Author: Carlin, Larry

September 13, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010

BIG MONday -- It was on this date 99 years ago today that a boy named William Smith Monroe was born near Rosine, KY. Suffice to day, if he had never started picking the mandolin you would not be on this web site today or reading this column, and instead you might be going gaga over some alleged pop singer with garish makeup, outfits and Clorox-enhanced hair. Yikes! As Generation Duh is likely to say, “Gag me with a spoon”…

Honoring Bill -- On the 14th there will be a Bill Monroe Birthday Tribute show at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley with Laurie Lewis, Chad Manning, Butch Waller, Patrick Sauber, Andrew Conklin, Tony Marcus, Kathy Kallick, Tom Rozum, David Thom, Henry Warde and Molly Tuttle. And last week on National Public Radio there was a story about a gathering of former Blue Grass Boys. You can listen to the piece here.

El Cabong! -- Ever wanted to whack some noisy lout over the head with your guitar or banjo? Well, a street musician named Brandin Hochstrasser (a.k.a. “Bongo Jesus”) in Madison, WI, apparently had had enough criticism of his music by some unflattering patron, and Bongo bashed the guy over the head with this guitar, thereby using up his 15 minutes of allotted fame and getting arrested at the same time. Just think – if Bongo had played the bongos instead of guitar it would have been a lot harder to attack his critic. This being America in 2010, Bongo will probably soon be on David Letterman, get a reality show and a record deal…

Silent fiddles -- The Cloverdale Old-Time Fiddle Contest, which has taken place in January for the past 35 years, will not be happening in 2011 due to -- surprise, surprise! -- the current state of the economy. Heck, maybe there is some fat cat out there who has some excess pocket change to contribute that would keep the festival going. Anyone got any TARP money left over?

Heading for the hills -- Everyone is headed to the Bluegrassin' in the Foothills festival in Plymouth this weekend on the 17th-19th to pick and see Kenny & Amanda Smith, The Brombies, The Bluegrass Brothers, Bound to Ride, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, The Dalton Mountain Band, Blue & Lonesome, and a lot more.

Jammin’ in Signal Hill -- Every Monday night, from 6-9 p.m., there is a bluegrass jam at Curley’s Café in Signal Hill. The address is 1999 E Willow Street at Cherry Avenue. Everyone is welcome. For more info contact Jim Wieser at

Burrito grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. will take place on the 13th. Tonight see Dan Large, Red Rick, Bruce Campbell, Dore Coller, and Gerry Tenney. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass jammin’ on Monday nights is McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Starting at 8:30 on the 13th you’ll find familiar faces all around you on bass, mandolins, guitars, banjos and fiddles.

Ramblers in Moss Landing -- The 13th is bluegrass night at Phil’s Fish Market with The Courthouse Ramblers playing from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Jammin’ in Corona -- There is a bluegrass jam on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 7-10 p.m. at the Crossroads Christian Church, 2331 Kellogg Avenue, in Corona. For more info contact Todd Holtkamp at or (951) 347-2597.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- John Murphy’s Carolina Special will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 14th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in La Mesa -- The San Diego Bluegrass Society presents a jam on the second Tuesday of every month at Fuddruckers in La Mesa from 7-9 p.m.

Fiddle tunes jam in SF -- The second Tuesday fiddle tunes jam will take place on the 14th at the SoCha Café in SF on Mission Street near Valencia. The picking begins around 8 p.m. Fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, wash tubs, bass, jugs, saws, autoharps etc., are all welcome but they especially need more guitars and fiddles.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- Zoey’s Café in Ventura features bluegrass jammin’ on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 6-9:30 p.m.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into the Bluegrass Country show every Tuesday from 10 a.m.-noon on KMUD up in Garberville to hear Ken Jorgenson playing two hours of bluegrass and country music. Ken also is the owner of Blue Heron soft-shell instrument cases.

Coming attractions -- For folks that want to plan ahead, at the beginning of the week there are listings found here of upcoming festivals, fairs, campouts, special events and more. All you have to do is click on the links to find out information about each event. As the dates draw near there will be more information about the events posted above. If there is something not included on this list feel free to drop me a note to let me know. Here is what is coming up in the next few months: American River Music Festival near Coloma 9/17-19; Nell Robinson & Red Level at the Rockwell Winery in Alameda 9/19; Peter Rowan at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco 9/19; Hobbs Grove Bluegrass Festival in Sanger 9/24-26; Bluegrass Intentions reunion weekend with Eric and Suzy Thompson, Bill Evans, Alan Senauke and Markie Sanders in Santa Clara 9/24, Oakland 9/25, and Santa Cruz 9/26; Sebastopol Celtic Festival 9/24-26; Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival with Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, Devine’s Jugband, Griffin Stoler, Jerry Hannan 9/25-26; Fog Fest in Pacifica 9/25; Emmylou Harris at the Ventura Hillsides Music Festival 9/25, Humphreys Concerts by the Bay in San Diego 9/27, Napa Valley Opera House 9/27, Harrah’s Tahoe 9/30, Hardly Strictly in SF 10/2; Pickin’ on Pinot in Philo with The David Thom Band, Blue & Lonesome, The Knuckle Knockers 9/25; IBMA World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN, 9/27-10/3; JimBo Trout & The Fishpeople and The Saddlecats at Yoshi’s in SF 9/28;
Posted:  9/15/2010

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