Music set to ‘liven up’ downtown Roseville

Venues offer an array of options
By: Toby Lewis, Press Tribune correspondent
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Local live music venues include:

Who: Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Grill

What: Live rock ’n’ roll

Where: 238 Vernon St., Roseville

When: 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays



Who: The Owl Club

What: Live rock ’n’ roll

Where: 109 Church St., Roseville

When: Friday, Saturday nights



Who: The Boxing Donkey

What: Live rock, Irish music

Where: 300 Lincoln St., Roseville

When: Friday, Saturday nights



Who: Shady Coffee & Tea

What: Open mic, singer/songwriters

Where: 325 Douglas Blvd., Roseville

When: 7 p.m. Fridays


While most might consider Roseville a long way from becoming a city known for live music, there are some in the community working to change that perception.

Roseville’s latest addition to the live music scene, Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Grill downtown on Vernon Street, is one venue that is hoping to soon rival Sacramento in terms of its offerings.

“We are transitioning, booking some different acts into our venue and kind of taking the entertainment aspect of it in a new direction,” said Kathy Macaulay, marketing director for Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Grill. “We hope to get some bigger names, to kind of elevate the entertainment that we’ve had.”

With 10,000 square feet, two mezzanine levels and a large stage set in the center of it all, Sammy’s is indeed one of the largest live music venues in the region, and Macaulay intends to capitalize on that.

“Our hope is that we’re going to offer a level of entertainment where people won’t have to drive to Sacramento,” she said. “Because our feeling is there’s no reason why we can’t bring that level of entertainment to Roseville. That is our ultimate goal.”

The Boxing Donkey on Lincoln Street in Old Roseville is another venue that offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

“We have a variety of the best solo and duo acoustic guitar players,” said musician and promoter Adam Donald. “There are bands that come through, usually Irish bands. It’s really a pub feel as opposed to a club feel, I suppose.”

Whether it’s a pub or a club, Donald says the quality of musicianship in Roseville makes up for the lack of quantity.

“There’s a good core group of musicians that play not only in Roseville, but around the Sacramento and Northern California area,” Donald said. “We all kind of stick together, especially us solo guys. There’s not as many people doing it, but the guys who are out doing it in this area are as expert as it gets.”

In terms of venues, Julie Hirota, CEO of Blue Line Arts on Vernon Street, thinks the future of live music in downtown Roseville is looking quite optimistic.

Blue Lne Arts is spearheading a new group called “Venues on Vernon.”

“Venues on Vernon is a collaboration with a couple of downtown partners where Blue Line Arts will be presenting live music performances,” Hirota said. “Our plan is to use the theaters that are on Vernon Street and any of the stages that are on or adjacent to Vernon Street.”

This means live music could soon become a staple in downtown Roseville, with venues such as Blue Line Arts, the Roseville Theater, Tower Theater and other business that choose to take part, Hirota said.

The organization hopes to be providing live shows from a variety of genres by the end of summer or early fall, she said.

Macaulay thinks there is no reason why Roseville can’t at some point in the future become a city like Austin, Texas — a city well-known for live music.

“We have two theaters, we have a stage in the park and we have the area that we’re building in the city center here,” she said. “There’s absolutely no reason why Roseville can’t be like that in a few years.”