Valley Bluegrass Newsletter for the Northern San Joaquin Valley (and then some) News
Valley Bluegrass News
Valley Bluegrass Newsletter, June 2014
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.  

Howdy Folks.  

Summer is almost here in the northern San Joaquin Valley and the picking is heating up! If you want to keep up with all that is really current, follow my FaceBook page ( ). To see news letters from other activity CBA areas in California, go to For information from our friends at the Northern California Bluegrass Society check out:

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So, what’s happening?

Annual Pick and Gather at Riverdance Farm, May 31 and June 1
:  The annual Pick and Gather always happens the weekend after Memorial Day. May 31st and June 1st, 2014, the main Festival and Merced River Fair will take place on Saturday followed by continued fruit-picking, organic breakfast and enjoyment of the river and your family and friends on Sunday. There will be live music on three stages including Bluegrass, Folk, Acoustic blues,Americana,Classical,Kids. Saturday only you will be able to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including Science,Nature,Crafts,Geo-catching,river adventures, fishing lessons and more.The river is here all weekend! This is the second year that the Merced River Gathering Powwow will be part of the entire weekend with Native American Dancers,Drummers and, story tellers. Campsites are available Saturday night. Volunteers welcome!!

Tuesday,June 3 from 7PM @ Hero Sports Louge & Pizza Company, 821 L St., Modesto CA. (209) 524-2337

Old Man Markley is an seven piece punk bluegrass band described as "Banjo punk soaked in a picture book, from minute one to seven in richer party liquor". Their 2nd Full Length "Down Side Up" released March 5, 2013. Debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts in March 2013!
WATER TOWER: [formely Water Tower Bucket Boys]"Pacific Northwest Americana"

Live Irish Music at P. Wexford’s PubWednesday June 4 from 8-11PM. 3313 McHenry Ave., Modesto. Awesome beer and whiskey selection…and the best Celtic music the Valley has to offer! No need to go yo Ireland; just go to Modesto instead!

Opening Nite of Music on the Green in Mariposa with the Mountain Men!Friday June 6, 7PM @ the Mariposa Art Park. Music on the green is a summer concert series put on by the Mariposa County Arts council at the Mariposa Art Park, a very cool outdoor amphitheater. The MM will play until 9:00 or 9:30, then take a stroll to the Hideout Saloon an have a cold beer with Andy as the band plays a late set.

Stanislaus County 100 Year Birthday Bash, Saturday May 10 from 10AM - 4PM. Music, food, demonstrations, crafts, Ag workshops, farmers market and a lot more. AT the Stanislaus County Agricultural Center 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto CA. Featuring Nashville artist, Sarah Peacock.

The Poor Valley Band at the Partisan Saturday, June 7 from 8-11PM. 432 W Main Street, Merced CA. Last chance to catch this bluegrass/honky tonk (and whatever else their stomping down that night) until mid July. A “do not miss” party guaranteed.

And from up the hills just a little northeast of Merced (Alpine and Tuolumne Counties):

The Singing Rails Festival in Jamestown at Railtown State Park.  Saturday, June 7 Music contest begins at Noon followed by the Wailin Woodies doing the music of Woody Guthrie.  The music contest will be either vocal or instrumental.  Each contestant must do two songs, one of which must be train related. Entry fee is $15.  (This includes a ticket to the days events and a train ride) You can pre-register at   Tickets to the music festival is $5 or if you buy a train ride ticket Adults $15 Children $8 you get the whole package.  Go to the webpage for info or call (209) 984-3953
Edwin McCain at the Black Oak Casino acoustic guitar and country style singer 8-10:30 pm. Wednesday, June 11
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band at The Twisted Oak Winery in Murphy’s for info  or call (209) 736-9080
Tim O’Brien at The Twisted Oak Winery in Murphy’s. Friday, June 27 for info  or call (209) 736-9080 Americana

From the Fresno/ Clovis Area:
Bluegrass in the Park! This is a venerable bluegrass series that happens every summer at Clovis’ Veteran’s Memorial Park. The best talent from the Valley and beyond perform here. Shows start at 6:00. Bring a lawn chair!

Grasskickers: Fresh Cut a new CD coming out by the Fresno’s popular, award winning bluegrass band.

Merced Jams: 

Jam at The Coffee Bandits .  First Tuesday of the month. Bluegrass, Old time, Americana.  Acoustic only.  7:00 -9:30 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 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month sponsored by Rainy 1126 14th Street.

In the Mountains:

SONORA Bluegrass Jam  2nd and 4th Fridays (Except if major Bluegrass Event that day) at 6:30-8:30 pm at Mi Pueblo Restaurant 126 S  Washington (Formerly known as Pablito’s) Down the steps and next to the creek The Sonora Jam will return with Bill and Rick as your hosts.
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

Fresno Jams:

Full Circle Jam! Honky-tonk acoustic jam…in Fresno every Thursday. 620 F St. Fresno from 5-7

New Bluegrass Jam in Clovis, May 4 There's a bluegrass jam on Sunday afternoon, May 4th from 2 to 5 p.m. at On The Edge Coffee Shop in Old Town Clovis. Since the Senior Center jam discontinued there hasn't been a meeting place and On The Edge has graciously allowed us to use their outdoor patio. It's got limited shade, so bring a hat and maybe a chair. On The Edge has delicious hot and cold drink, coffee and tea and fruit smoothies along with yummy sandwich offerings. Come early and take advantage of their goodies, as well as showing appreciation for their generosity in the use of the area.

Upcoming Shows, Gig and other cool stuff:

Irish Music at P. Wexfords Pub 3313 McHenry Ave, Modesto, California 95350 First Wednesdays of the month. Great selection of beer, Irish and English pub food, cool atmosphere and off the chart traditional Irish music. 8-11PM

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 Club in Sonora 3rd Saturday of the month.  6:30 pm potluck followed by dancing at 7:30 Live String Band and callers $7 donation for 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. ,

On the air…CBA Radio!!!, the official broadcast voice of the California Bluegrass Association Tuesday nights at 7PM (PST) on 91.9 in the northern San Joaquin Valley or streaming on or …playing bluegrass, old time, gospel, honky tonk and what ever is floating Marcos’ boat at the time most Tuesdays. Steve Lodonga will mesmerize you on the first Tuesdays of the month. Broadcasting from Stanislaus State.

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. Modest
Posted By:  Marcos Alvira

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