Author: Carlin, Larry

April 4, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008

Viva bluegrass! Over the decades bluegrass music has occasionally had a few minutes of fame either as a result of being featured in movies or on TV. On the big screen it was Bonnie and Clyde, Deliverance and O Brother, Where Art Thou? On the boob tube it was The Beverly Hillbillies and The Andy Griffith Show. Rare is the time when you hear the music used in a mainstream commercial. And in the latest example, bluegrass is being used to sell, uh, Viagra? If you haven’t seen the ad yet, well, through the wonders of modern technology you can view it here. Click on the “Nashville” choice. Bluegrass pickers are seen singing a song called “Viva Viagra.” Identifiable players in the ad are Terry Eldridge (who, ironically, sings a bluegrass version of the song “Viva Las Vegas” in his band The Grascals but here is relegated to just playing the bass) and fiddler Kenny Kossek. Is there some hidden message in this ad? Of course, anyone that has ever been to a festival knows that bluegrass pickers often perform for hours on end into the wee hours of the night…

Misty River in Coloma -- Misty River, a national-touring, all-female acoustic quartet from the Pacific Northwest, can be seen playing on the 4th at 8 p.m. at the American River Resort in Coloma.

Cindy Roesgen Benefit -- Cindy Roesgen, mother of three, spent years in the radio advertising business. Recently venturing more into the music industry and philanthropy, Cindy funded Nathan McEuen's latest record Festival. Cindy has discovered several medical problems, including pancreatic cancer, which has spread to her liver, and there are blood clots in both of her legs. These events have created a mound of medical bills with plenty more to come. On the 4th, at The 1328 Building on N. Ventura Avenue in Ventura, at 7 p.m. there will be a benefit concert for Cindy featuring The Nathan McEuen Trio, Chelsea Williams, Scott Gates and others.

Twangin’ in Berkeley -- The Twang Café series at Epic Arts in Berkeley is held on the first Sunday of every month, featuring the best in Americana music. There will be a special show on Saturday the 5th to say goodbye to series founder Tom Wegner who is leaving town for Wisconsin ( Shelby Ash Presents is taking over the series). At 7:30 p.m. you can party down with the Backyard Party Boys, Betsy Maudlin & the Maudulators, and J.J. Schultz.

Jammin’ in Marysville -- On the first Saturday of the month, from 3- 6 p.m., there is jamming going on at the Brick Coffee House Café, 316 D Street, in Marysville. All skill levels welcome. For info call (530) 743-5283.

Kicking grass! -- There is a new band in the Fresno/Clovis area called GrassKickers and they will be playing at The Patio Cafe in Fresno on the 5th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The band is Doug Bremseth on guitar, Ron “Bearrr” Murray on bass, Bob Garcia on mandolin, and Dixon Smith on the banjo. No cover.

Music in Alameda -- In Alameda on the 5th at 8 p.m. check out the acoustic Americana trio known as Barbwyre when they play at McGrath’s Pub. Members are Dana Rath, John Mitguard and Michael Stadler.

Santa Clara Fiddlers -- The Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional types of American music such as old-time, bluegrass and gospel music, as played on the fiddle and other acoustic stringed instruments. On the first Sunday of every month they hold their open jams at the Hoover Middle School in San Jose from 1-5 p.m., so head on over on the 6th.

Jammin’ in Santa Margarita -- On the first Sunday of every month from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Solomon's Cafe in Santa Margarita there is jam session. The first half-hour is a free music lesson for anyone getting started. The remainder of the evening is an open jam for all pickers.

Jammin’ in Encino -- There is an old-time jam session on the first Sunday of the month from 1-4 p.m. at the CTMS Center for Folk Music in the town of Encino. See long-time friends and make new ones. Play your favorites and learn new tunes. Or just go and listen and relax on a Sunday afternoon.

Bluegrass in SLO -- The Wild River Ramblers play from 2-4 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month at the Santa Maria Brewing Company in the town of Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County.

Quakes in San Gregorio -- Earthquake Country will be playing down the coast in San Mateo County on the 6th at the San Gregorio General Store from 2-5 p.m. This is a free event, and if you’ve never been to the store it is well worth the trip. The place sells clothes, food, hardware, toys, etc., has live music and a bar, all in under one roof, and the building is over 100 years old.

Under the Radar in West Marin -- UTR is a Sonoma County acoustic band of Kevin Russell's that runs the gamut from bluegrass, blues and swing to folk and country. See them play on the 6th at the Station House Cafe, located in downtown Pt. Reyes Station in West Marin, starting at 5 p.m. No cover.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”
Posted:  4/7/2008

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