DILLON IN DODGE
DYLAN AT THE DOLBY: OCTOBER 24, 2014
Hollywood may have stopped making Westerns, but Bob Dylan hasn’t. Marshall Dillon rode into Dodge City last night and restored law and order. The good guys won without firing a shot—but by the end the bad guys were behind bars. Who were they? Political corruption and decadence (Early Roman Kings), hard times and working class poverty (Workingman Blues #2), natural disasters (High Water Everywhere (for Charley Patton)), existential despair (Tangled Up in Blue) and war and injustice (Blowing In the Wind).
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FAREWELL TO BRUCE FRANZEN
TOPANGA BANJO•FIDDLE BOARD MEMBER
(AUGUST 9, 1950 – OCTOBER 15, 2014)
Celebration of A Life Well Lived
Saturday, November 1, 2014 Chapel at 10:00am at Oakwood Memorial Park (22601 Lassen St., Chatsworth, CA 91311 818-341-0344)
Jackie has requested that you bring your instruments to celebrate Bruce’s love of music.
I received a text message on Sunday, October 19, 2014 advising that Bruce Franzen had passed away. I first met Bruce in 1972. Over time, we lost contact, and then reconnected in 1991. We were friends ever since. Bruce was an "older brother" to me, helping me move once and he must have thought he was constantly rescuing me from bad relationships.
Bruce was past president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and together with his wife Jackie, the two have been organizers and volunteers on the roots music scene for many years.
Bruce's eyes would light up when Jackie's name was mentioned, and he was the love of her life.
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The Redemption Road Not Taken:
WILL TOM PAXTON’S NEW ALBUM STAND UP TO THE ORIGINAL?
One of the bright lights of Austin, Texas—home of Austin City Limits—is L.A. born folk singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, who tours all over the Midwest and has created more than a dozen albums of original songs since 1997, when she released her fourth album Redemption Road. The title song is track 12 and though the lyric insert sheet can be hard to read with the fine print, there is no problem reading the lyrics to the title song—they are plastered in large print all over the CD label itself—where most artists would put a flattering photograph of themselves. Not Eliza; she thought enough of her title track to make sure you couldn’t miss the lyrics; so here they are:
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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.
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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.”
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COUNTDOWN: THE COLD WAR HIT PARADE
We know of the great songs to have come out of the Civil War (We’re Tenting Tonight On the Old Camp Ground); and the Revolutionary War (Yankee Doodle), and the First World War (I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier) and the Second World War (The Sinking of the Reuben James), and the Vietnam War (Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation); but the Cold War? Since the battlefield was more like a chessboard, and the casualties were truth and faith in one’s government, what great songs would one point to give some kind of equal nobility to the cause for which so few died in vain?
That’s the question that vexed me as I spent several months preparing for a Pasadena library show on the subject of folk music during the Cold War. I knew the peace songs I had grown up on—Strangest Dream, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall—but I had no idea there would literally be hundreds more—on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and that they would lead me to a broader understanding of the cultural response to the looming Mushroom Cloud that overshadowed our childhoods in the 1950s.
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Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk, and flamenco. Shimabukuro has written numerous original compositions, including the entire soundtracks to two Japanese films, Hula Girls (2007) and the Japanese remake of Sideways (2009).
Well known in Hawaii and Japan during his early solo career in the early 2000s, Shimabukuro became famous internationally in 2006, when a video of him playing a virtuosic rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was posted on YouTube without his knowledge and became one of the first viral videos on that site. His concert engagements, collaborations with legendary musicians, media appearances, and music production have snowballed since then. In 2012, an award-winning documentary was released tracking his life, career, and music, titled Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings; it has screened in a variety of festivals, aired repeatedly on PBS, and been released on DVD.
Jake will be performing in Southern California at the following locations:
Pepperdine Univ. Smothers Theatre
24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
California Center For The Arts
340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025
Cerritos Performing Arts Center – Lyric Theatre
12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos, CA 90703
562 916-8501 or 800- 300-4345
OCTOBER 28, 2014
Hamilton Camp (October 30, 1934 – October 2, 2005)
British singer-songwriter, actor and voice actor. Camp's debut as a folk singer was at the Newport Folk Festival in 1960; and his first recording, with Bob Gibson, was Bob Gibson & Bob Camp at the Gate of Horn, from 1961.
For more information, surf over to this page.
DID YOU KNOW?: FolkWorks started as a hard copy newspaper. We printed 12-15000 copies every two months for 7 years. You can find the PDF versions by using the main menu and finding ARCHIVES on the right..
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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.
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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.
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