Author: Carlin, Larry

May 13, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Steve Martin plays the banjo -- Most bluegrass folks know by now that veteran comedian/actor/writer Steve Martin not only picks the banjo, he also has a new album out called The Crow. On Monday night Martin, ably abetted by The Steep Canyon Rangers, put on a benefit show for the L.A. Public Library. It was quite a star-studded, action-packed event. You can read a review of the show here.

Leonard Slye’s guitar sells for big bucks -- An unknown musician named Leonard Slye bought a used Martin guitar in a pawn shop in 1933 for $30. It was an OM-45, the first one in the series. Last month that same guitar sold at auction for almost half a million dollars. If you need to know who this Slye fellow was, go here to find out and read about the sale.

Bluegrass jammers drive the neighbors crazy! -- Go here to find out what the fuss is all about. It comes from The Onion, which, for the uninitiated, is a satirical web site and publication. Thanks to East Bay picker Richard Brandenburg for sending this along.

Mountain Laurel in Auburn -- There will be bluegrass served up on the 13th at Latitudes in Auburn from 7:30-9 p.m. by the band Mountain Laurel.

Dobro workshop -- Greg Booth, an excellent dobro player from Alaska, will be hosting a dobro workshop on the 13th at the 5th String in Berkeley. Greg is down from Alaska for two weeks to play with the Kathy Kallick Band (at Parkfield this past weekend and the Freight & Salvage on the 16th). Regarded by many as Alaska's greatest steel guitarist for the last 35 years, Greg has won national acclaim by winning the 2007 Rockygrass dobro contest and by participating in the Wintergrass Resomania events. The workshop is from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and it costs $30. The Fifth String is at 3051 Adeline in Berkeley. To reserve a spot email his busy bass playing son Dan at

Bill and Megan in concert -- See Bill Evans & Megan Lynch in an intimate concert on the 13th for the Music Box Series at the Climate Theater, 285 9th Street in SF. Tickets/donation $7 to $15. Their recent CD let’s do something... just got a great review by David Royko in the May edition of Bluegrass Unlimited.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Diana Donnelly & The Yes Ma’ams will be entertaining you with bluegrass and vintage country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose tonight from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Every Wednesday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass. Tonight see Mr. Banjo & The Lonesome Wailers play.

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.

Old-time is not a crime in the City of Angels -- Many a VW microbus are headed south on I-5 today to attend The Fourth Ever Los Angeles Old-Time Social, which runs from the 14th-16th. There will be concerts, workshops, parties, jams and a big square dance. On the 17th everyone then will be going to the Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the CBA sponsored jam at the El Toro Brewing Company takes place on Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

Here come the Greencards -- The Greencards will be all over the Northern California and beyond starting tomorrow and continuing into next week. On the 14th it will be at The Palms in Winters, on the 15th at the Crystal Bay Club Casino in Crystal Bay, on the 17th at the Sierra Nevada Tap Room in Chico with Carrie Rodriguez, on the 18th at Don Quixote’s in Felton, on the 20th at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne, on the 22nd at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco with Marty Stuart, on the 23rd at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, and on the 24th at the Strawberry Music Festival.

Experienced duo -- Jim Nunally and Keith Little, who also play in the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, on the 14th will be playing at The First Street Café, located at 440 First Street in Benicia, from 7-10 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.

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. See her at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on the 14th starting at 8 p.m.

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 Napa -- There is a CBA sponsored 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

Bluegrass in the big city -- The Atlas Cafe in SF presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. On the 14th see 49 Special playing hard-driving bluegrass music.

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.

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
Posted:  5/15/2009

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