Author: Carlin, Larry

September 18, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009

And the fests just keep coming. There are five of note going on this weekend, and with any luck at least one of the ones listed below will be taking place somewhere near you. The weather is supposed to be great in NorCal these next few days, so get out and have some fun while the gettin’ is still good!

Bluegrass in the foothills -- At the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth on the 18th-20th is the seventh annual Bluegrassin’ in the Foothills Festival. Some of the bands to see there are Nell Robinson & Red Level, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Savannah Blu, Grasstowne, Ronnie Reno, Bluegrass Etc., Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Kitchen Help, Dalton Mountain, Town Mountain, Steep Canyon Rangers, Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa and Bluegrass Conspiracy. And the Kids on Bluegrass. Fest hosts Larry and Sondra Baker do a fabulous job, and they could really use your support.

Millpond Fest -- The Millpond Music Festival in Bishop on the 18th-20th offers an eclectic mix of music on the schedule. Some of the bands you can see are Fiddlin Pete & Friends, Laura Love, Palm Wine Boys, Joe Craven, Houston Jones, Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Eliza Gilkyson with Nina Gerber and Incendio.

The American River Festival -- The American River Festival in Coloma on the 18th-20th has The Skinny Singers featuring Jackie Greene and Tim Bluhm, Jimmy LaFave, Eliza Gilkyson with Nina Gerber, City Folk, Handful of Luvin, Blame Sally, and more.

Pete Seeger in SF -- Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger had his 90th Birthday Celebration in New York City this past May, and you can see him perform live and in person with his This Land Is Your Land show at the Masonic Auditorium in SF on the 18th. Also on the bill are The Waybacks and Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion.

Bluegrass weekend in Alameda -- There will be bluegrass pickin’ on the 18th at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda starting at 8 p.m. with 49 Special, and then on the 19th it will be The Bay Island Ramblers. The BIR are Mark Berkley (guitar, lead and harmony vocals), Lanie Anderson-Barrett (guitar, lead and harmony vocals), Ken Smith (mandolin and lead/harmony vocals), Dane Miller (fiddle), Tom Biggs (banjo) and Mike Edgerley (bass).

Laurie & Tom in Fresno -- Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum will be playing the Fresno Folklore Society show on the 18th at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Fresno.

Art and music in Mill Valley -- The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival in Old Mill Park on the 19th and 20th has a lot of good music going on. See 'Til Dawn, Savannah Blu, 77 El Deora, Maria Muldaur, Matt Jaffe, Whiskey Deaf, Jesse DeNatale, Tom Rigney & Flambeau and others.

Fiddles and more in Fiddletown -- The 17th Annual Fiddlers’ Jam & Contest in Fiddletown takes place on the 19th from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. just six miles up the road from Plymouth. This tiny Goldrush era town closes down the main street and sets up a stage at one end, and has wine tasting, BBQ food and craft vendors down the street, flanked by original stone and adobe buildings. There's a fiddle contest and an all-day old-time jam party. And it is free!

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 19th for a special three-hour fundraising show from 5-8 p.m. Some of the great thank-you gifts are The Road To Home: A Tribute To Butch Baldassari CD, with David Grisman, Mike Compton, Sam Bush, Tim O'Brien, Ricky Skaggs, Tom Rozum, John Reischman, Roland White, and other mandolin masters; The Always Been A Rambler DVD, a documentary film about the New Lost City Ramblers, pioneers of the concept of urban musicians working side-by-side with traditional musicians, who influenced everyone from Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia to Rayna Gellert and the Carolina Chocolate Drops; the book Dr. Ralph Stanley (with Eddie Dean): Man Of Constant Sorrow (which will not be released until Oct. 15th) along with the CD Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mt. Boys: Classic Bluegrass. Call to make your pledge, and also help support bluegrass on Public Radio. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

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

Cool dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 19th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Bill Bryson, Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for 20 years now.

Bluegrass and more in Menlo Park -- John Fuller brings Molly Tuttle, Will Fourt, Mike McKinley and some surprise guest to Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park on the 19th from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Go hear the banjo, dobro, mandolin and more.

The Bluegrass Mix -- The site called The Bluegrass Mix streams bluegrass online 24/7. Sky Powers has a show called Pacifically Bluegrass, and it normally airs every Saturday evening 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. Sky is interested in receiving music from other California bluegrass bands who would like to have their music featured on his show. Send him an email at for more info.

Dusty Shoes in Grover Beach -- Every Saturday from 5-7 p.m. the Dusty Shoes Gospel Band plays bluegrass at the Station Grill, 170 W. Grand Avenue, in Grover Beach. This is a free event.

Motown jam -- You can do some bluegrass pickin’ on the 19th at Ingram and Braun’s Musik Shoppe, 503 Bangs Avenue, in Modesto, from 3-5 p.m. The jam will be hosted by Gary Vessel.

Sunday morning fun -- The Fruit Jar Pickers play every Sunday from 10-noon at the Rough and Ready Opry Palace (near Grass Valley). This is an acoustical event somewhere between a jam, a concert, and sing-along.

Woofstock -- See The Zydeco Flames and Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Chan Manning and Paul Knight when they play Woofstock, a benefit for the Marin County Humane Society on the 20th from 4-7 p.m.

No jammin’ in Pleasant Hill -- East Bay pickers normally on the third Sunday of the month go to Smokin' Okies in Pleasant Hill for the monthly bluegrass jam from 5:30-8 p.m. But there will be no jam this weeke
Posted:  9/21/2009

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