Author: Carlin, Larry

May 16, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008

Have you been stimulated yet? Rumor has it that an “economic stimulus package” may be soon arriving in the mail in the form of a check from the US government. Are you at a loss as to what to do with this sudden influx of cash? Here are some suggestions for you in case you want to put the money to good use. Below are two worthwhile bluegrass benefits that you can contribute to. Please consider helping others in their time of need.

Bluegrass Benefit Concert for the Pixton Family -- On the 17th at 5 p.m. there will be a benefit concert for the Pixton Family of Alameda that has been hit hard by cancer. In the past four years three members of this family, baby Porter (age 4), Jim (dad), and Jen (mom) have all been diagnosed with cancer. Jen has just finished her treatments and now it is time to celebrate and help raise some much needed funds for this self-employed family of six to help them pay for medical expenses. The bluegrass bands Dark Hollow, The Backyard Party Boys, The Kentucky Twisters and The Bay Island Ramblers will play. The location is Michaan's Auctions by the Bay Theatre, 2700 Saratoga Street in Alameda.

Racing for a Cure -- In August of 2003 Bay Area bluegrass picker Patti Garber (of the bluegrass band Grizzly Peak) was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, cancer of the plasma cell in the bone marrow, so over the past five years, she and her husband Ted have been learning about the disease first-hand. Patti has committed to supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by participating in Team in Training, a four-month endurance building and fundraising program, and she will participate in the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 19th. She has a goal to raise over $3000 for research to find a cure for all blood related cancers. Please support her in this valiant effort by contributing generously to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by going here.

Twisters in Alameda -- In Alameda tonight at 8 p.m. check out the East Bay ensemble known as The Kentucky Twisters when they share the bill with Sunnyland at McGrath’s Pub.

Bluegrass Bonanza -- String Break and The Lone Mountain Sisters (an act which, in an unusual twist, includes two real sisters!) will be playing the Bluegrass Bonanza series on the 16th at the Plough and Stars in San Francisco.

Stairwells CD release -- The Stairwell Sisters have a new recording titled Get Off Your Money and they will be having their official CD release party tonight at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley at 8 p.m.

Kicking grass in Fresno -- The GrassKickers are back at The Patio Cafe on the 16th from 7-9 p.m. It may be warm outside, so go have a nice cold drink and cool off and listen to some hot bluegrass pickin’.

Kitchen pickin’ -- The Kitchen Help Bluegrass Band will be servin’ up some old fashioned bluegrass on the 16th from 6:30-9 p.m. at Bob’s Courthouse Café, 2198 Broadway Street, in Redwood City.

Lonesome Boys CD release -- Peter Feldman & The Very Lonesome Boys will be having a CD release party on the 16th at the Santa Ynez Valley Grange Hall. The fun begins at 8 p.m. and the CD is titled Home on the Grange.

Western Days in Temecula -- The Old Town Temecula Western Days will be happening on the 17th and 18th, featuring music, stagecoach and pony rides, chili cook off, and lots more.

Kleptograss in Petaluma -- Eric Thompson’s Kleptograss, with special guest David Nelson on guitar, will be playing on the 17th at the Petaluma Church Concert Series. Also in the band are Paul Shelasky on fiddle, Jody Stecher on banjo and Paul Knight on bass. The concert is at the First Church of Christ Scientist, 522 B Street. All ages are welcome.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 17th from 6:30-8 p.m. for his Gearin’ up for Grass Valley musical preview. Hear songs by The Dan Tyminski Band, Blue Highway, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Grasstowne, Bradley Walker, The Doerfel Family, The BladeRunners, Sidesaddle & Co., Diana Donnelly & The Yes Ma'ams, Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys and more.

Ramblin’ in Groveland -- The legendary Ramblin’ Jack Elliott will be playing at the Iron Door Saloon in Groveland on the 17th. What a great way to get tuned up for the Strawberry Music Festival next weekend!

Crows in SF -- The Mighty Crows will be performing some smokin’ bluegrass on the 17th at the Riptide out by the ocean starting at 9 p.m.

Jammin’ in Pleasant Hill -- On the 18th the second 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 5:30-9 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 normally your host, but this month Bruce Campbell will be leading the pack.

Topanga fiddle and banjo contest -- Everybody is headed for the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills (in the Santa Monica Mountains) on the 18th for the 48th Annual Topanga Banjo/Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival. The Stairwells will be performing there as well as many other fine acts. Peter Feldman will receive the festival's Music Legend Award.

Jammin’ in SLO -- On the third Sunday of every month there is a bluegrass jam at the Utopia Bakery, 2900 Broad Street in San Luis Obispo, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. So head on over there on the 18th. Your host is Roger Siminoff. All are welcome. For info email Roger at

Jammin’ in Gardena -- Another third Sunday jam takes place at the Bible Baptist Church, 1919 Marine Avenue, in Gardena, from 1-4 p.m. For more info call Glen Mason at (310) 643-5206.

Jammin’ in Arroyo Grande -- On the 18th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. there is a jam at the SLO Down Pub, 1200 E. Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande. Qualifications for attendance are that you must love bluegrass, old-time, country, folk and whatever, and you can either pick or just listen. Bring your voice, your friends, a banjo, guitar, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, bass or harmonica. No electric or percussion instruments, please.

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 wh
Posted:  5/19/2008

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