Author: Carlin, Larry

October 30, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween weekend. This is a party weekend for a lot of folks, both big and little. And if you like to combine tricking and treating with some bluegrass, well, there is plenty of that going on too. Dress up, dress down, but whatever you do, have a fun time and go easy on the sweets!

Jim and Judy in Benicia -- Jim Nunally and Judy Forrest will be playing on the 30th at The First Street Café, located at 440 First Street in Benicia, from 8-11:15 p.m. Bring an appetite with you as the café has an extensive appetizer and dessert menu, and beer and wine are offered as well.

Waybacks crabgrass -- The Bay Area’s favorite crabgrass band The Waybacks will be pickin’ up a storm at the Freight in Berkeley on the 30th, at Humboldt Brews in Arcata on the 1st, and at the Crescent Elk Auditorium in Crescent City on the 3rd.

Steve Martin and the Rangers in Costa Mesa -- On the 30th see Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers when they play at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

Boulder Acoustic Society on tour -- The Boulder Acoustic Society is playing at Mission City Coffee in Santa Clara on the 30th, at the North Columbia School House in Nevada City on the 31st, and at Amnesia in San Francisco on the 1st.

John Wort Hannam in NorCal -- Award winning Canadian singer/songwriter John Wort Hannam will be playing at the Oaksong Concert Series at Bernie’s Guitars in Redding on the 30th and at the Cozmic Café in Placerville on the 1st.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 31st from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Sugar Hill Boo-Grass with an hour of Halloween ghost stories, spooky songs, and tall tales. This collection includes music by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Seldom Scene, Peter Rowan, Tim O'Brien, Kathy Kallick, Don Rigsby, Front Range, Good Ol' Persons, Robin & Linda Williams, and the Country Gentlemen. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Snap Jackson in Stockton -- Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players will be playing a Halloween show on the 31st at Lozano’s in Stockton starting at 10 p.m.

Alive dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 31st 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.

Motown jam -- You can do some bluegrass pickin’ on the 31st 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.

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 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 also 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.

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.

Bluegrass in San Gregorio -- Earthquake Country will be playing bluegrass on the 1st at the San Gregorio General Store south of Half Moon Bay from 2-5 p.m. No cover, you can have a beer and also get you shopping done while you are there.

Jammin' in Altadena -- On Sunday the 1st 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

Santa Clara Fiddlers -- The Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional types of American music such as old-time, bluegrass and gospel music, as played on the fiddle and other acoustic stringed instruments. On the first Sunday of every month they hold their open jams at the Hoover Middle School in San Jose from 1-5 p.m. On the 1st they will also be having their 8th Annual Youth Fiddle Contest.

Jammin’ in Marysville -- The 1st is the first Saturday of the month, so from 3-6 p.m. there will be jamming going on at the Brick Coffee House Café, 316 D Street, in Marysville. All skill levels welcome. For info call (530) 743-5283.

Life’s railway to heaven -- Longtime CBA member and beloved banjo player Lloyd Butler passed away earlier this week. While I did not know him, there are many in the CBA who did, and you can read some touching tributes to Lloyd here.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your butt will get soaking wet.”
Posted:  11/2/2009

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