Bluegrass Corner

South State 48

by Dwight WordenDecember 2023

Anni Beach from Arizona leads youth jamming groups at the South State 48.

The Rose Valley Thorns from Ojai, CA performed on the main stage.

Everybody had fun at the South State 48.

South State 48. The California Bluegrass Association (CBA) hosts an event in Bakersfield every January called the Great 48, welcoming folks from all over California and the western states. There are concerts, workshops, jamming, and more. The event will take place January 4-7, 2024. Learn more here:

This successful event has been going—and growing—for many years. So, three years ago CBA decided to try a similar event in San Diego calling it the South State 48. It was a success from day one! This year’s event was held at the Carlsbad Hotel in early November. Here are excerpts from an article written by SDBS Board member Roger Taylor and photos by David Cupp.

 The South State 48, Bluegrass by the Sea, was a complete blast, a total great experience for all ages! Yep, it’s okay for me to punctuate this opener with an exclamation mark.  


It didn’t take very long to unpack my guitar. Visitors were immediately prepping for a jam and there was a sizable group of musicians assembled outside the room. The grassy courtyard was filled and it was only Thursday afternoon! I counted several guitars, a couple banjos, a couple fiddles, a bass, a few mandolins, and a couple of ukuleles. This was shaping up as another successful bluegrass event. 

Somehow, on Thursday’s opening day, I found myself playing music until Friday, 12:30 am! Huh? It’s not like I’m 20-something, and this ain’t Woodstock, but the music gets you into a Zen-like, happy state.

So, Friday, somehow this old fart was playing music again past midnight. By Saturday there was now a boat load of people in jams all over the grassy knolls, on the patios outside the rooms, inside the rooms, and seemingly everywhere.

If you missed the South State 48 this year, it will be back again in the fall of 2024. In the meantime, consider attending the Great 48 in Bakersfield January 2024. Both are free to attend for pickers, jammers, and listeners.

The Holidays Follow the Bluegrass Way. Last month we had Thanksgiving, and this month brings us Christmas and Hanukkah. We hope you all enjoy this time with friends and family and, of course, with bluegrass music. It’s part of the Appalachian tradition that gave birth to bluegrass music to honor family and friends with music, to be friendly to all, and to respect the holy days. A quick Google search for “Christmas bluegrass music” or “Jewish Holiday Music” will fill your holiday home with great music.

As part of the holiday tradition, the Troubadour will be hosting its annual holiday fundraiser on Sunday, December 10, at Teo Leo’s, 5pm to 11pm. There will be great music indoors and a song writer circle and jam outside. We hope you will stop by, enjoy the evening, and show your support for the Troubadour! Donations are appreciated! Please consider donating today!

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