By Louisa Hufstader
Top acts from across the worlds of popular music are heading to the Napa Valley Exposition for BottleRock, May 30, May 31 and June 1: The Cure, Outkast, Heart, Railroad Earth, and De La Soul are just five of the 75 bands listed on the festival’s website.
Also in the line-up: More than a dozen Napa bands, playing almost as many different kinds of music, along with other Northern California groups on a special stage dedicated to regional performers.
“We had 142 submissions. Some amazing talent out there,” said Thea Witsil, owner of Wildcat Vintage Clothing in Napa and co-founder of Napa Porchfest, who is in her second year of managing the local and regional stage for BottleRock. “(I’m) so excited to help promote these awesome indie bands,” Witsil said.
The City Winery stage, also sponsored by Guitar Center, features several Napa bands that have been favorites at the annual Porchfest.
Cosmos Percussion Orchestra, May 30
Longtime Napa art and music teacher, John Hannaford, is a one of five percussionists in this eight-member, “world fusion” group, which draws on many musical cultures to create music that gets audiences dancing and even playing along.
The motto on the orchestra’s Facebook page reads, “Respecting the rich traditions of all forms of World Music; as well as the infinite possibilities of contemporary exploration.”
More information: http://www.cosmospercussionorchestra.com
The Deadlies, May 31
Napa’s own Deadlies have not only become the Bay Area’s preeminent, surf-rock band: They’ve established
a sound of their own, where classic surf meets country and punk.
Recently off a tour with Lisa Marie Presley and the Mavericks, the trio features founding members, James Patrick Regan and Bob St. Laurent — a.k.a. Good Morning Bob from KVYN and drummer, Tymber Cavasian.
More information: http://www.thedeadlies.com
The Graveyard Boots, May 31
American roots music inspires this five-man Napa group, whose influences range from vintage country music to funk and the blues.
Members are Scott Turnnidge on drums, Mike Hirby on guitar and vocals, Abe Newman on bass, Oliver Jacobson on violin and vocals, and Jesse Baldo on guitar.
More information: http://www.reverbnation.com/thegraveyardboots
Jealous Zelig, May 31
Jealous Zelig includes (in photo) Ross Rubin (on Vocals and Keys) and Les Violettes’ Colin Shipman (on Double-Bass). The band also includes Orchestra Napa Valley Fellow Matt Boyles on Bass Clarinet, Pablo Escobar on Drums, Napa High School Director of Bands Mike Riendeau on Trombone and Multi-instrumentalist Chris Vibberts on Steel, Classical and Electric Guitars.
Their sound is like “a bit of Bowie, Bach, Baker, Bud Powell and the Beatles, bringing the late-night partiers into the kitchen with Nilsson, Wonder, Redding, Mercury and Kaufman already raiding the back of the fridge,” according to the Jealous Zelig Facebook page.
More information: http://www.jealouszelig.bandcamp.com
Grass Child, June 1
Originally called “Grass Child Gypsy,” this Napa supergroup features five music veterans combining their talents and influences to create a collaborative, high-energy sound, drawing on rock, funk and ska.
Sarah Madsen is the group’s “Songbird”; Brant Roscoe plays guitar, Jonny Tindall is the bassist, Barry Forsythe plays trap drums, and John Hannaford adds world percussion.
More information: http://www.grasschild.net
Ramblerz, June 1
Long known as the Napa Valley Ramblers, this seven-piece group plays bluegrass, Napa style, weaving in sounds from other American traditions including blues, folk and Puerto Rican music.
Along with the group’s packed Porchfest appearances on Randolph Street every July, members of Ramblerz can be found playing in front of Wildcat Vintage Clothing on Main Street, as well as at local events and parties.
More information: http://www.reverbnation.com/napavalleyramblers
Michael Thomason Band, June 1
This longtime Upvalley band also has a strong following overseas, with a #2 record on the European Country Music Association chart, and ECMA nominations for Band of the Year and Album of the year.
Thomason finds the soul of country with his intelligent original songs, the twang of his vocals with daughter Jessie, and powerful playing by guitarist Sean Allen, bassist Don Schmitt and drummer James Foster.
More information: http://www.sonicbids.com/band/michaelthomasonband
The Sorry Lot, June 1
Named after a disdainful comment by a British bartender, this seven-piece, Napa band describes its sound as “rowdy Irish drinking music from California’s wine country,” with a repertoire of traditional classics, along with “more modern, irreverent tunes.”
Instruments include banjo, fiddle, tin whistle, accordion, guitar, bodhran (frame drum), mandolin, bass and bouzouki.
More information: http://www.thesorrylot.com
“Several acoustic/singer-songwriter acts from Napa are also appearing in the BottleRock VIP Lounge, an exclusive festival area open only to premium ticket-holders.” Witsil said.
Trevor Lyon, May 30
A perennial Porchfest favorite, Lyon plays contemporary reggae influenced by hip-hop, blues, jazz and rock. He’s also a songwriter with more than two dozen songs available on iTunes.
More information: http://www.trevorlyon.com
Kristen Van Dyke, May 30
Another Porchfest crowd-pleaser, singer-songwriter Kristin Van Dyke formed her band, the Bunnies, in 2010.
Van Dyke tells BottleRock that her influences include Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, Patsy Cline and Billie Holiday.
More information: http://www.reverbnation.com/kvd
Amber Snider Trio, June 1
She still calls Napa home, but Amber Snider is also an internationally-known performer, who is scheduled for a European tour in April and early May, followed by a string of Bay Area gigs leading up to BottleRock.
Called “super talented” by Richard Freedman of the Vallejo Times-Herald, Snider has recorded five CDs and two singles, and describes her sound as “Folk-Rock, Country & Blues = Ambericana.”
More information: http://www.ambersnider.com
Shelby Lanterman, June 1
Just 20 years old, Shelby Lanterman is already a well-known Napa singer-guitarist who has appeared multiple times at the Napa Valley Opera House and played Porchfest as part of the duo, Mirror Image, with Nadia Kako.
Lanterman’s songwriting and performing influences include classic rock bands such as Heart and
More information: www.shelbylantermanmusic.com
Sweet Burgundy, June 1
This all-female trio of Napa singer-songwriters has been together for eight years, playing for audiences from wine country to the Caribbean, with a repertoire of acoustic originals and covers spanning folk-rock, country and blues.
Their BottleRock appearance follows the May 1 release date for their third CD, “Tattooed Melodies.”
More information: http://www.sweetburgundymusic.com
See the entire list of BottleRock performers at