Author: Carlin, Larry

April 18, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008

End of the week blues. Man, this has been a tough week. Yesterday our music community lost two of its popular members (see details below), the price of gas is now up to $4 per gallon in the SF Bay Area (right across from a huge refinery in Richmond!), and the taxman came calling just three days ago. Listening to or playing bluegrass music is one of many ways to deal with the blues, and this weekend there are many opportunities for both somewhere near you…

Life’s railway to heaven -- Bluegrass musician and enthusiastic CBA member Allen Light succumbed to colon cancer on the 17th in Chico. Larry Kuhn wrote a touching tribute on the Welcome page today, and there are also postings on the Message Board that you can read here. On the same day, legendary saw player Charlie Blacklock passed after an illness. He was in his 90s, and many in the Bay Area bluegrass community knew or at some time played with Charlie. Check out his web page, and there was a thread two weeks back about him on the Message Board that you can read here. His grandson Kenny Blacklock is a music teacher in Marin County, and he also plays fiddle in the bands Keystone Station, Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, and Bluegrass Contraption.

Live Laurie Lewis -- Not only are Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands playing live shows at the Sutter Creek Theatre in Sutter Creek on the 18th and at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on the 19th, their brand new CD just arrived yesterday, and the name of it, appropriately, is Live. Be the first one on your block to own a copy!

Blue & Lonesome in Sonoma -- Enjoy the traditional bluegrass sounds of Blue & Lonesome tonight at Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma starting at 8 p.m. No cover, great food, and kids are welcome. The band is Ed Neff, Paul Shelasky, Mike Wilhoyte, Jeff King and Larry Cohea.

Ash Grove 50 Year Anniversary -- Folkies down in LA are headed to the UCLA campus to attend The Ash Grove 50th Anniversary Legend and Legacy weekend-long festival on the 18th-20th. Some of the performers will be the Freedom Singers, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Holly Near, Mike Seeger, Barbara Dane, Ry Cooder, Roland White and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

Jammin’ in Murphys -- There will be pickin’ tonight at the jam at 7 p.m. in the Eastman Center of the First Congregational Church in Murphys. For info call Sanders at (209) 795-3369.

Hot time in Alameda -- The place to be at 8 p.m. on the 18th in Alameda for music is McGrath’s Pub when The Sidecars take the stage. They play just about everything – bluegrass, Western swing, and jazz. The band is Liz Wrone on fiddle, Craig Fletcher on banjo, Charlie Casey on guitar, Joe Kenny on bass, and Cynthia Wilson on percussion. On Saturday it will be traditional bluegrass with Bay Area favorites High Country.

Bluegrass Bonanza -- Shelby Ash Presents Bluegrass Bonanza, a showcase of bluegrass and old-time stringband music. The show happens on the third Friday of every month at the Plough & Stars in SF, and it features a wide variety of talent – from fresh up and comers and hot touring bands to local and national legends. Tonight at 9 p.m. see 49 Special and The Backyard Party Boys.

Barn dance down the coast -- Kick up your heels on the 19th to the County Line Pickers from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Pie Ranch Barn Dance Potluck. Dancing starts at 7. The location is on Highway 1, just north of Ano Nuevo in the big barn on the east side of the highway. Call (650) 879-0971 for details.

Crows and Tuttles in Mountain View -- On the 19th Redwood Bluegrass Associates presents The Mighty Crows and The Tuttle Kids at the First Presbyterian Church,1667 Miramonte Avenue at Cuesta Drive, in Mountain View. Doors open at 4:30 for jamming and from 5:30-6:30 there will be a BBQ sponsored by Sam's. Shows starts at 8. There will be pie and coffee available too.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- The place for bluegrass pickin' on Saturdays is the Coffee Catz, 6761 Sebastopol Ave, from 2-5 p.m.

Megan & Bill in Folsom -- Megan Lynch and Bill Evans will be holding a workshop and playing a house concert on the 19th at the home of John & Loretta Hettinger, 113 Puffer Way, in Folsom. Both Bill and Megan are widely acclaimed and much in demand both as performing musicians and teachers. They perform traditional banjo/fiddle tunes and their voices blend beautifully. They both bring original material to the mix, adding a new level of innovation and excitement to their already stellar musicianship. The fiddle & banjo workshops are each $30 and will run from 12:30-2:30 p.m.; the jamming workshop is $20 and will run from 3-5 p.m. The workshops are best suited for advanced beginners thru intermediate players. Registration for these workshops should be made with Maria Nadauld by calling (510) 582-2797 or emailing at The house concert starts at 7:30 p.m., and reservations should be made with John Hettinger at (916) 990-0719, or Refreshments will be served. The suggested donation is $15.

Grass Menagerie is back -- See The Grass Menagerie play at The Old Stan in Sonora on the 19th from 7:30-10 p.m.

Turn your radio on! -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 19th from 6:30-8 p.m. The theme for this show will be Welcome to the Left Coast. Fiddler Blaine Sprouse recently moved to California, so it seems like a good time for an overview of his music with Bill Monroe, The Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, The Dreadful Snakes, Hazel Dickens, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Cluster Pluckers, Mike Compton & David Grier, and several of his solo releases. The program will be repeated on WAMU's Bluegrass Country during the week of May 3rd-9th.

New jam in Pleasant Hill -- On the 20th the first jam will take place at Smokin' Okies in Pleasant Hill, a nice little BBQ restaurant that has agreed to host a monthly bluegrass jam from 6:30-9 p.m. This is a very family-friendly neighborhood restaurant that serves good barbeque (and it serves beer & wine) and has occasional acoustic entertainment on the weekends. Contra Costa County VP Bob Schwartz is your host.

Jammin’ in Sutter Creek -- On the 20th the old-time/Celtic jam session will be happening at Backroads Coffee House, 74 Main Street, in Sutter Creek from 1-5 p.m.

Grass crepes in Santa Cruz -- Deep Elem will be pickin’ some bluegrass on the 20th starting at 4 p.m. at the Crepe Place on Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz. The<
Posted:  4/21/2008

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