Most of our the live jams, events, and venues listed here have been postponed or closed due to Covid. The good news, many of them moved online. So, check them out and see if they have any virtual events planned.
We’ve also listed more than 100 resources for supplies, lessons and sheet music, to luthiers, and other good stuff that is available online.
If you know of any regularly scheduled events or resources that might benefit other musicians,
J.P. Fraley – This well-known and well-respected Kentucky old-time fiddler passed away
on February 17, 2011 at the age of 87. Here are a couple of links to his playing
on YouTube, from a documentary by Shetlands fiddler Aly Bain.
- J.P. Fraley plays his signature tune Wild Rose of the Mountain, accompanied by his wife Annadene Fraley
and Shetlands fiddler Aly Bain. J.P. and Aly then talk about Kentucky fiddling.
- J.P. Fraley plays Dusty Miller, accompanied by his wife Annadene.
- Also, here’s an obituary/article about J.P. published 1/18/11 in The Independent of Ashland, Kentucky.
Art Deems – Long-time SCVFA member, known especially for his “trick” fiddling, passed away on April 16, 2012. Here’s a nice
YouTube video from April 2011 showing Art up to a few of those tricks.
- California Bluegrass Association (CBA) Newsletter, calendar, and more.
- California State Old Time Fiddler’s Association. The CSOTFA has 14 districts. District 9 (below) includes the SF Bay Area.
- CSOTFA District 9 covers the San Francisco Bay Area. Their monthly jam is held in Castro Valley.
- Fiddling Cricket Music Live acoustic music at local venues.
- IBMA: International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Promoting Bluegrass music worldwide.
- NCBS: Northern California Bluegrass Society An active bluegrass organization based in Mountain View, CA.
- OOTFA: Oregon Old Time Fiddlers Association Heading North? Check them out!
- San Francisco Folk Music Club Has a good listing of music events in the Bay Area, and runs the annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival.
- San Francisco Pipers Club — holds a slow Irish session in Mountain View on Tuesdays. Fiddlers welcome.
- San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers Scottish music jams, concerts, and workshops in the SF Bay area.
- South Bay Folks Runs a regular free open-mike session and maintains a claendar of acoustic music performances in the South Bay.
- SWBA: SouthWest Bluegrass Association Headquartered down south in Torrence, CA.
- WOTFA: Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association Contests, workshops, and campouts in beautiful Washington State.
- Clarion Music Center World music in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
- Freight & Salvage Coffee House Nonprofit org. in Oakland promoting traditional music throughout the world.
- Make-Out Room Lots of rock, soul, disco etc — and evena little traditional music, in The Mission (San Francisco).
- Mission Pizza Live music Friday and Saturday nights in Fremont, CA.
- Monday-night “South Bay Old Time Jam” Weekly mostly-old-time jam in Palo Alto.Also bluegrass jam Wednesday nights at the same venue (no website).
- The Plough and Stars Traditional Irish music in San Francisco (Pacific Heights).
- Sam’s BBQ Bluegrass music most Tuesday and Wednesday nights and great food, in San Jose.
- California State Old Time Fiddlers’ Assn. Home Sponsors of California’s official annual old-time fiddle contest.
- Cloverdale Old-Time Fiddle Festival Contest held in Cloverdale, CA every January.
- Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA, always the week that includes July 4. “Is this Heaven? No, it’s Fiddle Tunes.”
- National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest and Festival The “Big One” every June in Weiser, ID, the “Fiddling Capital of the World.”
- San Francisco Free Folk Festival (SFFFF) Not to be missed! In San Francisco mid-June.
- Valley of the Moon Annual Scottish Fiddling camp in Boulder Creek, CA.
- Western Open Fiddle Contest “Always the 3rd full week in October” in Red Bluff, CA.
TUNES & LEARNING
- The ABC tune collection — several hundred thousand tunes, in ABC notation, including ABC versions of many published collections.
- John Chambers’ ABC Tune Finder, with hundreds of tunes (in ABC notation). New (2018) version of the collection formerly on the trillian server at MIT.
- Folklife The Library of Congress’s online folk music collections, including a special section “California Gold” on Northern California music of the 30’s.
- Mudcat Café / Digital Tradition Folk Song Database Search the DT database for words to 6500 songs.
- The National Institutes of Health has lyrics to various songs, especially kid-oriented songs.
- North Atlantic Tune List (wait for it!): “The site focuses on dance and fiddle tunes from several regions around the North Atlantic” (and beyond). It generally provides PDFs, MIDIs and MP3 clips for the tunes.
- The Session Mostly Celtic fiddle tunes, with standard and ABC notations available.
- Sing Out! Online site of one of the best magazines dedicated to preserving Folk Music.
- Slippery Hill A wonderful site with many often rare, mostly old recordings of fiddle music. If you like it, donate to them!
- American Memory A production of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. Contains over seventy multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, motion pictures, and text, free to the public for educational purposes.
- Hetzler’s Fakebook Old-time MIDIs by the score, some with PDF sheet music too.
- Library of Congress Henry Reed pages Field recordings and some hand-written notations of West Virginia fiddler Henry Reed.
- Old-Time Music Home Page Old-Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame, Old-time resources on the Web.
- ZEPP Country Music Site Old-time fiddle tune MP3s.
- Old-Time Fiddle tunes — A collection of fiddle
tunes from old recordings and workshops transcribed by John Lamancusa. Over 370 tunes, most with PDF, MIDI and MP3.
- Ceolas Celtic music on the Internet.
- Hetzler’s Fakebook Lots of Old-Time, Celtic and other MIDIs (no sheet music).
- Irish Sheet Music Archives Scottish and Irish sheet music.
- Sugar in the Gourd Online radio. Formerly all old-time; it apparently has been somewhat erratic. It now seems to be a mix of old-time, country,
bluegrass, blues, folk, etc.
- KKUP on FM: Listener-sponsored radio formerly in Cupertino, CA – 91.5 FM Bluegrass, Celtic, local bandss, and lots of other good music.
- Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp Join Jay Ungar and Molly Mason for their music and dance programs at Ashokan, a rustic camp in New York’s Catskill Mountains.
- Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Music Hall Fiddle shop, performance hall, and regular venue for the Byron Berline Band in Guthrie, OK.
- Fiddle Hangout Online fiddle community and resource.
- Fiddle Hub Learn fiddle online for free, using slow motion video and tablature.
- FIDDLE-L Fiddle players’ discussion list.
- Fiddler Magazine Excellent magazine covering all aspects of fiddling.
- Missouri State Old Time Fiddlers Association Info on old-time fiddling in Missouri.
- BANJO-L Online discussion list for banjo players.
- Banjo Newsletter Online portal to the gold standard of banjo magazines.
- ezFolk.com – Bluegrass Basic instruction for learning bluegrass banjo, some tabs.
- ezFolk.com – Clawhammer Basic instruction for learning clawhammer banjo, some tabs.
- Phillip Mann’s Banjo Pages Lots of free banjo tablature.
- Bluegrass Mandolin Music from the Delnero family.
- Mandolin Cafe Lots of free mandolin tablature and other resources.
- MandoZine Online magazine for mandolin players.
- Play Chords on Mandolin (Zzounds) A set of useful links, recommended by one of our readers.
- ReviewLab’s Guitar Education Resource Guide (guitar history and links)
- Flatpicking Guitar Magazine Online portal for the print magazine for flatpickers.
- FLATPICK-L A discussion list for flatpickers.
- Mike Wright’s flatpick Guitar tablature Tabs plus WAVs and MP3s of flatpick tunes.
PERFORMERS – Old-Time and Bluegrass Groups
- Eric & Suzy Thompson Berkeley-based Bluegrass group.
- Crooked Jades Bay Area-based old-time group.
- Hillbillies From Mars Bay Area contra-dance band, still sporadically active.
- Nickel Creek Bluegrass band originally from California.
- The Waybacks “That ain’t the way Bill played it.”
PERFORMERS – Fiddlers
- Darol Anger
- Alasdair Fraser
- Bay Area fiddler Brittany Haas, now in New England-based band Crooked Still
- Bay Area cellist Natalie Haas
- Megan Lynch Chowning
- Bruce Molsky
- Mark O’Connor
- The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers
- Eric & Suzy Thompson
- Joe Weed — performer and recording studio
PERFORMERS – Banjo Players
PERFORMERS – Mandolin Players
PERFORMERS – Resonator/Steel/Dobro Players
- Gryphon Stringed Instruments,Palo Alto
- Heaney Violins, Mountain View
- Kamimoto String Instruments, San Jose
- Santa Cruz Guitar Company
- Steve Joynes, “The Fiddle Guy” — sales and restoration
- County Sales “World’s largest selection of Bluegrass and old-time music.” CDs, videos, and more!
- Elderly Instruments Wonderful source of new and used instruments, strings, books, etc.
- Gruhn Guitars
- Gryphon Stringed Instruments In Palo Alto, CA.
- Hatfield Music Catalog Banjo supplies, books with banjo tablature.
- Highland Studios Work with Joe Weed, one of the country’s best independent producer/engineer/musicians!
- Homespun Tapes Great source for instructional books, tapes, CD’s and videos
- Jack and Ruby’s Guitar Shop Rare and unique acoustic guitars and mandolins
- Kamimoto String Instruments San Jose, CA — great supporters of the SCVFA!
- Mandolin Brothers
- Mandolin World Headquarters…and Guitars!
- StewMac Supplies for building and repairing stringed instruments.