Four years after starting his North Bay Hootenanny series, with live music by local bands, Windmiller now presents free concerts at five
Windmiller (that's his stage name) also presents special one-shot shows, and even organizes bus trips for local fans who want to see
"From the very first North Bay Hootenanny, my goal has been to make music accessible, and create an atmosphere for interesting collaborations between members of the community," Windmiller said.
Windmiller, 31, was born in
"Sometimes, when you're starting something new, it's good to change your identity a little bit," he said of his professional name. He took the name from a literary hero,
"I made it a verb: to windmill, to battle giants," he said.
That makes him a "windmiller." The "giants" are the Internet, television and other media mammoths that mass-manufacture culture and create a gap between performers and their audience, Windmiller reasoned.
He brings a well-educated perspective to his endeavors, with three degrees from
A seasoned performer as well as a self-made impresario, Windmiller first established himself on the
In 2008, he participated in a show called "The Hootenanny" at the
His first official North Bay Hootenanny was held in 2010 at the Arlene Francis Center in
"Something really clicked, and people started coming out in big numbers," Windmiller said. "That really got my wheels turning."
Starting in 2011, the North Bay Hootenanny ran weekly for a year at the
He also found time for another project last year, creating a musical play called "The Ratcatcher," based on the Pied Piper fairy tale, in collaboration with The Crux band and
Most of the music Windmiller presents can be loosely categorized as Americana, a collection of blues, folk, rock, country and bluegrass, both acoustic and amplified.
"I don't call it a genre exactly," he said. "It's a useful term for a lot of innovative music."
The shows draw a wide variety of talent from all over the county, but regulars include the
North Bay Hootenanny currently presents the following regular, free concert series, sponsored by the various venues:
Red's Apple Roadhouse,
The Epicurean Connection,
West End Farmer's Market,
You can reach Staff Writer
(c)2014 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Visit The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) at www.pressdemocrat.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services