Ten Years After

Brad Colerick performs at the Blue Guitar Room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course. His Wine & Song Concert Series is now 10 years old.
Photo by Chris Glaeser

When Brad Colerick launched the Wine & Song Concert Series in 2009, he initially signed on for an eight-week run with a local wine bar in South Pasadena, not knowing what to expect.

Ten years later, the singer-songwriter presented his 500th show on Wednesday, Oct. 2 for the popular acoustic music series, which takes place weekly at the Blue Guitar Room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, along with a Thursday night jazz show the following night.

“I really didn’t know if I would continue beyond those first couple of months,” Colerick recalled. “To reach the 10-year mark is really special, and a testament to the people who attend these shows. It’s very gratifying to be able to provide these wonderful artists with a great listening room filled with a receptive audience.”

Back in 2009, Colerick belonged to a songwriter group that met every month or two in a living room in Highland Park to share songs they were working on. The intimate setting ultimately inspired the creation of the popular Wine & Song Concert Series.

“It was remarkable to be sharing songs and stories with great songwriters,” Colerick said. “It occurred to me that many people would enjoy being a fly on the wall at these gatherings. So I began looking for a venue where we could do a similar public event. I’ve played the Bluebird Café in Nashville a number of times and have always loved that room. I set out to create a similar kind of experience focused on songs and songwriters.”

Photo by Dave Lustig

The weekly event has attracted renowned musical talent and Grammy-winners from around the world, including Tony Lucca, Kate Campbell, Joe Pug, Iain Matthews, Joe Henry, Fred Tackett, Jesse Valenzuela, Ronnie Cox, Beth Wood.

“Every week is special,” Colerick said. “One show a few years back when we were at Firefly Bistro, the power went out. Nathan McEuen was in the middle of a song and didn’t miss a beat. He continued playing acoustically in complete darkness while the audience began getting their cell phones out to provide light. Although the restaurant had to stop serving, the show went on.”

There was also a period of nine months when the series moved around week to week before securing its new location at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, after Firefly Bistro was sold. Colerick would sometimes announce just a day or two prior to the show where it would be held —and wherever it was, dedicated audience members always filled up the place, even in Colerick’s backyard.

Photo by Chris Glaeser

At the recent anniversary show, performers included New Zealand musician Jackie Bristow and her guitarist Mark Punch, as well as Mare Wakefield, and Nomad Ovunc.

The format remains the same with every show — two featured acts each week in addition to Colerick and some combination of a house band, along with a few special guests invited up from the audience.

Colerick looks forward to continuing to book compelling artists and celebrating the joys of music within the community for the years to come.

“If you live in South Pasadena and have never made it down to Wine & Song, you are truly missing out,” Colerick said. “You owe it to yourself to experience the world-class talent performing every Wednesday night right in your backyard.”

For more information, visit http://blueguitar.club.

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Kamala Kirk is a contributing writer for the South Pasadena Review, San Marino Tribune and The Quarterly Magazine. Kamala formerly served as Managing Editor of Beauty Launchpad Magazine, West Coast Editor of American Salon Magazine, and Digital Editor for E! Online. A native of Hermosa Beach, California, she is a proud USC Trojan and pug mom to Wrigley the Pug (@pugofpasadena).