Author: Carlin, Larry

July 17, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009

Halfway. Here we are halfway through the month of July, the summer and the baseball season. One thing is for certain – this weekend is one full three days of action-packed bluegrass and other kinds of good music, so get out and enjoy some while the days are long, the sun is high and the weather is fine!

Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival -- The place to be this weekend is in the town of Etna (southwest of Yreka) for the 6th Annual Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival on the 17th-19th. Some of the bands to see there are Sawmill Road, Mossy Creek, Borderline, Monroe Crossing, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising, The Wintons and III Generation.

World Fest in Grass Valley -- The 13th Annual California WorldFest began on the 16th and runs through the 19th at the Nevada Country Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, and while there is not a lot of bluegrass there, you can see Bearfoot, Done Gone String Band, Joe Craven, Los Lobos, Indigo Girls and lots more.

Blue and Lonesome in Sonoma County -- The bluegrass band Blue & Lonesome will be releasing copies of their new CD titled Some Old Day this weekend at two different venues. On the 17th you can see them play at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma starting at 8 p.m., and then on Sunday the 19th they will be having an official release party/show at Studio E in Sebastopol, featuring spaghetti made by Ed Neff from homegrown tomatoes, exclusive homemade desserts, and fine wine. Food and beverage servings are by donation, and modest suggested prices will be posted.

Honky Tonk Dreamers in Alameda -- Julay Brooks, formerly of The Cash Magnets and Julay Brooks & The Nightbirds, has a new band called The Honky Tonk Dreamers, and they will be making their East Bay debut on the 17th in Alameda at McGrath’s starting at 8 p.m. They play Western swing and classic country music. The band is Charlie Wallace on pedal steel, National, dobro, and guitar, Tony Marcus on fiddle and guitar, Jerry Logan on bass, and Julay on rhythm guitar.

Savannah Bonanza in SF -- See the Marin County band Savannah Blu on the 17th when they play the Bluegrass Bonanza show at the Plough and Stars in San Francisco starting around 9 p.m.

Monroe Crossing in Chico -- If you can’t make it up to the festival in Etna then head on over to the Cafe Culture in Chico on the 17th at 7:30 p.m. to see the wonderful Minnesota bluegrass band Monroe Crossing perform.

Jeanie & Chuck Bay Area Tour -- Jeanie & Chuck Poling, SF’s favorite country/bluegrass duo, will be hosting a gala at the Velo Rouge Café in SF on the 17th starting at 7 p.m. featuring The Cowlicks, Misisipi Mike Wolf, The Barbary Ghosts, Doug Blumer, Smelley Kelley, Todd & His Tequila Mockingbirds and Barbee & The Barb-Wires. Then on the 19th Jeanie & Chuck’s Country Roundup will be singing for their beers at the Jupiter Pub in Berkeley from 5-8 p.m., featuring John MacFarlane on fiddle, Dave Magram on pedal steel and banjo, and Steve Swan on bass. No cover at either venue, and all ages are welcome.

Natural Drift in Cameron Park -- It will be bluegrass by Natural Drift on the 17th when they play at Hemelayas in Cameron Park from 7:30-10 p.m. With a traditional, five-piece bluegrass instrumentation for a foundation, ND adds a fresh blend of the band members’ diverse backgrounds to provide audiences with a delightful, engaging musical performance through their own passion and pure bluegrass sound.

Jammin’ in Visalia -- The newly located Visalia bluegrass jam will take place on the 18th at the Cellar Door, 101 W. Main Street, from noon to 2 p.m. Cellar Door owners Dan and Denise Littleton were pleased with the turnout at the first jam which took place last month, and they are excited at the prospect of this jam becoming a monthly occurrence.

Orrin Star in Reno -- On the 18th at 8 p.m. there will be a house concert featuring flat-picking champion Orrin Star at the home of Dave and Joyce Furlong, 145 Thomas Avenue, in Reno. Then on the 19th Orrin will be holding a workshop there from 11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. For info email

Dusty Shoes in Grover Beach -- Every Saturday from 5-7 p.m. the Dusty Shoes Gospel Band plays bluegrass at the Station Grill, 170 W. Grand Avenue, in Grover Beach. This is a free event.

GrassKickers in Merced -- The GrassKickers on the 18th will be pickin’ some grass for a free indoor concert at the Merced Mall in the cool Center Court area from 6-8 p.m.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 18th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Across the Tracks: Patuxent Records, with music from Frank Wakefield, The Stonemans, Angelica Grim, The Doerfels, Nate Leath, Tatiana Hargreaves and Jordan Tice. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

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

Motown jam -- You can do some bluegrass pickin’ on the 18th at Ingram and Braun’s Musik Shoppe, 503 Bangs Avenue, in Modesto, from 3-5 p.m. The jam will be hosted by Gary Vessel.

Cool dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 18th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Bill Bryson, Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for 20 years now.

The Bluegrass Mix -- The site called The Bluegrass Mix streams bluegrass online 24/7. Sky Powers has a show called Pacifically Bluegrass, and it normally airs every Saturday evening from 4-7 p.m. out here in CA, with this week's show going until 8 p.m. 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. On this show hear cuts from the upcoming Adam Steffey album plus new singles from The Grass Cats, The Larry Stephenson Band and Bryan Sutton. The California bands to be featured this week are Angelica Grim, Blue & Lonesome, Bluegrass Intentions, Butch Waller, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Dalton Mountain Gang, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, Sawmill Road, The Kathy Kallick Band, and The Waller Brothers. He also welcomes requests, so email him at

Remembering Reza -- Reza Honarkhah, longtime bartender, cook and all around good guy at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda, passed away on July 8th from cancer. He was only 50<
Posted:  7/20/2009

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