Bakersfield Report News
Bakersfield Report
Our apologies for being a little late with this edition of the Bakersfield report but begging your indulgence, there is an explanation.
On September 7, my wife, Winette and I embarked on our 3rd annual motorhome trip across the country with the ultimate destination Nashville, TN and the IBMA where I show my mandolins in the trade show there. We call it the annual "Bugs Across America" tour and those of you with motorhomes or such RVs will understand that title if you've ever travelled any distance. This was the best trip yet with lots of sights along the way, including a couple of National Parks, Mall of America in Minneapolis and some other really nice surprises. We got to spend a whole weekend in Minneapoplis with friends, Hans and Maureen Brentrup. Hans is a "world class" mandolin builder who has transitioned into building parlor and concert style guitars that are real beauties as well as being acoustic powerhouses. We really enjoyed the visit and I was able to acquire some mandolin tonewood before we left. While traveling through Indiana I thought it might be nice to go by Beanblossom, (Bill MOnroe's historic festival grounds) when to my delightful surprise we discovered there was festival going on when we arrived. Nashville was also great although standing for several days on a concrete show floor can really play havoc on your body. One of the highlights of the trade show was being able to sell one of my latest "A" style mandolins.
The trip back home included a tour of the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro, KY where they had a wonderful display of Bill Monroe history and artifacts. We also got to sample some fine BBQ in Kansas City and Basque food in Boise, ID. My friend, Scott Tichenor (of Mandolin Cafe fame) took me to a place called Walter Bryant's which is one of the oldest locally owned Kansas City BBQ havens and was it ever larrupin'.
The rest of the return home was mainly about visiting with distant family and good friends until we ultimately returned to Bakersfield this past Saturday, October 23.
Now here is what Kelvin has to say:
Bluegrass News
The 2012 Bluegrass season is officially over. It has been a great season and the festivals just seem to be getting better and better in terms of the jams and the bands. I had so much fun this season and met and made many new friends. I thought that it could not have gotten any better after Grass Valley, but it did. The Plymouth Festival was epic and the Saturday night set by Larry Gillis and His Hard Driving Bluegrass Band was something to see. One friend of mine said
"I have never seen or experienced anything like that at a bluegrass festival".

My wife, Kathy and I made the trip back to Nashville for the IBMA this year and had a great time. We had never been back to that area and spent 11 days in bluegrass heaven. We visited the Ryman, Tootsies, Ernest Tubb Records, Gruen Guitar Shop, The Country Music Museum Hall of Fame and the IBMA gathering. Not knowing what to expect at the IBMA I was a bit disapointed as it is primarliy about the business of bluegrass. If you are a band looking to promote yourself, a manufacturer looking to sell product, or a promoter looking to book talent, this is the place to be. It was pretty cool though to see headline bands performing showcases in hotel rooms though. One highlight of the IBMA for me was the free Del McCoury concert held in the parking lot of the Ryman.

After leaving Nashville we headed over to to Rosine Kentucky for the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Festival. If you like traditional Bluegrass, this is the festival to go to. Held on the original homesite of Bill Monroe, this year's festival was a celebration of the 100 birthday of BIll Monroe and the line up was stellar. If you have watched the Cumberland Highlanders on RFD Network just about every band on the show was there along with a who's who of east coast Bluegrass musicians. For me it just could not have gotten any better. Or course one of the reasons for going was to see Ella Naimon perform with Larry Gilis. We met up with Tom and Janice Naimon, Ella's parents in Nashville and at Rosine and we all had a blast. I also saw and spoke with Thomas Wille of the Windy Hill band at the festival. So it was kind of cool to have a small group from Cali out there. Before leaving Rosine we went out and visited the Rosine Cemetary and played a tune at Bills grave.

Afer leaving Rosine we headed for Stanley Country and Dickson County in Virginia. It was neat as we drove to notice that we were at or driving through places of signifigance to a bluegrasser. Pike County (Pike County Breakdown) Clinch Mountain (Clinch Mountain Breakdown) Hills of Home Cemetary (Hills of Home) Jerusalem Ridge (Jerusalem Ridge) etc. We spent the next three days cruising around Virginia and enjoying the sights, sounds and culture of Coal Country. Made the trek to the Carter Family Fold only to find out that is was closed and only open on Saturday nights. We went to a barn dance in Norton Virgina (the locals who called us "younguns") where Kathy and I tried to "buckdance" . I don't think I have ever been treated so nice by the local people on a trip before. Most places we stopped at, people were real friendly and by our lack of accents people wanted to know where we where from and what we where doing back there. We avoided large citys and stayed in the small towns and really got a sense of the local flavor. It was truly a great trip and we made alot of memories.

Even though the Festival season is over there are still local jams to attend and few things going on so don't put your insturments away just yet.

“Great 48” Hour Jam

Heading into its 5th year, the “Great 48” Hour Jam will be held at the Doubletree hotel in Bakersfield on January 6-8, 2012. Bakersfield is just about the geographic as well as population center of California and probably the easiest location for Bluegrass enthusiasts from all parts of the state to gather, socialize and pick til their fingers bleed. The “Great 48”, California’s big indoor Bluegrass jam has proven to be a great way for pickers from Northern, Central and Southern California to make some terrific music together as well as join together in some great fun and Bluegrass camaraderie. Other than what happens on Thursday night, there are no paid performances and no cost of admission to either pickers or grinners. The event is casual and spontaneous and open to Bluegrass pickers of any skill level as well as those who just like to come and listen. Even though more and more accomplished musicians have been attending there have been ample opportunities for novice players to find a jam where they can fit in and enjoy playing music with others of similar musicianship levels.

With a humble beginning in 2008 and as a way to keep the spirit of the “SuperGrass” indoor Bluegrass festival alive, a group of Bluegrass jammers from the Gilroy area, under the auspices and approval of the California Bluegrass Association (CBA), met at the Holiday Inn in Bakersfield and invited pickers from anywhere else to join them. Attendance that first year was estimated to be about 65. A great time was had by all with spontaneous jamming throughout the day and night of that weekend and capped off with a band scramble Saturday evening.

Finding the event a great way to break the mid-winter Bluegrass doldrums, a head of steam developed to make it an annual affair and the following year (2009) it was moved to the DoubleTree hotel where attendance nearly doubled to around 120 attendees. That year was also marked by a Thursday night concert featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers as a charity fund raiser to benefit the Sheriffs Activities League sponsored by the East Bakersfield Kiwanis Club.

The 2010 event saw another quantum leap in attendance with participants (pickers as well as grinners) estimated to be around 250 enthusiastic Bluegrass lovers from all parts of California. Then, in 2011 as word continued to spread, attendance swelled to around 400 including local and regional day attendees. Tweaking of the event included having an entire wing of the hotel designated for our attendees only, and finding a show room with good acoustics and ambiance for our band scramble and open mic, as well as for any possible concerts that might occur. In 2011 an unsponsored kickoff concert featuring the Brombies was held on Thursday night for those that came early as well as for the locals.
The 2012 event promises to be bigger and better but retaining the same formula of spontaneity and, as usual, including the Saturday night band scramble and open mic...

For Thursday night (January 5), the Oildale Kiwanis Club is partnering with the CBA in hosting a four band Bluegrass showcase. The Kiwanis Club will be utilizing the event as a fund raising effort to benefit the local Lymphoma-Leukemia Society and they promise to make the evening quite festive with lots of door prizes being awarded including a cruise to Mexico for two. The band showcase or “Great 48 Hour Showcase Showdown,” is an opportunity for bands from all over the state to perform at a CBA sanctioned event, and at least four of them will be featuring their talents, with the winner going on to perform at least one FDF set in 2013.

For fast reservations call: 1-800-TREE (8733) Give name of group: BLUEGRASS JAM or use code: C-CBS (and dates of your stay). You may also book online by visiting the California Bluegrass Association website: and clicking the online booking link associated with “48 Hour Jam” or “Great 48”. Use group code: C-CBS and group name: California Bluegrass Association when making your online room reservations.

Reservations must be made no later than Friday, December 2, 2011.

For more information please contact Kelvin Gregory: ; 661-428-7044 or Craig Wilson: ; 661-589-8249

This just in from Eric
Slideways will be at Kern River Brewing Company....winner of a recent gold medal for their Citra IPA. Let's try that one, and all the other beers...over and over, while enjoying the grooves and jams of SLIDEWAYS.
Dates are:
Friday, October 28, 7:30 pm
Full strength, with Ms. Joan on the bass and lovely vocals, Tom, Keith and Eric as they were.

Friday, November 4, 7:32 pm
With special guest, guitar groovictator, vocalist and local hero, Mitchell Gordon!! (Tom, Keith and Eric).

Friday, November 18, 7:34 pm
Joan's back, in case you missed her in October. This probably will be our last date of the year as our out of town pickers/singers will be busy with their families for the holidays....let's make the most of it. Both Joan and Tom drive about a hundred miles each to Bakersfied, then on to Kernville. There must be something fun about the experience that makes it all worthwile. Come up and see what its all about.

Also....all their farewell debut.........for one show only.....until the reunion tour:
The Grassaholics
with: Joe Ash (guitar), Shaun Criswell (banjo), Kelvin Gregory (mandolin), Eric Hershkowitz (dobro) and Brian (upright bass).
For an afternoon of "Solid" Bluegrass
Saturday, November 5 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm (or so).
AT: Guthrie's Alleycat, 1515 Wall Street Alley, Bakersfield
No dogs for sale from the AlleyCart....that be cats and dogs I guess!

Hope to see you at one of these...closing out the year with some real pickin'

So there you go there you go and I hope to see everyone soon.



Jan 6 - 8 Great 48 Hour Jam Double Tree Hotel in BAkersfield Ca. for more informatin contact Kelvin Gregory 661-428-7044 or Craig Wilson 661-589-8249

Jam Information

The third tuesday of each month. 4101 Patton (across the street from Lortz). For information call Tim Harris 661-428-6326

The first monday of each month. Rusty's Pizza 5430 Olice Drive (in the vons center) 6:00 - 9:00. Come on down a bring a couple of songs. Contact Kelvin Gregory 392-7973 home or 428-7044 cell.

Every Saturday. Dagney's Coffee Shop. The jam will start at 2:00 p.m. and run to 5:00 or so. Come on down for some coffee, stir in some music, and you get a good time. For more info on the Saturday Jam contact Jeff Russinsky @ 661-742-5434

Fresno Area
The first Sunday of each month there’s a new jam at the Madera Ranchos Café, 37193 Avenue 12 in Madera Ranchos from 3 to 5 p.m. This is a mostly old time and Celtic music jam. The 1st hour is a slow jam and then it’s full speed ahead. For more info contact Kelly O’Neill at 559-283-6093 or e-mail at
The first and third Saturday of each month in Clovis at the Clovis Senior Center, 850 Fourth St, Clovis from 7 to 11 p. m, cost is $1 a person for room use. More info: Kelly Broyles at 559-977-3598, e-mail:
Lemoore Acoustic Jam is every Friday evening at the Lemoore Senior Center on 18th Ave. next to the golf course south of 198, 6-9 P.M. Some country, some gospel, older music and some newer music. Potluck. Small donation at the door. Last Friday of the month is always gospel only. More info: Leon West, 559-734-7920.
Selma sports 'plug in' jams at the Selma Senior Center on Selma Street, on the east side of the park. McCall runs along the west side of the city park. 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 5-8 P.M. with snacks, drinks, dancing and line dancing. More info: Jim Winder at 559-287-5769, e-mail:
The 2nd and 4th Saturdays are acoustic jams at the Kingsburg Senior Center on Ellis St. 5-9 P.M. Potluck, dancing and line dancing. Music played is from older country to more current country, gospel. Same as with the other jams, all ages are encouraged to join in playing, singing and listening. More info: Bud Cartwright at 559-582-9155, email:
A new monthly bluegrass jam has been initiated at the Cellar Door, 101 W. Main Street in Visalia. The jams will take place from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm on the second Saturdays of each month. Great chance for good music and good food all in one spot!
Regular jam at the Senior Citizens Village, 1917 Chestnut Ave, Fresno… old time fiddle jam and dance from 7-10 p.m. every Saturday night. More info contact Lynda Emanuels, 924-1766, email:

Central Coast Area

Arroyo Grande
2nd Saturday 1 pm - 4 pm at Lightning Joe's Guitar Heaven in the village. A bluegrass, old time, original, country, newgrass Jelly (slightly less hectic than a Jam, no seeds, full of flavour) . We will explore tunes with an emphasis on working them up to speed,understanding the forms and allowing the players to find a space to shine. Plenty of stools but bring music stands. Go up the stairs to the left of Lightning Joe's.

3rd Sunday evening jams, 5:30 -- 8:30 PM at SLO Down Pub, 1200 E. Grand Ave. (at Brisco). Note that pickers and singers of all levels are welcome, as are grinners! Stop by early and have dinner at Ellie's Cafe. For more information, call 473-0102.

4th Sunday evening jams, 5:30 -- 8:30 PM, also at SLO Down Pub. Come early for dinner at Ellie's. All bluegrass fans are welcome, pickers and grinners alike. Note that these jams are geared to beginners. Books, music stands and handouts are all OK.

2nd Wednesday at Last Stage West (located on Hwy. 41 halfway between Atascadero and Morro Bay). 6 to 9 p.m. The first hour is easy slow jam with sheet music provided. The second hour can be a more advanced jam. The third hour is open mike.Last Stage West is . If you want to help Lloyd out with the evening call (805) 441-7463.

Paso Robles
Music friends...

I'm happy to announce a new bluegrass jam - initiated by Tennessee Jimmy Harrell - that begins on June 26th at The Pour House in Paso Robles.

Here are the details:

June 26th and the fourth Sunday of the month thereafter

The Pour House
1331 Vendals Circle
Paso Robles, CA

Begin Jamming at 3:00
Band scramble performances begin at 5:00
Probably end around 8:30-9:00

We're bringing back the old "hootenanny" format from the 1960s: Jam for an hour or so and pick some friends to perform with. Toss your name in the hat and you'll be invited on stage to perform three numbers (sort of a band scramble) for the audience. You can perform solo or with friends - your choice. (And, you can jam outside while folks are performing if you want to or are practicing before you performance.)

Who can come:
Anyone into bluegrass, old time country, folk, and country.

The Pour House is located on the east side of Rt 101, just north of the Rt 46 WEST exit, and is behind Firestone Brewery. Take Rt 46 WEST exit, go up EAST side service road, past Firestone Brewery, and make a right.

About The Pour House:
The Pour House features fresh micro brews on tap, bottle beers (domestic and imports), and wine.

Jimmy Harrell, 805.674.7585
Roger Siminoff, 805.365.7111

Hope to see you there...

Roger Siminoff - California Bluegrass Assoc. | 805.365.7111
VP, Central Coast Bluegrass music events |
Posted By:  Craig Wilson, So. San Joaquin Valley Activities VP

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