Author: Carlin, Larry

February 1, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010

Big month of bluegrass -- Okay, so you made it through January, the bleakest bluegrass month of the year. The days are getting longer, football season has one game left, and the smell of cut grass along with the sounds of the crack of the bat will be with us in just two more weeks. February is also a huge month for bluegrass events, so get out your calendars and start making some plans. Some of the bigger events to take note of are the SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival 2/12-21, The Nashville Bluegrass Band at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne on the 2/12, Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 2/13, and at the Freight in Berkeley on 2/14, the 4th Annual Lakeshore Bluegrass Festival at the Havasu Landing Campground 2/12-14, the CBA Winter Music Camp 2/15-18, and the Wintergrass bluegrass festival in Bellevue, WA, 2/25-28.

Winter music camp update -- Speaking of the CBA Winter Music Camp, it will be taking place on the 15th-18th near Petaluma in western Marin County, and there is still time for you fence sitters to get off and into the camp. Go to the web page above more info.

Get out your handkerchiefs -- The annual Grammy Awards were handed out last night, and some of the winners in the Best Album category were Levon Helm for Best Americana, Steve Martin for Best Bluegrass, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott for Best Traditional Blues, Loudon Wainwright III for Best Traditional Folk, Steve Earle for Best Contemporary Folk, and Bela Fleck for Best Contemporary World Music. Unhappy with the results? Start your kvetching now or, better yet, fork out the money to join NARAS and become a voter yourself…

Monday mirth -- It is the beginning of the long work week, and already you are finding it hard to stay focused on the tasks before you? Well, then, it is time for a break! Check out these three whimsical musical YouTube videos here, here and here. Thanks to Mark Varner for tip on the last one.

Music television -- The KQED-TV project titled Freeway Philharmonic is a documentary about seven Bay Area classical musicians who all play in various orchestras around Northern California. They all make their living playing music, but without having permanent slots in major orchestras they have to travel miles and miles from performance to performance just to make ends meet. It is a very well-crafted look at the life of struggling musicians, and this could just as easily have been a tale of many bluegrass players around the bay. Speaking of which, but which is not mentioned in the documentary, trombone player Bruce Crisp also picks the banjo in his spare time! The show will air at 10 p.m. tonight on KQED Channel 9 in SF and then at 4 a.m. on the 2nd.

Start off the month with Bean Creek -- Tonight is bluegrass night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing with Bean Creek playing from 6-8 p.m., and then on the 2nd see them play at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Brewglass in SF -- Tonight is bluegrass night at Amnesia in SF, and Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys will be playing their usual slot on this first Monday, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass pickin’ 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.

Jammin’ in Bakersfield -- The first Monday of every month bluegrass jam at Rusty’s Pizza in Bakersfield is happening tonight. Hosted by Kelvin Gregory, the jam takes place from 6-9 p.m. and Rusty’s (in Von’s Shopping Center) is located at 5430 Olive Drive. For more information contact Kelvin at (661) 392-7973 or

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. takes place tonight with Tom Lucas, Leif Karlstrom, Duncan Draper, Joe Ridout, and Kyle Patrick O’Brien. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Strangers in Escondido -- In the San Diego County area the North County Bluegrass Association presents a night of bluegrass on the first Tuesday of the month, and on the 2nd the featured band will be The Virtual Strangers. Go over to Round Table Pizza starting at 8 p.m. at Round Table Pizza, on the corner of Ash and Washington Streets, in Escondido.

Bluegrass at Phil’s -- John Kael, Annie Staninec and friends will be playing bluegrass at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing on the 2nd from 6-8 p.m. No cover.

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: SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival 2/12-21; Missy Raines & The New Hip at Petaluma Church Concerts 2/12; The Nashville Bluegrass Band at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne on the 2/12, Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 2/13, and at the Freight in Berkeley on 2/14; the 4th Annual Lakeshore Bluegrass Festival at the Havasu Landing Campground 2/12-14; CBA Winter Music Camp 2/15-18; Wintergrass in Bellevue, WA, 2/25-28; Soggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Quartzite, AZ, 2/26-27; The Dry Branch Fire Squad at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 3/6; Bluegrass On Broadway in Redwood City 3/11-14; Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival 3/13; The CBA Presents  
Posted:  2/3/2010

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