Author: Carlin, Larry

May 8, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009

Mom’s weekend. Hey, who says that you have to wait until Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day? Nothing says “I love you” more than bluegrass, and there is a heck of a lot of it going on all over the place starting on Friday, so get a head start on the festivities today by taking dear old Mom/Grandma to a festival, show or jam.

Parkfield bluegrass fest -- The 11th Annual Parkfield Bluegrass Festival started on the 7th and runs through the 10th, and some of the bands you can see there are Special Consensus, John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Sawmill Road, The Kathy Kallick Band, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Sidesaddle & Co., Bean Creek, Kitchen Help, LeRoy Mack & BG Gospel Band, and many more. Head on down/up/over!

Bluegrass and more in Santa Monica -- The bluegrass trio known as Bluegrass Etc. will be joined by renowned fiddlin’ virtuoso Byron Berline for a concert at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on the 8th beginning at 8 p.m. Berline is a three-time Grand National Champion Fiddler, and Bluegrass Etc. consists of Dennis Caplinger on banjo and fiddle, John Moore on mandolin and guitar, and Bill Bryson on bass.

Fiddlin’ at the Frog -- On the second Friday there is a jam at The Frog and Fiddle in Sonora, so head on over on the 8th at 7 p.m. This jam has no ending time so people are welcome to pick until they drop.

Bluegrass in Bolinas? -- Why not? Put on your formal tie-dye, stick some flowers in your hair and cruise on out to Smiley’s Saloon in Bolinas on the 8th to see Savannah Blu playing traditional bluegrass starting at 9:30 p.m. Band bass player Dan Large is moving up to mando for this one and Josh Zucker will be standin’ in on bass.

Weekend in Alameda -- At McGrath’s Pub in Alameda there will be an open jam on the 8th starting at 8:30 p.m., and then on the 9th it will be traditional bluegrass by High Country.

Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley in Chico -- On the 8th 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

Pickin’ in Golden Gate Park -- The Golden Gate Park Pickin’ Picnic, which is sponsored by the CBA, will take place this Saturday the 9th from noon-6 p.m., and it will be hosted by Jeanie and Chuck Poling. This event will include a drawing for two tickets to the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley. Fun for the whole family, especially Mom!

Ren faire in Auburn -- The Cain’s Crossing Renaissance Faire will be happening in Auburn on the 9th and 10th. The entire family can mingle with royalty and cheer dueling swordfighters while enjoying entertainment fit for a king. The Celtic band Nine-8ths Irish (with Kathy Barwick on guitar) is one of the many acts that will be on the bill.

Spring time bluegrass -- Calico’s Bluegrass in the Spring Festival is going on this weekend on the 9th and 10th in Yermo (east of Barstow), and some of the acts to see there are The Silverado Bluegrass Band, Bluegrass Etc., Stuck In Reverse, Gates McEuen Hailes, and the High Hills Band.

Conspiracy in Turlock -- On the 9th 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.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 9th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Back To Old Kentucky, a place that has inspired dozens of memorable bluegrass songs. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Blue and green grass in Sonoma -- It will be bluegrass Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 9th at 8 p.m. with Carolina Special, and then Celtic music and more with Shades of Green on the 10th at 6 p.m. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

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

Jaybirds in Santa Cruz -- John Reischman & The Jaybirds, besides appearing at Parkfield, will also be playing a house concert in Santa Cruz on the 9th starting at 4 p.m. For info email

Dudes doing bluegrass -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 9th 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.

Jammin’ in Modesto -- There is a jam in Modesto taking place at Ingram and Braun’s Musik Shoppe on Saturdays from 3-5 p.m. at their location at 503 Bangs Avenue. For info email Gary Vessel at

The Bluegrass Mix -- The site called The Bluegrass Mix streams bluegrass online 24/7. Sky Powers has a show called Pacifically Bluegrass, and it airs every Saturday evening from 4-7 p.m. out here in CA. He plays a fine mix of bluegrass, both old and new, with an emphasis on new releases and he also devotes a portion of his show to playing and promoting the bluegrass bands of the Pacific West and Rockies. He will feature some cuts from the new album Look For Me by Angelica Grim. He also welcomes requests, so email him at

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 9th from 2-5 p.m. For more info contact David at (530) 872-2084.

Oak Grove in Walnut Creek -- How is this for the perfect Mother's Day gift – take her shopping while listening to some bluegrass! You can pick up some nice flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, and some great muffins while you're at it. Contra Costa County CBA VP Bob Schwartz’s family band Oak Grove will be playing on the 10th at the  
Posted:  5/11/2009

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