Author: Carlin, Larry

September 11, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009

Festive weekend -- The Labor Day holiday weekend has come and gone and the kiddies are back in school, but by no means does this mean that the summer festival season is over. Quite the contrary. There are four fests of note this weekend in NorCal, so get out (or in, as the case may be) and enjoy some live music.

Old-time in Berkeley -- The Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention started on the 9th and runs through the 13th, with films, workshops, jams and performances by Alice Gerrard, The Tall Boys, Eric & Suzy Thompson, The Knuckle Knockers, The Black Crown Stringband and many more.

Honoring Jake -- The Brown Barn Festival in San Martin on the 11th-13th, which began as a tribute to late CBA co-founder Jake Quesenberry, has Savannah Blu, Alhambra Valley Band, Angelica Grim & Friends, Dalton Mountain Gang, Jennifer Kitchen & Kitchen Help, Natural Drift, Notorious Shank Brothers, Sidesaddle & Company, OMGG and more.

Guitars and more in Livermore -- Guitar Player Magazine’s Live 2009 Festival is taking place in Livermore on the 11th-13th. Two of the acts you can see playing there are Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players and Jim Nunally & Dix Bruce.

Redwing takes flight in Alameda -- At McGrath’s Pub in Alameda on the 11th starting at 8:30 you can see the Redwing Bluegrass Band. The band is Red Rick Horlick on mandolin, Polly Frizzell on fiddle, Bob Johnson on dobro, Alan Dryfus on guitar, and Bruce (How Many Bands Can I Possibly Play In) Campbell on bass. On the 12th it will be Americana music with West of Next.

David Grier in Reno and Santa Cruz -- Guitarist David Grier can be seen playing a house concert in Reno on the 11th and a concert in Santa Cruz on the 12th.

Swingin’ in Oakland -- Swing Tonic delivers an eclectic mix of swing, folk, country, jazz, 'round-the-world delicacies and just about anything in between on the 11th starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Spice Monkey Café, a restaurant in downtown Oakland. They normally play on the first Friday of every month, but switched dates due to the holiday last weekend. Drawing from their varied musical background, the four members blend vocal harmony with the surprisingly un-clashing sounds of accordion, trumpet, guitar, mandolin and bass. No cover charge, and the venue is kid friendly.

Anderson Marsh Festival -- The 4th Annual Old Time Bluegrass Festival at Anderson Marsh near Clear Lake on the 12th has Laurie Lewis & Nina Gerber, Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band, Jim Nunally & Dix Bruce, Pat Ickes & Bound To Ride and others.

Sidesaddle on the go -- It is a busy weekend for Sidesaddle, the South Bay’s favorite bluegrass band. Besides playing on the 12th and 13th at the Brown Barn Festival, on the 12th they will also be at the Los Altos Hills Community Hoe Down in the afternoon. This event features a farmer's market, equestrian exhibitions, and a country dinner.

Bluegrass in Sonoma -- It will be bluegrass at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 12th at 8 p.m. with Keystone Station at 8. This a traditional bluegrass band from Marin County whose members are all bluegrass veterans. The band’s repertoire is based on the songs of Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and Flatt & Scruggs. With haunting three-part harmonies, and hot instrumental picking on acoustic instruments, Keystone is steeped in the bluegrass tradition. Members are The Daily News Editor on bass, Claudia Hampe on guitar, Dave Earl on mandolin, Kenny Blacklock on fiddle, and newcomer Kris Hare on banjo. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Playing bearfoot in Arroyo Grande and Laguna Beach -- Just a week after putting on a hot show at the Strawberry Music Festival, the band Bearfoot will be performing at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande on the 12th starting at 8 p.m. On the 13th they will be at the Aliso Creek Inn & Golf Club in Laguna Beach.

The Bluegrass Mix -- The site called The Bluegrass Mix streams bluegrass online 24/7. Sky Powers has a show called Pacifically Bluegrass, and it airs every Saturday afternoon from 4-7 p.m. out here in CA. He plays a fine mix of bluegrass, both old and new, with an emphasis on new releases and he also devotes a portion of his show to playing and promoting the bluegrass bands of the Pacific West and Rockies. This show will feature tracks by Blue & Lonesome, Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys, The Waller Brothers, Lost Highway, Nickel Creek and more. Sky welcomes requests, so email him at

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave, from 2-5 p.m.

Dudes pickin’ grass -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 12th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for 20 years now.

Jammin’ in Modesto -- There is a jam in Modesto taking place at Ingram and Braun’s Musik Shoppe on Saturdays from 3-5 p.m. at their location at 503 Bangs Avenue. For info email Gary Vessel at

Jammin' in Altadena -- On Sunday the 13th from 12:30-3:30 p.m. there will be a bluegrass jam at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, which is connected to the coffee house and seats 49, so there is plenty of room for players as well as spectators. Players tend to be intermediate to advanced. This is an acoustic event without amplifiers or microphones. The coffee house offers a wide selection of drinks and pastries. For info contact David at

Jumpin' Jupiter -- The Sunday afternoon acoustic music series at the Jupiter Pub on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley on the 13th will present the Americana Unplugged Old-Time Cabaret hosted by Jeanie and Chuck Poling from 3-7 p.m. No cover.

Jammin’ in Santa Barbara -- The monthly second Sunday jam at Tucker's Grove County Park in Santa Barbara will be starting at noon and going until whenever. For more info, e-mail Alan Aleksander at

Jammin’ in Orangevale -- From 1-5 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month the California Old-Time Fiddlers’ Association meets at the Orangevale Grange Hall, 5805 Walnut, in Orangevale. (916) 966-9067.
Posted:  9/14/2009

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