You are faced with some hard choices this weekend if you're coming to San Francisco for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, probably the greatest free music festival in the nation, especially if you like that KPIG-style Americana as much as I do. It's kind of like the legendary Fat Fry, but bigger and with no admission charge.
Friday is easy. The great John Prine will be playing at 415 p.m. that day on the Banjo Stage, and if you've never seen him in concert (I've seen him eight times) then you would be crazy to miss this. (who knows how many times he'll be back on the festival circuit...) And you don't have to budge from your spot when the concert is over; Lyle Lovett -- complete with his "Large Band'' -- will be playing the same stage at 545 p.m.
Saturday will test your loyalties and force you to make painful choices. For one thing, Robert Earl Keen is playing the Rooster Stage and Steve Earle is playing the Banjo Stage -- at the same freaking time. Earle and Keen will both play, respectively, at 6:45 p.m. This is a tough one for me. I guess I'll have to flip a coin. Fortunately, if you are a Robert Earl Keen fan, you can still catch a glimpse of Steve Earle on the Rooster Stage at 345 p.m., when he will be part of an amazing-sounding Songwriter's Circle featuring Tom Morello, Dar Williams & Allison Moorer.
See you out there in Golden Gate Park. And please don't talk during the performance. (That kind of thing drives me crazy.)