LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULIER!
SIMI CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL
Forget the beach, the mountains, and Las Vegas. Camping? Who cares? Southern California's 26th Annual Simi Cajun & Blues Festival is the only place to be for Memorial weekend. With the most spectacular lineup of Blues, Cajun and Zydeco music in its 26 year history, there's no better option for entertainment for this All-American holiday. The festival is held on Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and May 24. Hours are 12:00pm-7:30pm both days.
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Read more: SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL
MY KIND OF GUY - GUY CARAWAN
(JULY 27, 1927 - MAY 2, 2015)
Guy Carawan passed away at his home in New Market Tennessee last Saturday, May 2, 2015, sandwiched in between May Day and Pete Seeger’s birthday. He was 87 years old. He would have appreciated the perfect placement in terms of the musical world he represented. Guy and his wife and musical partner Candie lived nearby the extraordinary school where he served as Music Director—Highlander Folk School (its original name) since the passing of founder Myles Horton’s wife Zilphia Horton. Both Guy and Zilphia’s (their original Music Director) names are on the copyright of their crowning achievement—We Shall Overcome. Having roots in African American hymns from the early 20th century, Zilphia had brought the song back from a tobacco workers’ strike in South Carolina in 1946 and she and Guy shaped it into the civil rights anthem we know today.
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TITLE: KEEPING UP WITH THE HEARD
ARTIST: THE MACMAMMALS
RELEASE DATE: MAY 2015
For those of us whose first musical love was traditional and neo-traditional folk ballads, the brand new debut album by The MacMammals provides a welcome, refreshing return to the simple beauty of this genre. Garnering songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and North America, Keeping Up with the Heard is authentic, acoustic, and moving; a collection of wonderful songs, tastefully arranged, while still achieving a very full, satisfying sound.
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TITLE: DEVIL IN THE SEAT
ARTIST: THE FOGHORN STRINGBAND
LABEL: FOGHORN MUSIC
RELEASE DATE: MARCH, 2015
The Foghorn Stringband began as five guys playing hard-driving old-time music. Two of them, Caleb Klauder and Sammy Lind, formed the Foghorn Duo. Nadine Landry then joined on vocals and bass to make them a trio. Reeb Willms added her guitar and voice to make the Foghorn Stringband what it is today. All four sing powerfully, and they play hard-driving music featuring Sammy's fiddle and Caleb's mandolin, among other combinations. This is the eighth Foghorn release, and it certainly lives up to the standards the band has set for itself. It was recorded in Hawaii, but it's full of hard-driving music and edgy singing.
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TITLE: BALAS Y CHOCOLATE
ARTIST: LILA DOWNS
LABEL: RCA RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 24, 2015
Headlines about the recent violence in Mexico only tell half of the story. In Lila Downs’ most recent album Balas y Chocolate (bullets and chocolate), the other half is given a voice.
Using her signature silky register and an arsenal of regional styles, Downs uses Spanish and indigenous Mixtec words to describe the history of violence toward students and journalists. Using the themes and symbols of the Day of the Dead, she creates an allegory for the misdeeds while capturing the feelings of foreboding that follow from such violence and manipulation. The opening line of track one prepares the listener to hear the sounds of radio Mictlan – the radio of the underworld.
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TITLE: THE WIDENING GYRE
LABEL: COMPASS RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 20, 2015
Altan’s new CD The Widening Gyre is a fantastic collection of traditional Gaelic songs mixed in with Irish jam regulars. The band is joined by many special guests in this collection of upbeat lively jam tunes as well as slower songs sung by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
Altan is a traditional Irish band— arguably the most famous one currently playing. It was started in 1987 by Mairéad (rhymes with parade) and her late husband Frankie Kennedy. Mairéad is the daughter of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh, or Francie Moony who also contributed to traditional Irish fiddling.
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TITLE: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL
ARTIST: SUSIE GLAZE & THE HILONESOME BAND
LABEL: HILONESOME MUSIC
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2015
After three critically acclaimed CDs in the past 5 years, it is not surprising that Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band have created yet another memorable album. But Not That Kind of Girl is more than just “another.” It is, I believe, their best album yet...in part because this group keeps pushing their own boundaries...challenging themselves in terms of musical diversity, original songs and fresh interpretations.
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TITLE: DAN GELLERT DVD & CD SET
ARTIST: DAN GELLERT
LABEL: THE OLD-TIME TIKI PARLOUR
RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 2015
Some of Dan Gellert's early recordings seemed to have trouble capturing his unique sound and approach to old-time music. The late Ray Alden told me that he had to use two microphones, one in front and one behind Dan's banjo, to do it. This new recording from David Bragger's Old-Time Tiki Parlour succeeds on multiple levels: it has excellent sound and also comes on both a DVD where you can watch Dan play banjo and fiddle and sing and an audio CD of the same material. David told me that everyone associated in any way with its production is an old-time musician.
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May 20, 2015
FolkWorks extends a big hand to all the participants of the 2015 Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest. It was a perfect day. Click the read more for 2015 Contestant Winners.
Congratulations to Larry Wines who was this years Legend Award Winner.
Read more: Blog Entry May 20, 2015
9:30am-5:30pm SCOTTISH FEST
With Neil O’Neill, Bad Haggis, Highland Way, Sligo Rags, Wicked Tinkers, The Ploughboys,
Christopher Yates, Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles
Orange County Fair and Event Center
88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
10:00am-7:00pm TOPANGA DAYS FESTIVAL
Topanga Community Club
1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290
10:30am – 8:00pm SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL
Featuring Canned Heat, Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers,
Andre Theirry & Zydeco Magic, The Magnolia Sisters, Yardbirds. The Magnolia Sisters
Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, Candye Kane, Guitar Shorty,
Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys and more
Rancho Santa Susana Community Park
5005 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063
Noon – 5:00pm VIN FIZ FLYER / DARREN LONGMAN / TIM TEDROW
Adams’ Pack Station
Chantry Flat Rd, Arcadia, CA 91006
4:00pm BEVERLY SMITH & JOHN GRIMM
Old Time Music
Deep End Ranch
Santa Paula, CA
Presented by Deep End Sessions
7:00pm BURNING HEART BLUEGRASS
Coffee Gallery Backstage
2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 92675
7:30pm CHAD & JEREMY
Laura R. Charles Theater, Sweetwater High School
2900 Highland Ave., National City, CA 91950
Presented by AMSD Concerts
8:00am - 1:00pm FAIR MARKET BAND
Hollywood Farmers Market
Ivar Ave. & Selma Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028
1:00pm - 5:00pm BASC BLUEGRASS JAM
West Valley Music Center
24424 Vanowen Street, West Hills, CA 91307
1:30pm - 4:30pm SAN DIEGO FOLK SONG SOCIETY
Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library
9005 Aero Dr, San Diego, CA
3:00pm - 5:30pm WILDE THISTLE IRISH SESSION
3456 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA
4:00pm - 7:00pm AULD DUBLINER TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION
71 S Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802
5:00pm - 9:00pm WEST L.A. HOOT & POTLUCK (SONGMAKERS)
West L.A. (Contact via email or website)
www.songmakers.org, West L.A. , CA 90025
5:30pm - 9:00pm THE GRAND OLE ECHO
1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
7:30pm - 11:00pm O'BRIEN'S IRISH MUSIC SESSION
O'Brien's Irish Pub and Restaurant
2226 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403
9:00pm KEN O'MALLEY
O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant
2941 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSIC CENTER
Ah, the Music Center. That bastion of high culture for the City of Angels. As a subscriber to L.A. Opera, I have strolled beneath the bands of shimmering crystal that drip from the ceilings of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. At the Ahmanson Theater, I have patronized Broadway musicals (Les Miserables twice). At the Taper I’ve sat, enthralled, as gifted and often renowned actors inhabited raw emotional terrain. Clearly the Music Center is a gift from the County of Los Angeles to the audiences for high culture. To those with the means to buy the tickets, that is.
Hello! Roll back the tape, please! The above assessment is terribly out of date. Terribly! Like about a dozen years.
Read more: THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSIC CENTER