Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin
Friday, April 17th, 2015
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman
From the Beatles’ song The Taxman
Here’s hoping that everyone got past the tax filing deadline on the 15th without too much agony. April is always a tough time of year, but the good news is that the Tax Man has come and gone, and so has winter, which means Festival Season is about to begin! If you are one of the lucky ones to receive a tax refund, make your plans now to attend the 40th Annual CBA Father’s Day Festival in Grass Valley on June 18th-21st and countless other fests. Even if you won't be getting any money back, the CBA Fest is a great investment of your time and money!
All roads lead to Turlock. Just about everyone who is anyone is either already there or headed to Turlock to partake in the CBA Spring Campout that runs through the 19th. Hey, if anyone sees MOLD Man there -- he has been missing in action since the Great 48 Jam in Bakersfield in January -- send him home!
Vern’s Stage Lineup. Speaking of Father’s Day, the bands that will be playing on Vern’s Stage were announced earlier this week, and you can look at the list here. Congratulations to those that made it, and thanks to TJ Carskadon for once again heading up the cumbersome task of managing Vern’s!
Keith Little in Bluegrass Today. One of the headline acts at Grass Valley will be The Keith Little Band, and you can read an interview with him in Bluegrass Today.
Life’s railway to heaven. Percy Sledge, who had a huge hit in 1966 with the song “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died in Baton Rouge, LA, earlier this week, of liver cancer. He was 74. Bill Arhos, whose long-running television show Austin City Limits introduced America to the sound of bluegrass and progressive country, died from heart disease in Austin, TX, on April 11th. He was 80. Milton Delugg, who accompanied Al Jolson on the accordion, co-wrote the Nat King Cole hit “Orange Colored Sky,” conducted the band for Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show as well as musical director of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for three decades, died on April 6th at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96.
Just for the heck of it. From Randog comes Smilin’ Jerry Jericho singing “Moanin’ in the Morning” from 1954.
Benefit show for Richard Wodrich. There have been a few mentions in this column over the past few months about Chico bluegrass picker Richard Wodrich, who, for quite a long time, was waiting for a lung transplant. This happened a couple of weeks ago, but Richard and his wife Marci are still a bit behind in trying to raise $40,000 to help pay for the costs surrounding the procedure. There is a Kickstarter campaign underway, and now some musicians are stepping up to help out. Here are the details in Marci’s own words: “Richard and I are so pleased to tell you about a benefit concert happening on Friday, May 8th, with all the proceeds going to his lung transplant fund. Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum are graciously fitting this concert into their busy performing schedules. If you have never seen Laurie perform, you are missing out! She is a talented Grammy award-winning musician, singer, song writer, band leader, and producer. Our good friends Josie & Rick Grant, with their band Rock Ridge, will be opening the show. This is such a great lineup, and we know it will be a memorable evening. We expect this concert to sell out, so be sure to get your tickets soon. We wish we could be there for all the great music, to see our friends and share in the fun! We expect all attending to send us photos sharing the night. Thank you for all the love and support, Marci & Richard.”
Way Past Midnight. While indeed it is the wee hours of the morning somewhere in the world right now, what we’re really talking about here is the title of the fabulous show by Mill Valley’s Maria Muldaur. The staff here at Carltone World Headquarters has seen this show, and it is Maria at her best. Here is what she has to say: “I'm excited to announce we're bringing my multimedia retrospective Way Past Midnight to one of my favorite venues, the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA. on April 19th! We did a very well received seven-week tour of this show all over the U.S. and Canada in 2014, and I'm so glad to be finally sharing it with my ‘hometown peeps’ in the SF Bay Area! 2014 marked 40 years since my big hit ‘Midnight at the Oasis’ was riding at the top of the charts, and I’ve released 40 albums in that time. To celebrate this milestone, I created Way Past Midnight, which chronicles my 50-year journey to the ‘Oasis’ and beyond. This special presentation features all my hits, and all of your most-requested-over-the-years ‘fan faves,’ as well as the best of my most recent work, stories of my personal encounters, friendships, and collaborations with many of the greatest names in music, along with photos and videos from my early days in the ‘60s folk revival with The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, through my years of ‘pop stardom,’ and onto my continuing
New tunes. Bay Area natives and bluegrass legends Sandy Rothman and Brian Godchaux recently finished a new CD titled The Red Fiddle and the Silver Banjo. It’s an all-instrumental, all fiddle & banjo recording with 13 tracks of traditional fiddle tunes, including breakdowns, old-time melodies, a waltz, and a spontaneous blues for good measure. You can now get your copy of the CD here
Hot picker alert. International Bluegrass Music Association Best Guitarist winner (2001, 2002) Jim Hurst returns to the Bay Area. You must check out his stunning bluegrass flat-picking and Chet Atkins-style guitar skills. He's also a master at being both hilarious and heartfelt. He’ll play the Fifth String in Sacramento on the 17th, the Sebastopol Community Center Annex on the 18th, and on the 21st he’ll be doing a house concert in Santa Cruz.
The Hag on tour. Merle Haggard is on tour this month, and you can see him play in Indio on the 24th, in Bakersfield on the 25th, Santa Margarita on the 26th, San Rafael on the 28th, Monterey on the 29th, and Redwood City on the 30th. Check out his The Bluegrass Sessions recording from a few years back.
Turn your radio on. If you are looking for some bluegrass or many other kinds of acoustic music this weekend, just go to KALW (91.7 FM) bluegrass radio show host Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal web site and you will have no trouble filling your social calendar. Be sure to tune in on Saturday the 18th from 6:30-8 p.m. for a show titled All Kinds of Country, with guest host Sully Roddy pickin''em and playin''em.
Music calendars. There are a handful of shows listed in this column today, but if you want to find out what kind of music is going on in your area, as stated above, look at Peter Thompson’s calendar or also check out the CBA or the Northern California Bluegrass Society events listings. Also, buy a Sunday SF Chronicle and hold on to the Pink Section all week.
Coming attractions. Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally's Country Cajun Revival w/Tom Rigney & Flambeau will take place on April 25th at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento. The San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins is set for April 26th at the Croatian American Center in the city. The final Redwood Bluegrass Associates show of the season will feature Della Mae on May 2nd. The annual CBA Pickin’ Picnic, hosted by Jeanie and Chuck Poling, will be happening on May 2d in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The Parkfield Bluegrass Festival is the place to be on May 8-11th. The Strawberry Music Festival will be returning to Grass Valley on May 21st-25th. The Huck Finn Jubilee has an all-star lineup of acts set for Ontario, CA, on June 12th-14th. Everyone is going to the 40th Annual CBA Father’s Day Festival in Grass Valley on June 18th-21st. The Kate Wolf Festival in Laytonville, CA, will be happening June 25-28th. At the Lassen County Fairgrounds on on June 26th-28th the 6th Annual Susanville Festival will feature Karl Shifflet, Ron Spears, Red Dog Ash, and more. The Bowers Mansion Festival in Reno, NV, with Blue Highway as the headliner, will be celebrating 30 years on August 14th-16th. Go to all of the links for complete info listings.
Man in the know from Music Row. Raconteur and music maven Randy Pitts of Nashville is this column’s frequent and knowledgeable commentator and CD reviewer. Here are two commentaries and two recording reviews.
“A tip for dyed-in-the-wool bluegrassers. I've written about this more extensively for publication, but I think my 'grass friends should know about The Bluegrass Hall Of Fame-Inductee Biographies 1991-2014. This was produced as a fundraiser for the IBMM (Museum, to the uninitiated), the 57 bios of inductees since 1991 (all of 'em) were written largely by Fred Bartenstein and Gary Reid, with others from Neil Rosenberg and Steve Spence. The book is full of info both well-known and arcane, AND there are over 60 photos, forty-four in color, most of which I'd never seen; the book will likely start as many bar fights as it will settle. It's available from the museum, and I noticed that it is on Amazon as well.”
“On Sirius satellite radio earlier this week Kyle Cantrell played a number from the Gibson Brothers' new duets album that they learned from a vintage Four Brothers Quartet record, the brothers in question being The Brewster Brothers and The Webster Brothers. The Gibsons enlisted The McCoury brothers for their version. The Brewsters and Websters were both from around the Knoxville area back in the day and made some classic records, the Brewsters primarily with Carl Story, the Websters with Carl Butler. Just thought you'd like to know.”
Randog's Daily Pick 4/16/2015
Craver, Hicks, Watson & Newberry You've Been A Friend To Me
Barker Records CD2012
Because I was a fan of the great original Red Clay Ramblers music of the '70s and '80s –who wasn't, and isn't? – I was intrigued by a notice of a public appearance of this band, which includes three members of that great band plus Joe Newberry, and said so. Result? I now am proud owner of this fine CD, though I wasn't able to see the live show – a CD which encompasses examples of the music of greats from the past – "Sally Ann," from the repertoire of Tommy Jarrell, "Kiss Me Quick" by The Georgia Yellowhammers, "I'm Gettin' Ready to Go," with a cool lead vocal by Joe Newberry, three songs from the repertoire of The Carter Family – "My Old Cottage Home," "In the Shadow of the Pines," and "You've Been a Friend To Me," (reminiscent of probably my favorite album of Carter Family songs, by Craver, Watson and the late Tommy Thompson, from the '80s), Haywire Mac McClintock's "Tying Ten Knots in the Devil's Tail," with an exquisite vocal rendering by Bill Hicks and Jim Watson, and more, including a, well, interesting original by pianist Mike Craver entitled "How Does a Glass Eye Work?" and another, "Uncle Charlie's Revenge," by Bill Hicks. Lots of fun, lots of great music. If the kids ever ask, “What was old time music like?” give 'em this.
Randog's Fabulous Finds 4/16/2015
The Bluegrass Alliance Newgrass
American Heritage Music Corporation LP-AHMC Stereo AH 10-30S
Tough one to find, and this one is autographed by everyone in the band except Dan Crary, who plays a lot of his patented, mind-boggling guitar and adds his sonorous vocals, and Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, Curtis Burch, and Ebo Walker all pre-Newgrass Revival, all signed the album, along with founder and fiddler Lonnie Peerce, who was, as I recall, older then these other young pups. He also signed the album, and added his Lexington, KY, residence at the time; obviously, he was the businessman and merch conscious member of the group. The repertoire brings a faint smile to one's face – I was young then, too – but the picking is superfine, clean, and innovative. Session info is scanty; instrumentally, it's relatively easy to figure out who's playing what, but except for Crary, the vocals I do not know. "Where Were You," "West Montana Hannah," by Herb Pedersen and Mitch Jayne, "Gentle On My Mind," "Freeborn Man" – a nice version, featuring Dan Crary's vocal and nice picking by everybody, "One Tin Soldier," (OK, faint smile), "But You Know I Love You," "Stagolee," "Early Morning Rain," the great god Bob's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," "Randy Buck," an Ebo original, and "Likes Of Me." Go ahead and cheat your neighbor...see what it gets you...
Comments, questions, quips and tips? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info than you need to know about Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin, go to his Carltone web site. Missed a Friday MOLD? Don’t fret, just click here to read past columns.