Author: Carlin, Larry

March 6, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009

Let the fun begin! The weekend has arrived and the rains have ceased for now. The weather guessers are showing nothing but sun for the next five days in the northern California area, so you cannot use the weather as an excuse for not getting out of the house to see/hear some good live music or to join a jam session. You can also get an early start to St. Patrick’s Day by taking in some Celtic grass. There are multiple choices below, but relax, this is not a test. Just pick something and go out and do it!

Bluegrass at the beach -- The Bluegrass on the Beach Festival in Lake Havasu City in Arizona runs from 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.

Hot time in Alameda -- Tonight at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda from 8-11 p.m. the Bay Area’s finest Americana band Houston Jones (featuring the Northern California Bluegrass Award-co-winning Best Guitarist Glen Houston) will be tearing up the joint, and then on the 7th see the Stadler/Gibbons Trio (with Paul Knight on bass).

Blue and green grass and more in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma tonight at 8 p.m. The Sonoma Mountain Band will be picking traditional bluegrass music. On the 7th at 8 p.m. The Whutknotts will be offering an eclectic palette of bluegrass, country and blues, and on the 8th at 6 p.m. Shades of Green will be playing a mix of Celtic and country. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Bluegrass in Visalia -- The Grass Less Traveled can be seen picking on the 6th at 210 Cafe, located at 210 W. Center Street in Visalia, from 6-8 p.m.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 7th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled The Bluegrass Martins, featuring the music of Benny, Jimmy and Mac. What, no Steve Martin and his new banjo album?

Stephanie Bettman in Altadena -- Stephanie Bettman plays a mixture of bluegrass, folk, roots, and jazz with sophisticated lyrics and killer instrumentation set in a folky mountain vibe. She and Luke Halpin will be playing on the 7th at Mama Hillybean's in Tehachapi starting at 7 p.m.

Blue Ridge Pickin’ -- The Blue Ridge Pickin’ Parlor in Granada Hills has a pickin’ session on the first Saturday of every month from 6-10:30 p.m. The beginner’s jam goes from 6-7:30 in the main store, followed by an open jam there from 7:30-10:30. An intermediate jam takes place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. two doors down at their additional space. Go and strut your musical expertise, pick and sing the night away, meet-up with old friends and make new ones. Everyone is welcome – listener, singer, beginning player and the seasoned picker. For more info email

Mountaineers in Oak Glen -- On the first Saturday of each month Riley's at Los Rios Rancho puts on an old-time music variety show, just like those great old radio and TV shows of the 40s and 50s. There’s one difference – they throw in a hearty family-style dinner! On the 7th join Riley’s Mountaineers for dinner and a show starting at 6 p.m.

Jim and Judy in Benicia -- Jim Nunally and Judy Forrest on the 7th will be playing at The First Street Café, located at 440 First Street in Benicia, from 8-11:15 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.

Brunch with the Spillit Quikkers -- On the first Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. you can have a late breakfast or early lunch in Sacramento with the Spillit Quikkers at the Hoppy Brewing Company, 6300 Folsom Boulevard. No cover.

Jammin’ in Clovis -- There will be a bluegrass, old-time and gospel music jam on the 7th at the Clovis Senior Center, 850 4th Street. Jams take place there on the first and third Saturdays. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available. The time is 7-11 p.m. Each attendee is asked to contribute $1 to cover the rent.

Cool dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 7th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Bill Bryson, Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for 20 years now.

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

HJ and Joe in Sutter Creek -- After playing at McGrath’s on Friday night Houston Jones will then be putting on a show on the 7th with special guest Joe Craven at the Sutter Creek Theater in Sutter Creek. How can you possibly stay home?

Colonial Boys in San Gregorio -- The Mild Colonial Boys will be playing their mix of Celtic, folk and country on the 7th at the San Gregorio General Store south of Half Moon Bay from 2-5 p.m. No cover, you can have a beer and also get you shopping done while you are there.

Jammin’ in Marysville -- The 7th is the first Saturday of the month, so from 3-6 p.m. there will be jamming going on at the Brick Coffee House Café, 316 D Street, in Marysville. All skill levels welcome. For info call (530) 743-5283.

Jumpstarting St. Patrick’s Day -- The Crossroads Irish-American Festival, an annual, cultural arts, and literary event in San Francisco that explores and celebrates the history of the Irish Diaspora throughout the Americas in creative performance with vibrant conversation and debate, music, film, readings, storytelling, theater, and more, runs from the 7th-15th. Go to the site for complete info.

Twangfest in Petaluma -- Sheila Groves & Flatt Lonesome, Poor Man’s Whiskey, The Rhythm Rangers and others will be taking part in Twangfest at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma on the 7th. This will be a fundraiser for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. This is a community-supported event with KRSH 95.9-FM, the North Bay Bohemian and Lagunitas Brewing Company all acting as sponsors. The goal is to raise $30,000 in both fo
Posted:  3/9/2009

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