Mold Archive October through December
 


December 31, 2012

Milestone…In 1900 the expression "hillbilly" is coined in an article in the NEW YORK JOURNAL. "Hillbilly music" becomes synonymous with music popular in the rural South. Other names for this sound include mountain music, old-time music, or country music. Click here to watch String Bean’s interpretation of the art form in 1950.

And that’s the way it was--I don’t think I have to remind you of who Ted Lehmann is, but I’ll do it anyway. Ted is a retired university professor who taught literature, a gifted writer and photographer and a, how shall I put this, bluegrass bum. That’s “bum” in the finest sense of the word. He and his wife spend the better part of each year traveling the country hitting every bluegrass festival they can find. Ted documents, in words and photos, the couple’s adventures and maintains a blog that’s become awfully popular. He also writes the CBA’s second Tuesday of the month Welcome column. Okay, so I said that to tell you this. If you click here you can visit Dr. Lehmann’s 2012 Year in Review. You take your time going through that and you’ll know what’s happening with contemporary bluegrass music in the United States.

Home-wrecker--From the MOLD Mail Bag…Dear Mr. Mold, my name is James but people call me Jimmy, except my best friend LJ who calls me JT because we like breviation sounding names. Anyway, I am twelve and last night my mom and dad had an awful fight over him reading your news column so much. My mom doesn’t like you and says that you use bad words and make things up and that my dad shouldn’t read your news anyway because when he does he hears about too much places to go to listen to bluegrass and stuff and he should spend more time at home with me and my two brothers and my sister Montana. Anyway, I am writing to you to ask you to stop writing the More or Less Daily thing or at least to make it less than more. And please don’t mention that I wrote you ‘cause my mom would be really mad. So do you think you could stop?’ My response…”Dear Jimmy, no.

And it’s commercial free…more or less--Sam Bush television? Sure, why not…Sarah got her TV show, Gomer Pile got his, why not Sam? Now, the Mold team isn’t exactly recommending Bush’s new endeavor, but we thought we’d at least alert our readers to it. Click here for a little taste.

Something to do with the tilt of the earth on its axis?I’m not a banjo player, (thank you, Jesus), but occasionally I pick up a copy of Banjo Newsletter, partly because I’m always trolling for bluegrass news, partly because the publication is just so damned venerable, but mostly because my buddy, Tommy, has back issues strewn all over his music room. Looking through an issue from 2011 the other day I chanced to notice an article called Learning to Play Banjo in the New Millennium. What, I wondered, changed from 1999 to 2000 about how to learn the banjo? I was skeptical, I read Ian Perry’s piece and now I am not. A HREF=”http://www.banjonews.com/interview-2011-11.html “target=0>Click here

--And here’s how we’ll get 2013 off to a good bluegrass start…

Jan. 1: Bean Creek - Sam's BBQ, San Jose
Jan. 2: Sidesaddle & Co. - Sam's BBQ, San Jose
Jan. 2: Whiskey Brothers - Albatross Pub, Berkeley
Jan. 3: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
Jan. 3: The Country Casanovas - Atlas Cafe, SF
Jan. 3: The Tuttles with AJ Lee - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Jan. 5: The Bootcuts; The Birdhive Boys (Brooklyn) - Plough & Stars, SF
Jan. 6 (1 pm): The Tuttles with AJ Lee - Don Quixote's, Felton
Jan. 7: Belle Monroe & Her Brewglass Boys - Amnesia, SF

He wants a baby, she doesn’t--So, this guy wants to be a dad but his girlfriend, who’s been his girlfriend for five years, doesn’t wanna be a mom. And so they do the only sensible thing they can do…they produce a video…with vocals, instrumentals, even dance steps. I found this real life, not made up, drama set to a snappy tune most enjoyable and recommend you give it a try. Unless you have something better to do in which case you shouldn’t even have read this far. Click here


And finally, here’s our suggested activity for a rainy day--I know, end-of-the-world news stories have become passé, but I’m not linking to this NASA piece to inform you as much as I am to get your inquisitive juices flowing. For weeks the National Aero Space Administration received two or three hundred calls per day from people about the About Mayan Apocalypse. So here’s what I’m inviting you to do. Find a quiet, peaceful spot, sit down, make yourself comfortable, take three or four deep breaths, close your eyes and then try to imagine a few of those telephone conversations…the callers, what they asked, their back stories, what led to their calling, what the NASA people said, the tone of voice used when they said it. If you need your imagination neurons jump-started, Click here.





December 28, 2012

Milestone…--It’s 1985 and Neil Rosenberg , along with his partner, Charles Wolfe, publish Bluegrass: A History, which instantly became the definitive work on the first 40 years of bluegrass. Rosenberg one very interesting character…Click here to read more about Rosenberg, his take on bluegrass music and its pappy, Bill Monroe.

A pretty tough year--Pretty decent article in the Nashville Scene yesterday…Music in Memoriam…the unusually high volume of legendary figures in the biz. Click here.

Sunday Jam--In Folsom Click here for everything you need to know.

Major state-hopping--Audie Blaylock and Redline are coming west after the first of the year and here’s their California/Arizona tour schedule:
Saturday January 12 – Private house concert in Willits Friday January 18 – Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton, www.firehousearts.org Saturday January 19 – Redwood Bluegrass Assoc. Mountain View www.rba.org Sunday January 20 – Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center, Weaverville, www.tapaconline.org Monday January 21 – Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Folsom – www.mountolive.cc Tuesday January 22 – Trinity United Methodist Church – Chico - contact CBA area VP Lucy Smith for info. Thursday January 24 – San Diego Bluegrass Society – www.sandiegobluegrass.org Friday January 25 and Sunday January 25 – Agri-Country Bluegrass Festival, Casa Grande, Arizona –
www.pinalcountyfair.com Saturday January 26 – Yuma Bluegrass Festival – www.landspromotions.com. Audie’s a tremendous performer and a very good friend of the CBA’s. If you can make one of his shows, DO IT! (Note that in the Bluegrass Breakdown’s December issue the band was shown as having a date in Sutter Creek on Sunday January. Audie and the boys will NOT be doing Sutter Theater this time around.

The Audie show--Okay, so here are the most current tour stops…

Friday January 11 Studio 55 Marin, San Rafael, www.studio55marin.com

Saturday January 12 – Private house concert in Willits

Tuesday January 15 gig at Don Quixote’s www.donquixotesmusic.com

Wednesday January 16 – Humboldt Brews, Arcata – www.humboldtbrews.com
January 3, 2013January 3, 2013
Friday January 18 – Firehouse Arts Center, Pleasanton, www.firehousearts.org

Saturday January 19 – Afternoon Band Workshop at Gryphon Strings, Palo Alto – www.gryphonstrings.com

Saturday January 19 – Redwood Bluegrass Assoc. Mountain View www.rba.org

Sunday January 20 – Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center, Weaverville, www.tapaconline.org

Monday January 21 – Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Folsom – www.mountolive.cc

Tuesday January 22 – Trinity United Methodist Church – Chico - contact CBA area VP Lucy Smith for info.

Thursday January 24 – San Diego Bluegrass Society – www.sandiegobluegrass.org

Friday January 25 and Sunday January 27 – Agri-Country Bluegrass Festival – www.pinalcountyfair.com

Saturday January 26 – Yuma Bluegrass Festival – www.landspromotions.com.

Audie’s a tremendous performer and a very good friend of the CBA’s. If you can make one of his shows, DO IT!

(Note that in the Bluegrass Breakdown’s December issue the band was shown as having a date in Sutter Creek on Sunday January. Audie and the boys will NOT be doing Sutter Theater this time around.

FROM THE MOLDY MAIL BAG--“Dear M. Man, Let me start on a positive note. I’ve read every column you’ve written since the first one in late October and, overall I enjoy your stuff. Your writing style is perky, though some of it uses too damned many words, and generally speaking, I like the subject matter of your columns most days. But it’s the content of you daily feature that has caused me to write to you. I find that, though your prose can be a little irreverent and edgy, which I like, you clearly steer away from controversial issues and what I’d call adult, contemporary topics. We are not children, Mold Man, and your strong emphasis on presenting “family friendly” stories is, I believe, a little over done. Wishing for a little more adult content, Alice from Red Bluff.” Dear Alice, you’re right, I have tried very hard to ensure that MOLD News is appropriate for bluegrasser of all ages. However, I think you assessment that I may have gone overboard could have some validity. The item below is an atempt to broaden my horizons. Your work in progress, MOLD MAN.

Y'all sleep like a bunch of kindergartners --Barely 1 in 10 Americans Sleep Naked, Says SoCal-Based Survey…Now what, you ask, is Anna of Anna's Linens, a southern-California retailer of, you guessed it, linens, doing conducting surveys. Surveys, I might add, that are executed by reputable, licensed marketing firms who employ bright young UCLA and USC graduate students. Well, we’re not exactly sure and Anna’s spokesperson has “no comment”, but that won’t stop the Mold team from sharing the studies results. Click here.

With a lot of help from his friends--Now, don’t anybody get mad at me for saying this but, really, I just don’t think Jerry Douglas’ latest album, Traveler, which came out last June is necessarily proof that the guy’s any good on the reso. I mean, sure, the New York Times and Billboard Magazine and James Taylor all said it was sheer genius but, man, give me a break. With guest artists like ERIC CLAPTON, MARC COHN, ALISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION, KEB’ MO’, MUMFORD & SONS, PAUL SIMON, DR. JOHN, BÉLA FLECK, DEL MCCOURY, SAM BUSH, OMAR HAKIM AND VIKTOR KRAUSS who wouldn’t sound good.
December 27, 2012

Milestone…In 2007 a not-so-very-much bluegrassy act called the Greencards takes the main stage at Grass Valley and by the time their set is over it feels like everyone at the Fairgrounds has joined up with either the “fer ‘em” or ‘agin ‘em” group. In the often-emotional discussions that follow in the weeks and months after the ’07 FDF, a plan is eventually hammered out to set aside one main stage slot each year for “on the edge” acts. The plan has seemed to have the desired effect. People wanting to see cutting edge new stuff know there’ll be some each year and folks who were afraid traditional bluegrass music would be pushed out of the picture have pretty much accepted that they’ll have to find something else to do during three sets out of the festival’s dozens.--Click here for an astounding glimpse at the Cards.

Get over there and make sure they don’t repeat A SINGLE tune the second night…but don’t tell ‘em we suggested it.--Now this doesn’t happen very often, or does it. David Grisman and his boys, the Bluegrass Experience, are at Freight and Salvage two nights in a row…tonight and tomorrow night. Sounds like an and or situation to me.

Financed by just one month’s worth of loan principal payments--Picture this…a sprawling compound called “Music Valley”, requiring ten years and one billion dollars to make, which will be home to recording studios, instrument makers, music schools, five-star hotels and an arena in the shape of a peach. Nashville? Nope, Pinggu, about an hour’s drive from Beijing. And the full name is the “China Music Valley.” Remember when we used to dream big? Click here to read the story

TODAY’S MOLD LIST--I don’t know what it is about counting down from ten to one but I just love it…one of the reasons I enjoy the Christmas/New Years holiday season. Here’s what CNN thought were the top ten most important science stories they covered this past year. Remember, you don’t have to believe the nation’s lowest rated news channel; this is strictly opinion

10. Lytro camera

9. NASA's Dawn spacecraft sends photos of Vesta asteroid, which is one of a kind in our solar system

8. Research organization find Higgs Boson. aka the God Particle

7. Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking jump from 128,000 feet

6. Aggressive disease kills kids in Cambodia

5. Space X is first commercial company to rendezvous with to dock spacecraft with International Space Station

4. Scientists discover Great Barrier Reef, the largest in the world, is in trouble

3. Film director James Cameron takes Deep Sea Challenger submersible down to 35,000 feet

2. Melting ice; Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are losing ice three times faster than 20 years ago

1. Seven minutes of terror -- The rover Curiosity survived a harrowing ride through the Martian atmosphere in a landing method never before attempted, prompting an outpouring of emotion from the NASA team. Curiosity is now roaming the landing site

Number one hundred in the oven Jon Franke is a violin maker up in Monroe, Oregon. I happened upon Jon’s work…where else…on Facebook, really, just because of the images he posts. Nearly all of them are shop shots of fiddles in progress and they’re beautiful. Currently Jon’s in the process of making his 100th instrument, and he’s taking his Facebook friends along for the ride, posting photographs of the instrument as it passes from one phase to another. Each day I visit to see how the birthing process is coming along. You can too…Click

Streamers, noise makers, silly cone-head hats held on by a rubber band under the chin and, of course, Butch-- We’ll undoubtedly mention this event again as he get closer to 2013, but it’s never too early to remind you of what’s become a Bay Area tradition, the New Year's Eve Bluegrass Revue" at the Freight. High Country, Dix Bruce and Julie Cline and, if the past is any indication, probably some ‘special guests’

This just in--Kathy Barwick gets in just under the wire…”The Mike Justis Band will be at the Fox & Goose TOMORROW, December 27... 8 pm to 11-ish, depending on how much fun yall are having. Join us!”

And finally, they report, you decide--The New York Times, known, of course, as a leading authority on the current state of bluegrass in the Americas, called them “the most celebrated new bluegrass act of the last few years.” Needless to say, well, probably needless, the Times was talking about Dailey and Vincent. And if that weren’t enough of a recommendation, the other venerable news organization known for keeping a finger on the pulse of our favorite music, I speak of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, naturally, opines that “a new dynasty may be taking shape in bluegrass music…” meaning Rhonda’s brother and his pal. Well, probably the best way for you to assess the accuracy of the New York establishment is to actually go out and spend an evening listening to the boys, and it just so happens you’ll have a chance to do that on January 17Have a look then meet me back here.

And to think, somebody gets to eat that thing. No Michele, no, not you. Don’t do it! What if someone I-Phone’s you and passes it to Mother Jones…these things happen, you know.

Okay, time to get dad in the act, you know, the Father of Bluegrass, and by God, he sings this song like the song-writer, Tex Logan, wanted it sung. Click here

Neil deGrasse Tyson, thought of by some as the Carl Sagan of our generation, spends most of his time pondering what God did, astrophysically speaking, to create this universe of ours, (or these universes, perhaps). For a couple days during the Christmas season, however, he’s not above speculating on the even more universal question… how does Santa get all those presents delivered?

I know, I know, I can already hear some of you crying foul…’lazy Mold, doing re-runs already.’ Well, I’m sorry, but it’s just not within the realm of possibility to do a Christmas Special Mold news column without including the Welsh border collies. If you’ve already watched this, for goodness sake, watch it again. It as the potential of making your wonderful Christmas even wonderfuller. Click to the dogs.

A few Decembers ago a band that calls itself Foxfire uploaded onto YouTube a song called the 12 Days of Bluegrass Christmas and bluegrass DJ’s around the country have been grateful ever since. There just aren’t that many bluegrass Christmas songs, and precious few that are this Christmasy. The classic 12-days melody line used to sing some clever lyrics by good old boys who know their bluegrass. Click

So here’s an interesting little Christmas story on the wire service this morning…dateline, the Korean Peninsula. It’s fair to say that I have a problem with the Kim boys from North Korea. Let’s just say that I have a problem with starvation as a national strategy to correct “wrong thinking”. So, let me share with you…when the leadership of North Korea begins to run low on controversy they become, how shall we say, creative in their own special crazy North Korean way. Christmas Tower Kerfuffle

Okay, you know the Mold Man’s MO and, hence, you know he’s not about to do any kind of special, Christmas or otherwise, without throwing some strangeness in. After all, around our house it’s what the holidays are all about. (And, yes, my favorite Christmas tradition is from Estonia.) Very peculiar Christmas traditions around the globe.

When I was growing up my family was so poor we sat around a homemade wire coat hanger Christmas tree to exchange glances. Okay, okay, no more bad jokes this early in the morning. Here’s the Christmas edition of Moldy Lists…Count how many of the hottest ten Christmas toys of all time have been under your tree...

10. Mr. Potato Head
9. Pet Rock
8. Pong
7. Atari
6. Cabbage Patch Doll
5. Game Boy
4. Tickle Me Elmo
3. Furby
2. Playstation 3
1. Zhu Zhu Pets

My favorite Christmas song is White Christmas, and, boy oh boy, have there been some wonderful renditions done by some wonderful world-class artists. The version I’m sharing this morning doesn’t have the production values of most of those recordings, there were no big names in front of the mic and it may not be exactly what Irving Berlin was thinking of when he wrote it but, just the same, it’s at the top of my list. Click.

Pretty much all the folks in my family who were older than me are gone now, and there’s no time more than Christmas time that I get to missing them. It’s not so much feeling sad as it is feeling happy and lucky to have had them around me for so many Christmases. Even when someone you loved and who gave you so much is gone they’re still able to make you feel warm inside. My family can do that, and so can Doc Watson. Here’s the last Christmas show he performed in his hometown, Johnson City ,TN., singing one of my favorite songs. Click to Doc.

Merry Christmas, folks. Have a joyously bluegrassy day and let’s all say a prayer for peace on earth. What a wonderful Christmas present that would be.








December 24, 2012

Milestone…In 1959 two young men meet in the central valley of California and immediately discover they have a good deal in common. Both are natives of Arkansas, both land in California after serving in the U.S. Marines and both, they quickly learn, have the ‘old music’ running liberally through their veins. The men are named Vern Williams and Ray Park and the fifteen years they spend making music together will profoundly effect what is today know as California or West Coast Bluegrass. Click here and go back to 1992 when Vern sings Tragic Romance at Grass Valley.

bluegrasstoday.com comes through with meat.--We mentioned, (actually SCOOPED) the Auldridge, Douglas, Ickes project in the works, late last week, but since then some details on this historic endeavor are starting to bubble up. HREF=” http://bluegrasstoday.com/auldridge-douglas-ickes-project-in-the-works/ “target=0>Click here and check the bubbles.

Radio potlucks?--Masha Goodman Crawford used her Facebook page to tip off fellow banger pickers about a pretty interesting web-based interview with Jere Canote, who talks about banjo building and radio potlucks. We have now officially passed the tip on…Click

They say folks are nice in Dinuba--MOLDY MAIL BAG…”Moldperson, I happened to read your column a couple days ago and was surprised to see that you’ve now incorporated an advice component into your More or Less Daily. A fellow wrote in about a problem he’s having with his next-door neighbor and, the good Lord above only knows why, asked you for your opinion. And what was even more surprising, you offered it to him. Are you sure that was a smart thing to do? I’ve read enough of your writing to have some real questions about your own grasp on reality and here you are advising others on how to live their life. I hope the CBA has a rider in their insurance policy for this sort of thing. Skeptically yours, Rob in Los Banos” Dear Bob, I strongly advise you to consider moving to some other town, preferably as far away from LB as possible. I’ve read and heard more than once that the folks in Los Banos do not suffer fools well. Good luck house hunting, MM

Good news for cave pickers--From cybergrass.com…” Bluegrass Underground Announces Third Season PBS Taping Lineup” Click

And you thought YOU were getting sick and tired of what they call ‘country music’ these days.--From nashvillescene.com…”With every popularity cycle, there’s a new threat to the integrity of country music. At the end of last year it was Taylor Swift. Earlier this year it was the so-called “new Outlaws” like Eric Church and Josh Thompson. Now Music Row has stopped trying to dress up pop music as country like they did with Taylor, or trying to capitalize on anti-pop country sentiment like they did with the new Outlaws, and are now going straight forward with pop, period, designed to sell out stadiums in the arena rock mold. No mandolins or fiddles buried deep in the mix like we used to bitch about; the country music fan has been so desensitized, the need for lip service has even evaporated.” He’s just getting started. Click here to read what he REALLY thinks.

Oh boy, home for the holiday--Got word from the Tuttle family that Molly is coming home for the holidays and she and father and brothers and pal A.J. have booked a handful of performances. You remember Molly, right? First place song writing award at MerleFest…recent lead singer gig on a Pam Tillis CD…second place in Prairie Home Companion's duet contest with dad Jack? Sure you do. Well, you can see and hear the Tuttle Family Plus A.J. Lee over the holiday season and here’s where: Freight & Salvage, Thursday, Jan. 3, 8pm; Don Quixote's, Sunday, Jan. 6, 1pm; KPFA, Sunday, Dec. 16 on Mary Tilson's America's Back Forty (which runs 1-3pm); and KPIG, Sunday, Jan. 6, on Sleepy John's show at 10am.

Umbrellas advised--What do Manhattan and Panama's San Lorenzo rainforest have in common? Inhabitants in both locations have to beware of winged creatures with up to two-foot wingspans flying above their heads that are capable raining down piles of poop at any moment…big piles. In the Big Apple they’re called pigeons, in the rainforest they’re known as Aeria eurimedia agna, or…Giant Silkmoth. Right, moth as in insect. Don’t they’re two footers? Click.

Come on, you know you wanna pick tonight--PickJam at the Amnesia tonight…Promoting bluegrass and country music in the San Francisco Bay Area. All levels are welcome to come jam on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at Amnesia (853 Valencia St, San Francisco) from 6:30 to 8:30 before the free bluegrass.

Proper pre-planning prepares population for pandemic possibilities--I am NOT a pessimistic person. I am not dark, nor gloomy, and I never, ever assume the worst. When others see a storm cloud, I get my binoculars out and look for the rainbow…I know it’s there somewhere. However, all that said, let me share the following…6 Safe, Strong—and Chic—Bomb Shelters You Can Buy Now. Click


December 23, 2012

Milestone…In 1967 Bill Monroe launches his first festival out of the Brown County Jamboree Barn in Bean Blossom, IN, calling it a "Big Blue Grass Celebration." The festival, now known as the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, is as close to an annual pilgrimage as we have in bluegrass. Click here to see what’s new with the fest a half century later.

Low-slung Sylvan Park bungalows--Do you know the name Joe Ross? Maybe not, but if you’ve been receiving your Bluegrass Breakdown every month you’ve no doubt read his CD reviews; Joe’s been a contributor to the CBA’s newspaper for years the guy can really turn a sentence. For example, here’s how he begins a review of the soon-to-be-released SteelDrivers project, ‘Hammer Down’…”Nashville, Tennessee is a nexus – a point where tradition and innovation intersect, where commerce collides with art. It may be the only town where salaried songwriters and full-time session musicians are as common as accountants and schoolteachers. Music is the product, and the factories line the street, from the swank Music Row mini-high-rises to the low-slung Sylvan Park bungalows.” Add to his fresh and almost cinematic writing style the fact that the guy knows his bluegrass and, well, you can see why Joe Ross is just one more reason why finding a Breakdown in your mail box something to look forward to each month. Oh, click here to finish the SD review.

Fellas you’d just as soon not want to share a cab with--Today’s MOLD List…FBI’s Ten Most Wanted

Fidel Urbina
Jason Derek Brown
Eric Justin Toth
Alexis Flores
Robert William Fisher
Joe Luis Saenz
Glen Stewart Godwin
Semion Mogilevich
Eduardo Ravelo
Victor Gerena

I’d planned on writing a quick one-liner about how each managed to get on the list but was stopped dead in my tracks after beginning to type just the first one by my good sense. Click here if you’re up to it.

Hello southerners! Can you hear us?Bluegrass Association of Southern California Bluegrass Jam in the Park, Encino, lots of pickers. XXXX

--Jan Scheuermann has been unable to move any part of her body below the neck. The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute worked with Scheuermann to create a robotic arm operated entirely by her brain signals, and the project’s success means she fed herself chocolate for the first time in a decade. It’s a remarkable feat that hangs on the cutting edge of robotics and brain science, and it perfectly captures just how powerfully robots can change lives. “This is the ride of my life,” Scheuermann says. “I keep saying this is the rollercoaster, this is the skydiving. It’s just fabulous and I’m enjoying every second of it.” The video’s a bit long, but hit play and you too will enjoy every second. (Along the same lines, don’t miss the video from May of a paralyzed woman sipping coffee by herself for the first time in 15 years.)Click here

2013 BLUEGRASS AND OLD-TIME EVENTS--It’s hard, probably impossible, to overstate the contributions that Peter Thompson makes to our bluegrass community here in Northern California. His radio show, the RBA, his writing. Well, here’s just one more…Peter’s annual list of bluegrass and old-time events, painstakingly collated after dozens of phone calls and twice as many emails. Peter, we appreciate you, man. Click here

For SERIOUS mandolin geeks only--Found in the MOLDY MAIL BAG from Pacific North West reviewer Joe Ross…”Hey Moldy, your readers might be interested in this. The Mando Chronicles is the new 3-CD collection from Emmy Award-winning composer and mandolin master Peter Ostroushko. Documenting the mandolin’s roots in Europe and its journey to the Americas and into the world’s finest orchestra halls, it spans many continents and musical genres–from old-time folk and bluegrass to jazz, classical and Latin styles. Out on November 27, this sparkling collection is a perfect gift for any music lover, coming in a beautiful box set with detailed liner notes by Ostroushko about the tunes and instruments he plays. Click here to continue.

Their long-time sales slogan—“Look what I found at Walgreen’s!”--Here’s a little bit of irony buried deep within the pages of our nation’s history. Today, in 2012, the illegal prescription drug trade is booming and the Drug Enforcement Administration believes some rogue pharmacies could be fueling the epidemic and is now investigating Walgreens, the nation’s biggest drugstore. In Florida, six Walgreens stores were investigated after inspectors spotted a major red flag, a huge spike in the amount of the highly addictive painkiller Oxycodone the stores were ordering from distributors. Why’s that ironic, you ask. Well, it’s like this…during the Prohibition era, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, all alcohol sales were banned in the country…except, that is, whisky prescribed by doctors and sold through licensed pharmacies. During this same period, Walgreens pharmacy chain grew from 20 retail stores to almost 400.







December 22, 2012

Milestone…--It’s June, 1978, a mild Friday evening under the Ponderosa pines at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, and unto the stage steps Jake Quesenberry to make his Fathers Day Festival debut. The first song Jake and Friends do is Little Maggie and the crowd, not a huge one back in those days, goes wild. Of course Jake, a co-founder of the California Bluegrass Association would make many, many more appearances on the Grass Valley stage, but that first one was truly a milestone in the history of West Coast Bluegrass. Click here to read Jake’s ‘Hooked on Bluegrass’ story.

Who’d a figured playing the banjo could open doors? Click here and watch J.D. Crowe being presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree by the University of Kentucky.

Another one of them damned ukuleles--Nellie McKay sings "Mother of Pearl" (with the immortal first line "Feminists don't have a sense of humor") and "If I Had You" Click here

You just don’t much more Americana than this, folks--A new Carter Family book is out and getting a whole lot of buzz. Here’s what a Pulitzer Prize winner says about the Carter Family story told in a graphic novel…“What a fine marriage of form and content! Humble and moving—straightforward with occasional breathtaking bravura passages—this book echoes the Carter Family’s rough-hewn sounds. It tells of the lives, sorrows, and values of a lost America in short episodes like a giant stack of old 78s. Using the vocabulary of comic strips like Little Orphan Annie and Gasoline Alley, it’s as obsessive in its dedication to vernacular craft and hard work as A.P. Carter himself. Frank Young and David Lasky have spun a work of visual music that will replay in your head and heart well after you’ve finished reading it.”—Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/artist. Click here for a look.

Make your Christmas the very, very, very best it can be--The Christmas Tree Vibrator, probably only available in thrift shops, garage sales or flea markets, but well worth the effort to track down. Click here.

TODAY’S MOLD LIST…Twelve good reasons to buy this one-- What with Pandora and Spotify and Sirius and all the rest I find I’m buying fewer and fewer actual CD’s these days, but I’m absolutely POSITIVE I’ll be grabbing this one. Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed, the new IIIrd Tyme Out project, will include 12 tracks, “mixed between hit songs from the bluegrass and country music worlds – all done up in IIIrd Tyme Out’s inimitable trademark style,” according to bluegrasstoday.com. All it took was a quick look at the tracks—

Gentle On My Mind
Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde
Golden Ring
Old Home Place
Only You
Country Roads
My Window Faces The South
Farewell Party
Big Spike Hammer
Tulsa Time
Mama Tried
John and Mary

From the MOLD MAIL BAG--“Dear Mold Man, my wife reminded me that a few weeks ago you did a news thing on a group of shrinks that were working on changing whatever book that is used by mental health people to put kinds of mental conditions in categories. She remembers, and I do to, you using the term “Asperger’s” in the article. Then, after the terrible, terrible killings back east, we read the shooter had that same thing. Sheila and I want to read what yuo wrote again. Is there a place we can go on the Internet to do that? Thanks, Bob.” Bob, you’re referring to a story from NPR back in late November. Yes, Asperger’s was purged from their manual. To find my piece, which links to the NPR piece, school to the bottom of this column, click on Archive of All Mold News, then, using your keyboard, hold down the ‘control’ key and type the letter ‘f’, which stands for ‘find’. A little box will open at the bottom of the screen where you’ll type in Asperger’s and that will take you right to the news item you’re looking for. Your welcome, MM.

Just one more thing to worry about--Have you ever gotten up in the morning and been suddenly struck by the haunting suspicion that you, everyone you knew, your surroundings, the entire world, the universe, everything was nothing more than a massive computer simulation? No, I didn’t think so. Me neither, but back in 2003 a philosophy professor across the pond at the University of Oxford had been wondering about just that thing and decided to write a scholarly paper about it. Now, nearly ten years later, a physics professor at the University of Washington and several of his colleagues have discovered what they believe is a way to finally know for certain if we’re just some computer geek’s hobby in some other, actual universe. Wonder if they’re factoring in the possibility that the simulator could be simulating a simulation to determine if there’s actually a simulation going on. In any event, click here if you’re the least bit suspicious that you’re not who you think you really are, or might be.

My G-boots have been on since Thanksgiving, man--Facebook post from Kelvin Gregory, co-honcho of the Bakersfield epic…”Folks a new addition to the Great 48: On Friday and Saturday there will be a Music Caravan Mid-Night Showcase beginning at 12:00 Mid-Night--Friday Night = The Drifter Sisters and Hello Trouble; Saturday Night = The Roustabouts and The Central Valley Boys. Gonna be Rocking in the Music Caravan Suite. Get your groove boots on and be there.

December 21, 2012

Milestone…In 1924 The NATIONAL BARN DANCE radio program debuts on WLS in Chicago to provide country music to rural and urban listeners who have recently migrated to the city from the South. Radio station sponsor Sears, Roebuck complains about the show's "disgraceful low-brow music" until it becomes obvious that the program is immensely popular. (A short while back we ran a story about a PBS show dedicated to the history of the Barn Dance and efforts to make a DVD of the program available. Click here to have a look.

Cheery but dark--If you were here yesterday you might have caught the Welcome column written by Cornish about Bobby Earl Davis and his housing woes. It appears that the gentrification that began several years ago around the City, and then lost steam when the housing industry went south, is beginning to come back strong and folks like Bobby, who’s lived in his Castro apartment for forty years, are likely to be pushed out. You can read the piece by click here and then scrolling down a bit. Oh, and speaking of Bobby, the Earl Brothers will do their Christmas show, Ho Ho Hoedown: Hillbilly Holiday, at the Plough & Stars tonight. It’s always a good one. Cheery but dark.

Head screwed on straight--MOLDY MAIL BAG…”Dear Mold Man, I’ve been reading your column for a couple of months now and I think you got your head screwed on straight so I want to get your opinion. I’ve got a neighbor who’s got a dog that’s got a bark that keeps me and my wife up every night. It just don’t stop, we don’t get no sleep and the more tired she gets, the meaner my wife gets. She just keeps nagging and nagging and nagging me to talk to the feller about his dog, but I tell her I’m not about to give him the satisfaction. It’d be like he has, you know, he has something over on me, and I can’t abide that. It’s a man issue, you know. I want to solve this problem my own way but I can’t think of nothin’ short of poisoning the dog and I wouldn’t do that because I like dogs, to tell the truth, more than I like people. Got any thoughts? Affectionately, Old Bleary Eyes.” Dear Old Eyes, well, given everything you’ve told me the logical thing to do would be to poison your neighbor instead of his dog, and then take care of your old bitty of a wife the same way. BUT, we both know that sort of anti-social behavior will land you in the slammer where, I can guarantee you, getting a good night’s sleep would be the least of your worries. Here are a few suggestions in order of least to most likely to work): 1) have your wife go over and try to reason with the guy, if she can’t, have her punch his lights out; 2) get a louder dog, obviously his isn’t loud enough to keep him up at night; 3) move out and leave the neighbor and your wife behind and take the dog with you. Best of luck, MM

Little monsters--“Brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone are The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, a trio of virtuoso bluegrass musicians who play with dazzling vivacity.” I know, before you event ask…(vi·vac·i·ty (v-vs-t, v-) n. The quality or condition of being vivacious; liveliness. I probably wouldn’t have chosen that word to describe the three, but then I don’t write for a living. In fact, I don’t even write for one lousy four-day comp to the Fathers Day Festival…but don’t get me started. In any event, click here to watch some very hot picking by people not old enough to drive, vote or have a beer. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention…the Sleepyman’s latest CD debuted on Billboard’s bluegrass chart at #3.

Under new management? Just visited the IBMA web site (ibma.org) and wow, these folks have been very busy. For several years running the association’s web presence was, well, not the most dynamic among non-profit music organization. But that’s all changed now. Very nice new graphics, easier navigation and, best of all, NEW CONTENT at least once per week. And their newsletter, which I have to admit is one of the better sources of information for keeping track of the bluegrass industry, (yes, folks, it is an industry), is now made available digitally. Of course you have to be a member to open it but, in truth, that’s almost reason enough to join up. Currently they’ve got a big piece on Raleigh next year and that is NOT password protected. Click here to see what new flesh has been put on the bones of next year’s gathering. Pretty exciting stuff.


Got a story about a program that makes a difference? Tell it to Mold Man--A while back we did a story about one of our CBA family who’s on a mission. Pat Rumiano, who lives up north in Willits, is a volunteer at CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocate), and is a real living, breathing part of the social ‘safety net’ we usually only read about when state and federal budget cuts are in the news. Pat posted a link on Facebook yesterday to a brief video called Candace and Her Brothers; the piece shows how CASA is making a difference for a legion of kids who would otherwise become part of a lost generation of foster children, and it does it in a way that words simply can’t achieve. Click here and there’s a real good chance your Friday morning will be a little brighter.

Evidence? EVIDENCE? I don’t got to show you no dirty, stinkin’ evidence--If we heard William Jennings Bryan say it once in the film version, we heard him say it a dozen time—“You’re missing the link. Show us the link, Mr. Darrow.” Okay, so it took eight-seven years, but the link is finally on display. From the Daily Beast… “There now exists a fish with legs, thanks to genetic researchers who worked feverishly for years to re-create the evolutionary step that moved life from water to land 300 million years ago. According to a paper published in the scientific journal Developmental Cell, researchers have discovered that by altering part of a zebra fish’s gene cluster called HOXD13, they were able to create limb abnormalities. Researchers manipulated the gene cluster so that fins grew into legs resembling those on terapods. Fishing just got a lot more interesting.”

Damned smart dogs if you ask me--And finally, more Christmas lights. Click here.





December 20, 2012

Milestone…--In 1968 a young northern California man who was clearly smitten by the bluesy down strokes and vibrant tremolos of mandolin master Bill Monroe decides to form a bluegrass band. His name is Butch Waller and he calls his new bluegrass act High Country. The importance of Butch’s band to California bluegrass is apparent throughout its now four-decades history, but probably no single accomplishment stands out more dramatically than High Country’s being the first band from the West Coast invited to play at Bill Monroe’s classic Bean Blossom Festival. Click here to check out the band’s current configuration.

From the It’s-Not-Bluegrass-But-It’s-Good-Music Department--A brand new documentary about the Fab Four making their largely-forgotten Magical Mystery Tour movie. Whatever the movie is like, the soundtrack is sure to be good. Click here.

Save a buck here, save a buck there--Coal Mining Museum Installs Solar Panels To Save on Energy Bill Click here

Absolutely the most unbelievable You Tube clip you’ve ever seen--Eagle tries to snatch small child. Click here. So unbelievable, the clip is proven to be fake, but, hell, I’m leaving this item in because the fakery was done so well. And tell me this, if you can…why do people put so much effort into these faked videos? Is there a money angle I’m missing?

So, like, hey dude, don’t go away mad--As a native Californian who’s heard his entire life that his home state is for everyone else in the country, the continent and the globe the land of milk and honey, it came as quite a shock to me when I read this morning that there appears to have been a pervasive disenchantment with the golden state for over two decades. How could this have happened without me noticing? According to the “newly released 2011 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, for the 21st year in a row more people have moved away from California than have moved in. 468,428 people came, 562,343 said adios. And still we continue to be on a one hundred and fifty year long growth spurt. Why? Because we Californians make A WHOLE LOT of babies. Click here if you don’t believe me.

Coming out of the woodwork whistling a catchy tune with a strong hook--If you have even a passing interest in bluegrass music and live in Northern California you’re aware of the fact that there are many, many, many bluegrass bands either active, active until recently, or about to be active. I mean like, there are tons of them and I believe it would be safe to generalize that the vast majority do at least some ‘originals’…meaning songs written by one or more band members. Which means that within our little bluegrass community we have a big bunch of songwriters, which is why I’m passing this item along to you from perscriptionbluegrass.com…”Since 1984 the American Songwriter Amateur Lyric Contest has helped thousands of songwriters become involved. America Songwriter magazine sponsors six (6) contests per year that run in conjunction with each issue published. Entry fee is $15 per lyric which comes with a complimentary trial issue of American Songwriter. Contest is open to entrants in all countries Click here if you’d like to know more but, please, be aware that I’m not endorsing this outfit nor is the CBA. Buyer beware.

Don’t you just love that girl--Ah, Rhonda. Rhonda, Rhonda, Rhonda. The closest thing we’ll ever have to a glamorous star in hillbilly mountain music. And she can COOK, too! All this week Rhonda’s doing a thing at bluegrasstoday.com called the FIVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, cooking up something scrumptious each day, using a Martha White product, of course, and the whole deal includes videos, prizes, recipes…the whole nine yards. Believe me, you want to head on over there. Click here for today’s treat.

You can take what this guy says to the bank-- Marcos Alvira’s Valley Bluegrass Facebook page is an oasis in a parched desert seemingly devoid of God’s Music. For example, he writes of the Coffee Bandits in Merced, “Always a fun, crowded evening at the Bandits. Check it out Valley folk! Open Mic Night on Wednesdays. And, yes, this is the same Marcos Alvira who hosts the CBA’s weekly radio show every Tuesday night, 7pm (PST) on KCSS.net or 91.9 in the northern SJ Valley.

TODAY’S MOLDY LIST…FACEBOOK REACTIONS TO THE NEW THAT THE PLYMOUTH FESTIVAL WILL HAPPEN IN 2013

Praise God! It's one of my favorites.
Yea! Great news!
Awesome!
That's great news,
Larue Pork I'll start by just showing up for the first time in 4 years.
15 hours ago · Like
Great news!
Plymouth is the CADILLAC
Only 30 miles and what fun!!
Yay!!
ALL RIGHT!
Best Christmas gift ever!
Our fave !


December 20, 2012

NEWSFLASH: The Holy Trio--Here’s some big news whether you’re a reso nut or not. The web sites of Rob Ickes and Gerry Douglas are simultaneously announcing this morning that they’ve just completed what’s been a secret project up until now…”Coming in 2013: A special "dobro trio" CD by Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas & Rob Ickes! Read more about it here, and check back for more details as they become available!” I just checked the other bluegrass blogs and, hey, nobody’s announced yet. I think maybe this is the Mold Man’s first scoop! Couldn’t happen to a more inept reporter.

Milestone…In 1987, Alison Krauss, who won the Illinois State Fiddle Championship at age 12, releases her first album, TOO LATE TO CRY, on Rounder Records. Her success in the 1980s and 1990s is a significant contributor to the resurgence in bluegrass popularity which was born at colleges and universities in the ‘60’s. In 1995, her compilation, NOW THAT I'VE FOUND-- YOU A COLLECTION, goes to #2 on the country charts and hits the top ten on the pop charts. And today, 2012, Alison and her band hold the distinction of winning more Grammy’s than any other act in history. Here they are performing Too Late in 1991…
Click here.

You can expect to hear more and more of these little music machines-- Pretty classy Merry Christmas from Gryphon’s Stringed Instruments…Tom Culbertson, one of their guys, plays "Angels We Have Heard On High", on a Kamaka HF-3 Tenor ukulele. Pretty sweet. Click here for Angels.

Automotive abandonment--I tend not to be a worrier and that’s why I surprised myself when, after reading that Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, would stop producing new episodes of Car Talk after thirty-five years I couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen. It was an irrational reaction, I’ll admit, but it was very real nonetheless. After a couple months of low-level fretting about I-wasn’t-sure-what, it suddenly dawned on me…I was worried about what no Car Talk was going to do to my Saturday mornings. They were going to be different; not necessarily awful or even bad, but they would definitely be different. For most of the past three and a half decades of Saturday mornings, clearly the best four or five hours of the entire week have been subliminally shaped by the white noise background of Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s clap-trap bickering. So now what? Well, I found out this morning and I am at peace, finally. Even though the brothers are quitting, they did their last show in late October, NPR will continue airing re-runs probably until the end of time and, given the direction my memory is going here in mid-sixties world, I probably won’t even notice. Need a little something to tide you over until next weekend? Click here and get all the dope on the show’s very fine acoustic musical themes.

A great reason to get out of the house while old Saint Nick is arranging presents under the tree---What could be a more homespun and traditional Christmas Eve than snuggling up with your sweetie, sipping on some steaming egg nag with a little Jack Daniels and listening to the Earl Brothers sing about the murder and dismemberment of Little Sarah, ‘everybody’s girl’, (wink), at the Amnesia. We think the show starts at nine, but you’d better check.

Yep, somebody just standing in front of a camera and talking--I could try to trick you into believe this item is about the banjo player Abigail Washburn. But I won’t. Instead, it’s about this web site I’ve discovered called TED. Many of you probably know TED, so this is for those of you who don’t. The acronym is for Technology, Entertainment and Design and what the site does is bring together hundreds upon hundreds of really, really engaging six minute or less clips of people talking about things. Yes, “things”…the range is remarkable and from what I’ve seen so far, the quality of the pieces in the enormous collection is superb. Have a look at TED by click here. And view an example of one of the 6-minuters, one I think you’ll be able to related too (Abigail with her banjo), by clicking here.

Ya’ll come, you hear--In case you missed it on the Message Board, late Tuesday afternoon the Doubletree added yet another block of rooms for the BASC, SWABA, CBA, BMSCC, NCBS, SDBS NCBFC and CBA bluegrass organizations. I do believe there’ll be a big bushel of pickers in Bakersfield just over two weeks from now. Click here to lay claim to your room.

Brought to you by cybergrass.com--Americana Music Association's Top 10/100 Albums of 2012…”Nashville, TN -- The Americana Music Association has announced its year-end Top 10 & Top 100 Albums of the Year. The Top 100 albums are based on those records reported to the Americana Airplay Chart during the period of November 15, 2011 through November 17, 2012.

This year’s Top Ten most played albums are:

JD McPherson, Signs And Signifiers / Rounder
Darrell Scott, Long Ride Home / Full Light

Click here to continue.

And there’s more happy Christmas news--Hasbro Makes an Easy Bake Oven for Boys…”When some companies are called out for being small-minded or bigoted, they get even more small-minded and stupid. Others do the right thing. This week, Hasbro did the right thing.” Click here to continue, unless your daily requirement for Christmas cheer has been met, in which case skip down to next news item.






December 19, 2012

Milestone…In 1987, Alison Krauss, who won the Illinois State Fiddle Championship at age 12, releases her first album, TOO LATE TO CRY, on Rounder Records. Her success in the 1980s and 1990s is a significant contributor to the resurgence in bluegrass popularity which was born at colleges and universities in the ‘60’s. In 1995, her compilation, NOW THAT I'VE FOUND-- YOU A COLLECTION, goes to #2 on the country charts and hits the top ten on the pop charts. And today, 2012, Alison and her band hold the distinction of winning more Grammy’s than any other act in history. Here they are performing Too Late in 1991…
Click here.

You can expect to hear more and more of these little music machines-- Pretty classy Merry Christmas from Gryphon’s Stringed Instruments…Tom Culbertson, one of their guys, plays "Angels We Have Heard On High", on a Kamaka HF-3 Tenor ukulele. Pretty sweet. Click here for Angels.

Automotive abandonment--I tend not to be a worrier and that’s why I surprised myself when, after reading that Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, would stop producing new episodes of Car Talk after thirty-five years I couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen. It was an irrational reaction, I’ll admit, but it was very real nonetheless. After a couple months of low-level fretting about I-wasn’t-sure-what, it suddenly dawned on me…I was worried about what no Car Talk was going to do to my Saturday mornings. They were going to be different; not necessarily awful or even bad, but they would definitely be different. For most of the past three and a half decades of Saturday mornings, clearly the best four or five hours of the entire week have been subliminally shaped by the white noise background of Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s clap-trap bickering. So now what? Well, I found out this morning and I am at peace, finally. Even though the brothers are quitting, they did their last show in late October, NPR will continue airing re-runs probably until the end of time and, given the direction my memory is going here in mid-sixties world, I probably won’t even notice. Need a little something to tide you over until next weekend? Click here and get all the dope on the show’s very fine acoustic musical themes.

A great reason to get out of the house while old Saint Nick is arranging presents under the tree---What could be a more homespun and traditional Christmas Eve than snuggling up with your sweetie, sipping on some steaming egg nag with a little Jack Daniels and listening to the Earl Brothers sing about the murder and dismemberment of Little Sarah, ‘everybody’s girl’, (wink), at the Amnesia. We think the show starts at nine, but you’d better check.

Yep, somebody just standing in front of a camera and talking--I could try to trick you into believe this item is about the banjo player Abigail Washburn. But I won’t. Instead, it’s about this web site I’ve discovered called TED. Many of you probably know TED, so this is for those of you who don’t. The acronym is for Technology, Entertainment and Design and what the site does is bring together hundreds upon hundreds of really, really engaging six minute or less clips of people talking about things. Yes, “things”…the range is remarkable and from what I’ve seen so far, the quality of the pieces in the enormous collection is superb. Have a look at TED by click here. And view an example of one of the 6-minuters, one I think you’ll be able to related too (Abigail with her banjo), by clicking here.

Ya’ll come, you hear--In case you missed it on the Message Board, late Tuesday afternoon the Doubletree added yet another block of rooms for the BASC, SWABA, CBA, BMSCC, NCBS, SDBS NCBFC and CBA bluegrass organizations. I do believe there’ll be a big bushel of pickers in Bakersfield just over two weeks from now. A HREF=" http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/R/RLBK-DT-BLU-20130103/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG"target=0>Click here to lay claim to your room.

Brought to you by cybergrass.com--Americana Music Association's Top 10/100 Albums of 2012…”Nashville, TN -- The Americana Music Association has announced its year-end Top 10 & Top 100 Albums of the Year. The Top 100 albums are based on those records reported to the Americana Airplay Chart during the period of November 15, 2011 through November 17, 2012.

This year’s Top Ten most played albums are:

JD McPherson, Signs And Signifiers / Rounder
Darrell Scott, Long Ride Home / Full Light

Click here to continue.

Just one more thing to worry about--Have you ever gotten up in the morning and been suddenly struck by the haunting suspicion that you, everyone you knew, your surroundings, the entire world, the universe, everything was nothing more than a massive computer simulation? No, I didn’t think so. Me neither, but back in 2003 a philosophy professor across the pond at the University of Oxford had been wondering about just that thing and decided to write a scholarly paper about it. Now, nearly ten years later, a physics professor at the University of Washington and several of his colleagues have discovered what they believe is a way to finally know for certain if we’re just some computer geek’s hobby in some other, actual universe. Wonder if they’re factoring in the possibility that the simulator could be simulating a simulation to determine if there’s actually a simulation going on. In any event, click here if you’re the least bit suspicious that you’re not who you think you really are, or might be.



December 18, 2012

Milestone…--June, 1989, two women decide it’s time for the CBA’s Fathers Day Festival to acknowledge the fact that, like other types of people, bluegrass folks have children, lots of them, and they frequently bring them along to Grass Valley. Lynn Quinones and her pal Jill Crury pitched the Association’s board a plan for a Children’s Program in ‘88, the board showed excellent judgment in approving the proposal and for four days the two women worked their you-know-what’s off. “We (the two’s relatively young Alhambra Valley Band) did four shows that weekend, as well as crafts projects, clogging, folk instrument making and other cool stuff like bubble workshops,” Jill recalls. CBA kids programming has come a long ways since that first year, but, like any other successful enterprise, it needed a visionary or two to get it off the ground and take flight. We can thank our lucky stars we happened to have Lynn Quinones and Jill Crury in our bluegrass family who had the vision, the necessary talent and the follow-through. Read more about the founding of the Children’s Program by clicking here

People, people who need people--“Well, I’d LOVE to play music with other folks, really I would, but there’s just not anybody in my area who picks.” Heard frequently and certainly possible in your circumstance. But let our Mold Team point out that in the next seven days 37 jams are posted in the online calendar. 37. Click here to see if one’s in your area.

Cage match is what I’d call it--I know some folks in our music who have a downright antagonism toward anything remotely connected to the concept of a contest when it comes to picking. Me, I’ve never been bothered much by them…of course I’ve never lost a bluegrass contest because I’m too smart to enter one. Or too poor a player. Anyway, coming up down at the 48 hour jam in Bakersfield next month is something the CBA calls their “Showcase Showdown”, which any fool would know is another way of saying band contest. The finalists are Red Dog Ash, the Get Down Boys, Grassfire and Grassland. Of course all the bands get paid to perform, and the winner gets a set on the Pioneer Stage at the Fathers Day Festival, and the going rate for that gig, I’m told, isn’t half bad. My money’s on Red Dog Ash, but that’s only because of the four bands it’s the only one I’ve ever heard. I’m supposed to tell you to click here to make a room reservation online. I did it and it worked fine.

Well, yes, by now they actually are ‘ol, but, damn they’re good--Okay, I know April 3rd is a long ways away friends, but this is definitely something you’ll want to get on your calendar. It’s hard to believe this show will not sell out. The Good Ol' Persons have scheduled a reunion show at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley.

Automotive abandonment--I tend not to be a worrier and that’s why I surprised myself when, after reading that Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, would stop producing new episodes of Car Talk after thirty-five years I couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was going to happen. It was an irrational reaction, I’ll admit, but it was very real nonetheless. After a couple months of low-level fretting about I-wasn’t-sure-what, it suddenly dawned on me…I was worried about what no Car Talk was going to do to my Saturday mornings. They were going to be different; not necessarily awful or even bad, but they would definitely be different. For most of the past three and a half decades of Saturday mornings, clearly the best four or five hours of the entire week have been subliminally shaped by the white noise background of Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s clap-trap bickering. So now what? Well, I found out this morning and I am at peace, finally. Even though the brothers are quitting, they did their last show in late October, NPR will continue airing re-runs probably until the end of time and, given the direction my memory is going here in mid-sixties world, I probably won’t even notice. Need a little something to tide you over until next weekend? Click here and get all the dope on the show’s very fine acoustic musical themes.

TODAY’S MOLDY LIST…REJECTED LIST IDEAS--Each day our MOLD Hotmail account sees a little more activity than the last. Since we started doing our daily MOLDY LISTS last week we’ve even begun receiving some suggestions from readers. Here are our top five rejected suggestions...

7 Reasons Why Doritos Locos Were A Good Idea
The Ten Most Influential People In The Latex Industry
10 Biggest Closed-End Mutual Funds
Ten Ugliest Mansions in New Jersey
Celebrities with Birth Defects List

But, hey, keep those suggestions comin’.

May we recommend the following pairings for your listening and dining pleasure--Tuesday night, Cabin Fever juxtaposed with the ever sumptuous Carolina Pulled Pork, Smoked 16 hours, pulled and seasoned with authentic Carolina spices (1/4 pound); Wednesday night, Sidesaddle and Company enjoyed with Sam’s famous Sampler Combo, a choice of three separate items: baby back ribs, brisket, bbq pork, chicken, Italian sausage, beef ribs, hot link or Carolina style pork. A HREF=" http://www.samsbbq.com/menu.html"target=0> Sam's BBQ, Campbell

I’ve fallen out of my car and I can’t get up--If you’re reading this right now you’re undoubtedly at the CBA web site, which means it’s likely that you are a CBA member, which suggests that there’s a two in three chance that you’re over age fifty, and that means, maybe, you’d be interested in knowing more about “New Car Features May Keep Older Drivers Out Of The Big Yellow Taxi. Then again, maybe you’re one of the youngsters in the Association (I hate you people for reminding me of what I’ve lost forever) or, you may be so old that you’ve already given up driving (I hate you people for being living examples of what I have to look forward to. In any event, click here if you have a hankering for edification.




Milestone…June, 2001, the California Bluegrass Association holds its first Music Camp as part of the annual Fathers Day Festival. It was a rough start…somebody forgot to order the lasagna for the Sunday night meal, the sprinklers kept going off unexpectedly and drenching entire classes and some instructors found out too late that there wouldn’t be a copy machine available to them…but students had a great time and said they’d be back for camp number 2, which they were. And now, registration for camp number 13 is open. Click here and grab a sweet, sweet slot.

The Ray Edlund Present Wendy Burch Steel Show--Here’s a Facebook note from Wendy Burch Steel that could help you decide how to spend part of your afternoon tomorrow…”Please visit KPFA tomorrow around 3 PM, for Pig in a Pen where you get to hear my CD as well as interview.... 3-4 Pm. And that's it.

And for good measure--From Maureen Roddy…KPFA 94.1 fm or KPFA.org (for livestream) -- tomorrow from 2-2:30 The Tuttles with AJ Lee will be playing on Mary Tilson's show, America's Back 40. Also, my sister Sully Roddy will join us -- I love to hear her and Mary together on the radio. :) Mary's show runs 1-3 and there are a lot of other great bluegrass shows on KPFA too.

And while we’re on the Tuttles--When a national article about the Berklee College of Music carries the headline, “Five Rising Stars at Grey Fox” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that one of those stars is a young woman named Molly Tuttle, who, with her dad…”appeared on that public radio institution, “A Prairie Home Companion,” where they took second place in the show’s duet singing competition.” And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why the CBA is about to burst with excitement that 2013 will see the first BLUEGRASS CAMP FOR KIDS to be held festival week at Grass Valley. Ms. Tuttle would, I’m guessing, tell you she learned a thing or two about bluegrass under those tall pines. Click here for the story about Grey Fox.

So, what’s wrong with buying bananas at a mega-box-store? Today’s MOLD List—Useless Facts About Walmart:

1. Walmart has more full-time employees -- 2.1 million -- than seven times the population of Iceland.

2. Walmart's $405 billion in revenue last year makes it the 23rd-largest economy in the world, bigger than Sweden.


3. This year, everyone in the world will make an average of 1.1 purchases at a Walmart.

4. Last year Walmart sold more bananas than any other item.

5. Walmart has put more mom-and-pop operations out of business than four Great Depressions and three Great Recessions combined.

Okay, I’ll admit, I made this last one up, but there are eleven more groovy facts about the Big W that you can read by simply clicking here.

The Daley Instrument Company--There may be six degrees of separation in Kevin Bacon’s world, but in ours there are a whole lot fewer. Let me give you an example. Scanning the screen at bluegrasstoday.com I happened on a story about Sim Daley, who I know as a monster Nashville banjoist but who was the subject of a featured article about instrument making. It seems Sim is well known for his mandos but just recently has expanded his business to make flattop guitars…and here’s were the degrees of separation start falling away. Turns out he’s able to branch out to guits because of an assistant he’s brought on, master luthier, Adam Chowning. So now, I asks myself, self, where have you heard that name and the answer is, well that’s the hot picker, also in Nashville, who not long ago married the lovely and talented Megan Lynch, who happens to be the daughter of Maria Nadauld, proprietor of Above-the-Bay Booking, who happens to be the sister of Welcome columnist Brooks Judd, who happens to be the childhood friend of Rick Cornish, who happens to be the guy who runs the CBA site and is holding my column hostage. Help me, here, how many degrees is that, anyway. Click here to see Brad Davis give his brand new Daley Guitars a work out or here to read the bluegrasstoday article. Or, just keep moving to the next news item.

December 16, 2012

Milestone…June, 2001, the California Bluegrass Association holds its first Music Camp as part of the annual Fathers Day Festival. It was a rough start…somebody forgot to order the lasagna for the Sunday night meal, the sprinklers kept going off unexpectedly and drenching entire classes and some instructors found out too late that there wouldn’t be a copy machine available to them…but students had a great time and said they’d be back for camp number 2, which they were. And now, registration for camp number 13 is open. Click here and grab a sweet, sweet slot.

The Ray Edlund Present Wendy Burch Steel Show--Here’s a Facebook note from Wendy Burch Steel that could help you decide how to spend part of your afternoon tomorrow…”Please visit KPFA tomorrow around 3 PM, for Pig in a Pen where you get to hear my CD as well as interview.... 3-4 Pm. And that's it.

And for good measure--From Maureen Roddy…KPFA 94.1 fm or KPFA.org (for livestream) -- tomorrow from 2-2:30 The Tuttles with AJ Lee will be playing on Mary Tilson's show, America's Back 40. Also, my sister Sully Roddy will join us -- I love to hear her and Mary together on the radio. :) Mary's show runs 1-3 and there are a lot of other great bluegrass shows on KPFA too.

A nd while we’re on the Tuttles--When a national article about the Berklee College of Music carries the headline, “Five Rising Stars at Grey Fox” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that one of those stars is a young woman named Molly Tuttle, who, with her dad…”appeared on that public radio institution, “A Prairie Home Companion,” where they took second place in the show’s duet singing competition.” And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out why the CBA is about to burst with excitement that 2013 will see the first BLUEGRASS CAMP FOR KIDS to be held festival week at Grass Valley. Ms. Tuttle would, I’m guessing, tell you she learned a thing or two about bluegrass under those tall pines.Click here for the story about Grey Fox.

So, what’s wrong with buying bananas at a mega-box-store? Today’s MOLD List—Useless Facts About Walmart:

1. Walmart has more full-time employees -- 2.1 million -- than seven times the population of Iceland.

2. Walmart's $405 billion in revenue last year makes it the 23rd-largest economy in the world, bigger than Sweden.


3. This year, everyone in the world will make an average of 1.1 purchases at a Walmart.

4. Last year Walmart sold more bananas than any other item.

5. Walmart has put more mom-and-pop operations out of business than four Great Depressions and three Great Recessions combined.

Okay, I’ll admit, I made this last one up, but there are eleven more groovy facts about the Big W that you can read by simply clicking here.

The Daley Instrument Company--There may be six degrees of separation in Kevin Bacon’s world, but in ours there are a whole lot fewer. Let me give you an example. Scanning the screen at bluegrasstoday.com I happened on a story about Sim Daley, who I know as a monster Nashville banjoist but who was the subject of a featured article about instrument making. It seems Sim is well known for his mandos but just recently has expanded his business to make flattop guitars…and here’s were the degrees of separation start falling away. Turns out he’s able to branch out to guits because of an assistant he’s brought on, master luthier, Adam Chowning. So now, I asks myself, self, where have you heard that name and the answer is, well that’s the hot picker, also in Nashville, who not long ago married the lovely and talented Megan Lynch, who happens to be the daughter of Maria Nadauld, proprietor of Above-the-Bay Booking, who happens to be the sister of Welcome columnist Brooks Judd, who happens to be the childhood friend of Rick Cornish, who happens to be the guy who runs the CBA site and is holding my column hostage. Help me, here, how many degrees is that, anyway. Click here to see Brad Davis give his brand new Daley Guitars a work out or here to read the bluegrasstoday article. Or, just keep moving to the next news item.

December 15, 2012

Milestone…In 1972 a recording called Duelin' Banjos was used in a John Boorman film called Deliverance. Taken from Reno and Smith's "Feudin' Banjos" the song swept across the country and would be demanded by drunken bar patrons for decades and decades to come. --Click here and enjoy once again the entire scene from Boorman’s film…a classic.

Don’t know as I’ve seen these two together--D.J. Peter Thompson dropped us a line containing a recommended YouTube video…"Can't You Hear Me Calling" - Del McCoury & Danny Paisley with Ronnie McCoury, Jason Carter, Bela Fleck, and Alan Bertram…Boy are we glad we took his advice. Click here and prepare to be overcome by the power that is high-lonesome.

Look, we don’t make the rules, we just report ‘em-- Belly-Putting Banned Nation-Wide; Decision Considered Irreversible. Click here for the chilling details.

So, would that be twenty-two ears? It’s always music to the ears of the CBA Powers that Be when good news comes out about one of their Fathers Day head liners. Bob Cherry over at cybergrass.com had some just yesterday…”Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers received an exciting and early Christmas gift this week with the news that the band's latest music on Rebel Records has hit the top of not one, but two charts! The new CD, They're Playing My Song, is this month's #1 CD on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Albums chart. Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs chart for the week of December 7th put the CD's first single, "Bottom Of A Mountain" at #1.

Well, yes, by now they actually are ‘ol, but, damn they’re good-- Okay, I know April 3rd is a long ways away friends, but this is definitely something you’ll want to get on your calendar. It’s hard to believe this show will not sell out. The Good Ol' Persons have scheduled a reunion show at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley.

All words are equal, but some words are more equal than others--This quote, taken from the classic allegorical novel Animal Farm, are at the heart of the article that Gregory Ciotti makes when proposing what he believes are the five most persuasive words in the English language. The marketing director at Help Scout, the invisible help desk software for small business owners and writer about behavioral psychology and the arts of persuasion on his blog Sparring Mind, Ciotti offers the following…note that only two of the five are more than one syllable…

1. You
2. Free
3. Because
4. Instantly
5. New

Okay, so you have three choices here. 1) Pretend you never read this; 2) start using these words as often as possible when you want someone to do something (e.g., I want YOU to try some of my NEW gin BECAUSE it will INSTANTLY make you amorous. And did I mention it’s FREE?); or 3) Click here click here and find out what

So here’s another one--As I become older I have found that lists are more and more attractive to me. I think it has something to do with they’re sort of ‘blocked-out’ nature, as opposed to just a flowing, free-form jumble of items; you know, like a paragraph. Then again, it might be that, with a list, a single glance can offer some assurance that there’s an end to what ever it is you’re trying to move into your brain, and at my age that’s become increasingly important. You know, like not wanting to by green bananas. So anyways, here’s a dandy little list of suggestions, ten in all, that should help you remember your dreams. (If you don’t want to remember them, STOP READING NOW! Click here for the list.

Okay, one more list--What with Pandora and Spotify and Sirius and all the rest I find I’m buying fewer and fewer actual CD’s these days, but I’m absolutely POSITIVE I’ll be grabbing this one. Timeless Hits From The Past Bluegrassed, the new IIIrd Tyme Out project, will include 12 tracks, “mixed between hit songs from the bluegrass and country music worlds – all done up in IIIrd Tyme Out’s inimitable trademark style,” according to bluegrasstoday.com. All it took was a quick look at the tracks—

Gentle On My Mind
Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde
Golden Ring
Old Home Place
Only You
Country Roads
My Window Faces The South
Farewell Party
Big Spike Hammer
Tulsa Time
Mama Tried
John and Mary

Have a happy little high-def Christmas--Mark Fiore, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and animator, has produced a short but jam-packed little video aimed at making us all more aware of the gratitude we should feel toward the Apple’s and Sony’s and Hewlett’s and Packard’s for making the Christmas season so much better than it was before silicon chips found their way into teddy bears and toasters. Fiore’s little piece might just be just the thing for you as you take a break from gift shopping and tree trimming and Christmas light display wiring, just, for God’s sake, watch it with a light heart and turn the cynical node of your brain to sleep mode. Otherwise it could be a real downerClick here.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT—PLEASE READ
I’ve just been informed by the CBA web master that in a week the three-month pilot of the More or Less Daily News and Stuff will come to an end and he and his editorial board, (frankly, I don’t believe he even has one), will decide the fate of the column. As promised and as I shared with you back in September, they (he) gave me ninety days to sink or swim. So here’s what I’d like you to do…if you enjoy the daily news column send an email to:

rickcornish7777@hotmail.com

and tell him what you think. If you would NOT like to see the Mold continue, just forget you read this important announcement.


December 14, 2012

Milestone…In 1983, Rose Maddox took the stage at Grass Valley for the very first time. She would be a regular visitor there in the years to come. It’s also noteworthy that that same year Tom Sauber played his first Fathers Day Festival with Barry Soloman and Ed Lowe. Exactly thirty years later Tom will perform on the main stage with Alice Gerrard and Brad Leftwich. And the cherry on top of today’s Milestone, Rose and Vern singing Tramp on the Street.

How do you spell plagiarism? A firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, I’ve been derelict in attributing some of the “Milestone” material I use to start each day’s column to Jack Tuttle, teacher, performer and noted bluegrass historian. You can find Jack’s complete “Bluegrass Timeline by clicking here.

Equestrian act…NOT--Hobbyhorse, a singer/songwriter duet comprised of Phil Campbell and Annie, will be riding into Arroyo Grande down on the central coast this weekend for a live show at Laetitia Vineyard. What better excuse to go on a wine-buying spree. Click here for show time.

It’s to Seoul what the Great Land Rush was to Oklahoma, only fueled by hormones instead of free grassland----“Women must dress in red and men in white and all gather at the park, which sits on an island in the Han River that bisects the capital. The two groups will stand facing each other a few metres apart until the event starts at 3:00pm (0600 GMT) — then run towards a potential date and grab his or her hands.” There aren’t many other rules governing South Korea’s ‘battle of the singles’ scheduled for Christmas eve, though I’m wondering is there isn’t some sort of provision for the off chance that some young man or woman isn’t happy with the hand that has grasped her/him. Click here if you’re curious, as I was, about what led up to this new Yule-tide tradition.

If Garrison Keillor narrates, you KNOW it’s gotta be folksy--The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance, was a one-hour PBS documentary that premiered a year ago last August. According to a network press release, it…”weaves rare performance footage, home movies, and candid photographs with firsthand accounts from fans and performers. Interviews with historians, folklorists, and media experts reveal historical and cultural perspectives of this unique period in America’s history.” So, what's newish about this story is that a group of folks are attempting to raise the money necessary to bring the documentary project to DVD. A HREF="http://hayloftgang.com/ "target=0>Click here to see a bit of the show that aired and to see if you’d like to help. If so, time is running out. The campaign ends December 31st.

So, you wanna be in pictures? According to bluegrasstoday.com, and you KNOW what those folks say is nothing but the truth, the soundtrack for the new Judd Apatow movie about to hit theaters was done, in large part, by the Punch Brothers. The soundtrack’s producer, Jon Brion, who produced the last full Punch Brothers album, Antifogmatic, “has become a friend of the band, and when the time came to record the movie soundtrack, he called upon the Brothers to serve supporting roles behind the big name pop artists whose voices are out front. Listen for them providing accompaniment for Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, Lindsay Buckingham, Graham Parker and Wilco.” Click here for the full story, including a left-handed compliment about the film itself.

Ho, ho, ho--We've got a majorly bluegrassy lead up to Christmas in our little corner of the world. Something to ignite that high lonesome yuletide spirit. Put these in your calendar…

13: The Kentucky Twisters – Atlas Café, SF
13: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
13: Rob Ickes & Jim Hurst – Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
14: Rob Ickes & Jim Hurst – Sebastopol Community Center
16 (2 pm): San Bruno Mountain Boys - San Gregorio Store
17: Windy Hill - Amnesia, SFDec.
18: Cabin Fever - Sam's BBQ, San Jose
19: Sidesaddle & Co. - Sam's BBQ, San Jose
19: Whiskey Brothers - Albatross Pub, Berkeley
20: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma
21: Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman; Plough & Stars,
22: Beargrass Creek - Mission Pizza, Fremont
23 (11 am): Paul Jacobs & Friends - San Gregorio Store
24: The Earl Brothers - Amnesia, SF

And speaking of Christmas, which it seems a lot of people are--The bluegrass family band Oak Grove has a part to play in tomorrow night’s very multi-genre “Have Yourself a Little Gospel Christmas in Walnut Creek.Click here to learn exactly where and when.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT—PLEASE READ
I’ve just been informed by the CBA web master that in a week the three-month pilot of the More or Less Daily News and Stuff will come to an end and he and his editorial board, (frankly, I don’t believe he even has one), will decide the fate of the column. As promised and as I shared with you back in September, they (he) gave me ninety days to sink or swim. So here’s what I’d like you to do…if you enjoy the daily news column send an email to:

rickcornish7777@hotmail.com

and tell him what you think. If you would NOT like to see the Mold continue, just forget you read this important announcement.



December 13, 2012

Milestone…In 1975 J.D. Crowe pulled himself together some boys and started him something called the New South. They were Ricky Scaggs on mandolin, Tony Rice on guitar, Jerry Douglas on dobro, and Bobbly Sloane on fiddle and bass. It was more or less a revolution. Years later one of their best known was performed at the IBMA. Click here for the Old Home Place.

So, would that be twenty-two ears? It’s always music to the ears of the CBA Powers that Be when good news comes out about one of their Fathers Day head liners. Bob Cherry over at cybergrass.com had some just yesterday…”Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers received an exciting and early Christmas gift this week with the news that the band's latest music on Rebel Records has hit the top of not one, but two charts! The new CD, They're Playing My Song, is this month's #1 CD on SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Albums chart. Bluegrass Today's Top 20 Songs chart for the week of December 7th put the CD's first single, "Bottom Of A Mountain" at #1.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT CLICK THE LINK BELOW!--Well, actually what we’re suggesting is that you don’t click it right now. Send it to yourself in an email or otherwise stow it away somewhere until you’re truly suffering, (e.g., just got your tax bill, little Billy’s been suspended for trying to pull together a heist team of third-graders to knock off the 7-11, your wife has moved out but left your mother-in-law behind), then click it open and feel the pain wash away. I’m not kidding, this really works. Click here, but only when you really need relief.

Yes sir, Tony, you play that thing, boy--Our friend Bob Cherry over at cybergrass.com is running a pretty encouraging headline this week…”Banjo Master Tony Trischka Wins USA Fellowship and Grant>” Awfully good to see people from our genre winning some recognition. Click here for the story.

Some things…and banjo pickers…never change--I’m guessing that if you were to ask true, dyed in the wool bluegrass nuts what they remember most about the 2012 Fathers Day Festival, better than half of them would say watching the Seldom Scene on the main stage is what stays with ‘em. Not only did they do three superb sets, but it’s just a plain fact that the band just drips with bluegrass history. Seeing the Scene is like witnessing the budding of a new branch of the genre, this despite the fact that the only remaining original member is Ben Eldrige. That’s why I found Greg Cahill’s recent interview with him for the Banjo Newsletter a treat.Click here and you may too.

That’s it. End of story.-- The number-one ranked singles tennis player in the world, has purchased the entire global supply of donkey cheese.

That Bluegrass Association of Southern California knows how to put on a show--SoCal Kingpin Harley Tarlitz dropped the MOLD Department a note asking we get the following word out--the Claire Lynch Band will perform a concert tonight at the Mission Theater in Northridge. Click here for the full skinny. Great show with a great lady.

Landfill Harmonic--Stories and video clips about this Catuera Paraguay project have been making the rounds on the Internet for the past several days and, frankly, there have been few innovative kids projects that have struck me as deeply as this one. The town of Cateura was built virtually on top of a landfill. “One day it occurred to me to teach music to the children of the recyclers and use my personal instruments,” explains 36 year-old Chávez, who worked as an ecological technician at the landfill. “But it got to the point that there were too many students and not enough supply. So that’s when I decided to experiment and try to actually create a few.” And, you guessed it, the materials he used were found in the landfill. A full length documentary will be out soon that details Chavez’s work. In the meantime, Click here to view a teaser. Sure got me thinking about what more I can do to support the CBA’s Darrell Johnston Kid’s Lending Library.

This is important, because…?Simply stated, Bergmann's Rule says that populations and species of larger size are found in colder environments; hence, the further north you go, the bigger animals you’ll find. A nineteenth-century German biologist, Carl Bergmann was only a little more committed to his scientific study than to his avocation, which was playing in a string quartet. He began playing violin as a child in Hamburg, switched to viola upon being accepted at Oxford’s Royal Academy of Science and did his most important work, including authoring the size-latitude rule, in Norway, where he took up the cello. Click here for a more complete explanation of Bergmann's Rule…or don’t.

Don’t know as I’ve seen these two together--D.J. Peter Thompson dropped us a line containing a recommended YouTube video…"Can't You Hear Me Calling" - Del McCoury & Danny Paisley with Ronnie McCoury, Jason Carter, Bela Fleck, and Alan Bertram…Boy are we glad we took his advice. Click here and prepare to be overcome by the power that is high-lonesome.

December 12, 2012

Milestone…1962 Ralph Rinzler becomes Monroe's manager. Markets him as the "Father of Bluegrass".
Click here

And the hits just keep a’ comin’--MOLD MAIL…The title track of the Kathy Kallick Band's new album, "Time," has entered the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey. This is the fifth title song that Kathy and her band have placed in the BU chart. The others: "Call Me A Taxi," "Walkin' In My Shoes," "Warmer Kind Of Blue," and "Where Is My Little Cabin Home" (from the album "Between the Hollow & the High-Rise"). The other four albums also made the Top 15 Bluegrass Albums chart. Click to the KKB web site.

2012 has been a tough year for music--Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Dave Brubeck, Doug Dillard, and Everett Lilly all lost this year. And this morning the New York Times is reporting the death of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Sitar virtuoso, cultural ambassador, teacher, whose “uncompromising dedication to musical collaboration beyond national boundaries knew no limits” was 92. Click here for the Times story.

Interesting match-up--From perscriptionbluegrass.com…Cia Cherryholmes Adkisson, of the singer-songwriter duo, Songs of the Fall, is excited to be a part of Mark O'Connor's Christmas Tour - a five city tour through the month of December. Cia will be playing banjo, and will sing several selections during the concert. Click here

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer has to be included if the list is to be taken seriously--A Yule Time request from the folks at Mandolin Café…”We're in the process of developing a definitive mandolin Christmas recording list. Join in the fun and add your recommendations. The list grows daily!” Click here if you’ve got one or just want to see what they’ve come up with so far.

Close call clue to cunning Korean catastrophic climate killer? Asteroid 4179 Toutatis Flyby This Morning. Even though its closest distance to the earth was 18 times further than the moon, scientists say that if it struck our planet the three-mile wide asteroid “could have caused catastrophic damage. In general, NASA believes a strike by anything at least 0.6 miles (1 km) wide could have global consequences, most likely by altering the world's climate for many years to come.“ Shortly after the historic flyby, the North Korean News Agency issued a statement that the “near collision with 4179 was actually a test of a new top secret ‘orbital manipulation’ device which Dear Leader # Three, Kim Jong Un, personally developed as a high school science project and which, with this morning’s successful execution, becomes a new weapon in North Korea’s arsenal to protect itself from western imperialism.” Click here for the entire story.

And speaking of natural calamities, these guys are to bluegrass what a real twister is to the Western Oklahoma Panhandle in July--Who are the Kentucky Twisters and where do they come off naming themselves after one of nature’s most cataclysmic events? Well, there’s an easy way to find out, and that’s to click here. And then there’s the more fun…or is it funner…way, and that’s to get your sorry self to the Atlas Café Thursday the 13th.

Public Service Announcement--Rick Cornish, the CBA web master who nobody seems to remember ever appointing to the job, has asked me, through my CBA liaison, Mark Peet, to let my readers know that a new block of rooms has been opened at the Doubletree Hotel for the big doings down in Bakersfield next month. Click here if you’re interested in nailing down a room. (As an aside, I find it a little amusing that the web master is asking the Mold Man share information with my readers. Do you suppose it’s finally dawned on him that the More or Less Daily is a major reason some people come to this site?)

And finally, spreading across the globe, one web site at a time--Leave it to Madame President Brandli to get the CBA all neatly signed up and registered as a “group” on the bluegrasstoday.com web site. Click here for a look at our home away from home.

December 11, 2012

Milestone…In 1952 Jim and Jesse get noticed. Jesse crosspicks the mandolin and the brother harmonies inspire their contemparies across several genres, including the Everly Brothers and Beatles. Click here to see the two perform one of their all time hit ballads, When I stop dreaming

And we can say we knew ‘em when--Husband and wife team court stardom with new music video., ARROGANT MILL

“At the east end of town, where the night sky's dark and inky
Stands a factory still and empty that for so long made our Twinkies.
But there's no carbs at all coming from those hallowed halls
No more Yodels, no more Ding Dongs, no more neon pink Snowballs.”

Click here to hear and see what all of the industry buzz is about.

Just picture Ed with a white beard and big belly--MOLDMAIL…”Hello Moldman, Blue and Lonesome would appreciate if you would post these upcoming gigs in your column. Friday, 12/14/2012, Murphy's Irish Pub, downtown Sonoma on the square (Kid Friendly venue); Sunday, 12/16/2012, 5:30PM, Bergamot Alley, Healdsburg, 328A Healdsburg Ave; Thursday, 12/20/2012, 7Pm, Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma, 3600 Petaluma Blvd. north (This is the annual birthday bash for Sag/Cap birthdays but of course anyone can come and is encouraged!) During this joyous time of year let us not forget the birthday folks who get presents wrapped in Santa Paper! Eat a cupcake, listen to Happy Birthday Bluegrass Style, and support LIVE music (and musicians).”

Donner, Blitzer and Larry--From Larry Carlin who, like clockwork, dons his elf outfit once Turkey Day is out of the way…”‘Tis the season! Dr. Elmo & The Supersonic Reindeer Band will be playing a series of shows in the San Francisco Bay Area this holiday season. Hear Elmo sing his classic hit “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” and many more original holiday songs that he co-wrote with Mill Valley’s Rita Abrams.” Oh, and for the one or, at most, two people in the world who don’t know Dr. Elmo and his ‘Grandma’ song, click here.

Say what you will about the Chronicle and its gradual, decades-long slide into the sea of mediocrity, their reporters still know good shows when they see 'em--Hillary and Jim among Bay Area arts and entertainment picks. Click here.

TV alert from our friends over at prescriptionbluegrass.com--Bluegrass on Austin City Limits This Week; Catch Steve and the Steeps. Click for the whole skinny.

Oh, I don’t know if they’ll let me use that word--So, when you’re running a country that has a shockingly tragic history of its people starving to death…literally…you plow every spare nickel and dime into projects aimed at boosting food production, right? Well, generally the answer is, yes, that’s what you do, except when the country you’re running is named North Korea or your first name is Kin, in which case you spend $41,000,000 in 2012 building monuments to your recently-departed ‘dear leader’, the last being a 75-foot bronze statue of the late Kim Jong Il erected in April and costing $10 million. Even in death our old pal figures out a way to shit on his people. Click here

This could be a troubling story if we let it be.--Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible. Twenty high-ups in the American Psychiatric Association will spend the weekend in Arlington, VA, making sweeping changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual…the bible of psychiatry…and since psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners around the country use the DSM to help them piece together their patients' mental conditions, lots and lots of people will be touched by what’s decided there at the Ramada Inn. So what’s on tap? Looks like Asperger's syndrome will be let out to pasture; disruptive mood dysregulation will be a new disorder added to describe unruly kiddies in the classroom, (bipolar, some feel, is a little extreme); a new way to think about sadness in the wake of the death of a loved one will suggest that grieving isn’t all that abnormal; and OHLSD, (Obsessive High Lonesome Sound Disorder will be added back into the manual after being dropped back in the 60’s at the height of the folk revival on college campuses. Read the full story at DSM5.

Please have their tri-tip/hot-links combo for me, please--You don’t have to like bluegrass music to drive to Campbell and eat barbeque at Sam’s; it’s some of the best you can find, even if elevator music was playing. But if you do like the high-lonesome stuff, the ribs and slow-cooked brisket will taste twice as good. Tuesday night, Carolina; Wednesday night, Dark Hollow.

Snappers--I spotted something new on the CBA web site today. I suppose it could have been there all along and I missed it…but I don’t think so. The page introduces the three official photographers of the organization, Mike Melnyk, Bob Caulkins and Randy Shelton and invites folks to go look a their work. I did and was knocked out. Click here if you have a minute.

December 10, 2012

Milestone…--Sad day this past Saturday, as J.D. Crowe finished his era with the "New South" with their final performance at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. Boy, you talk about one of the all-time greats…

After all, what could be simpler? I have seen with MY OWN EYES dogs that were trained how to drive a car actually drive a car. So can you if you click below. This is NO JOKE…no trick photography. So here’s what I’m wondering…if dogs can be trained to drive doesn’t it stand to reason that they can be trained to play the banjo? Click here

Opps, he forgot to mention his name-Now, here’s an invitation that’s gonna be hard to pass up if you live anywhere even near Modesto. Thursday, December 27 at six p.m. all you singer-songwriters are invited to go and have hot coffee, hot cocoa, cool cocktails, and even cooler tunes at this guy’s flat. The rule is only one song per singer-songwriter. For directions and more information, click here.

Rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated--Last Spring Harold Camping, founder and president of Family Radio, predicted the end of the world and was stunned when it didn’t happen. After a couple of days he allowed as he might have made a math error that threw him off a month. A month later rolls around, still no trumpets blaring so Harold folds up his tent and goes home. He was finished, he said, with making predictions. Thief in the night, dagnabbit, means thief in the night. So you’d think we’d be finished for a while with end of the earth forecasts but, nope, got another coming in just a couple weeks. Here are just a few of the headlines related to the latest chapter in end time madness…”Mayan Apocalypse: Cuban Beach Hosts Sacred Rites By Sages”; “Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, Delivers Mayan Apocalypse Speech”; and “NASA Statement—No Apocalyptic Meteors Headed Our Way”. Click here for Julia’s speech. Amazing composure for a Prime Minister about to kiss her butt goodbye.

Feeling a little out of it lately? So, you say you get into a jam with ‘the big dogs’ and you realize half the time you don’t know what they’re talking about? References fly right past you? What you need is a bluegrass terms and saying refresher course, and Chris Stuart is just the guy who can give it to you. Click here.

We won’t even predict what kind of music they’ll play, but we’re sure it will be good--Before we forget to tell you, Kathy Barwick and Pete Siegfried will play this Friday night at Luna’s Cafe, 1414 16th St, Sacramento, 916-441-3931, www.lunascafe.com. No cover. For those who, like me, still mourn the passing of Mt. Laurel, this act is some solace.

Who is that mysterious stranger from the east? MOLD MAIL from David Thom….”?Don Rigsby will be an honorary member of the DTB for 5 days in February, and that is raging good news, but better than that is the workshop he is going to give at the Freight while he's here. And in my opinion, it's the one California needs most... Stay tuned! Click here

The first step is to nail their head to a 2X4--I’ll share something about myself I’ve never told anyone; I have an irrational and almost debilitating fear of catfish. I think it’s because when I was growing up I was drug along by my parents to the Delta on catfishing trips. I just saw too many hundreds, maybe thousands, of catfish get their head cut off and their skin pulled off their flesh for a little boy my age. As an adult I’ve learned to empty out the visions of headless, skinless catfish from my brain, but then, wouldn’t you know it, I stumbled on this today…”Pigeon Hunting Catfish, the ‘Freshwater Killer Whales.’” And not in water. ON LAND! Don’t click here unless you’re mentally and emotional prepared. I wasn’t.

New location, same lean silhouette --Larry White posted to California Bluegrass Association Facebook page..."The ThinMan, Larry White (me, probably the 1st music vendor at CBA festival, every year now for at least 30!) now has a jam every Saturday in his music store hidden inside the Gualala Pharmacy. Our motto, Drugs & Music, get 'em both now in the Gualala Pharmacy! I've moved to the north coast, between Jenner and Gualala, and local jammers are mostly raccoons & bannana slugs!
I now have a new line of custom parlor guitars, and a new website: www.laurencewhiteluthery.com/

So terribly sad--Finally, it is with the deepest sorrow that I must report that the evening before last Shelby King, the daughter of James King, was killed in an automobile accident. She was only eighteen years old. has details. Our hearts go out to James and his family.

December 9, 2012

Milestone…In 1952 Jim and Jesse get noticed. Jesse crosspicks the mandolin and the brother harmonies inspire their contemparies across several genres, including the Everly Brothers and Beatles. Click here to see the two perform one of their all time hit ballads, When I stop dreaming

And we can say we knew ‘em when--Husband and wife team court stardom with new music video., ARROGANT MILL

“At the east end of town, where the night sky's dark and inky
Stands a factory still and empty that for so long made our Twinkies.
But there's no carbs at all coming from those hallowed halls
No more Yodels, no more Ding Dongs, no more neon pink Snowballs.”

Click here to hear and see what all of the industry buzz is about.

Just picture Ed with a white beard and big belly--MOLDMAIL…”Hello Moldman, Blue and Lonesome would appreciate if you would post these upcoming gigs in your column. Friday, 12/14/2012, Murphy's Irish Pub, downtown Sonoma on the square (Kid Friendly venue); Sunday, 12/16/2012, 5:30PM, Bergamot Alley, Healdsburg, 328A Healdsburg Ave; Thursday, 12/20/2012, 7Pm, Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma, 3600 Petaluma Blvd. north (This is the annual birthday bash for Sag/Cap birthdays but of course anyone can come and is encouraged!) During this joyous time of year let us not forget the birthday folks who get presents wrapped in Santa Paper! Eat a cupcake, listen to Happy Birthday Bluegrass Style, and support LIVE music (and musicians).”

Donner, Blitzer and Larry--From Larry Carlin who, like clockwork, dons his elf outfit once Turkey Day is out of the way…”‘Tis the season! Dr. Elmo & The Supersonic Reindeer Band will be playing a series of shows in the San Francisco Bay Area this holiday season. Hear Elmo sing his classic hit “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” and many more original holiday songs that he co-wrote with Mill Valley’s Rita Abrams.” Oh, and for the one or, at most, two people in the world who don’t know Dr. Elmo and his ‘Grandma’ song, click here.

Say what you will about the Chronicle and its gradual, decades-long slide into the sea of mediocrity, their reporters still know good shows when they see 'em--Hillary and Jim among Bay Area arts and entertainment picks. Click here.

TV alert from our friends over at prescriptionbluegrass.com--Bluegrass on Austin City Limits This Week; Catch Steve and the Steeps. Click for the whole skinny.

Oh, I don’t know if they’ll let me use that word--So, when you’re running a country that has a shockingly tragic history of its people starving to death…literally…you plow every spare nickel and dime into projects aimed at boosting food production, right? Well, generally the answer is, yes, that’s what you do, except when the country you’re running is named North Korea or your first name is Kin, in which case you spend $41,000,000 in 2012 building monuments to your recently-departed ‘dear leader’, the last being a 75-foot bronze statue of the late Kim Jong Il erected in April and costing $10 million. Even in death our old pal figures out a way to shit on his people. Click here

This could be a troubling story if we let it be.--Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible. Twenty high-ups in the American Psychiatric Association will spend the weekend in Arlington, VA, making sweeping changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual…the bible of psychiatry…and since psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners around the country use the DSM to help them piece together their patients' mental conditions, lots and lots of people will be touched by what’s decided there at the Ramada Inn. So what’s on tap? Looks like Asperger's syndrome will be let out to pasture; disruptive mood dysregulation will be a new disorder added to describe unruly kiddies in the classroom, (bipolar, some feel, is a little extreme); a new way to think about sadness in the wake of the death of a loved one will suggest that grieving isn’t all that abnormal; and OHLSD, (Obsessive High Lonesome Sound Disorder will be added back into the manual after being dropped back in the 60’s at the height of the folk revival on college campuses. Read the full story at DSM5.

Please have their tri-tip/hot-links combo for me, please--You don’t have to like bluegrass music to drive to Campbell and eat barbeque at Sam’s; it’s some of the best you can find, even if elevator music was playing. But if you do like the high-lonesome stuff, the ribs and slow-cooked brisket will taste twice as good. Tuesday night, Carolina; Wednesday night, Dark Hollow.

Snappers--I spotted something new on the CBA web site today. I suppose it could have been there all along and I missed it…but I don’t think so. The page introduces the three official photographers of the organization, Mike Melnyk, Bob Caulkins and Randy Shelton and invites folks to go look a their work. I did and was knocked out. Click here if you have a minute.

December 8, 2012

Milestone…June, 1976, Grass Valley California…the newly created California Bluegrass Association holds its first Fathers Day Festival and proudly announces its line-up…Josh Graves; Ray Park; Vern Williams Band; A Touch of Grass; Arkansas Shieks; Bear Creek Boys; Bill White; Buffalo Bob and the Country Butter Band; Country Ham; Done Gone; Good 'n' Country; Good Ol' Persons; Long Valley Boys; New Depression String; asnd the Caffrey Family

Better late than never--I happen to know that 1) a good number of our daily readers live the the Sacramento area and 2) a good number of them read the MOLD while having their morning coffee. Hence, I’m not going to apologize for making this recommendation precariously late. Jump in your car, drive downtown to the Old Soul for a cup of java and listen to Kathy Barwick and Ross Hammond pick a few. They’ll play 10 till noon, which will give you the rest of the day to…well…whatever.

Already a year since we said goodbye--Shirley Tudor was a dear pal to many, many pickers down in the Santa Cruz area and we’ve been told by Leslie Abbott that next weekend those friends will remember her at a very musical memorial. Organizers are trying to get a general count of those planning to attend so, if you are, drop Leslie a note at leslie@playingbyear.com.

It is at once a profound and abstract question, and a deeply personal one.--What is the meaning of life? For only $84.95 Professor Jay L. Garfield, a Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh, will lay it all out for you on his latest digital video…$49.95 if you feel you can get by with just the audio version. Is Moldman recommending the doctor’s lecture series? No, he is not. Rather, he is offering you tangible, clickable proof that there exist on this earth men even more presumptuous, self-important, ego-centric, and cock-sure asnd utterly delusional than himself. Granted, there aren’t many, but there are some. Click here if you don’t believe me.

No, in the grand scheme of things, the middle of February is not that far off--What do the Casey Dreissen, Bill Evans, The Bee Eaters, David Thom's Bluegrass All-Stars, The Crooked Jades, The Earl Brothers, Grandpa Banana Band, Snap Jackson & the Knock On Wood Players. Evie Ladin Band. JimBo Trout & the Fishpeople, Gayle Schmitt & the Toodala Ramblers, Savannah Blu, Whiskey Brothers, The Drifter Sisters, and the Lonesome Holler String Band have in common? Well, among other things, I’m sure, these acts will be performing as part of the 13th Annual San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival. They along with about forty or so other bands and soloists will help keep the SFBOT a compelling reasons that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the best places on the planet for a unplugged music junkie. Click here for the full cast of characters.

Want imported donkey cream in that coffee, Mr.?--I’m certain you’ll find this hard to believe, but I can be a pretty sarcastic guy. One of my all-time favorite comebacks when a friend comes up with a dumb plan, (e.g., “I just ordered one of those rubber thingies you put around your stomach and the pounds just melt away”) is “Right, that and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee.” Or at least that’s what I used to say. In recent years, I’ve changed it to “that and two bucks will get you…” And then this morning I read this…Chain Introduces Cups Of Costa Rica Finca Palmilera.

You be the judge--Welch Casts Doubt On Jobs Report Again…Jack Welch, long-time CEO of General Electric, strongly implied on Twitter Friday that the September and October jobs reports both contained a glaring mistake that skews the Labor Department’s projections and renders them useless. “@jack_welch; Jack Welch; Sept/October employment proj’s all wet; numbers based on FIFTY STATES rather than actual number, which is FORTY-EIGHT STATES; more govt. incompetence” Welch, who led GE between 1981 and 2001 and saw a 4000% increase in the company’s value during that period, later told the Wall Street Journal that “when Hawaii and Alaska become states you can be sure I’ll personally welcome them with open arms. But until then, job numbers from the two territories should not be used in DOL calculations.”

No, it’s not a Martin but it’s well-traveled--A $100 Guitar Makes A 30,000-Mile Odyssey. Click here for the story.

So,honestly, who doesn’t need a little encouragement every now and then? Ran Bush is a great guy and knows a whole lot about bluegrass music. If you haven’t met him he’s a good fellow to get to know, especially if you’re one of those closet pickers who’s on the verge of breaking out but just needs a little nudge. Ran runs a slow jam the second and fourth Sundays, 2:00 p.m., at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley,

I have seen the future and it is now…well, actually it was several months ago when BB was copyrighted--And finally, let’s say that, for the sake of discussion, you are a bluegrass fanatic, you have a nephew and a niece, both toddlers, and you have zero faith that your brother Ralph will do anything of significance aimed at indoctrinating the little ones into ‘our music’ while their little minds are still sponge-like and vulnerable. And let’s also say, again, just to keep the conversation going, that Katie and Tyler LOVE their matching I-Pads and that, even at three and four respectively, they’re both masters at the hand-helds’ operation. Two words…Barnyard Bluegrass.

December 7, 2012

Milestone…No, Barney, I’m sorry but you can’t play the spoons--In 1963 the Dillards play the Darlings on the Andy Griffith show. Click here for a great rendition of Dooley…Andy plays along.

He gets it now--Good Facebook quote from well-known photog, Mike Melnyk- re: the recent traveling BANJO EXTRAVAGANZA…”There are things out there. You can call them Banjos. Yeah, I've seen them and I've heard them. But, three together, with expert drivers. NOW I get it. Banjo Extravaganza. Look at em go. (Hear them too).

You won’t find anybody bothering to try and prove banjo players are ‘different’--A regular reader sent in the link to a story whose title reads… “Why learning guitar is different from learning other instruments.” (Note it doesn’t say HARDER to learn than other instruments.) Turns out a Nashville guitar player and a psych prof at Vanderbilt got together and hatched a pretty interesting methodology to prove their theory. Works for me. You? Click here

Let the bidding begin! It’s common knowledge among bluegrass pickers that, of all the bluegrass musicians, mandolin players tend to be the best educated and most affluent, hence we thoughts we’d share this piece spotted at mandolincafe.com…”For Sale: Tim May Mandolin Orchestra Collection 1913-1919. Tim May's remarkable mandolin orchestra collection of Gibson oval hole/sunburst instruments from 1913-1919, highlighted in our 2011 interview with him, is now for sale as an intact collection in our Classifieds. Click here

Upper body male enhancement--Stumped about what to get that man of yours for Christmas? How about a new look that suggests masculinity, wisdom and experience? Pierre Bouhanna, a Paris-based surgeon, says he’s doing 50-60 mustache implants per month. Transplantees are able to wash the next day, have to abstain from shaving for only 5 days, and can expect to see full results after six months. Granted, the seven grand Dr. Pierre charges ain’t hay, but where else are you going to get a 100% natural lip-warmer at any price? Click here

Of special interest to those suffering from cabin fever--Moldy Mail Press Release …”Colorado River Fairgrounds in Blyth, California will once again be the scene of the Blythe Bluegrass Music Festival. The Annual Blythe Bluegrass Music Festival has been part of the excitement of the Palo Verde Valley for over a quarter of a century. It all started with volunteer organizers, and today that tradition still exists. There will be plenty of top name bluegrass talent again this year so you will want to start making your plans now. Don't miss the Gibson Brothers - They'll be there! They recently won the 23rd Annual International IBMA Entertainer of the year award. The talent lineup, so far, includes the award winning The Gibson Brothers, Monroe Crossing, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Pearce Family Bluegrass Band, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Silverado, The Burnett Family, Bost Family Traditions, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Bill Evans, and New Generation.” Click here

Quick, whose face is on a hundred dollar bill? If you said Ben Franklin’s face, you’d be right. If you came up with some other famous American, you be wrong but, what the heck, it wouldn’t matter. Unless, of course, if you lived in Attleboro, Mass, your name was Dana Leland and you were trying to pass $100 bills that had Abraham Lincoln’s face on them. At least Dana had the good sense to plead guilty. The 29-year-old Leland used the fake notes on three consecutive days at the North Attleborough store to buy items worth less than $25. And you think YOU have problems.

Do you suppose the bees are pathetic, too--Ella Naiman and Scott Dailey cordially invite us all to the 8th Annual Holiday Hootenenanny…Devil's Canyon Brewing Company in Belmont, Friday, December 14…6:00pm until 11:00pm…no Cover, which is always nice…and the best part, we’ll hear: 6:00 - Hello Trouble; 7:15 - Wires & Fools; 8:15 - Pathetic Honey; and 9:45 - Stoney Mt. RamblersClick here for a little Devil’s Canyon info.

With a couple big names, this basnd could catch on--Moldy Mail Bag…Dear MM, my new band – Helen Highwater (David Grier, Mike Compton, Missy Raines, and Shad Cobb) made their debut last night at the Fiddle House in East Nashville. All the best, Marie, Above the Bay Booking” Click here to read the review…it’s pretty derned rave.

December 6, 2012

Milestone
--In 1966 Carter Stanley died. His brother, Ralph, vowed to carry on, and that promise had already blessed a couple of generations. Click here for a little bit of that good old mt. dew.

Notice that playing bluegrass music isn’t on the list--We’re gonna take a wild guess about Kevin Daum at Inc.com and assume he’s a very bright guy. What other kind of guy would presume to preach to us about the “5 Things That Really Smart People Do”? So here goes…

1. Quiet Your Inner Voice
2. Argue With Yourself
3. Act Like You Are Curious
4. Find the Kernel of Truth
5. Focus on the Message Not the Messenger

Want to know what really, really smart people do? Well, for starters, they click here.

A couple of good flat pickers--Moldy Mail Bag item. A little longer than most posts, but it’s worth it…”Hello MM, Told you that Helen Highwater (David Grier, Mike Compton, Missy Raines, Shad Cobb) played their first ever concert at The Fiddle House in East Nashville on Sunday night 12/3/12. Here’s a little snippet from a long ago interview with David Grier:

Q: Who influenced you most?

DG: Clarence White

Q: He came to your house often?

DG: Yes, Bill Monroe and Clarence White always stopped by whenever they came to the area. I was a kid so they usually jammed with my father. My father still has the tape recordings. That's so cool to listen to.

And attached is a photo of David Grier with Clarence White. Here’s the caption for it: “This picture was taken at the Indian Springs festival in Maryland in 1972 (Jack Lawrence said). Clarence is carrying his Whitebook with a cedar top. He also carries a Pabst Blue Ribbon. The young kid is David Grier with a soft drink in his hand. The gentleman behind David is his father, Lamar Grier. The drunken gentleman on the ground is presumed to be Harry Moore.”

Did you know that Clarence White did not sing in public? He was in a band with Peter Rowan, Richard Green, David Grisman, and Bill Keith. Band was called Muleskinner. They did a live television broadcast in early 1973. On that show, as far as we know, was the only time Clarence White sang in public. What song did he sing? He sang “Dark Hollow.” Clarence White died July 15, 1973.

David Grier never sings – NEVER – well at least not in public. He sang Sunday night. And what song did he sing? He sang “Dark Hollow”.

Maria E. Nadauld, Above the Bay Booking

Wow, to make it on this list...Congratulations to Grammy nominees in the Category 46. Best Bluegrass Album…

The Gospel Side Of--Dailey & Vincent
Life Finds A Way--The Grascals
Beat The Devil And Carry A Rail--Noam Pikelny
Scratch Gravel Road--Special Consensus
Nobody Knows You--Steep Canyon Rangers

More like a trickle than a tidal wave--Oh, and just to put things in perspective, the total number of words it took to list out all of the Grammy Nominations for 2012 was 7,085. The total number of words required to list out nominations for the single bluegrass award category was 47. I don’t mean to be cynical, friends, but let’s not kid ourselves about the tidal wave of popularity sweeping the nation for our kind of music. Oh, want to read all 7,085 words? Just click here.

Day of Infamy--Every man, woman and child in this country of ours is living a life that was partly shaped by what happened on this day seventy one years ago. Since then we have called today Pearl Harbor Day

That’s right next to Denny’s and just down from the multi-plex--Okay, this is admittedly short notice…and admittedly, some will choose not to make the long drive, but we at the MOLD felt it our responsibility to let you know that tonight Cliff Wagner & The Old # 7 will do their annual Christmas show at the Cinema Bar!, 3967 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City. I can think of few ways to ensure that by the 25th you will be properly imbued with the Christmas spirit than watching and listening to this absolutely crazy man and his crazy banjo. If you go, please say hello for me.

December 5, 2012

Milestone…It was a very good year--According to Wikipedia, “Originally, there was no intention to build a group and the main reason for the collaboration was to record a solo album for Tony Rice. They found that this cooperation could work and the result was an album called The Bluegrass Album, released in 1981, Click here to hear a few sample cuts and bring back a tidal wave of memories.

I was young and cute and funny and talented once too, dammit --A word from the Drifter Sisters. They need your help more than you need that sushi night out this weekend. They’re about to get on the CD-producing train and with their “good common sense and the support of our community, there's no reason we can't be successful in this recording endeavor.” Click here and hop on with ‘em.

Relevance thrown under the bus?--From the Moldy Mail Bag…”Dear MM, take this as a question or take it as a criticism, I don’t care. Why do you insist on filling your column everyday with a bunch of stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with bluegrass? I used to love to read Larry Carlin’s Almost Daily News. True, some of what he wrote about didn’t really qualify as bluegrass, but at least it was all about music. Some of the c___ you throw in your column, I don’t know, some of it I don’t think is even true. Why not just keep it to bluegrass? That’s the reason we come to this web site. For the bluegrass. So what if your columns are shorter? Signed, Growing Impatient” Dear Growing, let me give your question some thought. In the meantime, click here for the latest on the Mayan Apocalypse Countdown.

Take Five, hell, take an eternity. You’ve earned it.--Larry Carlin started the tradition a long time ago that the daily news, though dedicated to bluegrass, would include ‘big’ items involving all types of music. Clearly this is a big and a very sad item…the legendary Dave Brubeck has passed. We were especially fortunate here in Northern California to have him so close by for so many years.Click here to view Dave’s obituary.

What does this new band’s name conjure up? Mountain Dojo…new old timey act...Toshio Hirano and Dave Berry…Atlas Café in the City tonight.

The bluegrass version of affordable care; Dr.’s Monroe and Crowe--Stolen from the Breakdown but worth a read…Crowe receives honorary degree. By Tom Adler. I'm truly pleased to announce that the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has designated banjoist/bandleader J.D. Crowe as one of the recipients of an honorary doctorate. The Doctor of Arts de- gree will be conferred at the upcoming Commencement ceremony in Lexington, Kentucky, on December 14th, 2012. To my knowledge, Crowe will be only the second bluegrass musician to receive such an honor from the University of Kentucky -- the first was Bill Monroe, who was granted the degree in 1984 and received it at the June, 1985 UK Commencement ceremonies. Crowe has told me that he is very pleased, but does NOT want anyone to publicly address him as "Dr. Crowe" -- still, I hope all will join me in offering their congratulations to this great artist and exemplary bluegrass leader.

A prescient name? The Civil Wars, Joy Williams and John Paul White, have built a gentle, harmony-rich folk-pop sound in which warm chemistry seeps out of every note. The pair recently announced a hiatus due to "irreconcilable differences," but before that, they performed "Kingdom Come" backstage at the Sasquatch! Music Festival. It’s quite literally a ‘field recording”. Click here for A Song Of Loyalty, Before It's Tested. Quite nice.

Come on, take a joke--Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that occasionally, VERY occasionally, the Mold team will post an item that is, how shall we say, less than entirely truthful, but such pieces are ALWAYS proffered in a spirit of fun and good humor. We’d never dream of putting anything up that could actually be taken seriously, and that’s why we were a little unnerved to read the following…” The Onion has declared North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the "sexiest man alive for 2012." And it appears China's People's Daily Online has taken the story seriously…. The Chinese story reprinted satirical comments describing Kim's "air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side," his "impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and," the story says, "that famous smile." Click here for the gory details.

For safety’s sake stand back when he begins pumping--Quick word from Marcos Alvira…Just bought a CAD C195 mic to augment the gig this Friday at Louie's Saloon in LaGrange (The Poor Valley Band picks till they drop). Ron Cotnam of Red Dog Ash will be joining us on bass. I'm beginning to get pumped.

***Get cultured, would ya please--Eric and Suzy and their daughter are playing at the Creative Growth Art Center exhibition/opening/reception tomorrow night. They play FOR FREE and we think there’s eats. 5:30 to 8:30, Oakland, uptown. Google directions.

Notice, play bluegrass music isn’t on the list--We’re gonna take a wild guess about Kevin Daum at Inc.com and assume he’s a very bright guy. What other kind of guy would presume to preach to us about the “5 Things That Really Smart People Do”? So here goes…

1. Quiet Your Inner Voice
2. Argue With Yourself
3. Act Like You Are Curious
4. Find the Kernel of Truth
5. Focus on the Message Not the Messenger

Want to know what really, really smart people do? Well, for starters, they click here.

December 4, 2012

Milestone…Oh, and there’ll be this young girl…what’s her name, Laurie Lewis…who’ll be on stage too. Quite the fiddle player--The first CBA sponsored event was held in Fairfield on Sunday, April 7, 1975. Called the Kick-Off Jamboree, the full day of music was meant to launch the just-formed California Bluegrass Association. Headliners were High Country, Phantoms of the Opry and the brand new band, Loomis Quick Step. Jack Sadler was entertainment Coordinator and he was interviewed a few weeks before the event on Cousin Al’s radio show. History was in the making.

President Ulysses S. Grant slept there, the last drink in Nevada County was served there the night before Prohibition became law and…the Banner Mountain Boys will play there Saturday night. The Holbrooke Hotel, 212 Main St, Grass Valley, 530-273-1353, www.holbrooke.com/saloon, no cover.

Talmudic volumes, Sabbath candlesticks and a very hot mandolin player--Andy Statman, who was in Country Cooking and Breakfast Special and has appeared in dozens of albums by Tony Trischka, Kenny Kosek and many others, was the subject of a New York Times article. The Times writer wrote of Statman…”In his religious life as an Orthodox Jew, he adheres to rules; in his musical life as a brilliant mongrel, he defies them.” Click here for an interesting read.

This girl really wants a denim CBA jacket--Found in the Moldy Mail Bag…Hello MM, remember Brad Folk of Open Road? Just started a new band. Working title – Bluegrass Playboys. Other members TBA. Actually I think they’re already announced but my source just couldn’t remember. But good to know that Brad is getting back out there. He lives in Nashville. Maria Nadauld, Above the Bay Booking.” Many of us hated to see Open Road go by the wayside. It’s so good to hear Brad is coming back…he’s a killer lead singer.

When’s a girl a fellow? From persriptionbluegrass.com…”Claire Lynch Receives USA Fellowship Grant! Music artist and songwriter Claire Lynch is among 54 remarkable artists to receive one of 50 USA Fellowships (some collaborative) from United States Artists (USA). The national advocacy organization awarded unrestricted grants of $50,000 today. Out of the 54 winners, only seven are in the music field. Claire now joins previous fellows Tony Trischka and Rob Ickes as the only USA fellows whose roots are in the bluegrass tradition. Click to full story.

Eaves dropping--So, you’re listening to two guys talk and they mention the jam Thursday night at the Fifth String; so much fun, they say, very welcoming. Problem is, you don’t catch which Fifth String…the one in Sacramento or the one in Berkeley? Hey, no problem; there’s a weekly jam at both on Thursday nights. Click here for details.

Calm down, lady, there’s a banjo under there--54-year-0ld Brit, Melvyn Webb, takes his banjo playing very seriously. He knows the importance of practice, practice, practice, and even when he’s commuting on the train and can’t bring his axe along he works out on his air banjo. What could be more natural? More innocent? A Reading Crown Court judge bought Melvyn’s story and, really, that’s all that counts, right? The not-squeamish reader can click here to hear both sides of the story.

”Bluegrass is probably one of the least popular genres in Sweden, but we’re dead sure we’ll change that.” John Joseph Adams prefaces his interview with the boys in the band with a brutally frank admission…”Death Metal and Bluegrass are as natural a pairing as...well, okay, there’s nothing really natural about it. But Swedish band Slaughter of the Bluegrass have merged the two, nature be damned, and the result is a band that plays Bluegrass covers of Death Metal songs. (Deathgrass? Blue Metal?)” You’re asking yourself, should I click here and keep reading? Hey, don’t look at me. Do what you’ve got to do.

Yeah, right, and Shakespeare loved hip-hop--I just realized a few weeks ago that Sunday’s around this place are dedicated to what they call ‘hooked on bluegrass’ stories so I’ve started glancing at them. Some are mildly interesting, but one this past Sunday caught my eye. Purportedly a hooked story by Mark Twain who, of course was dead well before Bill Monroe was ever even a twinkle in his daddy’s eye. So, how do they get around this inconvenient fact? Simple, they, (probably the self-appointed web master) imply that Clemens anticipated bluegrass because of his fondness for the banjo. Read this…”And away back in the beginning to my mind I see an entirely new genre, a pulsing force modulated with sweetness indescribable, a toe-tapping, heart-wrenching invention of sound on sound on sound built on the back of the banjo, that, by the middle of the fast-approaching new century, will sweep across the land and make true believers of us all.” Is this horse pucky or what? You can click here the whole supposed story, though I’m not recommending it.

December 3, 2012

b>Milestone…momentous but short-lived--In 1944 Lester Flatt became one of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys.
Click here and have a listen to what would be the prototype for a new and exciting kind of music.

Sexiest man on earth has a few more surprises for us--Does anybody besides me find it just a trifle ironic and unsettling that in the short span of less than one week the North Korean state news agency has reported: 1) that archaeologists recently reconfirmed the lair of a unicorn once ridden by an ancient Korean king; and 2) the country has begun installing a rocket at its Sohae launch pad ahead of a planned launch this month, (a rocket, of course, that could deliver a nuclear payload). This isn’t funny anymore. Click here to read the unicorn story; you don’t want to read about the rocket, believe me.

Well, that leaves Whiskey Before Breakfast out--Artificial brain passes basic IQ test; learns to write signature, play banjo. An artificial brain created by neuroscientists at the University of Waterloo in Canada can pass a basic IQ test according to researchers, reported ExtremeTech. The Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network — SPAUN — contains 2.5 million simulated neurons. It can complete eight different tasks, write its name with one attached arm and play the banjo with both artificial limbs. Not only does it simulate the human brain’s abilities, but it even simulates the brain’s limits, as it has difficulty remembering more than a few numbers and banjo tunes with more than three chords. “We started with the banjo,” said Dennis Coke, the project’s lead scientist, “because it’s well known that that’s the simplest and most primitive of the stringed instruments and requires the least amount of intelligence to master. Assuming our funding is continued, in SPAUN’s Phase II we’ll move to more cerebral and sophisticated instruments. Click here.

Phil one, cancer zero…GAME OVER, MAN--When Phil Leadbetter told the national bluegrass community last year that he’d been diagnosed with cancer it hit like a ton of bricks. Besides being a world class reso artist, ‘Uncle’ Phil is just a great guy. Phil was very upfront about his fight for life and kept us informed from start to successful finish. Proof that he beat the damned thing can be seen very tangibly with the following schedule of Phil and Steve Gulley’s Florida tour…10 (Thursday) Ferandina Beach, FL - Sliders Beachside Grill; 11 (Friday) Bushnell, FL - Bruce and Jody Watson's Hollowpoint Farms; 12 (Saturday) Bushnell, FL - Bruce and Jody Watson's Hollowpoint Farms; 13 (Sunday)...... Plant City, FL- Bailey Acoustic Shop. (On the Plant City date, the two will also be offering workshops.”

Watch for some release shindigs coming up--Very fine new CD out by a local singer-songwriter named Wendy Burch Steel. The project is called Open Wings and one of the cuts, If I Had Wings can be previewed on YouTube by clicking here. Ms. Steel has a lovely voice reminiscent, to me anyway, of Mary McCaslin and her supporting staff on the CD isn’t too shabby either… Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Chad Manning, Patrick Sauber, Todd Phillips, John Schott, Evan Robert Morgan, Nell Robinson, Melody Walker, Richard Brandenburg and the T Sisters

Be still my heart--And speaking of new recording projects, it’s more than a little heart-warming when I sit sipping my morning coffee, scanning through web screens like a high flying, sub-supersonic reconnaissance jet over our shinking world, that I accidentally stumble on news that two of my all time favorite performers, who have about as much in common as aluminum siding and goldfish, have produced a CD together. John Prine and Mac Wiseman have collaborated on a collection of tunes called Standard Songs for Average People. About the title, music critic Daniel Woolstencroft writes…”It's a title that's equal parts accurate and misleading; Standard Songs is such a beautiful, worthy album that it deserves a far less reserved title, and yet it's so comfortable, mellow, and soothing that its title fits. Click here to read the entire review and then, if you’re as sold as I am, go out and buy the CD.

Ah, so like, how high did you want me to jump, sir? Folks familiar with the CBA will remember the name Darrel Johnston. During his career Darrel had a pretty demanding job; he was in charge of the United States Navy’s Nuclear Sub Maintenance and Refueling operation and, well, let’s just say he was known for taking care of business. Upon retirement Darrel cast about for something to do with his time and, as luck would have it…and we’re talking VERY good luck, he became involved with the CBA. Within no time at all Darrel was appointed treasurer, elected to the board of directors and created the Kids Lending Library. And of course he accomplished a myriad of lesser known successes. Like deciding just out of the blue one morning that the newly created bluegrasscountry.org world-wide streaming operation back in D.C. needed some West Coast representation in its programming. Darrel approached the challenge like any other he’d taken on during his thirty years at the shipyards and within a month Peter Thompson’s Bluegrass Signal Radio Show was added to bluegrasscountry’s list of weekly programs. Not long after that our friend and champion left us as quickly as he’d arrived, the victim of a massive heart attack. He’s still missed horribly, but his important work is a constant reminder of the larger than life mover-and-shaker we were briefly blessed with. One reminder, of course, can be heard every week on the web. Click here to learn what Bluegrass Signal will be up to over the coming holiday.

December 2, 2012

Milestone…Where we went to find the words--In December of 1941 People's Songs was founded by Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, Lee Hays, and others in New York City. Its purpose was to "create, promote, and distribute songs of labor and the American people." Within fifteen years the People's Songs Bulletin was serving as a template for folk music magazines to come like Sing Out! and Broadside.

Is there anything this guy DOESN’T do? I keep mentioning my predecessor Larry Carlin because, well, the more I learn about him the more I realize the guy does a whole lot for our music. For example, I just recently heard about the Sausalito Seahorse Bluegrass Sessions that he helped start years ago…I hear told it’s still going strong.Click here to learn more. Hey, what do you know...tonight's the first Monday night of the month.

Sure, you've seen a squirrel playing a banjo before. But what about a squirrel playing an electric banjo?--Chris Stuart recommends giving a squirrel banjo for Christmas when nothing else will say I love you. Click here

Hillary Clinton wants YOU--From Bob Cherry over at cybergrass.com…American Voices Accepting Applications the US Department of State's American Music Abroad tour American Voices, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is now accepting ensemble applications for the American Music Abroad 2013-2014 touring season. In the previous tour, Della Mae represented bluegrass music through American Voices. Artists interested in participating in this outstanding program can now apply. Click here
for more information.

Centuries old--“Her name is Elizabeth LaPrelle. She says she loves the story-telling ballad — Scottish, Irish, English — especially the ones that go back centuries. At 25, she's aware she sounds older, and likes it.” Unadorned by instrumental accompaniment, LaPrelle’s singing is at the center of the heart of our bluegrass music. She could be Ollabelle Reed or Ralph Stanley standing alone at a mic, no instrument, half singing, half telling…no, wailing…a story. Listen to the young woman’s music and hear an interview with her by clicking here. Very powerful.

Pay attention, this could be on a test some time --In 1942 Hedy Lamarr co-stared with Spencer Tracy in the movie version of John Steinbeck’s novel, Tortilla Flat. That same year she and her pal, the composer George Antheil, applied for and received a patent for a radio signaling device they called the "Secret Communications System," that later became an important step in the technology used to maintain the security of military communications during the Second World War and…are you ready for this…sixty years later was foundational in the development of WiFi.

But he didn’t say how often they do it--Nashvile Daily Republican…“Danny McGovern Opens Up About His Sexuality. Nashville (11-27-13)…Guitar player and lead singer of Lost River, one of the industry’s hottest up and coming bluegrass acts, confided today during a CMT live interview that he is heterosexual. “Look,” said the native Floridian whose single, Doin’ My Time, Wastin’ These Years, sits in seventh place on the Roots chart this week, “I’m thirty-two years old, I only like girls, have only liked my wife since we were married twelve years ago, have two sons and one daughter and, yes, my wife and I have sex. Now, can we move on to our latest CD please?” Have you noticed that as newspapers and magazines drift further and further toward oblivion everything…EVERYTHING…they report has a salacious angle to it?

Vassar. Hey Vassar, are you in there? Okay, so there’s this kid in your life…son or daughter…nephew or niece, the next door neighbors little guy or girl…and you’ve convinced yourself that she or he is the next Vassar Clemens. No, the kid doesn’t play an instrument, his/her hands probably aren’t big enough yet to even hold one, but you’ve got this gut feeling and when it comes to music, especially bluegrass music, your gut rarely lies. So whadday you do? What’s the first baby step toward bring that Vassar, or Allison or Laurie or Stuart out? Here’s one thought. There’s this guy, James Crocker, he’s got a blog called Playing with Sound, and it’s pretty much exclusively dedicated to, as he puts it, “introducing the language of music to young kids.” I’ve snooped around some at the site and I think it’s got promise. Click here and see what you think.

You can run but you can’t hide--A new study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that 85 percent of the sofas and recliners researchers tested contained flame-retardant chemicals that have been identified as carcinogens and potential neurotoxins. But before you jump out of that Lazy boy lazy boy, keep this in mind—these same environmental ‘scientists’ are the ones claiming that the sea level is rising. Click here to thoroughly freak out.

Upswing for sure--We reported not long ago that monster banjoist Dan Mazer, a recent transplant from the east, would be featured at the Brookdale Fest up in the Sandy Cruz Mts. Well, he was, he said the event was quite a success and then he wrote something on Facebook that’s pretty much music to the ears of the CBA leadership…”I enjoyed all the acts, but two stood out, for opposite reasons. The Gloria Darlings are two young women who play early country and traditional covers, and solid original songs, with a sound and look that hearkens to the radio and stage shows of the 1930s, such as Cousin Emmy and the Coon Creek Girls. They have a sweet, charming innocence. By contrast, Front County is very much newgrass, playing tricky arrangements in shifting meters, featuring two powerful guitarists/singer-songwriters. There's a definite upswing of interest in bluegrass and folk music among young people these days, and I like it!” The CBA saw that upswing in spades at last years Fathers Day Festival. Makes all the hard work worth it.

December 1, 2012

Milestone…He was one of Bill’s favorites--In 1963 Bill Keith became the first "Yankee revivalist" in Bill Monroe’s band. Melodic banjo licks suddenly became an acceptable dynamic in the new genre called bluegrass. A little Cherokee Shuffle to wake open those sleepy eyes this morning?

Soup fit for a bluegrass picker--Butternut squash is the Lloyd Loar of squashes, in my humble opinion, so imagine my delight when I opened up my Bluegrass Breakdown a few days ago and found a recipe for making roasted soup with the stuff. Meet Me In the Kitchen, the new cooking column from Eileen Kleinschmidt, covers four different dishes, but this is the one I’m gonna get somebody to make for me. I don’t know what it is about the CBA…they lose somebody like J.D. to retirement and somehow always bounce back with someone new and just as competent, (though not nearly as crusty). It’s a wonderful thing. Anyways, Click here click here to check out Eileen’s offering for December. She’s no Mountain Man cook, but she sure appears to be an excellent Mountain Woman cook.

Kind of the Fourth of July for bluegrass--Bluegrass Nation reports…“December 12th is the day set aside just for Bluegrass. At least one day of the year, everyone involved in this music can feel appreciated. From the professional artists to the most unknown closet picker. The day is not just for the people that play Bluegrass, but for EVERYONE involved in the music in ANY way.”

Faster than a speeding bullet. We, AS FAST as a speeding bullet--I’ve always found it fascinating that CBA members with liberal leanings believe the vast majority of Association dues payers is conservative, while the right leaning believe our ranks are filled by lefties. I’m not sure which is true or if the truth is somewhere in the middle. One thing I’m pretty sure of though, and that’s that a whole lot of folks who enjoy picking also enjoy hunting, regardless of their political persuasion. Hence, I thought I’d pass along this little tidbit…Two buddies, Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell, back east somewhere have started a business that puts cremated remains into ammunition. Says one recent customer of the fast-growing business, “"It's beautiful that you can see it, (a bullet with a little bit of her husband inside), dispersing and falling, that is just fabulous," Click here to read more about Thad and Clem’s new enterprise and to learn how you too can send your spouse blazing through the air at 370 m/s.

Hell no it ain’t country-western--Some of you may remember an item we ran last week with the banner… “Judge Rules Tobacco Companies Must Take Out Ads Saying They Lied About Dangers Of Smoking”. Well, day before yesterday what’s known as a ‘copy-cat’ suit was filed in the Superior Court of the County of Belgrain, Wooster, MA, charging the nation’s four largest recording companies with lying to the public in product labeling and print and broadcast media. “Any fool who’s got ears knows this crap is about as country-western as Velveeta is cheese,” said Arthur Bloomberg, federal prosecutor, Seventh Circuit Court, at a Wooster press conference this morning.” Stay tuned my friends, and keep your fingers crossed.

No, we’re making no recommendation about the pie, one way or the other--We’re told by people who should know that the Thursday night jam at the Pizza Hut in Napa is a good one. Click here

Please, stick around for the punch line--Perusing through the ads for the big GREAT 48 coming up next month I read that Jonathan Bluemel will be doing the banjo workshop Saturday afternoon. I haven’t been to one of Jon’s workshops, don’t know him personally and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve only heard him play the banjo once, and that was very late at night at Grass Valley and, in Jimmy Martin’s words, I was skip hop and mighty wobbling at the time. So why mention the GREAT 48 workshop? Simple, it gives me an excuse to tell the latest banjo joke…What has 16 legs and 3 teeth? The front row of a banjo workshop.

It’s called learning from the last guy--Got a note from Larry Carlin yesterday letting me know that ‘in the old days’, back when he did this column, he would make sure to mention the Music Art of Karen Cannon in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Here, he said in the email, is what he’d written during his last holiday season doing the Almost Daily…”Seasons Greetings! -- Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like bluegrass. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of bluegrass seasonal greeting cards than these here by artist Karen Cannon, who also has a booth at Father's Day every year. While you are at it, look at these prints as well for other times of the year. Get your orders in fast so that you will have the cards to send before the big day.” Well, I went to the woman’s web site, found that I agree with LC’s opinion, so here ya go…click here.

Some kids’ll do anything to get out of homework--Nate Schwartz posts on Facebook…”Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen is a sweet nationally-touring bluegrass band, and they're playing at my house, in my living room! Sunday, December 9, 2012 7:00pm.” Click here for details.

Addis Ababa Breakdown--This is how the article Darby Brandli sent to me begins…”What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa.” So, what’s Darby’s reaction to the story? Come on, you can guess. She wants to send them banjos, of course. Click here

An odd assortment of people if ever there was one--Sourdough Slim, Saddle Pals, Faux Renwah, Robert Armstrong, and Ron Delacy will all pile into Cactus Bob’s Micro Bus and truck on over to the Sutter Creek Theater on December 15, and sing and play their hearts out for you. If you have a shred of decency you’ll be there, 8:00 p.m., and for God’s sake get yourself cleaned up a little bit…these people are professionals! Click here

November 30, 2012

Milestone…Things would never be the same--In 1971 the Seldom Scene was formed out of the weekly jam sessions in the basement of banjo player Ben Eldridge in Bethesda, Maryland Click here

Send whatever you send--Quoting from bluegrasstoday.com, “Guitar hero Tony Rice has again been forced to cancel some shows, owing to further health complications following his treatment for pneumonia last year. A combination of inflammation, fatigue and an adverse drug reaction with antibiotics and prednisone have left him too weak to perform at this time.“ Send your prayers, thoughts, vibes or whatever please.

Okay, I missed, but only by one day--Yesterday was Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain's b-day. Born November 30, 1835. Some sage advice from one of our greatest authors…"When you want genuine music -- music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose -- when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!"-- Mark Twain, San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle, 6/23/1865

Hey, man, pass that bottle over here, would you?“…a perennial favorite of mine, the 2010 Bone-Jolly from Edmunds St. John, a rare American gamay, the grape of Beaujolais, from El Dorado County in California gold country. It’s light-bodied but intensely flavored, agile and earthy, with each sip thirst-quenching yet intriguing enough to inspire another.” So writes Eric Asimov in the New York Times Dining and Wine guide. And why would the Moldman bother sharing this, particularly since he is vociferously a white and not red man? Simple, the Bone-Jolly label was designed by none other than Bay Area bluegrass legend Tom Rozum. perscriptionbluegrass.com does a nice job of telling the backstory. Click here

Suppose that’s what made her shoot so straight? Way, way, way before the discovery of Attention Deficit Disorder, time-outs in the classroom and the wonder drug Ritalin, Annie Oakley, the most legendary of all legendary girl shooters said, ““For me, sitting still is harder than any kind of work.”

I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home done up Bakersfield? Sounds promising to us down here Mold central. Here’s what J.D. sent us…(Nashville, TN-11-24-12) Merle Haggard & Mac Wiseman, both legends in country and bluegrass are making history with their new recording project. They have completed 13 songs and will be putting the finishing touches on the project very soon. No details available on a record label or release date. Hag and Mac are considered to be two of the greatest vocalist in country and bluegrass. There will be updated news on the project in the coming weeks. Hag sings Mac's songs, and Mac sings Hag's songs. Click here

Nibbling their very dry Monterey Jack can be spiritual--Pat Rumiano is an advanced beginner fiddle player who lives up in Willows. She’s also the wife of cheese scion John Rumiano, whose family business produces more cheese annually than Kellogg’s makes corn flakes. Now, as such, one could expect that wife Pat lives a life of leisure, fiddling around both literally and figuratively…but one would be wrong. Rather, she’s a very busy volunteer for CASA, (Court Appointed Special Advocates), folks who speak out to help abused and neglected children. While the bulk of her work is spent working one-on-one with kids, Pat also helps fund raise in her community, and you probably won’t be surprised at what kind of talent she hires when doing one of her ‘functions’. Click here and then mark your calendar.

How’s about ‘don’t go there’ while they’re at it? The City Council of El Centro, California, voted on a three-two split last week to prohibit the use of the catch phrase, ‘just sayin’’ within its municipality. Use of the term will constitute a fourth degree misdemeanor and carry a fine of $75. “My God in heaven,” said Councilwoman Margie Susskind after the vote, “isn’t there enough to be annoyed about in this God forsaken town without people finishing every other sentence with that idiotic saying?”

Play a jig and your brain lights up like Casino Row in Reno--Maureen Roddy spotted what she believes is a “really interesting interview with (a) researcher who does functional MRIs on musicians while they improvise on a keyboard--shows dramatic changes in brain during improvising.” We figure if anybody’s plugged into brain research as it relates to the act of making music it’s the mother of the Tuttle kids. Click here

Can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket. Or, in this case, send an email--So, you think all this stuff is easy, eh? You’ve got more people wanting a full hook-up at Grass Valley than you have full hook-ups. Easy, you just hold a lottery; what could be simpler? Actually, it really is simple for the folks entering the lottery. But for the guy who runs it, Craig Wilson, not so easy for him. So, anyway, Craig’s announced this year’s hook-up lottery, including the deadline, January 15. Click here for the whole skinny.

November 29, 2012

Milestone…A great idea whose time had come--In 1965 Carlton Haney held the first bluegrass festival in the history of man kind near Roanoke, Virginia. Click here and watch some incredible footage.

Attention North Coast ears…you know who you are--A message from Mark Hogan…”Just to let you know. My show has been changed to 7-9pm on KOWS fm 107.3 on Monday evenings. www.KOWS.com on the net.” Mark’s show is, of course, bluegrass and old-time. So know you know.

Fill in the blanks--It had to happen sooner or later. We who are dedicated to this music called bluegrass knew that one day someone would emerge out of the mist, be instantly recognized for her/his superhuman virtuosity and, in doing so on the world stage, lead bluegrass and old time out of the wilderness. Well, might it have happened? Here’s a press release from the prestigious NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts…”It is rare for a young musician to earn comparisons to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. It is even harder to find an artist who has entirely redefined an instrument by his early thirties. ______ _________ has already accomplished these feats and more on the __________ Click here.

Thankfully it’s getting to be an annual thing with these guys--I know, I know, I’ve mentioned this before, but this time it’s straight from the horse’s, er, star’s mouth via the Moldy Mail Bag…”Hi Folks, Jim Hurst and I are headed West for some shows in Dec., can y'all help us spread the word? If you would like to do an interview, or need more info, feel free to e-mail me. Thanks!! R” Click here for the complete schedule.

Shop locally, shop often AND shop bluegrass--Opening paragraph from Allen French’s monthly Bluegrass Breakdown column…”I thought I’d devote my December column to gift-giving ideas. If you’re a music fan, or you’re looking to buy a gift for one, why not support some of the authors and artists in our midst. This column is mostly about mom-and-pop businesses, especially those that make things suitable for gift-giving, primarily with items made by our members and/or those based in California. In February I’ll highlight our members’ technical and professional services; some not-so-small retailers; some California-based instrument-makers; and anything that may have been left out of this column.” Click here to continue.

A good guy--Sad note in Mold Mail yesterday from Larry Carlin…”I don't know if you knew Randy Campbell or not. I believe Carl knew him. If you didn't, well, then, none of this will matter. He worked with Ralph back before "O Brother" made him a star (to the masses). He also worked with The Dillards and Jesse McReynolds some. He was a good guy. LC” Yes, I did know Randy and, yes, he was a good guy and a tireless booking agent. Click to a memorial web site.

An iris by any other name--Sing the Delta is Iris Dement’s first album of all original materials for quite a while and it’s a good one. She’s an honest-to-God story teller and no doubt will be telling some tomorrow night when she appears at the Freight and Salvage. Click here. ....Or, if you're not in the mood for Iris tonight you head to the Hotel Utah in the City and catch Windy Hill...always good for a toe-tap.

And in keeping with our promise to cover the all the fast-breaking stories in the bluegrass music industry…George Martin reports that first Prairie Rose children's concert of 2013 just got booked. In January at one of the Berkeley branch libraries. “I love playing for kids, though it can be a challenge to hold their attention. That's why I bring a train whistle, giant rubber duck, etc.” As we ponder just exactly what “etc.” could include, let’s listen to a little Prairie Rose by clicking here.

Any competition that doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger--We’re not sure if the nationalbluegrass.com’s "B.O.R.N." AWARD, (Band on the Rise Nationally), will make or break a band’s future. We figured we’d let you be the judge. Click here

And finally, if you're feeling like there's not enough cutting edge technology in every crevasse and nook of your life--Crowd funding…the new business model for musicians? How does it work and, more importantly, DOES it work. Listen to an NPR interview with some answers and, of course, more questions by clicking here.


November 30, 2012

Milestone…Ah, yeah, I’ll have a light trim, a shave and that old piece of junk over there. Whaddah ya want for it? In 1943 Bill Monroe bought his 1923 Gibson Lloyd Loar F-5 mandolin (#73987) in a barber shop in Florida for $150. Click here to have a gander.

Okay, so where do I sign up? Holy mackerel, we were pretty sure the CBA would hire someone good to take over its Music Camp program, but Peter and Janet are, well, spectacular. Click here for a report on them from Geoff Sargent, the board camp liaison.

Listening to bluegrass was never so easy--A Moldman recommendation…Worldwide Bluegrass at loudcity.com spins some great stuff and it’s non-stop. Click here

Keep those emails coming--From the Moldy Mail Bag yesterday…”Dear Moldman, or whatever you real name is. I’m writing this to you because for years my letters and emails to the so-called ‘web master’ of the CBA web site have been ignored. I’m hoping, but frankly not really expecting, that you will show some respect and respond in a serious manner to my complaint. Recently I read in a reposting of the Mother Lode Bluegrass Newsletter about the following event: “Satrday, December 8 A Celtic Christmas with Molly’s Revenge at the Sutter Creek Theater for info go to www.suttercreektheater.com.” A quick and cursory review of the literature reveals that the Celts were an ethno-linguistic group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had a similar culture and that the earliest archaeological culture that may justifiably be considered as Proto-Celtic is the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of central Europe from the last quarter of the second millennium BC. In short, the Celts, a half-civilized band of barbarians, didn’t even know there was a Christmas, let alone that they were supposed to celebrate it. Rather, the holiday they observed during the third week in December was called Alban Arthuan, an ancient Druidic fire festivals. Please speak to the powers that be and either remove the subject event from your calendar or at the very least describe it accurately. Signed, a Concerned Historian.” My response sent the same day. “Dear concerned historian. Shut the ____ up."

So the first guy stops the second guy on the street--and asks, “How Do you get to Carnegie Hall?” And the second guy says, “Practice.” That is, of course, unless your name is David Robinson, Derek Johnson, Lisa Fuglie, Mark Anderson or Matt Thompson. If you’re one of these five, then you’re a member of Monroe Crossing and you just call your manager, Art Blackburn, and ask him for the details, which are Monday, February 18, 7th Avenue between 57th and 56th Streets. These people work very, very hard and they deserve everything they get. CONGRATULATIONS MONROE CROSSING!Click here

Oh, I didn’t know you frowned on that sort of thing here--A famous line from Seinfeld. Wonder if Ana Gloria Gutierrez took her cue from George C. when she was arrested for riding a manatee in Florida and told police she was, ah, new to the area. Click here

Journalist experience, solid ability to network, strong sense of boom-chuck--There are only three things certain in life, right? Death…taxes…and the fact that there’s no money in bluegrass. None. Zero. Null. Nada. But not so fast…”IBMA is now accepting applications for a full-time, Nashville-based staff member. The new Publications Editor & Special Projects Director will edit and write publications and press releases, manage content and promotion of BluegrassNation.org, manage professional development for IBMA members year round, and serve as a staff liaison with several committees.” Click here to read the entire announcement.

Nor-Cal, one of the planet’s bluegrass hot spots, and don’t you forget it--Jody Stecher has for a long time been just one more reason the Bay area bluegrass and old-time community should, from time to time, fall to its knees and thank the heavens above the incredible concentration of talent we enjoy here. Reports the Mandolin Café…”San Francisco, Calif. — Jody Stecher has announced the release of his first project, Wonders & Signs, devoted entirely to his own original compositions.” Click here for the full skinny.

Okay, take your best shot, then I’ll take mine--Hunter has terrifying experience with p_____-off deer. Click here.

November 29, 2012

Milestone…And they loaded up their truck...The Beverly Hillbillies brings Flatt and Scruggs to TV in 1962. Click here for their small screen version of Pearl Pearl Pearl.

It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas--That’s right, every year about this time we receive an invitation from Richard Brooks to come to Hoover Middle School in San Jose and join he and the Fiddlers’ Association for their annual holiday potluck. This Sunday, the 6th. Oh, and bring your axe. Click here

Don’t hold your breath--We’re not much for quotes here at the Mold, but, hey, inspiration is inspiration. From Pete Hicks…”I think it is marvelous that out species has learned to speak and write. It will be really marvelous when we figure out how to listen and read.

So, okay, we’ll bite. What’s in the jars? Rough and Ready is a tiny little hamlet about five miles west of Grass Valley, which is home to the CBA’s annual Fathers Day event. The heart of this Mother Lode community is its Grange Hall, where every Sunday, from ten till noon, you’ll find the Fruit Jar Pickers. The FJP’s have been holding their little get together for as long as anyone can remember…some claim it used to entertain the gold miners in the region, which seems a bit of a stretch. In any event, Rough and Ready and its Grange Hall is an excellent place to start off a day trip to the Gold Country. 530-272-4320, www.roughandreadychamber.com. Donations accepted.

Finally, a new technology for the masses--Okay, picture this: You’re half-way through your second set, which, instinctively every member of the band knows, WITHOUT QUESTION, is the best you’ve ever played…anywhere, anytime. The joint is packed and everyone, including the paunch, middle-aged guy sitting by himself who came in for the purpose of getting de-boned drunk because his wife left him, is into the music like you’ve never witnessed. If they could, every soul in the audience right this moment, this instant, would tip the band ten bucks each if they could. Well, my musician friends, they can. It’s called Digital Tip Jar and it will blow your mind. Click here.

You can say that again, Steve--CBA member and banjoist Steve Kling publicly thanks Bill Evans on the Message Board…”I wanted to take a moment to thank Bill Evans for the absolutely exceptional night of banjo he crafted for those of us who could attend the Don Quixotes show last Sunday night. I am a banjo player and owe much of what "I am" on the instrument to Alan Munde and Bill Keith. I expected a moderately attended event last Sunday to see these legends, and boy was I surprised to see a packed house and incredible level of enthusiasm from the crowd. The show was exactly what a fan would want, hearing each legend playing some of their "hits" as well as new material, and I have to say that Bill's playing very strongly compared to his idol's work as well. Click here to read the rest of the post.

Slower than a one-legged dog on Xanax --Judge Rules Tobacco Companies Must Take Out Ads Saying They Lied About Dangers Of Smoking . In other words, Phillip Morris, et. al. will have to very, very, very publicly admit that they were lying about lying. (The companies had run ads saying the feds forced them to admit that smoking was harmful.) Oh, and along with the new ads they’ll have to run statements like “smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol combined, and that "secondhand smoke kills over 3,000 Americans a year.” And what does this have to do with one-legged dogs? The ruling adjudicated a case that was brought by the justice department in NINETEEN NINETY-NINE! Click here to be amazed and outraged.

Triumphant return from Georgia--Regina Bartlett’s got some advice for you so LISTEN UP From her Welcome column this month and it’s just in time to alert you to a must see act at the Sandy Cruz Mts. Fest this weekend…” Have you seen Hello Trouble? Some of the usual suspects are: Ella Naiman, Meghan Leslie, Curtis Leslie, Henry Warde, Tom Naiman, and sometimes Linus Tremaine. Well they all went back to Georgia and played with Larry Gillis at the SwampGrass Festival. Of course they stirred up trouble everywhere they went, cause you know how they are…so good, so fine, so there you have it. Just love those humble great ones!!”

Rest assured, they’ll cook up something tasty--A reminder that on Thursday, December 6, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen will perform at the Black Oak Casino at 8:00 pm in the Willow Lounge. Yes, this is up in Sonora and could be a little bit of a drive. On the other hand, Frank and the boys are riding a crest that, some say, will land them in the top tier of bluegrass acts before too long.Click here to visit the Black Oaks web site. Oh, and if you head up there, consider dining at the Seven Sisters on the upper level of the casino. Exceptional, mind-blowing food.

November 28, 2012

Milestone…The King steps outIn 1950 Jimmy Martin formed his first band and hired two brothers, a big guy on the banjo and a little guy on the mando.

Decent obit--Yesterday I reported on the death of banjo legend Walter Hensley. Since then, close friend and band mate James Reams has written a very thorough and moving obituary. Those interested in the history of our music will find it good reading.Click here

Eclecticist comes clean--William Bill Jirsa, CBA regular and bluegrass devotee, takes a moment on Facebook to make a confession…”You may know me as a Bluegrass guy, but I just booked tix to the Eagles (Revisited) (Jan), Janis Ian (Mar), and Don Williams (Apr), at the Tower Theater, Fresno. Call me Mr. Eclectic. And I'll see all my Bluegrass friends in January at the Rhonda Vincent Show in Bakersfield. Gonna be a great year, I think!” We’re with you, Bill.

You lyin’ sack a…--It probably won't take me or the fine folks at MIT’s state-of-the-art neuro-imaging center to convince you that there’s a whole lot of lying going on these days. It’s all around you, it’s non-stop and, unless you know what to look for, well, lying has the very real potential of making your life unlivable…or at least very unpleasant. Did you know, for example…

It's estimated that a typical organization loses 5 percent of annual revenue to fraud. This figure translates to a potential projected annual fraud loss of more than 3.5 trillion, according to a recent study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

One in four Americans believes it's OK to lie to an insurer.

One-third of all resumes contain false information.

One in five employees say they are aware of fraud in their workplace but won't report it.

Researchers have determined that in a given day we may be lied to anywhere from 10-200 times.

Click here if you’d like a few ideas on how to spot your wife, employee, child, grocery store clerk, accountant or the federal government lying to you.

In case you’re wondering, and why wouldn’t you, the MOLD staff makes no claim of authenticity in the daily common, and an even less than zero claim for items submitted by isolating of mountain men--Another note from the one who calls himself J.D…. Sir Moldy One; here's another good story that Ronnie Reno told me a few years ago. This good friend of his was playing drums for Jim Ed Brown. His name is Stacy, and he heard George Jones was looking to hire a new drummer, so he went and auditioned for the job with the band. That was in the middle of the week, and the bandleader said he really liked his play in and would get back to him on Monday. Stacey figured he had the job so on the way back home after playing a gig with Jim Ed on Sunday, he told Jim Ed that he could cram that drum playing job up his ass. So, on Monday Stacy called George's bandleader and ask him when he wanted him to come to work. The bandleader told Stacy that George had hired a different band drummer that weekend. Whereupon, Stacy called Jim Ed and asked him; Jim Ed, just how far up your ass did you cram my job? That got Jim Ed to laughing so he gave Stacy his job back. Now is that a funny story or what? JD PS I'm sure with your editing skills you can clean this up enough so you can print it.

Help wanted--Cindy’s Gray’s Americana Music Festival has started excepting band applications for it’s next cycle. Click here.

The Stan Tour--From Public Radio International…”The members of the band Della Mae come from all over the United States: Vermont, South Carolina, Colorado, Wyoming and Washington State. And they are steeped in the Appalachian bluegrass tradition. You can’t get much more American than that. Perhaps that’s why the US State Department selected Della Mae to be America’s cultural ambassadors to Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The band calls it their “‘Stan Tour.”Click here for the written story and the interview audio clip. Della Mae, you’ll recall, is the CBA’s emerging artist pick for the FDF 2013
November 27, 2012

Milestone…And in the beginning…Bill Monroe was born September 13, 1911, near Rosine, Kentucky. He was the youngest of 8 children.

It was a dark and blustery night…So, let me ask you a personal question. It’s all right, I won’t tell anybody. Honest, just between you and me. What got your vote for word of the year? What, you say you forgot to vote? You forfeited your civic right in this great democracy of our? Okay, I’ll lighten up, but please, don’t miss next year’s election. Oh, you wanna know what one? It was the undergod, BLUSTER, as in 1. to roar and be tumultuous, as wind; 2. to be loud, noisy, or swaggering; utter loud, empty menaces or protests: He blusters about revenge but does nothing. Click here for details.

FAT is where it’s AT, Jack--KCSS FAT SUNDAY from Turlock begins at 9 AM with Texas Red until Noon; Sundance, (or FAT automation) from Noon until 3; and Uncle John every other Sunday afternoon from 3-6 with old-time, bluegrass, classic country, western swing, etc. Tune in at 91.9 FM or kcss.net. Everyone will, of course, remember Uncle John Gwinner from his years and years of wonderful bluegrass and old-time Sunday broadcasts at Capitol Radio in Sacramento. A truly wonderful tradition until station management decided that 13,000 hours of jazz per week was just not enough and threw our uncle out of the engineering booth. Take a guess at how much money I’ve contributed during pledge drive since that decision.

So, why in the name of Santa Clause and al his elves would anybody adopt a blind kitten?--Simple, just Click here.

Hurry back, please--In a surprise announcement for most of David Parmley’s fans, he posted this note on his Facebook wall just a few days ago. “I would like to announce that I will be taking some time off from the music business to pursue other interests” You can’t name many lead singers in bluegrass music who logged as many years in the upper tier as David; we wish him well…Click to continue.

Rest in peace, Walter--Walter Hensley died yesterday. He played banjo for many great bands but was probably best known for the work he did with Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys. Click here to learn more about Walter. There’s also some nice stuff of his on YouTube, including a classic version of Train Forty-Five.

Can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket--The Americana Music Festival folks will be accepting band applications now through January 15th for the July event in Virginia City. Click here

A word to the wise--It’s not like she’s going to yell at you, or humiliate you in public, or get you blacklisted at bluegrass venues. No, what Darby Branli does to ‘encourage’ people to review their CBA memberships is much more sublet that any of that…and much more frightening. Here’s an email the intelligence branch of the Mold Nest intercepted. “Howdy Darby, I just got off my butt renewed my membership. I couldn't take the guilt and pressure knowing that you were looking over my shoulder! :) Merry Christmas!” Believe me, you just don’t want to go there.

Nineteen days floating in water warm as a bath tub--Got a note from Paul Trenwith, a down under guy who’s band played at Grass Valley some years back…”Hello Mold, member me? Banjo picker from New Zealand? I'm part of a real bluegrass 'first' - a bluegrass music cruise in the South Pacific, from Sydney, Australia, around the east coast of NZ (stopping at various ports for sight-seeing), through Milford Sound, on to Hobart Tasmania and eventually to finish in Perth, Western Australia. This starts 19 February 2013, finishes 9 March 2013 - summer in the South Pacific. Best cruising weather. Featured on the cruise are a number of the best of Australasia's bluegrass bands, including my HCBB, and many others. I'm one of the hosts on the tour.” Click here if you, like me, you fancy the idea of floating around the South Pacific picking and singing.

November 26, 2012

Milestone…His mama, of course, had discovered him years before--In 1960 Doc Watson was "discovered" by Ralph Rinzler, which meant that it was officially okay to play fiddle songs on the guitbox.Click here fer a good un.

Something you’d expect to hear from a banjo player’s wife--Pretty funny and very perceptive I-Phone post on Facebook the day before Thanksgiving. “It's that time of year again when women inexplicably send their menfolk to the grocery store. Boy does that change the flow of things. All these men wandering around the store transfixed by many varieties of sweet potatoes. Calling their women in front of the confusing spice bottles. It's madness in here. No, the poster, Gail Miles Schwartz, is married to a guitar player, not a banjo player.

Come on now, Chris, you’re gonna hafta sweeten the offer, dude--The Punch Brothers are sweeping through Northern CA next week and if seeing and hearing what is arguably the most innovative act out there right now, Chris and the boys are traveling with an opening act….the Milk Carton Kids. They are, according the sales people…”a harmonizing, minimalist duo. Two guitars and two voices are used to create their unique combination of back porch Americana and classic folk. Relying on compelling narratives, a seamless interplay between their 1950s acoustics and well-constructed harmony lines, and their natural stage chemistry, TMCK have excited sold-out crowds across North America since their formation in early 2011” Okay, okay, we get the picture In truth, they could have gotten by with simply saying, the Brothers asked ‘em along.

Nov. 27: Laxson Auditorium, Chico
Nov. 29: Napa Valley Opera House; Napa
Nov. 30: Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz

So, wait a second, you can actually hawk stuff on the CBA Message Board? Of course--Linked to from the Message Board…”Achieve and Maintain Vintage Tone Now…A key to great tone is constantly playing-in your instrument. The ToneRite® is the world's most advanced and premier play-in device. Significantly accelerating the play-in process and providing increased tone, playability, and balance, the ToneRite® makes all of this available in a nearly silent, high quality, and portable manner.” So, I’ve got to ask. Do these things really work? Actually make a difference. Would like to hear from someone who actually owns one. Click here

Decked out in denim, with that poppy-and-axe patch on the back, collar turned up, man, you’re gonna have to beat ‘em away with a stick--A famous guy once said, ‘Knowing that you need help and two bits will get you a cup of coffee; asking for help, that’s when things start happening.’ Obviously the famous guy said this a long, long before the era of Starbucks, but the sentiment still seems pretty right on to me. Here’s what I posted on the Message Board yesterday…”I need help and I ain't ashamed to admit it, so here's the deal. Every time someone sends me a news item that I use I'll put their name into the hat. I'll pull a winner in June and that person will be awarded a very cool denim CBA jacket. Check it out at http://www.cbaontheweb.org/cba_news.asp?newsid=8833. You get an additional chance at the jacket each time I use one of your items. Why wouldn't I use your item? Because I already had it. Because I didn't think it was good enough to use. Will I use your item verbatim? Probably not. What kind of news? Read my column and you'll know. Nothing else comes to mind. Pretty simple. Send me some news at moldman7676@hotmail.com and each time I use one of your items you have an additional crack at the drawing.” So that’s it. Drop me a line.

November 25, 2012

Milestone…and choreography suddenly becomes as important as tight harmony singing--In1994 Doyle Lawson brought back the single mic.

CBA TO ANNOUNCE INSTRUCTORS FOR 2013 MUSIC CAMP! Well, of course it will. So why is that big news, deserving of capital letters and an exclamation mark? Actually, it’s not. We’re just taking our queue from NASA. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but for more than a week the Space Agency has been leaking stories of a “history-book-changing” discovery made by the Curiosity rover…but that’s all they’re saying. The MOLD nose smells a new ad firm on the scene. So, figured what’s good for the Mars folks is good enough for the bluegrass folks. Oh, click here to read what all the red planet hype isn’t about.

Cause music is good, too--Thanks to Maureen Roddy for alerting us to a music video project undertaken by country music great Pam Tillis and Mark Simos and his students at the Berklee School of Music. The song focuses on climate change, but don’t worry…if you ain’t buyin’ it you’ll still enjoy the music. Oh, almost forgot to mention Maureen’s daughter, Molly, sings and plays in the video. You may have heard of her.Click here

Hello, America, is anybody home? Headlines on just a single national news site yesterday: FRIDAY FEVER…Man Pulls Gun On Line-Cutter... Couple Hit By Suspected Drunk Driver In Store Parking Lot... Stabbing Threat Incident... Shoplifting Suspect Subdued With Taser... WATCH: Arrest Caught On Camera... Send Us Your Horror Stories...Store Hours... Best Bargains... Return Policies You Need To Know...LATEST UPDATES... FULL BLACK FRIDAY COVERAGE

Get in line, brother--The Moldman is not one for heaping praise on the Welcome column feature of this web site, it being one of my greatest competitors in the eternal struggle to grab and hold reader attention, but I did find Bill Evan’s column yesterday, Bluegrass Black Friday, pretty derned interesting. And here I didn’t even know old Bill was a contributor to the Welcome column. Click here if you didn’t catch his column. You may have to scroll down a bit.

Rest in peace--I’ve just read that Rosa Lee Watson has died. Doc’s wife, who was eighty-one, was fabled in her support to the legendary flat-pick guitarist. Click here to read Rosa Lee’s obituary.

Not as in talent, as in folding cash--Found in the Moldy Mail Bag…”If you caught the high energy show Poor Valley did at the Coffee Bandits in Merced, then you'll love us at Louie's Saloon on Dec 7! We call it Poor Valley Picks Again. Louie’s is LaGrange and has absolutely great food and a wild audience that dances and raises cane. Check it out at 6pm on the 7th. Marcos Alvira” Click here

You know that bird-worm thing they’re always sayin’? Well, it’s true--Just got word from Tim Edes down in Morgan Hill that early bird online tickets will go on sale December 1st for the big Lonesome River Band concert down there on February 23. Tim’s six year old Night at the Grange concert series has brought to the south bay some of the finest bluegrass talent in the country. Not bad for an electrician.

What’s in a name? A lot if you ask political science wonk and Dean of the School of Governmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Emil Fischbaum. Noting that our neighbors to the south are on the verge of constitutional name-change, from United Mexican States to the easier-to-remember, Mexico, Fischbaum argues that the U.S. should consider following suit. “Think about it…since its inception the United States has had enormously high and, essentially, self-imposed, expectations placed on its performance simply by virtue of the name selected by the Founding Fathers. Everything we do as a nation is evaluated scrutinized and dissected under the unrelenting microscope of that name.” Fischbaum, recipient of the Adelaide Stevenson Award for Social and Political Nomenclature in 1999, believes that a simpler name, one that does not “eternally conjure up” the not-always attainable ideal of UNITED, would make the nation less difficult to govern and less vulnerable to “criticism from every direction.” “Simply renaming the United State of America, I don’t know, say, ‘Steve”, says Fischbaum, "could put the nation on a track toward political reconciliation." I'm not sure I buy Fischbaum's solution to politics in our country but I'll tell you one thing for certain, before the end of the day I'm going to Google Adelaide Stevenson Award for Social and Political Nomenclature.

November 24, 2012

Milestone… And still goin’ strong --In 1966 Bluegrass Unlimited began publishing a monthly magazine dedicated solely to bluegrass music.Click here

Annoyed elf? We don’t know what all of the fuss was about, but when we came into work this morning we found a dozen or so emails from people worked up over yesterday’s cbaontheweb.org mast head. Apparently the CBA’s two leaders, Darby Brandli, President, and Tim Edes, Chairman, did a little photo shoot to promote the idea of buying Music Camp registrations for Christmas gifts. Personally, I found the ad more or less effective…the two decked out in elves outfits was a nice change from the normally somber countenance of the pair. But some folks were clearly alarmed. “YIKES!” wrote one person, while another noted that President Brandli “looks like a nun from the famous "Red and Green" order. (Note how her hands are folded in prayer.)” If you missed the now infamous ad, Click here

Whopper, hold the onions--Update from Mark and Colleen Hogan on the March 10 Sebastopol Festival line-up: The Central Valley Boys; Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally; Chris Webster with Nina Gerber; James Reams and the Barnstormers; and Africa Entsha. Mark’s still in negotiations with one other band but, as things stand right now, he and his wife will be producing a whopper of a show.

Don’t look now but you got some déjà vu about to fall on you--Maria Nadauld, By-the-Bay Booking to Moldman: Exclusive “Ramblin’ Rooks. ¾ or 3/5 - I’m not sure which–-but some portion of the Lonesome River Band iteration that everyone calls “’91”, the LRB band that everyone says was the best ever - is hitting the road as the new trio of: Ramblin’ Rooks. Might even be Rambling (with the “g”) Rooks – not sure yet. Kenny Smith, Don Rigsby, and Ronnie Bowman. Watch for further news and tour dates.”

Who is Winston Marshall--I took my nephew to Santa Cruz Boardwalk three weeks ago…we hit one of those very unusual dreamy mid-eighties days on Monterey Bay. Rocky’s reason for wanting to go to the amusement park, really, his reason for being according to his mom, is to ride the roller coaster at the Boardwalk. THE BIG DIPPER! He’s soooooo close. Every other month or so Rocky cons one adult or another into taking him down to the walk and attempting to get past the attendant and aboard the rickety, ancient ride. And, so far, he’s failed each time. The bright-red arrow on the oversized measuring stick still remains just a few precious, damnable inches above the top of his Giants baseball cap. Soon, I told Rocky, soon my friend. Okay, so what’s the kid’s problem have to do with Winston Marshall? Well, Winston, or more precisely knowing WHO WINSTON IS happens to be the red arrow needed to demonstrate your youth…preferably in years, but acceptably in attitude. So, who is this dude? Click here.

And he was the ‘kid’ in the business--Lead art from BU this month: Larry Sparks Fiftieth Anniversary…Beyond the glow and allure of the night lights of Columbus, Larry Sparks illuminated the stage of a bluegrass festival on a hot and humid July night. He was dressed in Carolina blue from shoulders to shoes. Bluegrass dripped from his heart like a leaky faucet. He captivated with each dripping drop. He turned the knob ever so slightly from song to song, from “I Want To Thank You” to that night’s finale, “Tennessee 1949.” Click here to read the whole article. It’s a good one.

When Masha tells you something is important, you don’t ask why--Sunday afternoon, from 4pm-6pm, the banjo duo known as Old Soles will appear at the Volcano Union Inn and Pub in Volcano, which is a lovely little town in the central foothills. When Masha and Geff let the Moldman know of their date at the inn and pub, they made a point of insisting that I share this little tidbit…”It's the 60th anniversary of the opening of ‘The Mousetrap’ in London. Don't take that literally, it's the play by Agatha Christie. We won't tell you whodunit, but if it puts you in the mood for cheese, there are several dishes on the menu you'll love. http://www.volcanounion.com http://www.oldsolesmusic.com no cover, all ages.”

November 23, 2012

Milestone…His first choice for a band name was Old Hickory--In 1938 Bill Monroe went to Atlanta, Georgia, to form the first edition of the Blue Grass Boys with singer/guitarist Cleo Davis, fiddler Art Wooten, and bassist Amos Garren. Imagine, we'd all be called Oldhickoryer's

Little blessings--The national holiday has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. Although common practice on this day is to consciously focus on and acknowledge to whoever will listen the major reasons we have to be thankful…family, good health, a country for which to be proud…it’s always sort of bothered me that the little blessings don’t get much attention. On this one hundred and forty-ninth officially celebrated Thanksgiving, I’d like to remedy that oversight as follows. I am thankful for spellchecking technology. I am thankful that our founding father, the first President of the United States, happened to have such an easy name to remember. I am thankful that milk gone bad has such a distinctive odor that, unless we’re really, really hung-over, we smell it before we drink it. I am thankful that David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, did not win the Republican Presidential primary in 1992. I am thankful that dogs are man’s best friend, and vica versa. I am thankful that I am not redheaded, NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. I am thankful that someone, somewhere back in history, discovered that mint jelly goes indescribably good with lamb chops. I am thankful that the English language gives us so many different ways of saying the same thing. I am thankful that Kurt Vonnegut defied his father, who insisted that he become a lawyer, and spend his adult like writing fiction. I am thankful that Napoleon finally met his Waterloo, that Hannibal made it through the Alps and that Adolph Hitler turned out not to be the genius everyone thought he was in 1938. (Okay, I’ll admit this one isn’t a LITTLE blessing, but after nearly seventy years it’s an easy one to overlook.) And finally, I am thankful that the bluegrass people let me write my column each day; it keeps me off the streets. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Digestive aid--The inimitable Laura Lewis, who co-hosted this year’s IBMA awards show with the other inimitable guy, Del McCoury, will do a post-bird day show at the Freight and Salvage tomorrow night. It’ll be a good one.

Wanna know how to sell a guitar? Simple…Make sure it’s a Martin '67 D-18, get Derek See to play it and get the demo on video with exceptionally high production values. Or there’s always the flea market. But seriously, Gryphon Music in Palo Alto has for years used some clever and effective approaches for letting the picking world know what treasurers they have in stock and this YouTube clip is just one more of them. No pasrticularly interested in marketing? Then just Click here to see one very fine rich and buttery Martin.

Major eastern import--Just read that Banger Dan (Dan Mazer) will do a set at the Bluegrass Festival at Scopazzi’s Saturday afternoon between two and three. Dan spent quite a bit of his musical career, a full-time career, back in the DC area. I’d heard that he relocated to the West, but didn’t know where till now. Banger Dan is one utterly monster banjo player. If you’re anywhere within forty miles of the Sandy Cruz Mountains you owe it to yourself; this guy’s a heavy hitter.

Okay, but who’s gonna play the 320 members of his band--I don’t know about everybody else, but I’m getting’ a little impatient for the Bill Monroe biopic that’s been brewing for a couple years now. Last April BluegrassToday gave us the skinny on casing, to wit…Bill Monroe – Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, Vanilla Sky, Pearl Harbor); Bessie Lee Maudlin – Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy, House, Cowboys & Aliens); Lester Flatt – Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, The Incredible Hulk, Holes); Earl Scruggs – Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover, The Lorax); Charlie Monroe – John C. Reilly (Step Brothers, The Aviator, Gangs Of New York); Uncle Pen – Sam Shepherd (The Notebook, The Right Stuff, Black Hawk Down); Carolyn Monroe – Ashley Judd (Heat, Double Jeopardy, High Crimes). And all that’s good. But WHERE’S THE MEAT?Click here

Turning into a relic is not necessarily a bad thing--You know who Bill Knowlton is, right? The guy who’s hosted "Bluegrass Ramble" on WCNY back in New York since the end of the Ice Age? The guy who inexplicably dresses only in pajamas at the IBMA every year? Good. Okay, you know who I’m talking about. Well, here’s a pretty cool story about him, the National Archive, PBS and a new documentary that’s in the works. Click here

Messenger boy--When I took this news and stuff writing job I told them I worked along, as in loner, as in you do what you do and I’ll do what I’ll do. Once I got out from under the thumb of the Web Mistress, (drives him nuts when I call him that), and started working with Mark Peet, things have gone okay, as in they leave me along. Occasionally, though, I get a note asking me to include this or that in my column. Got two this morning….from Mark Varner: “Just in time for Thanksgiving, the December issue of your favorite periodical is available to all our members in electronic form. Please visit this site's Bluegrass Breakdown page and find the link. It's a big issue, back after taking off November. There's even a B Section this month and it's full of review and photographs. Please enjoy! Click here to link to the download page.” And from the Web Meister: “Thanksgiving Eve Day, yesterday, cbaontheweb.org established a new record. 12846 hits in one day.” And do they give me any credit for that? Hell, no.

November 22, 2012

Milestone…So, really, what’s in a name?--Sometimes, plenty! Wednesday, January 12, 1927 the WSM’s Saturday night “barn dance” program took a new name, the Grand Ole Opry.

Advance warning for you brew lovers--Belle Monroe and Her Brewglass Boys at the Amnesia in San Francisco December 3. But, wait, while we’re on the subject, just what society first invented beer? Think you know? The Germans? Before them? Actually, pall, it was a trick question. Beer was not invented. It was discovered. And it happened a long, long time ago, when mankind was still hunting and gathering instead of farming and raising live stock. Fred and his lovely wife Wilma were out gathering some wild wheat and inadvertently left it out in the rain where it got wet, sat a long time, fermented and was eventually recovered and drank, to everyone's great surprise and satisfaction. And of course that led to all that followed...wine making, distillation of booze, the creation of the first Martini, all of which were inventions following that one accidental discovery. Ain't life wonderful?

Save this for the next time you wake up in the morning feeling low down--Uploaded by AcousticBoxOffice—On November 11, 2000, the original members of John Hartford's Aereoplane Band gathered in Albany, NY, their 30th Anniversary Reunion Concert. In addition to John Hartford, Tut Taylor, Norman Blake and Vassar Clements their were special guests Sam Bush, Chris Sharp and Mike Compton. From the Reunion Concert here's the original theme song "Steam Powered Aereoplane"Click here

Red Joedog Cravenash-- So what could be better? A lovely drive to the country, a chance to get some Christmas shopping accomplished and a solid line up of fine acoustic music. Friday-Sunday, November 23-25 Sonora Christmas Faire at the Motherlode Fairgrounds, Sonora

Cremation would probably require some kind of EPA waiver--Found in the Moldy Mail Bag from the one who calls himself J.D.…”You're moldyness; I just remembered a conversation I had with my buddy Ronnie Reno on Thursday last. He said his good friend Larry Stephenson called him one morning last week about eight o'clock. Ronnie said you are sure up bright and early this morning, what are you up to? To which Larry replied, Ronnie I have been up all night sitting here beside the highway waiting for a tow truck to tow my bus back to Nashville. Seems as how Larry and his band were heading out on his bus for a gig and about 50 miles from Nashville a rod broke in the engine and blew the whole engine up. Turns out to be about a $30,000.00 cost for that gig without even picking one note. I asked Ronnie if they were going to hold a memorial service for the bus to which he replied, given the scarcity of gigs in this climate of business that we're going through right now that would probably be a good idea. He said Larry doesn't know if he's going to fix the bus or have a huge cremation ceremony for it, and go buy a Volkswagen bus to travel around in. I'll keep you posted on this as I hear more.”

What’s this, fan mail from some flounder? Hardly. It’s from the esteemed Chuck Poling and it tells of a wondrous place where variety is Queen and the village is named for oaks, the most sagacious of the deciduous trees. “It’s with very happy hearts that we embark upon this holiday season with music on our minds. We’re thrilled to be invited by those fabulous T-Sisters to perform a couple of songs in their zany and wonderful revue:

Fall Follies Variety Show
Friday, November 23
Doors 7:30/Show at 8 - All Ages
2935 Chapman St/Oakland
$5 – 10/cover

featuring the T-Sisters, Jeanie & Chuck Poling
Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman, and many, many more extraordinary acts.” < HREF="http://t-sisters.com/oakland-ca-112312-chthonic-theater-fall-follies-variety-show/--<"target=0>Click here.

When pigs fly--Have you noticed what’s happened with bacon? Of course you have, you couldn’t not have noticed. At first it was bacon chocolate, crazy, of course, but it somehow made a little sense. Even bacon and Martinis could be connected if you really, really squinted reality hard enough. But now we see bacon bikinis, bacon wigs and fake Hitler mustaches, bacon lamp shades and statues and hats and mittens and…oh My God help us…bacon lip balm. So is it any wonder that those whose minds are sufficiently untethered to imagine these new product lines wouldn’t find equally imaginative ways to increase production of the raw materials, (forgive the pun), needed for them? Huang Demin is not your typical pig farmer in the vast reaches of Hunan province. He’s stumbled upon a strategy for breeding more pigs faster, pigs that are healthier, tastier and, presumably pigs that produce bacon better able to protect our lips on the ski slopes. Please, you owe it to yourself, click here if only to enjoy the video.

November 21, 2012

I know, I was surprised too. This is something you’d expect to hear from a banjo players wife--Gail Miles Schwartz, wife of Bob, mother of Nate and Max, bass player the Oak Grove Bluegrass Band, posts to Facebook via her phone from the grocery store as Thanksgiving creeps closer and closer…”It's that time of year again when women inexplicably send their menfolk to the grocery store. Boy does that change the flow of things. All these men wandering around the store transfixed by many varieties of sweet potatoes. Calling their women in front of the confusing spice bottles. It's madness in here.”
Benchmark…So, really, what’s in a name?--Sometimes, plenty! Wednesday, January 12, 1927 the WSM’s Saturday night “barn dance” program took a new name, the Grand Ole Opry.

Well, Johnny, just be sure you bundle up before going outside--FOX News reports “Evidence indicates astronauts could survive on Mars”. Surviving is all well and good, but we’re guessing that a life on Mars would be no picnic. Since the planet has no atmosphere to speak of, it’s pelted with unimaginably high levels of radiation emanating from the sun and it never really gets warmer than sixty-five degrees F below zero. Oh, and there’s one other feature of the trip which will undoubtedly make expedition crew recruitment challenging…engineers say the only realistic approach to bringing off a manned trip to the red planet would be for it to be ONE WAY. You’d want to take along a lot of reading material. Click here

Not a single one in me--So I’ve got this list, but before I give it to you let me tell you how I got it…so embarrassing. It started with an email last week to the Mold Mail Bag. It was brief, to the point and stuck with me like a tasty bit of salami stuck between two incisors. “Dear Mold Man,” it read, “I like your writing. It’s quirky.” I’m not sure why, but I really, really, really liked the sound of that. Quirky. Kind of Holden Caulfield. So for nearly a week I’ve been trying to come up with a news item that would prove her right, (yes, it was a her, Mary from Piedmont), and you know what? Turns out I’m not quirky. I don’t have a single quirk in me. Pathetically, here’s the best I could come up with in the way of quirkiness. Embarrassing. sushi cologne, fat blocking Pepsi, bacon lip balm, Star Trek pez dispenser, bed bug trap and donkey milk cheese.

Accordions in Berkeley? Yes, indeed, at least one anyway…at the Ashkenaz December 4—“Three of the Bay Area’s top traditional musicians teamed up a few years ago to form the Midnite Ramblers, playing roots music steeped in Cajun and Creole traditions. They deliver irresistibly danceable Cajun classics. A year of intense musical experiences in Louisiana has made the Ramblers’ sound even more authentic to the Cajun tradition.”

Them crazy mountain people are at it again--Friday-Saturday November 30-December 1 Boulder Creek Old Bluegrass and Old Time Festival with The String Slingers, Prairie Flower and Cactus Bob, Rainy Escobar, Page Browntown and Sidetrack and many more. For info go to www.brookdalebluegrass.com this event is at Scopazzi’s in Boulder Creek. 13300 Big Basin Way.

“You're bound to get idears if you go thinkin' about stuff”--John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath--Watched the second episode of Ken Burns new documentary on the Dust Bowl last night. Still picking sand out of my teeth. What a powerful, powerful piece of film-making. Night before last we were shown and told how the greatest man-made environmental disaster on the North American continent happened…the ‘great plow up’. You have to wonder if the young folks watching are making the connection between then and now. And you have to hope. Let us remind you that our own Joe Week was a collaborator on the documentary’s sound track, having composed some of the original music and, as a respected documentarian in his own right, he produced a video for the Association last spring that tells the story of our Fathers Day Festival. Click here to view Joe’s fine work.

Count yer blessings, pilgrim--There’s some much to be thankful for if you are a Follower of Bill…a FOB’er is what we call you down here at Mold Central. Let me give you a for instance…

Caffé Sportivo, Redwood City
Napa Jam
The Frog and Fiddlel Alameda
Morgan Hill Grange Hall
Bluegrass and old-time jam, SF
The Frog & Fiddle Jam
5th String Music Jam, Berkeley
5th String Music Jam, Sacto
Sonora Jam
Main Street Music Jam, Placerville
Dublin Heritage Center
Coffee Catz, Sebastopol
West Sacramento Jam
Sacramento area house jam
Smokin' Okies BBQ Joint, Pelasant Hill
United Methodist Church, Castro Valley
Sebastopol Christian Church
LaGrange Saloon and Grill, La Grange
Progressive Grounds Coffee Shop, SF
Carnegie Haul, Paso Robles

November 21, 2012

These are just some of the jams that will take place this weekend. Now,
click here, load the axe into the car and get out there!

Return engagement--Bob Cherry over at cybergrass.com surprised us with this headline: Rhonda Vincent Welcomes Bluegrass Artist Josh Williams to The Rage. Josh was with Rhonda when she and her band played the Association’s bluegrass festival up in Sebastopol several years back and having been in the audience I can tell you that Rhonda and Josh together on stage is something to behold. And behold we will…Rage headlines the 2013 Fathers Day Festival, early bird tickets for which can be had by click here.

What they DON’T tell you--What YELP says about the Willowbrook Ale House in Petaluma is…

Delivery: No
Take-out: Yes
Waiter Service: No
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Music: Live, Juke Box
Best Nights: Thu, Sun, Sa
Attire: Casual
Good for Groups: Yes
Good for Kids: No

What YELP leaves out is that in August the Willowbrook was the first recipient of the CBA’s “Certified Bluegrass Friendly Venue Award”. (This is for real--you can see the plaque hanging in the bar.) The Willowbrook Ale House brings in some of the finest bluegrass acts in the region, perhaps best known, Ed Neff’s Blue and Lonesome. In fact, the band will do its unabashedly traditional bluegrass act tomorrow night at the WAH…that Tuesday the 20th. Oh, and if you see the owners Gary and Bob, give ‘em a nod on their new plaque and tell ‘em the Mold sent you.

Who, in the name of God, is Harry Styles and why has he been allowed to creep into my consciousness? A headline story on cnn.com Sunday morning that was simply set in too large a font to be ignored…”Taylor Swift seen holding hands with Harry Styles”. If you click here I’ll reach through your screen and slap your hand.

Inside-out and absolutely amazing--Thanks to Chris Stuart for sharing this video…James Taylor doing a finger picking lesson, with a camera mounted INSIDE his axe. Worth a look. Click here

The guy’s got a way with words-- Quote from THE BOSTON GLOBE in regards to a Gibson Brothers show Saturday night at the Finch Coffeehouse in Newburyport, MA? "The Gibson Brothers have been upholding the legacy of brother acts in bluegrass for a couple of decades now, marrying their classic hand-in-glove high lonesome harmonies to a musical combination that finds room for both traditionalism and fearless forays beyond it." Stuart Munro boston.com.

Is anybody checking this stuff besides me? Don’t know how many other people wondered about the so-called “DAILY GRIST” that accompanied Geoff Sargent’s Welcome column yesterday.…’The first Thanksgiving feast took place in up-state New York in 1621. It lasted three days, and was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. It would be another two hundred and fifty years before family arguments around the dinner table over politics and religion would become fashionable.’—Edwin Mauler, noted American historian” The quote sounded a little, shall we say, disingenuous, so I wrote Geoff a note and asked him where he found it. “Oh,” he said, “we columnists don’t post the Grist; that’s done each day by the web master.” Hmm, now why wasn’t I surprised to hear that? Of course when I searched the name Edwin Mauler I found no ‘noted historian’…and certainly no Thanksgiving quote. So you have to ask yourself, don’t you, why does this guy, this web master guy, continually make stuff up? Is it a compulsion? Between these ‘grist’ things and Julia Child playing the mandolin I just have to wonder if we might not have one of those less-than-full-deck situations. Not that it’s any of my business.

All jacked up--Trying to give the kiddies a little extra boost and the sugar in their Cracker Jacks just isn’t doing the trick? Have we got a deal for you. The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reported that Frito-Lay, the manufacturer of Cracker Jacks, will soon introduce a new version of its snack called Cracker Jack’d – which will have added caffeine. Now come on, CSPI, back off, would you? Parents know what’s best for their children. Right? Click here

You think the spend a few bucks on their entertainment budge maybe? Merelfest has announced its 2013 lineup and it’s a doozy. Click here

Now, here’s an idea--Martin and Company has been very, very, very good to the CBA over the years so we’ll pass along a little suggestion made by the folks back in PA. Click here.

All I need’s a job with honest pay, All I need’s a job with honest pay, Gotta git me a job with honest pay, And I ain’t a’ gonna be treated this away--Washington Post film critic Ned Martel likes Ken Burn’s latest effort, ‘The Dust Bowl’. “As ever, the screen scans historic images — strong, clear, artful ones. Photographer Dorothea Lange trains her lens on wind-whipped faces. Burns knows by now how to pull emotion out of first-person documents and underscores the testimony with piano chords and violin whines. Woody Guthrie finds his voice. And one of many older survivors recalls her mama’s hymn that hoped for “higher ground.” Of course Martel doesn’t mention in the review that one of the fellas making that violin whine is Joe Weed, Santa Cruz musician, composer and documentarian in his own right. We’re excited to see the new Burns epic but, really, just as excited to hear the original material composed for it by our pal Joe. Dust Bowl airs tonight. Check your local listings, tune in and listen to local boy makes good…again. Click here for the complete Post review.

November 20, 2012

Hail to the Chief – of bluegrass! --We’re not sure of exactly what this means but that shouldn’t stop you from wondering. Click here

Go Giants. I know, but better late than never--Got a semi nasty note in the Mold Mail Bag a couple days ago. Why, the writer wanted to know, did I think it was okay to write a daily news column and not mention the biggest news in Northern California in the last two years? Of course he was referring to the Giants winning the National Championship and of course I didn’t mention it because I’m not a big baseball fan and I’m not going to lie about that, championship or no championship. But that said, he did have a point. So, well, go Giants. And to prove my sincerity, here’s the best damned baseball song of all time…not bluegrass but mighty fine just the same.
Larry Hosford’s "Home Run Willie" Click here

Pandora’s Box--Ken Irwin, co-founder of Rounder Records, is sharing this with friends. We don’t usually run a piece this long here at the Mold, but we were impressed by the diversity of the signatory listing. ”A Musicians' Perspective on Pandora. We are big fans of Pandora. That's why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade. Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in the new digital world. Pandora's principal asset is the music. Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That's not fair, and that's not how partners work together. Congress has many pressing issues to consider, but this is not one of them. Let's work this out as partners and continue to bring fans the great musical experience they rightly expect. Signed, Bryan Adams, Alabama, Greg Allman, Steve Angello, Rodney Atkins, Sara Bareilles, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Clint Black, Jack Blades, Blondie, Jonatha Brooke, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Oteil Burbridge, The Cab, Colbie Caillat, Camper Van Beethoven, CoCo Carmel, George Clinton, Keyshia Cole, Common, Easton Corbin, Cowboy Mouth, Cracker, Randy Crawford, Robert Cray, David Crosby, Joel Crouse, Sheryl Crow, Drew Davis, Taylor Dayne, Dead Kennedys, Raheem DeVaughn, The Doors, Down, The Dream, Vikter Duplaix, Missy Elliott, Lupe Fiasco, The 5th Dimension, Flyleaf, John Fogerty, Guy Forsyth, The Game, Vince Gill, David Gilmour, Genevieve Goings, Martha Reeves, Rihanna, Eric Roberson, Darius Rucker, Rush, Bobby Rush, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Skid Row, Michael W. Smith, Britney Spears, Dave Stewart, Survivor, T.I., Susan Tedeschi, Robin Thicke, George Thorogood, Toto, Butch Trucks, Derek Trucks, Josh Turner, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio (The 4 Seasons), Dionne Warwick, Roger Waters, Bobby Whitlock, Whodini, Chuck Wicks, Otis Williams (The Temptations), Ann and Nancy Wilson (Heart), BrianWilson, BeBeWinans, Zac Brown Band, Andy Grammer, Amy Grant, CeeLo Green, Gyptian, Warren Haynes, Don Henley, Hootie and The Blowfish, Mallary Hope, Bruce Hornsby, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), The J.Geils Band, Jaimoe, The Jazz Crusaders, Billy Joel, John Paul Jones, Mick Jones (Foreigner), Journey, Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds), KISS, Jana Kramer, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Nick Mason, Duff McKagan, Megadeth, Janelle Monae, Alissa Moreno, Jason Mraz, Nas, Graham Nash, Ne-Yo, Stevie Nicks, Night Ranger, Ted Nugent, Owl City, Christina Perri, Katy Perry, Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, John Pointer, The Pointer Sisters, Primus, Marc Quinones, Joel Rafael, Trisha Yearwood, Bonnie Raitt.

Too much of a good thing? An interesting note from a MOLD fan: “Dear Mold Man, I read your column everyday and enjoy it very much. It’s informative and interesting and even funny sometimes. But, if you’ll please allow a little criticism, well, I think maybe you might be overdoing it just a bit. In two ways. First, you say it’s the MORE OR LESS Daily News but, unless I’m mistaken, it’s been DAILY. You haven’t missed a single day since the column started. And second, you present way, way more stuff than we working stiffs can get through during our morning coffee. You know what they say, a little is sometimes better than a lot. Please don’t take this the wrong way, Mold, I truly do like reading your stuff, just not so much every day. Gratefully yours, Inundated.” Dear Inundated, let me mull this over, please.

November 19, 2012

A taste of history you can nibble on for decades to come--Got a note from genius photographer Mike Melnyk the other day that led us to the following information about as new Arhoolie offering: 4 CDs with a 192 page, full color, hardcover book; over 4 hours and 58 minutes of music; 70 songs; over 175 color photographs by Mike Melnyk; Commentary by Chris Strachwitz and band members. On February 4, 5, and 6, 2011 there was a benefit for the Arhoolie Foundation celebrating the 50th anniversary of Arhoolie Records. Three joyous days of concerts and panel discussions were held in Berkeley, California at the Freight and Salvage to honor Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie’s 50 years of documenting and preserving traditional music. The concerts were hosted by American Routes radio host Nick Spitzer. The events were recorded by Fantasy Studios and the Bay Area’s premier concert photographer Mike Melnyk captured the performances and backstage activities. This limited edition book and CD set is filled with passionate music, stunning full color photos and remembrances. Chris Strachwitz writes about each band. Click here

I just do as I'm told around here at the Tower--I found a note from the web master dude when I came into work this morning directing, (no, he didn't ask), that I announce in the MOLD that "hits" on cbaontheweb.org have reached or exceeded 7,000 per day for the last six out of seven days. Apparently this is good news..but do you think they'd give me even a little credit?

If ever the Association did God’s work…Hi everybody. Bruce-the-Librarian here. I'm looking for someone to step up and take over my duties as the Librarian for The Darrel Johnston Kids Instrument Lending Library. I've been at this job for about four years now. Boy does the time fly! This is a year round volunteer position. Which means there are a lot of "perks!" Heck, just seeing the kids with instruments is a real blast. Contact me at: kidslendinglibrary@gmail.com for any question one might have. Bruce Long, DJKLL/Librarian.

This has gotta be a good sign--The last time Zeke Griffin was mentioned at cbaontheweb.org it was in connection with his just-diagnosed cancer. He assured his friend via Facebook that he was okay, hangin’ in and would pull through. That was some months ago and he was just starting some treatment. Well, he popped up on Facebook again the other day, this time in a cool video of he and his band, Strange on the Range, doing a benefit show in Reno. Looked good and sounded even better. High five, Zeke! Click here

Who says California doesn’t deserve it’s long-held reputation for being just a few degrees off center --Warning: If you’re dismayed by, or simply indifferent to, bugs, skip to the next item. Northern California scientists have long been baffled by the rare 750-legged millipede, Illacme Plenipes. Click to continue. The Plenipes do get even more odd.

So, so fast when you’re having fun--Just read where Lou Reid and Carolina are celebrating their 20th anniversary. My or my how time flies. I remember reading that this new band was coming out with a debut CD. Congrats, boys.Click here

Early Bird Special…and we don’t mean festival tickets--Early Bird as in the night before Turkey Day you all living in the Bay Area have a couple of options to prepare for the big feast with a little bluegrass. Sidesaddle & Co. will be at Sam's BBQ on Wednesday the 21 and the Whiskey Brothers will be picking and singing that same night up at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley.

Say good bye, Twinkie. Okay, goodbye Twinkie--With all of the news oozing out of every electronic contrivance sent down to mankind by the Technology Gods, it can be eye-opening, (and usually disheartening, to just sit back every once in a while and see what’s garnering the biggest coverage. For an example, I was visiting cnn.com yesterday day and found not one but six separate stories about the sudden, and for most of us, I think, surprising, demise of the Twinkie: Hostess Brands closing | 18,000 jobs; Workers react | Potential buyers; Ebay goes crazy for Twinkie stuff; Ode to the Twinkie Ode to the Twinkie | Hoard them!; Twinkie fan's plea | Share your recipes; 11 brands that vanished HLN. Six different takes on the confestions disaster, while missiles tragically lit up the skies over Israel and Palestine.

Hey. HEY! You there…the guy holding the fiddle case, or mandolin case, or whatever it is--“Dave (Guitar) in Berkeley, and Ken (Bass) in Alameda are looking for other Blue Grass Players (Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Dobro, etc.) to practice with us, and maybe play an occasional Gig.” Many a life long friendship has begun with a simple note like this. Write Ken at kgranberg@smithandgranberg.com.

Please, please, please don’t do this--California teen looking for cell service steps into snake pit, bit 6 times. What kind of snakes, you ask? Were they deadly you wondering. Doesn’t matter. JUST DON’T DO IT!
Click here

November 18, 2012

They just might have what’s ailin’ ya--In our constant quest for raw meat to keep the insatiable newshounds at bay we’ve recently discovered Prescription Bluegrass. They do a good job and are worth a bookmark in our humble opinion. Click here to visit the site.

Southern delicacies highlighted whenever possible--Some Mold readers, the more perceptive one anyways, may have already noticed that our team of investigative reporters keeps its collective eye out for any news related to fine Southern cuisine, particularly of the kind of dishes that can be shot from trees or huddled in burrows. Why, because of the long tradition of wild game hunting and gathering in bluegrass and old time music. So there was really little question we’d run with this story, sad as it may be. Click here

In the low eighties and dry--So says, Ted Lehman, bluegrass writer and CBA Welcome columnist in a piece recently published about next years gig in Raleigh…”IBMA's World of Bluegrass, as most of you know by now, will be held in Raleigh, NC from September 24 - 28, 2013. The events will center on the Convention Center complex, which includes the Raleigh Convention Center, two key hotels (The Sheraton & the Marriot) and the Red Hat Amphitheater, a 5,990 seat outdoor performance area located directly behind the Convention Center. The Amphitheater is designed to accommodate large events in comfort. Some considerable criticism of recent Fan Fests has rested on the grounds that bluegrass music works best in an outdoor, festive environment. Boasting flexible seating, a huge stage, and easy accessibility, the Red Hat Amphitheater offers unparallelled opportunities for Fan Fest to schedule the best in bluegrass while attracting a large audience to support the Bluegrass Trust Fund and IBMA's efforts to promote bluegrass around the world. September weather in Raleigh features an average high of 81 and an average low of a comfortable 61 degrees. Precipitation may be expected on 8.0 days in September, the second driest month with October being the driest. The convenience of the Convention Center across the street from the Red Hat Amphitheater makes this a highly promising location for a shortened, but extremely attractive outdoor event.”Click here the rest of the piece as well as photos.

Bluegrass in paradise--It was with a heavy, heavy heart that I read the email pasted below in the Moldman hot mail account this morning: “Would you please add Bluegrass Hawaii to your list of links? We are a pretty small non-profit organization, but we have quite a lot of activity to which visitors from your region are always welcome including two festivals/camps each year. See the attached flyer that was made to distribute to people on a nearby military installation so they might know of the opportunity to play with us. We currently have around one hundred dues paying members and another four hundred people receive our e-mail notices but can't seem to come up with the ten bucks for membership. Hard times. At the camps we hold in the spring we'll attract over 130 campers and nearly 400 will be present during the day. The autumn camps are less well attended with numbers more like 90/200. Mike Spengel” Why a heavy heart, you ask? Because it’s 42 degrees as I type these words and steam comes out of my mouth when I breathe out. Mike probably an okay guy, and Bluegrass Hawaii is no doubt a good group of folks, but that in no way makes them immune from my jealous rage.

This could explain EVERYTHING-- I mean, come on, folks, just look around you. Noticed anything a little unusual? Like having to explain a lot more things to a lot more people a lot more thoroughly? Like reading more and more news stories about polling that shows a greater and greater belief in things that simply cannot be true? Bumped into greater numbers of folks that seem genuinely confused…about most everything? Well, guess what: Human Intelligence Declining, Controversial New Study Suggests…Click here

This guy will knock you down with his voice-- Note from Don: Please join us for our musical doins this Sunday, November 18, 2012 - It's a 7:30 PM downbeat ARMANDO'S Music Emporium, Martinez CA DON BURNHAM & THE BOLOS.

Easy to get lost--That’s the cut we moldy ones are recommending you give a listen to from Monroe Crossing’s soon-to-be-released new project, The Road Has No End. This band has a big fan base out here in the wild west and we’re guessing it’ll get even bigger once this CD hits the ground. Click here

November 17, 2012

End of the road for New Found Road--Not sure how many people will remember this, but NFR played at Grass Valley just about a decade ago as that year’s Emerging Artist, and what a career they’ve had since then. There were plenty of personnel changes during that time, and what started as a gospel band eventually evolved into a secular one, but through it all Tim Shelton held the group together and made some truly wonderful music. The boys have some outstanding commitments through part of 2013, but then it’s adios. Another chapter ends…thanks fellas. Click here

Not all family traditions just sort of happen--Sometimes you can make them, and that’s just what Carl and Leslie Abbott did. With two young home-schooled sons, the parents decided home-made music would be a nice addition to the kids’ curriculum…of course they didn’t know at the time that their decision, more or less an academic one in the beginning, would send the family on a deeply textured musical adventure for the next decade and a half. Luke, the oldest of the sons, tells the tale…click here to read it.

Never had so much fun--I remember volunteering some years back to take a shift each day monitoring a discussion board for a little community project web site. It’s not like I had to sit there and watch every minute of every second of every hour; I just had to make sure that if a discussion took a wrong turn, I needed to let the web master know. No big deal, right? Wrong, at least for me. I tendered my resignation a little less than a week. I found the job nerve wracking, not so much because there were a lot of crazies posting, but because I really cared about the project and the community behind it and I was nervous that a thread would blow up on my watch and somehow bring the web site down…permanently. You’d be surprised how many times this actually happens with sites. In fact, I heard it almost happened once with the CBA site. So, here’s what I think—be thankful you’ve got people who care enough to watch over your message board.Click here

You’d be in despair, too, if you were drinking what they’re drinking--Do you remember “Gloom despair and agony on me?” No? Click anyway.

New voice in the Lode--At least new to us. Sammy Leverone is one fine singer and we’re seeing her book more and more dates up in the hills. For example, December 7 she’ll be at the Frogstooth Winery in Murpheys, a 2-5 afternoon gig with some good wine a-flownin’. (I know, you were pretty sure that frogs don’t have teeth…but then you were pretty certain that chickens don’t have lips, right? In any event, click here if you’d like to get a little taste of Sammy’s singing. Can’t beat Hoyt Axton now can ya?

Police blotter, Strongville, Ohio, first week of November…really--ANIMAL COMPLAINT, DRAKE ROAD: Residents called police because they were trapped in their home by a temperamental squirrel. The squirrel was desperate to get in the house, according to the residents. The squirrel kept jumping at the garage door and would run at the residents any time they opened a door.

ANIMAL COMPLAINT, SOUTHPARK CENTER: Several motorists called police on Sunday because a large turtle was blocking the entrance to the Westfield-SouthPark Shopping Center. The turtle was taking a long time to cross the Howe Road entrance to the mall. The motorists were afraid the turtle would get hit by a car.

ANIMAL COMPLAINT, CHANDLER GREEN: A man reported Sunday that he was bit by a dog while walking in his neighborhood. The man said he was bitten in the hip by a German shepherd-Labrador retriever mix, who was being walked by children.

MISCHIEF, COOK AVENUE: Someone plastered eggs and toilet paper all over Zellers Elementary School on Sunday night.

MISCHIEF, WEST 130th STREET: Motorists called police Saturday because a group of juveniles were jumping into traffic. One of the boys was wearing a bear costume, according to the callers. The group was gone when police arrived.

DISTURBANCE, PEARL ROAD: Two Cleveland men and a Cleveland woman were advised Saturday for trying to load items from a dumpster behind the Honey Hut into their vehicle. The group was confronted by police after several calls reported hearing screaming coming from the area. Officers found the group arguing over the best way to stuff a large freezer unit into their vehicle. Officers made the trio put all the items back that they were trying to take.

From the Moldy Mailbag--“Hello Bluegrass friends, here’s a chance to listen to Compass Records recording artists Special Consensus live from the World Famous Station Inn in Nashville. Tune in to WSM Online Thursday November 15, 2012 from 6 to 7 p.m. Central Time. Thanks, Maria from By the Bay Bookings.” The staff here at CBA Towers is following news of SC pretty closely since they’ll be one of our headliners in June. We invite you to listen to what you’ll be seeing. Click here

November 16, 2012

Bring your axe…PLEASE--I think we’ve mentioned this already, but we’ll do it again in case 1) you’ve forgotten or 2) you need that little extra touch of encouragement. Invariably we have a small number of closet pickers who attend CBA events and don’t even bother to bring their banjo or guitar or whatever because, heck, they’re only beginners and they’re not used to playing with other people. Well, this year at the GREAT 48, the organizers are doing something about that, at least for the git-box folks. Bill Jirsa, a solid CBA member who knows his way around jamming, will do as beginners’ guitar workshop. So, what’s covered in a session like that? Click here to find out. And then PACK THAT GUITAR FOR BAKERSFIELD!

Print media melancholy--Sorry to hear that the good folks at Bluegrass Music Profiles will shut down their publication. Kevin and Lori Kerfoot put their heart and soul into the publication and the result was a top-notch magazine that kept bluegrassers informed across the country. Let’s hope they decide to keep the effort going with a web-based version. Click here to pick up back issues before they’re gone.

Dirty Kitchen blowing into town--From Bob Schwartz: We'll be hosting Frank and Dirty Kitchen at our home in Walnut Creek on Sunday evening December 9. Should be a great evening, these guys were up for IBMA Emerging Artist this year . . . We've still got some room left, if you'd like to come drop me an email or call my cell, 415-999-3136. $20 per person requested donation, all proceeds go to the band . . .Bob Schwartz, bob@oakgrovebluegrass.com, 415-999-3136

Reminder from Uncle Bill--But seriously, these are three of the all time greats, right here in our backyard…so to speak. Click here

Where in the heck is Newman? Well, we urge you to find out by Friday night, cause that’s ween Red Dog Ash at there at the Westside Theater. It’s a CD Release party and admission is only ten bucks. Click here

Hey, keep that criticism coming. I don’t promise I’ll listen to it, but keep it coming--I recently received a note in the old Mold Mail Bag from a reader who noticed that some of my items are actually stories repeated from the rotating ‘news items’ at the top of the page, you know, the five items that run each day. “It’s like, I see something one day up at the top of the page and a few days later your writing about it. What’s going on? Why the re-cycling, dude?” You can call it recycling, dude, I’m going to call it writing about what I find interesting or important. Cornish and Peet do their thing with the five rotating items each morning, I do mine. We don’t try to coordinate…probably wouldn’t work if we did try. Here’s a pretty simple solution—when you see something you don’t like, or that you’ve already read about, or that you just don’t give a damn about, DON’T READ IT.

Violins for vets--Don’t know if you know him, but Allan French is a very cool dude. You’ve seen him around if you go to bluegrass events. He’s one of these guys who’s just always on the prowl to find a way to help make things better. Does a column in the Bluegrass Breakdown. Helps with the web site. Works security at Grass Valley. And he’s also the kind of guy who keeps his ear to the ground. Leave it to Allan to run across a feel good story that’s actually worth feeling good about. He posted this one on the Message Board. Click here

So, you got a song inside of you just screaming to get out--A lot of folks do, we’re told, but just don’t how to get it out. For many, it’s just a matter of not having the tools. In recognition of the fact that we’ve got a lot of potential song writers out there in our bluegrass community, GREAT 48 organizers conducted a little experiment last year—they got Randy Morton, lead singer, guitar player and original material machine for the band Pineridge, to do a song writing workshop. People loved it and Randy’s set to do another this year at Bakersfield. Early afternoon, Saturday, be there.

You don’t need to have a family OR play the fiddle--We’ve been reminded of the Julian Family Fiddle Camp coming up in April…and of what makes it a good one…

Stellar instruction for all ages and levels
Special topic seminars &/or tutorials
General and master classes in fiddle, mandolin, guitar and old-time banjo
Great evening concerts
Delicious food
A beautiful location
Activities for the entire family
Nearby tourist attractions
Varied accommodations

Click here

November 15, 2012

Lovely Rita, nothing can come between us.
When it gets dark I tow your heart away
-- Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack plus The Railflowers will be at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company tonight. Show ticket for twenty bucks, and throw in an additional twelve for a buffet dinner. Can’t beat that with a stick!

Now here’s a good idea--A note from long-time CBA member Yvonne Tatar….Hi All, a great new EPK is up and running on the Foundation for Bluegrass Music's website at www.bluegrassfoundation.org. I am proud to have helped with this project and also proud to have Molly Tuttle included in it, along with the Tuttles, and AJ Lee, and a host of other notable musicians. Please take moment to view and learn more about the Foundation's important work. Consider a donation and enjoy the video!

Chances don’t come up like this everyday…either you grab for the brass ring or you continue to go ‘round and ‘round endlessly--Unpaid intern position available--Huge, real-life experience guaranteed. Imagine being able to put on your resume, ‘Played key role on Moldman Team’. And the cherry on top—we’d never have to meet face to face. Reach me at moldman7676@hotmail.com.

The man with the mighty axe--Just got word today from the organizers of the GREAT 48 Jam in Bakersfield that they’ve booked a monster picker for this year’s guitar workshop. Joe Ash, who I’ve always thought of as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the guit-box, (and believe me, I mean that in a positive way), will be leading the session scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Joe doesn’t just play guitar well…he knows and understands guitar, and more importantly for us, he knows how it is to be used in the genre called bluegrass.

So, you actually CAN believe some press releases--Got this emailed to the MM but, truth is, he’d already heard Bill’s latest and needed no promoting. Very good stuff indeed. “Bill Evans' latest CD "In Good Company," featuring 26 guest musicians including The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O'Brien, David Grier, Rob Ickes, Stuart Duncan and many others, is currently the #1 CD on the Cash Box / Roots Music Report Bluegrass Charts (two weeks running). Earlier this year, Bill's CD topped the Folk DJ-List charts, making it one of the few bluegrass-oriented releases to top both folk and bluegrass charts this year.”

Sorry, we don’t have no stinikin’ corner on the market when it comes to murder--I know, one of the unique qualities about our bluegrass genre is the number of murders that take place. Let’s be honest, we feel just a little bit of dark pride in the killing catalogue that is old-time and bluegrass. But now there’s word from Scandinavia that we may not hold the record after all. Squeezebox Brutality: Murder Ballads From Finland has just been released and it just might be the stocking stuffer you’ve been looking for. Oh, and you think our old-timey ballads were long…ah, think again. Says Kimmo Pohjonen, the guy squeezing the squeeze on the new release, “"Our national epic, 'Kalevala,' is something like 23,000 verses or even more. In old days, people were singing for days and days. That's why the stories used to be really long."Click here

For that guy or gal who’s got everything--So you say you’ve got a significant other who 1) plays the mandolin and 2) has everything, which is to say, is impossible to by a Christmas present for. Hold on. She/he doesn’t have EVERYTHING. I’ll bet you he/she doesn’t have an Adam Steffey. Click here

God love this democracy of ours--So, Bill G. posts innocently enough on the Message Board…” I've played blues/rock bass for 10 years and would like to start playing Bluegrass. Most Blu'grs bassists use acoustic. Must I spend lots of time and money to learn the acoustic or can I manage to jam and maybe join a band with my electric. Thanks for any comments.” I submit to you, oh valued readers, that the thread which develops exemplifies better than most discussion ever held on the MB just how utterly diverse our little community is. Click here

No, friends, not just lint--The headline read, “Belly Button Bacteria: Biologists Seek Reason For Navel Flora Differences”. If in the three-plus weeks that we’ve been doing this column you’ve learned anything about the Moldman it’s that there’s no way in heck that this story wouldn’t make into the More or Less Daily. There’s certainly nothing even approaching grossness contained in this story. That said, it IS from Scientific American and we acknowledge that such attribution could be off-putting to some. So, click here at your own descreition.

We have met the enemy and he is us.--The other day I found myself skimming over the Message Board posts, (I find this more edifying than playing solitaire), and stumbled upon a reference to Pogo. After sitting back and enjoying the flood of memories released by the sheer mention of the little guy’s name I was suddenly struck by the awful thought that some folks out there may not have even ever heard the name. So, here goes…Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913–1973) and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engages in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters. Pogo combined both sophisticated wit and slapstick physical comedy in a heady mix of allegory, Irish poetry, literary whimsy, puns and wordplay, lushly detailed artwork and broad burlesque humor. The same series of strips can be enjoyed on different levels by both young children and savvy adults. The strip earned Kelly a Reuben Award in 1951.Click here for more.

November 15, 2012

Emerging or exploding? You be the judge--Each year the contingent of CBA’ers who head back to the IBMA to work in the Association’s hospitality suite are rewarded with a special perk; at the end of the week they get to take part in selecting the Emerging Artist that will be featured at the FDF the following June. This year the volunteer team selected Della Mae. Seen ‘em? Want to? Click here

***As Homer Simpson would say, “Aggggggggggg”-- November 13 you can head to Campbell and here Carolina Special. Our recommendation is to get to Sam's very early, say 4:30 or 5:00, order a plate of ribs, drink a couple glasses of wine, listen to the band and then, by nine or so you’ll be ready for more ribs. Extreme, you say? Obviously you haven’t had Sam’s ribs!

A picture is worth a thousand words. A good picture…composition, lighting, etc…maybe five thousand--And for that reason organizers of the GREAT 48 Hour Jam have announced they’ll be adding a new workshop this year…BLUEGRASS PHOTOGRAPHY. Like wildlife photography but where the subjects are more human that than animal like. Randy Shelton, one of the Association’s three Official Photogs, will be the presenter and he’s quite good. Some may remember way back when at Grass Valley when our beloved Tom Tworek did snap workshops…talk about one of the best.

”So, ah, like what’s this BLUEGRASS L thing all about? You know, the listserv where bluegrass go and exchange information and rant at one another? Signed, Don’t-Care-Enough-to-Find-Out-for-Myself.” Another email sent to the Moldman…and yes, I do take questions. Hello, Don’t-Care. Let me share a typical BG L thread. “My recollection is that Lester and Earl appeared on one episode performing "My Little Girl In Tennessee" as a duo (and somewhat less reliably that it was in the key of D, with Earl singing tenor). I'm curious to know if that's correct, and, if so, what the episode title is and if it's ever been commercially released. Thank you. Jon Weisberger Cottontown, TN…You are correct, I remember it exactly that way, but don't know what episode it was. John Mackin… It's from the episode "Flatt, Clampett and Scruggs", season 3, episode 25 (original air date: March 31, 1965). It is available commercially (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Beverly-Hillbillies-Official-Season/dp/B001LM64VK/ref=pd_cp_mov_2).Here it is on YouTube (F&S start around 11:00 minutes in).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seBxMQOSlgo

Hey, a little help over here! A note from Chris Stuart: I'm writing a Blue Yodel piece called "Bluegrass Dictionary" and am asking for slang words or phrases having to do with bluegrass, such as "mash it" or "shared the stage with..." I doesn't have to be unique to bluegrass, but slangy...is that a word? chris@chrisstuart.com.

Synapses on his synapses--We’re betting most people who read the MOLD know this already, but we’ll say it anyways, Pete Grant is considered, and deservingly so, somewhat of a regional treasure when it comes to the reso guitar. He’s played with some of the best and he’ll be playing tonight at Friar Tuck's Restaurant and Bar tonight in Nevada City with Kelly Fleming and Juliet Gobert. They start at six-something and you’ll be inspired. The guy’s got musical synapses on his synapses. Click here

Wash your mouth out! I noticed on the Message Board a few days ago that we had a “deleted thread”. Haven’t seen one of those for a while. Ironically, its genesis was a post complementing someone on his well-crafted message about GETTING ALONG. What better topic to start a thread that would gradually swell and redden and churn until it was toxic enough to require deleting. And here’s the thing—it’s doubtful that there’s a single, solitary soul out there that doesn’t understand and accept the simple principle that if we’re going to play together we can’t politic together. I guess understanding and actually doing, or in this case, NOT doing, are just two different things.

Thank you, Fox News, for this little nugget--MOUNT PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -Mount Pleasant High School athletic director Jim Conway is in shock. He's still trying to figure out why a 21-year-old would lie his way back to high school and play football. That's exactly what happened to his Oiler team this season. "Anytime you're duped or lied to, if you will, there's some frustration that comes with that. When it comes to something like this - an integrity issue - that becomes difficult to swallow," Conway said. James Nash, 21, used false documents to attend the school under the alias Javier Jones. He played five games for the football team. After the school received a tip from a concerned parent, Nash's true identity was discovered. He was immediately removed from the district. Now two Oiler victories may be forfeited.

Nashville Blind Item--MOLDGIRL has spoken and she came out of nowhere. I’m not asking any why’s or where from’s; don’t need no personal history or a vitae. I’ll just gratefully take what she dishes, to wit: “Nashville Blind Item: What amateur Nashville videographer/musician whose YouTube is circulating wildly right now – is in a BIG battle with which one of the musicians (from a band you all know) who was videoed for this particular video while ‘under the influence’ shall we say and said a whole bunch of things that he’d like to take back now but did give permission at the time for it to be used in the video.”

Riddle! What’s better than a really good banjo joke?--Answer: An entire song full of banjo jokes. BAN-JOKES is a new song by Michael Johnathon recorded live that includes more bad banjo jokes than you can shake a banjo at. The song was recorded with Howard's Creek bluegrass band. Even though the audience mics were left off, the overall recording is pretty good.
Prepare to laugh, or at least giggle. Thanks to Bryan Klausing at WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, PoetMan Records USA, Inc

November 14, 2012

Can’t ever have too much bluegrass music floating around the atmosphere.--In his new radio show launched last month David Thom plays his favorite bluegrass recordings, as well occasionally hosting live performances. Tune in! 91.3 FM in Sonoma or www.ksvy.org every Sunday at 11 am.

Just a little less popular than Bulgarian Throat Rattling--I read Chris Jones’ column at BluegrassToday fairly often. I find him opinionated and, for the most part, I tend to agree with his opinions. But the other day, when he presented his list of types of events that bluegrass bands SHOULDN’T play, I found myself squarely on the other side of the argument. Wrote Chris about bands playing weddings, “In general, though, there’s a reason this is number one on the list. I can’t think of an engagement (no pun intended), public or private, that is less suited to a bluegrass band. I also can’t think of a genre of music, with the possible exception of Gregorian chant or Mongolian throat-singing, that is less suited to a wedding gig.” Nope, Chris, have to disagree here, and vociferously. As a decades long semi-professional purveyor of bluegrass music, I can’t think of a more APPROPRIATE gig for bands to play. And here’s the reason: Everyone knows that the source of the greatest single argument during wedding planning is what kind of music will be played…people tend to dig their heels in on this one. In more instances than you could possibly believe, these near-disasters are averted by both sides agreeing to hire a band that NO ONE wants…a bluegrass band. And when no one wins, everybody wins. We used to think of it as a public service, and 7 receptions out of 10 served better food than any of us could have expected at home. Click here for Mr. Jones’ entire column.

Doomed dobro debacle--This will mean nothing to most people, but if you’re a reso soul or a rare instrument freak, it’ll be a heart breaker. The Dopyera Collection is to be auctioned off piece meal unless some angel steps up, and very soon.Click here

So, what in tarnation do Yale University and bluegrass and the CBA have to do with one another?Well, here’s what. Peter Salovey, who’s a banjo picker, Vice Chairman of the International Bluegrass Music Museum's board of trustees, a very close friend of member #1 Carl Pagter and a contributor to our collection of Hooked on Bluegrass stories, has just been name the new President of Yale University. CONGRATULATIONS Peter. So how did such a smart guy end up a banjo picker? Click here

It’s not healthy to form a grudge against a person, but it’s even worse to form one against a TV commercial--HP has performed that very special type of curse that can only be done by mega corporations with mega a budgets. We’re talking about the Officejet Pro sales campaign with annoying Bananarama song…it’s actually the Macarena song, but with its own special words, which are…you ready? ‘It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it.’ I’m sorry, but this just is not a philosophy of life and of work and of consumer products that I can get behind, and hearing this message set to the music of the last century’s most obnoxious songs, a song with its own dance routine, for God’s sake, is just…well…too much. So, you see, I do hold a grudge, I know it’s not good for me and yet I can’t shake it. I keep having this image of hiring someone to build a redwood deck in my backyard and giving him final instructions. ‘Now, listen Jack, it really doesn’t matter what you build. Could be anything, really. The wife and I are much more concerned with how you do it. No, really, just do whatever you want to do…we’ll be fine…just please, do it well.’

By the way, By-the-Bay Booking has become a regular MOLDY Mail Bag user--Dear Moldman, whoever the hell you are, here’s a nice story: Megan Lynch, my daughter, and her husband, Adam Chowning just had their first ever Nashville Flatpick Camp. Bill Rinehart who works for John and Pat Rumiano, the cheese people and CBA’ers went to it. All the way from California. He had a great time and camp was a big success. Looks like they’ll have another one in March. Kenny and Amanda taught at it and it turns out they really are America’s Sweetheart Couple. Here’s a link.

Now, if this doesn’t make your day…We don’t usually cut and paste FaceBook status here at the MOLD, but this one, well, it’s different. From Phil Leadbetter…"Getting ready to head out for ResoSummit in Nashville. So happy to be teaching there this year. I used to go to Nashville at least 2-3 times a month. I haven't been there since February when I went to Vanderbilt to see if my cancer could be cured. Last trip I was almost hopeless....this time I am well. Ain't God good !!!”

An adventure just waiting to happen…maybe--There’s a note hanging on a wall at the San Gregorio General Store that reads ‘One of these days, half the folks here are going to arrest the other half—A. Vermillius Wormcan Let’s hope that doesn’t happen Saturday, when Harmony Grits starts its first set at 3:00 p.m. Click here to find out just where in the hell San Gregorio is. Who knows, this could be an adventure just waiting to happen.

November 13, 2012

’A band without a discernable gimmick’; almost sounds like a challenge to show up at the show and watch for me--Peter Thompson write: It happens THIS SATURDAY (Nov. 10th) at the First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View. Redwod Bluegrass Associates presents the mighty Foghorn Stringband in concert! As many of you know, Foghorn is the band that sets the standard for contemporary old time (which is not an oxymoron) music. They play the old way, but they've been riding on the cutting edge for more than a decade. Co-founders Caleb Klauder (mandolin, vocal) and Sammy Lind (fiddle, vocal) are now joined by Nadine Landry (bass, vocal) and Reeb Willms (guitar, vocal) for music that incorporates bluegrass, Cajun, honky tonk, and originals into their distinctive brand of old time. It’ll cure what ails ya. The Portland Mercury writes…"Foghorn Stringband is among the finest practitioners of American old-time music on the globe, a string band whose faithful renditions of songs from bygone decades are no less than living, breathing history. That’s not to say they play museum pieces; Foghorn’s remarkable achievement is in making these careworn tunes sound vital, present, and fully relevant. Foghorn Stringband remain absolutely authentic and without discernible gimmick." See you there! www.rba.org (Pssst: old time -- as well as bluegrass -- jamming begins at 5 pm. Concert showtime: 7:30 pm)

***Jam in your neck of the woods? Tell the MOLDMAN--Heard from my first CBA area vp yesterday. Bill Schniederman, the central Mother Lode guy asked that we remind folks of the every other week Sonora Jam…second and fourth Fridays, which, low and behold, would be tonight. Bill tells me this jam has been going on for over ten years, though for most of them it was held at the Smoke Café in Jamestown. Now, he says, it’s moved to Mi Pueblo Restaurant on Sonora’s little main street. Oh, he told me one other thing…the Camerons Diablo will knock you on your butt, but you’ll get back in your chair and eat some more.

How about those kids-- Found in the Mold-Mail Bag from Richard Brooks…Photographer Karl Mondon of the San Jose Mercury News posted his photos of the Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association's 11th annual Youth Fiddle Contest held on November 4, 2012. These wonderful photos are at http://tinyurl.com/b6l9ybz link. Be sure to view them while they are still online. Photos of the contestants in Division 1, 2, and 3 will be in the Fiddler's Rag, our monthly publication. Back issues of the Rag are available at the [Newsletter] link on the left side of the www.fiddlers.org website. The following contestants are named in Karl's photos (listed here alphabetically by first name):

Doniella Dumont, 7
Edward Ross, 11
Gilford Ting, 8
Jerry Wong, 8
Katherine Kline, 7
Lexie Cotterel, 4
Ronald Sit, 8
Sophine Wong, 6

In search of the northwest passage? Well, I suppose in their off hours they’ll have time to do a little of that, but mainly the Kathy Kallick Band his headed up the Pacific coast to play some fine music and promoted their new CD project, Time, on their Northwest Tour. Here’s the deal…

Fri., Nov 16 (7:30 pm)
Carvlin Hall - 1636 SE Hickory (just north of SE 17th & Division), Portland OR
Presented by the Portland FolkMusic Society

Sat., Nov. 17 (7:30 pm)
Phinney Neighborhood Center - 6532 Phinney Avenue N (at N 67th St.), Seattle, WA
Presented by the Seattle Folklore Society

Sun., Nov. 18 (2:00 pm)
Nancy's Farm - 2030 E. Smith Rd., Bellingham, WA

NOTE: Acoustic bass maestro Cary Black will be joining Kathy, Annie, Tom, and Greg for all three of these shows!

Now, you five, if you do happen to stumble on the Great Northwest Passage, for God’s sake let someone know. A discovery like that could, heck, open the west up or something.

November 12, 2012

Hey, those dates work for me--The folks at the International Bluegrass Music Association have spoken…September 24-28 in Raleigh, N.C. is when we’ll once again have the chance to experience bluegrass wonderland. Information on how to make hotel reservations will be available in December 2012.

Our first Music Camp Scholarship donation of the year--Got this note from our Assistant Treasurer, Val Cornejo who was writing back and forth with one of our web site sponsors over a refund owing him. “Hello Val, How about this? It will make things easier for me if the CBA can work with this. Put $140 towards the e-band page tile and with the $60 balance make a $30 donation to each of the Music Camp Scholarship fund and the DJKLL (Darrel Johnston Kids Lending Library. Dave” Now, we understand that the writer CLAIMED the donation was to make things easier ‘book keeping-wise, but we think we know the real reason. Pickers have heart!

”Alt-Grass”…a rose by any other name--Joe Ross, prolific Bluegrass Breakdown CD reviewer, shared his thoughts about ‘alt-Grass” on the “L” recently, and in the process promoted a new band from up his way…Congrats to Portland band Wayward Vessel on a "highlight review" (by Richard D. Smith) in this month's Bluegrass Unlimited magazine! Wow, that's so cool to see BU recognize a band from out west in my state in this manner. Heard them (as only a trio) at last July's Siskiyou Bluegrass & Folk Festival (at Lake Selmac) and really enjoyed them. I uploaded a YouTube video of them from that show. An excerpt of the BU review says "Is there an emerging style that we can call 'alternative bluegrass'? .... But alternative bluegrass is definitely emerging as a distinctive variety of bluegrass, one that is proving pleasing to a wide spectrum of the music's fans. It embraces folk music at its core, its bands typically exhibit beautifully blended vocals, spry picking, ear-catching syncopations, and refreshingly creative original songwriting. So if the altenative bluegrass sound has perked up your ears, add to the list of its most enjoyable practitioners the wonderful Oregon-based band Wayward Vessel." What do you all think about "alternative bluegrass"? I've heard alt-folk, alt-rock and alt-country ... I guess it was a matter of time before someone suggested we also have alt-bluegrass. Bluegrass Unlimited used to group those reviews into a category called "On The Edge." Pique on,

Means flea in Portuguese, fulfillment in Santacruzeez--The Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz...Click here

Tea, anyone? Looking for a refined jam to attend, a gathering where tea from real tea pots and cups is served, where finger food is more likely to be crumpets than baby back ribs, where Irish music wafts rather than vibrates through the establishment? Give a try to Columbia Kate’s Teahouse this Sunday. Click here

The original antidote to the outlaw--You may not have known it, but you happen to be living in the Roy Rogers Centennial. Now that you, partner, do something about it please. Click here

Reader complaint lodged via Mold-Mail-Bag--“Dear Moldman, I like a lot of what you write in your More or Less Daily, but I gotta tell you, man, some of your pieces are just too damned long. Try to cut the items down or else accept the fact that some of us just won’t read ‘em. Know what I mean? Signed No-Fan-of-Reading-Friggin’-Novels.” Dear No-Fan, yes, I think I know what you mean and yes, I’ll work on being a little less verbose…may take a while. So in the meantime, I suggest that you, and those who have the same concerns, just read every third word. Let me give you an example…Dear No-(), yes, I () I know () you mean () yes, I’ll () on being () little less () …may take () while. So () the meantime, () suggest that (), and those () have the () concerns, just () every third (). Let me () you an (). There, now that took one-third the time and I’m sure you got the gist of it, more or less.

November 11, 2012

Get your check book out--You don’t have to necessarily believe that Time’s list of the Best Inventions in 2012 really are the best to enjoy the textual/visual survey they’re put together. But be warned, you’ll want to buy some of this stuff. We here at the MOLD have taken out a second mortgage to purchase ourselves an indoor cloud machine. Click here
A couple mountain laurel branches--Barwick & Siegfried — Saturday, November 10 at 6:00pm at Union Square Building 530-205-9513 151 Mill Street, Grass Valley. " "Barwick and Siegfried combine years of experience into a highly-entertaining duet sound that ranges from the Monroe Brothers and other “brother duets” of the 1930s to such iconic modern partnerships as Buddy & Julie Miller and Gillian Welch & David Rawlings. Kathy (guitar, dobro, mandolin, lead and harmony vocals) and Pete (mandolin, lead and harmony vocals), blend bluegrass, old-time country, traditional Irish and folk into an engaging Americana fusion."

The moldy mail bag--Hello, just a note to let you know B&L will be playing in Berkeley 11/7- Wednesday - at Le Bateau Ivre. The show starts at 7PM.. Sue Shelasky Walters will be sitting in on bass. AND we have our regular Willowbrook Ale House gig every Thursday (Except Thanksgiving) from 7PM until 9:30PM. The whole band will be there this Thursday, we often have sit ins of traveling musicians...A couple of weeks ago we had David Grier for two sets, a young guitarist from Japan Hiroshi Arakawa, and Riley Hill (an upcoming player) So you never know who might be there and the food is GOOD! Thanks, Ed

Here’s something we bet you didn’t know--Melvin Goins is the only bluegrass musician to have ever been on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. Why, you ask? Have you every heard of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers…yup, Melvin was one of the founders. And of course he played with Ralph Stanley and also with Bill Monroe. In 1999 Melvin formed his own band, Windy Mountain, and they’ve been going strong ever since. So here’s the really, really big news. He and his band are headlining at Grass Valley this year. Oh, and who can tell me the significance of the band’s name? Anybody? Anybody?

One of those mark your calendar deals--From Roger Siminoff down central coast way. “Dear music friends...I am excited to announce that we will be hosting another house concert, this one featuring Eddie and Martha Adcock on March 21, 2013. As many of you know, Eddie Adcock was the banjo player with the famed group The Country Gentlemen whose configuration from 1960-1964 featured Charlie Waller, Eddie Adcock, John Duffey, and Tom Gray. In my estimation, this was one of the finest bluegrass bands ever, and I attribute much of that to Eddie Adcock who I believe is one of the finest banjo players ever. So, when I say that I'm "excited" to have Eddie and Martha at out home for a concert, I am really excited. To top it off, Eddie has agreed to give a one-hour banjo workshop if I can assemble enough banjo pickers interested in learning from this master. It will be held at our home on the afternoon of Thursday, March 21, 2013 and the cost is $30.00 per person (which I think is a dynamite bargain). If you are interested in attending this banjo workshop, please respond by this Friday, November 2, 2012. I need to have an early headcount so Eddie can plan his schedule. More info will follow about the concert that evening - you do not have to respond now about your interest in the concert. Hope to see you then...Best Roger”

This deal won’t last, folks--Danny Booth Big Bass Bonanza Bargain No BullClick here

Don’t be shy, Martha, tell us how you really feel--Martha Hearon Adcock DEAR NFL – (Never mind how I feel about the Titans’ pitiful season or the state of modern country music) – While watching the Titans-Bears football game broadcast from the host city of Nashville today, I heard one of the announcers mention between plays that the Country Music Association’s annual awards had recently been held, whereupon another announcer sarcastically and gratuitously opined, “Yeah, one of about fifteen of those things they have.”
In comparison, I wonder how he would like it if WE so publicly dissed the Super Bowl and insinuated that football is worthless! His rude statement was untrue, unwarranted, and offensive; and I believe he owes an apology to the CMA, to Nashville, and to the country (-it’s a big umbrella many consider to cover bluegrass-) musicians and fans for his disrespecting and dismissing what we do and love and enjoy. He ought to learn from his gaffe.

Tom L Gray Response--Although that announcer was rude toward the CMA and all musical awards, I truly can not muster any respect for the CMA. The "Country Music Association" is not country at all. I agree with George Jones who said he prefers real country music to the stuff that the CMA represents. Remember "Murder on Music Row".

November 10, 2012

Excellent. Fabulous. Delightful. Every musician would benefit--That’s how some folks are describing Chris Henry’s new doc…”Formlessness Into Form is a documentary exploring creativity with a focus on flow and dreaming. Through over forty interviews with some of Nashville's most creative minds, a narrative emerges starting with where the energy comes from, how it feels to work with it, what can be good and bad for flow, how substances can influence, what creating with others can be like, the advantages and journey of finding one's own voice, how the ego plays into the process, on down to specific advice for folks just beginning to consciously unlock their own creativity, how the ego plays into the process, on down to specific advise for folks just beginning to unlock their own creativity.Click here, but only if you want to get in touch with your inner creative self.

Happy belated birthday, Jerry--Since the MOLD wasn’t yet born, (hadn’t formed in the petri dish, so to speak), we were unable to report this in a timely manner…San Rafael, Calif. and New York, N.Y. — Award-winning mandolinist and music producer David Grisman announced today the HD release of the 1991 Grammy-nominated Garcia/Grisman album, as well as Garcia/Grisman - Alternate.Click here
You say you want to live here? You say you like all the stuff we have, and get to be proud of, and get to look forward to, and get to do without being arrested and tossed into a concentration camp?Okay, that’s cool. You can stay. Just two things: 1) vote; and 2) stand behind whoever wins.

From the moldy MOLDMAN mail box--Greetings, Moldman. I hope that you are doing great and good luck is with you. I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself and the Earl Brothers (San Francisco)...depending on who you talk to, we're the most "Loved / Hated" group in bluegrass...You be the judge! I am excited to announce our 5th cd "OUTLAW HILLBILLY" is available at CD-Baby.

So, what does English sound like to non-English speakers? We MOLD people were amazed at how much nothing sounds like something very familiar, but not quite. Prisencolinensinainciusol, a huge hit for Italian pop star Adriano Celentano back in 1972Click here

Eating crow after your guy loses the election is passé. Fish or BBQ is so much more civilized --Jim Mintun writes…”Hey! night, Slide Road will be playing at Phil's Fish Market from 6:00 to 8:00. I know it's election night, but listen - THIS is important: It will be Matt Kendall's last gig with us for a long time, so you MUST come see us and wish him a swell time in Stockholm! He's moving there for a year or two and we're gonna miss him. Hailey Pexton will be playing mandolin with us. Hope to see you there! Slide Road is Matt Kendall, Louise Sully Mintun, and me, with this month's guest Hailey Pexton.” And on the other side of the hill it’s Bean Creek at Sam’s BBQ in Campbell. And either place you can wash your blues away with a couple of cold ones or celebrate, whichever the case may be.

Triviality is in the eye of the beholder--Bert the Magnificent's Bluegrass Trivia Question for the Month of November…What was the name of the luthier who made the copy of the Gibson F5 mandolin that Vern Williams played? Good luck on this one. If you know the answer or even think you do, send your response to me directly at bikingman@juno.com. Don't post your answer on the message board even though you may be dying to show everybody how smart you are by knowing the answer to this obscure Bluegrass trivia question. The only person I know who is smart enough to answer this question for sure is JD Rhynes. He sent me the question and is therefore ineligible. Sorry, JD. You've had a pretty good run recently on the trivia challenge. Thanks for the question. Click here

November 9, 2012

Say what you will about his politics, he rode around in one very cool boat--The fund-raising benefit concert series will come to an end next week on the USS Potomac, FDR’s yacht anchored over in Alameda. Since June, the Potomac has featured the likes of High Country, Blue and Lonesome, Savannah Blue, Bill Evans, and the Kathy Kathy Kallick Band. On the 12th the spotlight will shine on the Alisa Rose Trio. Come listen to some awfully good music and in the process keep that damned boat floating. Click here

Buy the Brooklyn Bridge or…--move to Oregon and get a job as a guitar instructor at Guitar Center for $150,000. Click here

More moldy mail--Hello Moldman. Enjoying the Mold bunches. Please see attached for immediate release. Helen Highwater will debut with a special appearance at The Fiddle House in East Nashville on Sunday December 2. Demo CD will be ready for release mid-December. Thanks, Maria, Maria E. Nadauld, Above the Bay Booking… FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Helen Highwater: The Band. Nashville, TN (November 1, 2012) – It was just another night in Nashville: four friends—revered acoustic musicians—got together in a living room. The music bounced, danced, gathered strength, and lifted them in a way that only happens with the right players. So, they formed a band and named it Helen Highwater—the tough, whimsical goddess of string band music. It’s David Grier on guitar, Missy Raines on bass, Mike Compton on mandolin, Shad Cobb on fiddle, and power vocals from all four, now available for booking. These are musicians who have performed for decades. Their music is rooted but not frozen, recognizable but not predictable, comfy but not smug. It’s also a steel-railed groove of steam-powered drive—Gid Tanner and Bill Monroe stoking the coal car and one band barreling ahead, eyes around the curve.

Muffin madness from Portsmouth to Pensacola--Rhonda Vincent, who’ll be headlining at Grass Valley in June, doesn’t just travel in the Martha White Bluegrass Express. No, no, folks, she bakes mighty fine muffins toolin’ down the highway. And pancakes, which she says ‘the boys love.’ Have a look.

Another good one coming up in central CA--We’re hearing more and more about bluegrass emanating from the mid-state region, to wit, a note from Phil Salazar, long a California fiddle phenom…It's Friday November the 16th; Jonathan McEuen / Phil Salazar / Nathan McEuen . Randy Tico and Special Guests / A Brand New Opry, Blu-Ray release / Friday November 16th / 7:30pm / Plaza Playhouse Theather / Carpinteria, Ca / 805.684.6380 / $25

You say you’re not feeling well? This could be the big one? GET THEE TO THE BAJA! The Baja Taqueria Jam is one of those bluegrass institutions that no self-respecting fanatic of the genre can possibly afford not to attend at least once before she/he dies. It’s on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, the last we heard it was hosted by Tom Lucas and you’ll always find some good pickers there. And it just so happens this happening jam is happening TONIGHT. Click here to reads all about it.

Testograss, anyone? Reports Andy Hall, noted reso player with the String Dusters…”Welp it finally happened. Two peeps having sex in the front row of our show. The guy is singing along to our songs, so that's something. Let's see what's in store for set dos.”

November 8, 2012

You don’t miss your Carlin till your Larry runs dry--We here at MOLDMAN News (term used lightly) Services Inc. have gotten some pretty positive feed back since we took over the news section last month, and believe me, we appreciate it. But that said, trust us when we say that, despite the nice words, we suffer no illusions. It was Larry Carlin who for three years delivered the goods and in the process set the standard to which we strive. Here then, is Larry’s farewell post from three years ago. Friday, December 31, 2010b>Happy ending -- Happy New Year to everyone! There are strung-out streamers, confetti, and empty Champagne bottles strewn about the Almost Daily News office here in downtown San Francisco. Not just because we are celebrating the end of 2010, but also, as it turns out-–at least for the time being – because I am celebrating the end of my time here as the writer of this column. What began as an experiment on a tentative basis on November 10, 2007, has now run for three plus years, but due to circumstances beyond my control, this is my final column. In short, real life has gotten in the way, and I have less and less time to write anymore, mostly due to day job commitments. It is possible that I may just be going on a hiatus, sabbatical, or whatever you want to call it. But for now, after 466,154 words and 466 columns, this is the end. The hope here is that some of you got some pleasure out of reading the column from time to time during my tenure. Happy trails to you, until we meet again…

Well he’s certainly famous to me--A note from Joe Weed…” Spoiler Alert! Well, OK… self promotion alert: My composition “Hymn to the Big Sky,” originally recorded on my American Portrait album, can be heard in Ken Burns’ new film, “The Dust Bowl,” which premieres November 18 and 19, 2012 (8:00–10:00 p.m. ET) on PBS.”

Bluegrass Bluesman--When a book like Bluegrass Bluesman; Josh Graves, a Memoir, hits the stands there’s probably nobody better writing about our music today to tell you about it than Chris Stuart. That’s because he knows the music and he knows writing. Here’s just a bit of what he says…” Expertly edited by Fred Bartenstein with help from a lot of good folks, which I’ll come back to in a minute, it also includes never-before-published photos and 24 tributes from musicians and friends, many of which were compiled by Betty Wheeler in 2001 for an honorary presentation to Josh. But what makes this book so compelling is the voice of Burkett “Buck” “Uncle Josh” Graves himself.” Click here to read the rest…then buy the book.

David Letterman knows all about clawhammer banjo and has a bridge to sell you over New York City’s Hudson River--You may have caught this month before last, but we didn’t so we thought we’d pass it around now. Never too late for announcing a banjo award. Segment from The Late Show (2012 09 24), Steve Martin honors Mark Johnson with his third annual banjo award, featuring Emory Lester on the six string. Click here

Up in the Lode this week--Nell Robinson’s Soldier Stories: November 10, 800 PM, Sutter Creek Theater, 44 Main St, Sutter Creek, 916-425-0077, www.suttercreektheater.com, $20….and…Hill Country: November 11 & 12, 100 - 400 PM, Kids Inc Apple Orchard, 3205 N Canyon Rd (#5 on the Apple Hill map), Camino, 530-621-0184, www.kidsincapples.com, no cover.

California woman wants roadside memorial to honor fish--IRVINE, Calif.—Animal activists want a California roadside memorial sign to honor fish killed during a container truck crash. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals volunteer Dina Kourda told Irvine's street maintenance chief the sign would remind drivers that fish value their lives and feel pain. About 1,600 pounds of saltwater bass died on Oct. 11 when the truck hauling them to market got into a three-way crash. Kourda's letter acknowledges roadside memorials traditionally honor humans, but she hopes an exception will be made. Irvine spokesman Craig Reem says there won't be a fish memorial.

Turkeygrass you ask? You betcha, Right up to and through the day of the bird.

Nov. 20: Cabin Fever - Sam's BBQ, San Jose
Nov. 20: David Thom Band - Sweetwater, Mill Valley
Nov. 21: Sidesaddle & Co. - Sam's BBQ, San Jose
Nov. 21: Whiskey Brothers - Albatross Pub, Berkeley
Nov. 22: Thanksgiving!
Nov. 23: The Dim Lights - Pacifica Moose Lodge
Nov. 24: Laurie Lewis - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Nov. 24: Beargrass Creek - Mission Pizza, Fremont
Nov. 26: The Earl Brothers - Amnesia, SF

Einstein of mandolin maybe? Well, who knows, but it’s certainly in the realm of possibility. Chris Thile may not be the best who ever lived…and the theory of relativity could very well be Albert’s hash dream. Who’s to say? Chris We invite you to form an opinion. Click here

Name your new restaurant: combine the first food type listed in the last recipe you followed and the last animal you fed at the zoo--The Spice Monkey Restaurant on Webster Street in Oakland calls itself a ‘family-friendly, local oasis of fresh food, animated conversation and amazing entertainment.’ We’ll start with a sampling of the dinner menu--ARMADILLO EGG OVER LINGUINI, ARGENTINIAN CHIMICHURRI STEAK and LINCOLN LOG FISH & CHIPS. Hard to know what to say about the conversation…animated sounds okay to me. As for the amazing entertainment, if you stop in on Friday the ninth you’ll hear Redwing, a band that certainly knows its way around bluegrass, despite the fact that these five DO NOT have a banjo player…by design or for the want of we’re not sure. Good band, though.Click here for more about the Spice Monkey, its food and its events.

November 7, 2012

Okay, now that the dust has settled and the ice plants are starting to come back--Direct from the folks at BayBridged, a good review, with photos, of this year’s Hardly Strictly, sub-titled “Keepin’ Up with the Jones”Click here

The patience of Job--Did you know…no, of course you didn’t, so why bother asking? Let me just tell you. Once a tick egg hatches and the little bug, actually a member of the same family as spiders, grows his eight legs and his, or her, sex organs, he sets out on a quest to find the highest possible point he can find. Which is usually at the very tippy-top of a blade of grass. Once Mr. Tick, or Ms. Tick, whichever the case may be, reaches the top he secures a good grip with all eight legs and there he waits until a warm blooded mammal happens by. So here’s the good part of the story, the part we down here at the MOLD felt was so compelling we should run it by you…that tick can wait as long as two years for lunch to walk by. And you think YOU’VE been kept waiting too long at Burger King? (Oh, how's the story end? Well, said tick gorges on blood till it's about to burst, then drops off the host, finds another, appropriate tick, mates and dies. An existential bummer, but you don't hear the ticks complaining. Click here

Trying to stay one jump ahead, but it ain’t easy sometimes--This JUST in from relx…“Punch Brothers will release Ahoy! on November 13. Ahoy! is a collection of five songs from the Who’s Feeling Young Now? recording sessions, produced by Jacquire King. The EP includes three covers (“Another New World” by Josh Ritter, “Down Along the Dixie Line” by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and “Icarus Smicarus” by Mclusky), the band’s arrangement of the traditional tune “Moonshiner” and a new instrumental track “Squirrel of Possibility.”Click here

Chico never sounded or tasted so good--We’ve heard from
John Hettinger, CBA Sacramento Area Activities VP, that there’s a mightily fine show up in Butte County coming up…Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack plus The Railflowers: November 12, 730 PM, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, 1075 E 20th St, Chico, 530-893-3520, www.sierranevada.com, $20. Buffet dinner at 600 PM for $12.50

A field trip to guitar central--Gryphon's Brian Michael and Derek See paid a visit to Collings guitar in Austin and brought back some video. Gryphon’s in Palo Alto has been doing their thing for a long, long time. So long, in fact, that some of us whose lives revolve around stringed instruments may have forgotten how fortunate we are to have this resource right smack dab in the middle of our community, always there, always on the cutting edge, always willing to help. Thanks, Gryphon. Click to You-Tube Visit Highlights

What the…a fund-raiser for a yacht? --Well, it’s true. The USS Potomac was built in 1934 as the Coast Guard cutter Electra. The 165-foot vessel, displacing 416 tons with cruising speeds of 10 to 13 knots, was commissioned as a U.S. Navy vessel in 1936, renamed the USS Potomac, and served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht until his death in 1945. Later, she was owned by the likes of Elvis Presley, was eventually used as a front for drug smuggling, impounded by the Feds, sunk off Treasure Island, raised for scrap iron, towed over to Alameda and eventually restored to all her glory. Which, of course, cost, and costs, money. Hence the fund-raider. November 7: Alisa Rose & Friends - USS Potomac, Jack London Square, Oakland. Click here.

A little drum roll please…We just can’t seem to get enough top ten lists this millennia. Whether they’re from David Letterman or the American Institute for Jelly Bean Awareness, the lists keep piling up. Not to be outdone, the bluegrassguitar.com has recently presented its Top Ten Tunes for flattpickers. And the winners are…Blackberry Blossom; Whiskey Before Breakfast; Red Haired Boy; Wildwood Flower; Salt Creek; Black Mountain Rag; Soldier's Joy; Foggy Mountain Breakdown; Billy in the Low Ground; and Bill Cheatham. The list was compiled via a balloting process on the site and, I think most would agree, there just aren’t any real surprises.

Call to the election booths--In a startling break with tradition, we’re going forward with our November jam session, despite the fact that it’s scheduled the day after a presidential election. We found the general hullaballoo around the quadrennial contest rather distracting, and cancelled the jam in 2004 and 2008. But this year, we figure that however the election turns out, folks need some way to celebrate their victories and/or commiserate over their losses, and we’re happy to provide just the right mood at…The Bluegrass Country Jam; Wednesday, November 7;
Hosted by Jeanie and Chuck at the Plough and Stars; 8:30 – 11. Click here

November 6, 2012

Ah, spring is in the air--Well, actually, spring is not in the air. Not even close to being in the air. But powerful reassurance that it will roll around again popped up on the CBA web site yesterday, and that’s the newly added page on which you can purchase your EARLY BIRD TICKETS to the 38th Annual Fathers Day Festival. Click here

Little wonder, he’d be selling cars right now if it weren’t for the great one.--Not surprisingly, Byron Berline publicly thanks Bill Monroe with his new CD, Byron Berline thanks Bill Monroe.Click here

And you thought learning to play the five-string was easy LAST century--From the BANJO NEWSLETTER; Learning to Play Banjo in the New Millennium by Ian Perry…It took Ian twelve years to get this all on paper but, hey, he did an excellent job. Ian’s point, of course, is that learning to play the banjo today just isn’t like it was in your daddy’s day, and he makes that point pretty compellingly. Digital technology has knocked the crap out of a fair amount of the torture factor in learning. This is worth a read if you can find ten minutes. Click here

The right way to do wrong--Originally published in 1906, the Right Way to Do Wrong was a masterclass in subversion conducted by the world’s greatest illusionist, Harry Houdini. It collected his findings, from interviews with criminals and police officers, on the most surefire ways to commit crime and get away with it. This is must reading for anyone interested in learning the intricacies of five-finger Scruggs style banjo…or for those who have been out of work more than eighteen months. Click here

You gotta love the Miwok Band of Indians, bless their hearts--The Black Oak Casino has announced that Frank Solivan Jr. and Dirty Kitchen will play at its Willow Creek Lounge in December…we’ll pass along the date when it’s firmed up. Allen O’Brien, Casino booking guy and a GOOD FRIEND of bluegrass, also shares that the Lonesome River Band will be there in February and Dale Ann Bradley in April. Take it from one who knows his dens of iniquity, the Black Oak is a class joint.

’Mostly simply’ seems oxymoronic, but then again, it doesn’t--I’m told that some guy who used to work here will be doing a show called Larry Carlin's Mostly Simply Bluegrass Night at Murphy's Irish Pub in Sonoma on November 9.

We need a sceptic. IS THERE A SCEPTIC IN THE HOUSE?
"My recent experiment affords undeniable proof of the Earth's unglobularity, because it rests not on transitory vision; but my proof remains printed on the negative of the photograph which Mr.Clifton took for me, and in my presence, on behalf of J.H.Dallmeyer, Ltd. A photograph can not 'imagine' nor lie!" This is the final paragraph of a brief description of Bernard H.Watsonu’s 1907 experiment to prove the world is flat. This and many, many other proofs of the unglobularness of planet earth can be found on the web site of the Flat Earth Society. With a worldwide membership of over three thousand people, the society’s primary mission is to debunk the centuries-old conspiracy perpetrated by SCIENTISTS. Oh, and no, this is not made up. Click here

Down and out in Marin County--Well, I’m happy to say I finally got to meet my predecessor, Larry Carlin. Frankly he looked a little worse for the wear, but I guess this daily news job takes its toll. Best to you, Larry. Click here

Mix it up with a little fresh dill, some mayo and one whole Jason and, mmm, you’re got to go--Leftover Salmon Welcomes Special Guests for Thanksgiving Click for recipe.

A very excellent reason to head for the hills--Friday, November 9 Chris Webster and Nina Gerber at the Black Bart Theater in Murphy’s 7:30pm for tickets go to.

Calm down, please, calm down. The government didn’t pay for this study--Mumford's Gentlemen of the Road Economic Impact Study Revealed. Click here

Fifteen bucks…you can’t beat that price for this band with a stick--Foghorn Stringband at the Palms Playhouse in Winters; November 9, 830 PM, $15.

In the far away, wondrous land of Middle California--50 Years In the Bluegrass, held at Santa Barbara's Lobvero Theatre, Friday, November 2nd at 8:00 PM, celebrates Peter Feldmann's long career as a performer, collector, and presenter of bluegrass, old-time, folk, and blues music in Southern California. The concert will recreate some of Santa Barbara's folk music history, featuring many of Peter's musical friends and associates, including violinist Jim Wimmer, bluesmen Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan with Alastair Greene, Rick Cunha, and David Jackson (Mother's Boys), Tom Lee, David West, and Blaine Sprouse (The Very Lonesome Boys), Francine Feldmann, and 3-time National Fiddle Champion Byron Berline, a Lifetime Achievement Award winner this year at IBMA. I mean, like, how could you NOT go? Click here

November 4 2012

The best line-up we’ve never announced--So, you could say this was a newsless news item. GREAT line-up at the CBA’s Sonoma Bluegrass Festival comminng up…March 10th. And I mean GREAT! Problem is, I’m told I can’t announce it yet. One more band to book. A big band. So mum’s the word, but please, mark this date. This’ll be a hot one.

He loves the yellows and oranges because that’s the color of carrots--Justin isn’t your typical nationally-known abstract painter…he’s only nine years old. Oh, and he’s a horseClick here. Oh, and there’s a warning: the jerks at cnn.com make you watch a short commercials before Justin comes on. Just do what I do and cover your eyes and ears.

Well, somebody had to do it, right?One of the MOLD’s unpaid interns, Izzy, stumbled upon a web called savingcountrymusic.com. Their mission? To promote and disseminate information about REAL country music, the underground country music movement, as well as the underground and DIY movements of roots, rockabilly, bluegrass, blues, and some folk music. It offers news, opinion, concert and album reviews, artist profiles, music history, and occasional off-color pop country bashing. Hmm, wonder if they can tell us what real bluegrass music is.
In any event, click here to see if you think they’re succeeding with their raison d’etre.

Wood, wire and glass--Find a way to carve six minutes and nineteen seconds out of your day and treat yourself to Slide Melody with Bottle Neck Dobro Mandolin, Played by Alan M. BondClick here

Only three kinds--There are three kinds of people in this world: people who like Old-Time Music, or love it; people who don’t like Old-Time Music, or hate it; and people who don’t know whether they like it or not because, frankly, they’re not sure what it is. Chances are if you visit the CBA site relatively often, you’re in either the first or second group. However, we, (my ever-increasing staff and I), are aware that some MOLD readers really don’t know what OTM is…or aren’t exactly sure if they know. To those folks I say, let me introduce you to the Old-Time Rambler, aka Jeff Crawford, aka Masha’s husband who knows more about the genre than you’d want to shake a stick at. Click here

Like, man, do you even CARE? --If you don’t care what’s being played on the radio bluegrass-wise, this would be a good spot to skip to the next item. If you do, click here. And if you REALLY care, bookmark this page. There, I’ve done my duty.

They’re baaaaaaack--Remember G2? Swedish band that crushed at Grass Valley not long ago. Well, the band, not one of them a full time musician, took a little brake after spending quite a bit of time in the U.S., but they’re back at it now, stronger than ever. Somebody ought to tell the movers and shakers we’d like to see them back at the FDF. Click here

The falling leaves drift by the window…The autumn leaves, all red and gold--But not all leaves are what they appear to be. Please, humor me and click here

North Coast match service…sort of--The Coffee Catz Saturday Afternoon Jam. Consistently good place to connect with other pickers, and has been for years and years. Click here

We hate cancer--The folks from Sidesaddle asked the Moldman to say a big thanks to everyone who came for and or otherwise supported the Ingrid Daviod Horgan Benefit. It was a screaming success and proved once again that we’re members of an awesome bluegrass family.

A dream coming true? As far back as anyone can remember, if you gave her half a chance Darby Brandli could bend your ear for half an hour about the importance of the California Bluegrass Association staging a music camp just for kids. It would be for beginners, she would tell you. It would be inexpensive, it would be done in conjunction with the Fathers Day Festival and it would build on the success of the Kids on Bluegrass Program and the Darrell Johnston Kids Lending Library. Well, it looks like our friend is closing in on her dream. Nothing solid to report yet but we may just see Madame President’s vision become a reality come next June. Stayed tuned friends…and stay obsessed, Darby.

Sometimes you can spot ‘em a mile away--And that’s certainly true of Jesse Personeni, Angela’s son and a young kid who’s pretty likely to become a monster picker before he’s old enough to vote. Tore it up at the CBA Fall Camp Out. What instrument, you ask? Name one.

A day late and a dollar short--I don’t know how we missed this one yesterday. October 30, 1906, Albert Shutt of Topeka, Kansas awarded U.S. Patent #834416 for a "new and useful tuner" for mandolin. Thank you, Mandolin Café!

November 3, 2012

If he had a hammer, he’d hammer, well, pretty much all of the time --Pretty good piece on Pete Seeger the other day over at NPR, not to be confused with yellow bird flaunting PBS. Writes, record producer David Bernz, “"Almost every time that Pete interacted with the mass media, on some level they spit him back. The Almanacs [Seeger's 1940s folk group], they got on the radio, and then immediately, people criticized their politics and they were off. The Weavers were on the radio; they got blacklisted. He gets a Columbia Records contract, but then he finds out they're keeping his records in the warehouse. The Smothers Brothers even want to edit him out.” Well, I’m not sure about that last part…seems a little out of character for Dicky and Tommy…but nonetheless the seven minute audio story on 93 year old Seeger is pretty good listening. Click here and see if you agree.

So, like, what’s a Peet’sPick anyway? As I enter into my second week of MOLDING I find I’m starting to make the acquaintance of some of the regulars around here. Just met Mark Peet, originator of the “Peet’sPick” feature and a regular contributor of news items each day. He’s a tall, lanky, bearded guy, solid banjo player, with a darkly mischievous sense of humor and a red-headed, fiddle playing lady friend named Julie. Oh, and Mark is a beekeeper and, unless I misunderstood him, a former shepherd. My next objective is to meet this J.D. Rhynes feller; I’ve been practicing deference, but it don’t come easy.

Lots of facets to this music of ours--Joe Weed is on the road…”I just attended a wonderful little private concert by fiddle Alan Jabbour, greatly enriched by his commentary and stories. Cece Conway, of NCU, put together a great session on African American banjo roots, and Alan's fiddle contributions were excellent. Joe Hickerson, who helped me so much with research at the Library of Congress, sat quietly drinking it all in. Dyann Arthur, Irene Watt, Maggie Holtzberg, and other folklorists were there too, listening to the informative and entertaining talk.” We’re lucky to have a guy like Joe, gifted musician, song writer, studio engineer, film producer and documentarian in our midst. Which reminds me, have you seen the video he and Skip Curry did about the Fathers Day Festival? It’s pretty spectacular. Click here

November 2, 2012

We got a classy operation going on here, folks--It has been brought to my attention by the web team leader, who is, by the way, self-appointed I believe, that a few folks have complained about the MOLD’s predisposition toward sensationalism. Well, let me say that I resent the allegation and I resent the alligator. Please note that I HAVE NOT reported on the following stories nor do I intend to even mention them…traffic stalled in snail spill, van stolen with 12 coffins, 12 bodies inside, Alanis Morissette music triggers domestic violence, woman sets malfunctioning vending machine on fire, and another woman is charged with driving under the influence of hand sanitizer. I rest my case. Click here

New break through in computer modeling leads to historical Presidential election forecast--Dr. David Maxwell, team leader of a diverse collection of computer scientists, political scientists, sociologists and mathematicians held a press conference earlier this week at Syracuse University School of Public Policy the findings of a study so remarkable in its confidence variability that it has rocked America’s research community. Said Maxwell, “Our revolutionary new type of computer model, “Evaluative Election Cycle Kaltostat, (EECK), predicts at a 99.9021% probability factor that: 1) either Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney will win the election and 2) that life as we know it will continue.Click here

November 1, 2012

There’s a cabin on the mountain far away in…Miami?--Well, actually the cabin for two is in a ship that will depart Miami and then head for the Caribbean where it will create its own little slice of bluegrass heaven for about a week. Sound good? Well, it gets better…the Steep Canyon Rangers are giving away a cabin for two aboard the Mountain Song at Sea Bluegrass festival at sea! Click here unless you get sea sick.

Well, they’ve got to come down once in a while just to get provisions--Yes, you heard right, the Sonoma Mountain Band is descending into the flat lands Friday night to play at Murphy’s. Click here

So, how many people do you know…--who are among the top five best people in the world at anything? Well, there may be one and you never even knew it. Google around and you’ll find that Tina Louise Bar is ranked as one of the best autoharp players on the planet. And she just taken yet another award. Read all about.

Stylin’ Tim Edes…If you attended the Plymouth Festival over the past several years you’ll know that this is the billing Tim received as one of the show’s MC’s, and too you’ll know that it was gratuitous. Sue dresses that boy up real nice. But alas, for you who believed our suffering was over, that we’d finally belong to an organization who’s highest ranking officer wasn’t the type of individual who would wear tank tops from mid-February till after the Christmas holiday, I may have some bad news. Stylin’ Tim has announced on the Message Board that now that he’s been elected to serve as chairman of the board he’ll be “going out to buy some tank tops.” A joke, you say? I’m not so sure. And let’s just hope this is the only habit he’ll pick up from the last guy. Read it yourself.

October 31, 2012

Ahhhhhhhhhll aboard. Train 45 is leavin’ the station.--So what’s the big deal? Sure, it would be major news for most eighty-five year olds to be making a music video. But the Colonel? No way. “When Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys performed at the Mid Pointe Music Festival in Cincinnati on September 29,” BluegrassToday tells us, “they also shot a video for a local outfit that is restoring the old Emery Theatre there in town. Click for a look and the rest of the story.

Second chances don’t come around that often--It was just about two years ago that Terry Gross did a 45 minute-plus interview with Peter Rowan and his band, Keith Little, Jody Stecher and Paul Knight. Now, folks, I ain’t just sayin’ this ‘cause these here are local boys, but that was one of Terry’s best music-related interviews…ever. So, here’s the deal. It was repeated this morning and is currently loaded on NPR’s web site. If you missed it first time around, here’s another chance. Click here

Short and to the point--Thursday night, First Street Cafe Upstairs, Benicia, Keith Little and Keith Little and Sharon Gilchrist., ‘nuff said.

A dust up scheduled for Chico--The Infamous Stringdusters — Monday, November 5 at 7:30pm at The Big Room at Sierra Nevada Restaurant and Brewery.

Caw…caw…caw--Crows tonight at Sam’s in Campbell.

Oh, Jesse had a wife who mourned for his life and three, three children brave--The other day we linked to a piece about the very first recording ever made, a feat accomplished by Thomas Edison in Meno Park, New Jersey. But our bigger point was that it’s easy to forget that there was a first time for just about everything…yes, even train robberies. Bluegrass songwriting treasure Chris Stuart put that ‘first-time-ever’ story to music, and it’s a good un. Click here

Sings like an angel, that girl does--Vincent Scores #1 Album - Billboard Bluegrass Charts…R’s management is “proud to announce the latest CD from Rhonda Vincent Sunday Mornin' Singin' LIVE! On Upper Management Music reached the top spot on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts this week! The all-gospel project, released on July 10, 2012, was recorded and filmed at Vincent's hometown church in Greentop, Missouri at The Greentop Methodist Church. "I was thrilled when it was released nationally, given the very personal nature of this project," Rhonda shares. "Our focus was to inspire the listener with specially chosen gospel songs that bring a positive message." "I can't believe it's a #1, this makes me so happy!"

Boning up on bluegrass over my morning coffee--Since I started writing this MOLD column I’ve been trying to stay one step ahead of my readers…no, bluegrass music is not exactly my thing, though I’m warming up to it. I’ve discovered a series of web pages right here on the CBA’s site called Pioneers and it covers everybody from Wade Miner and Jimmy Rodgers to Tony Rice and the Osborne Brothers. I’ve book marked them and am working my way through.Click here

Back room deals--You find them everywhere, even among erstwhile charitable benefactors. Case in point. Saturday afternoon at the Lighthouse camp out an Instrument Raffle ticket bidding war combusted spontaneously between two otherwise good pals, Jack Hyland and Rick Cornish. Seems both patrons of the arts were trying to win the fiddle, Jack for his niece Christine and Rick for his grand daughter, Lexy. We’re not sure exactly how many five-buck tickets were sold but, suffice it to say, the Association made a haul. Anyway, in an effort to put the skids on the battle, Jack promised Rick he’d fork over the last fiddle he’d purchased for Christine if he won the new one, which he did and which he will. No losers in this deal unless it would be the niece, who, we’re guessing, will be pretty happy with the new Cremona.**
Faces to names--Just noticed that the CBA web team has gotten its Board of Directors page updated. Handsome bunch of leaders you folks elected. Now let’s see if they got brains behind them pretty faces.Click here

Grab your sunglasses and drive on down.--Why sunglasses? You ever see the Central Valley Boys on stage? Kelly Broyles, the Association’s area vp down Fresno way, writes…”Hey All, Saturday November 10th come on down to Historic Hanford Ca. to the One & Only Hanford Fox Theatre and see the Old Tire Swingers and the Central Valley Boys! Hanford is a beautiful little town and the Fox is a piece of history in a wonderful setting in the Old Downtown! Click here for the whole skinny.

Four minutes and forty-two seconds--Since I’ve started writing the More or Less Daily News I’ve started to learn a little something about this here CBA web site. Met a nice lady down in Fresno, Candy Sponhaltz, who’s in charge of the On-Line Calendar and she clued me in on something I didn’t know, which is that several months ago the software behind placing an event on the calendar was re-written to make it way eaiser and faster. I just tried it…four minutes and forty-two seconds, and better yet, all of the details about the venue I typed in is now ‘remembered’ by the system and next time I won’t have to enter it again. What will these programmers think of next? Check it out.

October 30, 2012

Meaty selections on the menu Wednesday night--Pork ribs and Matt and Texas Brisket and George and Tri Tip and Their Pleasant Valley Boys and Oh-So-Good Grilled Sausage - Sam's BBQ, Campbell.

North Carolina, I’m commin’ home-- IBMA's “World of Bluegrass Week” includes the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, and the three-day Bluegrass Fan Fest. Our annual industry summit/ bluegrass family reunion draws more than 16,000 attendees, providing opportunities for showcasing, professional development and networking at the largest concentrated week of powerful, live bluegrass music on the planet.
The following World of Bluegrass dates have been announced, with the option for a five- or seven-day event each year:

September 23 - 29, 2013
September 29 - October 5, 2014
September 28 - October 4, 2015.

World of Bluegrass 2013-2015 will be hosted at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Raleigh Amphitheater and Memorial Auditorium, with hotel blocks at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, the Sheraton Raleigh and six additional nearby hotels. “If we had designed a perfect venue for our events, it would look a lot like the facilities in Raleigh,” said IBMA Board chair Stan Zdonik.

The peninsula just got more musical--Not exactly brand new news, but news just the same. Multi-instrumentalist and a guy who’s dedicated most of his adult life to teaching music to youth, Larry Chung has added another gig to his busy schedule; he’s started teaching at Gryphon in Palo Alto. Click here.

So the Office guy says to the Jerk guy, like, is that pre-war--Banjoists Ed Helms and Steve Martin could do more for bluegrass music than, well, just about anything you can name. Please, God, let them want to. Click here

Hell yes, shoot ‘em, skin ‘em and eat ‘em, but…If it was good enough for Jimmy Martin it’s good enough for you, partner…but be careful. A fire that destroyed eight units at an apartment complex in Holland Township, Mich., is believed to have been sparked by a man using a propane torch to cook a squirrel for lunch, a local fire chief said. Click here

Frog welcomes with open arms, open mic--Alameda impresario Peter Barnato, whose McGrath’s will live in the hearts of all Bay Area bluegrassers for many years to come, is never too far away from the music we love. Tuesdays, for example, his Frog and Fiddle welcomes entertainers to an open mic. Read all about it. Click here

Okay, you knew Christmas stuff would show up sooner or later--Hosted by Steve Gulley and Dale Ann Bradley, Rural Rhythm Presents-Christmas The Mountain Way is a CD/DVD/TV special that’s make the holiday season a whole lot more bluegrassy. Click here

More mail--Last week we asked folks for their suggestions as the CBA develops its mercantile buy list for the coming bluegrass season. Scott Daily responded back, “What I’d like to see is a rerun of the crop circle t-shirts. They sold out fast and many of us never got a chance to buy one. I think there was some discussion about this on the message board some time ago. Thanks.” No, thank you Scott. Anybody interested in grabbing a crop circle shirt? Do you remember them? Click here for a quick look. If there’s any interest we could plead our case to Jack and the board.

Ya’ll listen up, now, a message from the President--At any given time we find ourselves juggling a dozen or so different priorities when it comes to meeting the mission of our Association. None, however, is more importantthan providing performance opportunities for our California ‘home-grown’ talent. Two such opportunities are currently in the spotlight: our GREAT 48 Showcase Showdown and our Fathers Day Festival California Showcase. A total of eight slots are open to California-based, non-touring bands, and the deadlines for submitting packets for both competitions is coming up October 1st. For information about the GREAT 48 Showcase write Kelvin Gregory at kgregory3@bak.rr. com; for the FDF Showcase, contact Larry Kuhn, folsomflash@yahoo.com. Two opportunities for the CBA to show off its California bluegrass and old-time talen and two chances for your band to let its light shine. Darby Brandli, President, California Bluegrass Association

And these idiots think they can build a bomb? A major Iranian news agency, the Fars News Agency, is evidently not familiar with America’s most popular parody news source. Without attribution, the news site affiliated with the Islamic Revolutions Guards Corps reprinted an Onion story, which read, “According to the results of a Gallup poll released Monday, the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than US President Barack Obama.” The Onion’s made-up poll was accompanied by made-up comments, reprinted in full by the Fars News Agency, including: ”[Ahmadinejad] takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.” (Moldman Note to Readers—The word ‘idiots’ in the lead-in sentence refers to the current Iranian regime and not to the tens of millions of Iranians who, by all accounts, are well educated and sick to death of their increasingly strange leadership.)

October 29, 2012

A new M&M for the connoisseur--Scoop from J.D.: "You heard it here first from the old Mountain Man! Tuesday morning, October 23, 8:15 AM. I just got off the phone with my good friend Ronnie Reno and he informed me that Merle Haggard and Mac Wiseman are doing a recording together today in Nashville. They're going to record a lot of the old standards such as Jimmy Brown the newsboy, wonder how the old folks are home, etc. etc. etc. But as Ronnie said, the content is purely up to these two revered veterans of the music business. As far as the band members are concerned, Ronnie said it will be mostly veteran session players. Whatever they decide to record with whoever is in the band, I know it will be a fantastic record."

Banjo brain news--From the desk of Martha Hearon Adcock:
“Eddie's third brain surgery seems to be a success!! He's at home, doing well, and seems to be playing much better, praise the good Lord! Thank you, everyone, for your continuing good will and prayers! (By the way, it was NOT outpatient surgery...)”

Moldman mail--Dear Moldman, I thought our members would like to hear how the Fathers Day Festival 2013 line-up is shaping up. Bands booked to date are: Rhonda Vincent, Blue Highway, Larry Stephenson, Michael Cleveland, Special Consensus, Tom, Brad and Alice, Melvyn Goins and Windy Mountain, Della Mae. One more old time act for Sat/ Sun to be booked, and of course our five California Showcase Bands and the many Vern’s Stage acts. Best, Mark Varner, Chair, Talent Advisory Group

Note from Uncle Santa--Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s not even Halloween, but Jack Hyland told me if I don’t pass this along I’ll stop getting my U.S. Mail. (Jack’s as mail man.) Our Mercantile Manager wants you to know that there’s plenty of time to order a fine denim CBA jacket for that special someone on your Christmas list. Classic fabric, classic cut and classic poppy design. Contact Jack at 209-303-0015…jck49hyland@yahoo.com.

Preppy be good--Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players: November 2, 800 PM, Sacramento Prep Music Academy, 3823 V St, Sacramento, 916-297-5678, www.sacprepmusic.com, $15 adv/$20 door.

Blaaarh A pox on me ankle!--We should have reported earlier that John Duncan, CBA-lifer, former board member and lifetime At-Large Ambassador, injured his ankle pretty badly and has been convalescing, hence the addition of Larry Kuhn’s address for CA Showcase packets

Larry Kuhn
177 Stoney Hill Drive
Folsom, CA zip 95630

Fear not; everything sent to either Larry or John will be considered. GET WELL JOHN, YOU OLD PIRATE YOU. Click here

Mel’s daughter’s kids’ song--You may not know it, but Pam Tillis, a major country music talent in her own right, is also a major supporter of kids on bluegrass…which is to say, kids playing bluegrass music. She’s just produced a little YouTube piece that speaks volumes about the young BG talent we have bubbling up all around us. Click here to have a look.
It’s not just bad PR--Llamas are disgusting animals. There, I said it and I’m glad I said it. These animals get their cover from a society obsessed with political correctness; they’re misunderstood, but in a good way, for them at least. I mean, give me a break…they’re camalids. As in camels? Ever been around a camel? Not convinced? Click here.

Best news item of the day--“Thanks to all who have been wishing me well! Final reconstruction surgery was Monday. After unwrapping all the bandages and showering, there's only a couple of exterior sewing areas and I can tell you that they look much more like the originals!! That was the last procedure in the plan we laid out l5 months ago. No signs of cancer on any of the tests they've been doing. I am so lucky and blessed. Now, if some of my friends would quit having these close calls driving, I could relax! Haven't tried to play yet, but will tomorrow! Got to get ready for Bakersfield you know! Gentle hugs to all of you! Love, Mikki”

What the….If anyone’s got even a clue as to how the organizers of an event late in October in the tiny town of Placerville can bring in a line up like this and not immediately file for Chapter Eleven I’d sure like to hear about it. Maybe the CBA should get these folks to negotiate FDF contracts. The Travelin' McCourys; Railroad Earth; Del McCoury Band; The Infamous Stringdusters; Delta Spirit; Tumbleweed Wanderers; Rose's Pawn Shop; Andrew McConathy & the Drunken Hearts; Good Gravy; Lonesome Locomotive California Honeydrops; Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers; Dead Winter Carpenters
Greensky Bluegrass. Click here to be amazed.

Yes, grasshopper, there will be another spring, warm days, sunshine, verdant valleys--And to prove it, tickets go on sale November 1st. Strawberry tickets and Fathers Day Tickets

October 28, 2012

Ah, Tom. Tom. YO, TOM! Could you give me just a taste more bottom? And bring the banjo down? Down. DOWN!--Yes, just like pretty much everything, there was a first time...even a recording session. Click here.

Trust no one who refers to himself in the third person--The Moldman got his first email, to wit, Kathy Kallick dates form her squeeze, Peter T…Fri., Oct. 26 (8:00 pm): Asbury Methodist Church, Livermore; Sat., Oct. 27 (7:30 pm): First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View OPENING: The Drifter Sisters; Sun., Oct. 28 (7:00 pm): French Garden Restaurant, Sebastopol WITH SPECIAL GUESTS; More on the gigs/CD/band: http://www.kathykallick.com

The happiest place in the saddest place on earth is…well…depressing--I don’t even wanna talk about it. Read for yourself.

On the prowl for young blood--CBA president Darby Brandli and First Gentlemen, Bruno, are driving up to Red Bluff for the Western Open Fiddle Competition this weekend. Lots of young fiddlers who would LOVE our Father's Day Festival. They're meeting up with Maria Nadauld, Bay Area promoter and fiddle contest pioneer, and George Fredson, the head guy at California State Old-Time Fiddlers Association, District 6. You can bet that Darby, who's also the Association's Youth Coordinator, will make certain that no attendee between the ages of 2 and 18 will escape Red Bluff without receiving THE MESSAGE.

Deadline nearing for across-the-pond band submissions--Our good and long-time friend Pieter Groenveld, Dutch record producer and impresario, reminds us not to forget to register our bands for the European World Of Bluegrass (EWOB) 2013! Deadline is the 1th of December! Sort of a multi-lingual IBMA. Click here.

New kid on the team--From the October Kathy Kallick newsletter—“Please welcome ... SHARON GILCHRIST. Sharon is now playing bass (and some mandolin) and singing with the KKB. While saddened by the departure of Dan Booth to Washington, DC, the band is delighted to be making music with Sharon, a recent transplant to Oakland from New Mexico. You might have seen her playing in recent years with the Peter Rowan-Tony Rice Quartet, Uncle Earl, Mike Marshall and/or Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis, Mary & Mars, and many others.

Almost perfect--"Big and Lonesome! Perfect Strangers could be just a collection of terrific songwriters, dynamic singers and dead-on players. What makes them a great bluegrass band is their extremely high Coefficient of Lonesomeness." says Lee Bjorndal. Find out for yourself at Studio 55 Marin Saturday, November 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm!Click here for the essential details.

Keith, Munde and Evans, oh my--As part of the First Annual California Banjo Extravaganza, the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley will be hosting an afternoon of banjo workshops with Bill Keith, Alan Munde and Bill Evans for all levels of players. Derned hard to beat that if you’re an aspiring banjologist of any stripe. --Click here.

Better late than never--We’re feeling a little sheepish that we forgot to wish Happy Birthday to Jerome Lester Horwitz. We won’t forget next year, you can count on that.Click here.


Quick note from Cactus Bob and Desert Flower
It's Saturday Oct 27, the weekend before Halloween, let's party! Faux Renwah will be playing in the afternoon at the Douglass Saloon in Columbia, 1-4 pm. Then it's on to a birthday party for the Three Stooges--Tom, Dave and Muddy, in the evening, same place...Jack Douglass Saloon (209) 533-4176 in Columbia State Historic Park. Come as you Ain't!

Baseball, anyone?--Nope, this isn’t a Giants win the pennant story. Actually, it’s a story about a softball, or at least a sphere about the size of a softball that looks suspiciously like an eye ball, which, it turns out, it is. But who or what has an eyeball that big? We’ve been kept in the dark for nearly a week but finally marine biologists have identified where the baby blue came from.Click here to hear the tale.

Movin’ on up--Everybody who does bluegrass understands that you can no more separate the music from the out of doors than you can separate, I dunno, pickled pigs feet from cold beer. That’s why when somebody shows up sporting a new ‘rig’, as we like to say, it’s MOLD-worthy. Two such happenings occurred at the Fall Camp Out last weekend at the Lighthouse Resort and Marina. Lou and Sunshine McClanahan pulled up in a very shiny twenty-one foot Airstream and you could hear gasps throughout the campgrounds. And a day later Deb Livermore arrived towing what can only be described as a small, very, very cute, very, very old camp trailer…tricked out to the nines. Lots and lots of tours taken.

Well, you wouldn’t expect to run into him at McDonald’s-- From Sydney Evans, who with her husband Rich is doing their dream tour of the Bluegrass South: “OMG!!! OMG! We just ran into RALPH STANLEY and his band! He is very frail looking, but so friendly. He shook hands with Rich and they had a brief chat! We had parked our Big Boy right next to his rig. Wowzer!”

October 27, 2012

Keith, Munde and Evans, oh my--As part of the First Annual California Banjo Extravaganza, the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley will be hosting an afternoon of banjo workshops with Bill Keith, Alan Munde and Bill Evans for all levels of players. Derned hard to beat that if you’re an aspiring banjologist of any stripe. --Click here.

Better late than never--We’re feeling a little sheepish that we forgot to wish Happy Birthday to Jerome Lester Horwitz. We won’t forget next year, you can count on that.Click here.


Quick note from Cactus Bob and Desert Flower
It's Saturday Oct 27, the weekend before Halloween, let's party! Faux Renwah will be playing in the afternoon at the Douglass Saloon in Columbia, 1-4 pm. Then it's on to a birthday party for the Three Stooges--Tom, Dave and Muddy, in the evening, same place...Jack Douglass Saloon (209) 533-4176 in Columbia State Historic Park. Come as you Ain't!

Baseball, anyone?--Nope, this isn’t a Giants win the pennant story. Actually, it’s a story about a softball, or at least a sphere about the size of a softball that looks suspiciously like an eye ball, which, it turns out, it is. But who or what has an eyeball that big? We’ve been kept in the dark for nearly a week but finally marine biologists have identified where the baby blue came from.Click here to hear the tale.

Movin’ on up--Everybody who does bluegrass understands that you can no more separate the music from the out of doors than you can separate, I dunno, pickled pigs feet from cold beer. That’s why when somebody shows up sporting a new ‘rig’, as we like to say, it’s MOLD-worthy. Two such happenings occurred at the Fall Camp Out last weekend at the Lighthouse Resort and Marina. Lou and Sunshine McClanahan pulled up in a very shiny twenty-one foot Airstream and you could hear gasps throughout the campgrounds. And a day later Deb Livermore arrived towing what can only be described as a small, very, very cute, very, very old camp trailer…tricked out to the nines. Lots and lots of tours taken.

Well, you wouldn’t expect to run into him at McDonald’s-- From Sydney Evans, who with her husband Rich is doing their dream tour of the Bluegrass South: “OMG!!! OMG! We just ran into RALPH STANLEY and his band! He is very frail looking, but so friendly. He shook hands with Rich and they had a brief chat! We had parked our Big Boy right next to his rig. Wowzer!”

You need to get plugged in to get plugged in--That is, plugged into the lottery if you want a full hookup at Grass Valley next June. Nope, it’s not too early to start thinking about it. After all, Early Bird tickets go on sale November 1Click here for full hook-up lottery info.

Brother bumps off brother--So what’s Max Schwartz got that his brother Nate doesn’t have? Simple: youth. As young as he is, Nate has ‘aged’ out” of his job as CBA Teen Ambassador and has been replaced, via board of directors appointment, by Max. We’ll get Max to say hello in a Welcome column before too very long.

The dynamic trio--At its first meeting of the CBA’s calendar year the newly elected board conducted its very first order of business with no small amount of gusto: it appointed Tim Edes as Chairman of the Board, (it’s hard to know who’s more excited, Tim or his wife Sue.) Geoff Sargent was appointed Assistant to the Chair, a thankless, grinding job whose only perk is to run board meetings while Tim is in the Men’s Room. And rounding out the team of three who plan, execute and record for posterity the monthly board meetings is Colleen Hogan. Colleen, replacing Charlene Sims who did a yeoman’s job for the past year, already partners with husband Mark to produce the CBA’s Sebastopol Bluegrass Festival. Taking on this new responsibility is way, way beyond the call of duty. THANKS, COLLEEN.

Join Jerry for ribs--Loganville will be appearing again this Wednesday night at Sam’s BBQ in Campbell. It’s hard to know which is a better reason for stopping in…the pork ribs or Jerry Logan and His Logaineers. Click here for details.

Trinkets for the tourists (and the aficionados)--Jack Hyland, CBA board member and coordinator of the Association’s mercantile operation is currently doing a 100% inventory of merchandise on hand. Once he’s finished he’ll prepare a proposed buy to replenish the store of CBA-related goods we sell during various events and present that to the board of directors. What would you like to see re-stocked? Ideas about any new items? Jack wants your input…if you’ve got any, please send a note to him care of… rickcornish7777@hotmail.com.

October 26, 2012

SECOND PLACE! Garrison, are you nuts?--Jack and Molly Tuttle did us proud over the weekend taking a second place in A Prairie Home Companion’s annual Duet Contest. They sang the Kentucky Waltz and the tears the rendition elicited were surpassed only by the salty outpouring that followed Garrison Keillor’s announcement of this year’s first place winner. We can only thank the good Lord that the show’s host didn’t insist on singing along. Click here.

Bands to battle--Bluegrass bands from throughout California that do not routinely tour nationally are being asked to submit their promotional materials (bios, photos, CDs, DVDs, links, etc.) to be considered as a showcase band. Three independent judges will evaluate and score the bands using a 1 to 10 point system on the following criteria: Musicianship, Vocals, Material Selection/ Arrangement, and Overall Impression. Click here to learn the entire skinny and get in touch with our contest guru, Kelvin Gregory. This is a chance for your band to earn a few bucks, have a bunch of fun in Bakersfield and win a slot on the Pioneer Stage at Grass Valley next June.

Music Camp changing of the guard--On Monday Geoff Sargent posted his Welcome column about our new Music Camp directors. The piece includes everything that’s current on camp and offers a good introduction to our new directors, Peter and Janet. Click here.

The “List”--Bay Area bluegrass DJ Peter Thompson has just gotten his updated listing of all things bluegrass for the coming month out and about, including here on the CBA web site. A very useful list for the died-in-the-wool bluegrasser to bookmark. Click here.

October 25, 2012
And the winners are--You couldn’t hardly purport to present bluegrass news without covering this year’s results of the annual CBA Board of Director’s election. So here are the winners in alphabetical order.

David Brace
Darby Brandli
Bruce Campbell
Tim Edes
Montie Elston
Steve Goldfield
Dave Gooding
Mark Hogan
Jack Hyland
Jim Ingram
Geoff Sargent

It’s hard to say enough about these folks who readily commit a quarter of their Saturdays each year to handling the business of the Association. We wish the new members, David Brace and Dave Gooding well and their spouses even weller.

SECOND PLACE! Garrison, are you nuts?--Jack and Molly Tuttle did us proud over the weekend taking a second place in A Prairie Home Companion’s annual Duet Contest. They sang the Kentucky Waltz and the tears the rendition elicited were surpassed only by the salty outpouring that followed Garrison Keillor’s announcement of this year’s first place winner. We can only thank the good Lord that the show’s host didn’t insist on singing along. Click here.

Bands to battle--Bluegrass bands from throughout California that do not routinely tour nationally are being asked to submit their promotional materials (bios, photos, CDs, DVDs, links, etc.) to be considered as a showcase band. Three independent judges will evaluate and score the bands using a 1 to 10 point system on the following criteria: Musicianship, Vocals, Material Selection/ Arrangement, and Overall Impression. Click here to learn the entire skinny and get in touch with our contest guru, Kelvin Gregory. This is a chance for your band to earn a few bucks, have a bunch of fun in Bakersfield and win a slot on the Pioneer Stage at Grass Valley next June.

Music Camp changing of the guard--On Monday Geoff Sargent posted his Welcome column about our new Music Camp directors. The piece includes everything that’s current on camp and offers a good introduction to our new directors, Peter and Janet. Click here.

The “List”--Bay Area bluegrass DJ Peter Thompson has just gotten his updated listing of all things bluegrass for the coming month out and about, including here on the CBA web site. A very useful list for the died-in-the-wool bluegrasser to bookmark. Click here.


And the winners are--You couldn’t hardly purport to present bluegrass news without covering this year’s results of the annual CBA Board of Director’s election. So here are the winners in alphabetical order.

David Brace
Darby Brandli
Bruce Campbell
Tim Edes
Montie Elston
Steve Goldfield
Dave Gooding
Mark Hogan
Jack Hyland
Jim Ingram
Geoff Sargent

It’s hard to say enough about these folks who readily commit a quarter of their Saturdays each year to handling the business of the Association. We wish the new members, David Brace and Dave Gooding well and their spouses even weller.


Lloyd Loar working his magic in the Gibson factory year unknown
 
Posted By:  Rick Cornish



Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email rickcornish7777@gmail.com.