Author: Carlin, Larry

March 31, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008

Marching into April and spring. Get ready to turn that calendar page! We made it through the winter, and save for a few rainstorms between now and May the nice weather is here to stay. And, this means outdoor festivals are about to begin. It is time for some spring-cleaning of that camping gear. With the CBA Spring Campout in Turlock less than two weeks away, it is high time that you aired out those tarps and tents, opened up the coolers and cooking gear, and changed the oil in your road vehicle. The outdoor fun is about to begin so don’t get caught unprepared!

Bluegrass Tonic -- Of course, just because outdoor events are about to begin this does not mean that there is nothing happening indoors. Quite the contrary! Get out your Black Berry or your old-fashioned Daily Datebook and mark down some dates for the Bluegrass Tonic series of shows that will be happening in San Francisco throughout the month of April. The festivities begin on the 2nd with the first Wednesday of the month bluegrass/country jam hosted by Jeanie & Chuck Poling at the Plough & Stars in SF starting at 8:30 p.m. For a complete list of the Tonic series shows go to the web site. And even though most of us already have our tickets for the Father’s Day Festival, you can sign up to win passes to the fest by showing up at a Bluegrass Tonic event and entering the drawing, which will be held on April 25th.

Beans for dinner -- Bean Creek has a busy end to March and beginning to April. Close out the month tonight by having a meal and watching them play bluegrass at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and then on Tuesday the 1st do the same when they play at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m.

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.

Something Special in SF -- At Amnesia in SF tonight you can see the new band 49 Special play some hot bluegrass, starting at 8:30 p.m.

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

First Tuesday in Escondido -- The San Diego North County Bluegrass and Folk Club presents the First Tuesday Music Nights series, appropriately, on the first Tuesday of every month, at Round Table Pizza in Escondido, so everyone will be there on the 1st. It is free, and open to members and the general public, offering live bluegrass and folk music beginning at 7 p.m.

Slow jam class in Berkeley -- There is a new slow jam class about to begin at the 5th String music store in Berkeley. Starting on Tuesday the 8th and running eight weeks until Tuesday the 27th of May, it is open to beginning and intermediate bluegrass and old-time players, or anyone that wants experience playing and singing at a moderately slow tempo in a supportive, fun jam setting. Instructors will include Bill Evans, Evie Ladin, Keith Little, Jim Nunally, Kathy Kallick, and others each week. Megan Lynch will be back, schedule permitting. Class size will be limited to allow for individual attention, with 2-3 instructors on hand each night to join in the music and coach the players. The class will run from 7-9 p.m., and will cost $20 per player, per session. You will be encouraged to attend for at least the first four sessions, as they will be teaching as well as playing. A class syllabus will be provided, along with a song list, practice tips, and ideas on how to improve your playing and singing. Please note: the folks in the store cannot answer questions about the class. If you're interested or have questions reply directly to Ran Bush at (510) 525-8156 or via email at

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.”
Posted:  4/2/2008

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