Author: Brandli, Darby

March President’s Message

I never understood exactly how popular the Super Bowl was until we produced a big indoor festival called Super Grass on the Super Bowl weekend a few years back . The CBA thought that the people of Bakersfield (a historically big music town) would rush to attend an indoor festival with the biggest names in bluegrass in their hometown. The people of Bakersfield stayed home and watched television instead. After licking our wounds and begging for donations to refill a depleted treasury we instead, offered a free event called the Great 48 (on a non-holiday, non-football weekend) and that has proven to be a huge success.

Big thanks to Larry Phegley for spearheading the Great 48 Hour Jam this year. Every year we say “this was the biggest and best ever” and this year is no exception. More people, more jams, more laughter and more events. The Brotelmarkles premiered a Teen Jam Suite this year and I found young people jamming every time I poked my head in. There was also a Kids on Bluegrass Performance Saturday Night on the big stage which was simply awesome. Larry has volunteered to chair next year.

The best quote of January “I am nobody’s targeted demographic” (Randy Pitts, 1/27/14) after watching the Grammys. There were lots and lots of bluegrassers (including CBAers) up for Grammys this year but they were all competing against each other since there were like two categories. Maybe in future years there will be more categories, and Randy will be someone’s targeted demographic. Everyone nominated had played on our stage though so we know talent when we see it. Congratulations to the Del McCoury Band who have played for us more times than any of the other bands.

This is important and needs immediate action. We need to replace Larry Kuhn as the Director of our IBMA event in Raleigh. Larry promises to mentor whomever takes over. Larry has done a great job for over a decade and has the event “dialed in” so whomever takes over will not have to reinvent the wheel. Larry has been threatening to retire the last couple of years but is serious this year and we must find someone to take over this annual event. The folks in Raleigh have proven to be great hosts and helpful. This is a perfect job for a couple as well!! Speak to us.

Music Camp(s) news. There are whispers that the CBA will present a Winter Music Camp again in 2015. Peter Langston and Janet Peterson were hired to run the Summer Camp and hopefully find a site for a Winter Camp and I think we may have found a spot!! Registration for the Summer Camp officially opened 2/7/14 and we expect to sell out again this year so register early.

The CBA Youth Academy registration is also off to a strong start. We were 25% full by the end of January so get your registration in soon. We are “reserving” spots this year and allowing families to postpone payment until later. Call or email me for current info. We would also like to remind our members that scholarship donations are being sought and all donations are tax deductible.
Volunteer Teams for the 39th Annual Father’s Day Festival are forming, there is a lot of work being done already to prepare for this event. Remember that in order to volunteer, your CBA membership must be current. Deb Livermore is your contact and contacting her early is probably a good thing. Some teams are pretty popular and fill up early.

The Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival is on the calendar for this month and Mark Hogan has hired a strong lineup again. See you there.

Posted:  3/4/2014

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