Author: Carlin, Larry

April 22, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! There is nothing like playing good old fashioned acoustic bluegrass to conserve electricity while saving the planet one day at a time. Heck, pickin' bluegrass makes just about every day Earth Day...

Bluegrass jam class -- Another new eight-week session of East Bay banjo player Avram Siegel’s Introductory Jam Class will be starting soon and there are openings in the Thursday evening class. The class is for students that are ready to play together but would like a little more orientation to playing bluegrass with others. The classes are a lot of fun, and a great way to meet players and further develop your bluegrass abilities. If you're interested, please email Avram at

Life’s railway to heaven -- Northwest old-time fiddler Lee Stripling passed away at age 87 on the 20th in Seattle.

Gayle Lynn in Fairfax -- Enjoy some good pub grub while listening to some fine country music with Gayle Lynn & The Hired when they play at the Iron Springs Brewery in Fairfax on the 22nd starting at 8 p.m. No cover. Gayle has a wonderful new CD out of original material titled Just Came Around.

Cowboys in Moss Landing -- Tonight see The Trail Ride Band, led by none other than Peter Hicks, play cowboy music at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

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

Hoedown Throwdown in Berkeley -- Square dances are now being held on the fourth Wednesday of every month at Ashkenaz in Berkeley starting at 8 p.m. Tonight The East Bay Clodhoppers will play, and Jordan Ruyle will be calling. No experience necessary.

Fairfax Fiddle Summit -- Check out some fiddle players tonight at 9 p.m. at the Sleeping Lady in Fairfax, featuring John Pedersen and friends.

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.

Fiddles and more in Sonora -- Fiddle's Etc (old-time fiddle, country, bluegrass) will be sawing away on the 23rd from 6-8:30 p.m. at Mike's Pizza in Sonora. For more information call (209) 586-2042.

Jammin’ in Redwood City -- There is a weekly bluegrass and old-time jam on Thursdays at 5th Quarter Pizza, 976 Woodside Road in Redwood City from 7-10:15 p.m. The venue is music friendly, and food and drink are available. For more info contact Mark at rwcbluegrass@gmail.

Jammin’ in Napa -- There is a bluegrass jam session at the Pizza Hut in the town of Napa every Thursday night from 7-10 p.m. For more info call Pat Calhoun at (707) 318-1913 or email

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 every Thursday at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There is no cover, and you get to hear some of the finest traditional bluegrass in the North Bay. The regular pickers are Ed Neff on mandolin, Mike Wilhoyte on guitar, Jeff King on bass, Paul Shelasky on fiddle, and banjoist Larry Cohea. The address is 3600 Petaluma Boulevard North. Call (707) 775-4232 for more info.

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

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.

Bluegrass in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m., and on the 23rd it will be bluegrass with Kitchen Help.

Jammin’ in Sacto -- Every Thursday evening, from 7-10 p.m., there is a jam at The Fifth String Music Store, located at Alhambra & J Streets in Sacramento.

A man and his banjo -- On KQED (Channel 9 in the SF area) on the 23rd at 7:30 p.m. and 24th at 1:30 a.m. you can watch the documentary titled Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. Here is a description of the film: “This first authorized film poetically documents Seeger's unique experience and contributions. The man who introduced America to its own folk heritage, he got a whole generation passionate about playing the guitar and picking the banjo, got them singing together and using music as a force for social change. He deeply believes in the power of song and is convinced that individuals can make a difference. Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the US government, for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist - banned from commercial television for more than 17 years. Now almost 90-years old, his inspiring, but not always easy, story is told by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks and through a remarkable historical archive – a history that Seeger himself helped create.”

Ralph is coming! -- Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys are headed this way this weekend, so make your plans now. On the 24th they will appear at The Palms in Winters, on the 25th at The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, and on the 26th at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”
Posted:  4/24/2009

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