Author: Carlin, Larry

March 4, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not your grandparent’s square dance -- Seattle photographer Doug Plummer put together a wonderful short video documentary titled Not Your Grandparent’s Square Dance while at the Portland Old-Time Gathering in January. You can watch it here. Doug is also an accomplished photographer, and you can watch a slideshow of some of his work here.

Blue Grass Boys 1966 -- There are some cool photos on the Mandolin Café website of Bill and the Boys from 1966, with James Monroe on bass, Richard Greene on fiddle, Lamar Grier on banjo, and a young Peter Rowan on guitar. These were posted by John Field, who recently discovered them in a box in his junk room!

Gibson instruments -- There is a great cover story about Gibson instruments in the March edition of Bluegrass Unlimited that you should check out.

Warm up the motorhome! -- Caravans of bluegrass loving motorhomes are headed down I-5 as you read this to attend the Bluegrass on the Beach Festival in Lake Havasu City in Arizona on the 6th-8th. This fest was formerly held in Parker, AZ, and known as Bluegrass on the River. Larry and Sondra Baker work hard and always put on great festivals. Performers include Dailey & Vincent, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road , Audie Blaylock & Redline, Newfound Road, Bluegrass Brothers, Country Current (US Navy Band), Bound to Ride, Anderson Family, Cherryholmes and The Brombies. More details are available by calling (209) 785-4693 or by going to the web site.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Sidesaddle & Company will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque tonight at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in SF -- The first Wednesday of the month bluegrass/country jam hosted by Jeanie & Chuck Poling at the Plough & Stars in SF will take place this evening starting at 8:30 p.m. There is no cover but you must be 21 to attend.

Mountain Laurel in Auburn -- There will be bluegrass picked tonight at Latitudes in Auburn from 7:30-9 p.m. by the band Mountain Laurel.

Hot pickers in Moss Landing -- At Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing on the 4th from 6-8 p.m. experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. The band includes two recent Northern California Bluegrass Award winners – Billy Pitrone as Best Male Vocalist and Annie Staninec as Best Fiddler. Bassist Sarah Eblen and banjo player John Kael are pretty dang good, too. Go see what all the fuss is about!

Jammin’ in Paso Robles -- "Matt's Jam" takes place every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Matt's Music, 617 12th Street, in downtown Paso Robles. For more information call (805) 237-0054.

Lighthouse in Santee -- The San Diego bluegrass band Lighthouse will be playing tonight at the Friendly Grounds Coffee House in Santee, 9225 Carlton Hills Road, from 7-9 p.m. This is their monthly first Wednesday of the month gig. No admission charge. Call (619) 249-0519 for directions or more information.

Jammin’ in San Jose -- There is a jam in San Jose starting at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month at Round Table Pizza on the corner of Union and Camden. For more info please contact Fiddle’n Steve Pexton at

Brothers in Berkeley -- Tonight The Whiskey Brothers will be playing their twice monthly gig at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley starting at 9 p.m. They play classic Western swing, bluegrass and original music, featuring great vocal harmonies. The band includes local music-scene veterans Jeff Ward on mandolin, Dave Courchaine, guitar, John MacFarlane on fiddle, Bruce Campbell on bass, and Craig Fletcher on banjo. No cover.

Jammin’ in Merced -- The first Wednesday jam in Merced lost its venue some time back, so this month it will be held at jam organizer Marcos Alvira’s house, located at 3759 Notre Dame Avenue in Merced, from 7-9:30 p.m. The jams are geared for those who are newer to the bluegrass/old time experience, but even experienced pickers will enjoy the relaxed environment. The focus is on building a repertoire and experimenting in a low risk environment. The pace is typically slow to intermediate. For more info call (209) 383-3432.

The Brombies in Burbank -- The Brombies play bluegrass on the first, third, and occasionally the fifth Wednesday nights at Viva Cantina in Burbank starting at 8 p.m.

Jammin’ in Encinitas -- On Thursdays everyone heads to Today’s Pizza, 481 Santa Fe Drive, in Encinitas, for a night of pizza, pickin’, and grinnin’. This is an excellent jam for those closet pickers wishing to learn to play bluegrass with others. The time is 6:30-9 p.m. For more info email Jason at

Martians in Santa Barbara -- See the Salt Martians play bluegrass every Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. for happy hour at the Tupelo Junction Cafe, 1218 State Street, in Santa Barbara. Call (805) 899-3100 for dinner reservations. Full bar and no cover.

Jammin' in Marin -- The Marin Bluegrass Jam which has been running for almost ten years now, takes place on the first and third Thursdays of every month. On the 5th you can join in at the Marin Lutheran Church at 649 Meadowsweet in Corte Madera, just off the Corte Madera exit of Highway 101. The time is 7:30-10 p.m. The playing level is beginner to intermediate. It is a big room, so there is also space for those who may want to go and listen.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the jam at the El Toro Brewing Company takes place every Thursday from 6-10 p.m. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

Experienced duo -- Jim Nunally and Keith Little, who also play in the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, on the 5th will be playing at The First Street Café, located at 440 First Street in Benicia, from 7-10 p.m. Bring an appetite with you as the café has an extensive appetizer and dessert menu, and beer and wine are offered as well.

Jammin’ in Berkeley -- Thursday night is beginners jam night at the 5th String Music Store, 3051 Adeline Street, in Berkeley, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Pickin’ in Petaluma -- Ed Neff and Friends play bluegrass ev
Posted:  3/6/2009

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