Author: Carlin, Larry

April 24, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009

Ramblin’ Billboard -- Congratulations to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who, at 78 years young and in the music business for over 50 years, not only is finally on the Billboard Chart, he debuted on the Blues Album chart at number five last week.

Going solo -- The Soloist is a new movie opening today that is based on a book by the same name, and it is a true story about a schizophrenic classical violinist who was living on the streets but was befriended by LA Times journalist Steve Lopez. It is an incredible tale, and Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. star in the film. You can watch the movie trailer here and read or listen to a National Public Radio interview with the author here. Bluegrass content? Well, if the violinist played fiddle and gone to East Tennessee State instead of Julliard, he’d be playing bluegrass instead of Beethoven…

Happy b-day, Guinness! It was 250 years ago on this day when Irishman Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on the St. James Gate Brewery in Dublin. It probably wasn't long after that the first Celtic jam session began...

The Stanley tradition -- Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys on the 24th 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.

Blue and green grass in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 24th at 8 p.m. enjoy the traditional Celtic sounds of Cobblestone, on the 25th at 8 p.m. it will be bluegrass with High Country, and on the 26th at 6 p.m. more Celtic music with Greenhouse. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Special time in Point Reyes -- The bluegrass band 49 Special can be seen playing tonight at The Old Western in Point Reyes Station starting at 9 p.m. They will be joined by special guests Mike Carroll, Katy Rexford and Jacob Groopman.

Jumpin’ Frog -- On the fourth Friday there is a jam at The Frog and Fiddle in Sonora, so head on over on the 24th at 7 p.m. This jam has no ending time so people are welcome to pick until they drop.

Snap Jackson weekend -- The Americana folk/grass band Snap Jackon & The Knock On Wood Players has a busy weekend. On the 24th at 9 p.m. they will play at The Knowplace in Victorville, on the 25th at the Golden Bear in Sacramento at noon, and on the 26th at the Waterloo Club in Stockton at 4:30 p.m.

Smart decision -- The nascent bluegrass band The Deciders has decided to emerge from their cave/hiatus and are once again booking some gigs. On the 24th they'll be at the Plough & Stars in SF with Lady A & Her Heel Draggers, a new group of young folks playing country and Western swing.

Scottish fiddling --
The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers will be in concert with Alasdair Fraser on the 24th at the Regents Theater at the Valley Center for the Performing Arts in Oakland, on the 25th at Sherwood Hall in Salinas, and on the 26th at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.

Music on the boulevard -- See The Infamous Stringdusters when they play at 8 p.m. on the 24th at Boulevard Music in Culver City, and then on the 25th at 8 p.m. it will be Pat Cloud, David Naiditch & The Uglums plus bluegrass locals This Just In.

Conspiracy in Turlock -- On the 24th at 7 p.m. the band Bluegrass Conspiracy can be seen playing hard-driving traditional bluegrass with tight vocals and instrumentals at Lamppost Pizza on West Main by the Turlock Cinemas. No cover.

A show of hands for Laurie Lewis! -- Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands will be playing the Petaluma Church Concerts on the 24th, at the First Church of Christ Scientist, 522 B St. (corner of B & 6th). For more info contact Lance Walker at or (707) 542-8995. Then on the 25th they will play the Redwood Bluegrass Associates show in Mountain View. The band will be joined by the Bee Eaters' Wes Corbett on banjo.

John Pedersen book signings -- There was mention in this column and in the Bluegrass Breakdown recently 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. John will be doing a book signing at 4 p.m. on the 25th at Book Passage in Corte Madera, and at the Diesel Bookstore on College Avenue in Oakland on the 26th at 3 p.m. As a result of the Breakdown story, last week Pedersen was featured in the Marin Independent Journal as well.

Not your grandma’s Americana -- We’re talking the high octane variety, the kind of music played by the Bay Area’s Houston Jones. See them play the Pacifica Performances series at 7:30 p.m. on the 25th, and at Rancho Nicasio in West Marin at 5 p.m. on the 26th.

Jammin’ in Chico -- The bluegrass jam in downtown Chico takes place on the 25th at Augie's Coffee House at 230 Salem Street, between 2nd & 3rd Streets, from 2-5 p.m., with the first hour being a slow jam. Lucy Smith is your host.

Pickin’ time -- On the 25th enjoy an evening with 'bout Time! while they play three sets of bluegrass at Mission Pizza and Pub in Fremont from 7-10 p.m.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee
Posted:  4/27/2009

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