Author: Carlin, Larry

December 11, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009

Reindeer at 30 -- Dr. Elmo is the Marin County musician who has been singing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” for the past few decades. The song was first released in 1979, and this year marks the 30-year anniversary. He will be appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America show on the 12th, so tune in. As noted here before, Elmo is also an accomplished banjo player who back in the 70s had a bluegrass band called The Homestead Act, and he released a bluegrass album titled Wild Blue Grass a few months back with his current band Wild Blue. He was also featured in the SF Chronicle today here and last weekend here.

Big weekend in Alameda -- The place to be for great music this weekend in Alameda is McGrath’s Pub. Starting at 8 p.m. on the 11th it will be sad and sweet country songs with Richard Brandenburg & Friends (Matt Dudman on bass, Jim Mintun on dobro, Pete Hicks on fiddle and mandolin, and Richard on guitar), and on the 12th it will be bluegrass by the band High Country.

Hot buttered whiskey in Petaluma -- It will be quite a smokin' two nights of jamgrass at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma with a twin bill of Hot Buttered Rum and Poor Man’s Whiskey on the 11th and 12th.

Geoff Muldaur by the bay -- Geoff Muldaur, who was a member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band back in the day, can be seen on the 11th at Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon, and on the 12th he will be with his band The Texas Sheiks (featuring special guest Jim Kweskin) at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley.

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.”

Bluegrass musical in SF -- The Custom Made Theatre Company presents a new production of the late Harry Chapin’s bluegrass musical Cotton Patch Gospel 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. The music is performed by Pam Brandon (a.k.a. Belle Monroe), David Finch, Jeff Kaplan and Matt Lauer.

Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley in Chico -- On the 11th there will be a Ragtime and Tin Pan Alley Open Mic at the Terraces in Chico at 6:30 p.m. Performers are invited to enjoy the music from the mid 1800s to 1950s as well as acoustic music that fits in with the sound of this era. There is no charge for this second Friday of each month event. Fiddle tunes, country, bluegrass, folk, blues, Cajun, boogie-woogie and more are welcome. Performances are held to the ten minute rule. Brief historical presentations about the era’s music and/or composers are encouraged. The address is 2750 Sierra Sunrise Terrace, off Bruce Road. For more info contact Bernie or Bob LoFaso at or

Celticana in Sonoma -- It will be Celtic music at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 11th at 8 p.m. with Kith & Kin and Americana with The Cork Pullers on the 12th. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Cowboy Poetry Fest in Monterey -- Lots of great stuff going on this weekend on the 11th-13th at the Cowboy Poetry Festival at the Monterey Conference Center. Some of the acts to see there are Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Don Edwards, Lacy J. Dalton, The Hot Club of Cowtown, and the Sons of the San Joaquin.

KPFA Crafts Fair -- The annual KPFA Crafts Fair is happening in SF this year at the Concourse Exhibition Center on the 12th and 13th. Some of the bands on the bill are the Knuckle Knockers, Loretta Lynch, the California Honey Drops, and the Hot Club of San Francisco.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 12th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this weekend is titled Across The Tracks. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Holiday benefit in Chico -- At the Café Coda in Chico on the 12th it will be An Acoustic Holiday Benefit for Torres Shelter with Rainbow Ranch (Lloyd Foote, Mark Wilpolt, Bernard Glansbeek, and Lucy Smith) opening for Reckoning, starting at 8 p.m. All proceeds go to local charities.

Lil Ole Opry -- You’ve heard of the Grand Ole Opry, so now it is time to acquaint yourself with the Lil Ole Opry show at Café International in SF on the 12th. See such exciting acts as Jeanie & Chuck’s Country Roundup, The Black Crown Stringband, Chickwagon, the Knuckle Knockers, Misisipi Rider, The Henriettas, and more. No cover. Try to beat this price anywhere else!

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

Dudes pickin’ grass -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 12th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for 20 years now.

Jammin’ in Modesto -- There is a jam in Modesto taking place at Ingram and Braun’s Musik Shoppe on Saturdays from 3-5 p.m. at their location at 503 Bangs Avenue. For info email Gary Vessel at

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 afternoon from 4-8 p.m. out here in CA. He plays a fin
Posted:  12/14/2009

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