Author: Carlin, Larry

Feb. 27, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More SteelDrivers -- Two days ago there was a mention here how The SteelDrivers put on a hot showcase at the Folk Alliance conference this past weekend. Today there is a story about them in that great bluegrass publication called The Wall Street Journal. With any luck this link will open for you on your screen. You can also watch some videos of them from Country Music Television here. The band will be at Strawberry in August and Grass Valley in 2009.

A man and his banjo -- On KQED (Channel 9 in the SF area) tonight (it will also air many times over the next week) you can watch the recent documentary titled Pete Seeger: The Power of Song at 9 p.m. Here is a description of the film: “This first authorized film poetically documents Seeger's unique experience and contributions. The man who introduced America to its own folk heritage, he got a whole generation passionate about playing the guitar and picking the banjo, got them singing together and using music as a force for social change. He deeply believes in the power of song and is convinced that individuals can make a difference. Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the US government, for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist - banned from commercial television for more than 17 years. Now almost 90-years old, his inspiring, but not always easy, story is told by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks and through a remarkable historical archive – a history that Seeger himself helped create.” Viewer discretion advised. Meaning, if you did not like the man back in the day, you probably won’t like him now.

Moon rustlers in the mid-west -- Northern California favorites Rustler's Moon with Kathy Kallick & Bill Evans head to a colder climate this weekend when they headline the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association's Winter Bluegrass Weekend in Plymouth, Minnesota (outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area). Sitting in with the band will be legendary California bassist Bill Amatneek and fiddler Brian Wicklund. You can also download several songs from the band for free by visiting Rustler’s website.

Jammin’ in Berkeley -- Thursday night is beginners jam night at the 5th String Music Store, 3051 Adeline Street, in Berkeley, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Pickin’ in Petaluma -- Ed Neff and Friends play bluegrass every Thursday at the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma from 6:30-9:30 p.m. There is no cover, and you get to hear some of the finest traditional bluegrass in the North Bay. The regular pickers are Ed Neff on mandolin, Mike Wilhoyte on guitar, Jeff King on bass, Paul Shelasky on fiddle, and banjoist Larry Cohea. The address is 3600 Petaluma Boulevard North. Call (707) 775-4232 for more info.

Jammin’ in Encinitas -- On Thursdays everyone heads to Today’s Pizza, 481 Santa Fe Drive, in Encinitas, for a night of pizza, pickin’, and grinnin’. This is an excellent jam for those closet pickers wishing to learn to play bluegrass with others. The time is 6:30-9 p.m. For more info email Jason at

Starry Plough Bluegrass -- The Starry Plough Bluegrass Night takes place once a month, and the next show is on the 28th. The club is located in Berkeley. High Country will open, followed by Dark Hollow. The show starts at 9 p.m. and has a $6 cover.

Jammin’ in Sacto -- Every Thursday evening, from 7-10 p.m., there is a jam at The Fifth String Music Store, located at Alhambra & J Streets in Sacramento.

Road trip -- Gas up the car, load your cooler and grab your instruments before heading southwest to Parker, Arizona, in time for the 6th Annual Bluegrass on the River Festival, which starts on the 29th and runs through Sunday. See The Gibson Brothers, Country Current, The Bluegrass Brothers, Sawmill Road, Cedar Hill, and more.

Calling all banjo players! -- The California Banjo Gathering is scheduled to take place in Sacramento on October 17th-19th, tentatively featuring the following banjo players offering demonstrations, and workshops: Sammy Shelor, Bill Keith, Mike Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Pat Cloud, Buddy Wachter, Clarke Buehling, Mick Moloney, Tom & Patrick Sauber, Gordy Ohliger and Taj Mahal. A concert open to the general public will be held in a theater setting on Sunday afternoon. The full spectrum of banjo styles through a rich history will be well represented. Rounding out the staff will be banjo teaching assistants, utility musicians and volunteers, as well as luthiers, banjo makers and collectors, audio collectors and vendors of banjo related products. Look for more details in the Bluegrass Breakdown in upcoming months. Or email for

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “After all is said and done, more is said than done.”3010703257
Posted:  2/29/2008

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