Happy new year to all our friends, old, new and not yet met

Happy new year to all our friends, old, new and not yet met

Pinegrass played new years eve for First Night Missoula at Break Espresso from 5 pm to 6 pm. The turn out was fantastic. Lots of people pulled chairs towards the band, stood along the walls and in the aisles and enjoyed coffees, teas, and pastries. Pinegrass has never sounded better. Happy new year everyone.

Pinegrass has been playing weekly since 1988. The over-all sound of the band is a result of the individual influences and passions of each player. The common denominator for all Pinegrass members is to play each number with feeling – they strive to play good tunes, the way they’re “supposed” to be played. You will hear traditional Bluegrass played “true” to the original (mostly), and a bit of Swing, Dylan and whatever else strikes the fancy of the band-mates at the moment. Members are John Joyner, fiddle and vocals; Bill Neaves, guitar and vocals, Chad Fadely Mandolin; Jack Mauer, banjo, dobro and vocals; and Ted Lowe, bass and vocals. Tidbit: “Pinegrass” (scientific name: Calamagrostis Rubescens) is a native grass.

Pinegrass, a bluegrass concert in Kalispell, MT Nov 14 at 7:30 pm

Pinegrass, a bluegrass concert in Kalispell, MT Nov 14 at 7:30 pm

Pinegrass, a bluegrass band, in concert, Kalispell, MT on November 14, 2009.

Music starts at 7:30 pm.

Performance is at the KM Theater. See below for ticket information.

KM Theater (map)

40 Second Street East Kalispell, Mt 59901

Pinegrass in concert, KM Theatre in Kalispell, Sat Nov. 14

$15 tickets are available at
4th of July Party at the Rattlesnake Gardens

4th of July Party at the Rattlesnake Gardens

Getting some beverages

Rattlesnake Gardens signIf you haven’t been, you need to go to the 4th of July BBQ put on by the Rattlesnake Gardens – (406) 543-9962
2501 Rattlesnake Dr, Missoula, MT 59802 Get directions Cross Streets: Near the intersection of Rattlesnake Dr and Powell St.

Jack’s band, Pinegrass, played the music there this year. I had never been and had no idea this was their 10th annual party! I can see why they have been so popular. The family picnic atmosphere was amplified with the great food, beverages, and ice cream. There was plenty of seating in the shade and some in the sun. Music was both the feature and the background.

Pinegrass - A Bluegrass Band

So many people of all ages seemed to grin, visit, eat, dance and be merry from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. When it was over, the crowd left by bike, foot, and car and with in minutes, the place was quiet and clean. Amazing!

Lemon Orzo Salad

If you want to see for yourself, see the slideshow below. There are lots of photos so you might want to open it in a new window and buzz through it. Or, you can come for yourself next year!

Click here to view all in a new window – feel free to download copies

Jack will be doing a benefit float on the Clark Fork River this Tuesday and Thursday for the Clark Fork Coalition 320 Float. They will be doing 320 miles in 20 days! Whew. He has decided to use the Rattlesnake Gardens for his lunches. That will be tasty! Lucky floaters.

Pinegrass – A Bluegrass Band, Stevensville Montana Festival

Pinegrass – A Bluegrass Band, Stevensville Montana Festival

Pinegrass playing on stage in SteviThe Montana Rockies Bluegrass Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and performing bluegrass music.

The association, which was formed in 1999, offers a slate of events throughout the year to promote bluegrass music. This includes sponsoring performances by local and nationally recognized bluegrass bands, campouts of bluegrass pickers and fans, and workshops where enthusiasts can develop their music skills.

The 2009 spring festival, which is in its 10th year, gives bluegrass fans an opportunity to hear outstanding performances across spectrum of bluegrass music. Started by a few “bluegrassers” from the Missoula and Bitterroot Valley, the association now has over 250 members.

Bands performing this year:Acousticals, Bill Anderson & Jeff Trask, Black Mountain Boys, Bonnie Bliss & Stan Hall, BVDs, Gravel Road, Ken Benson & Friends, Larry Gangi, Sr., Mike & Tari Conroy, Pinegrass, Ramblin’ Rose, Salmon Valley String Band, Spring Thaw, Three Rivers Bluegrass, Will Williams, Wise River Mercantile. To read more about this event and the late-night jam and campover, visit our website at http://www.mtbluegrass.com/.

An uncertain Top Hat – Steve Garr’s children consider future in wake of owner’s sudden death – By JOE NICKELL/Missoulian

An uncertain Top Hat – Steve Garr’s children consider future in wake of owner’s sudden death – By JOE NICKELL/Missoulian

See related posts about Pinegrass a Bluegrass Band

Garr Children

The four oldest children of legendary Top Hat bar owner Steve Garr, from left, Heidi, Nicole, Greta and Nate, spoke about their late father and about the future of the Missoula landmark Tuesday afternoon at the bar. Photo by MICHAEL GALLACHER/Missoulian

The Top Hat has always been a place of many faces. To some, the bar on Front Street has been a low-key daytime hangout, a place where the conversation flows like slowly poured beer and where you’re perfectly welcome to light up a cigarette if you so please. Later at night, it’s been a place where a somewhat younger crowd gathered to play pool and listen to local jam-rock bands, bluegrass ensembles or the occasional touring act.

Whatever was happening on a given night, the crowd at the Top Hat was never homogenous. Rather, it encompassed every walk of Montana life: barely legal drinkers playing pool with grizzled bikers; young professionals and dreadlocked hippies swing-dancing on the dance floor.

It is a place where the walls themselves are lined with memories of the diverse faces that have passed through. Photos of old blues musicians – some of whom count among the most respected and famous in America – share space with bass drum heads donated by rock bands that few people ever heard of in the first place (any Nite Snackr fans still out there?).

But when all was said and done, those many faces were, in a way, simply a reflection of the man who owned and operated the Top Hat these past 21 years: Steve Garr….

…..“The bottom line is that this is just about as heartbreaking as you can imagine for us,”
Steve’s son says. “It’s our dad.”

Read the rest of the original story about Steve Garr and the Top Hat on Missoulian.com.


A potluck celebration of Steve Garr’s life will be held at the Top Hat this Saturday from 1 to 11 p.m. The event will serve as a fundraiser for Garr’s medical expenses. The event is open to the public, and musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments.

Pinegrass will play a few sets Saturday, February 7, at 6:30 pm. Richie Reinholdt will join them.
Note: Pinegrass played on Tuesday’s for about 20 years. We hope this isn’t the end of an era.

FOREVER BLUEGRASS (Pinegrass) by Joe Nickell for the Missoulian

FOREVER BLUEGRASS (Pinegrass) by Joe Nickell for the Missoulian

Pinegrass, a Bluegrass Band - by Joe Nickell for the Missoulian

Forever Bluegrass By JOE NICKELL – Like the seasons that govern the growth of all good things in nature, bluegrass music is forever dying away and resprouting anew. In the 1950s, the energetic sounds of Appalachia were spreading far and wide in American culture, until rock ’n’ roll appeared and diverted everyone’s attention…read the rest of his story.


The story of Pinegrass actually dates back to the late ’70s, when bluegrass bands such as Poor Monroe, the Great Northern Bluegrass Band (of which Ryan was a member), and Finley Creek frequented stages around western Montana. Over time, the members of those groups became the core of an increasingly tight-knit community of pickers and fans, who began gathering every Wednesday at a local instrument store called String Instrument Division or at the house of one of the musicians to play together in impromptu picking circles.
“Anybody could show up, and everybody got to play,” recalls Ryan fondly.

Like clockwork Pinegrass performs every Tuesday night at the Top Hat Lounge – click for map, located at 134 W. Front St. in Missoula. Through the end of this month, the band begins its performances at 10:30 p.m.; beginning on the first Tuesday of January, the band will begin its performances at 9 p.m. Admission is free.

Top Hat phone – (406) 728-9865


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