Two local Santa Cruz bluegrass bands, Bean Creek and The Abbott Brothers headline the official after-party of the Redwood Mountain Faire on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 7pm at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA. This year, Bean Creek was named “Best Bluegrass Band” by the Northern California Bluegrass Society, and individual members of the band also received awards, Billy Pitrone for “Best Male Vocalist,” Rob Horgan for “Best Banjo Player,” and Pete Hicks for “Best Mandolin Player.” The always engaging young Abbott Brothers will present energetic versions of classic honky-tonk and country songs, and old-time brother duets as well as straight ahead bluegrass and sizzling instrumentals.
The 28th Annual Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair is a FREE event on Saturday afternoon, May 3, 2014, outdoors on the Duck Pond Stage in San Lorenzo Park. The Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society (aka Northern California Bluegrass Society) sponsors this event, and invited five bands to play this year: The Lampel Brothers with Jim Lewin (noon), The Eddie DuCommun Band with Luke Abbott (1:15), The Naked Bootleggers (2:30), Bean Creek (3:45) and The Harmony Grits (5:00). Bring a blanket or low back chair for lawn seating, along with sunscreen and a hat. There’ll be food and drink available to purchase or bring your own, but this city park requests that you leave alcohol and your dogs at home.
The 3rd annual Seabright Stringfest is a cavalcade of continuous acoustic music. This FREE event features 10 bands: Earl, Adrienne, Myles (oldtime rags); The Wakerobins (Americana/oldtimey); Theo and Dave (traditional Irish); Happy Chappies (traditional world music); The Percolators (Quebecois, oldtimey and traditional world music); Ragged But Right (oldtimey); Suzanne and Jim (traditional Americana roots); Redwood Ramblers (oldtimey); Earl White Stringband (oldtimey) and Bean Creek (bluegrass). The Seabright Stringfest takes place his Saturday, April 19th from 11 am-10 pm on the Seabright Brewery/Java Junction Patio in Santa Cruz.
The weekend-long Spring Brookdale Bluegrass Festival has moved 25 miles up the coast from Santa Cruz to Pescadero, CA, north of Año Nuevo State Park on Highway 1 to the Costanoa Lodge. Concerts start at 5:00pm on Friday evening March 7, 2014 followed by all-night jamming. Pete Wernick and Jean Butterfield will lead workshops Saturday morning, followed by more concerts and non-stop jamming. The festival will conclude with an open mic on Sunday morning. Performers include Pete & Joan Wernick, David Thom and Jim Lewin, the Naked Bootleggers, Bill Evans, Cactus Bob & Prairie Flower, Regina Bartlett and Friends, The Stoney Mountain Ramblers, The Tuttles with A.J. Lee (sans Molly Tuttle who is away at college), and many others. Tickets are available for all or part of the weekend, as is lodging. No worries about the weather, as performances will be indoors as needed.
Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Peter Rowan will be performing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Friday evening, December 6, 2013 at 8pm. Peter has had a long history as a bluegrass performer, starting out professionally as a singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter in Bill Monroe’s band. In the late 60′s and early 70′s, Peter’s musical sphere expanded to include participation in other rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including stints with the Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner and a band with his siblings as The Rowan Brothers. One of his better known songs “Panama Red” gained notoriety while playing in the Old & In the Way band, which included David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and others. He has more recently embarked on a successful solo career, but also still performs in several other bands, including the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory, and The Free Mexican Airforce.
The last stop of the 2nd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza tour will be at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA for a 2pm matinee show on Sunday, November 17, 2013, led by Tony Trischka, Sammy Shelor, and Bill Evans, who are well known in the world of bluegrass. Tony Trischka’s banjo playing has pushed the envelope beyond bluegrass into “new acoustic music” territory with elements of jazz and blues, and he’s released more than 30 albums, has developed music for films and documentaries, published books, and been nominated for a Grammy. Sammy Shelor currently leads the Lonesome River Band, has won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and previously performed with the Virginia Squires and Sonny Osborne. Bill Evans is currently living in the Bay Area, playing with a number of different bands, and is the author of the best-selling “Banjo for Dummies” instructional book. They’ll be backed by a band of bluegrass all-stars, including John Reischman on mandolin, Jim Nunally on guitar, Chad Manning on fiddle, and Sharon Gilchrist on bass.