Author: Carlin, Larry

June 11, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Breakfest. Since most everyone is either now in or headed to Grass Valley for the CBA’s 33rd Annual Father’s Day Festival, at the Live Oak Festival in Santa Barbara or the The Huck Finn Jubilee in Victorville this week, the Almost Daily News will not appear again until Monday the 16th. That is, if we’ve recovered by then. In the meantime, for those of you that can’t get away, condolences are in order as well as a list of some events you can go to closer to home.

Caveat Jammer -- Some regular jams are listed below, but please check with the contacts at each one to make sure that they are indeed still happening over this busiest of musical weekends.

Still crooked after all these years -- If you cannot make it to Grass Valley, then the next best thing is to go to the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley on the 11th to see Crooked Still. This exciting band draws from bluegrass and old-time, cranking out driving rhythms, spooky melodies, and soaring vocals. They will also be playing at 5 p.m. at the Mountain Stage in Groveland on the 14th.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- There is a bluegrass jam on the second and fourth Thursdays 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 Gene at

The Martians have landed 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. Full bar and no cover.

Jammin’ in Encinitas -- On Thursdays everyone heads to Today’s Pizza, 481 Santa Fe Drive, in Encinitas, for a night of pizza, pickin’, and grinnin’. 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

Drifts in Santa Barbara -- Not snow drifts, which we could all use about now, but The Cache Valley Drifters, who will be appearing on the 12th at the Cold Spring Tavern in Santa Barbara at 6:30 p.m. Bill Griffin, Wally Barnick and Mike Mullins deliver great music in a wonderful setting.

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

Old-time in San Francisco -- The Atlas Cafe in SF’s Mission District presents the best in live bluegrass and old-time music every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. and there is never a cover charge. On the 12th get squirrelly with The Squirrelly Stringband.

The Brothers Gibson in Culver City -- The Gibson Brothers will be making a rare SoCal appearance on the 13th at Boulevard Music starting at 8 p.m.

Grasstowne in the Valley -- The Ripon Community Atheletic Foundation (near Manteca) will be presenting a concert with Grasstowne on the 13th beginning at 8 p.m.

Old-time is not a crime! -- Even when Marin County’s premiere (and only) old-time band, The Roadoilers, take the stage. On the 14th the band is pleased to be playing at the Beringer Vineyards, 2000 Main Street, in St. Helena from noon until 5 p.m. Then on the 15th the guys will be opening the show at noon at the Fairfax Festival in downtown Fairfax. This is a free event with an eclectic mix of music being offered all day. Tie-dye optional.

Turn your radio on -- Tune into Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal radio show on KALW (91.7 FM) in SF on the 14th from 6:30-8 p.m. The theme for this show is Double Your Pleasure with guest co-host Todd Gracyk, who will present the music of Skip Gorman, Monroe-style mandolinist, versatile fiddler, and cowboy singer from New Hampshire, plus Jim & Kim Lansford, old-time musicians from the Missouri Ozarks.

The Freight at 40 -- The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley kicks off its 40th anniversary season on the 14th. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Phil Marsh hosts the evening's festivities which features Phil along with Hank Bradley, Brian Voorheis, Richard Saunders, Will Scarlett and Gary Salzman, and all of the members of the Cleanliness & Godliness Skiffle Band, the group that performed on opening night at the Freight back in the summer of 1968.

Triple bill in SF -- Shelby Ash Presents will be hosting The Wilders, The Squirrelly Stringband and special guest John McKelvy (formerly of the Earl Brothers) at the Swedish American Hall (above Cafe du Nord) on the 14th starting at 8 p.m.

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 15th. 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.

Jazz grass -- Famed fiddler Laurie Lewis and mandolinist Tom Rozum will be playing a concert with their friend and excellent jazz guitarist Mike Wollenberg on the 15th at 4 p.m. at the historic Bellevue Club on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Billed as a Father's Day Event, they'll be yodeling and singing some jazz standards, along with their usual fare, because that's what Laurie’s Dad wants to hear. Well, it is Dad’s Day…

Jammin’ in Arroyo Grande -- On the third Sunday of every month 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.

Jammin’ in Pleasant Hill -- From 5-8 p.m. on the 15th a jam will take place at Smokin' Okies, a BBQ restaurant in Pleasant Hill. 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.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “There comes a time when you have to face the fact that Dad has forgotten how to do algebra.”src=>
Posted:  6/16/2008

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