A restaurateur and mentor, Cisco Bobadilla relishes music
Francisco “Cisco” Bobadilla has a lot on his plate, and yet he still finds time to make music.
Sometimes, Bobadilla is conflicted when he strums his guitar. He has an appointment, but he also has come up with a new song.
“I can’t leave now,” he laments. “I’ve been late to work before.”
Work for Bobadilla might mean the Downtown Ale House, a restaurant/music venue in Red Bluff, California, that he and his brother own. He also teaches guitar at a juvenile hall, and he coaches high school wrestling and track and field. He also has a Police Athletic League community center music program and teaches music after school through the Safe Education & Recreation for Rural Families program.
He speaks passionately about each of his endeavors.
Passion can lead to conflicts, but it also can kindle creativity, and Bobadilla, 32, is on a seminal songwriting roll. He didn’t pick up guitar until he was 18, but since then he hasn’t put it down.
“I want my listeners to have the songs mean whatever they want them to,” he said. “I hope it inspires them. I hope they can find healing in it. I hope they can relate to it. I love music, I love art and I love creating. It’s a passion and form of meditation for me.”
Bobadilla has coached sports for five years and has volunteered at juvenile hall for two.
“Growing up, I always wanted to play music and I wished I could meet somebody cool and they could teach me all this kind of stuff,” he said. “As years passed on, I just had that thought that I could be that person.
“Everyone is different and every kid has different tastes. Some of them are into rap, some of them into metal and some into pop. My approach with every kid is different. They all have different needs and a lot come from broken homes. Many just want to be with somebody they can look up to because they don’t have that good figure in their life. They are normal kids, they are just the ones that got caught. A lot of parents don’t know how to handle them, so they send them there.”
Bobadilla has a penchant for writing love songs with pop and folk melodies. Although he might play an occasional Beatles cover, he performs originals during his solo shows. He and his brother Thomas have a helped build the music scene in Red Bluff through the Downtown Ale House.
The Reno band Failure Machine performs at “The House” when it tours Northern California.
“The Downtown Ale House is the single most supportive venue for original, independent music I’ve ever played,” Failure Machine’s Spencer Kilpatrick said. “Cisco and Thomas open every aspect of their lives up to the bands that go through Red Bluff and do everything they can to make sure they’re comfortable. I love that place.”
Operating the Ale House also provides Bobadilla the opportunity to regularly perform, although he ventured out of town recently on his “Simple Dream” tour, sharing new songs to new audiences. In October, he will play shows in Texas for the first time.
“Wake Me Up” is a song Bobadilla recorded both acoustically and electronically, and each create a captivating mood but with very different presentations.
“My main influences on writing songs is love, wanting to be in it, and love lost,” he said. “I do have some inspirational songs, which I love to write as well. When I’m songwriting, I always fall to the love pop/jazz/folk side of music. When I’m jamming, I play a different style. I was very big into Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page and all of the great guitarists of that time.”
“Cisco is great,” Kilpatrick said. “He’s a really talented guitar player who has come into his own as a singer/songwriter. His voice is soft and genuine.”
Even after the last plate is washed each night at the Downtown Ale House, Cisco Bobadilla still has music on his mind.
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.
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