Author: Carlin, Larry

December 13, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet and sour news -- Three years after closing in downtown Mill Valley the Sweetwater nightclub is in the paper again, and the news is not that good. The owners have had a series of financial and legal setbacks, and any reopening of the venerated venue is still a long way away, if ever. You can read the sad story in the Pacific Sun. Anyone have any leftover TARP money you can spare? Do you think Meg Whitman is looking for something new to do?

Bluegrass calendar -- If you are looking for the perfect gift for the bluegrass someone in your life, consider the Bluegrass Calendar, which in 2011 pays homage to the Stanley Tradition. Amazing Bay Area shutterbug Mike Melnyk has some of his photos of Ralph included.

Take the Stage -- The next installment of the Take the Stage band performance workshop will start up on February 6th but it is never too early to sign up for the session. TTS brings together aspiring musicians from around the Bay Area to learn and perform music with expert coaching from professional musicians. The workshop culminates in a performance at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley.

Burrito grass -- The Monday night Baja Taqueria Invitational Bluegrass Jam in Oakland at 8 p.m. takes place tonight with Josh Jakus, Jerry Barush, Dave Courchaine, Harry Yaglijian and Danny Morris. Have a burrito and enjoy the bluegrass.

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

Ramblers in Moss Landing -- The 13th is bluegrass night at Phil’s Fish Market with The Courthouse Ramblers playing from 6-8 p.m.

Jammin’ in Corona -- There is a bluegrass jam on the second and fourth Monday of every month from 7-10 p.m. at the Crossroads Christian Church, 2331 Kellogg Avenue, in Corona. For more info contact Todd Holtkamp at or (951) 347-2597.

Bluegrass in SF -- The Amnesia bar in SF has bluegrass every Monday, and on the 13th you can see Hot Strangs play starting at 9 p.m. No cover.

Jammin’ in Alameda -- The place to be for bluegrass jammin’ on Monday nights is McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Starting at 8:30 on the 13th you’ll find familiar faces all around you on bass, mandolins, guitars, banjos and fiddles.

Bela and the boys -- Bela Fleck & The Flecktones are out here this week, and you can see them in Chico on the 14th, in Santa Rosa on the 15th, in Oakland on the 16th, in Santa Barbara on the 17th, and in Los Angeles on the 18th.

Holiday hijinks -- The Christmas Jug Band is back to play its annual holiday shows, and you can catch their show 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.

Fiddle tunes jam in SF -- The second Tuesday fiddle tunes jam will take place on the 14th at the SoCha Café in SF on Mission Street near Valencia. The picking begins around 8 p.m. Fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, wash tubs, bass, jugs, saws, autoharps etc., are all welcome but they especially need more guitars and fiddles.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- John Murphy’s Carolina Special will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 14th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- Zoey’s Café in Ventura features bluegrass jammin’ on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 6-9:30 p.m.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into the Bluegrass Country show every Tuesday from 10 a.m.-noon on KMUD up in Garberville to hear Ken Jorgenson playing two hours of bluegrass and country music. Ken also is the owner of Blue Heron soft-shell instrument cases.

Jammin’ in La Mesa -- The San Diego Bluegrass Society presents a jam on the second Tuesday of every month at Fuddruckers in La Mesa from 7-9 p.m.

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…

Coming attractions -- For folks that want to plan ahead, at the beginning of the week there are listings found here of upcoming festivals, fairs, campouts, special events and more. All you have to do is click on the links to find out information about each event. As the dates draw near there will be more information about the events posted above. If there is something not included on this list feel free to drop me a note to let me know. Here is what is coming up in the next few days, weeks and months: Winter Solstice Holiday Show at the Freight 12/19; The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience at the Freight 12/27; High Country, Jim & Dix New Year’s Eve at the Freight 12/31; Rhonda Vincent & The Rage in Berkeley 1/5, Chico 1/6; The CBA Great 48 Bluegrass Jam in Bakersfield 1/6-9; The Kingston Trio in Livermore 1/7, in Modesto 1/8, in Antioch 1/9, and in Palm Desert on the 1/12;
River City Bluegrass Festival in Portland, OR, 1/7-9; Bluegrass in the Good Land Benefit with Byron Berline, Peter Feldmann and Phil Salazar in Goleta 1/15; Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin and Cliff Perry & Laurel Bliss at Redwood Bluegrass Associates in Mountain View 1/22; Bluegrass in the Park in Yuma, AZ 1/22; David Lindley at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station 1/22; Bluegrass On
Posted:  12/15/2010

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