Author: Carlin, Larry

February 19, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010

SF Bluegrass Fest -- The SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival, an Olympic-sized music event that takes place every February in the Bay Area, has a few days left as it comes to an end on Sunday the 21st. There are far too many shows (and venues) to mention here, though a few of them have been highlighted below. There is a lot going on in SF, Marin and in the East Bay, so turn off the TV, and go to the site at for complete info and see some shows before the fest is over.

Nell in the Chron -- Speaking of the SFBOTF, in Thursday’s SF Chronicle there was a nice story about East Bay singer Nell Robinson, who played at Amnesia on the 18th as part of the fest. If you missed her last night, the good news is that she will be playing a CD release show on March 19th at the Noe Valley Ministry in SF, and she will be backed by John Reischman & The Jaybirds. Her wonderful new CD is titled Nell Robinson in Loango.

Wrangling Belle -- Pam Brandon, a.k.a. Belle Monroe, is one of the hardest working gals is the music biz. Besides leading her own bluegrass band the Brewglass Boys and the swing band The Chazz Cats, she also sings in the Western swing band Lost Weekend, Now she is playing bass in a new Americana trio called Lil' Anne & The Tune Wranglers, featuring Anne Arnhym-Yanito on vocals and rhythm guitar, Pierre Laik on lead guitar, and Belle on bass. You can see them playing on the 19th at the Mutiny Bar in Antioch starting at 9 p.m.

Redgrass in Russia -- Bass player Mike Bub will be playing bluegrass with Nashville pickers Ryan Cavanaugh, Mark Simontacci, Bob Grant and others at the Primorye Philharmonic in Vladivlostok in Russia on the 20th before he heads out here next week to play some dates with Tim O'Brien. Thanks to Randy Pitts for this tip.

Fiddlin’ Megan -- Red-hot fiddler Megan Lynch will be the fiddler and harmony singer in The Pam Tillis Trio at the Cache Creek Casino (near Winters) on the 19th.

Fred Eaglesmith on tour -- Canadian singer/songwriter and performer Fred Eaglesmith is not a household name, but those in the know know how good he is. While he fits more into the esoteric “Americana” category, he writes all kinds of styles, and one of his songs, “Thirty Years of Farming,” was a number one bluegrass hit for James King. Fred and his band are all over NorCal this week, and you can see them playing at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz on the 19th, at the Sutter Creek Theatre on the 20th, and at The Palms in Winters on the 21st.

Roland White in Winters -- Now that he has finished up teaching mandolin at the CBA music camp, Roland White will be playing a show at The Palms in Winters on the 19th. He will be joined by fiddler Laurie Lewis, Keith Little on banjo, Jim Nunally on guitar and Bill Amatneek on bass.

Paul Knight and friends in Point Reyes -- In a special SFBOTF Friday edition of Paul Knight & Friends at the Station House in Pt. Reyes Station on the 19th at 7 p.m., Kathy Kallick & Richard Brandenburg will be teaming up for the first time in public. Both talented singer-songwriters have met up at pickin’ parties and festivals in the past and enjoyed singing together, so they decided to try it out for the SFBOT. They’ll be joined by some special guest soloists as well. The night's lineup includes Kathy (Good Old Persons), Richard (Last Call Quartet), Annie Staninec (Deep Elem, Kathy Kallick Band), Dave Keenan (Downtown Mt. Boys, Ranch Romance), and Paul Knight (Peter Rowan, Kleptograss).

Celtic CD release show -- The Celtic band Nine-8ths Irish, with Kathy Barwick on guitar, will be hosting a CD release concert on the 19th at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. The disc is titled Out on the Ocean. The recording features their stellar new vocalist Brady McKay, and includes a bit of Scruggs-style banjer-pickin' from KB, some jazz from Bo Bowen and drivin' drum and fiddle from Chris Dunlap and Linda Relph.

Patsy Cline in Half Moon Bay -- A production of Always…Patsy Cline runs through the 27th of this month at the Coastal Repertory Theatre in Half Moon Bay. The lineup of musicians includes Pat Campbell on bass, Steve Shufton on piano, Mark Holzinger on guitar, Charlie Wallace on steel, Tim Seifert on drums, Brantley Kearns on fiddle, Ross Dankin on guitar and Catie Chase as Patsy.

Bluegrass bonanza in SF -- A triple bill of bluegrass will be taking at the Bluegrass Bonanza series at the Plough & Stars in SF on the 19th starting at 9:30 p.m. See The Earl Brothers, Dalton Mountain, and Forest Fires. Go early to find parking.

McGrath’s musical weekend -- There will be three nights of great music at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda these next few nights. It will be high-octane Americana with Houston Jones on the 19th at 8 p.m., The Kathy Kallick Band on the 20th at 8, and at 4 p.m. on the 21st see Misner & Smith, Viper Central and Don't Look Back String Band.

Contra dance in Sonora -- On the 20th the Sonora Contra Dance will commence with a potluck at 6:30 and dancing and music at 7:30 p.m. at the Aronos Womens Club, 37 E. Elkin Street in Sonora. Go to the link for more info.

Jammin’ in Paso Robles -- "Matt's Jam" takes place every Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Matt's Music, 617 12th Street, in downtown Paso Robles. For more information call (805) 237-0054.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 20th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week will feature the music of The Dry Branch Fire Squad. Since 1976, Ron Thomason has led DBFS, combining edgy traditional bluegrass with down-home philosophy and wit. Plus, there will be a chat with Evie Ladin about her first solo album and her release celebration. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Hot time in Tomales! -- Everyone in West Marin is headed out to the Tomales Barn Dance on the 20th starting at 7 p.m. Lively music will be led by Ingrid Noyes, with pickers Paul Shelasky, Heidi Clare, Sue Walters, Tawnya Kovach, and caller Erik Hoffman. Adults $10, ages 12-18 $5, and kids under 12 are free.

Benefit Concert in Palo Alto -- On the 20th  
Posted:  2/22/2010

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