Here we are in a brand new year, with lots to be thankful for in terms of the local bluegrass scene in San Diego. Let’s take a few moments to remind ourselves how much bluegrass there is in this area and how lucky we are (and not just for the weather!):
JAM SESSIONS AND REGULAR EVENTS
* Bluegrass jam sessions are open to every level of player and to the listening public every Tuesday of the month.
First Tuesday at Round Table Pizza in Escondido, corner of Ash and
Washington, from 6:30-9pm sponsored by the non-profit North San Diego
County Bluegrass and Folk Club (NCBFC). These first Tuesday events also present a featured band every month in concert.
Second Tuesday at Fuddruckers Restaurant in Grossmont Center, La Mesa, from 6:30-9pm with an open mic and pick-up bands, sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS) and hosted by SDBS Board member George Noble Jr.
Third Tuesday Instructed Slow Jam taught by acclaimed teacher Janet Beazley, held at 4434 30th Street in North Park from 7:30-9pm. Admission is $5 for SDBS members and $10 for non-members (you can join SDBS on site and save).
Fourth Tuesday at the Boll Weevil Restaurant, 9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., with open mic and pick-up bands from 6:30-8pm and a featured band in concert from 8-9 pm. This event is sponsored by the SDBS.
* Every Thursday Instructed jam session in north county at Today’s Pizza on Santa Fe in Encinitas, just west of the I-5. The sessions are led by banjo player Jason Weiss and go from 6:30-9 pm. All levels of players and the public are welcome.
* Every Wednesday SDBS sponsored Emma’s Gut Bucket Band meets at Whitman Elementary School in Clairemont from 6:30-9:30pm for an open jam session. The public is welcome.
SDBS presents special bluegrass concerts three to four times per year featuring top notch traveling bands. Recent presentations have included Audie Blaylock and Redline and Sideline. Coming up this month on the 16th is Special Consensus.
AMSD Concerts (reopens within the next month or so as they are moving to a new venue) presents regular music concerts of all types, including several bluegrass concerts per year.
The San Diego Symphony POPS, and the El Cajon, Escondido, and Poway
Performing Arts Centers also present occasional bluegrass concerts.
The SDBS and NCBFC present the Summergrass Festival every August, a three-day event that features performances by 10-plus top bluegrass bands, workshops, camping, vendors, a Kids Music Camp, and more.
Every Sunday from 10pm to midnight, the KSON Bluegrass Special is hosted by Wayne Rice, who presents traditional and modern bluegrass, including once-a-month live performances and chat by local bluegrass bands. 97.3 and 93.1 on the FM dial. You can also hear these shows over the internet on the KSON website where they are archived for about a month after each show.
NEW YEAR’S DAY FLASH JAM
There will be a Flash Jam in Cardiff, held at the Cardiff Kook statue on New Year’s day, 1pm. Bring your instrument and participate in playing “Old Joe Clark” and other classics. Free. Players and listeners are all welcome. *Sponsored by the Julian Family Fiddle Camp.
GREAT 48-HOUR JAM IN BAKERSFIELD This special jam session is happening January 9-11 at the Doubletree in Bakersfield, featuring jamming, band showcases, and lots more.
SPECIAL CONSENSUS in concert on Thursday, January 16, presented by the SDBS at the First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach, 4747 Soledad Mountain Rd., Pacific Beach. Opening by Rusty Gait at 7pm; Special Consensus at 7:30. Admission is free; donations will be solicited.
BLYTH BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, January 17-19 in Blyth, California features Larry Gillis and Swampgrass, Copper River, the Lost and Found, Audie Blaylock and Redline, James Reams and the Barnstormers, Detour, the Bluegrass Martins, the Roustabouts, Southern Reign, Virtual Strangers, and Next Generation.
Want more info? Visit the SDBS website at www.sandiegobluegrass.org. The information contained in this column reflects just the regular events and what’s happening this month! Who would have thought that beach-oriented, laid-back San Diego would have so much bluegrass?
No way is there this much bluegrass going on in Los Angeles or other West Coast cities. So, while setting those new year’s resolutions, take a moment to count your local bluegrass blessings!