Author: Carlin, Larry

March 12, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

“All the world’s a stage,” according to a passage from old Willie Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. And this is how it felt for a few hours last Saturday at The Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival. If you missed all of the fun, you can experience it now visually by going here to CBA photographer Mike Melnyk’s site. While you are on his site, take a look at all of the other shows and fests that he has photographed. He is quite the talent, and also one busy guy!

Hardly Strictly encore -- The Public Broadcasting Service will once again tonight be airing the one-hour special Austin City Limits about the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, which took place in SF’s Golden Gate Park last October. KQED-TV (channel 9) in SF will air the show at 9 p.m.

Jammin’ in Lompoc -- On the second and fourth Wednesdays there are evening jams in Lompoc from 7- 9 p.m. at the Southside Coffee Company, 105 South "H" Street. Head on over there tonight. For more info call Bill at (805) 736-8241.

Experienced duo -- Jim Nunally and Keith Little, who also play in the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, on the 13th will be playing at The First Street Café, located at 440 First Street in Benicia, from 7-10 p.m. Bring an appetite with you as the café has an extensive appetizer and dessert menu, and beer and wine are offered as well.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- The second and fourth Thursday evening jam at Zoey’s in Ventura will be taking place on the 13th from 6-9:30 p.m. For more info e-mail Gene at

Ray Bierl World Tour -- East Bay picker Ray Bierl, who was featured here in the Bluegrass Breakdown last month in a story by Chuck Poling, is busy these next few days. On the 13th see him play with Markie Sanders and Michael Follstad at the Atlas Café in SF from 8-10 p.m.; on the 16th from 11a.m.-1 p.m. Ray and Doug Wilcox will appear at the DiBartolo Café in Oakland; on the 17th from 7-9 p.m. it will be Swing Farm (Ray, Charlie Hancock, Steven Strauss) at Caffe Trieste in Berkeley; and on the 19th at 7:30 p.m. see Hillbillies From Mars (Ray, Kevin Carr, Paul Kotapish, Daniel Steinberg) when they play at Strings in Emeryville.

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.

Dust off those strings! -- One of the hottest young bands on the bluegrass scene these days is The Infamous Stringdusters. At the IBMA Award show in October they won three big awards: Emerging Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and they tied for Album of the Year (“Fork In The Road,” which is both the song and album title), becoming the first band in IBMA history to win these three coveted awards in one year. They are coming back to CA this week for seven shows, so you have ample chances to see them. On the 14th it will be the Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne, the 15th at the RBA show at the First Presbyterian Church in Mountain View, on the 16th at the Blue Goose in Loomis, the 17th at the Sawtooth Ridge Café in Tahoe City, the 20th at Temple Beth Tikvah in Fullerton, the 21st at the Del Mar Powerhouse in Del Mar, and on the 22nd at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara.

Brothers in bluegrass -- Plan on attending A Night at the Grange in Morgan Hill on the 15th at 7 p.m. with The Bluegrass Brothers. Amazingly so, this is one aptly named “brother band,” as real brothers Robert and Victor Dowdy lead the band, and Victor’s sons Donald and Steve are also in the band. Jack Tuttle and the School of Bluegrass will open the show. The Morgan Hill Grange is located at 40 East 4th Street. For information, call Tim Edes (408) 779-5456 or (408) 595-4882 or send an email to

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “The fellow that is a good sport has to lose to prove it.”
Posted:  3/14/2008

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