Author: Carlin, Larry

May 14, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Self-promotion -- As a promoter of bluegrass shows, I am often frustrated by the lack of work that bands do to promote their own gigs. Sometimes the reason is laziness, sometimes it is due to snobbery (longtime players may feel that they have already ďbeen there and done thatĒ), and sometimes it is due to inexperience. Well, if your band falls into any of these three categories, and you just canít understand why people donít come out to see you play, music marketer David Hooper has written a helpful set of guidelines to assist you in promoting your band. Read, print out and start using his Top Ten Ways to Get More People to Your Next Gig list. It is a win/win situation on all counts. More people come to see you play, you make more money, the venue sees that bluegrass can be successful, and the promoter gets more opportunities to put on shows. Hooper also has a book titled How I Make $100,000/year in the Music Business (Without a Record Label, Manager, or Booking Agent). Thanks to IBMA member Archie Warnock for this tip.

Strawberry fields -- Were you bummed that you did not buy your Strawberry Music Festival tickets in time before the Memorial Day Weekend Festival sold out? Well, cheer up, because as predicted here, tickets are now starting to become available on the Ticket Exchange board. Simply go to the site, register, and peruse the list. More and more tickets will be for sale from now until the fest starts on the 22nd. See Cadillac Sky, Mountain Laurel, South Austin Jug Band, Tony Furtado, Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, Carlene Carter, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Tim O'Brien, Emmylou Harris, Peter Rowan & the Free Mexican Air Force, and lots more.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Diana Donnelly & The Yes Maíams will be entertaining you with bluegrass and vintage country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Samís in San Jose tonight from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

Jamminí 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.

Jam changes in San Jose -- The new jam in the South Bay has changed days and location. Instead of Thursdays at Mountain Mikeís Pizza in San Jose, it is now the first and third Wednesday of the month at Round Table Pizza on the corner of Union and Camden. For more info please contact Fiddliní Steve Pexton at

Bluegrass & Beyond Breast Cancer Benefit -- Here is your chance to go out and see some great music and support a worthwhile cause at the same time. On the 15th at the El Rio in SF from 5-9 p.m. you can see Jeanie & Chuckís Country Roundup, Gayle Lynn & the Hired Hands, Las Bomberas de la Bahia and Devilís Slide. $10 suggested donation with all proceeds going to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Jam changes in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the jam at the El Toro Brewing Company has now moved from the first/third/fifth Wednesdays to every Thursday from 6-10 p.m. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 782-2739 or

Swinginí cats in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe in San Francisco presents the best in live bluegrass, old-time music and Western swing every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. Tomorrow you can see The Saddle Cats playing the latter. No cover charge.

Pickiní 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.

Jamminí in Berkeley -- Thursday night is beginners jam night at the 5th String Music Store, 3051 Adeline Street, in Berkeley, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Jamminí in Encinitas -- On Thursdays everyone goes to Todayís Pizza, 481 Santa Fe Drive, in Encinitas, for a night of pizza, pickiní, and grinniní. This is an excellent jam for those closet pickers wishing to learn to play bluegrass with others. The time is 6:30-9 p.m. For more info email Jason at

Poor Manís Whiskey in Berkeley -- The Sonoma County band Poor Manís Whiskey fuses the bluegrass tradition with thick vocal harmonies and improvisational jams, and you can see them play at the Starry Plough in Berkeley on the 15th starting at 9 p.m.

Jamminí in Sacto -- Every Thursday evening, from 7-10 p.m., there is a jam at The Fifth String Music Store, located at Alhambra & J Streets in Sacramento.

Orrin Star reminder -- Renowned picker and teacher Orrin Star is in Northern California this week and next for a series of workshops and concerts. Go to his site for complete details or go here when they were posted in the May 12th edition of The Almost Daily News.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- ďA person who canít lead and wonít follow makes a dandy roadblock.Ē

Posted:  5/16/2008

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