Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Strictly speaking

A chat with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass's booker, as San Francisco's crown jewel of free festivals gears up for its 14th year

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LEFT OF THE DIAL When Slim's booker Dawn Holliday first met with Warren Hellman in 2001, she had no way of knowing that the quaint little music festival the investor wanted to organize would grow to be one of San Francisco's most fiercely cherished traditions.Read more »

Your official Hardly Strictly Bluegrass lineup is here

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Ah, fall in San Francisco. The kids go back to school, the pumpkin beers and lattes make their first appearances, the leaves...um, mostly stay the same color, and the weather usually gets a little warmer.

OK, so maybe we don't really do fall the way most of the country does fall. You know which part we do really well, though? Music. Art. Festivals. Excuses to drink pumpkin beers outside while taking in a live performance. Pick up this week's big Fall Arts preview issue (on stands now!) for a guide to the best the Bay Area has to offer these next few months in music, theater, film, dance, visual art, and more. Read more »

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass: A rookie recap

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By Kaylen Baker

“This,” said a friend, turning and surveying a backlit crowd, bopping and blazing under an unlikely October sun, “is the real San Francisco.”

I’m new to this city, and its croaking cables, faddish food trends, steep hills, all-aboard attitude, and free bluegrass festival have captivated me.
   
I was stuck in the largest forested mob I’d ever seen, between the nubby hills that form Hellman’s Hollow. To my left a drunk woman shouted into her cell on the shoulders of a drunk man, to my right a bare-chested beer-bellied man flapped his arms above his head,  and ahead, the String Cheese Incident spread a bluesy beach jam over this valley of ears.

Back up to day one of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Read more »

The big Hardly Strictly roster reveal

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After weeks of teasers, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass released its full 2013 lineup this week, and it boasts some fresh young artists and a great many cross-generational acts.

The free weekend-long festival in Golden Gate Park will feature appearances by Nick Lowe, Conor Oberst and friends (including First Aid Kit), Gogol Bordello, Natalie Maines, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Bettye LaVette, Allah-Las, Father John Misty, Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers (featuring Edie Brickell), and Bonnie Raitt, among dozens of others. Read more »

Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

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So much to talk about this week, but the biggest news of course is both Hardly Strictly Bluegrass' return – for the first time since the death of founder Warren Hellman – and new venue Preservation Hall West at the Chapel.

Below, you'll get the basic need-to-know info on the shows you must see; but check Tofu and Whiskey, my music column in this week's paper, for the details behind it all. A sort of Behind the Music on the newly constructed Mission venue and the cherished Golden Gate Park fest, if you will. Read more »

Hardly Strictly hints

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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass released its first of four teaser medleys today, take a listen and start tallying the acts. Everyone loves a guessing game, right? 

At press time, HSB commenters have pointed out snippets of Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle, the Mekons and the Head and the Heart. Take a listen.

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