Author: Brandli, Darby

Message from our Association President

VOTE: You will be receiving your ballots in the Bluegrass Breakdown and you may also vote on line . I am writing this before the deadline for Candidates to throw their hat into the ring so do not yet know how large the field will be. Make certain you renew your membership and vote in our annual election. The Association belongs to you and your vote (input) matters. It is too late for me to again invite you to run for the Board but you can begin to consider this option for next year.

We are so lucky to live in California where summer is not over until Halloween! September is a big month for us in the CBA and for music lovers in general in the northern-central part of our great and bankrupt State.

I have no idea how I am going to get any work done at my “day job” during September. Every week is jam packed (pun intended) with wonderful events. I do not know how the local clubs fare with so many options for weekends away with hundreds of our best friends and non-stop music.

The Strawberry Music Festival September 3-6th (Labor Day Weekend) at Camp Mather near Yosemite. Frank Solivan (the original Kid on Bluegrass) will be playing with his new band Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen as of course will Del McCoury and others. We head up early the week preceding both Memorial Day and Labor Day to stay at the Evergreen Lodge and spend time in our premier California National Park, Yosemite. I so look forward to these vacation weeks and then a festival that I neither produce nor volunteer. (
The Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, September 9th-13th. Held in various locations in Berkeley including events at the Freight and Salvage in its magnificent NEW Home in the downtown Berkeley Theatre District near BART. (

The Brown Barn Festival September 11-13th in San Martin (honoring CBA Member #2, Jake Quesenberry) located near Gilroy. ( This is a charming and intimate small festival put on by Jake’s family and co-sponsored this year by the Northern California Bluegrass Society.

The USS Potomac (Oakland Estuary) features High Country on September 17th starting at 6PM. This is a dockside concert series held on the USS Potomac, FDR’s Presidential Yacht moored at Jack London Square in Oakland. All proceeds will go toward funding 20 educational cruises for East Bay school children grades 5 through 8. (510 627-1215 or 49 Special will appear on October 22nd.

Bluegrassin’ in the Foothills September 18-20, produced by our great friends Larry and Sondra Baker of L&S Productions, this festival is a “must attend” for many of us and is held in the gold country in Plymouth, California. We are bringing our grandson and our new puppy to this one! (

Hobbs Grove Festival. This is the second year that the CBA will help to produce this festival which has been in existence for almost a decade. This is our “mid state” festival located near Fresno in a lovely setting in the foothills. ( or link from We are so pleased to be involved with the Hobbs Grove folks and to help them expand bluegrass in this lovely part of the State.

IBMA World of Bluegrass, September 28-October 6 ( This event obviously does not take place in California but the CBA has a huge presence at this event. Bruno and I and our great friend Dave Gooding bought our tickets months ago. Hot Rize hosting the Awards Show at the Ryman? Am I dreaming?

The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival Oct 2-4 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The CBA has had a membership booth at this event since its inception. This is the third year in a row I have missed it because of the conflict with the IBMA. If you have never attended HSB you have missed something very special. Warren Hellman produces this event as a gift to all of us and it is an indescribable event. Warren sometimes can be seen wearing his CBA Jacket as he travels stage to stage. The star power on the many stages is unbelievable! We wave goodbye to many who go from the stage at Fan Fest in Nashville and hop a plane to San Francisco. FREE. (

This year four of our “KOB” kids will take their band to IBMA’s Fanfest to represent the CBA. The group OMGG (Obviously Minor Guys and a Girl), borne of the Kids On Bluegrass program, has been invited to Nashville to participate in the KOB at the World of Bluegrass. What a thrill this is for Aissa (AJ) Lee, Marty Varner, Nate Schwartz and Max Schwartz. AJ and Marty have attended before but this is year number one for Nate and Max. The Kids on Bluegrass program at IBMA is stunning and makes every adult in the room sit up and shout because these “kids” put on an amazing show. Some of the kids have graduated and are now on the national and international festival circuit fronting their own bands or as sidemen and sidewomen.

There is still time to purchase raffle tickets, which is our fundraiser for the IBMA. Don’t bother with the California Lottery and spend your money on our lottery instead where you have a great chance of winning a fantastic instrument. Details on our website. The drawing will be held at our Annual Meeting in Colusa.
Posted:  9/8/2009

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