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  • Jay Blakesberg

    Yonder Mountain String Band, powered by string instruments, plays at Ace of Spades on Friday.

  • Center for the Arts

    Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck will play in Grass Valley.

Three to See: Yonder Mountain String Band

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 2, 2014 - 4:00 pm

Yonder Mountain String Band


7 tonight

Ace of Spades

Jam-circuit wunderkinds Yonder Mountain String Band is a group that always makes you wonder what would happen if you put a Les Paul, electric bass and full drum kit in their hands. It likely would get a lot of airplay on formats you might not expect. Yes, they’re acoustic. Yes, those are banjos and mandolins. No, those are not your grandpa’s bluegrass ditties. They’re rock songs, pure and simple, written and performed meticulously with enough gusto to make any student of popular rock crack open the books. Upstart Bay Area bluegrassers the Brothers Comatose return to Ace of Spades to open. 1417 R St., Sacramento. $25.

Chuck Ragan with the White Buffalo and Jonny Two Bags


9 p.m. Saturday


Wowza! This Americana-charged show could easily be this week’s “Three to See” all by itself (and a rowdy punk-tinged one at that), with Hot Water Music frontman Chuck Ragan and the Camaraderie carrying the flag. As a solo artist, the husky-voiced Ragan keeps one foot on the line of his punk rock roots, while toeing a dense and raucous brand of full-throttle road-tripping wallop. Jake Smith (a.k.a. the White Buffalo) is a fixture on the “Sons of Anarchy” soundtrack and a mountain of a man with a mountain of a voice. Rounding out the show is Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, who for more than a decade has manned guitar for Social Distortion; his debut solo album, “Salvation Town,” was released this week.

8 p.m. doors. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $25.

‘Dylan ’64’ Bob Dylan Tribute


5:30 p.m. Sunday


In tribute to Bob Dylan’s earliest period, “Dylan ’64” will mark the 50-year anniversary of Dylan’s catalog before it went electric, with locals such as Alex Nelson (of Walking Spanish), Jonah Matranga, Dog Party and David Houston playing acoustic Dylan numbers. It’s an all-ages affair set to wrap up by 10 p.m. Kepi Ghoulie excitedly promotes the show in a YouTube video even though he won’t be there. Doors 5 p.m. 2708 J St., Sacramento. $10.

Looking ahead: Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, May 15 at Center for the Arts

Now married with a new baby, the virtuoso pairing of banjo wizards Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn doesn’t play duo shows that often – it is simply not to be missed when they do. 314 West Main St., Grass Valley. $65-$75.

Read more articles by Aaron Davis

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