Author: Carlin, Larry

Feb. 17, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008

Merry President’s Day Weekend to you all! This is always an enjoyable long weekend, if only for the extra day off from the real job in the salt mines. In some ways, at least here in the SF Bay Area, it feels like the winter season is all but over, with temperatures having been in the 60s during the day for the past two weeks. We made it through the long, wet month of January, the days are getting longer, and it won’t be long before the sounds of bluegrass will be enjoyed in the great outdoors. In the meantime there has been a lot of great bluegrass going on around here with the recent SFBOT and Bluegrass on Broadway, and there is still plenty more to come. Get on out and enjoy!

Jammin’ in SLO -- On the third Sunday of every month there is a bluegrass jam at the Utopia Bakery, 2900 Broad Street in San Luis Obispo, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. So head on over there today. Your host is Roger Siminoff. All are welcome. For info email Roger at

Tenbrooks in San Gregorio -- For the first time in many years the bluegrass band Tenbrooks can be seen playing down the coast from SF on the 17th at the San Gregorio General Store. The store is located at Highway 84 and Stage Road, right off Highway 1. Tenbrooks is Robbie Macdonald on banjo, David Putnam on guitar, Jerry Logan on bass, Jim Minton on dobro, and Tom Diamant on mandolin, and they have just finished a new CD that will be available at the gig. The store’s web site says The San Bruno Mountain Boys are playing, but Tenbrooks in filling in. Get in the car and start driving!

Jammin’ in Sutter Creek -- On the first & third Sundays from 1-5 p.m. everyone in Sutter Creek heads on over to the American Exchange Hotel, 53 Main Street, for a good old-fashioned jam session. For info call (209) 296-7706.

Jammin’ in Gardena -- Another third Sunday jam takes place at the Bible Baptist Church, 1919 Marine Avenue, in Gardena, from 1-4 p.m. For more info call Glen Mason at (310) 643-5206.

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Every Monday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6-8 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass. See Bean Creek play on the 18th, featuring Billy Pitrone, who on the 16th was crowned Best Male Vocalist at the Northern California Bluegrass Award show in Redwood City.

Jammin’ in SF -- There is a bluegrass jam at Amnesia in SF on the third Monday of every month. 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, Homespun Rowdy was scheduled to play, but due to a family emergency, it's going to be a little different. Three Rowdies (Dan, Alisa, and David) will be joined by Jim Chayka on banjo and Tyson Alteri on guitar for two sets of bluegrass standards mixed in with material some of them are putting together for a new band called 49 Special. It should be a fun night of off-the-cuff music perfect for a Bluegrass Monday at Amnesia. No cover.

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.

Blue Grass Boy -- Marin County bluegrass legend Peter Rowan will be playing four shows in Northern California this week with his all-star bluegrass band. Peter has led a long and varied career. In the 1960s he played with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys as well as the bands Earth Opera and Seatrain. In 1973 he formed the all-star bluegrass band Old and In the Way, with David Grisman and Jerry Garcia, and their self-titled recording is one of the best-selling bluegrass albums of all time. He then recorded a few albums with brothers Chris and Lorin, toured with his band The Free Mexican Air Force, and he has recorded several solo albums. His song “Panama Red” was a million-selling hit for The New Riders of the Purple Sage. His most recent recording on Rounder Records is Quartet with bluegrass guitar wizard Tony Rice. Peter has lived in Marin County for over thirty years, and he is one of the most entertaining and versatile performers on the scene today. Playing with Peter will be Jody Stecher on mandolin, Keith Little on banjo and fiddle, and Paul Knight on bass. On the 20th they will play the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne, on the 21st the Bluegrass Gold show at Sweetwater Station in Larkspur, on the 22nd at The Palms in Winters, and on the 23rd the Redwood Bluegrass Associates show in Mountain View.

Northern California Bluegrass Awards -- The first annual NCBAs were handed out by the Northern California Bluegrass Society on Saturday, and here are the results, from Mike Hall: “Sidesaddle and Co. was named Bluegrass Band of the Year, Male Vocalist is Billy Pitrone, Female Vocalist is Diana Donnelly, Guitar Player is Jerry Ashford, Mandolin Player is Butch Waller, Banjo Player is Bill Evans, Fiddle Player is Annie Staninec, Dobro Player is Jim Mintun, and Bass Player is Lisa Burns. Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Carl Pagter of Walnut Creek, Jack Sadler of Los Gatos, and the late Jake Quesenberry of Morgan Hill. The trio formed the West Coast's first and largest bluegrass music club, the California Bluegrass Association, in 1973.” Congrats to all!

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “My mother's menu consisted of two choices... Take it or leave it.”
Posted:  2/19/2008

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