Author: Carlin, Larry

April 28, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cars and country music -- Okay, this is a bit of a stretch when it comes to bluegrass, but it is close enough for this Almost column. Some Bay Area bluegrass pickers know local alt-country guitarist and band leader Maurice Tani from the band 77 El Deora. This past weekend he was featured here in the SF Chronicle car section, waxing nostalgic about his 1991 Mazda RX-7. Heck, you can submit your car story too if you want…

Fiddling with Mark O’Connor -- Exceptional fiddler Mark O’Connor does more than just perform and make recordings (he just released his 36th album). He also teaches fiddle and violin, and he has developed a new way for learning how to play called The O’Connor Violin Method. There was a great segment about him on the National Public Radio show All Things Considered the other day than you can listen to here or read the transcript here.

Peter Rowan live from Nashville -- Tune in this afternoon to WSM on line to listen to the Music City Roots show. Hear The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Bearfoot, Red Molly, and others. The show airs at 5 p.m. PST. Rowan and the boys are also recording a new CD for Compass Records while they are in Nashville.

Savannah Blue in Fairfax -- Not only have they added an “e” to the band name, the Marin County ensemble Savannah Blue is also searching for a new fiddler. You can see them playing bluegrass on the 28th at Iron Springs Pub in Fairfax from 8-10 p.m. No cover, and all ages are welcome.

Mountain Laurel in Auburn -- There will be bluegrass served up on the 28th at Latitudes in Auburn from 7:30-9 p.m. by the band Mountain Laurel. Pick up a copy of their new CD titled Another Sunny Day In California.

Nanci Griffith on tour -- Fans of singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith already knew that she was in SF on the 26th and 27th and is playing one last night there at Yoshi’s on the 28th. On the 30th you can see her at the Nugget in Sparks, NV, and finally on the 1st she will be in Grass Valley at The Center for the Arts. “Whether performing her own poetically evocative material or the compositions of her influences, friends, and peers, Griffith possesses a powerful gift for inhabiting the songs she sings and for communicating unspoken intimacy and heartache through her tender voice and lilting, delicate phrasing.”

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 28th 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 Peter Hicks, playing cowboy music at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing on the 28th from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Triple bill in Berkeley -- Three bands for the price of one at the Starry Plough in Berkeley on the 29th – The Black Crown Stringband, The Evie Ladin Band and Middle Maki – featuring a fine mix of old-time and Americana. $10 gets you in the door if you are 21 or older.

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

Martian sightings 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 Redwood City -- The "Peninsula Bluegrass Crossing" (PBC) jam takes place every Thursday at Café Sportivo, 965 Brewster Avenue in Redwood City, from 7-10 p.m. For more info contact Mark at rwcbluegrass@gmail.

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

49 Special in SF -- The bluegrass band 49 Special will be playing a show starting at 9 p.m. at the Hotel Utah Saloon in San Francisco on the 29th along with The Big Nasty and TV Mike & the Scarecrows. No Giants game that night, so plenty of parking will be available.

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.

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 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.

Jammin’ in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe presents the best in live bluegrass, old-time and Americana music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m., and on the 29th you can join the bluegrass and old-time jam.

Plans for the weekend -- The Kathy Kallick Band at the Freight & Salvage 4/30, Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 5/1; NCBS Bluegrass Fair in Santa Cruz 5/1; The Claremont Folk Festival 5/1.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “If you think a problem is bad now, just wait until we’ve solved it.”
Posted:  4/30/2010

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