The Syncopaths bring a fresh, contemporary spin
to music and songs rooted in the
Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions.
At the heart of the band's sound are the twin engines of Ryan McKasson's dynamic, Scottish-based fiddling and the understated-but-monster picking of mandolinist Ashley Broder.
Jeff Spero provides wonderfully inventive and surprising piano accompaniment,anchored by the driving power of Christa Burch's non-traditional bodhrán.
The Syncopaths are equally at home with pulsing, high-energy dance tunes and beautiful, contemplative songs.They ably stretch melodic boundaries while keeping a steady, compelling, danceable beat.
Saturday, October 25th 8:00pm
doors open at 7:00pm (food will be available)
newly renovated Talking Stick Cafe
1411 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
General Admission: $18
FolkWorks members (Friend and above) – reserved seating: $16
Online: Syncopaths Concert Tickets
Read more: For Tickets, Venues, Videos and more
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN PRINE:
PRINE TIME AT THE GREEK - OCTOBER 5, 2014
John Prine beat cancer—twice—so it was especially meaningful to hear when halfway through his sold-out show at the Greek Theatre last Sunday night a fan screamed out “Happy Birthday, John!!!” He piped back, “Not quite yet, but thanks.” John Prine was born October 10, 1946, just two months less a day before me in fact—and judging from his two bouts with cancer—squamous cell cancer in 1998 that cost him a part of his neck, cheek bone and some high notes—and an unrelated lung cancer last year—that cost him some cancelled bookings—he must feel lucky to be celebrating his 68th birthday at all.
You’d never know it, however, from the powerful, high energy folk blues tunes he worked in between his signature laconic Midwest story songs of ordinary people caught between hope and history—the poetry of everyday life’s unsung heroes he has chronicled with more insight and empathy than any American songwriter of the past forty years.
Read more: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN PRINE
ANGEL LUÍS FIGUEROA: THE MUSIC OF SANTERÍA
Shuffling through a record bin last month, an LP titled Santero from the famed Cuban label Panart caught my attention. The cover is beautiful but a little strange. Set against a fiery background, a conga player is frozen mid strike while a wraith of a beautiful woman billows like smoke from the drum, poised as if waking from a long sleep. In the liner notes, the writer claims it to be the first ever commercially recorded Afro-Cuban “cult music.” The strange track titles – Changó, Babalú Aye, Yemayá, Ochún, Obatalá, Eleggua - I recognized as the names of Santerían deities.
It was not the kind of record I would have expected to resurface in a new-age vinyl shop, but I was pleased to find it having taken a semester of percussion lessons. My teacher was the renowned Afro-Cuban percussionist, Angel Luís Figueroa, who has for the past decade, endeavored to make the music and philosophy of Santería accessible to all.
Read more: ANGEL LUÍS FIGUEROA: THE MUSIC OF SANTERÍA
A TALE OF TWO DYLANS
“I did more for Dylan Thomas than he ever did for me,” replied Bob Dylan to an inquisitive journalist asking him for the umpteenth time about his relationship with the Welsh poet born October 27, 1914 whose centennial we celebrate this year. Bob Dylan changed his last name from Zimmerman to honor one of the major poets of the 20th Century when he launched his career as a folk singer in NYC in 1961 just 8 years after his namesake Dylan Thomas had died in NYCs Bellevue Hospital of a “massive insult to the brain” from consuming 18 straight whiskeys at his favorite drinking hole The White Horse Tavern on November 9, 1953. However, like many aspects of his constantly changing biography Dylan (Bob) often shied away from the obvious truth and hid behind a barrage of obscurantist tall tales, such as that he had taken his name from an uncle in Hibbing, Minnesota—yes, one of the many middle-class Jewish “Dylans” in the North Country—or had named himself after Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame before some reporter misspelled it in a story and it became “Dylan.”
Read more: A TALE OF TWO DYLANS
SLOW AND EASY
A GREAT SELECTION OF SESSION TUNES FOR BEGINNERS
Playing with others is one of the best ways of improving your playing and certainly an enjoyable one. But it also is a difficult step that many never are able to overcome. A key challenge is find a common repertoire shared with other musicians. All styles have core tunes that would be known by experienced players in that style – but usually just in that particular style. Neither instruction books nor tune collections are particularly helpful to identify an initial core repertoire.
For Irish music, John Weed (fiddle) and Stuart Mason (guitar) have just released a second set of 25 tunes that qualify as core tunes for Irish/Celtic sessions, following up their Slow and Easy Volume 1 from 3 years ago. Volume 2 of Slow and Easy, unsurprisingly, is a collection of easy tunes played at a very slow pace.
Read more SLOW AND EASY
If you're not already familiar with www.folkstreams.net, click on over and lose a couple hours.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has a great article on Folkstreams....check it out.
Here's a brief excerpt:
"An account of the blues experience through the recollections and performances of NEA National Heritage Fellow B.B. King, Son Thomas, inmates from Parchman prison, a barber from Clarkesdale, a salesman from Beale Street, and others. Give My Poor Heart Ease (1974) is one of a series of films made in Mississippi in the mid 1970s by William Ferris and the Center for Southern Folklore and produced in association with Howard Sayre Weaver. View the entire film here."
OCTOBER 18, 2014
Buddy MacMaster (October 18, 1924-August 20, 2014)
One of the most renowned artists in the tradition of Cape Breton fiddle music.
For more information, surf over to his wiki page.
Read more: THE FOLKWORKS BLOG
TITLE: LAUGHTER OUT OF TEARS
ARTIST: MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO
LABEL: WHIM RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
Haunting, ethereal, and totally mesmerizing, Moira Smiley & VOCO bring an almost mystical quality to both original and traditional folk music. Drawing from a deep well of influence, their fourth album, Laughter Out of Tears, moves effortlessly from Appalachian roots to Balkan polyphony to Scandinavian folksongs; and then transcends tradition on five tracks by introducing the innovative “Choir of YOU,” a technology-empowered “chorus” of 200 voices from around the English-speaking world.
The result is a kind of magic that is both subliminal and sublime, characterized by rich, complex harmonies, other-worldly polyphonic singing and sparse instrumentation. The 8 women who contributed to this VOCO release all sing (divinely, I should add) and play most of the instruments – a minimalist banjo and accordion (by Smiley), a tender cello (by April Guthrie), and plenty of body percussion. Single tracks are also punctuated by fiddle and uke, with guest artists on guitar, trumpet and percussion.
Read more: LAUGHTER OUT OF TEARS - MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO
TITLE: YOU GOT THIS
ARTIST: HAAS KOWERT TICE
RELEASE DATE: JULY 2014
Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert and Jordan Tice are friends who, after meeting at various string band festivals in their youth, represent a new wave within the American string community. Bursting with their combined influences, You Got This is less like newgrass music and more reminiscent of works for a contemporary music ensemble. Released in July of 2014, the nine original compositions are densely packed with contrapuntal exchanges, changing meters and extended harmonies. The result: fiddle, guitar and bass at their most innovative.
Read more: HAAS KOWERT TICE - YOU GOT THIS