Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Calendar, December, 2018

Greetings –
Hope you & yours had a festive Thanksgiving weekend!

Thanks very much for your interest in Bay Area bluegrass and old time music events. Additions, corrections, suggestions, and comments are much appreciated.   
    * e-mail: [email protected]
    * on-air studio phone: 415-841-4134

A complete, constantly-updated calendar is always available HERE. Please write <[email protected]> to let me know what changes and additional updates are needed.

If you’re looking for a grin, might I suggest you begin following @bluegrassmemess on Instagram? Tessa Schwartz is some kind of brilliant, and her posts are sure to brighten your day.

Hope you get to hear and/or play some music soon –
Please take a moment to consider donating to the Instruments for Fire Survivors campaign initiated by the California Bluegrass Association.

If you are a musician, or close to someone who is, you understand the special kind of anguish associated with losing your guitar, mandolin, fiddle, or banjo. And you know how powerful music can be in the healing process. Please help us reunite the victims of the horrific Butte County and Ventura County fires with their music.

These areas are home to many current and former members of the California Bluegrass Association, some of whom escaped the inferno with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Already the costliest fires in state history, the Camp (Creek) Fire, Woolsey Fire, and Briggs Fire will take years to recover from, and will require an army of public and non-profit agencies, each doing their part.

The California Bluegrass Association is taking on a small but important part by replacing lost or damaged musical instruments owned by current and former Association members. You can help by donating to this GoFundMe campaign (link above), coming to one of the fundraising concerts being organized, and visiting the CBA’s web site, where the Association is bringing together affected members with those who can help. All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Tomorrow is “Giving Tuesday,” the day when donations to your favorite non-profit organizations are encouraged. I hope you’ll consider supporting KALW radio, home of Bluegrass Signal, part of the Bay Area’s most eclectic, adventurous, community-based programming.

Your support is encouraged via text (see above) or a secure online site. Again, donations are 100% tax deductible.

And, again, you have my heartfelt thanks.

Bluegrass Signal       
Saturdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm on (91.7 FM in the Bay Area)
– The area’s most comprehensive bluegrass calendar is part of every show (between 7:30 and 8 pm), often includes musical previews, and sometimes has ticket giveaways.
– All KALW local music programs are archived for one week and can be listened to on demand. Just go HERE and select ‘Bluegrass Signal’ to hear that week’s show.   

Dec. 1: Across the Tracks
PT showcases new regional releases – from Pittsburgh, Grass Valley, Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, and, yes, Nashville. And, on the anniversary of Carter Stanley’s 1966 passing, we’ll remember some of his great songs and singing — and get ready for Peter Rowan’s tribute to Carter at the Freight on 12/8.

Dec. 8: Down the Road: Flatt & Scruggs played Carnegie Hall on this date in 1962, so we’ll sample that as well as some of their other concert recordings; co-hosts: PT & Ryan Breen

Dec. 15: Across the Tracks: CDs make excellent last-minute gifts, and PT surveys his favorites from 2018. For example …


Dec. 22: Leah (Wollenberg) Picks ‘Em & Plays ‘Em

Dec. 29: Allegra (Thompson) Picks ‘Em & Plays ‘Em

Concerts & Club Dates: this month
Nov. 26: Earl Brothers – Amnesia, SF
Nov. 27: The Mighty Crows – Sam’s BBQ, San Jose
Caleb Klauder & Reeb Willms –
– Nov. 27: Sweetwater, Mill Valley; with The Bow Ties
– Nov. 28: house concert in Santa Cruz <[email protected]>
– Nov. 29: Odd Fellows Lodge, Cupertino
– Nov. 30: Fifth Street Farms, Berkeley <[email protected]>
Nov. 29: The Travelin’ McCourys – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Nov. 29: Town Howlers – Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
Nov. 29: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Nov 29: Stoney Mountain Ramblers – Summit House, Los Gatos
Nov. 30: Town Howlers – The Fireside Lounge, Alameda
Nov. 30: Goat Hill Girls – Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, LG

Concerts & Club Dates: next month
Dec. 1 (11 am): Festival Speed – The Marin Country Mart, Larkspur
Dec. 1 (2 pm): New Vintage Revelers (Harry Liedstrand, Paul Kotapish, Dan Warrick) – Dashe Cellars, Oakland
Dec. 1 (3-5 pm): Free Range Fridays presents The Chickwagon Junction Revue – La Promenade Café, SF; with Chickwagon Junction, Keller Sisters, Pam Brandon, The Musettes, Liz Pisco & Rebecca Chourré, The Goldfish Girls, and Tomorrow’s Voice; all proceeds to the Norcal Fire Recovery Fund
Dec. 1: Shepherd Canyon Band – Monaghan’s, Oakland
Dec. 1: Footprints – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 1: AJ Lee & Jesse Fichman – Sushi Garden, Scotts Valley
Dec. 2: Blue Summit – Flynn’s, Felton
Dec. 2: Stoney Mt. Ramblers – Peninsula School Holiday Fair, Menlo Park
Dec. 2 (4:30 pm): Wendy Burch Steel & Redwood – Bird & Beckett, SF  
Dec. 3: Fog Holler; Bluegrass Pride hosts the pre-show jam – Amnesia, SF
Dec. 4: Bean Creek – Sam’s BBQ, San Jose
Dec. 5: Whiskey Brothers – Albatross Pub, Berkeley
Dec. 6: Blue & Lonesome & Friends – Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
Dec. 6: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 6: Brookdale Bluegrass Festival – Michael’s On Main, Soquel – Freebo & Alice Howe; Wildcat Mountain Ramblers; Brookdale BG Band
Dec. 7: Hawktail; Dead Horses – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Dec. 7: AJ Lee & Jesse Fichman – Sushi Garden, Scotts Valley
Dec. 8 (1 pm): The Bearcat Stringband Duo – Cato’s, Oakland
Dec. 8 (3 pm): Harmony Grits – San Gregorio Store
Dec. 8: Peter Rowan: Carter Stanley’s Eyes – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Dec. 8: Blue Summit – house concert in Piedmont <[email protected]>
Dec. 8: Amy Scher & Hailey Pexton – house concert in Berkeley <[email protected]>
Dec. 8: Canyon Johnson – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 9: Blue Summit; The T Sisters; others – The Chapel, SF; benefit for Fire Relief in Northern California
Dec. 10: The Bow Ties – Amnesia, SF
Dec. 11: Sidesaddle & Co. – Sam’s BBQ, San Jose
Dec. 12: Bill Evans’ Bangers & Grass – Kensington Circus Pub
Dec. 13: Blue & Lonesome & Friends – Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
Dec. 13: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 13: Little Missy (Jane Rothfield & Shona Carr) – workshops & house concert in Mt. View <[email protected]>
Dec. 14-16: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Dec 14 (5 pm): Holiday Hootenanny – Stoney Mountain Ramblers; Wildcat Mountain Ramblers; Nate Jones & The Sloe Sippers; Pathetic Honey – Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co., San Carlos
Dec. 14 (5:30 pm): Blue Summit – Testarossa Winery, Los Gatos
Dec. 14: Stampede – Mission Pizza, Fremont        
Dec. 15 (11 am): Montara Mountain Boys – San Gregorio General Store
Dec. 15: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont    
Dec. 16 (5:30 pm): Mountain Fire Band – Cato’s Ale House, Oakland
Dec. 17: Windy Hill – Amnesia, SF
Dec. 18: Wildcat Mountain Ramblers – Sam’s BBQ, San Jose
Dec. 19: Whiskey Brothers – Albatross Pub, Berkeley
Dec. 20: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band – Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
Dec. 20: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 21 & 22: David Grisman Sextet – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Dec. 21 & 22: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 23: Bernal Hillbillies – Lucky Horseshoe, SF
Dec. 24 & 25: Merry, merry!
Dec. 27: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band – Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
Dec. 27: Mill Creek Ramblers – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 28: Fourth Friday Feral Square Dance- Alley Cat Books, SF
Dec. 28: AJ Lee & Jesse Fichman – Sushi Garden, Scotts Valley
Dec. 29: Blue Summit – Sam’s  Chowder House, Half Moon Bay
Dec. 29: Beargrass Creek – Mission Pizza, Fremont
Dec. 31: High Country – The Back Room, Berkeley

Concerts & Club Dates: beyond  
Jan. 2: Blue & Lonesome – Le Bateau Ivre, Berkeley
Jan. 5: Undone In Sorrow; Sauce Piquante – Back Room, Berkeley
Jan. 11: Jordan Tice; Jubilee – house concert in Point Richmond <[email protected]>
Jan. 12: Pickin’ On Hate – The Town Howlers; The Country Business; Evie Ladin Band; Fog Holler – Ashkenaz, Berkeley; benefit for Trans Lifeline
Jan. 16: Words & Music – Laurie Lewis, Claudia Russell, Don Henry, Nina Gerber – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Jan. 27: Kathy Kallick/Keith Little/Sharon Gilchrist/Jack Tuttle/Steve Pottier; Crying Uncle – Brava Theater, SF; benefit for Bluegrass For Better
Feb. 9 (7 pm): AJ Lee & Blue Summit – Foothill Presbyterian Church, San Jose
Feb. 15: Evie Ladin Band – Devil Mountain Coffee House, Walnut Creek
Feb. 23: Sideline – Morgan Hill Grange
Feb. 27: Noam Pikelny & Stuart Duncan – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
March 1: Rhonda Vincent & the Rage – World Records, Bakersfield
March 9: Sonoma County Bluegrass & Folk Festival, Sebastopol Community Center – Jerrold Wicentowski & The Wiseman Institute; Nu Blu; Duo Quartet (Nina Gerber & Chris Webster plus Pamela Delgado & Jeri Jones); Scott Gerber; Mike Beck
April 7: BOTMC Spring Situation – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
April 28: Festival of the Mandolins – Croatian American Cultural Center, SF
May 16-19: Berkeley Bluegrass Festival – Freight & Salvage – Earls Of Leicester; Kathy Kallick Band; Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands with Jerry Douglas; Blue Summit; Front Country; others


Jan. 18-20: BLYTHE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL- Colorado River Fairgrounds, Blythe
High Plains Tradition; The Highland Travelers; Kenny and Amanda Smith; Cedar Hill; Sawmill Road; …

Jan. 25-27: BLUEGRASS ON BROADWAY- Redwood City

Feb. 21-24: WINTERGRASS – Bellevue, WA
Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band; Della Mae; Po’ Ramblin’ Boys; Blue Highway;
Phil Leadbetter All-Stars of BG (Claire Lynch, Steve Gulley, Alan Bibey, Jason Burleson);
Steep Canyon Rangers; Billy Strings; Sideline; The Hillbenders; Sons of the Pioneers; Molsky’s Mountain Drifters; Old Growth Quartet; Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer; Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons; Jayme Stone’s Folklife; Hills to Hollers; Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno; Bill & the Belles; Joe Craven & the Sometimers; …

March 1-3: BLUEGRASS ON THE BEACH- Lake Havasu, AZ
Rhonda Vincent & the Rage; Little Roy & Lizzy Show; Country Current; Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa; Sideline; Jeff Scroggins & Colorado; Central Valley Boys; …

June 13-16, 2019: FATHER’S DAY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL- Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley
Sister Sadie; Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers; Lonely Heartstring Band; Po’ Ramblin’ Boys; Cardinal Tradition with David Parmley & Randy Graham; FY5; Volume 5; Evie Ladin Band; California Showcase Bands: The Central Valley Boys; Phil Salazar and the Kinfolk; …

Jam Sessions & Camp Outs

– every Sunday (1 pm): Bluegrass and Country Slow Jam w/ Richard Brandenburg – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
– Dec. 9 (1 pm): Old Time Jam w/ Tony Phillips – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
– Jan. 10-13: CBA’s Great 48 Hour Jam- Marriott Convention Center, Bakersfield
Includes concerts with High Country; Amy Scher & Hailey Pexton; Winfree, Schwartz, & Athayde
– Sundays (4 pm): The Lucky Horseshoe – 453 Cortland Ave., SF
– First & Third Sundays:  Twin Oaks Roadhouse, Penngrove –
3-5 pm: open jam; 5-7 pm: invitational jam; hosted by Karen Wilhoyte
– First Sunday (1 pm): Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association – (usually) Hoover Middle School, Naglee Ave. & Park St., San Jose
– 1st Sun. (2 pm): Skyline Pizza – 4400 Keller Ave., Oakland <[email protected]>
– First Sunday (5 pm): Cleophus Quealy Beer Co., San Leandro
– First Sunday (8 pm): Shoe Jam – invitational jam – Lucky Horseshoe, 453 Cortland Ave., SF <[email protected]>
– 2nd/4th Sun. (3 pm): Progressive Grounds Cafe, 400 Cortland Ave., SF (old time)
– 2nd Sun. (4 pm): Shred Session – Starry Plough, Berkeley (old time)
– 3rd Sunday (4:30 pm): “Full speed” jam – Community Living Center (Bldg 90), Veterans Affairs, 4951 Arroyo Rd., Livermore <[email protected]>
– 4th Sunday (1:30 pm): California Old Time Fiddlers Association – United Methodist Church, 19806 Wisteria St., Castro Valley  
– 4th Sun. (1 pm): Ocean View Park, Santa Cruz <[email protected]>

– Mondays: The Stork Club – 2330 Telegraph, Oakland <[email protected]>
– Mon: Unitarian Universalist Church – 505 East Charleston Rd., Palo Alto (old time)
<[email protected]>
– Mondays: Taco Jam  – invitational jam hosted by Tom Lucas – Baja Taqueria,
4070 Piedmont Ave. (@ 41st), Oakland <[email protected]>
Nov. 26: Tessa Schwartz, Dan Norton, Dave Gooding, Rowan McCallister, Aaron Zorndorf
Dec. 3: Helen Lude, Ted Kuster, Rick Owen, Ted Silverman, Ian Epstein
Dec. 10: Tom Lucas, Jim Duber, Dana Rath, Yvonne, Walbroehl
Dec. 17: Tom Lucas, Gene Tortora, Rick Owen, Red Rick, Dave Corchaine
– 1st Monday (6 pm): Old Time jam – Amnesia, SF
– 2nd Monday: Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez
– 2nd/4th Mondays (6 pm): The Pick Jam – Amnesia, 853 Valencia, SF
– 3rd Monday (6 pm): The Handsome Ladies Jam – Amnesia, SF

– 1st/3rd Tuesdays: Winters Tavern, Pacifica
– 1st/3rd Tuesdays: SUBUD Hall, Sebastopol <[email protected]>
– 1st/3rd/5th Tuesdays: Coffee Shop, Safeway – Funston @ Irving, SF (old time); Dinah Stroe <[email protected]>
– 2nd/4th Tuesdays: Dublin Heritage Center Park, 6600 Donlon, Dublin <[email protected]>
– Wednesdays (6:30 pm): El Cerrito Music Works (upstairs), 11225 San Pablo, EC
– Wednesdays: Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston Rd., Palo Alto (bluegrass)
– Wednesdays: Java Jam – Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company (invitational)
<[email protected]>
– First Wednesday: The Plough & Stars, 116 Clement (@ 2nd Ave.), SF; hosted by Jeanie & Chuck Poling (bluegrass, old time, classic country)
– Second Wednesday: 47 Hills Brewing Company, South SF
– Fourth Wednesday: Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez  
– Fourth Wednesday: Aqus Café, Petaluma

– Thursdays: Morgan Hill Grange  <[email protected]>
– Thursdays (6:30 pm): Street Beats & Eats Bluegrass Jam
– SoMa StrEat Food Park (11th & Division, SF) <[email protected]>
– 1st/3rd/5th Thursdays: Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave., Oakland (old time)
– First/Third Thursdays: Marin Bluegrass Jam – Marin Lutheran Church, 649 Meadowsweet, Corte Madera <[email protected]>

– Saturdays (noon): Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol (info: 707-479-5529)
– First/Third Saturdays: Mission Pizza & Pub, 1572 Washington Blvd., Fremont; hosted by the Mill Creek Ramblers
– Second Saturday (12 pm): Santa Clara Train Station, 1005 Railroad Ave., Santa Clara <[email protected]>


Sundays (1 pm): Bluegrass & Country Slow Jam
 w/ Richard Brandenburg – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Next series of classes at the Freight & Salvage, Berkeley begins in early January; classes/instructors recently included Bluegrass Jam w/ Bill Evans; Clawhammer Banjo w/ Evie Ladin; Bluegrass Harmony Singing w/ Avram Siegel; Fiddle w/ Adrianna Ciccone; Dobro w/ John Bidwell; Bass w/ Chuck Ervin; Flatpicking Fundamentals and Singing from Inside the Song w/ Richard Brandenburg

 Other recently scheduled classes:

    Mondays: Bluegrass Jam w/ Sonia Shell – The Woodshed at Keith Holland Guitars, Los Gatos
    Tuesdays: Bernal Jam Workshop w/ Richard Brandenburg – SF
    <[email protected]>
    Tuesdays & Wednesdays: Jack Tuttle’s jam and instrument classes in Palo Alto
    Wednesdays & Thursdays: Bluegrass Jam, Fingerboard Fundamentals w/ Avram Siegel <[email protected]> in Berkeley
    Thursdays: Bluegrass Band w/ Sharon Gilchrist & Mike Witcher – Manning Music, Berkeley; info/res: Sharon Gilchrist <[email protected]>
    Sundays: oldtime stringband class w/ Harry Liedstrand, Cindy Liedstrand, David Brown – Lamorinda Music, Lafayette


Dec. 15 (1 pm): Banjo w/ Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn – Freight and Salvage, Berkeley; free for ticketholders to their Dec. 14, 15, or 16 shows

Feb. 9 (1-4:30 pm: Country/Bluegrass Harmony Singing Intensive with Val Mindel & Kate Brislin – Freight and Salvage, Berkeley


April 10-14: Julian Family Fiddle Camp – Julian
Instructors: Jesse Maw, Henry Barnes, Carolyn Kendrick, Jennifer Albrent, Luke Price, Nina Weisman, Jake Howard, John Herrmann, Jordan Tice, Daniel Plane, Max Schwartz, Rachael Price, Rebecca Stout

April 11-14: Walker Creek Music Camp – near Petaluma
Instructors: Ivan Rosenberg (bluegrass jam), Steve Kaufman (flatpicking guitar), Steve Pottier (bluegrass guitar), Keith Little (bluegrass banjo), Don Julin (bluegrass mandolin), Annie Staninec (bluegrass fiddle), Tatiana Hargreaves (old time fiddle), Steve Baughman (old time banjo with singing), Leela Grace (old time string band), Orville Johnson (dobro), Anne Luna (bass), Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore (vocals); NEW: Irish music w/ Liz Carroll, Dáithí Sproule, Marla Fibish, Michael Black


Individual instruction: CBA’s list of bluegrass music teachers

Square & Contra Dances  

Bay Area Country Dance Society contra and square dances:
1st/3rd/5th Wed.: Christ Church Berkeley, 2138 Cedar, Berkeley
1st/3rd Sat.: St. Paul’s Church, 43rd & Judah, SF
2nd/4th/5th Sat.: Palo Alto United Methodist Church
1st Sun. (2:30 – 5 pm): First Unitarian Church, San Jose

North Bay Country Dance Society contra dances:
1st Sun: Petaluma Woman’s Club
2nd Sat.: Unitarian Universalist Church of Marin, San Rafael
3rd Fri.: Monroe Hall, Santa Rosa
4th Sat.: Wischemann Hall, Sebastopol

1st/3rd Fri.: North Oakland Square Dance –
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave. (near Alcatraz), Oakland
1st Fri.: Squirrelly Stringband with caller Jordan Ruyle
3rd Fri.: revolving cast of bands and callers

4th/5th Sun. (4-7 pm): Traditional Dancers of the Golden State contra dance – Hill & Valley Club, Hayward

2nd Fri.: Traditional Dancers of Santa Cruz contra dance – Live Oak Grange, SC

2nd Fri: Circle Left – First Unitarian Church of Oakland

4th Fri.: Alley Cat Books, 3036-24th St., SF
Performance Venues & Organizations

AMNESIA – 853 Valencia St. (b/w 19th & 20th in the Mission), SF
THE BACK ROOM – 1984 Bonita Ave., Berkeley

FREIGHT & SALVAGE COFFEEHOUSE – 2020 Addison St., Berkeley
MISSION PIZZA & PUB – 1572 Washington Blvd., Fremont  
PLOUGH & STARS – 2nd & Clement, SF
SAM’S BBQ – 1110 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose
SAN GREGORIO GENERAL STORE – Hwy 84 & Stage Rd., San Gregorio
WILLOWBROOK ALE HOUSE – 3600 Petaluyma Blvd. N., Petaluma (707-775-4232)



WAMU’s Bluegrass Country
Available here (
Pacific Time zone broadcasts: Fridays at 3 pm; rebroadcast Mondays (8 pm) and Tuesdays (9 pm).
NOTE: A number of other playlists from “Bluegrass Country” versions of
“Bluegrass Signal” are available here.

A service of the Bluegrass Country Foundation.

Nov. 23-29: Nothin’ So Bad
Host Leah Wollenberg samples some of her faves from recent listening; many turn out to be from the west coast.

Nov. 30 – Dec. 6: Chalk Up Another One
Leah Wollenberg is back, and emphasizes music from upcoming area shows in her presentation.

Dec. 7-13: Across the Tracks
PT gets into some new regional releases – from Pittsburgh, Grass Valley, Seattle, Baltimore, Boston, and, yes, Nashville.

Dec. 14-20: Windy Grass
Bay Area banjo picker, singer, songwriter Ryan Breen makes his Bluegrass Signal debut, playing some of the obscure (Bill Duncan & the Harmony Mt. Boys, The Lonesome River Boys) and familiar (Earl Taylor & Jim McCall, Mac Martin, JD Crowe) recordings that influenced his own music.

Dec. 21-27: Down the Road
Ryan’s latest show happened on the date of Flatt & Scruggs’ 1962 Carnegie Hall concert; who knows what that’ll inspire?

Dec. 28 – Jan. 3: Across the Tracks
PT’s faves from 2018. Happy New Year!

“Bluegrass Signal” PLAYLISTS
Theme (except as noted) –
JOHN REISCHMAN: Bluegrass Signal/Up In the Woods (Corvus/99)


Please visit for October and November playlists.