Author: Bartlett, Regina


Doug Dillard - we lost another musical hero yesterday with the passing of Doug Dillard. He led the popular bluegrass band The Dillards and appeared on Andy Griffith's TV show shortly after moving from the Ozarks to LA in the 1960s. He introduced plenty of folks to bluegrass music among his many other accomplishments, and will be missed.

Back roads to Parkfield:
Last Friday morning, I loaded up the truck with camping gear and headed South on #101 to San Miguel. I took Indian Canyon Rd. to Vineyard Canyon Road. It was beautiful. I saw a herd of llamas and thought of Lynn & Rick Cornish. At the crest of the highway I could see the backside of the Pinnacles, the Salinas Valley, and the Parkfield Valley. Ranches, fields, horses and cowboys and cowgirls. I crossed the San Andreas Fault and arrived at the Varian Ranch and the Parkfield Café and Inn. No stressful traffic just a sweet ride in the Country. Meeting me at the Festival Gate were my CBA pals, Slim and Mike McGar.

I found a wonderful camp spot several years ago and there it was just waiting for me. It’s along a field of hay on the road and under these huge Oak trees. My camping neighbors were Dancing John, Shane Kalbach, & Brian Clark and Banjo Jim. We were also entertained by a family of Red Headed Woodpeckers. A baby chick would poke his head out and squeal and the parents would perch and feed it and it was really fun to watch this happen all day long.

I was delighted to see that my friends Rainy Escobar, Little Sally Jo Vedder, and Glenn Horn were the emcees.
They really did a good job too!

There were wonderful jams thanks to Diana Donnelly, Dave Nielsen, Mark Hogan, Gail Reese.

I didn’t have to work at this festival. I listened to music and hung out with Henry and Nancy Zuniga.

The backstage Hospitality was staffed by the amazing Mona Anacleto. She just scoots around and gets the Bluegrass job done. I want to be just like Mona when I grow up! There is no stopping her and why would anyone? She is the original Bluegrass Sweetheart in my Bluegrass Book.

So on the back porch of the Inn, Loafer’s Glory, Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players, Special Consensus with Greg Cahill, Darrell Webb, and Pete Hicks jammed one Bluegrass Standard after another! It was spellbinding. You just had to be there…but let me tell you it was oh so good!

Around the corner from this jam Joe & Darlene Quealy had a bar and BBQ happening. Joe loves to cook for folks. He also sang with Darrell Webb and did a great job. Joe’s looking pretty good thanks to Darlene’s TLC!

California Pearly Blue: I am so proud of this band: Jennifer Kitchen, Gail Reese, Roxanna Dunn, Yvonne Walbroehl, and Chris Finn. Yvonne and Chris are new members and they fit in very well. Yvonne punctuates songs with great flatpicking guitar riffs and runs and Chris has a great chop on the mando. The ladies did 4 sets and were oh so fine! Great singing and picking.

I enjoyed Virtual Strangers, Loafer’s Glory, Red Dog Ash, Darrell Webb Band, Get Down Boys, Special Consensus, Little Black Train. Paul Knight produced great sound for our listening pleasure!

The New Parkfield Peahens were Wendy Stockton, Lisa Burns and Rainy Escobar! Rainy sang a great song about Medals for Mothers and looked and sounded beautiful.

Chloe Van Zandt sang with the Kids on Stage program and blew everyone away with her wonderful vocals on an acapella version of Adele’s “Rollin’ in the Deep”. There were a lot of kids participating in the program.

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, as I arrived for the LeRoy Mack Gospel Show with Craig Wilson, Yvonne & Mike Tater, and Paul Lee, I was given a gift from the Parkfield Bluegrass Festival. The gift was a rose, a fan and note cards with Bluegrass instruments on it. How sweet was that!

LeRoy Mack, Craig Wilson, Yvonne & Mike Tater, and Paul Lee played some wonderful Bluegrass Gospel music and rather than get preachy, LeRoy talked about his life and how he became a musician, how he chose to become a dobra player and how he chose his wife Jan. Jan told a story about the well and the cistern and how we are all drawing from the well. I never miss church with the LeRoy Gospel Show and I’m always glad that I went to praise the Lord!

Pete Hicks! Who doesn’t know Pete Hicks? I call him the Bluegrass General because he is such a incredible teacher of Bluegrass Music. He plays every instrument really well and has been very influential to many musicians on the West Coast! Pete played Sunday as TBA with a hot band. Paul Lee came back on stage. It was awesome!

It was hard to say goodbye to Parkfield. I took the backroads back home to Watsonville. This is a wonderful festival. Put this on your festival list next year. I am so glad that I went to Parkfield.

Pete Hicks will be playing at Kuumbwa Jazz Center Friday night The Buskers Showcase.
and also at the Gilroy Hot Springs Benefit Concerts this Saturday and Sunday. Give Lora a call 831- 521-7316

This Saturday morning from 10-2 pm, I am playing Bluegrass Guitar and Dulcimer at the Springfield Grange’s Farmer’s Market.

Hope to see you next week at Bolado Park in Tres Pinos for the Dabney Hicks CampOut…commonly known among many pickers as the HicksFest! Frank Wakefield, Jim Lewin will be there...will you? It’s also my 64th birthday party…so let’s party and pick!

Father’s Day is just around the corner so until next time, practice, woodshed, learn a Bill Monroe Song, a Stanley Brothers tune and play nice with others. I’ll see you out there on Harmony Road!
Posted:  5/18/2012

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