The birth of an unlikely music hot spot

Your next concert should be in Calaveras…

Something has been happening in Calaveras that you wouldn’t expect. A bunch of local musicians have dedicated themselves to launching a music scene here…and it’s really good. If you’ve visited lately you’ve likely been able to catch a singer/songwriter (or maybe even a band) at a local restaurant or winery. That’s because the music scene is taking off.

Grover Anderson, who grew up in the area and considers himself a Murphys-based artist because he’s up here every weekend despite “paying rent in the Bay,” says it took a little bit for the music scene to catch up to the tourist scene.

“People want something to do at night if they’re coming up for the weekend,” he said.

Now, with young musicians like himself, The Experimentalist, Descendants of Prospectors, Nicholas Lefler and others, you can usually wander around any weekend (and even some weeknights) and find some live music happening somewhere, especially in Murphys where the wineries and restaurants have also helped launch the music scene by supporting regular shows and acts.

For music fans, the Ironstone Concert Series has long been something to look forward to every summer in Calaveras (and it still is), but now other venues like Metate Hill Lounge and Twisted Oak Winery are starting to launch ongoing music events too.

Metate Hill’s extensive calendar showcases everything from reggae to jazz to indie rock throughout the year. While people who enjoy the idyllic vineyard setting can catch various folk, blue grass and acoustic shows at Twisted Oak Winery’s “Folk at the Oak” concert series this summer.

Next time you’re in town, venture out to see who’s playing that night. You won’t be disappointed by this unlikely music hot-spot.

Best places to catch a local act…

Alchemy Market – Live music every Tuesday to accompany their ongoing Winemaker’s Night, as well as various weekend acts throughout the year.

Cactus Jack’s Dawg House – Don’t be surprised if people are spilling out on the street when you walk by this place, especially when there’s a live band in the house.

Ironstone Amphitheater – They kicked it all off with their wildly popular Summer Concert Series. Never been? Here’s their line-up this year, including big names like Reba, Hank Williams, Tony Bennett, and Kelly Clarkson. Not only do you want to make sure you have tickets in advance for these shows, you want to make sure you’ve got a place to stay too!

Metate Hill Lounge – 16 shows on the calendar (and that’s just through June). This is one of Murphys new music hot spots.

Murphys Hotel Saloon – The best nights at the Murphys Hotel Saloon are when the music is blaring through those old historic walls. Check their calendar of events to see about upcoming bands.

Newsome-Harlow Winery – When you walk by this winery on Main Street in Murphys, you can’t help but be drawn in by their awesome courtyard…even better when you can order a bottle of vino, snag the giant orange couch and take in a local musician.

Twisted Oak Winery – Looking for something that pairs perfectly with a Tempranillo and is more fun than a barrel of rubber chickens? Try the stunning vista at Twisted Oak overlooking Calaveras County vineyards, a hearty dinner, and a concert under the stars. New this summer! Check out the line-up.

V Bistro – One of town’s newest night spots, V Bistro becomes extra lively when there’s a local musician playing.

Zucca After Hours – On Friday and Saturday nights, Zucca Wines’ charming garden patio turns into a wine bar where you can sip wine by the glass, bottle or flight, and often times take in a local musician too.

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  1. Dave Bristor says:

    More Calaveras music: There is an open-mic every Saturday at The Mercantile in Angel’s Camp (6-9pm) and and open-mic at the Leger in Mokelumne Hill every other Saturday (8:30-closing, call for details). And at the Blunder Inn in Mountain Ranch, there’s an acoustic open-mic / jam on the first Saturday of every month (8:30 to closing).

  2. Dave Bristor says:

    You can hear more music at Rossetti’s in Wallace, right on Hwy 12: Every Friday night they have a country band, and on Saturday nights they have a live classic rock band or a karaoke-DJ. Stop by for listening and/or dancing! Rossetti’s phone number is 209-763-5751; call them for details about who’s playing, etc..

    And by the way, in my earlier post I inadvertently omitted the Leger’s phone number: it’s 209-286-1401.

  3. Pingback: Twisted Oak Winery
  4. Cynthia Sudduth says:


    FYI I clicked on the Metete Lounge link and the site was full of asian looking characters….. couldn’t read a thing.


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