Bass fiddles, mandolins, guitars and the twang of bluegrass singing filled the field at the Dunsmuir estate in Oakland’s hills Saturday as the Greenbelt Alliance held its fifth annual fundraiser. The perfect weather and bill of seven acts drew a healthy crowd, many of whom stomped their feet and doe-see-doed their partners. Some just danced solo, like one enthusiast whose intense footwork created mud patches in front of the stages.
The sun was hot and so was the music, which included Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands and The Tuttle Family, whose three younger members played like old hands. The Tuttle’s are led by father Jack, who plays the bass and teaches blue grass from his Palo Alto studio. They were joined by singer A.J. Lee. Her dulcet voice seemed too knowing for her age, but Tuttle claimed that “she’s 12 years old and she’s been singing for 13 years.” Biologically impossible, but his point was taken. Among their songs was “El Cumbanchero,” a Puerto Rican tune played bluegrass style. See them do it on YouTube.