By May 5, 2014 Read More →

AcousticView – Splendor in the Bluegrass

Acoustic View By Aaron Rowan

Splendor In The Bluegrass

Last autumn I spent a weekend volunteering at one of the many festivals sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association. What great times those were! Local songwriter Rainy Escobar is a good friend of mine, and her love of the genre has slowly imprinted itself upon me. I should like to see the genre have a greater presence in our city.

We featured a bit of bluegrass at the recently wrapped MUMfest, but this month we’ll be doing a mini-festival called Sweet Sassy Bluegrassy. Saturday 5/24, a few bands will play various shades of bluegrass and old-timey sounds. With us will be Chelsea McBee from West Virginia, singing sweet harmonies with her sister; folkgrass duo The Littlest Birds, featuring banjoist Sharon Martinson (featured in the official 2014 Banjo Babes Calendar) complemented by cellist David Huebner (formerly principal cellist of the Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra); Bay Area bluegrass/folk outfit Old Belle; all-star string band revue The Mountain Men from Mariposa; and Turlock/Merced-based group The Poor Valley Band, who were lots of fun at MUMfest last month. Doors are at 6 and show will start at 7 PM at Prospect Theater, 1214 K St. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 at door. Email to get yours.

Saturday 5/3 – The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit w/ acclaimed Canadian folk group The Sumner Brothers, plus Cole Thomason and The Pine Box Boys at State Theater, 8 PM.

Saturday 5/10 – celebrate our rich agricultural heritage with a day of food, music, art and more at the centennial event of the Stanislaus County Ag Center. I’ll be co-hosting the art & music stage. The performance roster is still being shaped, but our star headliner is Sarah Peacock, originally from Atlanta and now making a big splash in Nashville. She will captivate you with her gorgeous country-pop tunes. There will also be an array of local painters displaying works, wrangled together by artistic visionary Julie Hawk, my co-host of the art/music station. This free event runs from 10am to 4pm at 3800 Cornucopia Dr. off Crows Landing Rd.

Friday 5/16 – acoustic listening concert with Megan McLaughlin, Steve Meckfessel and Rainy Escobar, 7:30 PM. See the Great Valley Songwriter Series FB page for info on this.

Sunday 5/18 – house concert & potluck featuring Connecticut State Troubadour Kristen Graves at Hotel Euterpe. Call 209-543-5306 or email to RSVP.

Friday 5/30, see Patty Castillo Davis and Raylene Kemp, two of our finest local country-rock singer/songwriters and alumni of the Durango Songwriting Expo, in an intimate showcase in the round at Barkin’ Dog Grill. 7-9 PM, $5 cover for this ‘Front Porch Country’ showcase.

Friday 5/30-Sunday 6/1 – the annual Riverdance Farms Pick & Gather event in Livingston will feature food, art, and acoustic performances by Patty Castillo Davis, Cottonwood Creek, Gail Dreifus and several more. Visit for more info.



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