Author: Carlin, Larry

May 27, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Strawberry soup -- The Strawberry Mucksic Festival was quite the wet event over the holiday weekend. In all of my years of attending I had not experienced so much rain, cold and mud since my first fest in 1990. However, despite the weather it was a good time, and the bluegrass (and related) bands on the bill really did the music proud. Mountain Laurel, Ricky Skaggs, South Austin Jug Band, Cadillac Sky all put on fine shows. Laurie Lewis had no voice due to a bad cold, but band members Tom Rozum and Scott Huffman stepped up and got to sing more than usual. And while former Blue Grass Boy Peter Rowan played an electric show, he has always been a favorite. If this festival was your first one, please don’t be turned off by the unusual weather. Next time go to the late summer event and you won’t have to face the elements again. Tickets are almost gone, so go to the site now.

Life’s railway to heaven -- Legendary folk singer U. Utah Phillips passed away on the 23rd from congestive heart failure in Nevada City. He was 73. You can read his obit
here in the SF Chronicle.

A man and his banjo -- On KQED (Channel 9 in the SF area) tonight you can watch the recent documentary titled Pete Seeger: The Power of Song at 9 p.m. Here is a description of the film: “This first authorized film poetically documents Seeger's unique experience and contributions. The man who introduced America to its own folk heritage, he got a whole generation passionate about playing the guitar and picking the banjo, got them singing together and using music as a force for social change. He deeply believes in the power of song and is convinced that individuals can make a difference. Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the US government, for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist - banned from commercial television for more than 17 years. Now almost 90-years old, his inspiring, but not always easy, story is told by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks and through a remarkable historical archive – a history that Seeger himself helped create.”

Jammin’ in Loomis -- Every Tuesday evening from 6-9 p.m. you are invited to join the jam at the Wild Chicken Coffee House on Taylor Road in Loomis.

Felton Air Force -- Peter Rowan & The Free Mexican Air Force will be landing at Don Quixote’s in Felton tonight starting at 7:30 p.m.

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 28th it will be The David Thom Band playing smokin’ bluegrass, with former original members Paul Knight on bass and Jonathan Schiele on banjo sittin' in.

Jammin’ 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 on the 28th. For more info call Bill at (805) 736-8241.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Diana Donnelly & The Yes Ma’ams will be entertaining you with bluegrass and vintage country songs to go along with the spicy barbeque at Sam’s in San Jose on the 28th from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

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

Martian sightings in Santa Barbara -- See the Salt Martians play bluegrass every Thursday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for happy hour at the Tupelo Junction Cafe, 1218 State Street, in Santa Barbara. Call (805) 899-3100 for dinner reservations. No cover.

Pickin’ 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.

Jammin’ 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 29th you can pick at the fifth Thursday bluegrass jam, now in its 10th year.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “A guilty conscience needs no accuser.”
Posted:  5/30/2008

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