Wildcat Canyon in Palo Alto

Posted: July 17, 2019 in Live Music

Wildcat Canyon is Art Peterson on accordion, Stephanie Costanza playing fiddle and Laurie Miller on bass, bringing rock-steady fiddle tunes to the contra scene. 

Wildcat Canyon 3

We play Saturday, August 31st – 8 to 11pm (free beginners lesson at 7:30)

First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Avenue (Near Middlefield Rd), Palo Alto (upstairs in the boxy Social Hall building on the corner at Byron St.) 

$20 supporters,
$12 non-members,
$10 members
$6 students or low-income
or pay what you can

Palo Alto – www.bacds.org

  • wear comfortable, light­ clothing.
  • bring comfortable shoes with clean, non-marking soles.
  • avoid using alcohol or drugs before the dance.
  • not wear any artificial fragrances.

A poster-card I designed, photo-shopped lettering over a banner I drew in 1969 or so.


After Celu left the Silver Kittens in 2009, she got a weekly? spot at the Kensington Circus Pub as “Celu and Friends”.  One night she was informed that the grownups had decided they didn’t want music, as it interfered with watching sports on the big TV. .  A bartender from Chester’s Cafe was hanging out at the bar, and he invited her to come play; they have a cabaret license and only had music once a week.

So, Chester’s, in Berkeley’s Walnut Square, became a weekly thing, Steve and I and others were the Friends.  When the Possum Family Singers formed, we found ourselves with a monthly show.

We had already made the name change by December 2009 when I put this poster together.

June 2019; S4F Contradance

Posted: June 3, 2019 in Live Music

June 1 First-and-Third-Saturdays at the Plough kicks off with Art and Laurie playing from their huge songbook, including dance tunes from the Polka Cowboy and Wildcat Canyon repertoires.

June 15 Ann and Kurt will be back from holiday, Possums as usual.

Saturday June 8 Art and Laurie lead the Contradance Band Workshop and Dance at the 2019 San Francisco Free Folk Festival, at Everett Middle School, 450 Church Street, San Francisco.

The band workshop will be at noon in Music 5- Room 225.

The dance will be 6:30 – 8:30 in the Dance A- the North Gym

Art will also lead a sing-along at the Video:  Pete Seeger Song-Leading workshop, 3-6 in Room 224.

all events free, festival parking (last time I checked) $10.

Program 2019

Polka Cowboys

Posted: May 26, 2019 in Live Music

Starry Plough, 5 – 7pm Thursday, May 30th

At’s right – we got a fifth Thursday this month so we’ll be ridin’ in to the Plough, playin’ from 5 to 7pm.  Art, Greg, Laurie and Ray return for an all-ages show of polkas, swing, two-step and waltzes, for your dancing pleasure.  Come bring the kids and enjoy a pint, and delicious pub food– (voted among the top ten bay area burgers at sfgate)

next chance to catch us will be August 29 and October 31.

The Polka Cowboys

Thursday, May 30th – 5pm to 7pm

at The Starry Plough Pub

3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley


Var Mints 10/20/18

Posted: October 20, 2018 in Live Music

Is it fair to post other critturs here?  Joanie van Hulle and Laurie Miller bring sweet harmonies to Joanie’s original tunes, and Laurie’s  quirky and folky unoriginals as the Var Mints–

FOURTH THURSDAY hippy hour each month, 5 to 7 PM sharp .

At the Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley

Var Mibts Miz

Joanie Van Hulle and co-Var Mint Laurie Miller


Summer Schedule

Posted: June 24, 2018 in Live Music

Back to our regularly scheduled program–First and Third Saturdays of each month–
5 to 7 PM at the Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Avenue at Prince Street on the Berkeley/Oakland border.  Kids welcome, great locally sourced pub food.

August 18 and September 1,  Kurt, Ann, and Matt Parker appear as KAMP.

Laurie and Art will be joining the 2 PM jam in front of the Tom Scribner statue at the Santa Cruz Bookstore on Saturday August 11, then the International Musical Saw Festival at the Chuck Wagon Stage all day Sunday August 12 at Roaring Camp near Felton, CA.


On August 18 Laurie and Art will be in transit to the Cotati Accordion Festival where they open the Accordion Apocalypse Stage Sunday 8/19 at 10 AM!!


September 1-2 Laurie and Art will be appearing at the NTCMA Country MusicFestival in Le Mars, Iowa.  first second third copy


Posted: April 6, 2018 in Live Music

It has been five years since Steve was snatched away from us without warning.  Saturday April 7 the Possum Family Singers and friends will gather for our usual happy hour gig at his home away from home to sing and toast his memory.
5-7 PM Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley California steve plough 2013

March 2018

Posted: March 5, 2018 in Live Music

For March, 3rd Saturday is St Patrick’s Day- Irish Dancers and Corned beef at the Pub, no possums –However–
we will return to the Starry Plough on the 5th Saturday, March 31st, 5-7 PM.
3101 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley CA
then 1st and 3rd Saturdays–onward

1st and 3rd saturdays 13x19 copy

Calligraphy and collage by Laurie/photoshop

Var Mibts Miz

Laurie with co-Var Mint Joanie Van Hulle at the Missouri Lounge


Ann, backstage with Karen, Helen, Joe


Art and Borsini at the Cotatai Accordion Festival

El Cerrito Free Folk Festival

Posted: October 13, 2017 in Live Music

We will be opening the El Cerrito Free Folk Festival at noon on Saturday October 28, 2017, with special guest Dobro Tom Cline-  Located at El Cerrito High School. 540 Ashbury Avenue, El Cerrito CA, the festival runs from noon to 9 PM.  Enjoy the Festival website with the splash page prominently showing the ultra-serious Polka Cowboys!  https://elcerritofolkfest.org/

Possum Cline El Cerrito

Possum Family Singers at the El Cerrito Free Folk Festival October 2014

Happy Hour at the Starry Plough

Posted: June 11, 2017 in Live Music

This pattern is holding:  Art, Laurie, Ann and Kurt is the lineup, and we play the FIRST and THIRD Saturdays of each month from 5 to 7 PM at the Starry Plough Pub and Restaurant, 3101 Shattuck Avenue at the corner of Prince Street, at the Berkeley Oakland border.  This awesome 40+ year East Bay institution is better than ever, with an array of rotating local taps and great locally-sourced pub grub from the updated kitchen and stylish crew.  Check out their website at Starry Plough .com

1st and 3rd saturdays 13x19 copy