Author: Carlin, Larry

November 23, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009

It's all in the cards -- Nothing says “Happy Holidays” better than bluegrass. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of bluegrass holiday greeting cards than these here by artist Karen Cannon, who also has a booth at Father's Day every year. She has a great new one of Santa playing the fiddle. While you are at it, look at these prints as well for other times of the year. Get your orders in now so that you will have the cards on hand for the holidays.

Bluegrass musical in SF -- The Custom Made Theatre Company in SF is presenting a new production of the late Harry Chapin’s bluegrass musical Cotton Patch Gospel. The show opens on Tuesday the 24th and runs through December 19th at the Next Stage in San Francisco. This is a progressive and musically joyous look at the Jesus story told through a very modern lens. Using 26 songs, one amazing actor, three singers, and a bluegrass band, Cotton Patch is for everyone who wonders if the peace and love promised by the gospels is still possible in our modern world. It is a musically joyous show for people of all faiths or for those with none at all. The music will be performed by Pam Brandon (a.k.a. Belle Monroe), David Finch, Jeff Kaplan and Matt Lauer.

Life’s railway to heaven -- Renowned banjo player Allen Shelton, who played for many years with Jim & Jesse and others, died in Nashville on the 21st after a battle with leukemia. He was 73. Read his obit here in the Tennessean.

Wilkie in Felton -- King Wilkie will be playing one final show in the Bay Area tonight, at Don Quixote’s in Felton. In 2004 the band won IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year award. Earlier this year leader Reid Burgess and friends released their new concept album King Wilkie Presents: The Wilkie Family Singers, based on a fictional world of musical siblings and other characters, featuring guest artists such as Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, Abigail Washburn, and others.

Barefoot Nellies in SF -- Tonight is bluegrass night at Amnesia in SF, and The Barefoot Nellies will be playing their usual slot on this fourth Monday, starting at 8:30 p.m.

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.

Ramblers in Moss Landing -- Tonight is bluegrass night at Phil’s Fish Market with The Courthouse Ramblers playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- Zoey’s Café in Ventura features bluegrass jammin’ on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 6-9:30 p.m.

Burrito grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Dave Hanks, Mark Wardenburg, Lynn Quinones, Bruce Campbell and Tom Lucas. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

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

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 24th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. They play there every Tuesday. No cover.

South Bay kitchen barbecue -- The Mighty Crows will be pickin’ some bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 24th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Coming attractions -- For folks that want to plan ahead, at the beginning of the week there are listings found here of upcoming festivals, fairs, campouts, special events and more. All you have to do is click on the links 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 few months: Laurie Lewis at the Freight 11/28; Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band in Mountain View 12/5; Nell Robinson CD release party at the Freight in Berkeley 12/10; The CBA 48 Hour Jam in Bakersfield 1/8-9; The Bee Eaters at Petaluma Church Concerts 1/22; Special Consensus at the San Diego Bluegrass Society Concert 1/22, Boulevard Music in Culver City 1/23, Valley Harvest Church in Santa Ynez 1/24, The Verboom Ranch in Orland on 1/26, CTMS Folk Center in Encino on 1/28, Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore 1/29, Sutter Creek Theater 1/30, KPIG Radio at 10 a.m. and then in the evening and Don Quixote’s in Felton 1/31; SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival 2/12-21; CBA Winter Music Camp 2/15-18; Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival 3/13.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty...”
Posted:  11/25/2009

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