Author: Carlin, Larry

July 3, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009

Rockets red glare -- It is a big holiday weekend, with parades, picnics, fireworks and all kinds of other activities going on. Heck, with any luck, there will also be some good old fashioned American bluegrass being played by you or by some bands somewhere nearby. Your Almost Daily News editor is currently back near where it all began – in Philly (and 10 minutes from Valley Forge) – on a family visit, and it is one place to be on the birthday of this country. Have a safe and happy weekend wherever you go and whatever you do.

Jamless Saturday -- The guess here is that very few, if any, of the regular jams normally listed in this column for the first Saturday of the month will actually be taking place on the 4th. So none are listed here this time. Please consult your local jams to see if they indeed will be happening.

Blue and green grass in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma tonight at 8 p.m. The Sonoma Mountain Band will be picking traditional bluegrass music. On Sunday the 5th there is a Celtic jam starting at 6 p.m. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Scott Gates in Dogtown -- Scott Gates, Nathan McEuen and Chuck Hailes will bring bluegrass roots acoustic music to the Dogtown Faire in Magalia on the 4th at three different times from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This is a free event.

Paradise Picnic in the Park -- On the 4th go and join the Picnic in the Park in the town of Paradise for a day of bluegrass that begins at high noon with The Anderson Family, followed by The Sid Lewis Bluegrass Band and Mossy Creek.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 4th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Across The Tracks: Compass Records, with music from Dale Ann Bradley, The Gibson Brothers, Bearfoot, and Alison Brown. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Fiddlin' and jamgrass at the fair -- The Marin County Fair is going on until the 5th, and on the 4th the 37th Annual Old-Time Fiddle Contest will be taking place, and you can also see the Marin jamgrass band Hot Buttered Rum playing sets at 2 and 4 p.m. Stay long enough and enjoy the fireworks later that night.

No Blue Ridge Pickin’ -- The Blue Ridge Pickin’ Parlor in Granada Hills normally has a pickin’ session on the first Saturday of every month from 6-10:30 p.m., but the store will be closed on the 4th.

Americana and bluegrass in San Gregorio -- The Mild Colonial Boys will be playing Americana music on the 4th at the San Gregorio General Store south of Half Moon Bay from 2-5 p.m., and on the 5th it will be bluegrass with Earthquake Country. No cover, you can have a beer and also get you shopping done while you are there.

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. The 4th is Peter Rowan’s birthday so he will be playing a set of tunes from him. He will also be playing songs from the new Bryan Sutton Almost Live CD, as well as some new cuts from Blue & Lonesome, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Greensky Bluegrass, Palmer Divide, Sawmill Road, The Stanleytones, The Hartman Family Band, and many others. He also welcomes requests, so email him at

Jammin’ in Clovis -- There will be a bluegrass, old-time and gospel music jam on the 5th at the Clovis Senior Center, 850 4th Street. Jams take place there on the first and third Saturdays. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available. The time is 7-11 p.m. Each attendee is asked to contribute $1 to cover the rent.

Sunday morning fun -- The Fruit Jar Pickers play every Sunday from 10-noon at the Rough and Ready Opry Palace (near Grass Valley). This is an acoustical event somewhere between a jam, a concert, and sing-along.

Santa Clara Fiddlers -- The Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional types of American music such as old-time, bluegrass and gospel music, as played on the fiddle and other acoustic stringed instruments. In July and August the jams will be held in the beautiful Municipal Rose Garden Park (at Dana and Naglee streets) in San Jose from 1-5 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch if you like.

Jammin’ in Sutter Creek -- There is a Celtic and old-time jam on the first and third Sundays from 1-5 p.m. at the Backroads Coffee House in Sutter Creek. For info call (209) 296-7706.

Jumpin’ Jupiter -- The Sunday acoustic series at the Jupiter Pub on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley on the 5th will feature Americana music with Ragged But Right playing from 5-8 p.m. No cover.

Jammin' in Altadena -- On Sunday the 5th from 12:30-3:30 p.m. there will be a bluegrass jam at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, which is connected to the coffee house and seats 49, so there is plenty of room for players as well as spectators. Players tend to be intermediate to advanced. This is an acoustic event without amplifiers or microphones. The coffee house offers a wide selection of drinks and pastries. For info contact David at

Bluegrass in SLO -- The Wild River Ramblers play from 2-4 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month at the Santa Maria Brewing Company in the town of Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “You miss 100 % of the shots you don’t take…”

Posted:  7/6/2009

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