Author: Carlin, Larry

December 17, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010

Go elf yourself! -- Want to send a cool email holiday cartoon greeting of your band to your fans? Then check out this one from the Bay Area bluegrass band Keystone Station, and when it is done you can easily make one yourself for free. All you need is a photo to cut and paste from.

Cabin Fever reunion -- The bluegrass band Cabin Fever will be reuniting with some former members on the 17th at McGrath’s Pub in Alameda starting at 8 p.m. The pickers will be Larry Chung, John Relph, Steve Swan, Yvonne Walbroehl and Bryan McClennehan.

Heavy Freight -- The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley has quite an action-packed lineup of music this weekend. On the 17th it will be Marley’s Ghost, with Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur on the 18th, and the Winter Solstice Holiday Show hosted by Laurie Lewis on the 19th.

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

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

Bluegrass Ramblers in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma it will be traditional bluegrass music on the 17th by The Two Rock Ramblers from 8-10 p.m., with Mark Hogan on mandolin, Sue Walters on fiddle, Chris Carney on guitar, and Kathi Carney on bass. No cover, and great food and drink in a family friendly atmosphere. Kids are welcome.

Bluegrass Bonanza in SF -- Shelby Ash presents his monthly Bluegrass Bonanza series in SF on the 17th at the Plough & Stars. The bands tonight will be Savannah Blue and The Bay Island Ramblers.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 18th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Christmas Time's A Coming, featuring mandolin-based seasonal instrumentals. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Alive dudes -- The Grateful Dudes will be playing bluegrass on the 18th at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Band members Bill Bryson, Dennis Fetchet, Scott Micale and Rodger Phillips have been playing at Vincenzo’s for over 20 years now.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave, from 2-5 p.m.

The Bluegrass Mix -- The site called The Bluegrass Mix streams bluegrass online 24/7. Sky Powers has a show called Pacifically Bluegrass, and it airs every Saturday evening from 4-8 p.m. out here in CA. He plays a fine mix of bluegrass, both old and new, with an emphasis on new releases and he also devotes a portion of his show to playing and promoting the bluegrass bands of the Pacific West and Rockies. Sky also welcomes requests, so email him at

Dusty Shoes in Grover Beach -- Every Saturday from 5-7 p.m. the Dusty Shoes Gospel Band plays bluegrass at the Station Grill, 170 W. Grand Avenue, in Grover Beach. This is a free event.

Jammin’ in Pleasant Hill -- East Bay pickers on the third Sunday of the month go to Smokin' Okies in Pleasant Hill, a nice little BBQ restaurant that has agreed to host a monthly bluegrass jam from 5:30-8 p.m. This is a very family-friendly neighborhood restaurant that serves good barbeque (and it serves beer & wine) and has occasional acoustic entertainment on the weekends.

Cajun Ramblers in Brisbane -- The Midnite Ramblers will have folks dancing up a storm when they play at the 23 Club in Brisbane on the 19th.

Jammin’ in Arroyo Grande -- Bring your voice, friends, banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle or bass on the third Sunday of every month to the jam at the SLO Down Pub, 1200 E. Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Qualifications for attendance are that you must love bluegrass, old-time, country, folk and whatever, and you can either pick or just listen. No electric or percussion instruments, please. For info email Roger at

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…

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Did you ever notice that life seems to follow certain patterns? Like I noticed that every year around this time, I hear Christmas music.”
Posted:  12/20/2010

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