A memorial celebration of Frank Wakfield is planned for the 5/11 Bluegrass Signal.

His Bluegrass Today obituary is reprinted at the end of this newsletter.

May 1, 2024

Greetings -

Happy May Day/International Workers' Day ... here's your more-or-less monthly newsletter listing the bluegrass and old time music events in our region -- and providing information about Bluegrass Signal, the weekly radio program on KALW (San Francisco) and syndicated via Bluegrass Country.

Thanks for sending me additions and corrections regarding upcoming bluegrass and old time music events. Please visit the Bluegrass Signal web site for constantly-updated event listings and radio show playlists, as well as a number of items and articles of interest to bluegrass and old time music fans.

I hope you're able to hear and/or play some music soon -



The Alum Ridge Boys & Ashlee -

- May 1: Redwood Cafe, Cotati

- May 2: house concert in Santa Cruz; Concerts-at-InstantHarmony-dot-com 

- May 3: Fifth Street Farms, Berkeley

- May 4: The Pearl, Locke

- May 8: Peri's Tavern, Fairfax

May 1: Bean Creek - Sam's BBQ, San Jose

May 2: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

May 2: Benny Bleu w/ Allison Steele and BanjerDan - The Ugly Mug Cafe, Soquel

May 3: Keystone Canyon - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

May 3: The Buckeye Boys - Aqus Cafe, Petaluma

May 4 (11am): Sweet Sally - Gather, Berkeley

May 4 (11 am): Solid Gold Stranger - Salesforce Park, SF

May 4: May the Fourth Be With You - Star Trek vs Star Wars Cosplay Party & Square Dance - Ashkenaz, Berkeley; music: Skillet Licorice; callers: Evie Ladin & Robin Fischer 

May 5 (2 pm): John Barleycorn - Ruhstaller Farms, Dixon

May 5: Crying Uncle BG Band - house concert in Santa Cruz; spalazzo-at-cruzio-dot-com

May 5: The Whiskey Brothers - Armistice Brewing, Richmond

May 7 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

May 9: Mike Compton & Joe Newberry - The Back Room, Berkeley

​May 9: Mr Sun - Sweetwater, Mill Valley

May 9: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

May 9: Chad & Jasper Manning's Bluegrass & Beyond - Kensington Circus Pub

AJ Lee & Blue Summit -

- May 9: Humboldt Brews, Arcata

- May 10: Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol

- May 11: Moe's Alley, Santa Cruz

May 10: Feral Friday Square Dance - Polish Hall, SF

May 11 (1 pm): Bluegrass Holiday - Hop Dogma, Half Moon Bay

​May 11: Bluegrass Holiday - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

May 12 (2 pm): Scroggins & Rose - The Hillside Club, Berkeley

May 12: Trouble Town - The Riptide, SF

May 13: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

May 14 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

Missy Raines & Allegheny with Robbie Fulks -

- May 15: Hopmonk, Sebastopol

- May 16: Harlow’s, Sacramento

- May 17: Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

May 15 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice with Allegra Thompson & Rowan McCallister - Filoli Gardens, Woodside

May 15: Sidesaddle & Co. - Sam's BBQ, San Jose

May 16: The Crooked Jades - Fifth Street Farms, Berkeley

May 16: - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

May 17: Edgar Loudermilk Band - Otter Opry, Monterey

May 18 (11 am): Sweet Sally - Mill Valley Lumber Yard

May 18: Savannah Blu - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

May 18: John McEuen & the Circle Band - Sweetwater, Mill Valley

May 21 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

May 23: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

May 23: Cedar Mountain String Band - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

Aoife O'Donovan & Hawktail -

- May 23: Little Saint, Healdsburg 

- May 24: Guild Theatre, Menlo Park

May 24: Kathy Kallick Band - Fifth Street Farms, Berkeley

May 24: Larry & Joe - house concert in Santa Cruz; Concerts-at-InstantHarmony-dot-com

​May 24: Allison DeGroot & Tatiana Hargreaves - The Lost Church, SF

May 24: Solid Gold Stranger - Mantra Wines, Novato

May 25 (1 pm): Bearcat Stringband - Cato's Ale House, Oakland

May 25: Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

May 28 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

May 29: Dark Hollow - Sam’s BBQ, San Jose

May 30: Crooked Holler String Band - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

May 31: T Sisters - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

June 1-2: Redwood Mountain Faire - Felton - with Painted Mandolin, Broken Compass Bluegrass, Kentucky Mule, many others

June 2: Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell - house concert in Santa Cruz; spalazzo-at-cruzio-dot-com

June 2: The Whiskey Brothers - Armistice Brewing, Richmond

June 4 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

June 5: Bean Creek - Sam's BBQ, San Jose

June 6: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

June 7: The Buckeye Boys - Aqus Cafe, Petaluma

June 8 (1 pm): Bearcat Stringband - Cato's Ale House, Oakland

June 9: Trouble Town - The Riptide, SF

June 11 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

June 13: Chad & Jasper Manning's Bluegrass & Beyond - Kensington Circus Pub

June 14: Alison Brown - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

June 15: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway; Old Crow Medicine Show - Fox Theater, Oakland

June 18 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

June 18: Sidesaddle & Co. - Sam's BBQ, San Jose

June 18: Country GongBang - Otter Opry, Monterey 

June 20: Bluegrass Holiday - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

June 22 (11 am - 6 pm): San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival & Pride Bluegrass Celebration - Salesforce Park, SF

June 22 (2-7 pm): KALW On-Air Folk Festival

June 22: Jordan Tice & Patrick McGonigle - Fifth Street Farms, Berkeley

June 25 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

June 27: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

June 27: Cedar Mountain String Band - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

June 28: Della Mae - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

Paper Wings -

- June 29: Fifth Street Farms, Berkeley 

- June 30: house concert in SF; EchoesinTheValleyConcerts-at-gmail-dot-com

July 2 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

July 3: Bean Creek - Sam's BBQ, San Jose

July 4: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

July 4: The Buckeye Boys - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

July 5: The Buckeye Boys - Aqus Cafe, Petaluma

Jacob Jolliff Band - 

- July 5: Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

- July 7: Crazy J Ranch, Topanga; crazyjtopanga-at-gmail-dot-com

- July 8: Bristols Cider House, Atascadero

- July 9: Otter Opry, Monterey

- July 10: The Arcata Playhouse

July 6: Sam Grisman Project - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

July 7: The Whiskey Brothers - Armistice Brewing, Richmond

July 9 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

July 11: Blue & Lonesome - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

July 11: Chad & Jasper Manning's Bluegrass & Beyond - Kensington Circus Pub

July 12: Feral Friday Square Dance - Polish Hall, SF

July 12: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band - Redwood Cafe, Cotati

July 13 (1 pm): Bearcat Stringband - Cato's Ale House, Oakland

July 14: Trouble Town - The Riptide, SF

July 16 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

July 23 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

July 25: Bloomfield Bluegrass Band - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma

July 30 (5 pm): Skillet Licorice (and guests) - The Page, SF

Aug. 3: Mission Blue - The Back Room, Berkeley

Aug. 8: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Napa Town & Country Fair

Aug. 17-18: Billy Strings - The Greek Theatre, Berkeley


May 10-12: Parkfield Bluegrass Festival, Parkfield

Mr Sun; Edgar Loudermilk Band; Never Come Down; Alum Ridge Boys w Ashlee; Stillhouse Junkies; Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band; Central Valley Boys; Blue Birds On A Wire; Who's Feeling Young Now; Clements Brothers; Mountain Highway; SLO County Stumblers; Amber Cross

May 22-27: Strawberry Music Festival - Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

Tim O’Brien Band; Aoife O’Donovan & Hawktail; Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley; Kathy Kallick Band; Authentic Unlimited; AJ Lee & Blue Summit; Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band; Pascal Bokar’s Afrobluegrazz Band; Caltucky; Robert Randolph Band; Big Richard; Roy Rogers; Marley's Ghost; Goodnight Texas; Jason Lang; Chatham Rabbits; Yasmin Williams; Sugarcane Jane; David Wilcox; Jimbo Scott & Yesterday's Biscuits; Banana Slug SB

June 13-16: CBA Father's Day Festival - Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

  • Main Stage

Thur/Fri: Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass, Tray Wellington Band, The Horsenecks, Rick Faris Band, Country GongBang

Fri/Sat: Sister Sadie

Sat/Sun: Alison Brown, Lonesome River Band, Paul Brown & Terri McMurray, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

  • California Showcase Bands

Thur/Fri: One Button Suit, Trouble Town

Fri/Sat: Salty Sally

Sat/Sun: Solid Gold Stranger, Caltucky

  • Vern's Stage

Thur: Hay Blackbird, Lonesome Still, Lucas Lawson & The Unturned Stone, Savage Bond, Crooked Holler String Band

Fri: John Barleycorn, Mostly Marys, Mission Blue Duet, Town Howlers, Welcome West

Sat: B*Craft Stringband, Bean Creek, Bluegrass Holiday, Clinton Davis String Band, Harlin and Feeney, Hydra-Matic Drive

Sun: Sycamore Bend

  • Separate tickets

Fri (11:30 pm): Laurie Lewis & Friends: Celebrating Women in Bluegrass - Ponderosa Hall

Sat (11:30 pm): Frank Solivan & Friends: The Grass Valley Spirit - Ponderosa Hall

July 4-7: High Sierra Music Festival - Plumas County Fairgrounds, Quincy

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Greensky Bluegrass, Sam Grisman Project, many others

July 19-21: Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival - Etna (CA) City Park

Frank Ray & Cedar Hill; One Button Suit; Central Valley Boys; Eight Dollar Mountain; The Rosa Lees; 33 String Drive

Aug. 8-11: Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival - San Benito County Historical Park

Bean Creek, Blue Birds On A Wire, Bluegrass Holiday, Brent Pierce & His Acid Grass Boys, Dark Hollow, Dirty Cello, Honey Run, Late for the Train, Lonesome Still, Lucas Lawson, Mission Blue, Red Dog Ash, Salty Sally Band, Sidesaddle & Co., Sunny Side of the Mountain, The Goat Hill Girls, The Storytellers, Trouble Town, Water Tower, Whole Hog

Aug. 16-18: Dead On the Creek - Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville

Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band, Broken Compass Bluegrass, Never Come Down, Caltucky, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, Garcia-Grisman Revisited, others

Oct. 9-13: Frankly Bluegrass Music Festival - Amador County Fairgrounds, Plymouth

Special Consensus, Dave Atkins & Mountain Soul, Frank Solivan & Chris Luquette, Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa, Kentucky Sky Bluegrass Band, Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band, The Central Valley Boys, Broken Compass Bluegrass, Honey Buckets, Kids on Bluegrass



Aug. 22-25: Golden Old Time Campout - Camp Russian River, Guerneville

Sept. 22-25: Fall JAMboree - Ruhstaller Farm, Dixon

classes, jamming, workshops, campout

Oct. 14-20: CBA Fall Campout - Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, Lodi

​Nov. 1-3: South State 48 - Carlsbad by the Sea Hotel, Carlsbad


Sundays (11 am): Market & Main (upstairs), Martinez

Sundays (4 pm): The Lucky Horseshoe, SF; performance bluegrass jam led by Ron Esparza

Sundays (6 pm): Tam Jam - invitational jam at Taste of Rome, 1000 Bridgeway, Sausalito

May 5: Old Time night w/ Rowan McCallister, Tom Diamant, Michael Small, others

First Sundays (1 pm): Santa Clara Valley Fiddlers Association - Hoover Middle School, Naglee & Park, San Jose

Second Sundays (3 pm): North Bay Old Time Music Sessions - Redwood Cafe, 8240 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati; host/info: heidi-dot-chesney-at-gmail-dot-com​

(mostly) Second Sundays (3 pm): Old Time Jam w/ Tony Phillips - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

next jams: 5/12, 6/9

(mostly) Second Sundays (4 pm): Marin Bluegrass Sessions - Mantra Wines, 881 Grant Ave., Novato

5/5 support band: Bruce Sadownick, Tom Sours, Bob Hoffman, Mary Kussmaul, Ted Kuster

​Third Sundays (1 pm): old time jam hosted by Bruce Thompson & others - The Way Station, Fairfax

Third Sundays (1 pm): SCVFA jam - South Bay/Peninsula parks (changes each month; cancelled if rain)

Fourth Sundays (noon): Sweetwater, Mill Valley; bruce-dot-sadownick-at-gmail-dot-com

Fourth Sundays (1:30 pm): California State Old-Time Fiddlers District 9 bluegrass and old time jams - United Methodist Church, Castro Valley; 

info: steve-dot-goldfield-at-gmail.com 

Fourth Sundays (3 pm): Redwood Cafe, Cotati; tedkuster-at-californiabluegrass-dot-net​

​(mostly) Fourth Sundays (3 pm): Bluegrass & Country Jam w/ Richard Brandenburg - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley

next jam: 5/26

Fifth Sundays (1 pm): Sebastopol Grange Hall; info: socofoso-at-gmail-dot-com

Mondays (6:30 pm) open jam, followed (at 8:30 pm) by band performance - Blondies, SF; host/info: woodylauer-at-gmail-dot-com

5/6: Bluegrass Holiday

5/13: High Water Line

5/20: John Barleycorn

5/27: Windy Hill & Solid Gold Stranger (Memorial Day Special)

Mondays (7-9 pm): South Bay (Mostly) Old Time Jam - Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston Rd., Palo Alto

First Monday (6 pm): The Garage Jam - Out West Roadhouse, 321-2nd St., Petaluma; host/info: tedkuster-at-californiabluegrass-dot-net​

Tuesdays (7 pm): Hotel Utah, SF; host/info: woodylauer-at-gmail-dot-com

Second & Fourth Tuesdays (7 pm): Dublin Heritage Center Park (usually in the Old Schoolhouse), Dublin; host/info: bob-dot-gisler-at-icloud-dot-com

Fourth Tuesdays (6:30 pm): Baygrass Collective Bluegrass Jam - Cato's Ale House, 3891 Piedmont Ave., Oakland; host/info: cheney-dot-munson-at-gmail-dot-com

next jam: 5/28

Wednesdays (6:00 pm): East Bay Bluegrassers Jam - Rockin' Robbie's Music Store, 2nd Fl, 11231 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito; host/info: eastbaybluegrassers-at-gmail-dot-com

Wednesdays (6:00 pm): Hop Jam - invitational jam at Hop Dogma Brewing Co., 270 Capistrano Rd., Half Moon Bay

May 8: David Bernard, Judah Rosenheim, Francesca Civoli, Ted Silverman, Ian Keaney

(mostly) Third Wednesdays (6 pm): Grape Jam - invitational jam at Redwood Cafe, Cotati

May 15: Patrick Campbell, Christine Wilhoyte, Korey Kassir, Dave Hanks, Steve Hutchinson

Thursdays (5:30 pm): open jam, followed (at 7:00 pm) by invitational band - The Liberties, SF; host/info: woodylauer-at-gmail-dot-com

5/2: The Far Out Johnnies

5/9: John Barleycorn

5/16: Yoseff Tucker Band

5/23: Trouble Town

5/30: Jesse Appleman's Bluegrass Aces

Thursdays (7 pm): Java Jam - invitational jam at Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, 101 W Main St., LG

May 2: Jim Mintun, John Woolfolk, Ryan Triolo, Alan Bond, Judy Forrest

First Thursdays (7 pm): Marin Lutheran Church, 649 Meadowsweet Ave., Corte Madera; host/info: loew-at-comcast-dot-net

Second & Fourth Thursdays (7 pm): Sonoma Town Bluegrass Jam - Room 110, Sonoma Community Center; info: tedkuster-at-californiabluegrass-dot-net

hosted by Chandra Friese and CW Bayer

Second and Fourth Thursdays (6:00 pm): Old time music jam - Atlas Cafe, 3049 20th St. (at Alabama), SF; host/info: dzimej-at-gmail-dot-com

Fifth Thursdays (7 pm): Sonoma County Bluegrass Sessions: open jam with host band - Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma; info: tedkuster-at-californiabluegrass-dot-net

Saturdays (5:30 pm): Taco Jam - invitational jam at Baja Taqueria, 4070 Piedmont Ave., Oakland

May 4: Tom Bekeny, Ted Kuster, Claire Simmons, Mary Felton, Mike Thompson

Second Saturdays (11 am): Lucas Valley Old Time Jam - Rotary Village Community Center, San Rafael; everevolving-at-earthlink-dot-net

Second Saturdays (12 pm): Bluegrass Train Jam - Santa Clara Depot, 1005 Railroad Ave, SC; host/info: kennedymk-at-comcast-dot-net

Second Sundays (1 pm): Barbary Bluegrass jam - Belle Cora, 565 Green St., SF; host/info: inakabee-at-gmail-dot-com

Second Saturdays (4 pm): Baygrass Collective Bluegrass Jam - Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

next jam: 5/11

Third Saturdays (noon): Americana slow jam - Liberties Bar, 998 Guerrero St., SF; deirdre-dot-cassandra.music-at-gmail-dot-com​

Third Saturdays (4 pm): The Shred Sesh (old time jam) - Starry Plough, Berkeley 

5/18: hosted by Connor Maguire 

6/15: no session (at Grass Valley)

7/20: hosted by Nick Lofaro 

8/17: hosted by Bearcat Stringband 

9/21: hosted by The Propagators


Tuesdays (7 pm): Andronico’s Oldtime Jam via Zoom led by Dinah and Noah Stroe; info/link: steve-dot-goldfield-at-gmail.com


BB Bowness' Bluegrass Banjo class at last summer's CBA Music Camp


The next session of in-person Freight & Salvage classes begins during the week of May 6 and runs through the week of June 10; classes include:


8:30 pm: Bluegrass Jam w/ Olivier Zyngier


5:30 pm: Introduction to Mountain Dulcimer w/ DJ Hamouris

7:00 pm: Fiddle Tunes for Mountain Dulcimer w/ DJ Hamouris


7:00 pm: Rhythym Guitar Basics w/ Richard Brandenburg

8:30 pm: Easy Jam Repertoire w/ Richard Brandenburg


The next session of online Freight & Salvage classes begins during the week of May 6 and runs through the week of June 10; classes include:


8 pm: Fiddle Repertoire with a Little Bit of Theory w/ Erik Hoffman


5:30 pm: Rank Beginner Clawhammer Banjo w/ Evie Ladin

7:00 pm: Clawhammer Banjo Repertoire and Technique w/ Evie Ladin

7:00 pm: Rhythm Guitar Basics w/ Richard Brandenburg

8:30 pm: Easy Jam Repertoire w/ Richard Brandenburg

ONLINE WORKSHOP at the Freight & Salvage

Sept. 7 (11 am): Africanisms in American Country Music w/ Joe Zavaan Johnson


Mon. & Wed.: Fiddles at Four w/ Suzy Thompson

Bay Area instructors include:

  • Richard Brandenburg; richard brandenburg-at-gmail-dot-com 
  • Evie Ladin; evie-at-evieladin-dot-com
  • Avram Siegel; avramsiegel-at-comcast-dot-net
  • Eric Thompson; eric-at-ericandsuzy-dot-com 
  • Suzy Thompson; suzy-at-ericandsuzy-dot-com 
  • Jack Tuttle; jack-at-jacktuttle-dot-com
  • Manning Music

Instructors: Chad Manning, Catherine Manning, Robin Fischer, Rowan McCallister, Leah Wollenberg, Yoseff Tucker, Arvram Siegel, Jasper Manning, Morgan Balfour

CBA music teacher directory


May 1-5: Julian Family Fiddle Camp - Whispering Winds Camp, Julian

Instructors include: BB Bowness (Banjo) * Mike Compton (Mandolin) * Nat Copeland (Beginner-mediate Fiddle) * Joseph Decosimo (Clawhammer Banjo) * Grant Gordy (Guitar Soloing) * Karen Celia Heil (Old-Time Fiddle) * Carolyn Kendrick (Beginner-mediate Fiddle) * Kimber Ludiker (Bluegrass/Texas-Style Fiddle) * Joe Newberry (Guitar) * Rachael Price (Vocals) * Luke Price (Artist at Large) * Vickie Vaughn (Bass) * Nina Weisman (Mandolin)

May 18-19: Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam Camp - Hollister

Instructors: Mike & Gail Thomas

June 9-12: CBA Music Camp - Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

Instructors: Jesse Appelman * Hasee Ciaccio * Masha Goodman Crawford & Geff Crawford * Nokosee Fields * Robin Fischer * ​Brandon Godman * Ryan Harlin * Laurie Lewis * Keith Little * Gabrielle Macrae * John Reischman * Kathleen Rushing and Ruth Duterte * Patrick Sauber * Barry Southern * Annie Staninec * Yoseff Tucker * Jack Tuttle * Trey Wellington * Eli West * Mike Witcher

June 13-16: CBA Youth Academy - Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

A four-day music camp for 8 to 16-year-olds held during the CBA Father’s Day Festival

June 23-29: Big Sur Fiddle Camp

Instructors: Renata Bratt, Georgy Gusev, Connor Maguire, Emily Mann, Nicholas Milosevich, Rebecca Stout, Victor Veysey, John Weed

July 8-21: California Coast Music Camp - retreat location in Monterey County, ~ 1.5 hr. south of San Jose

- Week 1 (7/8-14) instructors include Katie Glassman, Chris Grampp, Coty Hogue, Ed Johnson, Adam Kulakow, Cindy Browne Rosefield, Ethan Setiawan, Cyd Smith, Olivier Zyngier

- Week 2 (7/15-21) instructors include Nova Karina Devonie, Nina Gerber, Sylvia Herold, David Keenan, Adam Levy, Carol McComb, Greg Schochet, Leah Wollenberg, Radim Zenkl

July 12-14: Whole Music Camp - Soda Springs

Instructors: Keith Terry, Evie Ladin, Tessa Schwartz, Leah Wollenberg, Heather Grove, Sam Devine, Jan Fenwick, Amie Ferrier, Eli Ferrier

July 14-20: West Marin Fiddle Camp - Bolinas, CA

Instructors include: Riley Baugus, Peter Rowan, Cedric Watson, Nokosee Fields, Vivian Leva, Riley Calcagno, Rainy Miatke, Josh Rilko (of Sierra Ferrell), Oliver Bates Craven (of Sierra Ferrell)

July 27 - Aug. 23: Puget Sound Guitar Workshop - Bremerton, WA

- Session 1 (7/27 - 8/2) instructors include Laurel Bliss, Wayne Henderson, Devin Champlin, Kenny Feinstein, McKain Lakey, Nova Karina Devonie, Ethan Setiawan

- Session 2 (8/3-9) instructors include Jere & Greg Canote, Cara Luft, John Miller, Chris Grampp, Cindy Browne Rosefield, Mike Wollenberg, Kat Bula, Patrice Haan, Tony Marcus

- Session 3 (8/10-16) instructors include Sally Van Meter, Carol McComb, Adam Levy, Nina Gerber, Tom Moran, Coty Hogue

- Session 4 (8/17-23) instructors include Kathy Kallick, Cary Black, Paul Elliott, Orville Johnson, Steve Baughman, Marla Fibish, Roger Ferguson, Adam Roszkwiecz (Roscoe)

Aug. 22-26: Chris Thile’s Acousticamp - Pacific Grove, CA

Instructors: Chris Thile (mandolin), Sierra Hull (mandolin), Ashley Hoyer (mandolin), Brittany Haas (fiddle), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Paul Kowert (bass), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), Julian Lage (guitar), Michael Daves (guitar), Louis Cato (songwriting)


Just a few of many; May 27 - June 1 on Bluegrass Country Radio

Bluegrass Signal is broadcast on Saturdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm (Pacific) on KALW (91.7 FM in Bay Area). It is then archived for one week HERE.

May 4: Lonesome Pine Special

The Onlies live in concert -- and with a new single -- plus other new releases and reissues.

May 11: Frank Wakefield Memorial Celebration

Sampling 60 years of recordings by one of the true innovators on the mandolin.

May 18: Allegra Picks ‘Em & Plays ‘Em

What’s caught the ear of Ms. Thompson of late?

May 25: All Kinds Of Country

Sully picks 'em and plays 'em.

June 1: Membership Campaign Special

Your chance to contribute to this listener-supported radio station on behalf of music from the true vine.

Bluegrass Signal is also broadcast four times each week on Bluegrass Country

The initial broadcast of Bluegrass Signal is on Monday at 11 pm (Eastern time). The show is then rebroadcast on Wednesdays (midnight), Fridays (6 pm), and Sundays (midnight). The times given are EASTERN and the program is available HERE.

Bluegrass Country has an ARCHIVE PLAYERso you can pick the date and (Eastern) time of broadcast to hear Bluegrass Signal -- or any of the other 33 shows on Bluegrass Country -- at your convenience!

NOTE: Pacific Time broadcasts of Bluegrass Signal on Bluegrass Country: 

Mon. (8 pm), Tues. (9 pm), Fri. (3 pm), and Sat. (9 pm). 

April 29 - May 4: Across the Tracks

New releases from Steve Martin & Alison Brown, Tony Trischka (with Molly Tuttle & Sam Bush), Becky Buller Band, Viv & Riley, Paper Wings, Tray Wellington Band, Junior Sisk, Red Camel Collective, Mission Blue, and, you guessed it, others.

May 6-11: What's Goin' On 

Musical previews of the Berkeley Bluegrass Festival, with at least one song/tune from all the participants.

May 13-18: Across the Tracks

The Onlies live in concert -- and with a new single -- plus a few other new releases.

May 20-25 and May 27 - June 1: Sittin’ On Top Of the World aka What hath The Mississippi Sheiks wrought? 

A few interpretations by everyone from Bill Monroe and Doc Watson to Howlin’ Wolf and the Grateful Dead, including Bob Wills, Shelton Brothers, Mac Martin, Jack Cooke with Ralph Stanley, Mike Compton & Joe Newberry, Kathy Kallick & Tristan Scroggins, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Bob Paisley & The Southern Grass, Frank Wakefield, Del & Dawg, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Ray Charles, Tara Nevins, James "Blood" Ulmer with Alison Krauss, Bill Frisell & Danny Barnes, Robert Cray Band, Willie Nelson & Asleep At the Wheel (featuring Elizabeth McQueen), Sweet Honey In the Rock, and Cafe R&B.

Bluegrass Signal PLAYLISTS

Please visit the Bluegrass Signal web site for the the March and April, 2024, playlists -- and all the others!

The Black Banjo & Fiddle Fellowship (BBFF) is a collaboration between the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music and the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention. The BBFF project aims to repatriate old-time music in African American communities and illuminate the Black experience in creating old-time music. BBFF is a two-year paid fellowship program that trains Black musicians in old-time music and its rich history. To repair the historical and cultural ruptures that erased the Black origins of banjo and fiddle music and to ensure that the tradition is sustained in Black communities, the BBFF is also a teacher-training program. It will train apprentices to teach the music, ensuring that it can be passed down from generation to generation. 

“The Black Banjo and Fiddle Fellowship is a missing link in the propagation of the influence of the African American role in the development of American music. The African American experience touches every genre of music created in America … and it is important that the knowledge of this fact be cultivated in the African American musical community.”

- Dom Flemons, The American Songster; co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops

R.I.P., Frank Wakefield

Distinctive bluegrass mandolin stylist Frank Wakefield died on April 26th at his home in Sarasota Springs, NY. He was 89 years of age.

Born Franklin Delano Wakefield on June 26, 1934, in Emory Gap in east Tennessee, his family moved to Dayton, OH, when he was 16. There he developed his interest in the mandolin and launched a duo with brother Ralph on guitar. Two years later, he first teamed up with Red Allen, playing mandolin for several years with his Blue Ridge Mountain Boys.

His newfound notoriety as a skilled mandolinist with a twist on the Bill Monroe style led to work with Jimmy Martin and Marvin Cobb as well. Frank was back with Red Allen in 1958 and recorded a number of albums during this phase of his career, including Red Allen, Frank Wakefield & The Kentuckians: Bluegrass and Red Allen and Frank Wakefield: The Kitchen Tapes.

By this time, he was living in the Washington, DC, area, where Allen had likewise relocated. In DC, he first met Bill Monroe, and received the classic admonition from Big Mon that he needed to get his own style, after Bill heard Frank playing just like his records. He also first met David Grisman who had requested a lesson, and came down from New York for that purpose. Grisman eventually took his place with Red Allen when Red and Frank’s combative relationship severed their ties.

In 1965, he replaced fellow legend Ralph Rinzler in The Greenbrier Boys, a very modern bluegrass band in their day. Frank moved to New York to join them. The group had been formed in the midst of the folk boom in New York, and were perhaps the first successful bluegrass act from the northeast. Frank stayed with them until they disbanded in 1970, having won raves reviews for both his unique and slightly irreverent mandolin style, and his singing which added a more “authentic” bluegrass sound to the Boys.

A handsome young man, with a lively personality and a marvelous, quirky sense of humor, Wakefield thrived with The Greenbrier Boys, and launched his solo career when they broke up. Though he collaborated and toured with many other influential artists, like Jerry Garcia and the New Riders of the Purple Sage, he remained a solo entertainer with his own band, initially The Good Ol’ Boys, later renamed The Frank Wakefield Band. 

In addition to his fine mandolin playing, he developed a stage banter involving talking backwards, or “backing talkwards,” as he called it. Frank never went to school, and didn’t even learn to read and write until his late twenties, but his facility with language was both fascinating and hilarious.

In 1972, Rounder Records released a Frank Wakefield record with support from Country Cooking, which included future greats Tony Trischka, Pete Wernick, Russ Barenberg, John Miller, Kenny Kosek, and Harry Gilmore. Frank has told people that the still fledgeling label contacted him following a profile of him that had appeared in Rolling Stone.

After a number of solo band projects, he was “discovered” again by a new generation of mandolinists when he was featured on the Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza album in 1999, along with Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Bobby Osborne, Ricky Skaggs, and Jesse McReynolds.

A number of now-classic mandolin tunes were written by Frank Wakefield, including a string of them which he titled simply "Jesus Loves His Mandolin Player," with a number following to designate one from the others. But surely his most familiar number is "New Camptown Races," which he wrote back before anyone knew his name.

Another of Frank’s odd habits was his determination that putting his mandolin in the oven actually improved its tone. He made this discovery after he had decided to paint his mandolin red with a can of spray paint, and slipped it in the oven to dry the paint faster. When he felt that it improved the sound, he began to “bake it” at regular intervals. He is quoted saying, “I baked it for about 20 minutes. It was just at the temperature where it wouldn’t melt the paint, but it dried the paint I had on the top of it. I figured that really did a number on it, but actually I thought it sounded better … a lot of it is psychological.”

A true original. There will never be another.

Frank Wakefield is recognized as among the crucial early mandolin players following Bill Monroe, and is seen as an important link in the chain that also includes Bobby Osborne, Herschel Sizemore, and Jesse McReynolds in the development of bluegrass mandolin.

A graveside service will be held at noon on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at Greenridge Cemetery in Saratoga Springs, NY.

R.I.P., Frank Wakefield.

- John Lawless, Bluegrass Today


Frank Wakefield’s mandolin playing is a mixture of “bouzouki plate‐smashing music, bluegrass runs, and baroque counterpoint.” 

- Timothy Crouse, Rolling Stone 

Frank Wakefield “split the bluegrass atom.”

- David Grisman

"Y'all come again when ya cain't stay so long!”

- Wake Frankfield