December 30, 2002

ANOTHER YEAR IS ALMOST behind us. The saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun," but as I age, I find it just flies, period. Digging in my heels, yelling, "Hey, just slow down a little, okay?" doesn't seem to have any impact at all. Wasn't it just yesterday we were all worried about the Y2K technological collapse? I guess I'll just have to go with the flow and keep trying to remember to value every minute.

WATCH THE FISHIES: With the winter storms finally arriving, Jeff Miller of Alameda Creek Alliance says we should be watching for fish to arrive in the lower creek after the peak runoff. On Saturday, Jan. 11, ACA will host a tour of Alameda Creek with Save the Bay, visiting fish passage barriers and future restoration sites in the lower and upper creek from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please contact Jeff at 510-845-4675 if you are interested in attending.

Jeff also reports that Coho salmon have already begun arriving to spawn in Lagunitas Creek in western Marin County. You can sign up for a creek tour with SPAWN, the Marin watershed group through January 31. For information, please go to the SPAWN Web site at www.spawnusa.org/events.

The next ACA meeting will be on Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Community Room at Sunol Glen School. This is an important year to get involved in creek restoration and protection activities, as funding for many projects is being effected by state and federal budget cutbacks. Come to the next meeting and find out how you can volunteer to help.

MUSIC TO MY EARS: And yours, if you come on over to Little Valley Vineyard Winery and Bistro on Main Street in Sunol! Sandi Bohner and Bill Webster have some great musical events on the calendar, starting with the return of Patty and Abigail Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. These two talented singer-songwriters from Fremont were a big hit at Little Valley in November and are back by popular demand.

Phil Kellogg and Terry Robb will bring their formidable guitar stylings to the Bistro Jan. 23, also at 8 p.m. Kellogg describes his music as "sorta folk, kinda blues, a little fake flamenco, sometimes almost classical." He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Dublin. Though he's tried most every kind of guitar, including a dangerously heavy homemade electric that forced him to perform sitting down, he now favors a six-string steel guitar.

The Times own music columnist, Tony Hicks, described Kellogg in a December 2000 review as "a heck of a finger-picking guitarist," whose "acoustic slide playing is rich and full enough to sound at times like two guys playing." You can find out more about Kellogg and hear samples from his album, "Passive Aggressive," at his web site, www.philkellogg.com

Kellogg cites legendary guitarist John Fahey as one of his most important influences, and organized the first Fahey Tribute Show at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley after Fahey's death in 2001. At the second Fahey tribute, he met blues guitarist Terry Robb, whom he described as giving "one of the highlight sets" at that show.

Robb, also from the Pacific Northwest, was lauded in the Oregonian as "a virtuoso on the acoustic blues guitar, and described by famed Rolling Stone Magazine writer Kurt Loder as "an extraordinary, sympathetic accompanist to John Fahey." Guess it's no big surprise Kellogg and Robb decided they had enough in common to share a stage. Robb has also played with Steve Miller and Curtis Salgado, and produced numerous albums for other blues artists.

"When I Play My Blues Guitar", Robb's most recent recording, marks his first solo acoustic blues record, featuring ten original songs with styles ranging from Blind Blake to John Lee Hooker. The Cascade Blues Association awarded him the prestigious "Muddy Award" 14 times, and made him a two-time "Hall of Fame" member. Admission to Little Valley's music nights is only $5 per person. Please call 925-862-9006 for reservations.

Happy New Year to you all, and may your 2003 be filled with music, hope and beauty.

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