Author: Carlin, Larry

August 31, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009

Endless summer. Fifth Mondays don’t happen very often. Even rarer still is when August 31st falls on a Monday, thereby pushing the date for Labor Day to September 7th, the latest date that the holiday can occur on the calendar. This means that certain venues that have bluegrass on Mondays – like the Atlas Café in SF and Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing – have an extra day on their calendar (details lie below). This late date also means that the Strawberry Music Festival up by Yosemite does not start until September 3rd, so if you suddenly find you have the time, funds and desire, the fest is still not sold out and there are tickets to be had. Either go to the fest site or check out the Ticket Exchange site. One other bonus to a fifth Monday is that there is one more night of regular Monday jams!

Family feud -- The late self-proclaimed “King of Bluegrass” – Jimmy Martin – passed away in 2005 at the age of 77, and ever since then his heirs have been in court battling over the estate and future royalties. It appears that Martin made some last minute changes to his will just before dying, creating an ongoing battle between an ex-wife and some of Martin’s adult children. You can read the story in The Tennessean. Thanks to Darby Brandli for this tip.

Honky Tonk Angel -- Legendary country singer Kitty Wells celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday at Ernest Tubb’s Record Store in Nashville. She was a true pioneer, being one of the first female singers to have a number one hit, which she had in 1952 with the million-selling “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” Kitty has been married for 72 years to John Wright, half of the act known as Johnny & Jack, who had many hits, including “Ashes of Love." Read about the birthday party in The Tennessean.

Americana and the Grammys -- The Grammy Award nominations will be announced sometime in the fall, and for the first time ever there will be an “Americana” category. Read about it in the USA Today. Of course, some of the same names and faces that win in other categories every year (Springsteen, Dylan, Costello) will be in the running, so the saying “The more things change, the more they stay the same” applies here…

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.

Mountain Boys in Moss Landing -- The Seabright Beach Mountain Boys include an all-star lineup of Jim Mintun, Louise Mintun, Matt Kendall, Rob Horgan and Peter Hicks, and you can see them playing tonight at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Taco grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Gene Tortora, Bruce Campbell, Red Rick, Neil Linden and Joel Diamond. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Twin bill in SF -- Monday is normally bluegrass night at Amnesia in SF, but tonight it will be a mix of Americana and old-time, with Jimbo Trout & The Fishpeople and The Black Crown String Band sharing the bill, 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

David Grier in Placerville -- Guitarist David Grier can be seen playing at the Cozmic Café in Placerville on the 1st. He will also be playing later in the month in Davis, Reno and Santa Cruz and Reno on September 10th-12th.

Bean Creek barbecue -- Bean Creek can be seen singing for their barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 1st from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 1st at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with a special edition of Deep Elem, featuring regular members John Kael and Annie Staninec, with guests Larry Cohea and Mott Jordan. They play there every Tuesday. No cover.

Bluegrass in Escondido -- In the San Diego County area the North County Bluegrass Association usually presents a night of bluegrass on the first Tuesday of the month, but there is no band listed on their site for the 1st. Go over to Round Table Pizza starting at 8 p.m. at Round Table Pizza, on the corner of Ash and Washington Streets, in Escondido, to see who will be playing this week.

Coming attractions -- This is a new weekly segment. 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: 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; David Grier at Bill Wagman House Concerts in Davis on 9/10, a house concert in Reno on the 11th, and a house concert in Santa Cruz on the 12th; 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; Kern County Fair 9/23-10/4; Hobbs Grove Festival in Sanger 9/25-27; IBMA World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN, 9/28-10/4; Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco 10/2-4; CBA Campout in Colusa 10/14
Posted:  9/2/2009

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