Traditional tunes reign supreme when the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival rolls into town on Friday. The ninth annual grassroots music showcase is set to deliver the best of bluegrass and old-time to the Bay Area for nine days straight.
With 57 bands on board for 30 shows, a two-day film fest and workshops galore, there’s certainly plenty to choose from. To get things started, here are five toe-tapping acts definitely worth checking out:
Introduce old-time jams to a new school crowd with the kid-friendly tunes of Gayle Schmitt and the Toodala Ramblers. Schmitt, a music and movement teacher based in San Francisco, draws upon her studies in early childhood education to create a fun-filled experience for both young and old alike. Expect to sing-along and get your hand-clap on.
When: 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco
To create its old-world-meets-modern-age playlist, the Crooked Jades literally turn to the past and utilize vintage instrumentation. Founded on Jeff Kazor’s vision for pre-radio reconstructions, the Crooked Jades meld Americana with European and African influences to create an eclectic array of sounds.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Noe Valley Ministry, 1021 Sanchez St., San Francisco
Square dance with sass
Grab your partner and dosey-do at the Make-Out Room’s mid-week square dance shindig. After learning a few moves, try them out on the dancefloor to the sassy, boot-stomping stylings of the Whoreshoes. The feisty female quintet know how to party and are sure to deliver a rocking good time complete with washboard and spoon-fueled songs.
When: Dance 6 p.m. Wednesday; show 8:30 p.m.
Where: Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St., San Francisco
Barefoot and edgy
Monday nights just wouldn’t be complete without the Barefoot Nellies; the all-gal bluegrass outfit has been a staple of Amnesia’s Bluegrass Monday series since 2006. Sharing the bill with Portlanders Ida Viper, the Barefoot Nellies serve up a mix of classic honky tonk, Texas fiddling and swing just in time to get over the mid-week hump.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: McGrath’s, 1539 Lincoln Ave., Alameda
Strings the thing
The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ live act is not to be missed. Credited with breathing new life and a whole lot of soul back into traditional African-American string-band music, the North Carolina-based trio — Just Robinson, Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons — offer up a decidedly innovative and infectious sound that pays tribute to the legacy and influence of banjo and fiddler players of the past.
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 7
Where: Freight and Salvage, 1111 Addison St., Berkeley
IF YOU GO
San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-time Festival
Where: Various locations
When: Friday through Feb. 9