A Guide to Live Music in Marin County

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    Rickey's Restaurant and Bar

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    Sweetwater Music Hall

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    Terrapin Crossroads

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    Hopmonk Tavern

Posted in Blogging Marin on Friday, June 26, 2015 by MCVB Staff

by Whitney Butler


Live music is a great way to catch a city’s vibes—connect with the people over shared interests, a cold beer or great food. It’s a time to let loose, kick up your heels or sip slowly while enjoying a melody, and Marin County has a beat for every night owl who cares to listen.


Whatever the genre, whatever the style, venues of all sizes abound in Marin, which has become a musical playground for budding local talent, retired artists and touring musicians. So if you’re planning a night out or a weekend getaway to Marin, you simply can’t miss the chance to follow the beat.


Here’s your night owl’s guide to some of the best places to catch live music in Marin County.


Rickey’s Restaurant & Bar

Every Friday and Saturday evening, night owls in the mood for amore should head over to Rickey’s Restaurant & Bar for live jazz performed by a variety of professional musicians and vocalists. From Nat King Cole tributes to percussion-only ensembles, Rickey’s serves up an eclectic mix—in addition to delicious American-style cuisine.


Located inside the Inn Marin in Novato, the large fireplace and natural textures are casual and inviting. Enjoy a dish prepared with local ingredients, and then take in the show and a specialty cocktail from the bar, all without breaking the bank. These live jazz performances are free for guests to enjoy—you’ll certainly fall in love.


Sand Dollar Restaurant

Inspired by the music of Appalachia, bluegrass is American roots music with distinct sounds and quick riffs, and there’s no better place for a night owl who loves Americana than the Sand Dollar Restaurant in Stinson Beach.


Just like the live music, the restaurant itself is full of inspiring tales. Constructed in 1921, the building is made of three barges, which were assembled in Tiburon and floated to Stinson Beach, where they were later fused together. Today, this restaurant and live music venue is a favorite among locals.


Every weekend and occasional weekday, guests can expect to hear incredible Americana, ranging in styles from traditional bluegrass and honky-tonk to hillbilly bebop and the blues.


Sweetwater Music Hall

If you’re a night owl who loves classic rock and state-of-the-art performances, head to Mill Valley for a show at the legendary nightclub Sweetwater Music Hall. The venue may be intimate, but every show here is first rate—showcasing both local and internationally acclaimed talent accompanied by incredible sound and video technology.


This community venue underwent significant updates in 2012, while still preserving the legacy of the original music hall, which opened in 1972. Carlos Santana, Clarence Clemons, Elvis Costello, Gregg Allman, Huey Lewis and Jerry Garcia are just a few musicians to have once graced the Sweetwater stage. Current owner, and Grateful Dead member, Bob Weir is still known to take the stage on occasion.


Sweetwater shows are mostly ticketed, with some free shows available featuring local musicians and community schools.


Terrapin Crossroads

Terrapin Crossroads is the love child of Grateful Dead musician Phil Lesh and his wife Jill, who wanted to bring people together with music and fine food. Night owls looking to have a celebrity sighting, or simply feel like a celebrity, will love the posh interior and live music scene happening nearly every night of the week at this community venue.


The bar talent is a curated group of local musicians hand selected by Lesh and his associates, ranging in style from acoustic jazz to indie rock. In addition to nightly talent in the bar, Terrapin Crossroads has a larger venue called The Grate Room, which is used for special musical performances.


Surprise appearances by Lesh and other well-known musicians happen frequently. Special musical guests have included Boyd Tinsley (Dave Matthews Band), Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) and Warren Haynes (The Allman Brothers Band).


HopMonk Tavern

If you’re a night owl who loves live music and craft beer, then HopMonk Tavern in Novato is your final destination. In addition to brewing several of its own tasty brews, HopMonk also has a beautiful outdoor music venue with firepits and family-style tables. 


HopMonk features live music nearly every night of the week spanning just about every genre. From R&B to electronic, there are plenty of high-energy beats to dance to. Reggae fans will love HopMonk’s newest addition to its musical lineup: Sacred Sundayz, a compilation of different reggae styles, every first Sunday of the month.


Don’t miss your chance to catch a beat on your next trip to Marin County at one of these unique live music venues.


For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.

More information on featured attractions:

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Rickey's Restaurant at Inn Marin

Rickey’s serves old-fashioned American favorites, such as spit-roasted meats, slow smoked prime rib, and seasonal cuisine. The affordable and comfortable cuisine focuses on only the freshest ingredients from...[Learn More]

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Hopmonk Tavern at Vintage Oaks

If you’ve been to our first two Taverns you’ll expect another original interpretation of the things we love, this time in Northern Marin County. That’s serving fresh, in-season craft...[Learn More]

Tags: Music