Author: Carlin, Larry

January 5, 2009
Monday, January 5th, 2009

On the road again -- This weekend the 2009 bluegrass season gets started in a big way depending on which direction you drive. Down in Bakersfield many CBA members will be there for the 48 Hour Jam II on the 9th and 10th at the Doubletree Hotel. The jam will be just what it sounds like – non-stop picking in the jamming suites, halls, hotel rooms, elevators, and everywhere else in the hotel. On the 8th, the eve of the jam, you can see The Steep Canyon Rangers, who will be playing a dinner show at the hotel. Or, if you will be around Portland, OR, the fifth annual River City Bluegrass Festival will be happening on the 9th-11th. Some of the acts you can see are Ralph Stanley, Sierra Hull, Longview, JD Crowe & The New South, The Steep Canyon Rangers, The Dan Tyminski Band, Psychograss, Bill Evans & Megan Lynch, Cadillac Sky and The Jim Kweskin Jug Band.

Strawberry alarm clock -- There are two financial deadlines of note coming up soon regarding saving money on tickets for the Strawberry Music Festivals on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. If you purchase an all-festival ticket by January 9th you can save $40 total. If you only want to buy tickets for just one festival, if you do so by January 16th you can save $10 for each fest. Some of the acts already booked are the Flatlanders, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Wronglers, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Natalie MacMaster and Sawmill Road.

Mandolin for sale -- If you are in the market for a 1923 Lloyd Loar mandolin, the late Joe Val’s is for sale on the Mandolin Café site. How much, you may ask? Well, if you have to ask, you probably cannot afford it. There is no price mentioned in the posting…

Blue Grass Boy on tour -- Mill Valley’s Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band is on tour this week around the bay. See them at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on the 8th, at the Palms in Davis 9th, at Don Quixote’s in Felton on the 10th, and in Angels Camp on the 11th. Playing with Peter will be Jody Stecher, Keith Little and Paul Knight.

Bean Creek bluegrass -- Bean Creek always starts off the New Year just like they start off every month. Tonight you can see them playing bluegrass at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m., and then on Tuesday the 6th they will be at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Special guest Jim Mintun will be sittin’ in on dobro for vacationing Rob Horgan.

Jammin’ in Bakersfield -- The first Monday of every month bluegrass jam at Rusty’s Pizza in Bakersfield is happening tonight. Hosted by Kelvin Gregory, the jam takes place from 6-9 p.m. and Rusty’s (in Von’s Shopping Center) is located at 5430 Olive Drive. For more information contact Kelvin at (661) 392-7973 or

Brewglass at Amnesia -- See Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys at Amnesia in San Francisco tonight, starting at 8:30. No cover.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass pickin’ on Monday nights is McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Starting at 7:30 you’ll find familiar faces all around you on bass, mandolins, guitars, banjos and fiddles.

Jammin’ in Signal Hill -- Every Monday night, from 6-9 p.m., there is a bluegrass jam at Curley’s Café in Signal Hill. The address is 1999 E Willow Street at Cherry Avenue. Everyone is welcome. For more info contact Jim Wieser at

Slow Jam Class in Berkeley -- There is a new Slow Jam Class starting on Tuesday the 6th and running eight weeks through the 24th of February at the Fifth String in Berkeley that is open to beginning and intermediate players, or anyone that wants experience playing and singing bluegrass standards at a moderately slow tempo in a supportive, educational, and fun jam setting. The class is hosted by Ran Bush, with guest Instructors Bill Evans, Megan Lynch, Evie Ladin, Keith Little, Jim Nunally and Kathy Kallick. For info contact Ran at

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 6th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. Regular band members John Kael and Annie Staninec will be joined by special guests while two of their mates play at Sam's on this night.

Jammin’ in Loomis -- Every Tuesday evening from 6-9 p.m. you are invited to join the jam at the Wild Chicken Coffee House on Taylor Road in Loomis.

Strangers in Escondido -- In the San Diego County area the North County Bluegrass Association is presenting The Virtual Strangers bluegrass band on the 6th starting at 8 p.m. at Round Table Pizza, on the corner of Ash and Washington Streets, in Escondido.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Everyone is gifted. Some open the package sooner.”
Posted:  1/7/2009

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