Bluegrass Corner

Great Bluegrass Is Coming to San Diego This Fall!

Sunday, October 13 at 7:30pm the Del Mar Foundation is presenting Barefoot Movement at the Del Mar Powerhouse. Johnson City’s the Barefoot Movement has been making waves in the folk world since the release of their 2011 debut album Footwork. 2013 brings the release of a new album, cross-country touring, and all manners of shoeless excitement. Their new effort, Figures of the Year, comes on the heels of their West Coast tour, opening for Anti Records artists the Milk Carton Kids from Denver to San Francisco to Vancouver. The record itself is a journey through a year, each song telling its part of the larger story, with both original and traditional numbers, complete with all the elements that make up the Barefoot sound: lush harmonies, thoughtful instrumentation, and memorable melodies. For information and tickets contact the Del Mar Foundation: barefootmovement.

Next up, on Wednesday October 15 at 7pm, is a concert presented by the Julian Family Fiddle Camp featuring outstanding fiddler Calvin Vollrath. Calvin is one of the top fiddlers alive today, playing all styles of fiddle, including Celtic, old time, country, and bluegrass. A native Canadian, Calvin was recruited to write music for the Canadian Olympics a few years back, and this giant of the fiddle has played and recorded with just about everyone. His prodigious skill, wonderful styling, and phrasing make for fiddle music not to be missed. For tickets and info: There is also a reception with Mr. Vollrath from 6 to 7pm before the concert that can be attended with a separate ticket. The concert takes place at the Olivenhain Town Hall, and the reception is in a nearby private home.

Friday, October 11: Roger McGuinn with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives will perform at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts (15498 Espola Road, Poway) at 8pm. Visit for more info. Roger McGuinn, is of course, an original member of the Byrds, and Marty Stuart is the multi-talented artist who played with both Johnny Cash and Flatt and Scruggs before setting off with his own band.

Sunday, November 17 features the annual San Diego Bluegrass Society concert at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 3502 Clairemont Drive at 4:30 pm, with refreshments to follow. This free concert is a fundraiser for the SDBS and for the church. There is no admission charge but donations will be solicited. Plans are for two to three bands to present bluegrass music with the theme of “home,” featuring music about home, or songs written or performed and made famous by hometown bluegrass heroes. Check the SDBS website for more details as they become available:

Want to learn to play bluegrass? There are lots of great teachers in town. Check Buffalo Brothers South as a good spot that has a complete teaching school and teaching program. In addition to group and private lessons there and elsewhere in town, there are other great opportunities to get involved in playing bluegrass music as a learner.

Every third Tuesday of the month from 7:30-9pm there is an instructed Slow Jam led by acclaimed banjo player and teacher Janet Beazley. Admission is $5 for SDBS members and $10 to non-members (you can join SDBS on site for $20 for the whole year and get your immediate discount). Janet sends out music in advance of the sessions and teaches classic bluegrass instrumentation and harmony singing using classic tunes played at a moderate pace. The sessions are aimed at helping beginners and intermediates get into the swing of things. The sessions are at Buffalo Brothers South, 4434 30th Street, San Diego.

Every Thursday evening from 6:30-9pm there is an open jam at Today’s Pizza in Encinitas, led by Jason Weiss. Folks chip in $5 each and share pizza and salad at break time. Jason leads the group in classic bluegrass tunes, allowing those to solo who wish to do so. The main focus is on beginners and intermediates, although there are some pros who are also regulars. Check it out here:
There are also open jam sessions at SDBS events every second and fourth Tuesday of the month that are free, and there is a jam session on the first Tuesday of the month at Round Table Pizza in Escondido at the corner of Washington and Ash, sponsored by the North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club. Each of these events goes from 6:30-9pm. You can learn more about the SDBS events at: and about the Round Table Pizza event at:

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass week happens September 24 through the 28th in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is IBMA’s first year in Raleigh after moving the annual event from Nashville. I am off in a few days to attend the event, and will write about it in next month’s Bluegrass Corner. it looks to be a knock-out week. How’s this for a partial lineup at the festival: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, a special collaboration of Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and Mark Schatz, the Punch Brothers, Blue Highway, Claire Lynch, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and on and on….Can’t wait!

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