Bluegrass Corner

Dennis Caplinger Memorial and More

Covid Striking Again. Just as bluegrass jam sessions and events in San Diego were restarting, the Delta variant of the Covid virus has everyone on edge again, with some events being temporarily re-suspended. The SDBS second Tuesday event at Mainstream Bar and Grill in Poway has been suspended pending further notice, as has the second Sunday jam session at Duck Foot Brewery. The Sam Hinton Festival was also suspended this year. Some events remain active but only on line. For example, the SDBS third Monday instructed slow jam. Some outdoor events remain active, as the risk of covid spread is greatly reduced outdoors.

For some events the trend now seems to be to require proof of vaccination. This includes some prominent bluegrass festivals, including the annual IBMA event held in Raleigh, North Carolina (see below), and some local indoor concert events. With 73%+ of San Diego County residents now vaccinated, and with availability of an easy online verification system, this seems to be working for most people, with grumbling from some. Music is important to all of us, and the need to gather and enjoy it in groups is essential. Let’s all do our part to beat this covid menace and allow us all to safely get back to music.

Dan Sankey on fiddle, Zach Caplinger guitar, and John Moore of Bluegrass etc. on mandolin honor Zach’s dad, Dennis Caplinger. Photo by David Cupp.

Attendees at the Dennis Caplinger memorial enjoy great music by some of the outstanding musicians who were friends of Dennis. Photo by David Cupp.

Dennis Caplinger Memorial. Last month this column covered the sad passing of San Diego music star Dennis Caplinger. Dennis died at age 57 from a losing fight with deadly sepsis. Last month, on September 19, a memorial for Dennis was held at the Summergrass venue, the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, in Vista, California.

The event was held in the assembly room and was well attended by the San Diego bluegrass community and folks from beyond, all supporters of Dennis. Among the attendees were Dennis’ family members, including outstanding guitar virtuoso son Zach Caplinger.

The event featured great bluegrass music, just as Dennis would have wanted. Bluegrass music is the perfect salve to ease the passing of a loved one.

Thanks to David Cupp for these great photos and to all those who showed up or have written or called the family to express their condolences. The Troubadour, also a great friend and admirer of Dennis Caplinger, extends its best thoughts and condolences to the family as well. Dennis’ music, and the way he touched all those with whom he interacted, will live on even as we mourn his untimely loss.

IBMA Annual Event.  October will bring us the IBMA annual event in Raleigh, North Carolina. Hosting a week of seminars, a convention, workshops, the annual Bluegrass Music Awards, showcase bands, and more, all capped by a great weekend bluegrass festival. Appearing as a showcase band this year is San Diego’s own Mojavi Soul. Congrats to them for being selected, and we look forward to a report on their experience.

Staying on top of San Diego Area Bluegrass Activities During Covid Times. Want to stay up to date on what’s happening in San Diego and what is not during this time of evolving covid rules? Here are links to the key San Diego area organizations presenting bluegrass music events and activities. Visit their websites to learn more about their current situations.

North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club:
San Diego Bluegrass Society:
Thursday Night Pickers:
San Diego Folk Heritage Society: