Author: Carlin, Larry

March 2, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Northern California Bluegrass Awards -- The second annual NCBAs were handed out by the Northern California Bluegrass Society on Saturday, and here are the results: The Mighty Crows won Best Bluegrass Band, Billy Pitrone Best Male Vocalist, Diana Donelly Best Female Vocalist, Glenn Houston & Josef Tucker sharing Best Guitarist, Kim Elking and Butch Waller sharing Best Mandolinist, Larry Cohea Best Banjo, Annie Staninec Best Fiddle, Jim Mintun Best Dobro, and Lisa Burns Best Bassist. The NCBAs were part of the four-day Bluegrass On Broadway in Redwood City. Congrats to all!

Old-time mystery -- There was mention here last month about the fabulous new novel titled Scroll and Curl by Marin County music store owner and old-time musician John Pedersen. John, 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 especially love this book, which officially hit the streets earlier this month. One Mill Valley reader has even been quoted as saying, “This is even better than Jack Kerouac’s On The Road!” You can get copies of the book by either going to Amazing Grace and buying directly from the author or by going here to The Almost Daily News interview with John appears in the March edition of the Bluegrass Breakdown, and you can also read it here.

Songwriter's blog -- Northern California bluegrass singer/songwriter/artist Rick Jamison continues with his songwriter’s blog called On Songwriting. In addition to providing insights, tips and examples, Rick also features other songwriters, sharing their thoughts, experience and wisdom on songwriting. The most recent interview is with one of the country’s best female bluegrass singers/songwriters, the Bay Area’s own Kathy Kallick. You can read the interview here.

Heard any new banjo jokes lately? -- If so, you may want to keep them to yourself. This dude here is one dangerous banjo player…

Michael Martin Murphey CD -- The new Michael Martin Murphey bluegrass CD released in late 2008, titled Ridin’ The Rio Grande, has been nominated for an upcoming Texas Music Award in April for Best Producer. CBA member Tina Louise Barr recorded autoharp tracks on two of the songs on the CD, and she was joined by the members of the Black Irish Band from Sonora.

Taco grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Gene Tortora, Paul Shelasky, Dan Booth, Bill Foss, and Steve Swan. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Bean Creek bluegrass -- Bean Creek starts off the month with a buzz. Guitarist and singer Billy Pitrone won Bay Area Vocalist of the Year for the second year in a row on Saturday! Tonight you can see him and the band playing bluegrass at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m., and then on Tuesday the 3rd they will be at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m.

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 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

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.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 3rd at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with a version of Deep Elem. Regular band members John Kael and Annie Staninec will be joined by special guests. Annie won Fiddle Player of the Year award this past weekend.

Bluegrass in Escondido -- In the San Diego County area the North County Bluegrass Association is presenting a night of bluegrass on the 3rd with Chris Stuart & Backcountry starting at 8 p.m. at Round Table Pizza, on the corner of Ash and Washington Streets, in Escondido.

Plan ahead -- The Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival will be taking place in Sebastopol on the 14th, and it is a one-day festival co-sponsored by the CBA & the Sonoma County Folk Society. This year’s festival at the Sebastopol Community Center will feature Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, The Stadler/Gibbons Band, Rosebud Blue, The Ray Bierl Trio, The Earl Brothers, and the Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher.”
Posted:  3/4/2009

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