he seat of Placer County is the gold-mining town of Auburn. The new center of Auburn, for Best Beloved and I, is the Latitudes Bistro, downstairs from the Latitidues Restaurant.
Wandering through Auburn this morning we remembered that the only time we’d stopped at Latitudes they were already closed (we keep forgetting that, unlike southern California, NorCal is not open 24/7.) We stopped in, just to see if we could find an interesting cup of tea.
We popped our heads into the bistro, and the friendly lady inside invited us in to look around, turning the lights on so we could see properly. We chatted about music (seems to happen to me a lot) and, despite my childish comments about brewing being more important than baking (she’s a baker) she let us in on her secret: a group of Celtic musicians meets at the bistro every Sunday night, from 5:30 to 9ish.
We were, of course, on the spot, spot on 5:30. (During our morning visit, we went upstairs to the restaurant and had mimosas and a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt; o! so good.)
The jam this evening grew to epic proportions, with 14 players at one point, including multiple flutes and fiddles and whistles, guitar, dulcimer, cello, bodhran, and the only eight-string resonator guitar I’ve ever seen, in the hands of one Pete Grant.
Of Pete, phenom David Lindley says “He’s the master of the “snapper”—when you’re onstage playing with him on some tune he’ll do something so mind-blowingly amazing that your head snaps around automatically to see what he just did. I would recommend buying anything he records.”
It turns out he’s as much of a geek as I am, but most certainly more of a musician.
I strongly suggest you investigate Pete’s album “Greetings from California & Beyond”. I intend to. If you’d like to hear Pete playing right now, he’s posted a recording of one of Toirdhealbhach’s pieces, accompanied by a slide show of the most beautiful place on earth: the west coast of Ireland.
And, if you’re in Placer County or its environs, drop by Latitudes on a Sunday night between 5:30 and closing. You’ll probably hear Pete, and you’ll certainly find Best Beloved and I swaying to the music over pints of something barley.