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Posted: Friday, August 11, 2006 10:00 pm

Sonora Blues Festival in Sonora

Blues fans can enjoy 10 hours of continuous Blues music today at the Sonora Blues Festival. Three stages will feature performances from Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Castro, Walter Trout, Cafe R&B, Paul Thorn, Ron Thompson and the Resistors, Angela Strehil Band with Mighty Mike Schermer, Shane Dwight Band, Phil Brown, Valerie Johnson, John Nemeth and RJ Mischo.

Although Blues based, the Shane Dwight Band has the ability to cross over to a variety of different audiences and has performed at venues including county fairs, Disneyland theme parks and have opened up for major Country, Blues and Rock stars. They have appeared at venues including the Monterey Blues Festival, the Reno Blues and Brews Festival and the Redwood Coast Jazz Festival. The band has shared the stage with John Mayall and The Blues Breakers, The Supremes, Jefferson Starship, Terrie Clark, The Greg Kihn Band and Night Ranger.

Joe Bonamassa began performing at the age of 10 and then was asked to open for B.B. King at age 12. While in his teens, he helped form the group, Bloodline. The group produced two chart hits including, "Stone Cold Hearted," and "Dixie Peach." In 2000, he finished his debut solo CD, "A New Day Yesterday," which included hits such as, "Miss You, Hate You," and "Cradle Rock." To celebrate the "Year of the Blues" in 2003, he released, "Blues Deluxe," which featured nine cover versions of blues classics along with three originals. About this same time, he became involved with, "Blues in the Schools," a program developed by the Blues Foundation to help perpetuate the legacy of blues music to a new generation of fans.

Bonamassa's next CD, "Had To Cry Today," combined original and classic blues. In 2005, he was asked by B.B. King to open for his 80th Birthday Celebration Tour. Because of his efforts with Blues in the Schools, Bonamassa was nominated as the youngest member of the Blues Foundation Committee board in January of this year.

Today's festival will also include workshops featuring songwriting, slide guitar, blues harmonica and blues for kids.

When: Today at 11 a.m.

Where: Mother Lode Fairgrounds, Sonora

Tickets: $35-$40

Information: 533-3473

Women Who Kick Comedy Butt in Lockeford

The fall series of Women Who Kick Comedy Butt kicks off today at Vino Piazza featuring Grace White along with six other women, who will share their own stories.

White said the show will consist of artsy short sets told from a lot of different points of view.

Seven years ago, White began performing stand-up comedy when her daughter left home and she had the empty nest syndrome.

"I didn't want life to be mundane and so I started taking risks and comedy is one of them," she said.

White has opened concerts for 3 Doors Down, Jefferson Starship and Jethro Tull and has shared the stage with Father Guido Sarducci, Kevin Pollak and Will Durst. She has appeared on The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon and ABC's, "Good Morning America." White also played a role in "The Independent," a film starring Jerry Stiller and Janeane Garofalo.

Because of the success of the venue, White said next year's events will expand to include a lunch for Assistant's Day, and a brunch for Mother's Day.

Today's show includes comedians Christian Shirm, Tina Allen, Jojeana Marie, Carol Metcalf, Gail Jones and Candice Churilla. The doors will open at 7 p.m. for wine tasting.

When: Today at 8 p.m.

Where: Vino Piazza, 12470 Locke Road, Lockeford

Tickets: $15 and includes one glass of wine, $10 for the designated driver and includes one non-alcoholic beverage and $10 for VIP Wine Club members.

Information: 727-9770

Compiled by Pam Bauserman

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