of Sons of Champlin fame) and Miller's band, Saturday at 8 p.m., $12 adv./$15 door. Miller's band features Tiran Porter of The Doobie Brothers, Dale Ockerman of the Doobie Brothers and Fuzzy John Oxendine on drums.

Plus Rushad Eggleston and Lily Henley & Her Band on Sunday night at 7, $10 adv./$12 door, seated show, under 21 w/parent, also a Fiddling Cricket show.