Author: Carlin, Larry

November 5, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010

Falling back -- If you haven't noticed by now, the days are getting shorter and shorter. This weekend don't forget to turn your clocks back before hitting the sack on Saturday night. The good news about this is that you will have an extra hour to pick some bluegrass tomorrow!

Big Hank on the mend -- Beloved Central Valley CBA member Big Hank Zuniga had major surgery this past Wednesday, and everyone is pulling for him. He hopes to be back in pickin’ action soon. Instead of just posting something simple and easy on the Message Board or Facebook, if you have a minute, send him a good-old-fashioned get-well card at 37761 Cardinal Lane, Squaw Valley, CA 93675.

Blue Highway in NorCal -- You have three chances to see Blue Highway -- featuring Bay Area native and multiple-winning IBMA Dobro Player of the Year Rob Ickes -- this weekend in Northern CA. They’ll be at the Freight in Berkeley on the 5th, at the Redwood Bluegrass Associates show in Mountain View on the 6th, at then at The Palms in Winters on the 7th.

Big weekend in Alameda -- The Bay Island Ramblers (Lanie Anderson-Barrett, Mark Berkley, Tom Biggs, Ken Smith) will be delivering a dose of high-octane bluegrass at McGrath's Pub in Alameda on the 5th, with High Country offering more of the same on the 6th.

Stephanie Bettman by the bay -- Southern California fiddler Stephanie Bettman and her partner Luke Halpin are up north this weekend, and you can see them playing at The Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz at 6 p.m. on the 5th, at the Wisteria Ways House Concert in Oakland on the 6th, and at the Berkeley United Unitarian Service Church on the 7th. They play up-tempo bluegrass and groovy jazzy acoustic pop to heart wrenching ballads with a focus on memorable lyrics, stunning musicianship, and beautiful vocal harmonies.

Murphy’s in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma it will be bluegrass and country on the 5th by the Sonoma Mountain Band from 8-10 p.m., Americana with Andrew Freeman and Doug Adamz on the 6th at 8 p.m., and on Sunday the 7th join the monthly Celtic jam session starting at 6 p.m. No cover, and great food and drink in a family friendly atmosphere. Kids are welcome.

Square dance in Oakland -- Another installment of the every-first-Friday monthly square dance will take place at the Niebyl-Proctor Library (6501 Telegraph Avenue) on the 5th at 8 p.m. with the Squirrelly Stringband and caller Erik Hoffman. $5 or whatever you can pay. No prior experience necessary, and all dances will be taught.

Americana in SF -- Two South Bay bands – the Skyline Riders and The String Slingers – will be playing some fine Americana while sharing the bill at the Plough & Stars in SF on the 6th.

Cuesta Ridge in Los Osos -- The Red Barn Community Music Series presents Cuesta Ridge on the 6th starting at 7 p.m. This five-piece, bluegrass-injected, acoustic Americana band has been together since 2004.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 6th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this weekend is titled Todd Picks 'Em & Plays 'Em , with guest co-host Todd Gracyk presenting some of his favorites, none of which are recent recordings. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Colonial quake in San Gregorio -- The Mild Colonial Boys will be playing Americana music on 6th from 2-5 p.m. and on the 7th it will be bluegrass by Earthquake Country at the San Gregorio General Store south of Half Moon Bay. No cover, you can have a beer and also get you shopping done while you are there.

Redwing in Benicia -- The East Bay band Redwing will be picking some bluegrass on the 6th at The First Street Café, located at 440 First Street in Benicia, from 8-11 p.m. Bring an appetite with you as the café has an extensive appetizer and dessert menu, and beer and wine are offered as well.

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

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.

Upper crust jam -- On the 6th from 2-5 p.m. the Butte Folk Music Society sponsors a free acoustic jam at the Upper Crust Bakery, located at 130 Main Street in Chico. Everyone is welcome (including children) to go and play music, share songs, sing-along and get acquainted with others who love folk music and Americana.

Brunch with the Spillit Quikkers -- On the first Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. you can have a late breakfast or early lunch in Sacramento with the Spillit Quikkers at the Hoppy Brewing Company, 6300 Folsom Boulevard. No cover.

Blue Ridge Pickin’ -- The Blue Ridge Pickin’ Parlor in Granada Hills has a pickin’ session on the first Saturday of every month from 6-10:30 p.m. The beginner’s jam goes from 6-7:30 in the main store, followed by an open jam there from 7:30-10:30. An intermediate jam takes place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. two doors down at their additional space. Go and strut your musical expertise, pick and sing the night away, meet-up with old friends and make new ones. Everyone is welcome – listener, singer, beginning player and the seasoned picker. For more info email

Mountaineers in Oak Glen -- On the first Saturday of the month Riley's at Los Rios Rancho puts on an old-time music variety show, just like those great old radio and TV shows of the 40s and 50s. There’s one difference – they throw in a hearty family-style dinner! On the 6th join Riley’s Mountaineers for dinner and a show starting at 6 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. He also welcomes requests, so email him at

Jammin’ in Clovis -- There will be a bluegrass, old-time and gospel music jam on the 6th at the
Posted:  11/8/2010

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