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March 2023
Vol. 22, No. 6
32nd Annual San Diego Music Awards

Bluegrass Corner

Summer Bluegrass!

by Dwight WordenJuly 2016

There was lots of bluegrass action over the last month, and more great stuff coming! Let’s take a quick look.

Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ Contest. The third annual Julian Fiddle and Pickin’ contest was presented by the California State Old Time Fiddlers Association, District 7 (San Diego) in the historic Julian Town Hall in the mountain town of Julian, east of San Diego, over the weekend of June 4-5. There was great fiddling by contestants in a variety of categories, as well as strong picking on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Concerts from two grand masters champions–Luke Price and Matt Hartz–were stellar. Check out the results and enjoy photos from the Union Tribune here:

Huck Finn Festival, Special Consensus, Tim O’Brien, and Santee Wine and Bluegrass Festival. The annual Huck Finn Festival took place in Ontario in June, bringing some of the top performers in the bluegrass world to within an hour or so drive of San Diego. Balsam Range, David Grisman, Rhonda Vincent, and many more graced the Huck Finn stage this year.

Right here in town, top talent Tim O’Brien made an appearance at AMSD Concerts, putting on a great show. Special Consensus out of Chicago also appeared on the AMSD stage in June presenting their outstanding hard driving bluegrass sound. The Santee Wine and Bluegrass Festival brought great music and outstanding food and wine vendors to Santee in June as well.

Bluegrass Day at the Fair. If that isn’t enough for a June, we also had Bluegrass Day at the Fair on Saturday, June 18. Six bands in concert, a youth performance, a fiddling demonstration, and a popular band scramble filled the day with great entertainment. We’ll run results and pictures next issue.

Summergrass Is Just Around the Corner! The premier bluegrass festival on the West Coast, Summergrass, is teed up to unfold over the weekend of August 19-21 at the interesting Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista. The lineup is outstanding, including the award winning Gibson Brothers and other top national acts as well as great local bands. This year brings back the Adult Boot Camp for those adults wanting top quality instruction from the performing artists, there will be free workshops by the performers, a Kids Camp for youngsters 6-16 culminating in a main stage performance, vendors, camping and more. Check it all out and get your tickets at

James King Passes. Sadness invaded the bluegrass community in May with the passing of James King. James was known as the storyteller of bluegrass, penning and singing true life songs from the heart. He lived a hard life, which colored his music and the authenticity of his unique style of music delivery. He died young (58) from liver complications, but his music and his impact on the bluegrass world will long be remembered. Many of you will remember the outstanding concerts he presented here in San Diego for the San Diego Bluegrass Society. Rest in peace!

Bluegrass season is in full swing. We at the Troubadour hope you will get out and enjoy some great music and participate in the many picking opportunities. You can find out where the action is on the SDBS website at or on the KSON Bluegrass Special calendar at

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