“Banjos, Bluegrass & Squirrel Barkers”

Bluegrass in San Diego

Amos Lassen

Filmmaker Rick Bowman has a special passion for bluegrass music. Even though he now lives on the west coast, he has family roots in Appalachia, and a long familiarity with the music and the people of the region.

Bowman’s newest film, ”Banjos, Bluegrass & Squirrel Barkers”, looks specifically at the San Diego bluegrass scene, from its inception in the 1960s to the present day. We see a number of prominent artists who got their start there, including Chris Hillman, Alison Brown, Ron Block, and Stuart Duncan, plus the granddaddies of the San Diego set, The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers. That was the group that helped propel the careers of Hillman, along with Bernie Leadon of The Eagles and Kenny Wirtz of Country Gazette.

Even though the film is just completed, it has already won three awards. Bluegrass music has originally thought to come from the mountains of Appalachia but we get quite a surprise here to see that San Diego is the home of the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers. I am not saying anymore about the film so you will have to go and see it yourself but be ready to feel the music.

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