Author: Carlin, Larry

July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Take The Stage -- Do you enjoy playing Americana, bluegrass, folk or other roots music for fun, at home, in your spare time? Well here's your chance to literally “take the stage”! Fall applications are now being accepted for the next round of the Take The Stage musician workshops in Berkeley. The workshop will be led by Dave Zimmerman of Homespun Rowdy, and guest instructors will include Kathy Kallick, Laurie Lewis and Jim Nunally. There will be a Welcome Jam at the end of August so folks should get their applications and deposits in ASAP to save a spot. The Summer Session Showcase will take place at the new location of the Freight & Salvage on August 25th at 7 p.m., before the venue officially opens. Plus there will be a new Peninsula workshop location with Lisa Burns. Go to the Take The Stage website for more info.

Hardly news -- Speaking of stages, a sixth stage will be added to the five that already exist at this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which is put on by SF financier Warren Hellman in Golden Gate Park in October. According to a story in today’s SF Chronicle, “This one will be ‘Towers of Gold,’ the name of Frances Dinkelspiel's book about Isaias Hellman, great-grandfather of Warren Hellman, great-great-grandfather of Dinkelspiel. The term refers to Hellman during the bank panic of 1893, taking his money from San Francisco to Los Angeles, piling it on a counter - in stacks of gold - and opening an institution that was ancestor to today's Wells Fargo.” Does this mean that there will now be more bluegrass bands playing at the fest? Hardly…

Stringdusters headed west -- The Infamous Stringdusters are headed this way next week, so you may want to plan ahead. You can see them at Don Quixote’s in Felton on the 4th, at The Palms in Winters on the 5th, at The Great American Music Hall in SF on the 6th (with the Stairwell Sisters), at The Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne on the 7th, and at the Dead on the Creek Festival in Willits on the 8th.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 29th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. They also play there every Tuesday. No cover.

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.

South Bay bluegrass barbecue -- Matt & George and Their Pleasant Valley Boys will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 29th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in Palo Alto -- There is a bluegrass jam every Wednesday night at Fandango Pizza in Palo Alto starting at 7 p.m.

Happy b-day Scott! -- Southern CA mandolin player Scott Gates will be having his annual birthday bash at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on the 30th. He will be turning 17 years young. These evenings are usually full of surprises, new tunes, and debuts of new acts. It will be a free wheeling night of music, laughs and cake. Joining Scott at 8 p.m. will be Nathan McEuen and many others.

Gerry Tenney double header -- East Bay acoustic musician Gerry Tenney will be playing with two bands on the 30th at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. See him perform with California Klezmer and The Lost Tribe, backed by a large roster of talented musicians.

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.

Jammin’ in Napa -- Head on out to the 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

Martians in Santa Barbara -- See the Salt Martians play bluegrass every Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. for happy hour at the Tupelo Junction Cafe, 1218 State Street, in Santa Barbara. Call (805) 899-3100 for dinner reservations. Full bar and no cover.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the CBA sponsored jam at the El Toro Brewing Company takes place every Thursday from 6-10 p.m. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

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 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.

Jammin’ in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m., and on the 30th it will be a bluegrass and old-time jam.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Every valuable idea offends someone.”
Posted:  7/31/2009

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