Author: Carlin, Larry

November 25, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend -- As always at this time of year, there is a lot to be thankful for – most notably the four-day weekend from the day job – as well as a day off (Friday) from posting this column. This is a five-day edition of the Almost Daily News, and there is a lot of great stuff going on this weekend. My partner Claudia and I will be celebrating the holiday by having a group of musician friends over to the house for a sumptuous feast, after which acoustic instruments will magically appear and the merry sounds of bluegrass will then be heard for hours on end. Thanksgiving Day is always too long in coming, and then it passes by in an instant. But I can think of no better way than this to kick off the holiday season. Here’s hoping your holiday will be spent with friends and family, and that it will be as enjoyable as mine will be…

Happy half-century, Chuck! -- CBA SF Area Activities Vice President, mandolin player and all around good guy Chuck Poling will be celebrating/denying his 50th birthday sometime in the next few days. With any luck this milestone/millstone won’t slow him down a bit as he gets ready for his next half-century…

South Bay classic barbecue -- The Country Classics will be pickin’ some classic country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 25th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Eric and Suzy in Berkeley -- Eric and Suzy Thompson will be playing some music on the 25th at their new favorite local restaurant, the Summer Kitchen Bake Shop, 2944 College Avenue, in Berkeley, from 6-8 p.m. It's not a bakery – the place serves up home-style food and great pizza. Plus tasty desserts. No cover.

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

Cowboys in Moss Landing -- See The Trail Ride Band, led by none other than Peter Hicks, playing cowboy music at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing on the 25th from 6-8 p.m.

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.

Sonora Craft & Music Festival -- The 35th Annual Sonora Christmas Craft & Music Festival at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora will be taking place on the 27th-29th. Some of the acts to see there are Joe Craven, The Christmas Jug Band, Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan, Sourdough Slim, and the Home Grown Trio.

Maria’s Garden of Joy -- The divine Miss Double M – Mill Valley’s Maria Muldaur – has gone back to her music roots (she was in the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the '60s) with her new album of jug band music titled Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy. She has been touring the country since September with her jug band of young Seattle pickers (members of Crow Quill Night Owls), and this weekend you can see them at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on the 27th, at the Red Barn in Los Osos on the 28th, and at The Palms in Winters on the 29th.

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 opened this week and it 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.

Cajun music weekend -- Put on your dancing shoes and head out to see The Savoy Family Cajun Band as they will be playing three times this weekend in the Bay Area. On the 27th it will be the Great American Music Hall in SF, the Beatnik in Sacramento on the 28th, and on the 29th at Don Quixote's in Felton. They play honed down, hardcore Cajun music laced with an earthy sensuality. Each member of the band can play numerous instruments and sometimes trade instruments during stage performances. Their repertoire is chosen carefully, popular dancehall tunes interspersed with soulful ballads, fiddle or vocal duets, or blues.

Mountain music duo -- Dana & Susan Robinson, a duo from North Carolina that plays mountain music and songs of the American landscape, can be seen playing house concerts in Santa Cruz on the 27th and Davis on the 28th, and on the 2nd at Main Street Music in Placerville.

Woody Guthrie in Sonora -- The stage show Woody Guthrie's American Song is back for another run at Stage 3 in Sonora, and it runs through December 20th. Conceived and adapted by Peter Glazer, the show is a “foot-stompin', roof-raisin', toe-tappin' heartbreakin', soul-soarin' musical journey of Woody Guthrie down highways, rail lines and back roads straight into the heart of America.”

Hot to trot -- Shelby Ash presents The 10th Annual Turkey Trot, and it will be happening on the 27th at the Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. Four bands for the price of one: The Mighty Crows, The Earl Brothers, The Pine Box Boys and The Train Wreck Riders.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 28th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Across the Tracks, a survey of new releases, plus one great reissue: Dr. Ralph’s “Can’t You Hear the Mountains Calling.” Many of the songs have a highway/driving theme, including new music by Northern Californians Sawmill Road and the Pleasant Valley Boys, plus road-worthy contributions from Adam Steffey, Chris Jones, Southern Rail, The Dixie Bee-Liners, and Hank Williams Jr. with the Grascals. In addition: off-road selections from Del McCoury, Larry Sparks, and Sam Bush. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Blossoming Laurie at the Freight -- Grammy Award-winning East Bay fiddler Laurie Lewis will be having a CD pre-release party for her new solo project titled Blossoms on the 28th at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. The CD will not officially hit the market until Febru
Posted:  11/30/2009

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