Author: Carlin, Larry

July 27, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009

Special time at RockyGrass. Big congratulations to the Bay Area bluegrass band 49 Special, who won the band competition at RockyGrass in Lyons, CO, this past weekend. Besides a cash prize and bragging rights, winning also means that they get to play the main stage at the festival in 2010!

On the mend -- Last week Sam Criswell, lead singer and guitarist for the California bluegrass band Groundspeed, suffered a heart attack. He is now at home recuperating. For more info read these Message Board postings. On June 22nd two Clinch Mountain Boys were injured in a car accident. Ralph Stanley’s grandson Nathan Stanley and fiddler Dewey Brown were returning to North Carolina after a show at Bean Blossom when they were struck by a drunk driver. Both were pretty banged up, as was Brown’s wife Leslie. Nathan sustained two broken legs. All are expected to return to full health. Read more about them here on the Bluegrass Blog. In May it was mentioned here that East Bay bluegrass mandolin picker Bob Blanshard was severely injured in a serious bicycle accident. He's still dealing with multiple broken bones and other injuries while recovering at home. If you want to show your support, you can either send a card to his home address (6616 Pine Needle Drive, Oakland, 94611) or leave a message on his machine at (510) 653-5454.

Life’s railway to heaven -- North Bay banjo player David Ross Boots died on July 9th at his home in Sebastopol after a long and valiant battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 51. David loved playing his banjo and picking with his friends, and was a former member of the band HiJinks. You can read his obituary here.

Old-time is not a crime -- Everyone is looking forward to the CBA’s new Golden Old-Time Festival that will be taking place on August 21st-23rd at the fairgrounds in Booneville in Mendocino County. There will be no scheduled performances, but there will be workshops, jams, partying and a square dance on Saturday night. Food will be sold on the grounds, or you can bring your own, plus it's a very short walk to grocery stores, great local cafes and restaurants. This new event will be presented by the CBA, the Sonoma Country Folk Society, and the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention. For more info contact Mark Hogan at

Ramblers in Moss Landing -- Tonight is bluegrass night at Phil’s Fish Market with The Courthouse Ramblers playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass pickin’ on Monday nights is McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Starting at 8:30 p.m. you’ll find familiar faces all around you on bass, mandolins, guitars, banjos and fiddles.

Nellies in SF -- Monday is bluegrass night at Amnesia in SF, so head on over on the 27th to see The Barefoot Nellies playing their usual slot, starting at 8:30 p.m. The fabulous Yvonne Walbroehl will be sitting in, lending her driving guitar playing and bluesy singing to the Nellies’ sound.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- Zoey’s Café in Ventura features bluegrass jammin’ on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 6-9:30 p.m.

Taco grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Steve Kallai, Alan Bond, Larry Cohea, Bruce Campbell and Steve Hirst. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Jammin’ in Signal Hill -- Every Monday night, from 6-9 p.m., there is a bluegrass jam at Curley’s Café in Signal Hill. The address is 1999 E Willow Street at Cherry Avenue. Everyone is welcome. For more info contact Jim Wieser at

South Bay country barbeque -- Enjoy The Country Classics singing, well, classic country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 28th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 28th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. They play there every Tuesday. No cover.

Open mic at the Freight -- Most Tuesdays it is open mic night at the venerable Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. The event starts at 8 p.m. There is a $5.50 cover charge, but any performer that shows up with a paying audience member gets to play for free.

Euphonia in Alameda -- Check out Euphonia, a café-style acoustic combo featuring accordion, mandolin, guitar, and voices, when the band takes you on a journey from the sophisticated sidewalks of Paris across the adventurous high seas to the hay-strewn dance floors of rural America. See them on the 28th at Julie's Coffee & Tea Garden, 1223 Park Street in Alameda from 7-9 p.m. The trio is Paul Kotapish, Sylvia Herold and Chuck Ervin.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Archaeologists will date any old thing.”
Posted:  7/29/2009

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