Turlock, and the surrounding area, has numerous talented musicians, both younger and older, who rarely have the opportunity to showcase their talents in Turlock, as the local music scene in Turlock has dwindled in the past few years.
This summer, however, the local music scene made a comeback every Wednesday evening at the Grizzly Rock Café, located on N. Golden State Boulevard just off the Taylor Road exit of Highway 99.
Turlock resident and CSU Stanislaus graduate Ricardo Friaz, age 23, started “Songs at Sunset,” a summer-long music series every Wednesday night that featured various local musicians and bands at the Grizzly Rock Café in Turlock.
“I started Songs at Sunset because the more I learned about our local music scene, the more I became personally acquainted with the difficulty in finding out when and where something was happening,” stated Friaz. “That accessibility is a problem in a time of widespread Internet access and social media was and is disappointing.”
“Songs at Sunset began as a drive towards a consistent, curated event. Wednesday’s were chosen because they are always free. Songs at Sunset never had to compete with any other event on a Wednesday night.”
Friaz, who has lived in Turlock since 2006 when he moved to the dorms at California State University Stanislaus, also recently started the open mic event, “Word Pie,” that has taken place at such locations as Lightly Used Bookstore and the Turlock Carnegie Arts Center. The open mic shows allows local musicians, poets and bands to use the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“The turnout to the shows has been consistently large, with multiple performers per show mentioning their surprise at the crowd that comes out,” shared Friaz.
Friaz also stated that he was immensely grateful that the owner of Grizzly Rock allowed him to put on the two-hour shows every Wednesday in the back patio of the bar and café.
Songs at Sunset began on June 13th, and by the time the July 18th show came around, the event had over 60 attendees at the Grizzly Rock Café.
August 1st will be the final show of Songs at Sunset, featuring Jake Murry (of Denair), Travis Vick (of Manteca), and Matt Torres (of Modesto).
“The tradition of a weekly showcase is going to be picked up by Quote Your Pulse Records starting in September,” informed Friaz. Friaz also shared that he had agreed to work with them from time to time. He will not be working them exclusively, however, as he plans to work on other ventures.
“There are at least three upcoming shows I plan to assemble separate from Songs at Sunset or Quote Your Pulse,” he stated.
Friaz also shared that Jonathan Jennings, owner of the record label, has put together a team to which hopes to do its part for the local music scene.
The last Songs at Sunset show will be this Wednesday, August 1st, starting at 8:30pm at the Grizzly Rock Café and Grill, located at 4905 North Golden State Boulevard.