Author: Carlin, Larry

March 13, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009

Daylight Saving Time kicked in last weekend, and just like that it also feels like spring is in the air. If nothing else it should be great weather for the three outdoor festivals that will be taking place in Northern CA this weekend. There is quite a variety of music at each one, so pick one or two (special prizes given to those that attend all three!) and have a grand time!

Brookdale in the mountains -- The Brookdale Spring Bluegrass Festival in the Santa Cruz Mountains will be happening on the 13th-15th. Some of the acts to see are The West County Professional Tea Sippers, The Rose Creek Ramblers, Faux Renwah, Chojo Jacques & Billy Bright, Harmon’s Peak and The Stoney Mountain Ramblers.

Green grass in Sonora -- The 23rd Annual Celtic Faire is happening this weekend at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora on the 13th-15th. See Banshee in the Kitchen, Need Fire, Brother Tempest, Wicked Tinkers, Nine 8ths Irish, Black Irish, Golden Bough, 1916, The Michael Lucry Group and more.

Hot time in SF -- Americana meets old-time on the 13th as The Burning Embers will be sharing the bill with The Black Crown Stringband at the Make-Out Room in SF starting at 7:30 p.m.

Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley in Chico -- On the 13th there will be a Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley Open Mic at the Terrace in Chico at 6:30 p.m. Performers are invited to enjoy the music from the mid 1800s to 1950s as well as acoustic music that fits in with the sound of this era. There is no charge for this second Friday of each month event. Fiddle tunes, country, bluegrass, folk, blues, Cajun, boogie-woogie and more are welcome. Performances are held to the ten minute rule. Brief historical presentations about the era’s music and/or composers are encouraged. The address is 2750 Sierra Sunrise Terrace, off Bruce Road. For more info contact Bernie or Bob LoFaso at or

Jumpin’ Frog -- On the second Friday there is a jam at The Frog and Fiddle in Sonora, so head on over on the 13th at 7 p.m. This jam has no ending time so people are welcome to pick until they drop.

Will dance for coffee -- Maybe it is the caffeine that makes them dance? The Stairwell Sisters, the all-gal old-time band from around the bay, will be playing on the 13th at the Utunes Coffee House at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. Call Sharon at for more information.

Sonoma Fest -- 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. Mark Hogan always puts together quite a show, and 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. Your emcees will be the ever popular tandem of Ray Edlund and Chuck Poling.

Jammin’ in Chico -- The music circle jam (folk, bluegrass, old-time, etc.) in downtown Chico takes place on the second Saturday of each month at Augie's Coffee House at 230 Salem Street, between 2nd & 3rd Streets, on the 14th from 2-5 p.m. For more info contact David at (530) 872-2084.

Natural Drift in Lincoln -- The bluegrass band Natural Drift will be playing on the 14th at Dillian's Bar & Grill in Lincoln from 2-5 p.m. With a traditional, five-piece bluegrass instrumentation for a foundation, ND adds a fresh blend of the band members’ diverse bluegrass backgrounds to provide audiences with a delightful, engaging musical performance through their own passion and pure bluegrass sound. No cover, dancing, and great food.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 14th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week will feature an interview with Marin County musician and music store owner John Pedersen, the author of the marvelous new old-time mystery novel titled Scroll and Curl. John is also the longtime leader of Marin’s finest old-time band The Roadoilers and proprietor of Amazing Grace Music in San Anselmo.

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

Regular dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 14th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for 20 years now.

Contra dance in Sacto -- Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand on the 14th will be playing the Sacramento Contra Dance starting at 8 p.m.

Something special in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 14th at 8 p.m. Carolina Special will be playing traditional bluegrass. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Good times down the coast -- Harmony Grits will be playing Americana music at the San Gregorio General Store south of Half Moon Bay from 2-5 p.m. on the 14th, and then on the 15th The Circle R Boys will be pickin’ some bluegrass. No cover, you can have a beer and also get you shopping done while you are there.

Tom Rozum mandolin workshop -- On Sunday the 15th the annual Inverness Mandolin Gathering will be taking place in a private home out in West Marin in the town of Inverness. Before the event there will be a mandolin workshop from 1-3 p.m. for a cost of only $25 with Tom Rozum. A longtime fixture on the Bay Area music scene, Tom is best known for performing with Laurie Lewis. He plays primarily mandolin, but is also an accomplished fiddle, mandola, and guitar player. In this workshop Tom will talk about his approach to the mandolin and, if there is interest, the mandola as well. The workshop starts at 1 p.m., lasts until the last question is asked, and costs $25. For more info or to register contact host David Crummey at (530) 739-3183 or After the workshop the picking will go on into the night. The Gathering is open to everyone who owns a mandolin, plays a mandolin or just enjoys mandolin music.

Jammin’ in Pleasant Hill -- East Bay pickers on the third Sunday of the month go to Smokin' Okies in
Posted:  3/16/2009

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