Studio 55 Marin

Premier Live Music Listening Room

1455 East Francisco Blvd., San Rafael, California


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UPCOMING SHOWS

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Broadcasting Live from Studio 55 Marin

Saturday, February 13 - 10 am - $15 advance/ $20 at door

West Coast Live

Fascinating Interviews and Ear-opening Music


Spend your Saturday morning in the company of West Coast Live - a fully live national 2-hour radio variety show hosted every weekend by Sedge Thomson and featuring author interviews, music, and comedy.

Imagine the pleasure of watching a radio show come-to-life before your eyes. Immerse yourself in the company of world-renowned authors and musicians for live performance and spontaneous interviews in the intimate setting of our venue. Live from Studio 55, Sedge welcomes:

This show features SARK,known for her personal, journal-like writings and art, inspiring others with her vulnerable and honest journeys toward self-acceptance.

We are also joined by THE BROTHERS COMATOSE,the Bay Area's southwestern-tinged, rowdy stringband bring us a taste of their new album City Painted Gold, the women's a'capella choir CONSPIRACY OF VENUS, and more!

These shows may sell out... get your tickets NOW!


A Rare Bay Area Appearance

Friday, February 19 - 8pm - $17 advance / $20 at door

Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass

An Excellent Traditional Bluegrass Band


Live video of Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass

Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass continue to be deeply rooted in tradition, but look to the future with enthusiasm and anticipation. Their album, The Room Over Mine, earned accolades and significant chart action, and the song, "Don't Throw Mama's Flowers Away" won the 2009 IBMA Award for Song of the Year and have garnered several IBMA nominations for Emerging Artist of The Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year. Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass are a national and international touring band who frequently get invited for return engagements. Their list of notable festivals and events include: Rocky Grass, Grey Fox, Grass Valley, Del Fest, Wind Gap, Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival and more.

With Danny Paisley on guitar Southern Grass continues the family tradition adding Danny's son Ryan on mandolin, the next generation of up and coming pickers. Southern Grass welcomes back TJ Lundy as the band's fiddler. TJ Lundy is a highly respected fiddler bridging the gap between old time fiddling and bluegrass music. Southern Grass also includes: Mark Delaney (formerly with Randy Waller and the Country Gentlemen, and Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac) on banjo; and Eric Troutman on bass.

Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass play powerful, unadorned, and intense traditional bluegrass. There is no hybrid or genre-bending music here. Their combination of instrumentation and vocals convey the energy and emotion of classic bluegrass and country music. Danny's lead vocals will captivate your senses, so much so that many prominent musicians, including Alison Krauss, have considered Danny as one of their favorite singers. His voice combines powerful range and soulful blues with a sound like no one else in bluegrass today.eaches internationally and is in great demand as a teacher at music camps and fiddling/dancing workshops.


Roaming Blues Musician and Poet

Friday, February 26 - 8pm - $15 advance / $18 at door

Ray Bonneville

Featuring Richie Lawrence on Keyboards


Click to play a live video of Ray Bonneville

Ray Bonneville is a poet of the demimonde who didn't write his first song until his early 40s, some 20 years after he started performing. But with a style that sometimes draws comparisons to JJ Cale and Daniel Lanois, this blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired "song and groove man," as he's been so aptly described, luckily found his rightful calling. Born in Quebec, his family moved to Boston when he was 12. He served a year in Vietnam as a Marine, struggled and overcame drug addiction, earned a pilot's license in Colorado, then moved to Alaska, then Seattle, and Paris and New Orleans. But it took a close call while piloting a seaplane across the Canadian wilderness to make him decide it was time to get busy writing songs - gritty narratives inspired by a lifetime of hard-won knowledge set against his gritty, soulful guitar and harmonica playing.

He's since earned many accolades, including a Juno Award for his 1999 album, Gust of Wind. His post-Katrina ode, "I Am the Big Easy," earned the International Folk Alliance's 2009 Song of the Year Award, and in 2012, Bonneville won the solo/duet category in the Blues Foundation's International Blues Challenge. He has guested on albums by Mary Gauthier, Gurf Morlix, Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard and other prominent artists, and shared songwriting credits with Tim O'Brien, Phil Roy and Morlix, among others. Slaid Cleaves placed Bonneville's "Run Jolee Run" on his lauded 2009 album, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.

Easy Gone, Ray's fourth album for Red House Records, takes listeners to some of the dark spaces and exotic places Bonneville has gone on his own travels. An Austin resident since 2006, Bonneville still puts the rhythms and soul of New Orleans into much of his music. His songs carry a groove and momentum that's uniquely his - and will always be a part of him, no matter where he roams.


The Night of Country-Folk Music

Saturday, March 5 - 8 pm - $17 advance / $20 at door

Rita Hosking Trio

Stadler Gibbons Band Opens


Rita Hosking Trio

Live video of Rita Hosking Trio

"In scorching form" (UK Telegraph), Northern California's own Rita Hosking sings of forest fires, culture clash, demolition derbies, the working class and hope. From NPR's Weekend Edition to Bob Harris's BBC show, Rita is moving audiences around the globe with her stories in song and doubly sweet and sinewy voice, "a captivating performer," (R2 Magazine.)

Rita's style of country-folk has been lauded for story and sense of place, and her performances praised for capturing the audience. Honors include winner of the 2008 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival, finalist in the 2009 Telluride Music Festival Troubadour Contest, and honors in the International Songwriting Contest and West Coast Songwriters Association. "This California girl comes by her mountain-music sensibility with true authenticity, with original songs deeply rooted in her family's frontier experience," (Dan Ruby, FestivalPreview.com) and Rita's fans call her "the real deal".

Come Sunrise, Rita's 2009 record, won Best Country Album Vox Pop in the 2010 Independent Music Awards. Burn, from 2011, was placed in the top 10 "Young Female Artist releases for 2011" by No Depression magazine, and listed as a "Hidden Gem of 2011" by the UK's Observer. Both Come Sunrise and Burn were produced by Rich Brotherton--producer, engineer, and guitar player in the Robert Earl Keen Band. Rita's latest 2013 release, Little Boat, was made at Ace Recording, and was selected by the UK Telegraph as one of the "Top 10 Country Albums of 2013."

In live performance, Rita will play as "The Rita Hosking Trio" with Bill Dakin added on upright bass.

Stadler Gibbons Band


This fine gathering of highly experienced musicians pulls together to find the common ground between early Country and Bluegrass and to include original material and contemporary songs suited to such a goal. The band features the clean, intricate harmonies of Mike Stadler and Mary Gibbons stacked atop a bed of dynamic acoustic instruments and pedal steel guitar. It has been entertaining California audiences from a variety of big concert stages, including the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival and the Great American Music Hall.


Special Sunday Matinee

Sunday, March 6 - 3pm - $17 advance / $20 at door

The Black Brothers Band

Sunday Afternoon of Celtic Music


Click to play a live video of The Black Brothers Band

On July 25, 2013, the Black Family (Shay, Michael, Mary, Martin, and Frances), dubbed "one of the most important musical clans in Ireland" by MTV, stood at the world-famous iBAM event in Chicago - which celebrates the best in Irish authors, musicians and artists - and were recognized for their contributions to Irish music. The Dublin-born siblings are the children of fiddle player, piper and mandolinist Kevin Black and vocalist Patty Daly Black. While sisters Mary and Frances rank among the best-selling folk artists in the world, the three albums that they recorded with their brothers - Shay, Michael, and Martin - document the strength of this family collaboration.

The repertoire of the Brothers is very broad and includes old Dublin street songs, music hall songs and historical ballads, songs from the Irish, English and Scottish traditions, along with songs by contemporary writers. Shay and Michael are close harmony singers, with a special fondness for songs that include their audience in chorus, and many of the songs are narratives with stories. The performances include a lot of up tempo reels and jigs, along with some mighty fine dancing from their dances, which brings an added excitement to every concert. With each show interspersed with stories, jokes and humorous childhood anecdotes, audiences invariably leave their concerts smiling broadly and humming new choruses.

Members of the band are Shay Black on guitar and vocals, Michael Black on tenor banjo, bass cittern and vocals, Eamonn Flynn on piano, and Bobbi Nikles on fiddle. They will be accompanied by Irish dancer Ciara Duggan.


Special Sunday Evening Show

Sunday, March 13 - 7pm - $18 advance / $20 at door

Old Blind Dogs

Traditional Scottish Folk Music


Live video of Old Blind Dogs

"Old Blind Dogs bring freshness and colour to acoustic music steeped in centuries of Scottish folklore and history." - (The Los Angeles Times)

Since forming in the early 1990's, Old Blind Dogs have stood on the cutting edge of Scotland's roots revival. The band has developed its own trademark style with an energetic mix of songs and tunes. Dynamic percussion, polished vocals, soaring fiddle and stirring pipes fuel the delicately-phrased melodies and traditional songs.

"The Old Blind Dogs play with a compelling energy and intoxicating rhythm," says The Scotsman, "as players and audience seem to share a wild ecstasy of emotion." Sixteen years is a long time in the life of any band and most who reach that milestone are content to rest on the tried and true formulas that have worked in the past. Not so for Scotland's Old Blind Dogs whose newly released Four on the Floor takes them bravely in many new directions.

"Together, in varying line-ups along with past members Buzzby McMillan (bass, bouzouki, vocals), Davy Cattanach (percussion, vocals), Fraser Fifield (saxophone, small pipes), Paul Jennings (percussion), Rory Campbell (Border pipes, whistles, vocals) and singer/guitarists Ian Benzie and Jim Malcolm, the Dogs have released ten albums and have won numerous awards. The Old Blind Dogs were named "Folk Band of the Year" at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004 and 2007. Also in 2004, Jim Malcolm was named Songwriter of the Year. In 2001, the UK's Association of Independent Music selected their album Fit? as a finalist for the Celtic Album of the Year award. Their latest album 'Four On The Floor' also picked up the IAP 'Best Celtic CD' Award.


Special Sunday Matinee

Sunday, May 22 - 3:00pm - $17 advance / $20 at door

Trio Balkan Strings

Virtuoso Guitar Music with an Eastern European Twist


Live video of Trio Balkan Strings - Stampedo

Live video of Trio Balkan Strings - Svilen Konac

Trio Balkan Strings is a family band of three virtuoso guitarists from Serbia. They have filled up philharmonic concert halls all over Eastern Europe and performed at a variety of festivals around the world. Their original music is a fusion of Balkan influences, such as Serbian, Gypsy, Macedonian, or Romanian. This colorful musical mix is further embellished by asymmetrical rhythms and original guitar interpretation.

Trio Balkan Strings is no ordinary group of musicians. They won first prize and the Dolphin statue for being the best instrumental ensemble on the Music World 2004 Italy Festival Internacionale Fivizzano. It also became a First Prize Winner in the World category of the 2005 USA Songwriting Competition with composition Water-mill written by the band member Nikola Starcevic. In addition to these accomplishments, Nikola is a First Prize Winner of the JoAnn Falletta International Composition Competition for Guitar 2007 Buffalo, New York (with Asiana IV).

Their instrumental performance is airtight, and the music inspires listeners through the richness of its cultural palette.


Coming to the Bay Area from Glasgow, Scotland

Friday, July 15 - 8pm - $17 advance / $20 at door

Paul McKenna Band

Scottish/Irish Traditional Music


Live video of Paul McKenna Band

"The best folk band to have come out of Scotland in the last twenty years." - New York Times

Combining their love for traditional and folk music as well as original songs and tunes, the Paul MacKenna Band have been playing to audiences throughout the UK since 2006. With a contemporary approach to songs, although not straying too far from their roots, their arrangements are both fresh and innovative. Their exciting sound is created through outstanding vocals, driving guitar and bouzouki, intense fiddle playing a warm pairing of flute and whistles and dynamic bodhran and percussion. Since being awarded the title of Best Up and Coming Artist of 2009 at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, The Paul McKenna Band have gone from strength to strength touring extensively throughout USA, Canada and Europe.

Concert highlights over the last few years include performances at Celtic Connections Glasgow, The Cambridge Folk Festival England, Tonder Festival Denmark, Milwaukee Irish Festival USA and Edmonton Folk Festival Canada. In 2015 the band will play at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida representing Scotland at Epcot Centre.