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Dirty Cello

San Francisco Free Folk Festival, June 21-22

Coming up this weekend is the 38th Annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival, Sat-Sun June 21-22, 2014, with continuous concerts, workshops, dancing, and acoustic jamming from noon-10pm each day at Presidio Middle School in San Francisco. While donations will be accepted, this is a free event sponsored by the venerable San Francisco Folk Music Club. There’ll be over 60 live performances (including Banjo Babes Review, the Wronglers, Windy Hill, The Rowan Brothers, Sylvia Herold Ensemble), 100+ music workshops (various instruments including guitar, harmonica, accordion, fiddle, ukulele) and singing styles (including folk, blues, jazz standards, honky-tonk), dance workshops (from Zydeco to Bollywood, African, Country Western, English, French, Latin and more) and family activities (puppet show, singing, storytelling, build-your-own instrument and band jamming) during the day, plus more concerts and evening dance parties (contras and squares, English-Irish-Scottish, Cajun, and other International dances). You’ll need to choose between many activities each hour, so take a look at the four-page Festival Schedule for the lowdown.

 

abbott-brothers

Bean Creek plus The Abbott Brothers, Sun June 1st

Bean-Creek-FDF12-3172-409Two 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.

Bean Creek 2013

Santa Cruz Bluegrass Fair, Sat May 3rd

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.

Happy Chappies

Seabright Stringfest April 19th

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.

celtic-fiddle-festival

Celtic Fiddle Festival Sun April 13th

Masters of traditional Celtic fiddling converge for a performance at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA  on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 7:00pm. The Celtic Fiddle Festival band features Irish fiddler Kevin Burke (Bothy Band, Patrick Street), Breton fiddler Christian Lemaitre (Kornog) and Quebecois fiddler André Brunet (De Temps Antan, La Bottine Souriante) backed by acclaimed Breton guitarist Nicholas Quemener. They’re celebrating the release of their 6th album, “Live in Brittany.” Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.

 

Solas in wheelhouse

Solas, Sun April 6th, 2pm

Acclaimed Irish-American band Solas will be presenting traditional and original Irish tunes and songs at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 2pm. This matinee show will feature the story of “Shamrock City,” about a mining town in Butte, Montana through the eyes of an Irish immigrant (Michael Conway, the great-great uncle of Seamus Egan, one of the founders of Solas) at the turn of the 20th century in a multimedia presentation. Solas has been performing together for some 18 years, releasing 11 albums and winning the award for Best Celtic Recording from the Association for Independent Music three times. They’re known for their fresh arrangements of old traditional tunes plus compelling topical original songs. Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (fiddle, vocals) anchor the band and are joined by Mick McAuley (accordions, low whistle, concertina, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and newest member and lead singer, Niamh Varian-Barry. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay.