Author: Carlin, Larry

August 13, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010

Lucky weekend -- Forget about all of the media hype about today being the "ominous" Friday the 13th, because this is indeed a weekend filled with so much great music that you will think you hit the bluegrass jackpot. The only problem you will have is trying to decide what you will have to miss while making your choices!

Songwriting in the WSJ -- If you fancy yourself a songwriter, than this story in today’s Wall Street Journal may be of some interest to you. No mention, though, on how to write the perfect bluegrass song…

Stuffed Pig -- Eclectic KPIG-FM radio, based in Freedom, CA, for the past couple of years has also been broadcasting on 1510-AM in the San Francisco Bay Area. But this arrangement is about to come to an end, as the 15th will be the last day. Read the sad details here. Very sad, indeed. San Francisco has two AM frequencies for the all-sports station and both an AM and FM frequency for KCBS, yet there is no room for the Pig on the dial…

Goofy grass -- Everyone is headed to the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival in Bolado Park in Tres Pinos near Hollister on the 13th-15th, a fest that features only California bands. Some of the acts to see there are Nell Robinson & Red Level, The Barefoot Nellies, Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys, California Borderline, Dark Hollow, The David Thom Band, Highway One, Houston Jones, Jeanie and Chuck’s Country Roundup, OMGG, Savannah Blue, and Sidesaddle & Company.

Bower’s Mansion Bluegrass in NV -- The 25th Annual Bower’s Mansion Bluegrass Festival in Washoe Valley, NV, on the 13th-15th has The Piney Creek Weasels, The Silver State String Busters, The Bar BQ Boys, Code Bluegrass and more.

Snap in Alameda -- Snap Jackson & The Knock On Wood Players will be tearing it up at McGrath’s in Alameda on the 13th starting at 8 p.m.

Jammin’ in Jamestown -- The Jamestown jam takes place on the second and fourth Fridays at the Smoke Café starting at 7 p.m. For info contact Bill at

Wild time in Petaluma -- Marin County’s longest running bluegrass band Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue will be pickin’ some trad grass at the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma on the 14th from 3-6 p.m. No cover, children are welcome.

Saw Players in Felton -- The Saw Players Festival will be buzzing in Felton on the 14th and 15th. Some of the best saw players from all over the world go each year to compete in the annual “Saw-Off Contest” for the fun and glory of being chosen and being recognized as the year’s best saw players. It’s an interesting and fun event suitable for the whole family, and it’s free.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 14th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this weekend is titled Happy Birthday, Jake Landers. One time member of the Blue Grass Boys and mainstay of the Dixie Gentlemen, Jake is best-known for his bluegrass compositions. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Apple fest -- Lots of fun can be had at The Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol on the 14th and 15th with The Brothers Comatose, Twang Ditty, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys and others

Fiddles and more in Sonora -- Fiddles, Etc. will be fiddling away at the Heart Rock Cafe in Sonora on the 14th from 7-8:30 p.m., playing bluegrass, country and old-time fiddle music. For more information, call (209) 586-2042.

Mountains of grits in San Gregorio -- The San Gregorio General Store south of Half Moon Bay has a busy grass-filled weekend on tap. The Montara Mountain Boys will be playing from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the 14th followed by Harmony Grits serving up bluegrass and beyond from 2-5 p.m. Then on the 15th from 2-5 p.m. it will be The San Bruno Mountain Boys. No cover, you can have a beer and also get you shopping done while you are there.

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. He welcomes requests, so email him at

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!

Cool dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 14th 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 Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave, from 2-5 p.m.

Laurie Lewis on the weekend -- You can see Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands playing on the 14th at Los Cenzontles Center in Richmond and then at the Gravenstein Apple Fair on the 15th.

Jammin’ in Paso Robles -- "Matt's Jam" takes place on the Saturday of every month 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, so head on over on the 14th.

Jammin’ in Pleasant Hill -- East Bay pickers on the third Sunday of the month go to Smokin' Okies in Pleasant Hill, a nice little BBQ restaurant that has agreed to host a monthly bluegrass jam from 5:30-8 p.m. This is a very family-friendly neighborhood restaurant that serves good barbeque (and it serves beer & wine) and has occasional acoustic entertainment on the weekends.

Jammin’ in Arroyo Grande -- Bring your voice, friends, banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle or bass on the third Sunday of every month to the jam at the SLO Down Pub, 1200 E. Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Qualifications for attendance are that you must love bluegrass, old-time, country, folk and whatever, and you can either pick or just listen. No electric or percussion instruments, please. For info email Roger at

Jamming 101 on tour -- Currently taught every year at music festivals across the country, Chico’s Sid L
Posted:  8/16/2010

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