We had a great bluegrass year in 2016, and here at the Troubadour we are looking forward to even more in 2017. We hope to see you out and enjoying some of the great opportunities here in San Diego to hear live bluegrass music. Here are just a few:
FIRST TUESDAY EVERY MONTH: Jam session and bluegrass at the Round Table Pizza in Escondido, corner of Washington and Ash, 6:30–9 pm. Admission is free. Sponsored by the North County Bluegrass and Folk Club (NCBFC).
SECOND TUESDAY EVERY MONTH: Jam session, open mic, and pick up bands at Fuddruckers, Grossmont Center, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive; 6:30–9pm. Admission is free. Sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS).
EVERY THURSDAY: Jam session with Jason Weiss at the Round Table Pizza in Encinitas, 1321 Encinitas Blvd., 6:30–9pm. Admission is free (contribute $5 and enjoy pizza and salad).
THIRD MONDAY EVERY MONTH: Instructed bluegrass slow jam led by Janet Beazley. Learn bluegrass at a manageable pace. Our Savior Lutheran Church, 4011 Ohio Street, North Park. 7–8:30pm; $5 SDBS members, $10 public.
FOURTH TUESDAY EVERY MONTH: Open mic and pick up bands at the Boll Weevil Restaurant, 9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 6:30–8 pm. Featured Bluegrass Band in concert 8–9 pm. Admission is free; donations requested. Sponsored by SDBS.
EVERY SUNDAY: Bluegrass Brunch at Urban Solace Restaurant, 3823 30th Street, North Park. 10am–2 pm the best brunch in town with live bluegrass music.
EVERY WEDNESDAY EVENING: Emma’s Gut Bucket Band enjoys a bluegrass and Americana jam session, 6:30–9:15 pm at Whitman Elementary School, 4050 Appleton, Clairemont Mesa. Admission is free. Sponsored by SDBS.
Whew! That’s a lot of regularly scheduled bluegrass. In addition to these regular events, there are bluegrass concert opportunities. You can get on the email list for these venues and see what is coming:
BRICK 15: COFFEE HOUSE AND ACOUSTIC MUSIC VENUE IN DEL MAR. 915 Camino Del Mar (corner of 9th Street). Brick 15 hosts a variety of Americana, singer-songwriter and bluegrass events. Coming soon are Grammy winner Bryan Sutton and his bluegrass band on January 8 and Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley on February 8. Tickets and info: www.brick15.com.
AMSD CONCERTS. AMSD books a variety of acoustic music, Americana, and bluegrass events. Tickets and info: www. AMSD.com.
But wait, as they say on TV, there’s more! The SDBS and NCBFC co-produce the premier Summergrass Bluegrass Festival every third weekend in August, presenting top touring bands and lots of other activities. For info visit: www.summergrass.net. Additionally, NCBFC presents Bluegrass in the Flower Fields every spring, and SDBS presents 3-4 special concerts during the year featuring top touring bands. Visit the NCBFC website at: www.northcountybluegrass.org and the SDBS website at: www.sandiegobluegrass.org for info.
Finally, we would be remiss not to mention the “Bluegrass Special” radio show, hosted every Sunday night on KSON by Wayne Rice from 10pm to midnight. 97.3 and 92.1 on your FM dial. Wayne presents a live bluegrass band once a month and programs top-notch bluegrass music on all his shows. Wayne is in his 40th year hosting this great show—check it out. If you can’t stay up that late, you can stream it on the internet live or from the archives.
Bluegrass Film: History of Bluegrass in San Diego. Film maker Rick Bowman premiered his new film on the history of bluegrass music in San Diego at the new downtown San Diego Library on November 28. The film traces the early history of bluegrass music in San Diego focusing on the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, a group formed in the 1960s by Chris Hillman (later of the Byrds), Bernie Leadon (later of the Eagles), Kenny Wertz (later of the Country Gazette and the Flying Burrito Brothers), Ed Douglas on bass, Gary Carr on guitar, and Larry Murray on dobro (later of Hearts and Flowers).
The film also covered other early San Diego groups such as Brush Arbor (with Wayne Rice), a group that made several records for Capitol Records, and local band San Diego Grass and Eclectic, along with other prominent early locals, including Walt Richards. Many of the folks featured in the film were present for the premiere, including Wayne Rice (KSON “Bluegrass Special”), Walt Richards, Kenny Wertz, and Ed Douglas.
We are blessed in San Diego to have so many opportunities to get out and play and enjoy bluegrass music. How about a commitment to participate more in 2017? To me, that sounds like a great New Year’s Resolution.