Author: Carlin, Larry

June 10, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vern and Ray Tribute -- Among the many great shows that will enjoyed by the great unwashed bluegrass masses at the CBA Father’s Day Festival next week will be the tribute to the late/great bluegrass duo of Vern Williams & Ray Park, who really helped put bluegrass on the map in California back in the ‘60s. Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick & Friends will be playing this special show at 6 p.m. on the 20th on Vern’s Stage. If, however, you cannot make the festival (there’d better be a legitimate reason, because the Bluegrass Police will be taking attendance!), you can see this show on Friday the 12th at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. Of course, there is no law that says you cannot see them at both events...

Plan ahead -- If there was ever a band that lived up to its name (at least, out here on the West Coast) it is the Seldom Scene, who we don’t get to see enough of around these parts. However, in July they can be seen at the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City, NV, on the 12th, at Yoshi’s in SF for two shows on the 14th, and then on the 15th they will be the only bluegrass band that will be featured at the Mendocino Music Festival in downtown Mendocino. Start squirreling away some cash now!

It’s ’bout Time! -- The South Bay band ‘bout Time! will be playing bluegrass at the Cambrian Park Farmers Market at the corner of Union and Camden in San Jose on the 10th. Catch them under the carousel. The market runs from 4-8 p.m. and they will be hanging out and playing for the whole market.

Stairwells in Mountain View -- The Stairwell Sisters can be seen and heard playing a house concert on the 10th starting at 8 p.m. Please RSVP to ensure your reservation and to get directions to the house. For reservations, email or phone (650) 947-9669.

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.

John Cowan Band -- John Cowan, erstwhile bassist and vocalist in New Grass Revival back in the day, and his band will be playing on the 10th at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne, on the 11th at Don Quixote’s in Felton, and (even though this gig is not listed on Cowan's site) at The Blue Lamp in mid-town Sacramento on 13th.

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.

Shooting from the Hip -- Missy Raines & The New Hip fuse bluegrass virtuosity with a jazz-tinged groove, and they are on tour this week all over Northern California. The band is multiple IBMA Bass Player of the Year award winner Missy Raines, Michael Witcher on resonator guitar, Ethan Ballinger on mandolin, and Dylan Hodges on guitar. On the 11th at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, on the 12th at the Sutter Creek Theater in Sutter Creek, on the 13th at the Youth Annex Building in Sebastopol (for info call Kevin at 707 824-1858 or, and on the 14th at The Palms in Winters.

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

Experienced duo -- Jim Nunally and Keith Little, who also play in the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, on the 11th 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.

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.

The Bolos in Concord -- Don Burnham & The Bolos will be playing a free show on the 11th at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord from 6:30-8 p.m. They will also be at the SF Free Folk Festival this weekend. The band is Don Burnham on guitar, Karen Horner on bass, Charlie Wallace on steel and standard guitars, and Paul Shelasky on fiddle.

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.

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

Lizards slither into the Northern California! -- One of the funniest bands in the biz, The Austin Lounge Lizards, is on a mini-tour around the bay these next few days. On the 11th they will appear at the Little Fox in Redwood City, on the 12th at Kuumba Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, on the 13th at The Palms in Winters, and on the 14th at the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City, NV.

Twisters 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. See The Kentucky Twisters on the 11th.

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.

Martians in Santa Barbara -- See the  
Posted:  6/12/2009

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