Author: Carlin, Larry

November 17, 2008
Monday, November 17th, 2008

Take the Stage -- On Sunday night at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley part one of the Take the Stage band performance workshop “graduation” took place in front of a sold-out house. Three workshop bands were formed in September with players from around the Bay Area to learn and perform Americana, bluegrass and roots music with expert coaching from professional musicians. The bands were named Madfish, Last Train Home and Salvaged Mondays. It was a really special evening and a pleasurable experience for everyone involved. Tomorrow on the 18th the three established bands that went through the session coached by Laurie Lewis'Bout Time!, Dan Mills & Wendy Molin, and Redwing – will get to play their big show at the Freight at 8 p.m. Go by and support these up and coming stars! The CBA is a sponsor of TTS, and at the show on the 16th for the first time an award was given to the Most Valuable Player of the workshop. Board President Darby Brandli presented a four-day Father’s Day Festival pass to participant Scott Peterson who not only played in two bands this session, but also participated in the fall 2007 workshop. TTS was created by program director Hilary Perkins (she is also known as Nell, through her bluegrass band Nell Robinson & Red Level), Lou Ponticas and Dan Barbee in the fall of 2007. David Zimmerman was also very instrumental making this current session a success. In the meantime, if you (or your band) want to take part in the next Take the Stage session, go to the web site for more information. Signups for the January series end on December 15th.

Songwriter's blog -- Some weeks back it was noted here that Northern California bluegrass singer/songwriter/artist Rick Jamison had started a new songwriter’s blog called On Songwriting. In addition to providing insights, tips and examples, Rick also features other songwriters, sharing their thoughts, experience and wisdom on songwriting. The most recent interview is with Chris Stuart of the San Diego band Chris Stuart & Backcountry, and you can read the interview on the site. Backcountry also has a fabulous new CD out titled Crooked Man.

Remembering Robert Whitstein -- Seven years ago last Friday marked the anniversary of the passing of Robert Whitstein of the Whitstein Brothers. He and his brother Charles were one of the finest brother duets in country music. Ken Irwin of Rounder Records sent along a link to this piece here that was written by Karen Raizor who was a fan and friend of the Whitsteins.

Rowdy jammin’ in SF -- There is a bluegrass jam at Amnesia in SF on the third Monday of every month so this means tonight. The jam, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is for anyone who's just getting started pickin' or is looking for a supportive place to get better and learn more about bluegrass. If you play acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, dobro, or bass and want to play bluegrass, go on by. The jam is hosted by David Zimmerman of Homespun Rowdy. After the jam tonight at 8:30 p.m. there Rowdy band will be playing a couple of sets.

Bean Creek bluegrass -- Bean Creek can be seen playing bluegrass at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing tonight from 6-8 p.m. Enjoy the music while having a meal.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass pickin’ on Monday nights is McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Starting at 7:30 you’ll find familiar faces all around you on bass, mandolins, guitars, banjos and fiddles.

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

Deep Elem at Phil's -- On the 18th at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass with Deep Elem. Their normal nights there were the first and fifth Wednesdays of the month, but starting last week they are now playing there every Tuesday. This is a new night for music at Phil’s, so please go and support the live music at the restaurant. No cover.

Bluegrass night in Chula Vista -- The San Diego Bluegrass Society is having its third Tuesday bluegrass night at Fuddruckers in Chula Vista on the 18th. From 6:30- 7 p.m. there is an open mic, followed by bluegrass karaoke hour from 7-8, and then more open mic from 8-9. During the karaoke segment you get to sing and/or play a bluegrass song with the host band, The Full Deck. Go to the web site to find out how to sign up.

Jammin’ in Loomis -- Every Tuesday evening from 6-9 p.m. you are invited to join the jam at the Wild Chicken Coffee House on Taylor Road in Loomis.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Cabin Fever will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 18th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Bluegrass in the mountains -- At the Braemar Country Club in Tarzana on the 18th you can see the bluegrass band Simon Pure play. Most concerts at the club are free and you can purchase dinner (a pasta buffet, complete with soup, dinner salad with added chicken breast) for $14, served all evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. Such a deal! Bar service available. Ample seating and free parking.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.”
Posted:  11/19/2008

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