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June 2024
Vol. 23, No. 9

Bluegrass Corner

A Bluegrass New Year!

by Dwight WordenJanuary 2023

The Great 48

The New Year is set to start with a bluegrass bang in Bakersfield, California over the weekend of January 5-8, 2023. There will be concerts, showcases, vendors, workshops, and jamming until the wee hours. The California Bluegrass Association (CBA) hosts the event at the downtown Bakersfield Marriott on Truxton. Here’s an excerpt from the CBA website about this great event:

New to jamming?
Just starting to figure out how to play your bass, Dobro, banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, or other acoustic instrument? Along with opportunities to join impromptu jams of all levels, the Great 48 will also offer educational workshops, host welcome jams, theme jams, and an open mic night for you to “just make music!”

To learn more, visit the CBA Great 48 website here: Lots of folks from San Diego will be there. The San Diego Bluegrass Society, The North County Bluegrass and Folk Club, and Summergrass will be sharing a suite. Stop by and say hi! It’s free except for some concert and special workshop events, including those with Dobro legend Jerry Douglass.

Bluegrass Resolutions for the New Year. Here are some Bluegrass Resolutions to ponder for 2023:

  • Learn to Play an Instrument. If you are not already a player, take up an instrument. The acoustic guitar is a great place to start. You will learn chord structure, how to sing, and you will be welcome in many, many bluegrass jams. A great opportunity is to attend the structured slow jam held every third Monday evening of the month sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society. You will learn how to play real bluegrass music, slowed down by the session leaders and made accessible. Learn more about the slow jam at
  • Get Out to More Bluegrass Events. Like many of us, you have probably not been out that much over the last few years due to Covid concerns. Well, Covid isn’t gone, but there are plenty of Covid safe opportunities to get out and enjoy live bluegrass music. The San Diego Bluegrass Society has lots. Take a look at, as does the North County Bluegrass and Folk Club, www. Or, try the Thursday Night Pickers jam in Encinitas held every Thursday night at the Round Table Pizza off Encinitas Blvd.
  • Listen to More Music. Pull out those great old CDs you have collected over the years that are gathering dust and give them a listen. You will remember why you bought them! Or, try a simple search on YouTube for “bluegrass music” and plow the treasure trove of old and new bluegrass available on line.
  • Support Bluegrass. Support bluegrass music in San Diego. Read and pass around the Troubadour. Join the SDBS or the NCBFC at their above websites; it’s only $25 per year. These nonprofit all volunteer driven organizations would love to have you!
  • Help a Kid Learn Music. Volunteer to help a child learn music. You can do this at your kids’ or grandkids’ schools. Or, join the SDBS or NCBFC, Folk Heritage, or a local community group in your area and get started. There’s no better way to honor the music we love than to teach it to the next generation.

Troubadour Annual Holiday Fundraiser

Ass Pocket Whiskey Fellas kick off the party. Photo by Dan Chusid.

The Troubadour had its 21st annual party on Sunday December 18, 2022 at Tio Leo’s in Pacific Beach. Unfortunately, I was not able to be present, but I enjoyed it from a distance by osmosis. Lots of great folks were there, there was outstanding food and music, and lots of catching up and camaraderie. Read about it here, or better yet make a donation to support the Troubadour for the New Year:

Everyone have a great New Year, full of music, friends, family, good food, and love.

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