If you don't have any plans tonight or tomorrow night, it might be worth heading up to the Uptown Theater.
In Napa this week, two kings in their separate realms play at the Uptown on successive nights, tonight and Wednesday. If you haven't been to the Uptown, fear not - it's tastefully remodeled, located in a funk-trendy neighborhood and there's not a bad seat in the house (and there are real drinks and snacks in the lobby).
Tonight it's the King Kink, Ray Davies. From the garage band grinders like "You Really Got Me," the trans-sexual anthem "Lola," to his latest star-studded "See My Friends" release, Davies and his music have been part of the past 45 years of rock, never far from the fringe and always close to the heat.
His life would make a great movie someday; closeted kid rocker ("I'm Not Like Everybody Else" persona) who becomes a superstar, partners with his equal-in-ambiguity (Chrissie Hynde), writes his own unauthorized biography, gets shot on the streets of New Orleans and stuff like that. After a six month medical hiatus from touring in 2011, he comes to Napa with - of all things - a Kinks tribute band called "The 88."
There are a few tickets still available, but not many. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.
Tomorrow, it's the king of progressive country Willie Nelson on the Uptown stage. He's been here before, less than a year ago in a concert as , but for a man who lives on the road, every gig is like coming home.
Don't under-estimate Nelson. He has written some memorable songs and delivers them like nobody else. His casual, reedy tenor defines songs he's written and covered equally. His guitar playing blends Spanish classical with country blues in a signature sound. From "Crazy" (first a hit for Patsy Cline in 1961) or "Stardust," to last year's collaboration with Wynton Marsalis on a Ray Charles song cycle, it all becomes part of the rambling stage show that Nelson and family provide.
Nelson plays tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are almost sold out.