Author: Carlin, Larry

Dec. 22, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tinsel tunes -- Dial into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show in SF tonight when he will be playing all instrumental Christmas songs on KALW (91.7 FM) from 6:30-8 p.m. The show will also be broadcast on the BluegrassCountry website from the 22nd-25th.

Left-handed fiddler alert! -- For those of you in the mood for neo-traditional pre-holiday pizza tonight out in the Modesto area, head on over to Family Pizza at 2531 E. Whitmore in Ceres between 8-11 p.m. to see Grass Menagerie play, with Almost Daily News author emeritus Rick Cornish sawing away on the fiddle along with the grass men. As an added bonus, Diana Donnelly will be sittin’ in on some tunes. Family Pizza is located in the Richland Shopping Center behind the Peach Tree Restaurant. Call the restaurant (209) 537-4791 for more detailed directions.

Bluegrass Gold in Marin County -- The Bluegrass Gold series that has been running for almost nine years in Marin County will have two special engagements this weekend. On the 22nd at 7:30 p.m. and on the 23rd at 4 p.m. at the Larkspur Café Theater you can see Dr. Elmo & The Reindeer Band. During the rest of the year Dr. Elmo (who is a real doctor) fronts Marin’s longest running traditional bluegrass band Wild Blue. Every year at this time the band mutates into The Reindeer Band for the holiday season, playing a mixture of bluegrass, traditional holiday songs and Elmo’s original novelty tunes, including one little ditty about an unfortunate senior citizen and her encounter with a wayward reindeer...

Winter Solstice Holiday Party -- On the 22nd at 8 p.m. at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley there will be a Solstice Party hosted by Laurie Lewis featuring Tom Rozum, Los Centzontles, Evie Ladin & Keith Terry, Danny Carnahan and a special guest with a big white beard.

Merry Gentlemen -- Led by mandolinist Butch Waller, for almost 40 years High Country has been delighting audiences in Northern California and points beyond with their hard-driving traditional bluegrass. Tonight you should get the wrapping done early and the go and see the band play at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town for Sonoma from 8-10 p.m. No cover, and excellent pub grub is available.

Jammin’ in Coulterville -- On the 23rd check out the Celtic/old-time jam in Coulterville at the Magnolia Saloon. The slow jam from goes from 2-3:30 p.m., followed by an open session from 3:30-5. For info email

Knuckle sandwich -- The Knuckle Knockers are normally a trio, but Karen Celia is out of town, so it will just be Martha Hawthorne and Bill Foss performing old-time duets on fiddle, banjo and mandolin at Red Hill Books in the Bernal Heights area of SF on the 23rd from 3-5 p.m. Free music, free refreshments, and even some free books! Contrary to rumors, noted country singer Red Knuckles will not be appearing.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- There will be pickin’ of gospel, bluegrass and old-time music as usual on the fourth Sunday up in Sebastopol on the 23rd. It takes place from 2-5 p.m. at the Sebastopol Christian Church, 7433 Bodega Avenue. Bring acoustic instruments and your favorite gospel songs to sing. For info email Mike at

New bluegrass shows on the web -- Last week there was a mention here of the new Dan Crary Classic Bluegrass show that airs every third Sunday on Radio Bluegrass International. The Internet stream is accessed from and is generated from the 22,000 square foot International Bluegrass Music Museum facility in Owensboro, KY. Two other new shows of note are Banks of the Ohio, a three-hour show on the history of bluegrass hosted by Fred Bartenstein that airs Thursday mornings from 8-11 a.m. CST (archived episodes from the show’s earliest years will air Sunday mornings from 6-9 a.m. CST), and The Bluegrass Review, an hour of bluegrass from host Phil Nusbaum that streams every Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. CST.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Anyone who believes that men are the equal of women has never seen a man trying to wrap Christmas presents."
Posted:  12/24/2007

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