A Few Local Bluegrass Jam Resources

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Here’s a few resources I’ve come across (or am developing myself), that may be useful for people getting more into playing bluegrass in the Bay Area. I’ll add to this as I come across new resources worth highlighting.

BGSignal.com local event listings. Peter Thompson, who hosts the BlueGrass Signal show Saturday nights on KALW, has put together BGSignal.com, a great website full of local resources including concert and event listings (local festivalsjams, camps and workshops), playlists, and more. Also check out the hipsterhoedown.com site for even more hyperlocal event listings.

Local radio shows. KALW’s (91.7) Bluegrass Signal show is on Saturdays from 6:30 to 8p.m.(http://kalw.org/programs/bluegrass-signal#stream/0) and KPFA (94.1) programs Americana and bluegrass all Sunday afternoon (http://kpfa.org).

Song lists. Bill Evans has put together a great list of classic bluegrass tunes for his jam classes at Freight and Salvage. Here’s a Spotify version of this list if you subscribe to that service.

Chords and Lyrics. The web is full of chords, lyrics and tabs, so just go to Google. Also check out this Dropbox folder of PDFs I’ve been putting together with help from a few friends… may be useful for pulling up songs quickly on your phone. To hear actual musicians performing these tunes, here’s the Spotify playlist.

YouTube parking lot videos. There are tons of great bluegrass performances classic and new on YouTube, but if you want to see live parking-lot-picker type informal jamming, check out the many videos from the Ocoee Parking Lot Bluegrass Jam in Florida and Townsend Bluegrass Jam in Tennessee.

Instructional websitesPeghead Nation (subscription fee), a locally based business, offers great instructional videos (guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle), many by Bay Area instructors. The videos are very high quality and often accompanied by tabs or sheet music.

State and local bluegrass associations. The California Bluegrass Association has lots of event listings, as does the Northern California Bluegrass Society (based in Santa Cruz).

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