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April 2024
Vol. 23, No. 7

Bluegrass Corner

Live Bluegrass in San Diego

by Dwight WordenMay 2023

Serious live bluegrass music is back and thriving in San Diego. In addition to the regular first Tuesday events held by the North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club—and the regular San Diego Bluegrass Society events—here’s a run-down on what’s new and what’s coming.

North Carolina’s Nu Blu lights up San Diego for SDBS. Hailing from Siler,

Carolyn & Daniel Routh of Nu Blu. Photo by David Cupp.

Dan Sankey at the Duckfoot Brewery Jam. Photo by David Cupp.

John Deckard leads a band performance at the new second Monday event. Photo by David Cupp.

North Carolina, internationally acclaimed Nu Blu presented a concert for SDBS at the Solway Church in Pacific Beach last month on April 13. Fronted by Daniel and Carolyn Routh, this group has great vocals and excellent instrumentation on banjo, guitar, and mandolin. San Diego’s own Prairie Sky opened for the group in a concert attended by about 75 bluegrass lovers.

NEW! Second Monday Evening at Duck Foot Brewery. SDBS and Duck Foot Brewery have been sponsoring a monthly fourth Sunday afternoon jam for some months. It has become so successful that a new second Monday evening event was inaugurated last month. Dozens of pickers and several bands were on hand to make this inaugural event a great success. If you missed it, stop by on Monday, May 8, 6:30-9 pm, for next month’s fun.

There was a food truck on site for feeds and lots of outstanding Duck Foot beer. Three bands performed, and there was lots of jamming in the outside areas.

New Fourth Monday Event at the Southwestern Yacht Club. The SDBS and the Southwestern Yacht Club are hosting an open mic and bluegrass jam session every fourth Monday of the month from 6:30-9 pm. There is a great jamming space on site. The event is open to SDBS members and their guests. Visit the SDBS website for details:

Bluegrass Day at the Fair Is Coming! Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 11, from noon to 5pm at the Paddock Stage on the Del Mar Fairgrounds for this year’s Bluegrass Day at the Fair. There will be a band scramble open to all players from beginner to expert and all ages in between. Names are drawn from a hat to form bands who have about 15 minutes to work up two to three tunes to perform on stage for prizes. There will also be a youth performance featuring talented youngsters and their teachers and a special performance by Emma’s Gut Bucket, including a fiddle demonstration. To top it off, there will be concerts by three top performing bands. Here is the tentative schedule:

Noon to 12:30pm                     Youth performance
12:40 – 2:10pm                         Band Scramble
2:20-2:50pm                             Band No 1
3:00-3:30pm                             Gut Bucket Band including Fiddle demonstration
3:40-3:50pm                             Band Scramble Awards
3:50-4:20pm                             Band No 2
4:30-5pm                                  Band no 3

To learn more and to sign up for the band scramble or to volunteer and earn free admission visit the SDBS website:

Julian Family Fiddle Camp. Held from May 3-7 at Camp Whispering Winds in Julian, the Julian Family Fiddle Camp is back, featuring top-notch instruction on fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, mandolin, and more with great evening concerts by the faculty. The evening concerts are open to the public. For tickets and info about the camp and concerts, visit:

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