Author: Carlin, Larry

January 26, 2009
Monday, January 26th, 2009

Old-time is not a crime! -- But sometimes old-time music and crime can become intertwined. The words “old-time mystery novel” may sound like a conundrum to most folks, but this is exactly what the fabulous new novel titled Scroll and Curl by Marin County music store owner and old-time musician John Pedersen is all about. Pedersen, the longtime leader of Marin’s finest old-time band The Roadoilers and proprietor of Amazing Grace Music in San Anselmo, has written a delightful tale about an old-time band that goes on the road to play some gigs that also gets caught up in a mysterious plot after one of the members finds a cheap fiddle at a yard sale. Anyone that has every toured or played in a band will love this book, which will officially hit the streets in early February. But you can get copies of it already by either going to Amazing Grace and buying directly from the author or by going here to Even though the fictitious band is based in NY there are quite a few Bay Area references in the book. John will be doing a book signing on February 3rd at Books Inc. (formerly A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books) in the Opera Plaza complex in SF. He will also be playing the Fairfax Fiddle Summit (with Steve Gardner and Bryan Theriault) at the Sleeping Lady in Fairfax on Wednesday the 28th. The guess here is that he will have some copies of the book with him this night. Look for an interview with John in the March edition of The Breakdown.

New/old venue in Oakland -- During this tough economic period a lot of music venues are either closing or scaling back on their programs. But there is some good news coming from downtown Oakland. Closed for forty years, the Fox Theater will reopen on February 6th. There is no bluegrass on their calendar yet, but Another Planet productions sometimes puts on bluegrass shows, so stay tuned. Go to the site to read the history of the building. El Presidente Darby Brandli says, “I have not been inside since the 1950s and I don't remember much except that it was fancy. This may be the last piece in the puzzle to bring Oakland back to life. Restaurants are opening nearby, apartments and condos have been built, and it is close to BART and the booming Chinatown. The Oakland School of the Arts is part of the complex and it opened in January. We are excited.” Now all the place needs is a Del or Rhonda show to really put it on the map!

Cowboys and poetry -- The 25th Annual Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering at The Western Folklife Center in Elko, NV, started this past weekend and runs through the 31st. Lots of great stuff is going there, including performances by Riders in the Sky, Michael Martin Murphey and many more.

Cowtown cowboys -- The Hot Club of Cowtown is around for the Cowboy event, and they will be playing on the 26th and 27th at The Great Basin Brewing Company in Sparks, NV.

Nellies in SF -- Monday is bluegrass night at Amnesia in SF, and since this is the fourth Monday this means it is time again for The Barefoot Nellies playing their usual slot, starting at 8:30 p.m. Yvonne Walbroehl of the band Cabin Fever will be sitting in with them on guitar.

Taco grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Dave Hanks, Tom Lucas, Ran Bush, Steve Swan and Leif Karlstrom. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

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

Ramblers in Moss Landing -- Live bluegrass is being served up by The Courthouse Ramblers in Moss Landing tonight at Phil’s Fish Market in from 6-8 p.m. No cover.

Jammin’ in Corona -- There is a bluegrass jam on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 7-10 p.m. at the Crossroads Christian Church, 2331 Kellogg Avenue, in Corona. For more info contact Todd Holtkamp at or (951) 347-2597.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 27th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. They play there every Tuesday. No cover.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Larry Lynch & The Sunshine Mountain Band will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 27th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in San Diego -- On the fourth Tuesday of every month The San Diego Bluegrass Society presents a jam at the Boll Weevil Restaurant in Miramar from 6-8 p.m.

Life’s railway to heaven -- Ken Orrick, longtime leader of the Southern California bluegrass band Lost Highway, passed away over the weekend from a heart attack. The band website has not been updated in three years, but you can go there to see photos and read news of the band.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “The best place for criticism is in front of the mirror.”
Posted:  1/28/2009

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