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Exploring Grass Valley

Discover this Gold Country town with a Grammy-nominated musician, historic hotel manager, and hard kombucha entrepreneur

On this episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson gets to know this storied small town with three unique guests. First up, Johnson speaks with bluegrass musician Molly Tuttle, recently nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy. The Northern California-bred singer-songwriter breaks out her guitar for an exclusive performance of two songs off her new album, Crooked Tree. Tuttle shares details about her song “Grass Valley” as well as her love of the area and its rich music scene.

Next, Johnson chats with Sonya Krimsky, events manager at the history-laden Holbrooke Hotel. Krimsky details the colorful past of this former Gold Country saloon, a spot once frequented by the likes of Mark Twain, Jack London, and Black Bart. The two also cover the hotel’s recent restoration, rumors of ghosts haunting the halls, and the joys of preserving a slice of California Wild West past.

Lastly, Patrick Millar, co-owner of Gold Vibe Kombuchary, takes the California Questionnaire. The longtime Grass Valley local shares where he would go for the ultimate shopping spree, why a weekend getaway is his go-to splurge, and dispels a certain misperception about Californians.


Molly Tuttle, singer-songwriter and 2023 Best New Artist Grammy nominee

Sonya Krimsky, events manager at the Holbrooke Hotel

Patrick Millar, co-owner of Gold Vibe Kombuchary


Molly Tuttle is a Grammy-nominated bluegrass musician, songwriter, and banjo player whose new album Crooked Tree was released in 2022.

Grass Valley

Gold Country

Crooked Tree


“Grass Valley” feat. Jack Tuttle

Molly Tuttle Music

Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival

Hangtown Music Festival

“Grass Valley”

“Crooked Tree”

South Yuba River


Nevada City

San Francisco

Golden Gate Park

Santa Cruz

Half Moon Bay

Highway One

Sonya Krimsky is the events manager at the historic Holbrooke Hotel.

Holbrooke Hotel


Lake Tahoe

Cornish Christmas

Victorian Christmas

The Iron Door

Golden Gate Saloon

National Exchange Hotel

Patrick Millar is the co-owner of Gold Vibe Kombuchary and taproom in Grass Valley.

Gold Vibe Kombuchary

Novak’s Mens Wear

The Hat Store


Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis in 2016. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson uses the California Now Podcast platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.

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