Author: Carlin, Larry

June 18, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fabulous fest photos -- If you haven’t seen them yet, there are some samplings of Mike Melnyk’s and Ted Silverman’s Father’s Day Festival photos up on their web sites. Check them out. Excellent work by both!

Fire on the mountain -- Last week while many of us were in Grass Valley there was a fire in the area known as Bonny Dune in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Many folks know Eric Burman, the musician who has been producing the Brookdale Bluegrass Festivals for many years. What is not well known is that Eric lives in Bonny Dune. Fortunately, all turned out well for him, but it was a really close call. He said, “The fire came within 200 yards, and I watched the mountain burn across a canyon from the house. I had to leave when it got smoky, but the house and pets are all intact. It's amazing what you grab to pack when you think everything will burn soon. I took three guitars and a stand up bass.”

Moss Landing grass -- Every Wednesday night at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing from 6:30-8:30 p.m. you can experience live bluegrass. Tonight see Homefire play.

South Bay bluegrass barbeque -- Fresh off the main stage in Grass Valley, tonight you can enjoy Sidesaddle & Company and the spicy barbeque at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in San Jose from 6-9 p.m. Reserve a table at (408) 297-9151.

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 Fiddle’n Steve Pexton at

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. Tonight it will be Blue and Lonesome, with Mike Wilhoyte, Paul Shelasky, Jeff King, Ed Neff and Larry Cohea.

Hot show in Berkeley -- Bluegrass guitarist Scott Nygaard, virtuoso Celtic/old-time mandolinist Paul Kotapish, and Anonymous 4 vocalist Marsha Genensky join forces for some fine Appalachian ballads, mountain fiddle tunes, and old-time songs at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on the 19th.

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.

Carltone Music celebrates 15 years of producing shows -- On the 19th at 8 p.m. the next edition of the bluegrass series Bluegrass Gold will take place at Sweetwater Station in downtown Larkspur. At this show producer Carltone Music will be celebrating 15 years of producing shows at both Sweetwater locations (Mill Valley and Larkspur). For the first five and a half years it was the Local Gold singer/songwriter show, and for the last nine plus years it has been Bluegrass Gold. The featured act will be Marin’s own Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, Marin County's premiere bluegrass band. Three of the founding members have been playing together since 1991, making the band by far the longest running bluegrass ensemble in the county. The quintet mixes bluegrass classics and originals with folk and country songs, providing an entertaining and energetic show for audiences of all ages. Dr. Elmo, who is a real doctor, plays the banjo. Most people know him for his annual holiday hit “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” which has been the most popular Christmas song in the nation for the past 28 years, having sold over four million copies. But not too many know that he also is a fine five-string banjo picker that plays bluegrass the rest of the year. The other members of the band are John Pierson on guitar, Dana Rath on mandolin, and yours truly on bass. The normal band fiddler is Kenny Blacklock, but sittin’ in this night will be renowned Marin County country and bluegrass fiddler Doug Adamz.

Gibson Brothers in Bakersfield -- If you missed The Gibson Brothers at Huck Finn and Live Oak this past weekend, they will be performing at Fishlips in Bakersfield on the 19th starting at 9 p.m.

Jammin’ 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

Nell Robinson at the Atlas in SF -- 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 19th see Nell Robinson & Red Level play. The band is Nell Robinson, Jonathan Schiele, Jacob Groopman, Brian Judd and Joe Kenny sittin’ in on bass.

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.

Jammin’ in Ventura -- Join the bluegrass jam on Thursday the 19th 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

Jammin’ in Historic Folsom -- The Merchants’ Association of Historic Folsom sponsors a Thursday night market all summer long, and the bluegrass jam that took place there on the 5th was such a success that starting on the 19th it will happen every Thursday from 5-9 p.m. throughout the summer. The Interpretive Area will be open and everyone is invited. There are a number of food vendors at the market plus some good restaurants nearby. This is a great opportunity to introduce others to bluegrass music and the CBA. The Interpretive Area is located at the corner of Leidesdorff and Wool Streets. If you want to be guaranteed a chair, you should bring your own. Ample parking is available in surface lots or in the new parking structure.

B. Judd, Bluegrass Philosopher -- “Rather the bite of a friend than the kiss of an enemy.”
Posted:  6/20/2008

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