Author: Carlin, Larry

December 10, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010

Chilling sounds of the season -- Here is an interesting MSNBC story about music-induced chills, and it uses mostly holiday music as examples. The betting here is that there are bluegrass pickers and singers that elicit the same sort of responses in a lot of us year-round…

Bohemian Hellman -- Warren Hellman, the benefactor of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in SF's Golden Gate Park, was interviewed this week in the North Bay weekly The Bohemian. He and his band The Wronglers will be playing a benefit show at The Mystic in Petaluma on the 12th called the Holiday Hoedown along with Arann Harris & The Farm Band and special guests.

Jamming at bluegrass festivals -- This one minute cartoon pretty much – for better or for worse – sums up what the jamming scene is like for many pickers at bluegrass festivals far and wide. And if you missed this one from the other day and you consider yourself a songwriter, check out this video too. Even though it is a cartoon, it is all too real...

Big night at the Velo Rouge -- Everyone plus their neighbor is headed over to the Americana Roots Night show at the Velo Rouge in SF on the 10th at 7 p.m. to see Jeanie & Chuck, Misisipi Mike Wolf, Doug Blumer & Nancy Irish, Bill Meyer, The Mission Three, The VeloTones, and featured guests The Oxalis Pickers and The T-Sisters. No cover, and all ages are welcome.

Western swing is not dead… It’s just Asleep at the Wheel, and the big band from Texas will be playing shows in Rancho Cucamonga on the 10th, in Napa on the 11th, and in Santa Cruz on the 12th.

High Courtney at Murphy’s in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma it will be the good time, new-time, old-timey duo The Courtney Janes playing on the 10th from 8-10 p.m., and then on the 11th enjoy the traditional bluegrass of High Country from 8-10 p.m. No cover, and great food and drink in a family friendly atmosphere. Kids are welcome.

Alameda Americana -- At McGrath’s Pub in Alameda on the 10th it will be high-octane Americana with Houston Jones at 8 p.m., and on Sunday the 12th see Red Dust stirring up some acoustic rockabilly with a kick starting at 3 p.m.

Jammin' in Jamestown -- The Jamestown Jam will be happening on the 10th at the Smoke Café starting at 7 p.m. Info at

Jim Hurst in NorCal -- Two-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Jim Hurst is here for a series of shows this weekend. 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.

Open house at the Freight -- The free annual holiday Community Open House will take place at the Freight in Berkeley on the 11th starting at noon. It is a family-friendly musical celebration featuring an amazing array of performances and workshops, plus the annual Freight tree-trimming party. It will be an afternoon of song circles, musical performances, bluegrass, jug band, Klezmer, and Cajun jams, an Irish traditional session, a puppet show, and workshops taught by the Freight's music school faculty.

Poetic Sidesaddle -- Saddle up your stead and head on out to the Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival at the Marriott in Monterey on the 11th to see Sidesaddle playing bluegrass at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Benefit concert -- Max DeLacy, of Tuolumne County, (and son of Ron DeLacy of the band Doodoo Wah) works at various California venues as a stage hand, and serves a stage manager for the Mother Lode Fair in Sonora, the Strawberry Music Festivals near Yosemite and the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy. In late October he was diagnosed with adeno carcinoma in his sinus, nasal cavities, palate, near his left eye and abutting his brain. He underwent surgery on November 10th at Stanford Hospital and returned last month to start up to two months of radiation treatment and probably chemotherapy. Max has insurance, but he faces more than $20,000 in co-payments for hotel and house rentals near Stanford for surgery and two months of radiation and chemotherapy. To help him out, some folks are hosting the Party to the Max at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds on the 11th. More than ten bands will donate their services, and scores of friends and businesses are donating time, money, food, labor and goods to be auctioned and raffled.

Nell Robinson in Berkeley -- Nell Robinson will be singing with hot pickers Jim Nunally, Keith Little and Andrew Conklin to play a house concert in Berkeley on the 11th starting at 7:30 p.m.

Eric Thompson CD release -- Petaluma Church Concerts presents Eric Thompson's Kleptograss CD release concert on the 11th. Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear musical traditions from around the world distilled through bluegrass, old-time and Americana. A pioneering folk/bluegrass guitarist, Eric Thompson circulated in the mid '60s Palo Alto bluegrass scene, playing with Jerry Garcia in The Black Mountain Boys. In Kleptograss he joins with Grammy Award nominee Jody Stecher, champion fiddler Paul Shelasky, veteran bluegrass bassist Paul Knight and master guitarist Scott Nygaard for some deep musical exploration.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 11th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Across the Tracks. This is the first of several programs surveying new releases and reissues. Included are many highlights from the all-star jams at the Graves Mountain Festival (Audie Blaylock with the Lonesome River Band, Russell Moore with Lou Reid & Carolina, et. al.); Jesse McReynolds’ tribute to Jerry Garcia and a new release of Jerry’s Acoustic Band live in 1987; a couple from Rounder’s #1 Hits collection; Mac Martin & Ed Brozi live in the living room in 1970; and new ones from Big Country Bluegrass, Joe Diffie, Rodney Dillard, and The Steeldrivers. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Jammin’ in Chico -- The bluegrass jam in downtown Chico would normally take place on the fourth Saturday, but since that is Christmas Day, it has been changed to the 11th
Posted:  12/13/2010

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