Author: Carlin, Larry

December 23, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home for the holidays -- Travels back east to tons of snow and frigid cold were never in my plans for this holiday season, and staying home sounds like the best place to be over this long weekend. That means this is a longer than usual column for this day of the week, as I won’t be going in to the Almost Daily News headquarters again until next Monday. Here’s hoping you get or receive tidings of joy on the big day on Friday, and that you will be spending the holiday with family or friends. And hey, with any luck maybe you will be doing a little pickin’ later on. Safe travels, and have a merry/happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever occasion you celebrate this time of year.

“He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight
— Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Beanie banjo player update -- Banjo player Stacy Samuels, the beanie-propeller-hat-wearing, bushy-bearded and red-caped dude found at 49er and A’s games, as noted here the other day 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, but he is really saddened by the loss of the axe that he has been using for the past 25 years. He has gotten lots of ink out of this story, and recently he was also on KPIX-TV in San Francisco, and you can watch the segment here. The betting here is that the banjo will be returned, and as a result of the publicity Stacy will be more famous/infamous than ever...

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 23rd from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

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 23rd 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.

Say what? -- Whutnutts from miles around will be gathering to see The Whutknotts, Marin’s finest Americana trio, play on the 26th at the Casual Saturday series at The Iron Springs Brewery in Fairfax from 2-4 p.m. The band is Doug Adamz on guitar and fiddle, Don Rich on guitar, and yours truly on bass. No cover. Finally, music you can afford!

Holiday Dawg days -- The David Grisman Quintet will be playing their annual shows at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on the 26th and 27th.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 26th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Round Up The Usual Suspects, a rebroadcast of the IBMA Awards Show, recorded live in Nashville on Oct. 1st. Hear music by Paul Williams, Bobby Osborne, Melvin Goins, The Dillards, Hot Rize, Del McCoury Band, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Danny Paisley and Junior Sisk, Dale Ann Bradley, G2, The Gibson Brothers, and Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Motown jam -- You can do some bluegrass pickin’ on the 26th 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.

Jammin’ in Chico -- The bluegrass jam in downtown Chico takes place on the 26th at Augie's Coffee House at 230 Salem Street, between 2nd & 3rd Streets, from 2-5 p.m. Lucy Smith is your host.

Bluegrass in Sonoma -- It will be bluegrass at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 26th at 8 p.m. with High Country, the Bay Area’s longest-running bluegrass band. They have a great new CD out titled Perfect Companions, and they will also be having their official release show on New Year’s Eve at the Freight in Berkeley. At Murphy’s tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

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

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 4-8 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

Alive dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 26th 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 over 20 years now.

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.

Jammin’ in Coulterville -- The Coulterville Celtic and old-time jam will be taking place on the 27th from 2-6 p.m. at the Magnolia Saloon on the corner of Highway 49 and Highway 132 in Coulterville. Call Lynn at (209) 768-8651 for more info.

Jammin’ in Temecula -- On the fourth Sunday of every month there is an open jam session at The Nettworks Ranch, which is in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley, a few miles north of where the 215 and 15 freeways split off, in that triangle. Take Scott Road west two miles off 215, or Bundy Canyon Road east four miles off of 15. Turn south on Daily Road and it is the first ranch on right. For more info call Diane at (951) 679-7951 or (909) 239-5154.

Jammin’ for beginners in Arroyo Grande -- Bring your voice, friends, banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle or bass on the fourth Sunday of every month to the jam at the SLO Down Pub, 1200 E. Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande from 5:30-8:30 p.m. These jams are geared to beginners, and they play from a set list of songs.

Slow jam at the Freight -- Ran Bush will be hosting the Su
Posted:  12/28/2009

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