Author: Ramos, Jean

Grass Valley

I’m still basking in the afterglow of our week at Grass Valley. The laundry is finally done, that Grass Valley dirt is stubborn (especially on white socks), and my pant cuffs may never be the same.

We arrived at Grass Valley on Monday. We no sooner got parked and leveled when who should pull in but Pat and George Calhoun! It was so good to have them back. Pat is still recovering from the broken arm so she wasn’t able to play the fiddle or bass but she can still play her accordion and sing! We made up for lost time. Her brother Dave was with them, what a talent he is, Pat said he plays forty-two different instruments. He also writes songs. There was a steady stream of folks that came by to jam and to hug the Calhouns.

The shows on the Main Stage were wonderful, as were the ones I saw on Vern’s and Pioneer Stage. I’m now a big fan of Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands; my favorite song was “Tuck Away my Lonesome Blues,” an old Jimmie Rodgers song. The Vern and Ray Tribute that she did with Kathy Kallick was especially nice. They dedicated “Down Among the Budded Roses,” to JD Rhynes. That song brought tears to my eyes and if I know JD, it brought a tear to his eye also.

I had never seen a live performance by Peter Rowan before so this was a special treat for me. I love that song “Ragged Old Dream.” I had watched a You Tube video of “Cold Rain and Snow,” that he did with Tony Rice, so it was fun to hear him do that one too. It was also wonderful to hear Roland White and his band. He was kind enough to autograph a mandolin book for me.

I won’t comment on every show I attended but I did want to mention a band called One Grass, Two Grass, Red Grass, Bluegrass. They performed Sunday afternoon on Vern’s Stage. They were quite entertaining and talented and I look forward to seeing more of this band.

My husband Terry volunteered as a back stage host this year. He said that Jim Ingram was great to work with and he would volunteer for the same duty next year. That makes me happy.

The jamming is an important part of the Grass Valley Festival and I did my share. Thursday night, I went to the Welcome Columnist’s Jam. There were a lot of folks missing but we had a good time just the same. Marty Varner blew us all away with his guitar picking. One jam I especially enjoyed was at Tim Edes Camp. I finally got to sing with Kim Elking. On Sunday night we jammed at Calhoun’s. Suzanne Suwanda played the bass for us that night. She’s a gifted musician. When she needed to take a short break, I picked up her bass to fill in. I forgot that I’m not nearly as tall as she; I needed a stump to stand on and a gopher hole for the peg to sit in so that I could reach the fingerboard. We made the adjustment for the second song but we had a few laughs.

My friend Bonnie (Grace) attended The Father’s Day Festival and Music Camp for the first time. She was in Bill Evans Band Class. She attended several of the workshops and met lots of people and learned a lot. CBA folks welcomed her with open arms. I knew they would.

Congratulations to Larry Kuhn and Frank Solivan for their well deserved Lifetime Membership Awards. Thanks for your labors of love on behalf of CBA over the past several years.

Well, I’m writing this on Tuesday night, and we are leaving for Susanville in the morning. The fun just never stops. Until next time, do some pickin’, learn a new tune, pet a dog, read a book, make someone’s day. God bless.
Posted:  6/22/2014

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