Author: Carlin, Larry

Feb. 25, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008

Important day in bluegrass history:

1927 Ralph Stanley birthday
1946 Pete Wernick (Dr. Banjo) birthday
2006 Don Knotts died
Reprinted with permission from Cybergrass, the Internet’s bluegrass music magazine since 1992.

Bluegrass Breakdown -- Anyone that has heard one-time Blue Grass Boy Peter Rowan do his introduction to the song “Walls of Time” from the stage has heard his story about how Monroe’s bus, called “The Bluegrass Breakdown,” lived up to its name one night on the way back to Bean Blossom, and Peter got inspired to write the lyrics to the melody that Bill started humming while standing there by the bus on the side of the road in the early morning hours. Well, now you can own a piece of bluegrass history by purchasing the Bluegrass Breakdown from its current owner in Bowling Green, KY. You would certainly be the most popular person at Grass Valley if you were to pull into the campgrounds with this vehicle this June! Thanks to Ted Silverman for this tip.

Driving steel -- The word on the street from the Folk Alliance gathering in Memphis this past weekend is that The SteelDrivers tore up the joint with a hot showcase performance. They will be playing Strawberry in August and Grass Valley in 2009. Plan way ahead!

Kudos to Uncle Earl -- Congratulations to the old-time band Uncle Earl for winning Album of the Year honors at Folk Alliance for their recording titled Waterloo.

Ricky honors Bill -- Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder will release a tribute album to Bill Monroe on March 25th on Skaggs Family Records. Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass: Tribute to 1946 and 1947 will feature songs that were recorded by Monroe when he had Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Howard Watts in the band.

Flinner & Friends -- Besides playing a series of shows in Northern California this week with Scott Nygaard and Sam Bevan, mandolin maestro Matt Flinner will also be offering a few workshops. Tonight there will be one at the 5th String in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m. Matt is a past winner of both the National Banjo as well as Mandolin Championship at Winfield. The workshop will cover right and left hand exercises for improving dexterity, speed and tone, improvisation, and music theory and how it applies to the fret board. Students are encouraged to bring questions & concerns. Call the 5th String at (510) 548-8282 for reservations. Cost for the class is $40 to be paid in cash the night of the workshop. For a complete list of his shows and other workshops, go to Matt's web site.

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.

Nellies at Amnesia -- See the Barefoot Nellies perform at 8:30 p.m. tonight when they appear at Amnesia in SF.

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

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.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- See Larry Lynch and Sunshine Mountain play on the 26th and on the 27th Diana Donnelly & The Yes Ma’ams will play bluegrass and vintage country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Q in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Sonoma Fest reminder -- The Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival will be taking place on March 8th at the Sebastopol Community Center from 1-9 p.m. The band lineup features Nina Gerber& Kenny Edwards, John Reischman & The Jaybirds, Sol Flamenco, The Roadoilers, The Mighty Crows, Alhambra Valley Band, and Julay Brooks & The Nightbirds. This festival is co-sponsored by CBA and the Sonoma County Folk Society. Tickets for CBA members are $25 advance and $30 at the door, 11 and under free. Order your tickets today online here. For more info, call Mark Hogan at (707) 829-8012.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.”
Posted:  2/27/2008

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