Author: Carlin, Larry

May 5, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Feliz Cinco de Mayo -- Today is what is known as Cinco de Mayo, and contrary to popular belief, the date does not commemorate Mexican Independence Day nor does it have anything to do with drinking tequila or Corona beer. The date honors the 1862 Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War. How – like St. Patrick’s Day in March – this date has come to mean “party night” at your local taproom has little to do with history and a heck of a lot to do with the alcohol industry lobby. So if you are out and about tonight enjoying some fine “azul hierba musica,” lean over to the guy next to you and ask him if he knows what Cinco de Mayo means…

Music City blues -- Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past week or so, you are well aware of the massive flooding and damage that has been going on in Nashville, TN. You can look at two slide shows here and here. Damages are projected to be over $1 billion, with a couple of dozen deaths already and untold destruction. Downtown Nashville, The Grand Old Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and countless more homes and businesses have been deluged. If you want to help in some way, go to this site here and send some cash to the American Red Cross.

Happy Cinco de Markie -- Birthday greetings to the North Bay's remarkable Markie Sanders, bluegrass bass player extraordinaire, who was born on this day, uh, some years back. She is also glad – at least this week – that she moved back here from Nashville about five years ago…

Pickin’ in Parkfield -- Wondering what to do for Mom on her big weekend? Just take her to the 12th Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Parkfield Bluegrass Festival that starts on the 6th and runs through the 9th. Parkfield is just about halfway between of SF and LA and east of Paso Robles. Some of the bands to see there are Don Rigsby & Midnight Call, The Rarely Herd, The Brombies, Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys, Dalton Mountain Gang, Black Crown Stringband, LeRoy Mack & the Bluegrass Gospel Band, Bean Creek, Kitchen Help, Salt Martians and Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players.

Plans for the weekend -- Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack co-billing with Laurie Lewis & Nina Gerber at Miner's Foundry in Nevada City on the 7th, The David Grisman Quintet in Mill Valley on the 7th and in Arcata on the 8th, Poor Man’s Whiskey with special guest Peter Rowan at the Great American Music Hall in SF on the 8th, Hot Buttered Rum at the Dance Palace in Pt. Reyes Station on the 8th and 9th.

Blue & Lonesome in Berkeley -- The North Bay bluegrass band Blue & Lonesome will be pickin’ some tunes on the 5th at Le Bateau Ivre in Berkeley starting at 7 p.m.

Jammin’ in Santa Clara -- The CBA sponsors a new jam on the first and third Wednesdays at Neto's Market & Grill at 1313 Franklin Street from 6-8:30 p.m. Bring your instrument and your appetite.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Sidesaddle & Company will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque tonight at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in SF -- The first Wednesday of the month bluegrass/country jam is hosted by Jeanie & Chuck Poling at the Plough & Stars in SF, starting at 8:30 p.m. There is no cover but you must be 21 to attend.

The Brombies in Burbank -- The Brombies play bluegrass on the first, third, and occasionally the fifth Wednesday nights at Viva Cantina in Burbank starting at 8 p.m.

Brothers in Berkeley -- Tonight The Whiskey Brothers will be playing their twice monthly gig at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley starting at 9 p.m. They play classic Western swing, bluegrass and original music, featuring great vocal harmonies. The band includes local music-scene veterans Jeff Ward on mandolin, Dave Courchaine, guitar, John MacFarlane on fiddle, Bruce Campbell on bass, and Craig Fletcher on banjo. No cover.

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

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Mountain Drive will be playing bluegrass at on the 5th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. No cover.

Barefoot in Berkeley -- See The Barefoot Nellies, with Jacob Groopman sitting in on guitar, and Lady A and Her Heel Draggers at the Starry Plough in Berkeley on the 6th starting at 9 p.m.

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

Savannah Blue in SF -- The Atlas Cafe in San Francisco presents the best in live bluegrass, old-time and Americana music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. On the 6th you can enjoy bluegrass with Savannah Blue.

Jammin’ in Napa -- Head on out to the 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

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 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 She
Posted:  5/7/2010

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