Author: Carlin, Larry

October 21, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wild and crazy banjo player -- It is not for another week but you should be making plans now for when the Los Angeles Philharmonic presents the show Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers: An Evening of Bluegrass & Banjo . It will take place on the 28th at 8 p.m. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Special guest Abigail Washburn will also perform. This will be the accomplished comedian/instrumentalist’s first public music show in Los Angeles in decades, and it follows his recent sold-out performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. Go to the link above for tickets and information.

Bluegrass Country fund drive -- There is special programming this week on WAMU's Bluegrass Country for their fall membership drive, and like other public radio stations, this (mostly) bluegrass internet station relies on listener donations to pay the bills and keep the great music happening. In addition to three daily programs – the shows of Lee Michael Demsey, Ray Davis, and Katy Daley – Bluegrass Country presents two dozen other weekly programs including Bluegrass Signal with California’s own Peter Thompson. Bluegrass Signal is webcast five times each week: Monday at 4 p.m., Tuesday at 10 p.m., Wednesday at 3 a.m., Thursday at 5 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. There are lots of great CDs and Ralph Stanley’s newly published autobiography being offered as thank-you gifts. The CBA is a supporter of Bluegrass Country. Please consider helping them out.

Playing Bearfoot -- The bluegrass/newgrass quintet from Alaska, Bearfoot, is a young national touring band that has been causing quite a stir. In the spring of this year they release their Compass Records debut, Doors and Windows, to critical acclaim. Called “the future of bluegrass” by Time Out New York, The Boston Globe raved, “Old time, roots, Americana, folk, bluegrass -'s just plain old pleasure." They recently played main stage at the Strawberry Music Festival near Yosemite. See them play at Don Quixote's in Felton on the 21st, at the CVIC Hall in Minden, NV, on the 23rd, at the Oaksong Concert Series at Bernie’s Guitars in Redding on the 24th, and at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on the 25th.

Gamble on Chris & Herb -- The fabulous duo of Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen can be seen playing on the 21st at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne. These are two of the finest singers around, and together sound like the brother duos of yore.

Slow jam in Chico -- The next slow jam at The Acoustic College, 932 West 8th Avenue, in Chico, will take place on the 21st from 7-9 p.m. This is a collaboration between the Acoustic College and the CBA, and it is on-going every third Wednesday. Sid Lewis provides a cozy and welcoming smaller venue in which to share bluegrass tunes and songs. The jam will be geared towards beginner to intermediate players on guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle, vocals, and bass. Feel free to bring a few songs you would like to work on playing and sharing with a group. Lucy Smith will be leading this jam.

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Every Wednesday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass. Tonight see Homefire play.

Celtic Capital -- Join the Celtic band Nine-8ths Irish for the monthly Irish jam session on the 21st from 7-10 p.m. at The Fox & Goose in Sacramento.

Jammin’ in Palo Alto -- There is a bluegrass jam every Wednesday night at Fandango Pizza in Palo Alto starting at 7 p.m.

Brombies in Burbank -- The Brombies play on the first, third, and occasionally the fifth Wednesday nights at Viva Cantina in Burbank starting at 8 p.m.

Brothers in Berkeley -- Tonight The Whiskey Brothers will be playing their twice monthly gig at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley starting at 9 p.m. They play classic Western swing, bluegrass and original music, featuring great vocal harmonies. The band includes local music-scene veterans Jeff Ward on mandolin, Dave Courchaine, guitar, John MacFarlane on fiddle, Bruce Campbell on bass, and Craig Fletcher on banjo. No cover.

Jammin’ in Paso Robles -- "Matt's Jam" takes place every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Matt's Music, 617 12th Street, in downtown Paso Robles. For more information call (805) 237-0054.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Enjoy Sidesaddle & Company and the spicy barbeque on the 21st at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Frank Wakefield around the bay -- Mandolin master Frank Wakefield has a series of shows around the Bay Area these next few days. See him at the Freight on the 22nd, at a workshop at Gryphon Guitars in Palo Alto on the afternoon of 24th followed by a concert that evening at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View, and then he’ll be at Don Quixote’s in Felton on the 25th.

Bluegrass on the USS Potomac -- The Bay Area bluegrass band 49 Special on the 22nd at 7:30 p.m. will be pickin’ on the USS Potomac, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's beautifully restored and functioning yacht, which is berthed at Jack London Square. This is a charitable benefit to help fund the 20 annual educational cruises conducted by the Potomac Association for East Bay school children, grades 5 through 8.

Jammin’ in Napa -- There is a CBA sponsored bluegrass jam session at the Pizza Hut in the town of Napa every Thursday night from 7-10 p.m. For more info call Pat Calhoun at (707) 318-1913 or email

Pickin’ in Petaluma -- Ed Neff and Friends play bluegrass every Thursday at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There is no cover, and you get to hear some of the finest traditional bluegrass in the North Bay. The regular pickers are Ed Neff on mandolin, Mike Wilhoyte on guitar, Jeff King on bass, Paul Shelasky on fiddle, and banjoist Larry Cohea. The address is 3600 Petaluma Boulevard North. Call (707) 775-4232 for more info.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the CBA sponsored jam that takes place on Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. has a new location, the Morgan Hill Grange, located at 40 E. 4th Street. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

Jammin’ in Redwood City -- There is a weekly bluegrass and old-time jam on Thursdays at 5th Quarter Pizza, 976 Woodside Road in Redwood City from 7-10:15 p.m. The venue is<
Posted:  10/23/2009

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