Author: Carlin, Larry

February 10, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard of bluegrass -- The east coast may be snowed under with record amounts of the white stuff, but in the SF Bay Area a veritable blizzard of bluegrass is about to arrive with the CBA Winter Music Camp near Petaluma starting on the 15th and SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival which begins on Friday the 12th and runs through Sunday the 21st. There are too many shows and venues to mention here, but suffice to say there will be a lot going on in SF, Marin and in the East Bay. Go to the site for complete info, and start taking notes. And since there will be no snow to prevent you from getting out of the house, no excuses for non-attendance will be accepted!

Vote early and vote often -- The young bluegrass band known as OMGG (Obviously Minor Guys and Girl) is competing in the Livermore Talent Competition. The finals will take place on the 28th of this month and the winners will be decided by judges. In the meantime you can vote for the People’s Choice Award by going to the web link above. Go to the site now and make the “obvious” choice. Band members AJ Lee and Max Schwartz are also featured in the IBMA’s Discover Bluegrass DVD. Read about them in the Bluegrass Blog.

SPBGMA awards -- The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America awards were meted out this past weekend in Nashville, and for a complete list of winners, go here. If you are looking for any California players on the list, you will be disappointed. As far as we can tell, there was just one nomination, and that was San Diego's Chris Stuart for Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year. Which once again might cause some to grumble and wonder why there isn’t a CBA California Bluegrass Awards Program...

Songwriter night at the Freight -- Tonight at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley check out the show Americana’s Next Chapter, hosted by Kathy Kallick and featuring up and coming songwriters Cyndi Harvell, Dan Booth, Jenna Bean Veatch and Rhys Conger, starting at 8 p.m.

Ghosts on tour -- Billed as the “one band music festival” because of the many styles of music that they play, Marley’s Ghost can be seen on the 10th at Matt's Music in Paso Robles, on the 11th at River Valley Church in Bakersfield, on the 12th at Boulevard Music in Culver City, and on the 13th at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach.

Mountain Laurel in Auburn -- There will be bluegrass served up on the 10th at Latitudes in Auburn from 7:30-9 p.m. by the band Mountain Laurel. They have a brand new CD out titled Another Sunny Day In California.

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

Bluegrass and barbeque -- Diana Donnelly & The Yes Ma’ams will be entertaining you with bluegrass and vintage country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 10th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Every Wednesday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass. On the 10th see Mr. Banjo & The Lonesome Wailers play.

How to get to Carnegie Hall? -- Well, as the old joke goes, “Practice, practice practice!” However, the Analy High School Choir in Sebastopol also needs money, as they already have a booking. The Choir will perform in New York City on April 17th, and they are trying to raise money for their travels. A big benefit show will take place on the 11th at the high school. Joe Craven will be the Master of Ceremonies. See The Ragtime Skedaddalers, The West County Professional Tea Sippers, The Tri Tip Trio, and The Analy Honor Choir.

New bluegrass and old-time jam in Petaluma -- A new jam is beginning at the Aqus Café in Petaluma, and you can see what it is all about on the 11th from 7-9 p.m. The Aqus, located at 189 H Street, also has food and beverages of all kinds available for purchase. While the jam is starting this month on a Thursday, in March it will take place on the fourth Wednesday (the 24th) with the ultimate goal of running twice a month.

Good golly Red Molly! -- The New York American/roots/female trio Red Molly is playing a series of shows in the state over the next few days, and you can see them at Don Quixote’s in Felton on the 11th., at the Freight in Berkeley on the 12th, at the West Side Theatre in Newman on the 13th, and at the Cal Arts Academy in Fresno on the 14th.

Jammin’ in Berkeley -- Thursday night is beginners jam night at the 5th String Music Store, 3051 Adeline Street, in Berkeley, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Martians in Santa Barbara -- See the Salt Martians play bluegrass every Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. for happy hour at the Tupelo Junction Cafe, 1218 State Street, in Santa Barbara. Call (805) 899-3100 for dinner reservations. Full bar and no cover.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the CBA sponsored jam takes place on Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Grange, located at 40 E. 4th Street. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

Stephanie Bettman in Altadena -- Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin will be appearing at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on the 11th starting at 8 p.m. She is a singer/songwriter/fiddler extraordinaire who has been generating a buzz in bluegrass/country circles with inevitable comparisons to Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris. Her partner is multi-instrumentalist Luke Halpin. Inspired by the likes of Sam Bush, Tony Rice, and Mark O’Conner, Luke’s perfectly blended harmonies and his instrumental expertise together with Stephanie’s artistry and performance make for a dynamic entertaining experience.

Jammin’ in Sacto -- Every Thursday folks gather to jam from 7-10 p.m. at the Fifth String Music Store, located at Alhambra & J Streets in Sacramento. You are invited to attend.

Pickin’ in Petaluma -- Ed Neff and Friends play bluegrass every Thursday at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There is no cover, and you get to hear some of the finest traditional bluegrass in the North Bay. The regular pickers are Ed Neff on mandolin, Mike Wilhoyte on guitar, Jeff King on bass, Paul
Posted:  2/12/2010

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