Author: Carlin, Larry

Dec. 16, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is the time of year for Christmas parties, and I’ve been to a few of them already. But something I have noticed is that there are basically just two kinds of parties – those where people stand around over a punch bowl and gossip/chat about things, and those where some of the participants open up their instrument cases and start pickin’ some bluegrass. When it comes to which kind of party is more preferable, CBA members know the answer. The other day I attended the predictable and low-key work party for about an hour, and last night I was at a bluegrass party for five hours. The latter was one heck of a lot more fun. Friends and strangers standing around in a circle playing tunes familiar and some that were never heard before. Harmonies added by singers who never sung together, hot solos picked even though some did not know the song minutes earlier. Bluegrass – the music that spreads good tidings and joy all year long…

Holiday humor -- Marin bluegrass banjo player Dr. Elmo, of course, is more known for his song “Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer” than for his banjo licks. He is originally from the bluegrass state of Kentucky, and he has been picking the five-string for about 35 years. However, there are no banjos or fiddles on the “Reindeer” recording, so it is not remotely considered a bluegrass song. Still, just about everyone knows the song, but unless you are a dedicated MTV watcher (something tells me that less than 1% of CBA members are in this category), you have probably never seen the video of the song that was made in 1983. Now, through the wonders of modern technology, you can watch it on YouTube. Take a close look at the guy in the red bathrobe and see if he looks familiar…

Coastal bluegrass -- Down Highway One south of Half Moon Bay there will be some smokin’ bluegrass being offered today by The San Bruno Mountain Boys when they play from 2-5 p.m. at the San Gregorio General Store. Jim Mintun will be sittin’ in on dobro, and wife Louise will be playing the bass.

SLO Jam -- The third Sunday evening jam will be taking place tonight from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Taco Roco, 3230 Broad Street, in San Luis Obispo (SLO), just up the street from jam's previous location (Utopia Bakery), which proved too small for steadily increasing jam attendance. And "slow-jammers" are welcome! For more info, e-mail Roger at

Bluegrass in/on the air -- Radio Bluegrass International will be streaming “Dan Crary’s Classic Bluegrass Sunday” today starting at 1 p.m. PST, and it will air on the third Sunday of every month.

Paul and friends --Paul Knight & Friends will be playing today at the Station House in Point Reyes Station from 5-8:30 p.m. Paul hosts these shows once or twice a month, and the pickers this time will be David Thom, Chojo Jacques, and Banana.

Bluegrass SuperJam hotel deadline -- The SuperJam will be taking place on the weekend of January 18h and 19th at the Holiday Inn Select in Bakersfield. If you want to join the fun please call the hotel at (661) 323-1900 and make your reservation. A block of 28 sleeping rooms, for $89.00 per night, are being held until December 17th, and the hotel is providing three meeting rooms for jamming, as well as the lobby throughout the weekend and the lounge stage. Saturday night there will be an open mic band scramble. For more info contact Duane Campbell at

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”
Posted:  12/18/2007

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