Wow! There’s a lot of great bluegrass happening in San Diego, with more to come. Here’s a quick rundown.
December 16 saw Rob Ickes and Jim Hurst in concert at the Del Mar Powerhouse. Rob is the 14-time winner of the Dobro Player of the Year Award from IBMA, making him the most awarded individual artist in IBMA history. Jim Hurst is a two-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Award winner. These two put on a great duet show, replete with absolutely stunning instrumental work done by each of them individually, and duets to rock the house. Jim’s fine singing complemented the show. The house was packed and roaring its approval for these two standouts, on numbers like Jim’s unique version of “Mustang Sally.”
December 29 saw the legendary Peter Rowan in concert at AMSD Concerts. Peter was a member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys band and of the ground breaking Old and in the Way, with Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements, and David Grisman.
January 3-6 is the Great 48 Jam Session in Bakersfield, sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association. The event is hosted at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Bakersfield, where you can get a special rate room for $89 through CBA. Visit their website at: http://www.cbaontheweb.org. Rhonda Vincent and the Rage will be appearing on Friday night ($20), and there will be showcase presentations by four California bands selected by the CBA. There will also be jamming, a band scramble, open mic, and lots more. The San Diego Bluegrass Society will be there hosting a suite and invites you to stop by. If you would like to volunteer for SDBS in the suite, please let Jim Blakemore know by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a very fun event, very affordable, and not that far of a drive. I hope to see you there!
January 18-20: The Blythe Bluegrass Festival will feature the Gibson Brothers, Monroe Crossing, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, the Dry Branch Fire Squad, Chris Stuart and BackCountry, Bill Evans, the Burnett Family, and many others. (Colorado River Fairgrounds, Blythe, California). For tickets and more info visit: http://www.blythebluegrass.com.
January 24: Audie Blaylock and Redline in concert, presented by the SDBS at the First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach located at 4747 Soledad Mountain Road (off Garnet) in Pacific Beach. The show will open with a set of great bluegrass by top local band Lighthouse at 7pm, and Audie Blaylock and Redline will come on at 7:30. The concert is free and a goodwill offering will be taken. The show is open to the public. Here is what Bluegrass Unlimited magazine had to say about this great band:
“Whether these guys are unlimbering their formidable talents on a Carter Stanley classic (“Let’s Part the Best of Friends”), an old Jimmy Martin gospel staple (“Pray the Clouds Away”), a contemporary honky-tonker (Keith Stegall’s “Matches”) or a reprise of a ‘50s Ray Price country hit (“Talk to Your Heart”), the result is first-rate. If artistry and authenticity still really are bywords, then “Cryin’ Heart Blues” assures Blaylock’s place among the leading ranks of bluegrass’s headliners.”
January 26 -27: Picking Party on the Queen Mary. Stay on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and enjoy jamming, workshops, and more. Visit http://www.cruise2jam.com for info and details.
January 27: The Claire Lynch Band in concert at the Del Mar Powerhouse. Claire Lynch is one of the “top of the top” female vocalists in bluegrass today. She has won the IBMA female vocalist of the Year Award twice, once in 1997 and again in 2010. Here are just a couple of media quotes about Claire:
Claire Lynch sings with warmth and depth. It’s the kind of bluegrass with a broad appeal. Her songs could be contemporary country hits, if the country music industry supported music that is honest and soulful half as much as it pretends to. From Culture Mob, April 2011.
Lynch has earned her place among the great artists of contemporary folk, bluegrass, and Americana. About.com, March 2012.
That voice. Those songs. So fresh and so deep. Music City Roots Blog, August 2010.
For information and tickets visit: http://delmarfoundation.org
January 28-February 1: Bluegrass Cruise. Travel on the beautiful Carnival Cruise line’s Inspiration to Catalina Island and Mexico, with a full panoply of bluegrass workshops, concerts, and special events on board. Visit the cruise website at: http://www.cruise2jam.comfor info and details. Join the Virtual Strangers, Sweet Tidings, Mark Miracle, and more on this fun cruise adventure.
Whew! That’s a lot of great bluegrass, and that only gets us through January, with lots more coming in the months to follow. You can read about what else is coming in next month’s Troubadour. And, don’t forget there is local bluegrass every Tuesday. So let’s not hear any whining that good bluegrass isn’t happening in San Diego. Get out and take advantage of these opportunities, support the bands and artists, and have yourself a sack full of fun in the process.