Author: Carlin, Larry

December 21, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009

Banjo bah humbug! -- Everybody knows banjo player Stacy Samuels. You don’t recognize the name? Think beanie-propeller hat, big bushy beard and red cape at 49er and A’s games. Remember that loud pickin’ at 4 a.m. at the Strawberry Music Festivals. Yes, that guy! Well, even though ‘tis the season to be jolly, Stacy lost his prized Gibson Mastertone banjo last week in Fairfax when he left it on the sidewalk after a gig. He has a backup banjo (which he will be playing at the Taco Jam tonight), but he is really saddened by the loss of the axe that he has been using for the past 25 years. You can read a story about the lost instrument here, and here is a story about his playing his banjo at football and baseball games.

Bean Creek bluegrass -- Bean Creek can be seen picking bluegrass at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing tonight from 6-8 p.m. Great music and good food.

Rowdy jammin’ in SF -- There is a bluegrass jam at Amnesia in SF on the third Monday of every month so this means tonight. The jam, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is for anyone who's just getting started pickin' or is looking for a supportive place to get better and learn more about bluegrass. If you play acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, dobro, or bass and want to play bluegrass, go on by. The jam is hosted by David Zimmerman of Homespun Rowdy, and the band will be playing there at 8:30 after the jam.

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

Burrito grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will feature Jonathan Boran, Stacy Samuels, Bruce Campbell, Red Rick and Dan Large. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass jammin’ on Monday nights is McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Starting at 8:30 you’ll find familiar faces all around you on bass, mandolins, guitars, banjos and fiddles.

Holiday benefit in Davis -- Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack will be playing the Home for the Holidays Benefit at the Veteran's Memorial Theatre in Davis on the 22nd at 7 p.m. along with Joe Craven, Little Charlie, Barry "The Fish" Melton, The DHS Madrigal Choir, and more as they try to raise funds for the Davis School Arts Foundation. Each act will do a few numbers, with a community sing-along at the end. Rita also has a live recording of the seasonal song “Away in a Manger” on her Myspace page .

South Bay 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 22nd from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 22nd 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.

Almost Daily News musical holiday gift ideas. Buy direct from the artists themselves and cut out the Amazonian middle man. These suggestions are obviously not all bluegrass related, but you may find the perfect gift for that special someone in your life. Music – the gift that keeps on giving year round…

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: The David Grisman Quintet at the Freight in Berkeley 12/26-27; High Country New Year's Eve & CD Release Party, also Jim Nunally & Dix Bruce, at the Freight on 12/31; The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience at the Freight 1/2-3; 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; Cloverdale Old-Time Fiddle Contest 1/23-24; The Tuttles with AJ Lee at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 1/23; The Grascals at the Great American Music Hall in SF 1/26, Black Oak Casino in Toulumne 1/27, in Lincoln on the 1/28, and at the Hanford Theatre on 1/30; The Nashville Bluegrass Band at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 2/13; CBA Winter Music Camp 2/15-18; The Dry Branch Fire Squad at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 3/6; Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival 3/13; Joy Kills Sorrow at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 4/10; The Kathy Kallick Band at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 5/1; the 35th Annual CBA Father’s Day Festival in Grass Valley 6/17-20.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Christmas time is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered.”
Posted:  12/23/2009

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