Author: Carlin, Larry

March 10, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008

Well, as predicted, The Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival this past Saturday was a successful event, as all had a good time. Many thanks to Mark Hogan, Colleen Arroyo, and the Sonoma County Folk Society, and all of the other volunteers that helped make it one memorable weekend. The hot item at the fest was the CBA Father’s Day t-shirt. And soon there will be photos available of the fest by marvelous photographer Mike Melnyk. Stay tuned…

Helping Utah -- No, not the state, but legendary singer and storyteller Utah Phillips, who is facing some serious health issues at this time. Tonight there will be a benefit for Utah at Don Quixote’s in Felton. Snazzy Productions is producing the how, and some of the acts on the bill will be Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Keith Greeninger & Friends, and Alisa Fineman & Kimball Hurd. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $25. 100% of all ticket sales will go to Utah’s medical expenses.

Future grass -- If you want to hear the future of bluegrass, tune into the Monday Night Bluegrass Show with Mike Russell from 6-9 p.m. on KKUP (91.5 FM) in Cupertino. About an hour and a half into the show you will hear Marty Varner, and Nate & Max Schwartz do some pickin’. They call themselves OMG (Obviously Minor Guys), and their average age is a little shy of twelve years. Catch them now, because in a few years, while they still may call themselves OMG, by then it will mean “Obviously Major Guys.”

Hands across the water -- California banjo player Bill Evans and California-in-her-heart fiddler Megan Lynch leave this week for a nine-day tour of Scotland, Ireland and England, followed by a week of instruction at England's premiere bluegrass camp, Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week. The duo's new My Space page features new live cuts and will be updated with new pictures as the tour progresses. Bill also has a new You Tube channel with six short video clips of him playing African banjo music, 19th century minstrel banjo, early 20th century classic banjo and bluegrass and original music. In other developments, Bill's book "Banjo For Dummies" is now the most popular banjo instructional manual in the world.

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.

Bluegrass in Moss Landing -- Every Monday and Wednesday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing you can experience live bluegrass. See The Courthouse Ramblers tonight, and on Wednesday the 12th see Mr. Banjo and the Lonesome Wailers.

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.

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

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- John Murphy’s Carolina Special will be pickin’ some hot bluegrass to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 11th from 6-9 p.m., and on the 12th see Diana Donnelly & The Yes Ma’ams, who will be entertaining you with bluegrass and vintage country songs. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Bluegrass in Pahrump -- Where? That’s right, Pahrump, a little town about an hour northwest of Las Vegas. This coming weekend, on the 14th-16th, will be the 1st Annual Bluegrass Festival, featuring headliners Chris Stuart & Backcountry and Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, and lots more. Fly to Vegas, hang some in a casino for a bit, but save enough money to rent a car to make the hour drive to Pahrump. What goes on in Pahrump does not necessarily have to stay in Pahrump…

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Start every day with a smile and get it over with.”
Posted:  3/12/2008

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