Author: Carlin, Larry

May 21, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Heading for the hills. By the time you read this I will either be en route or I will have arrived at the Strawberry Music Festival at Camp Mather just outside of Yosemite, where I will be until Monday. I have been going there since 1991, and it is always a great time. In its early days it was called the “Strawberry Bluegrass Festival,” but it is hardly a strictly bluegrass festival now, and it does not pretend to be. There are always some bluegrass bands on the bill along with singer/songwriters, blues, swing, country, and more. However, there is no web access at the festival, so the next column will not appear here again until the beginning of next week. (Unless I sneak off to the lodge to use one of their computers to give you some daily reports from the fest.) So there is more info than usual in this column at mid-week. If by chance you do make it up to the festival, stop by Camp Carltone to say hello or head on up to the mess hall some morning for the live Breakfast Show. Yours truly is the host wearing the bathrobe and pajamas. In the meantime, have a fun and safe Memorial Day Weekend, and don’t forget take some time to remember all of the brave men and women who have served their country…

Strawberry fields -- Speaking of Strawberry, if you have nothing to do this weekend there are plenty of tickets available on the Ticket Exchange board. Go to the site ASAP, register, and peruse the list. 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.

Bluegrass in Fairfax -- Music is brewing at the Iron Springs Pub & Brewery in Fairfax. Bands play on Wednesdays starting at 8 p.m. No cover, with great beer, food and music. On the 21st it will be the Paper Mill Creek Rounders, with David Nelson, Paul Shelasky, Paul Knight, Ed Neff and Banana.

Jammin’ in San Jose -- The new open jam in the South Bay has changed days and location. Instead of Thursdays at Mountain Mike’s 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 Fiddlin' Steve Pexton at

Doerfels in Lakeside -- Get a Father’s Day Festival sneak preview of the young talented band known as The Doerfel Family on the 22nd at 7 p.m. when they play Paul Wagner's Bluegrass House Concert, located at 12646 Willow Road in Lakeside. For info call Paul at (619) 938-9458 or (619) 206-2500, or email at

Bluegrass Buffet in Berkeley -- On the 22nd Shelby Ash Presents will be serving up a bluegrass buffet with The South Austin Jug Band and Bluegrass Revolution at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley.

Jammin’ 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.

Grizzlies in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe in San Francisco presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. On the 22nd you can see a rare appearance by Grizzly Peak. No cover charge.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- Join the bluegrass jam on Thursday the 22nd at Zoey’s Café, 451 E. Main Street, in Ventura from 6-9:30 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. Friendly folks, great food and drink, and fun pickin’. Spectators are appreciated. For more info, contact at

Skinny Earls -- The Starry Plough Bluegrass Night, hosted by Jacob Groopman, takes place once a month, and the next show is on the 22nd. The club is located in Berkeley. The Earl Brothers will be playing as well as releasing their new Moonshine CD. Also on the bill is a new old-time/bluegrass band from Berkeley called The Skinny. The show starts at 9 p.m. and has a $7 cover.

Jammin’ in Morgan Hill -- In Morgan Hill the jam at the El Toro Brewing Company now takes place every Thursday from 6-10 p.m. For info contact Dick Simunic at (408) 782-2739 or

Jammin’ 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.

Petaluma Air Force -- Peter Rowan & The Free Mexican Air Force and The South Austin Jug Band will be sharing the bill at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma on the 23rd starting at 8 p.m.

GrassKickers in Clovis -- On the 23rd at the Clovis Senior Center, located at 850 4th Street, the GrassKickers will be playing for the Bluegrass on the Lawn Series free evening concerts starting at 6 p.m.

Another Grass Valley preview -- Natural Drift will be playing on the 23rd from 7:30-10 p.m. at Hemalayas Restaurant in Cameron Park. No cover, just good food, friends and music. What else does one need?

Bluegrass in Sonoma -- At Murphy’s Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma on the 23rd at 8 p.m. enjoy the bluegrass sounds of The David Thom Band. Tasty food is available in a family-friendly atmosphere, and there is no cover.

Jammin’ in Sonora -- As usual on the fourth Friday of every month there will be a jam at the Old Stan in Sonora on the 23rd, so head on over at 7 p.m. This jam has no ending time so people are welcome to pick until they drop.

Acoustic music in Alameda -- In Alameda on the 23rd at 8 p.m. check out the duo from Colorado known as The Mitguards when they play at McGrath’s Pub. Then on the 24th see The Ray Bierl Trio.

Turn your radio on -- On Garrison Keillor's radio show A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday the 24th at 6 p.m. on KQED (88.5 FM) in the SF Bay Area you can hear Rhonda Vincent & The Rage. The show will be replayed on Sunday the 25th at 11 a.m. You can also listen to the show online.

Jammin’ in Sebastopol -- There will be pickin’ of gospel, bluegrass and old-time music as usual on the fourth Sunday up in Sebastopol on the 25th. It takes place from 2-5 p.m. at the Sebastopol Christian Church, 7433 Bodega Avenue, in Sebastopol. Bring acoustic instruments and your favorite gospel songs to sing. For info emai
Posted:  5/27/2008

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