Author: Carlin, Larry

May 29, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009

Bluegrass and food. What a great combination! Anyone that has ever been to a pickin’ party knows that some good eats will always be on hand. And this weekend on the 30th there are at least three open pickin’ potlucks going on (Chico, Folsom and Fresno) that will be a lot of fun. Pick one that is the closest to you and then get ready for some serious pickin’!

Bluegrass in Hollister -- The Hicks Bluegrass Family Reunion and Campout is happening on the 29th-31st at Bolado Park in Hollister, with Pete and Lora Hicks as your hosts. Space is limited, and if you want to attend you should contact them first. It will take place in the Upper Picnic area on the left side of Airline Highway, Gate #3, and the gate (according to Lora as of 5/28) will be locked at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, so you either have to leave by then or stay for camping. Bean Creek, The Court House Ramblers, OMGG and friends, Sidesaddle, Kitchen Help and The Seabright Beach Mountain Boys will perform. The cost is a $10 donation for the day, or $25 donation for the weekend. Kids under are 16 free. RSVP for camping. RV space available, but no hookups. The party is sponsored by Phil’s Fish Market and Sam’s BBQ. For info call (831) 623-9401 or email

Bluegrass and more in Alameda -- At McGrath’s Pub in Alameda on the 29th you can enjoy the bluegrass sounds of Foggy Gulch on the 29th, and then on the 30th see The Stadler-Gibbons Band playing a mix of country, bluegrass and more beginning at 8 p.m.

Murphy’s in Sonoma -- It will be a fine time at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma this weekend. It will be Americana music by The Spiral Mystics on the 29th, and traditional bluegrass by Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue on the 30th. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Ren faire in South Shore -- The annual Valhalla Renaissance Faire will be taking place on the 30th and 31st at Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe. You can see the bands Nine-8ths Irish, Tartanic and more perform.

Folsom pickin’ potluck -- There will be a CBA pickin’ potluck jam on the 30th at Folsom Pioneer Village (last year it was called the Folsom History Interpretive Area), on the corner of Wool & Leidesdorff Streets in historic Folsom. The Folsom Historical Society cannot staff the place this year so it is free to whoever wants to come. Donations will be accepted of course. The music will start at 4 p.m. and continue until the last note is picked. There will be a potluck dinner around 6 p.m. Be aware that there are no facilities for refrigeration or heating food so plan your potluck contribution accordingly. Paper and plastic ware and bottled water will be provided. There are some benches and chairs with arms there, and host John Hettinger will bring a few folding chairs, but if you want to be guaranteed a seat, bring your own. Parking is available in Traders’ Lane across Wool Street. If that area is full, drop your stuff off at the entrance to the Village and park in the new (free) parking structure a block away. Go do some pickin’ and get ready for Grass Valley!

Fair weekend -- The Northern California Bluegrass Society’s free 23rd Annual Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair was rained out at the beginning of the month, and it has been rescheduled for the 30th from noon-5 p.m. at the Duck Pond Stage in San Lorenzo Park, next to the courthouse in downtown Santa Cruz. See Harmony Grits, Page Brownton & Sidetrack, The Down Beets, The Mineral Kings, and Common Cents.

Conspiracy in Turlock -- On the 30th 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.

Jammin’ ‘cue in Chico -- The normal Fourth Saturday Jam at Augie's in Chico fell on Memorial Day Weekend, so host Lucy Smith moved and expanded the jam to the 30th. It will now be a jam and BBQ at the Sierra Sunrise Terraces. This is a beautiful facility on the California Park Lake. There will be some shaded area, chairs, picnic tables, and easy parking. The jam will run from 3-6 p.m., with delicious BBQ provided by the Terraces from 5-6 p.m., with ribs, salads, and dessert for a nominal cost of $5 per person. Sodas and waters will be available to buy, and ice chests provided so bring your own beverage. This is an all-family event, so please bring family and friends to enjoy the music, the dinner, and the company!

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 30th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Gearing Up For Grass Valley, Part I, with cuts by Bill Clifton, Blue & Lonesome, Bluegrass Brothers, The Brombies, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Claire Lynch Band, Dailey & Vincent, Dan Paisley & the Southern Grass, 49 Special, The Grascals, Junior Sisk & Rambler's Choice, Mountain Laurel, Stairwell Sisters, The SteelDrivers and The Tuttles. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Jammin’ in Fresno County -- For all of you central California pickers, the last-Saturday-of-the-month-bluegrass-jam-and-potluck will take place in Squaw Valley on the 30th from 5-9 p.m. at the Bear Mountain Library, 30733 E. Kings Canyon Road (Hwy. 180), in Squaw Valley. Coffee will be provided. Bring your dinner service and a potluck dish to share, and your beverage of choice (no alcohol). Also bring your instruments and, most important, prepare to have a great time. For more info contact Nancy at (559) 338-0026.

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 also welcomes requests, so email him at

Stephanie Bettman in Cameron Park -- See Southern California fiddler Stephanie Bettman with Luke Halpin when they play outdoors at the Cameron Park House Concerts series on the 30th. For more info email

Woebegone pickin’ -- Garrison Keillor's radio show A Prairie Home Companion on the 30th will feature bluegrass by the Del McCoury Band. You can tune into KQED (88.5 FM) in SF at 6 p.m., and then the show will be re-aired on the 31st starting at 11 a.m.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the  
Posted:  6/1/2009

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