Author: Carlin, Larry

July 30, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy fifth of July! -- Not literally July 5th, but the fifth weekend of the month. It sure can’t hurt to have one extra weekend halfway through the summer. But with the national media going “Gaga” over Lyndsay Lohan being in the slammer, Chelsea Clinton getting married and Terrell Owens joining the Cincinnati Bengals, who has time for music? You do, of course! Leave the rest of this other BS to the great unwashed masses, and get out and see some bluegrass, old-time, country or other fine acoustic music.

Oak Grove in Walnut Creek -- The family band Oak Grove will be playing from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on the 30th in downtown Walnut Creek, outside Lark Creek Restaurant at 1360 Locust Street (between Cypress and Mt. Diablo). The performance is part of the Downtown Business Association's summer Sounds Around Town series.

K-bar Friday -- On the 30th the Celtic band Nine-8ths Irish will play at Luna's Café in downtown Sacramento. And, for the first time, band member and well known bluegrass picker Kathy Barwick will be opening with a special set of guitar and other stringed instrument duets. She will be playing Celtic and American tunes of various stripes. Nine-8ths Irish will play their very special blend of traditional and not-so-traditional Irish tunes and songs. The band’s most recent CD is titled Out on the Ocean.

Bluegrass weekend in Alameda -- If you live in Alameda there is no need to leave the island this weekend as at McGrath’s Pub you can enjoy bluegrass by the Bay Island Ramblers on the 30th and The Earl Brothers on the 31st. Shows start at 8 p.m.

Chatham County in CA -- The North Carolina bluegrass band Chatham County Line is in northern CA this weekend, and you can see them play at the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne on the 30th and at The Echo in Los Angeles on the 31st. They have a new CD out titled Wildwood.

Skiffle time in Sebastopol -- The Skiffle Symphony plays old-fashioned jug-band music, and they will be blowing on their jugs at Jasper O'Farrell's in Sebastopol on the 30th starting at 9 p.m.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 31st from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Bay Area Bonanza. Hear recent releases from a number of NorCal bluegrassers, including the Kathy Kallick Band, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, 49 Special, Earl Brothers, Dark Hollow, the Knuckle Knockers, OMGG, Oak Grove, Luke Abbott, Kitchen Help, Redwing, Dalton Mountain Gang, and Francesca Nagle (a bluegrasser gone over to the other side). You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Blue and green at Murphy’s in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 31st it will be traditional bluegrass performed by Blue & Lonesome from 8-10 p.m., and on Sunday the 1st the monthly Celtic jam takes place from 6-8 p.m. No cover, and good food and beer in a family friendly atmosphere.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave, from 2-5 p.m.

Alive dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 31st at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Bill Bryson, Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for over 20 years now.

Jammin’ in Modesto -- There is a jam in Modesto taking place at Ingram and Braun’s Musik Shoppe on Saturdays from 3-5 p.m. at their location at 503 Bangs Avenue. Go on by to join the fun!

Help in the kitchen -- The bluegrass band Kitchen Help will be playing on the 31st at the San Gregorio General Store down the coast on Highway One from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The band is Jennifer Kitchen, Tom Cooper, Avram Frankel, Matt Kendall, and Alex Mayers. No cover.

Scott Gates at Big Bear -- The Big Bear Mountain Twilight Music Festival on the 31st from 4-9 p.m. will feature Scott Gates, Nathan McEuen, & Chuck Hailes, The Lonesome Otis Bluegrass Band, Sligo Rags and more.

Old-time and Celtic in Oakland -- See three bands for only $10 total on the 31st at the Starry Plough with the Black Crown Stringband, Cullan’s Hounds, and Little Black Train, starting at 9 p.m.

The Bluegrass Mix -- The site called The Bluegrass Mix streams bluegrass online 24/7. Sky Powers has a show called Pacifically Bluegrass, and it airs every Saturday evening from 4-8 p.m. out here in CA. He plays a fine mix of bluegrass, both old and new, with an emphasis on new releases and he also devotes a portion of his show to playing and promoting the bluegrass bands of the Pacific West and Rockies. Sky also welcomes requests, so email him at

Dusty Shoes in Grover Beach -- Every Saturday from 5-7 p.m. the Dusty Shoes Gospel Band plays bluegrass at the Station Grill, 170 W. Grand Avenue, in Grover Beach. This is a free event.

Jumpin’ Jupiter -- The bluegrass band Redwing will be appearing outdoors at the Jupiter Pub in Berkeley on the 1st from 5-8 p.m. No cover.

Jammin' in Altadena -- On Sunday the 1st from 12:30-3:30 p.m. there will be a bluegrass jam at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, which is connected to the coffee house and seats 49, so there is plenty of room for players as well as spectators. Players tend to be intermediate to advanced. This is an acoustic event without amplifiers or microphones. The coffee house offers a wide selection of drinks and pastries. For info contact David at

Santa Clara Fiddlers -- The Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional types of American music such as old-time, bluegrass and gospel music, as played on the fiddle and other acoustic stringed instruments. On the first Sunday of every month they hold their open jams at the Hoover Middle School in San Jose from 1-5 p.m.

Jammin’ in Marysville -- The 1st is the first Sunday of the month, so from 3-6 p.m. there will be jamming going on at the Brick Coffee House Café, 316 D Street, in Marysville. All skill levels welcome. For info call (530) 743-5283.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “I couldn't fix your
Posted:  8/2/2010

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