Looking Ahead To The 2016 October Bluegrass & Beyond Festivals

The outdoor bluegrass festival season in Northern California ends next month, but some of the year’s best are in October, including the world’s largest bluegrass festival — Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, many Northern California bluegrass bands and fans will head for Raleigh, NC for the international bluegrass convention and music party — the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World Of Bluegrass.

There are many other great festivals and campouts to enjoy, including a new bluegrass festival at Prusch Farm Park in San Jose with many familiar faces.

Join your friends who are Northern California Bluegrass Society Members and catch some festival fun!

Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre, San Francisco

The CBA Fall Campout wil be held in Lodi.


September 27 October 1 – IBMA World Of Bluegrass, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, NC.

September 30-October 2 – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

September 30-October 2 & 7-9 — Austin City Limits Festival, Zilker Park, Austin, TX.

1 — Prusch Farm Mountain Music Festival, Emma Prusch Farm Park, San Jose.

1-2 – Dixon Lambtown Festival, Dixon May Fair Grounds, Dixon.

7-10 – Yosemite Songwriting Retreat, Yosemite Bug Resort, Midpines.

8 — El Cerrito Free Folk Festival, El Cerrito High School, El Cerrito.

10 — Arizona Bluegrass Film Festival & Bluegrass Band Showdown, Cattle Track Theater, Scottsdale, AZ.

10-11 – Heritage Harvest Festival, Historic Hawes Farms, Anderson.

Formerly, the Hangtown Halloween Ball.

11 — Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention & Festival, Stow House, Goleta.

13-16 – Folk Alliance Region West Music Conference, Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, WA.

15 — The Bluegrass Festival, Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre, McLaren Park, San Francisco.

17-23 – CBA Fall Campout, Grape Festival Fairground, Lodi.

20-23 —  Hangtown Music Festival, El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Placerville.

21-23 — Logandale Bluegrass Fall Festival, Clark County Fairgrounds, Logandale, NV.

22 – Northern California Women’s Music Festival, Gallo Center For The Arts, Modesto.

Heathen Hill To Perform This Thursday At The Summit House On Highway 17

A Summit House mountain view.

The Santa Cruz-based Heathen Hill band will perform  at the FREE Summit House Thursday Bluegrass Series on September 22.

The weekly series runs every Thursday evening from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Summit House Beer Garden & Grill at the top of Highway 17 between Los Gatos & Scott’s Valley. The last Thursday of September will feature Hidden Still.

The series is presented by the Summit House and welcomed by the Northern California Bluegrass Society. Good food and drink are served during the performance. The place offers endless views of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

NCBS Volunteer Party Set For Saturday, October 29

The Volunteer Party!

The Northern California Bluegrass Society’s 2016 Volunteer Thank You Party will be held on Saturday, October 29 at an undisclosed location.

Volunteers and bands from all NCBS events and other projects over the past year will receive an invitation soon.

This Week’s Bluegrass Highlights For Northern California

Spencer & Rains

Due to software upgrade work on the NCBS website several weeks ago, there was no monthly highlights article for September. Other coverage of suggested bluegrass events is being published during the month.

Here are some selected shows coming up for the week of September 19-24. Enjoy!



Windy Hill, Amnesia, San Francisco.

Bean Creek, Phil’s Fish Market, Moss Landing.


Cabin Fever, Sam’s BBQ, San Jose.

Spencer & Rains, (House Concert) SV.houseconcerts (at) gmail (dot) com, Mountain View.

Glad To Be Here, Phil’s Fish Market, Moss Landing.

Billy D With Fiddlin’ Cal Garland & Brian Fisher, Lorin Rowan, Karen Bradley & Carl Green, Fenix, San Rafael.

Loudon Wainwright III, Freight & Salvage, Berkeley.


Hot October Bluegrass Band, Wendy Burch Steel, Freight & Salvage, Berkeley.

Sam's BBQ

Sidesaddle & Co, Sam’s Co, San Jose.

No Holds Barred, Plough & Stars, San Francisco.

Billy & Sara & Friends, Phil’s Fish Market, Moss Landing.


Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, various venues, Berkeley


Heathen Hill, Summit House, Los Gatos. (NCBS welcomed)

Old Belle, Atlas Cafe, San Francisco.

Blue & Lonesome, Willowbrook Ale House, Petaluma.

Iris DeMent, Loudon Wainwright III, Golden State Theatre, Monterey

Iris Dement

Mill Creek Ramblers, Mission Pizza, Fremont.

Stoney Mountain Ramblers, Alice’s Restaurant, Sky Londa.


Lost Sierra Hoedown, Plumas Eureka State Park, Graeagle.


SCGC Love Your Local Artist Night, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz. (Sold out)

Black Eyed Susies, Whale City Bakery, Davenport.

The True West, lille aeske, Boulder Creek.

Jeanie & Chuck Poling, The Wronglers, Tonya Newstetter & Niki Savage, Maurice Tani & Mike Anderson, Free Range Friday, La Promenade Cafe, San Francisco.

The Shook Twins

The Shook Twins, Go By Ocean, Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley.

The Usual Suspects, The Fireside Lounge, Alameda.

Mill Creek Ramblers, Mission Pizza, Fremont.

Iris DeMent, Loudon Wainwright III, Uptown Theatre, Napa.

Sweet Lillies, Crazy Horse Saloon, Nevada City.

Edgewood Mountain Boys, St. James Gate, Belmont.

Columbia Fiddle & Bango Contest


Unity Festival, Russian River, Guerneville.


Santa Cruz Guitar Company 40th Anniversary Concert, Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz.

Sutter Creek Theatre

Columbia Fiddle & Bango Contest, Columbia

Beargrass Creek, Mission Pizza, Fremont.

Joe Craven & The Sometimers, Sutter Creek Theatre, Sutter Creek.

Sugar By The Pound, Junction Park, Boulder Creek.

The Jones Gang, Zion Lutheran Church, Oakland.

Dusty Shoes, Station Grill, Grover Beach.

Dolly Parton, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View.

Five Week Reminder: 2017 NCBS Film Festival Submissions Are Due On October 22

Five Week Reminder: Film submissions for the 10th Annual NCBS Bluegrass Film Festival are due on October 22, 2016.

The film festival is part of the FREE Bluegrass On Broadway Festival, set for January 27-29, 2017 in Redwood City.

Information About The NCBS Volunteer Party Will Be Announced Soon

The NCBS Volunteer Party!

A Volunteer Party Jam

The Northern California Bluegrass Society loves its volunteers!

Each year, the Society hosts the Bluegrass Party Of The Year to honor the folks that step up all year long to Make The Music Happen!

Information about the 2016 party will be announced very soon and all volunteers will receive their coveted invitations.

The party is for all Society volunteers and bands on any NCBS event or project in the past year.

Three Week Reminder: Nominations For The 2017 Northern California Bluegrass Awards Are Due October 8

Three Week Reminder: Nominations for the 2017 Northern California Bluegrass Awards are due on October 8, 2016.

Categories: Band, Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Fiddle, Dobro, & Bass. The awards honor primarily non-touring Northern California bluegrass bands and musicians. Each person may nominate up to three in each category.

Paper nominations are accepted at the NCBS Booth at events or nominations may be made by  (E-Mail) hallmw (at) gmail (dot) com.

Two rounds of ballots will be sent to NCBS Members and the award ceremony will be held as part of the FREE NCBS Bluegrass On Broadway Festival in Redwood City on January 27-29, 2017.

Summit House Thursday Bluegrass Continues In September High In The Santa Cruz Mountains

The FREE Summit House Thursday Bluegrass Series continues in September with great views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The weekly series runs every Thursday evening from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Summit House Beer Garden & Grill at the top of Highway 17 between Los Gatos & Scott’s Valley.

The series is presented by the Summit House and welcomed by the Northern California Bluegrass Society. Good food and drink are served during the performance.


15 — Kitchen Help

22 — Heathen Hill

29 — Hidden Still

Robert Cornelius books this series that launched in January of this year and has made the Summit House a gem of a bluegrass venue. Check it out this month if you haven’t been by to enjoy this free event. Enjoy the endless view while you are there!