Author: Carlin, Larry

August 10, 2008
Monday, August 10, 2009

Mike Seeger, RIP -- Mike Seeger, whose love for traditional songs and tunes inspired many other musicians to look for the rural roots of American music, died of multiple myeloma at his home in Lexington, VA, on August 7th. He was 75. You can read his obituary in the New York Times. Half-brother of legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, Mike was a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers in the late 1950s, and he was scheduled to perform at the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention next month. Always Been A Rambler, the recent documentary about the Ramblers, will be shown as part of the festival or you can purchase a copy of it on the site. You can also view a real nice trailer of the film on the site. And, East Bay photographer Mike Melnyk has put together a beautiful slide show of Mike Seeger that you must look at here.

Pete Seeger coming to SF -- Last week there was news in this column about Pete Seeger and his 90th Birthday Celebration in New York City this past May, which was taped and presented on PBS. If you missed the show last week, it will air again on KQED-TV Channel 9 in SF on August 17th at 1 p.m., on the 19th at 7:30 p.m., and on the 20th at 1:30 a.m. (People outside the SF/Bay Area should consult their local PBS listings.) However, you can see Pete perform live and in person during his This Land Is Your Land show that will come to the Masonic Auditorium in SF on September 18th. Tickets just went on sale this morning. Also on the bill are The Waybacks and Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion.

Strawberry fields -- The Strawberry Music Festival will be taking place just outside of Yosemite over Labor Day Weekend on the September 3rd-6th. Some of the acts you can see there are The Del McCoury Band, Bearfoot, The Time Jumpers, Greensky Bluegrass, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Lost Weekend, Alison Brown with Joe Craven, The Belleville Outfit, Avett Brothers, Rodney Crowell and Suzy Bogguss. If you do not have tickets yet, East Bay bluegrass mandolin player Bob Blanshard, who was severely injured in a bicycle accident in May, cannot attend, and he has two all-fest tickets available. Please call him at (510) 653-5454.

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 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

Town Mountain in SF -- The Amnesia bar in SF has bluegrass every Monday, and tonight you can see the regularly scheduled second Monday act Toshio Hirano play starting at 8:30 p.m. The North Carolina bluegrass band Town Mountain (with Annie Staninec sittin’ in on fiddle) will also play starting at 10 p.m., however the band name does not appear on the Amnesia web site. No cover.

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.

Burrito grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Tom Lucas, Ran Bush, Jerry Barush, Neil Linden and Marc Babin. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Jammin’ in Corona -- There is a bluegrass jam on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 7-10 p.m. at the Crossroads Christian Church, 2331 Kellogg Avenue, in Corona. For more info contact Todd Holtkamp at or (951) 347-2597.

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.

Spring Creek on tour -- The Colorado bluegrass band Spring Creek is around Northern California this week. On the 11th see them at Don Quixote’s in Felton, on the 14th it will be the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco (with Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys and The Black Crown Stringband), and on the 15th at the Mountain Sage Concert Series in Groveland.

Deep Elem bluegrass -- On the 11th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. enjoy live bluegrass with Deep Elem. They are there every Tuesday. No cover.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- John Murphy’s Carolina Special will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 11th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in La Mesa -- The San Diego Bluegrass Society presents a jam on the second Tuesday of every month at Fuddruckers in La Mesa from 7-9 p.m.

Fiddle tunes jam in SF -- The second Tuesday fiddle tunes jam will take place on the 11th at the SoCha Café in SF on Mission Street near Valencia. The picking begins around 8 p.m. Fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, wash tubs, bass, jugs, saws, autoharps etc., are all welcome but they especially need more guitars and fiddles.

Shank Brothers in Woodland -- The Notorious Shank Brothers can be seen playing at the Woodland Farmer’s Market on the 11th from 6-8 p.m., located in Freeman Park at 1001 Main Street.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.”
Posted:  8/12/2009

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