CBA info and River City Festival

Written by:

Dear friends,

Oh my. I have finally succumbed to the evil and virulent cold thing that my family has been promoting locally for the past week. Don’t get it. It’s an awful thing.

Soldiering on with the all important blog-tastic CBA Welcome Message I will tell you briefly about what I heard between naps at this past weekend’s CBA BOD meeting, allowing les grande fromage, Rick Cornish to complete the picture in his own Welcome.

Our new volunteer coordinators, taking over for the… oh, what’s a super complimentary term for a wonderful person… MIRACULOUS Rosanna Young are the tag team of Joyce Bowcock and Deb Livermore. There was no discussion of how much these two paid for the seat, but it was bleeping golden, so I assume they ponied up a bleeping bundle. O Rosanna! You have done such a wonderful job it took two of them to replace you. Come FDF you should be lounging in a comfortable chair, maybe one of those fancy massage chairs, while we rub your feet and peel you grapes. But big thanks to my good girlfriends Joyce and Deb for taking this task on. I’ll publish contact info in the January Breakdown, but meanwhile you can contact them at [email protected] or [email protected]

Hmmm, what else…. The board talked about the California Showcase bands for 2009 Grass Valley. But they kicked everyone who wasn’t a board member out, so we’ll wait for news on that front. But in a similar vein, it looks like the California band lineup for the Vern’s stage has expanded to sixteen. You know what this means? This means that there are more California bands booked to play at the CBA’s Father’s Day Festival than there are touring or out-of-state bands! Many of us have longed for a second (not to mention a third!) stage at Grass Valley to accommodate our very own member bands. Ta daa!

Well lots more, like the new Escrip program that will financially benefit the CBA while costing us members nothing. Rick shall explain this and the other items discussed.

Let’s talk about something a bit earlier on the calendar. Jan 9-10 is the Bakersfield 48 Hour Jam that looks to be a fun and well attended event. My bluegrass boy Marty and I won’t be there, unfortunately. We’re returning for our second year to the River City Bluegrass Festival in Portland, OR. It’s an indoor festival – a bit different than some other hotel based festivals. It is held at the enormous Oregon Convention Center. Hotels and motels are within easy walking distance. Of course Portland’s weather makes the Arctic seem like Bermuda, but whatever. All the fun is inside.

As you would expect: lots of vendors, workshops, jamming and a smaller stage that runs non-stop with local and lesser known acts. And of course they’ve got some world class “local” musicians living up there in igloos in the sub-zero Portland weather. Tony Furtado moved there. Jackstraw is from there. Sam Hill did a reunion there last year.

The main stage shows are held in the big hall. Not unlike Wintergrass, I suppose. And the main stage lineup is beyond belief: Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Sierra Hull, Dailey & Vincent, Longview, J D Crowe & the New South, Darol Anger, Tony Furtado, The Dan Tyminski Band, Linda & Robin Williams, The Whites, The Kruger Brothers, Cadillac Sky, Psychograss, Hot Club of Cowtown, Steep Canyon Rangers, Bill Evans & Megan Lynch, and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band (Geoff Muldaur & the BBQ Orchestra w/special guest Bill Keith.

We saw a few Californians up there last year, which made it even more fun. Hope we’ll get to pick with some of you all this time, too. It takes place January 9-11, 2009. Info at

Your pal,
Mark Varner
[email protected]

Read about: