Author: Bartlett, Regina


Parties, Coffee Houses, House Concerts, Grasstowne, Brookdale Bluegrass Festival,

Well today is Ralph Hendricks birthday. Our Bluegrass Community is a much better place because he was born today.
Happy Birthday Ralph!

I’ve been busy on Harmony Road, attending workshops, concerts, open mics, parties, House Concerts and a NCBS Concert at Don Quixote‘s. I look forward to seeing Grasstown at The Grange in Morgan Hill and the Brookdale Bluegrass Festival.

I took part in a Harmony Workshop with Penny Nichols and the Cache Valley Drifters at the Canyon Acoustic Society. It was a 2 day event and I learned a lot. Penny Nichols is a grammy award winning vocal coach and performer. She has worked with Jackson Browne, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Ponies, Jennifer Warnes, Mary McCaslin and Jimmy Buffett. The Cache Valley Drifters were so good too and for me were the icing on the cake…and the food and wine were excellent too…just like the music.

I went and caught The BeeEaters in Big Sur at the Henry Miller Library. The music was incredible. Tristan Clarridge, Tashina Clarridge, Simon Chrisman on Hammer Dulcimer and Dominic Leslie on mandolin. I had heard that the Bee Eaters were playing there and something told me that I should not miss them. I think it was Darby and Edgar Meyer.

The day was clear and beautiful and the grey whale migration out in the Monterey Bay could be seen by all their water spouts. We had a sunset dinner with a spectacular view at the famous restaurant, Nepenthe’s. Just down the road was the Henry Miller Library. Parking was easy.

So we are there now and I see Tashina and Tristan Clarridge and across the room is a familiar face... "Hey was that you"? he says...and I say, "is that you Hartford Mouth!" Then we high fived it! It was a Bluegrass Coincidence for sure! He was the young man doing the hand exercises earlier at the Chevron Station. He recognized my "Bluegrass Forever" Blue Toyota pickup truck. Dominic Leslie is 21 and looks like an older Marty Varner! He has been playing mandolin with Missy Raines and the New Hip and attending The Berklee School of Music. Sierra Hull is one of his friends and a classmate.

I told him that he moves his mouth just like John Hartford did when he played music. He said that others have said the samething! (I call him Hartford Mouth!) We met at a Missy Raines House Concert in Santa Cruz last year.

Well Dominic Leslie can sure play the mando. He participated in the Mandolin Symposium and we talked about our favorite mando players. It was a real treat to hear him play with another great band. Tristin played Cello, Tashina played Fiddle and Simon Chrisman plays the most thrilling hammer dulcimer I've ever heard. The melodies and rhythms were absolutely thrilling. I was so glad to be there and so delighted by their wonderful music. The Bee Eaters are on their California Tour and Big Sur was their first stop. It was really wonderful and some of the finest music I have heard in a long time.

Oh, and Kimberly Mann is the concert organizer at the Henry Miller Library. She is a beautiful young fiddler. Tristan and Tashina have been her mentors for the past 5 years. She played one song with the band and she played it very well.

I mentioned the CBA and she said, that she had recently met the president of the CBA, Darby & Bruno when she was up in the Bay Area! I thanked her for presenting such a fine evening of music at such a magnificent setting. It was a bit of a drive but well worth it!
Don't miss them!

A couple of weeks ago I went to Meghan & Linus’s party celebrating Ella “Diamond” Naiman's tour with “Larry Gillis and SwampGrass!” It was so much fun. Jams were happening in every room, the living room, the kitchen the bedrooms, there were 3 jams in the backyard and the carport was full of amazing musicians. Ella’s parents were there to party with us too. Jim & Louise Minton, Shirley Tudor, Jim Lewin, Mike McKinley, Billy & Sarah, Curtis Reiser, Linda Maki, Gail Reese, Alan Bond, Duane Campbell, Luke, Kyle & Leslie Abbott and Johnny Campbell, and so many fine musicians playing some fine Bluegrass. It really was fun. We’re all so proud of Ella and we all wished Ella a wonderful tour and we look forward to hearing stories about her Southwest tour with Larry Gillis. Her thousand watt smile can light up any stage! They might not let her go! Come back Ella!

Dick Brundle of Fiddling Cricket Productions and Marky Starks present concerts twice a month at The Ugly Mug Coffee House in downtown Soquel. Michael McNevin played his guitar and sang songs that were so fine. His story songs became movies with his fingers picking the notes and melodies in that little coffee house. He is an artist and a good man and he can pick guitar. As a songwriter, McNevin has won honors at Kerrville, he landed the “Song of the Year” award from West Coast Songwriters five times. I am so proud to call him my friend. He writes some absolutely amazing songs.

My friend Marky Starks presents a monthly House Concert and recently had Ronny Cox perform for the Canyon Acoustic Society . Accompanied by 2 of his sons and with an ace guitar player he performed cover, original and traditional songs he’s collected for over 30 years. He is a gifted actor and storyteller and was in Deliverance and NYPD and many other character roles.
Check out this video on you tube:
He never did play Dueling Banjo’s that night!

I really like House Concerts. What a great way to hear some excellent music, meet good people, drink good wine, have fine dinners and desserts, and be pleasantly entertained. It was a magical evening and a very fine musical experience.
Sunday morning Ronny played on KPIG radio's live show, Please Stand By.

Monday night I caught Nell Robinson and John Reichman the Jaybirds at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA! Nell is great and with John Reichman the Jaybirds hit the musical entertainment ball right out of the park! She’s a bright sparkling bluebird singing Bluegrass songs with a heart full of twang and easily shares the musical history and family tradition that has been passed on to her. Her stories are funny and delightful and her band is AWESOME. Did I mention, it’s John Reichman the Jaybirds. John Reichman on mandolin, Jim Nunally on guitar, Trisha Gagnon on bass, Nick Hornbuckle on banjo, Greg Spatz on fiddle. They are all very fine musicians and are remarkable with each other. Great vocals too. Nell put on a swell show full of love songs…all kinds of love songs…it was sweet and good.

Be sure to catch Grasstowne on Saturday February 26, 2011 at the "Night at the Grange" concert in Morgan Hill
7:00p.m. - 10:00p.m. Doors open 6:00p.m.
The Morgan Hill Grange
40 East 4th Street
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
For information about the event or to order tickets,call Tim Edes(408) 779-5456 or (408) 595-4882 or by email at
See you there!

Eric Burman said to tell you all to
make plans to attend the Brookdale Bluegrass Festival this
March 11th and 12th
There will be jamming in the old Log Cabin. It is huge and beautiful with wooden floors and a giant stone fireplace. It’s big fun to play with old friends and plenty of room for lots of pickers and singers.
There’s an open mic in the bar.
This ain’t no karaoke folks!
There will be barbeque
There will be Bluegrass Music.
Come see your friends on stage.

The tentative schedule is: (it still might be changed!)
6-7 Heathen Hill
7-8 Common Cents
8-9 Stony Mountain Ramblers
9-10 South County Special
10-11 Mike McKinley & Quack Grass

Noon Regina Bartlett/Julio In Glasses
1-2 Page Brownton
2-3 Ragtime Skedaddlers
3-4 Whisprin' Smith
4-5 Surf City Swing
5-6 Tea Sippers
6-7 break
7-8 Research Development
8-9 Nipple Creek
9-10 Savanna Blue
10-11 Blue Shoes
11-12 Faux Renwah

The Brookdale Lodge has a special on rooms and it’s always fun to go jamming room by room.
Indoors festivating is so much fun!
For reservations please call (831) 338-1300

Tonight I watched Santa Cruz local James Durbin on American Idol. He is the son of the late Willie Durbin, a wonderful Santa Cruz bass player. I just love watching youngsters grow up and excel in music.

Congratulations to the Oak Grove Band. Tessa, Max, Nate, Bob & Gail Schwartz: You all just nailed the Flatt & Scruggs Tribute music so well! Loved the Bonanza ties too! And you had some great supporting acts too!

Until next time, go see some live music or play some bluegrass music and I’ll see you out there on Harmony Road!
Posted:  2/18/2011

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