Author: Carlin, Larry

December 1, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turning the page -- Ready or not, here comes December. The full court media holiday blitz is on, and from now until the 24th you will have deranged visions of sugarplums and other strange objects dancing in your head from all of the commercials and songs on the radio. The goal here is to tune most of this stuff out, and there is no better way to do such than by picking bluegrass on an instrument or going to see a live show. Pa Rump Pa Pum Pum…

Seasons Greetings! -- Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like bluegrass. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of bluegrass seasonal greeting cards than these here by artist Karen Cannon, who also has a booth at Father's Day every year. While you are at it, look at these prints as well for other times of the year. Get your orders in fast so that you will have the cards to send before the big day.

Down Home Music in the NY Times -- One of this country’s greatest music stores, Down Home Music in El Cerrito, was featured in the NY Times last week in a profile of store owner/founder Chris Strachwitz. 50 years in the record business? This is something we will probably never see again…

On the run again -- Renowned outlaw and country singer Willie Nelson was, to the surprise of no one, once again arrested for possessing an herb-like substance while riding in his tour bus in Texas. The betting here is that some Barney Fife wannabee saw Willie’s bus coming through town and immediately thought, “Hey, I can become famous if I pull this rig over and hope something smells funny!”…

Jammin’ in SF -- The first Wednesday of the month bluegrass/country jam on the 1st is hosted by Jeanie & Chuck Poling at the Plough & Stars in SF starting at 8:30 p.m. There is no cover but you must be 21 to attend.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Sidesaddle & Company will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose on the 1st from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

The Brombies in Burbank -- The Brombies play bluegrass on the first, third, and occasionally the fifth Wednesday nights at Viva Cantina in Burbank starting at 8 p.m.

Brothers playing bluegrass -- The Whiskey Brothers will be playing their twice monthly gig at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley on the 1st starting at 9 p.m. They play classic Western swing, bluegrass and original music, featuring great vocal harmonies. The band includes local music-scene veterans Jeff Ward on mandolin, Dave Courchaine, guitar, John MacFarlane on fiddle, Bruce Campbell on bass, and Craig Fletcher on banjo. No cover.

Jammin’ in Palo Alto -- There is a bluegrass jam every Wednesday night at Fandango Pizza in Palo Alto starting at 7 p.m.

Rowan and the boys in Felton -- The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band – Peter Rowan, Jody Stecher, Paul Knight and Keith Little – will be playing some great bluegrass at Don Quixote’s in Felton on the 2nd.

McCourys in Chico -- The Travelin’ McCourys are headed west to play a show at The Big Room at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico on the 2nd. Grandpa Del gets to babysit the grandkids during these tours…

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the CBA sponsored jam takes place on Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Grange, located at 40 E. 4th Street. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

Knockers in SF -- The Atlas Cafe presents the best in live bluegrass, Americana and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m., and on the 2nd it will be old-time tunes with The Knuckle Knockers.

Jammin' in Marin -- The Marin Bluegrass Jam takes place on the first and third Thursdays of every month. On the 2nd you can join in at the Marin Lutheran Church at 649 Meadowsweet in Corte Madera, just off the Corte Madera exit of Highway 101. The time is 7:30-10 p.m. For more info email Pat Palmer at or call (415) 892-6020.

Comatose in SF -- The Brothers Comatose are headlining the bill at Slim’s in SF on the 2nd, with The Jugtown Pirates and The Human Condition also playing.

Jammin’ in Berkeley -- Thursday night is beginners jam night at the 5th String Music Store, 3051 Adeline Street, in Berkeley, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Martians in Santa Barbara -- See the Salt Martians play bluegrass every Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. for happy hour at the Tupelo Junction Cafe, 1218 State Street, in Santa Barbara. Call (805) 899-3100 for dinner reservations. Full bar and no cover.

Pickin’ in Petaluma -- Ed Neff and Friends play bluegrass every Thursday at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma starting at 7 p.m. There is no cover, and you get to hear some of the finest traditional bluegrass in the North Bay. The regular pickers are Ed Neff on mandolin, Mike Wilhoyte on guitar, Jeff King on bass, Paul Shelasky on fiddle, and banjoist Larry Cohea. The address is 3600 Petaluma Boulevard North. Call (707) 775-4232 for more info.

Jammin’ in Sacto -- Every Thursday folks gather to jam from 7-10 p.m. at the Fifth String Music Store, located at Alhambra & J Streets in Sacramento. You are invited to attend.

Jammin’ in Redwood City -- The weekly bluegrass and old-time jam "Peninsula Bluegrass Crossing" (PBC) takes place at a coffee shop called Café Sportivo, 965 Brewster Avenue in Redwood City from 7-10 p.m. For more info contact Mark at rwcbluegrass@gmail.

Holiday gift ideas --Here is the Almost Daily News list of musical holiday gift ideas. Buy mostly direct from the artists themselves and cut out the Amazonian middle man! This list is hardly complete, so if you are a performer or band, send me your CD info if you are not on here. These suggestions are obviously not all bluegrass related, but you may find the perfect gift for that special someone in your life. Music – the gift that keeps on giving year round…

Plans for the weekend -- Brookdale Bluegrass Festival in Boulder Creek 12/3-5; The We
Posted:  12/3/2010

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