Author: Carlin, Larry

December 24, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010

Headed home for the holidays -- For the first time in 25 years your Almost Daily News editor is reluctantly headed east on the 25th to frigid temps and possible snow, as family obligations (an ailing, aged mother) are in order this holiday season. Here’s hoping you get or receive tidings of joy on the big day on Saturday, and that you will be spending the holiday with family or friends. There is very little bluegrass going on this weekend, so this is a great time to have some folks over to do some picking around the fire while roasting those seasonal chestnuts. Have a merry/happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever occasion you celebrate this time of year.

“He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight
— Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Bah humbug! -- An email arrived yesterday from Peter Barnato, owner of McGrath’s Pub in Alameda. Here is some of what he has to say: “As most of you know, we have had problems with the folks who moved in over the pub and attempted to shut off the music. Well, I fought 'em and spent what I had on lawyer fees and have no more to give. It seems that the city of Alameda would rather listen to their complaints than obtain revenue from a local business and are not allowing us to obtain a cabaret license and continue any kind of live music, including our jam, without excessive cost. We are attempting to make contact and seek an exception for the bluegrass jam and acoustic music, but it will take awhile. We are not allowed to offer any kind of live music at this point. We have, however, obtained a permit for approximately $340 that will allow us to host The Bay Island Ramblers on New Year's Eve. I ask that you make this your destination this year for the biggest and best bluegrass New Year’s Eve this city ever had!”

Jingle Belle -- Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys, along with some special guests, will be pickin’ some bluegrass on the 25th at Amnesia in SF

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 25th from 6:30-8 p.m. The show this week is titled Rural Rhythm Roundup. Rural Rhythm Records has been busy this year, and this show samples 11 of their relatively recent releases, from Bobby Osborne’s “Memories” to the Lonesome River Band’s chart-topping “Still Learning.” There’s more from the Graves Mountain All-Star Jam and the compilation of songs written by Rick Lang, gospel from Lou Reid & Carolina and Common Strings, and title tracks from Steve Gulley & Tom Stafford, the Darrell Webb Band, and the Bartley Brothers. You can listen online on the KALW web site, and the first hour of the show is also broadcast five times each week on

Jamless at the Freight -- The slow jam that normally takes place on the fourth Sunday of every month will not be happening on the 26th.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Santa’s elves are just a bunch of subordinate Clauses.”
Posted:  12/27/2010

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