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Keystone Station is a traditional bluegrass band from Marin County, CA, whose members are all veterans on the Bay Area music scene. Formed in the winter of 2001, they made their grand debut at Sweetwater in Mill Valley in June of that year. The band has played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival three times, Vern's Stage at the CBA Father's Day Bluegrass Festival, the SF Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival twice, the Great American Musical Hall in San Franscisco, the CBA Veterans Day Festival in Woodland, and they are regulars at Murphy's in Sonoma.

Keystone Station was built upon the duo Keystone Crossing -- Larry Carlin and Claudia Hampe. These two have been performing together since 1996, singing the songs of the brother duos from the early days of country and bluegrass music. They have shared the stage with Ralph Stanley, Peter Rowan, David Grisman, The Laurel Canyon Ramblers, and many others. In the winter of 2001 they started jamming informally with some local bluegrass pickers, and they decided to expand the duo to a five-piece band.Other Station members include Kenny Blacklock on fiddle, and special guests sitting in on mandolin and banjo.The repertoire of Keystone Station is based on the songs of such notables as the late "Father of Bluegrass," Mr. Bill Monroe, as well as the Stanley Brothers, and Flatt & Scruggs. With haunting three-part harmonies, and hot instrumental picking on acoustic instruments, Keystone Station is steeped in the bluegrass tradition.


Larry Carlin -- one of the founders of the band, Larry is a performer, producer, and writer of bluegrass in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from King of Prussia, PA, he has been living in Sausalito for 25 years, and he plays standup bass. He performs in four bands (this one, Keystone Crossing, Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue, The Whutknotts), writes the Almost Daily News column three times a week for the California Bluegrass Association web site, a monthly column titled "The Bluegrass Muse" for Bluegrass By The Bay, writes a biweekly email music newsletter called Carltone's Corner, was the founder and host for ten years of the long-running Marin Bluegrass Jam, produced the bluegrass series called Bluegrass Gold at Sweetwater in Mill Valley for eight years, books the music for Murphy's Irish Pub in the town of Sonoma, and occasionally does movie reviews for the Movie Magazine International radio show. He is a member of the California Bluegrass Association and the Northern California Bluegrass Society. He plays a 1956 Kay M-1 bass.

Claudia Hampe -- the other founding member of the band, Claudia is from Radnor, PA, and has been living in and working as a realtor in Mill Valley for over 30 years. She sang in folk groups in high school, was in the Marin County band Rowdy & The Rivets many years back during the "Urban Cowboy Scare" of the early '80s, and she also warbles the high parts with The Warblers. Claudia plays rhythm guitar and sings the beautiful parts that make the rest of the Keystone Crossing/Station sound so good. Her guitar of choice is a 1997 Collings OM-2H.

Kenny Blacklock -- originally from Santa Rosa, CA, Kenny lived in Sausalito or Japan for many years before settling in Petaluma in 2009 with his fiddling wife Katy Bridges and two young daughters. Besides playing fiddle (he also plays tin whistle, keyboards, mandolin, musical saw, and viola)(but not in this band), Kenny is also a music teacher, a member of the bands Dr. Elmo & Wild Blue and Bluegrass Contraption, and he is the grandson of the legendary and late Bay Area saw player Charlie Blacklock. He plays a 1747 Schedelich violin, speaks, reads and writes Japanese, and he is ready to lead the band on a tour of Japan.



Favorite Links
California Bluegrass Association
Three decades of bluegrass in CA
Murphy's Irish Pub
One of our favorite venues
Northern CA
Bluegrass Society

Formerly the Santa Cruz
Bluegrass Society

Carltone Music
Home Page

Keystone Station

Keystone Station
Gig Schedule

This page updated 1/22/13