Author: Carlin, Larry

March 10, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Marvelous Melnyk -- CBA ace photographer Mike Melnyk was at the CBA winter music camp in Marin County last month, and, as always, he took some mighty fine photos. Grab a chair, maybe something to drink, and sit back and enjoy the show here.

Bad Blake Bridges -- Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for Best Actor the other day for his role of down and out country singer Bad Blake in the excellent film Crazy Heart (no special effects, no blue bad guys, no action-packed car chases – wow, what a concept!) You can read an interview with him from CMT about how he prepared for his part.

Commercial-free PIG -- When listening to songs on the radio don’t you just hate commercials? Well, if you are a regular listener to KPIG in the Bay Area, starting on March 15th you will have the opportunity to subscribe to 24-hour commercial-free music streaming on your computer for $50 a year. And, you will get two extra months free if you sign up for a full year. Go to the site for more details.

Tale of a lost fiddler -- Okay, well, violinist is the correct terminology, but hey, who is to say that she never fiddled? Whatever the case, this is a sad story in the New York Times about one-time violin wunderkind named Patricia Travers, who played with some famous orchestras and appeared in films as a teenager in the 1930s/40s, but who then, at about age 23, put her violin away and never performed publicly again. She died in a New Jersey nursing home last month at age 82 after spending most of her life, anonymously to her neighbors, living in the family house. The Stradivarius and Guarneri instruments she once owned were long gone, and having never married, she left no survivors. One can only wonder what made her stop playing at such a young age, with a promising career ahead of her…

Festing in Sebastopol -- The CBA’s Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival is coming up this Saturday on the 13th, and the bands to see there, in order of appearance, are 49 Special, Lone Prairie, Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, Evo Bluestein, Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack, Blue & Lonesome and The Kathy Kallick Band. This is a wonderful one-day indoor festival that also includes jamming and workshops. For ticketing info go here. Thanks to Mark Hogan for all of the hard work that he does putting this event together!

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway -- The NCBA presents Bluegrass On Broadway in Redwood City, and it starts on the 11th and runs through the 14th, with concerts, films, workshops, and more. Go to the site for complete info.

Bill and Meghan on tour -- Bill Evans & Megan Lynch are all over the state these next ten days. See them playing at Le Bateau Ivre in Berkeley on the 10th, at a house concert in Sacramento on the 11th, at Bernie's Guitar in Redding on the 12th, doing workshops at Bernie’s on the 13th, a concert at Ifshin Violins in El Cerrito on the evening of the 13th, at Braemar Country Club in Tarzana on the 16th, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on the 17th, at Acoustic Music San Diego on the 19th, and at Boulevard Music in Culver City on the 20th.

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.

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 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.

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, Luke Halpin and Brian Netzley 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.

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.

Twisting in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m., and on the 11th it will be The Kentucky Twisters playing some smokin’ grass.

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 Shelasky on fiddle, and banjoist Larry Cohea. The address is 3600 Petaluma Boulevard North. Call (707) 775-4232 for more info.

Jammin’ in Napa -- There is a CBA sponsored bluegrass jam session at the Pizza Hut in the town of Napa every Thursday night from 7-10 p.m. For more info call Pat Calhoun at (707) 318-1913 or email

Jammin’ in Redwood City -- There is a new home and name for the weekly bluegrass and old-time jam on Thursdays. The name is "Peninsula Bluegrass Crossing" (PBC), and the location is a coffee shop called
Posted:  3/12/2010

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