Last night, I had the honor of being a part of something truly remarkable. Patterson Hood, though no stranger to the stage or City Winery, performed on stage at City Winery Napa for the first time. Last night, April 11, 2014, marked the second night the City Winery’s latest venue, situated in the historic Napa Valley Opera House, was open for business, and this is the sort of business for which downtown Napa has been aching for a long time.
City Winery Napa, of course, serves wine, as well as other tasty adult beverages, but this does not make it unique. It also has a menu brimming with things like flatbreads, sauteed greens, chilled pea soup, and much more, and since this is what we ate in the middle of the old Napa Valley Opera House, I can tell you for certain it was very tasty. Good food and Bacchanalian delights, however, still do not make this place unique. What does, is the combination of all those things, the Opera House location, good food and drink, AND the opportunity to see utterly outstanding performances like the one Patterson Hood threw down last night.
Patterson comes across as a natural-born storyteller, whether it’s the tales he tells while tuning his Baxendale Guitar, about which he said he’d run into a burning building to save, or the funny tale of a chronic stoner named Billy Ringo who falls out of a window, bong in hand, that seamlessly becomes the song “Better Than the Truth.” Patterson’s performance, like the man himself, was a thing of pure charm. Warm, funny, as flawed as you and I, and as often as not, softly morose. Think modern tales of classic woes and lessons learned that are universal, but at the same time, distinctively regional. A great show in a great venue that is sure to get better with age.
For more information about upcoming shows, to purchase tickets, or to get the low-down on becoming a City Winery VinoFile member, click here. Based on last night’s experience, I can tell you this is THE place to be in downtown Napa.