Sound Dunes Rock ’n’ Roll West Side

By Jonathan Farrell

A local band, the Sound Dunes, has a following of fans that catches their music

Sound Dunes 1

Members of the Sunset District-based Sound Dunes rock ‘n’ roll band have their picture taken on top of a sand dune at Fort Funston. Photo by Michael Durand.

every time the band plays the pubs, such as the Abbey Tavern on Geary Boulevard.

According to Dermot Coll, manager of the Abbey Tavern, the Sound Dunes have performed at the tavern more than a half dozen times.

“The response has been good,” Coll said. “They have a following … and people like them.”

The Sound Dunes were at “the Abbey” (as Coll refers to it) this past December and the manager noted “everyone enjoyed the music and had a good time.”

Among the six members of the band is Jim Russo, the drummer. He is a Sunsetman who lives and works “out in the Avenues,” on 22nd Avenue, with his wife.

Russo’s dedication to music is such that he built a sound-proof studio and practice space in his basement. The Sound Dunes practice there frequently to work on new material or polish tried-and-true favorites.

Although Russo has been playing the drums since he was 15 years old, his day job is as a certified public accountant.

The band plays mostly ’60s, ’70s and ’80s music. “Four of us sing,” Russo said. “And, Ihave even written and performed a few songs of my own.”

The Sound Dunes is comprised of Jay Parks (vocals and band manager); Scott Carey (lead guitar); Andy Coblentz (bass); Paul Young (keyboard, guitar); Maurice Rouede (rhythm guitar); and Russo.

At the recent Abbey Tavern performance, the band performed three of Russo’s original songs. The band has another date at the Abby scheduled for the evening of April 29,  from 5 – 8 p.m.

When Russo is not working with clients or advising as an accountant, he isin the yard gardening or bicycling around Golden Gate Park. Or, maybe taking aride out to Ocean Beach in his classic MGB roadster.

Russo says being a part of the Sound Dunes is an important facet of his life. It provides him with a creative outlet and helps him and his fellow band members release their “inner rock stars,” which appreciate good music and a receptive audience.

With St. Paddy’s Day soon to arrive, bands like the Sound Dunes will be performing at various Irish pubs, taverns and bars around the City. The yearly ritual of everyone (whether Irish or not) going out to eat corned beef with cabbage and a lot of something to drink on St. Patrick’s Day is tradition.

While many in the City will make a trek downtown to Harrington’s, there are plentyof pubs and taverns in the Sunset (like the Little Shamrock on Lincoln Way, at Ninth Avenue) that will fill many a glass and accommodate the revelers.

And, despite references to “wearing the green,” “Erin Go Braugh” and lookingfor four-leaf clovers, the annual celebration is mostly an American holiday. The holiday is commemorated in Ireland, but the Irish in America during the 20th centurymade St. Patrick’s Day into what it is today, with parades, festivals and lots of green accessories.

For more information about the Sound Dunes, go to the website at

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