Author: Carlin, Larry

December 8, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Imagine… It was 30 years ago today that one gun-toting maniac changed the course of musical history by shooting John Lennon to death in New York City. We can only wonder about all of the great music that we have missed as a result of this tragedy. Now, more so than ever, Lennon’s dream that “the world will live as one” remains just that, a dream…

Exceptional Rob -- Dobro player and Bay Area native Rob Ickes was named a recipient of a 2010 Fellowship from United States Artists. This award is given annually to 50 exceptional artists across a wide spectrum of disciplines, and includes a cash grant of $50,000. Congrats, Rob!

Jammin’ Nellie -- Bay Area mandolin picker Nicole Solis, of the band The Barefoot Nellies, has a real nice story in Acoustic Guitar magazine titled Get Into a Real Jam.

Calling all songwriters! -- If you consider yourself a songwriter, check out this video. Even though it is a cartoon, it is all too real...

Bluegrass and barbeque -- Dark Hollow will be entertaining you with bluegrass at Sam’s in San Jose on the 8th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in Lompoc -- The second and fourth Wednesday jams in Lompoc happen from 7-9 p.m. at the Southside Coffee Company, 105 S. "H" St. For more info call Bill at (805) 736-8241.

Mountain Laurel in Auburn -- No attitudes are allowed at Latitudes in Auburn on the 8th while enjoying great bluegrass by Mountain Laurel. The band plays from 7:30-9 p.m. No cover and great food.

Jamming in Atascadero -- On the second Wednesday of the month folks gather at Last Stage West (located on Hwy. 41 halfway between Atascadero and Morro Bay) from 6-9 p.m. to pick. The first hour is an easy slow jam with sheet music provided. The second hour can be a more advanced jam, and the third hour is open mike. For info call Lloyd at (805) 441-7463.

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

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Every Wednesday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass. On the 8th see Mr. Banjo & The Lonesome Wailers play.

Swingin’ in Oakland -- The West Coast Ramblers will have folks dancing to their Western swing music at the Uptown Nightclub in downtown Oakland on the 9th.

Jim Hurst in NorCal -- Two-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Jim Hurst is headed out this way for a series of shows. On the 9th it will be a house concert in Cloverdale, on the 10th he’ll play solo at the Petaluma Arts Center (ticket info at 707-763-0100 or, on the 11th it will be an evening of swing & jazz music with Jim featuring Chris Gramp on guitar and Bill Amatneek on bass at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (ticket info at 707-824-1858 or, and on the 12th it will be another house concert in Santa Cruz.

Holiday hijinks -- The Christmas Jug Band is coming back to play its annual holiday shows, and you can see them on the 9th at the Seahorse in Sausalito, on the 11th in Sutter Creek, on the 13th a family show at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, on the 14th at the Freight in Berkeley, on the 17th at the Palm Ballroom in San Rafael, on the 18th at the Mystic in Petaluma, on the 19th at The Palms in Winters, and on the 21st and 22nd at The Woods in Mill Valley.

Stephanie Bettman in Altadena -- Fiddler Stephanie Bettman and her partner Luke Halpin will be playing a show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena on the 9th starting at 8 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.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the CBA sponsored jam takes place on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Grange, located at 40 E. 4th Street. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 316-4745 or

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.

Pickin’ in Petaluma -- Ed Neff and Friends play bluegrass every Thursday at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma from 6:30-9:30 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.

AHB in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m., and on the 9th it will be the Allhambra Valley Band playing some bluegrass.

Justis in Davis -- On Thursday the 9th Kathy Barwick can be seen playing dobro and mandolin with The Mike Justis Band at the Rominger West Winery in Davis from 4-7 p.m.

Jammin’ in Napa -- There is a CBA sponsored bluegrass jam session at the Pizza Hut in the town of Napa every Thursday night from 7-10 p.m.

Jammin’ in Redwood City -- The weekly bluegrass and old-time jam known as "Peninsula Bluegrass Crossing" (PBC) takes place on Thursdays and the location is 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 giv
Posted:  12/10/2010

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