cba header

The CBA Online Tickets Hooked on Bluegrass CBA Music Camp
California Bands Our Events Volunteer Join/Renew
Kids Lending Library 2015 Festivals Bluegrass Breakdown Fathers Day Video
Message Board President's Message Old-Time Rambler CBA Youth Programs

  • Tonight
  • NEWS
  • Mandolin Cafe and Frank
  • Listen
  • Regional Newsletters
  • Archive of Past News Stories
  • MOLD News
  • Download Bluegrass Breakdown
  •   Membership:

    If you're not a member,
    click here to join.

    Hits since 11PM MT

    Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin

    Editor's note: MOLD Man, whose columns usually appear here on Mondays and Wednesdays, has been missing in action for a couple of weeks, and no one seems to know or care where he is. There is even a posting on the Message Board asking as to his whereabouts, but there have been no replies. In the meantime, here is an edited version of Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin's always incisive and informative entry from last week

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

    “Cheaters never prosper.” This is an old English saying that comes from the phrase “Dishonest efforts will not bring real success” from the early 19th century. But as everyone knows, here in the early 21st century, someone has to win the upcoming Super Bowl football match on February 1st, and whichever team does, the coach will certainly prosper in ways that most of us can only dream about. With there being no real football news to satisfy Joe and Josephine Sportsfan until the big game, the media folks are apoplectic about possible cheating with the so-called "Deflategate" scandal that is making headlines. In reality, just about everyone cheats in some form or another, whether it is on their inflated resumes, on their income taxes, with their spouses, by speeding while driving on the highway, etc. This “Deflategate” is just another weapon of mass distraction to get your mind off issues that really matter, and to also gin up interest in the game itself. It is just another football game where corporations spend millions of dollars to put on commercials with the hope that you will be talking about them days after the event itself. My advice? Turn off the idiot box (permanently!) and get together with some friends to either watch or play some music. Your lives will be much richer by doing this instead of watching some game that will have zero effect on your life. Unless, of course, you are a wager-placing fan…

    Making money with bluegrass? Gosh, what a novel concept! Apparently the IBMA World of Bluegrass gathering this past October in Raleigh, NC, was a very profitable experience not only for here.the city of Raleigh, but for the IBMA itself. Read the details

    Rock of ages. At age 87, Dr. Ralph (no last name needed here) is still putting out new recordings. This is from Rolling Stone: “Ralph Stanley, whose latest album, Ralph Stanley and Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow, was released this week through Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores. The 13-track disc, co-produced by Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller, features guest appearances from an impressive array of Stanley's many musical disciples, including Dierks Bentley, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Ann Womack and Josh Turner.”

    Wanted: Photos of JD. Ted Kuster, the indefatigable CBA San Francisco VP and driving force behind the JD’s Bluegrass Kitchen cookbook project, needs some photos of CBA Bluegrass Ambassador JD Rhynes to go along with the recipes and songs in the book. If you have any that you can contribute, please contact Ted at

    Gambling on bluegrass in Reno. Cindy Gray and the Mountain Music Parlor have established quite the thriving bluegrass scene in Reno, NV. Read all about it in Bluegrass Today.

    Life’s railway to heaven. Dixie Hall, the beloved and prolific bluegrass songwriter (as well as wife of 46-years to Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall), died on the 15th at age 80 after a lengthy illness. She wrote over 500 songs in a songwriting career that did not begin until her later years. Julia Mainer, wife and musical partner of renowned old-time country music artist Wade Mainer, went to that big jam in the sky on the 21st at age 95 after sustaining injuries in a fall. Dallas Taylor, the drummer that played on the first Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young albums, died recently at age 66 of unknown causes.

    Tough old gals. Check out this nice story from the Huffington Post titled 15 Badass Art World Heroines Over 70 Years Old that haven’t let age slow them down one bit.

    Jimi does Dylan. Back in the halcyon daze of yesteryear, if you ever wondered how incredible rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix ever came up with his unique version of Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” wonder no more. Read this story behind the recording.

    The times they are a changing… Speaking of old Bob, he has a new album out of American standards, and did he give his first interview about it to Rolling Stone? How about the New York Times? Billboard Magazine? No, no and no. He knows the age of his fans, and where the money is, so he gave the interview to – are you ready for this? – AARP The Magazine! That’s right. He is 73-years-old now, and so are most of his fans…

    Just for the heck of it. The All Girl Boys – perhaps the greatest name ever for an all-female bluegrass band (that was also from the Bay Area) – singing “Climbing Up the Mountain” and two other songs that you should listen to here.

    Plucking the strings. Want to see something fascinating? Check out what happened here when an enterprising picker decided to place his iPhone camera inside of his acoustic guitar. Pretty dang cool!

    Music for free. Performers, songwriters and studio musicians are having a heck of time making money anymore in the ever-evolving music business due to new rules and technological improvements. And Gillian Welch has something to say/sing about it in her song “Everything is Free” which you can watch her sing, uh, for free, here.

    Music calendars. There are a handful of shows listed in this column today, but if you want to find out what kind of music is going on in your area, as stated above, look at Peter Thompson’s calendar or also check out the CBA or the Northern California Bluegrass Society event

    Coming attractions. The Keith Little Band will be headlining the Redwood Bluegrass Associates show in Mountain View on February 7th. The annual Sweethearts of the Radio show at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station will take place on February 14th with Ron Thomason & Heidi Clare, The Blue Diamond Strings, and more. It will be Adkins and Loudermilk playing A Night at the Grange in Morgan Hill on February 28th. The Del McCoury Band will be playing two separate shows on February 28th at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Bluegrass on the River in Lake Havasu, AZ, on March 6th-8th, will feature Blue Highway, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, The Spinney Brothers, Larry Efaw & the Bluegrass Mountaineers, Karl Shiflett & Big Country, Adkins & Loudermilk, and more. The 14th Annual Sonoma Folk and Bluegrass Festival in Sebastopol is scheduled for March 14th. Don’t miss The Claire Lynch Band on March 14th at the Redwood Bluegrass Associates. WinterWonderGrass in Squaw Valley on March 20th-22nd will have The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Brothers Comatose, Front Country, The T Sisters, and more. The Cloverdale Old-Time Fiddle Contest will be held on April 11th. The final Redwood Bluegrass Associates of the season will feature Crary, Evans and Spurgin April 11th. Go to all of the links for complete info listings. Also, buy a Sunday SF Chronicle and hold on to the Pink Section all week.

    The view from Nashvegas. On Fridays a popular regular feature in this column are the CD reviews and commentaries by Randy Pitts, the man in the know in Music City USA, a.k.a. Nashville. Here is a recommendation on an up and coming artist as well as a CD review.

    “I’ve been telling you for some time now about Trey Hensley, and now you can read all about him in The Nashville Scene.”

    Randog's Daily Pick 1/22/2015
    Janet Miller A Younger Place
    T-Kat CD

    Janet's father, James Miller, and her uncles, were The Miller Brothers, and her brother Wes is a longtime stalwart of the Indiana bluegrass and country scenes; her late brother Joel was also a talented bluegrasser. I was lucky to hear Janet and Joel sing together a couple of times, and they had that special sibling harmony thing that turns up in bluegrass families. So it's no surprise that Janet is a talented musician in her own right – it courses through her veins. But for whatever reason, she's never seriously pursued a full-time musical career, or even recorded much – she was busy raising a family and making a living (she has a grown son in the Army, difficult as that is to believe) until now. This debut album shows her to be quite an extraordinary talent, both as a vocalist and especially as an inventive and imaginative songwriter. There are fourteen Janet Miller originals here, all delivered in her winsome, affecting voice, ably backed by longtime Ohio Valley bluegrass favorites The Whitaker Brothers, accompanied on some cuts by onetime Blue Grass Boy and Osborne Brothers band member Dana Cupp. I first heard of Janet via a song her brother Wes recorded, entitled – I think – "It Hurts More to Stay," one of the really good songs she's written. It isn't here, but there are plenty more where that one came from, including "Lost In You," "Now I Know What I Needed," "He Left Her Wanting More," "Dark, Lonely Nights," "I'm Saving My Dances," and lest you think she can't get down when she wants, there's "Bluegrass Pickin' Man." There's also a moving gospel original entitled "He's Shown Me a Better Way." She has also written one of the best songs about a dog that I haven’t heard in a long time, which isn't here, and I can't remember the name...but the woman can write and sing. For my bluegrass musician friends who are looking for material, I strongly suggest you look here...other people already are.

    Comments, questions, quips and tips? Send an email to For more info than you need to know about Friday MOLD columnist Larry Carlin, go to his Carltone web site. Missed a Friday MOLD? Don’t fret, just click here to read past columns.


    Our Welcome Columnists
    Welcome Column Archive
      A Sound for the Ages
    Today’s column from Bruce Campbell
    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Not too long ago, Ted Lehmann wrote about the difficulty and improbability of a band developing a signature sound, and what he says is true - regardless of the musical genre. Anyone that goes to bluegrass festivals can tell you, there are an awful lot of great pickers and singers out there. But there are only a handful of musicians whose sound is so distinctive that it is instantly recognizable.

    These rare talents are so distinctive, they often have long influential careers, with a variety of sidemen. Jimmy Martin, Bill Monroe, and Ralph Stanley, for example, played with dozens and dozens of sidemen over the years, but whatever band they were in bore their names - and for good reason. The core might be a duo, like Jim and Jesse, or Flatt and Scruggs, but with these names at the top of the marquee, an audience will know they will hear something they can’t hear anywhere else.

    The recent passing of Bill Yates reminded me that sometimes, whole bands can take on a sound

    A Night at the Grange
    Sonoma Festival
    Spring Camp Out
    Bluegrass Venues
    Post an Event
    CBA Board Meetings
    Calendar of CBA Events

       2426 Events Currently Posted!

    Friends visiting at Grass Valley in 2010

    Photo Gallery
    Video Clips Gallery



    AAA--2012 Printable Ballot
    Address Change
    Airplay Report -The BG CD's Being Played...
    Almost Daily News
    Area Activities VP's
    Area Vice Presidents
    Articles of Incorporation
    Band Selection Procedure
    Bands Who've Played GV
    BB Download Username and Password
    Bluegrass Breakdown
    Bluegrass on the Tube
    Board Meeting Calendar
    Board Minutes
    Board of Directors
    Board, Running for It
    Breakdown Download
    Breakdown Editor
    Breakdown Tidbits
    Buy Web Site Ad Space
    By-Laws of the Association
    CA Showcase Band Selection
    California Bands
    California Bluegrass History
    Candidates' Statements
    CBA Articles of Incorporation
    CBA Business Office
    CBA By-Laws
    CBA Events
    CBA Officers
    CBA's IBMA Showcase Schedule
    CD Reviews
    Change your address
    Complain to Darby
    Contact Us
    Coordinators/Volunteer Staff
    Daily Welcomes....Best of
    Darrell Johnston Lending Library
    Data Base of all FDF Line-Ups
    Delta-Sierra Newsletter (Schneiderman's)
    Download Breakdown
    Election--How to Enter
    Event Tickets
    FDF Full Hook-Up Lottery Process
    FDF Panoramic Photos
    FDF--Help with Publicity
    Financial Report
    Financial Report 2007
    Grass Valley Festival
    Heritage Fund
    Hooked on Bluegrass
    Instrument Lending Library
    Jam Rules
    JD's Kitchen
    Joe Weed Video
    Join the CBA
    Kids Lending Library
    Learners Page
    Looking Back on California Bluegrass
    Meeting Synopses
    Member Giving
    Membership Renewal
    Message Board
    Minutes of Board Meetings
    Music Camp
    Music Camp
    Music Teachers
    North Coast Newsletter (Carlin's)
    Northern CA Bluegrass Society
    Old-Time Rambler
    Online Tickets
    Operations Director
    Our Events
    Panoramic Photos of FDF
    Past FDF Line-Ups
    PDF Version of Breakdown
    Photo Gallery
    Photo Gallery--Kids on Bluegrass
    Post an Event on Our Calendar
    President's Message
    Profiles of Bands
    Promotional FDF Video
    Rates--Breakdown Ads
    Rates--Web Site Ad
    Recorded Music
    Regional Activities VP's
    Regional News
    Renew Your Membership
    Renew Your Membership
    Rules for Jamming
    Running for the Board
    Sacramento Newsletter (Hettinger's)
    Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival
    Studio Insider with Joe Weed
    Submit a CD for Review
    Submit an MP3
    Submit Band Profile
    Submit News
    Submit Photos to Gallery
    Suggestion Box
    Ted Irvin Kids on Bluegrass Fund
    Terms of Ticket Sales for CBA Events
    Ticket Sales for CBA Events--Terms
    Vendor Information
    Video of the FDF
    Volunteer for the Web Team
    Volunteers--Unsung Heroes
    Web Sponsorship Information
    Write Us
    Youth Academy
    Youth Academy Registration
    Youth Program Donations

    Copyright © 2002 - 2010 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
    Comments? Questions? Please email