Author: Carlin, Larry

August 24, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009

Changing chords -- Most bluegrass fans have seen banjo player Tom Adams play somewhere along the way. Over the years he performed with Jimmy Martin, The Johnson Mountain Boys, Blue Highway, and Rhonda Vincent & The Rage. However, in 2002 he had to quit playing the banjo due to a strange neurological condition called focal hand dystonia, which prevented one of his fingers on his right hand from working properly. There is no known cure for this affliction, so for a while Tom had to quit playing altogether. The good news is that while he still cannot play the banjo on stage, he has taken up the guitar and is now the lead singer in the band Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper – a band that has been nominated for six IBMA Awards this year. You can read a really good story about Tom in the Hanover Evening Sun newspaper.

Bluegrass campout in Isleton -- The Lighthouse Resort & Marina, located at 151 Brannan Island Road in Isleton, will be holding its second annual bluegrass campout starting on the 24th and running through the 31st. There will be jamming whenever and wherever folks get together. This is a resort located on the scenic Delta Loop next to the Mokelumne River and it has activities for all to enjoy (volleyball, basketball, miniature golf, horseshoes, tetherball, swimming pool, spa) plus an arcade room, clubhouse, fishing, a boat ramp, general store and a fine restaurant right on the river. RV campsites are $25 per night. There are 50 RV sites reserved for the event. For reservations and more info call (916) 777-5511 or email at

Moving Freight -- The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley will be opening at its new location uptown this week at 2020 Addison Street, and the first official shows – The Fiddle Summit on the 27th and the David Grisman Quintet on the 28th – are already sold out. If you want to get a sneak preview of the new digs, The Summer Session Showcase of the Take The Stage musician workshops will take place there on the 25th, starting at 7 p.m. There are still openings for the fall session of TTS for banjo, fiddle, mando, or dobro (there are enough guitars already), so contact for more info. On the 29th the West Coast Live radio show will be broadcasting live from 10 a.m. until noon, and after this show there will be a free open house from noon until 5 p.m., with jams and workshops going on. Ran Bush will host a bluegrass jam, Pete Madsen will be doing acoustic blues, Mike deSilva will conduct the ukulele session, Tim Hicks will lead an old-time jam along with Eric & Suzy Thompson, and there will be lots more activities. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott will play a show later that evening. On Sunday the 30th Laurie Lewis will be hosting the Bluegrass Blowout. And here you can read about the move in last Sunday’s SF Chronicle’s cover story in the Pink Section.

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.

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 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 Tom Lucas, Alan Bond, Dan Large, Bernie Bishop and Dan Norton. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Brewglass in SF -- Monday is bluegrass night at Amnesia in SF, and usually The Barefoot Nellies play this slot on the fourth Monday. However, they are taking this night off, despite what it says on the Amnesia web calendar. Filling in at the last minute will be Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys, starting at 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

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 25th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 25th 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.

Coming attractions -- There is a new weekly segment just added here to the Almost Daily News. For folks that want to plan ahead, each Monday at the bottom of this column there will be a list of upcoming festivals, county fairs, campouts, special events and more. All you have to do is click on each link to find out information about each event. As the dates draw near there will be more information about the events posted above. If there is something not included on this list feel free to drop me a note to let me know. Here is what is coming up in the next two months: David Grier at the Cozmic Café in Placerville, 9/1, and at Bill Wagman House Concerts in Davis 9/10; Strawberry Music Festival near Yosemite 9/3-6; Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue CD release concert at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley 9/9; Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention 9/9-13; 4th Annual Old Time Bluegrass Festival at Anderson Marsh 9/12; The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival on 9/19-20; Brown Barn Festival in San Martin 9/11-13; Bluegrassin’ in the Foothills in Plymouth, 9/18-20; Hobbs Grove Festival in Sanger 9/25-27; IBMA World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN, 9/28-10/4; Kern County Fair 9/23-10/4; Hardl
Posted:  8/26/2009

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