Chasin' the Blues

After the banners of Hardly Strictly have been packed away, the idea of returning to bluegrass seems as appealing as sticking to a healthy diet. Though we take it for granted, bluegrass, unlike other genres, has not only embraced but encouraged the whole of its messy evolution. For the past 14 years, the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival has offered a citywide winter tradition of live music by grassroots artists. The festival is a bundle of concerts, live performances, children’s shows, movies, and workshops held in intimate venues throughout the Bay Area. This year’s 10-day event is an eclectic mix of folk and contemporary styles with more than 25 shows held in 18 clubs, including performances by local favorites and longtime veterans Dark Hollow, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and The Crooked Jades. The festival also features a concert by homegrown juggernauts the Get Happy String Band. The band promises an afternoon of raucous, ragtime fun — replete with fiddle and the occasional mandolin. Bluegrass offers opportunities for retreat in music slow-cooked to its purest and most celebrated form.
Sun., Feb. 10, 4:30 p.m., 2013

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