Valley Bluegrass Newsletter for the Northern San Joaquin Valley (and then some) News
Valley Bluegrass News
Valley Bluegrass Newsletter, April 2015
...and beyond

The official newsletter for the northern San Joaquin Valley (and then some)

Marc Alvira, California Bluegrass Association Area Activities V.P. 209-658-3852 /

Howdy Folks.

April is a busy, busy month. If nature weren’t busty enough doing her thing—you know, pushing up daisies and daffodils, budding out peaches and and almonds, etc.—Valley bands and venues are gearing up for a long season of festivals and shows. Perhaps the premier show to kick off the spring season is Aaron Rowan’s now annual MUMFest, a three day, two stage celebration of joyous (and sometimes evocative) music. By acoustic we mean everything from jazz to bluegrass. It also includes artist exhibits and a lot more. We’ll kick off the letter with that, but be sure to read all the way through, for there’s a lot more events.
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Gold Passes to the festival can be purchased for $50, a total savings of $20. Available by emailing or calling 209-543-5306, or at the opening night showcase on 4/10.
Friday April 10, 6:00-11:30 PM
Prospect Theater, 1214 K St. Doors at 5:30, $20 admission
Colorado Road (Mariposa, CA)
Folk-rock, originals, traditional, blues, and Americana.
Doug Adamz (San Francisco, CA)
A masterful guitar player, a soulful singer, and an outrageous harmonica player. Add the insightful poetry of his lyrics and his terrific sense of humor, Doug puts on a show you’ll never forget.
Halfpence and Haypenny (Nevada City, CA)
Touching upon genres as diverse as Medieval, Celtic, Old- Time, Gypsy and Jug-Band, they lead the audience on a musical journey to days past as they perform original works as well as unique adaptations of folk songs from England, Ireland, America, and more.
They combine a variety of influences ranging from Old-Time, Bluegrass, Country, Jazz, Rock and 1930's style swing music to create a tight, high-energy sound.
MARY BUE (Duluth, MN)
At once soothing, spunky, cathartic and full of vigor, when Mary appears behind the keys or guitar, her energy radiates to the back of any house. She has honed a sound that earns the “emotional sucker-punch” an early reviewer felt upon hearing her songs.
Raylene Kemp & Robin Montgomery (Central Valley, CA)
"Smooth Velvet" best describes the narrative vocals of songstress Raylene Kemp. Amid her collection of improvisational recordings are a growing number of songs that are more studied and introspective. Spanning more than a decade, a prevailing thread of "serene" has become Raylene's trademark writing and performance style, garnering her a "Best Performance" from the West Coast Songwriters Association and most recently, a nomination for "Best Singer/Songwriter" in the 2014 Modesto Area Music Awards.
Saturday April 11, 3:00-10:00 PM
Prospect Theater, 1214 K St. Doors at 2:30, $30 admission
Francesca Bavaro (Modesto, CA)
Trained in opera for 10 years, she has quite a diverse and interesting repertoire with the voice to match it. Francesca has over 200 original songs, but her real passion is rearranging music from the 60s, 70s and 80s into rock piano ballads. She has performed all over the Central Valley as well as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and even New York City.
The Hopeful Heroines (Colorado Springs, CO)
The Hopeful Heroines are a fusion of folk, gypsy and classical music. They also encourage and celebrate the hero in all beings.
The Keller Sisters (San Francisco, CA) Americana/folk/pop duo who have performed at the San Francisco Free Folk Fest, Great American Music Hall, Tucson Folk Festival, Art and Wine Festivals and more since 2012. Their music has been recognized by
?the West Coast Songwriters as well as international songwriting contests.
The Nickel Slots (Sacramento, CA)
With influence from early roots Americana music as well as a touch of rebellious '70s punk, The Nickel Slots draw the line that connects Johnny Cash to The Clash.
STEEP RAVINE (San Francisco, CA)
Their soulful tunes and fiery instrumentals take acoustic music in compelling new stylistic directions. Blending equal parts poetic lyricism and string-playing ingenuity, they have been racking up rave reviews for their debut album of original music.
Tawnee Kendall (San Francisco, CA)
With the grit and gravity of rock, preening pop-glam, and folk-style storytelling, the Tawnee Kendall Band are a commanding force on stage. They suggest the forceful, emotionally compelling intensity of Florence and the Machine, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and Ellie Goulding.
Valley Forged (Central Valley, CA)
Supergroup comprised of distinguished songwriters from the San Joaquin Valley, including ‘Valley’s Got Talent’ grand prize winners Alida McKeon and Francesca Bavaro, MAMA Award winner Patty Castillo Davis, TJ Lake and Dr. Blue of popular country outfit The Dustbowl Children, Anthony Edwards and more. The group was brought together specifically to close out the 2014 MUMfest in style, and since than has taken on a life of its own, even playing a major event at Modesto’s State Theater.
VORTEX TRIBE (San Francisco, CA)
A perfect storm of rich experience and fearless talent, delivering a well-honed sound and a dance-inducing punch. Combining improvisational jazz with elements of rock, world music, and sophisticated classical arrangements, Vortex Tribe’s sound swells with hard hitting, danceable grooves and rich, synthesized keys.
?Sunday April 12, 12:00-5:30 PM
Center Stage Conservatory, 948 11th St. Doors at 11:30 AM, $20 admission
American Nomad (SF Bay Area)
The musical brain child of singer-songwriter Hassan El-Tayyab. Drawing on influences ranging from bluegrass, folk, swing, blues, and soul, their music creates a classic sound that is brand new, while still embracing the Americana genre.
Not your mama’s accordion band! The band packs a tight and powerful Cajun swamp beat style you just can't sit still to.
Chris Farris Music (Oakdale, CA)
One of the Valley's finest up-and-coming singer/songwriters, performing a mix of folk, country and southern rock.
Dawn Xiana Moon (Chicago, IL)
A seductive and passionate voice, evocative songwriting, and formal training make Dawn Xiana Moon one of the most distinctive Asian-American singers of her generation. She combines her diverse influences – traditional Chinese music, Americana, pop, jazz, and classical music – to bridge the musical traditions of the East and West.
GLITTER ROSE (Los Angeles, CA)
Artist of the Year - 2014 Artists In Music Awards Performer of the Year - 2014 Artists In Music Awards
Best Music Video for "Buda Negra" - 2014 Artists In Music Awards
Best Southern Rock Artist - 2014 Artists In Music Awards
Country Artist of the Year - 23rd Annual Los Angeles Music Awards
Album of the Year for "Dead or Alive" - 2013 Artists In Music Awards
Best Rock Artist - 2013 Artists In Music Awards
Rozanne Gewaar (Knysna, South Africa/San Francisco, CA)
South African-born singer/songwriter who sings quiet observations of the human spirit, our relations and our struggles. Rozanne now resides in the SF Bay Area, and tours across the globe sharing her music.
Also on Sunday afternoon, the five finalists of the Songwriting Contest will perform their entries live, with cash prizes and more being awarded to the winners.
?AND it just not all about MUMFest....there’s a ;ot of other cool stuff, as
The Good Luck Thrift of the premier Americana roots bands i n the state playing at Modesto tonight along with a whole host of other great acts.
The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, The Pine Box Boys, The Calamity Cubes!, and Tom Vandenavond! We are going to be at a brand new venue called the Rock & Roll Warehouse! 501 Bitritto Way, Modesto CA This venue is set up amazingly, with lights, sound, and a huge bar. it also holds 450 so its sure to be a party!!! You will not want to miss this event! Get your presale tickets early and save. Just click the link for more info and tickets:
??Can't get enough of Bob and Chris AKA Cactus Bob and
Prairie Flower? Well you'll get your chance this Saturday April 4 AND Easter Sunday! Join Spur of the Moment at Louie's Place Saloon and Grill in La Grange! Saturday April 4 th, 7 to 9 pm!! That's Cactus Bob, Prairie Flower and Joe Tomaselli...then Sunday we'll be strutting and strumming in the Victorian Easter Parade at Columbia State Historic Park.
Tractor Boy at the Hideout Saloon. April 4 How does one describe Tractor Boy? Rockabilly, Punk, Metal, Americana? I don’t know...but I always enjoys seeing him. 5031 State Highway 140 #F Mariposa, CA (Down behind the building)
??California Bluegrass Association’s Spring Campout! Apr 13-19, ... a statewide gathering of bluegrass musicians from across the state coming together, of all places at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock! Full RV Hook up only $35, TENT CAMPING a cheap $10, and day visitors FREE! AJ Lee will be performing at the dinner show Saturday night.
Regular Jams:
Merced Jams:
Jam at The Coffee Bandits . First Tuesday of the month. Bluegrass, Old time, Americana. Acoustic only. 7:00 -9:00 PM Tuesday February 4
309 W. Main St. Merced CA. 209-383-1200 or Marc Alvira @ 209-658-3852
Modesto Jams:
Jam at the Queen Bean Coffee House from 7:00-9:00 pm every Tuesday EXCEPT the first of the month. Hosted by Rainy... 1126 14th Street.
In Mountain Jams:
State Old Time Fiddlers Association Jam
The first Sunday of every month will now be the State Fiddler Association Jam/meeting in Standard, CA at the Community Church from 1-4. If you don’t know where Standard is...well I didn’t either! It’s just off Highway 108, a tad southeast of Sonora.
The Irish Jam at the Jack Douglass Saloon in Columbia (209) 532-1885 Every 2nd Sunday from 2-6 pm This will be moving to Columbia Kate’s During the summer. Starts in May
NEW Clovis Jams
Don't miss the next jam, the first and third Sundays at 2 p.m. Red Caboose is awesome, great room to play in, comfy chairs and the food and drink is terrific. Make sure to patronize them as a way of thanking them for the hospitality shown to the jammers. Bring you sense of fun, your latest greatest song and the energy to keep up!
Upcoming Shows, Gigs and other cool stuff:
The Hanger BBQ 2343 W 324342 S, Merced Air Center, CA They have a variety of live music Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. From rock to bluegrass. A very popular place among Mercedians.
Sonora Contra Dance at the Aronos Women’s Research Club in Sonora, third Saturday of the month. Contra Dancing and traditional Square Dancing in the old time country dance tradition. A caller will give a short instruction before the dance and call the dance to live Oldtime String Band music. Callers will be
Wayne and Sue. Musicians will be The Oldtime String Skinners and Associates. Music and dancing start at 7:30 and there will be a potluck at 6:30 if you would like to come early. For more info:
The Coffee Bandits Cafe Is there a show on the books right
now? No, but check their calendar often. They frequently have acts before I have a chance to get them out on FB or in a newsletter. Likewise, if you have a new band or an established one looking to try out new material at a venue with an appreciative audience, this is it. , https://
On the air...CBA Radio!!!, the official broadcast voice of the California Bluegrass Association 1st and 3rd Tuesday nights at 7PM (PST) on 91.9 in the northern San Joaquin Valley or streaming on or directory.cgi?searchdesc=kcss ...playing bluegrass, old time, gospel, honky tonk and what ever is floating Steve and Marcos’ boat at the time most Tuesdays.
KCSS Fat Sunday from Turlock begins at 10 am with Texas Red until 1:00pm; and Uncle John every other Sunday afternoon from 1-4:oopm with old-time, bluegrass, classic country, western swing, etc. Please tune in at 91.9 FM or
Open Mic at:
The Coffee Bandits Cafe, first and third Wednesdays of the month starting at 7pm. 309 West Main St. Merced CA
The Queen Bean Coffee House, Sundays Sign ups at 5:30 starts at 6pm runs till 9p, we only have room for 23 so be here at 5:30 to sign up! 1126 14th St. Modesto
Posted By:  Marcos Alvira

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