Author: Carlin, Larry

January 30, 2009
Friday, January 30th, 2009

Super weekend. Let’s see a show of hands of how many of you are excited about this Sunday’s football game? Just what I thought. Actually, Super Bowl day is a great time to go shopping, hiking, jamming, etc., as most of the masses are brainwashed into huddling in front of their Magnavoxes to watch the TV ads during the game, munching on Cheetos and hoping again for some “wardrobe malfunction” during the halftime show. Now if they ever hired a bluegrass band to play during the break, then this overhyped spectacle would be worth watching. In the meantime, it is a super weekend for bluegrass, so get out and have some fun!

New Tenbrooks CD and band -- The Bay Area bluegrass band Tenbrooks has been dormant for some time now. Originally formed in 1990 with members Robbie Macdonald on banjo, David Putnam on guitar, Jerry Logan on bass, Tom Bekeny on mandolin and Kevin Wimmer on fiddle, the band went on hiatus when some members moved away and Robbie experienced some health issues. Over the years they recorded some songs (with the help of fiddler Greg Spatz on some songs), and finally their new CD Thoroughbred Bluegrass was released late last year. It was well worth the wait, as it is one of finest sounding bluegrass albums to come out of the Bay Area in some time. The CD is being offered this weekend as a gift during KPFA (94.1 FM in Berkeley) radio’s pledge drive on Sunday the 1st during Ray Edlund's Pig in a Pen bluegrass show from 3-5 p.m. The new edition of the band still has Robbie, David and Jerry as members, along with newcomers Doug Holloway on fiddle and Tom Diamant on mandolin. The band’s web site will be up and running in a day or two at, and you will be able to get the CD from there as well.

Grammy news -- Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have been added to the list of performers at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards show. They are nominated in five categories, including album of the year and best contemporary folk/Americana album for Raising Sand. They are also nominated for record of the year (for "Please Read the Letter"), best pop collaboration with vocals ("Rich Woman") and best country collaboration with vocals ("Killing the Blues"). The Grammy Awards show takes place on February 8th in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on CBS.

Bluegrass in Fairfax -- One of Sonoma County’s finest bluegrass ensembles The David Thom Band will be playing tonight at the Sleeping Lady in Fairfax starting at 9 p.m.

Ron, Heidi and Warren in Sausalito -- On the 31st at 8 p.m. there will be a special evening of music at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church featuring Ron Thomason & Heidi Clare, with guest Warren Hellman. Ron Thomason is the founder of The Dry Branch Fire Squad, and Heidi Clare has her own band AtaGallop and was also the fiddler in the Reeltime Travelers. Warren Hellman of The Wronglers and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fame will be sitting in on some banjo. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with a bit of pre-show merriment. Please bring a beverage of your choice and hors d’oeuvres to share (no spirits; wine is okay). The concert will then move upstairs to the Sanctuary at 8. The church is located at 112 Bulkley in Sausalito. Parking around the church is challenging. Go to the site for info. The directions there suggest parking in downtown Sausalito at the Ferry Terminal parking lot and walking up the stairs next to Wells Fargo. For reservations and more information please call Don or Marty at (415) 383-8716 or email

The doctor is in -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 31st at 8 p.m. Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue will be playing traditional bluegrass music. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Belle and the boys go skiing -- Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys will be skiing (if there is any snow up there!) and playing bluegrass on the 31st at the Judah Lodge at the Sugarbowl Ski Resort. The music starts at 2 p.m. and will continue until 5. There will also be plenty of food and beverages available.

Barn dance in West Marin -- Join the barn dance on the 31st from 7-10 p.m. at Toby's Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station with Erik Hoffman calling and musicians Ingrid Noyes, Michael Harmon, Paul Knight, Paul Shelasky. This is a benefit for West Marin Commons.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 31st from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Live On Arrival and it will preview upcoming Bay Area bluegrass events, including the SF Bluegrass & Old Time Festival, RBA concert series, and more. Plus, David Zimmerman will be on hand to talk about the SFBOTF and the band 49 Special will be appearing live on the show.

Rita in Colfax -- See Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack playing on the 31st in Colfax at Evangeline’s Café. For info call (530) 346-8833.

Hot time in Bolinas -- It will be a hot night at Smiley's Saloon on Bolinas on the 31st starting at 9 p.m. when the bands 49 Special and The Burning Embers share the bill. Where the heck is Bolinas, you ask? It is in a land that time forgot, so set your GPS or go to Google maps to find out…

The Bee Eaters on tour -- The new band The Bee Eaters boasts four of the most accomplished, creative young talents of the new generation, tracing roots back to the musical traditions of bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, jazz and pop, creating an elegant fusion of tradition and innovation. The band features six-time Grand National Fiddle Champions/Northern CA natives Tashina and Tristan Clarridge, banjo phenomenon Wes Corbett, and hammered dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman. See them play at the Body Balance Studio in Grass Valley on the 31st, at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on February 1st, and at Don Quixote’s in Felton on the 3rd.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave, from 2-5 p.m.

Alhambra Valley in Alameda -- See the Alhambra Valley Band playing bluegrass at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda on the 31st starting at 8 p.m.

Jammin’ in Fresno County -- For all of you central California pickers, the last-Saturday-of-the-month-bluegrass-jam-and-potluck will take place in Squaw Valley on the 31st from 5-9 p.m. at the Bear Mountain Library, 30733 E. Kings Canyon Road (Hwy. 180), in Squaw Valley. Coffee will be provided. Bring your dinner service and a potluck dish to share, and your beverage of choice (no alcohol). Also bring your instruments and, most important, prepare to have a great tim
Posted:  2/2/2009

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