• FOLKWORKS DECLARES FEBRUARY DANCE MONTH

    Contra Dancing 2

    Try something new…or something old. Imagine this: you are in a dance hall. There is a live band playing an upbeat, tune. You can’t help but move your feet. Music is the force, but dance is the action. Folk dancing is a community activity that goes back generations. It is deep rooted. Dance ethno-musicologists spend their lives studying this culture. For the rest of us, dance is just something we do.

    Read more: FOLKWORKS DECLARES FEBRUARY DANCE MONTH


    SPOTLIGHT

    ISRAELI DANCING

    NO LONGER YOUR MOTHER'S "MAYIM MAYIM"

    By Ruth Morris

    Israeli Folk DancingIsraeli "folk" dancing is not just a form of dance. Of the relatively familiar circle dances, a friend recently observed, "it's kind of like a (circular) group exercise class." Israeli folk dancing is now comprised of line and partner dancing, too. It is no longer your grandmother's "mayim mayim" or "hora," which can still be frequently seen and heard at synagogues on Friday nights. It is a symbolic manifestation of the Jewish spirit and mind.

    Read more: ISRAELI DANCING - NO LONGER YOUR MOTHER'S "MAYIM MAYIM"


    INTERVIEWS

    THE PEOPLE NEED LIGHT – DAROL ANGER AND MR. SUN

    By Annette Siegel

    Mr. SunDarol Anger is a legendary fiddler; he’s also one of those rare musicians whose career has spanned many generations. He’s living a rich full musical life; whether teaching, composing or performing it’s with a passionate heart. His new band Mr. Sun boasts multi-generational players; happily their music takes no notice of age.

    AS: What was the drive or instigation to form Mr. Sun?

    Read more: THE PEOPLE NEED LIGHT – DAROL ANGER AND MR. SUN


    THE NOCTURNE DIARIES OF ELIZA GILKYSON

    By Annette Siegel

    Eliza GilkysonEliza Gilkyson’s recent Grammy nominated The Nocturne Diaries delivers a haunting yet silky feel to the songs. Eliza’s guitar, acoustic or eclectic sets a base with steady rhythm creating a feel of yearning, crying out with the emotion packed within the lyrics. Adding various instruments that are used as a brush to color each song, with her son’s (Cisco Ryder) percussion keeping the pulse, Eliza is a Folk artist that’s not shy about looking at what’s currently happening in the world through her music.

    AS: So you’re recently back from your trip to Los Angeles for the Grammy’s… it must have been quite an honor to be nominated once again (her previous nomination was for her 2004 CD Land of Milk and Honey for Best Contemporary Folk).

    Read more: THE NOCTURNE DIARIES OF ELIZA GILKYSON


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    March-April 2015

    WHERE DID THE JAMS GO?

    LIFE AFTER THE CALIFORNIA TRADITIONAL MUSIC SOCIETY

    By Roland Sturm

    CTMSLast month, I went to an old-time jam, which seemed to be just the same crowd as at the old-time jams at the California Traditional Music Society, which closed in 2012. That made me wonder what happened to the other regular activities that used to happen at the California Traditional Music Society: The weekly bluegrass and Celtic sessions, the Scottish fiddle classes, etc. Did they disappear? Were they replaced by something new?

    Organized events are essential to keep traditional music alive and get new people involved. Anybody can go to the store and pick up a book on how to play an instrument or take lessons. But music is a social activity and practicing on your own at home is rather limiting and more often quickly leads to a dead-end. The energy and the intricacies of traditional music are not captured in sheet music, but needs to be experienced live.

    Read more

    BLOG

    February 19th, 2015

    Three Women & The Truth

    Check out the interview with Eliza Gilkyson


    2015 GRAMMY WINNERS


    Read more: Blog Entry February 19th, 2015


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 3/3/15


    8:00pm STRINGFEVER

    Coffee Gallery Backstage

    2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 92675

    626-798-6236 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    fwpick

    9:00pm NU BLU

    Bluegrass

    Winston’s

    1921 Bacon St., San Diego, CA 92107-2805

    619-222-6822


    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 3/3/15

    Ongoing Music


    6:00pm - 9:00pm AGOURA IRISH SESSION first Tuesday

    Brendan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant

    1755 E Daily Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010

    888-811-5818


    7:00pm - 9:30pm JC HYKE'S SONGWRITERS SERENADE every Tuesday

    Matt Denny's Ale House Restaurant & Bar

    145 E. Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006


    7:00pm NORTH COUNTY BLUEGRASS AND FOLK CLUB first Tuesday

    Round Table Pizza (Escondido)

    1161 E Washington Ave (Ash and Washington, Escondido, CA 92025


    7:00pm BLUEGRASS SOUP JAM every Tuesday

    Convert-A-Tape

    2420 Gundry Ave., Signal Hill , CA 90755


    7:30pm ZINGEN FAR SHOLEM (SINGING FOR PEACE) YIDDISH CHORUS first Tuesday

    House in Silverlake

    , Los Angeles, CA


    8:00pm - 11:00pm TIMMY NOLAN TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION every Tuesday

    Timmy Nolan's Tavern and Grill

    10111 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, CA 91602

    818-985-3359


    8:30pm - 11:30pm THE BREWGRASS JAM PRESENTED BY THE BLUEGRASS SITUATION first Tuesday

    Chloe's at Golden Road Brewing

    5410 San Fernando Rd. West, Los Angeles, CA 90039

    213-373-4677


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: LONG BEFORE LIGHT

    ARTIST: THE ONLIES

    LABEL: NONE

    RELEASE DATE: APRIL 4, 2015

    By Anya Sturm

    long before lightLong Before Light is the third CD by the Onlies, a three-piece band from Seattle. Sami Braman, Riley Calcagno, and Leo Shannon are still juniors in high school, but have played together for years, so they are a solid band. Together, they have been to many fiddle camps including Valley of the Moon, Sierra Fiddle Camp, Fiddle tunes, Big Sur Fiddle Camp, and Mount Shasta Fiddle Camp and the influence of those camps shows. It is not uncommon to walk around these camps at any time of day or night and hear people jamming and that CD reflects the same laid-black groove that develops from playing in those jams.

    Read more: THE ONLIES: LONG BEFORE LIGHT


    TITLE: TOMORROW IS MY TURN

    ARTIST: RHIANNON GIDDENS

    LABEL: NONESUCH

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    giddens-tomorrow-is-my-turnIn case you were wondering whether Rhiannon Giddens has one of the great singing voices of our time, her new solo CD will answer that question. If you had not been wondering, it means that you probably have not heard her sing. T-Bone Burnett, who produced this collection of eleven songs, places her in a musical geneology ranging through Marian AndersonOdettaMahalia Jackson, and Rosetta Tharpe

    Read more: RHIANNON GIDDENS: TOMORROW IS MY TURN


    TITLE: GREEN

    ARTIST: SABRINA & CRAIG

    LABEL: LIONESS / BRONZE MEDAL MUSIC

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    Sabrina  Craig - GREENA work of passion and perfection, Sabrina & Craig’s second joint album, GREEN, wastes no time in sweeping you away with sweet melodies, dynamic rhythms, brilliant finger-style guitar, and the gorgeous harmonies that have become the duo’s trademark.

    All eleven tracks are original –written by either Sabrina Schneppat or Craig Lincoln – and they flow easily together in a refreshing variety of styles ranging from folk to old-timey, from blues to ballads, from jazzy lounge numbers to toe-tapping Americana.

    Read more: SABRINA & CRAIG - GREEN


    DYLAN DOES SINATRA HIS WAY

    TITLE: SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT

    ARTIST: BOB DYLAN

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 3, 2015

    LABEL: COLUMBIA RECORDS

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Dylan Shadows in the NightThe Fifties were anything but fabulous for Frank Sinatra; he was dropped by Columbia Records in 1952, his career in the doldrums. His personal life wasn’t any better. He was divorced by his wife Nancy and attempted suicide in despair due to his tumultuous relationship with his next wife, Ava Gardner. In 1955 he released In the Wee Small Hours, a new kind of concept album, and followed it with Where Are You in 1957, an even starker portrayal of a singer at the end of his rope. In 1958 he rounded out this trilogy of unfulfilled romantic longing with Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely, his third album for Capitol Records. At the edge of the abyss, in retrospect they represent Sinatra at his introspective best, before he got caught up in the Chairman-of-the-Board bravado of New York, New York and My Way.

    Read more: DYLAN DOES SINATRA HIS WAY


ARTIST: VARIOUS

TITLE: AMY HANAIALI’I AND SLACK KEY MASTERS OF HAWAII

LABEL: PETERSON PRODUCTIONS

RELEASE: 2010

By Audrey Coleman

Amy_HanaialiiI took one look at the cover of this CD and concluded that it was a shoe-in for the 2011 Grammy for Best Hawaiian Music Album. After five years of awarding it to compilations of slack key guitar music, the mucky-mucks could enjoy a refreshing twist on their love affair with slack key. Celebrated vocalist, Amy Hanaiali’i, who has lost out to slack key at the Grammies more than once, had teamed up with five masters of the beloved guitar tradition: Cyril Pahinui, Sonny Lim, Dennis Kamakahi, Jeff Peterson, and Chino Montero. It’s a dazzling collaboration and thoroughly enjoyable listening. Did it win the Grammy? No! This year the award for Best Hawaiian album went to a vocalist of more limited gifts than Amy and no hint of slack key guitar on the cover. Go figure! We move on...

Although it was recorded in a studio, Amy Hanaiali’i and Slack Key Masters of Hawaii has the flavor of a live concert. The musicians each get a turn being center stage, accompanying Amy, in some cases singing with her or playing slack key with one another. Not only do they display their gifts as musicians; in some cases, they showcase their own compositions.

ARTIST: VARIOUS

TITLE: AMY HANAIALI’I AND SLACK KEY MASTERS OF HAWAII

LABEL: PETERSON PRODUCTIONS

RELEASE: 2010

By Audrey Coleman

Amy_HanaialiiI took one look at the cover of this CD and concluded that it was a shoe-in for the 2011 Grammy for Best Hawaiian Music Album. After five years of awarding it to compilations of slack key guitar music, the mucky-mucks could enjoy a refreshing twist on their love affair with slack key. Celebrated vocalist, Amy Hanaiali’i, who has lost out to slack key at the Grammies more than once, had teamed up with five masters of the beloved guitar tradition: Cyril Pahinui, Sonny Lim, Dennis Kamakahi, Jeff Peterson, and Chino Montero. It’s a dazzling collaboration and thoroughly enjoyable listening. Did it win the Grammy? No! This year the award for Best Hawaiian album went to a vocalist of more limited gifts than Amy and no hint of slack key guitar on the cover. Go figure! We move on...

Although it was recorded in a studio, Amy Hanaiali’i and Slack Key Masters of Hawaii has the flavor of a live concert. The musicians each get a turn being center stage, accompanying Amy, in some cases singing with her or playing slack key with one another. Not only do they display their gifts as musicians; in some cases, they showcase their own compositions.

Prolific Dennis Kamakahi sings his delightful country-style E Mau Ke Aloha in Hawaiian and English, accompanying himself on guitar with room for a guitar solo by Chino Montero. Kamakahi shines as a slack key guitarist and vocalist, his deep rich voice combining with Amy’s in a poignant song composed by Queen Kapi’olani in the late 19th century Ipo Lei Manu.

Cyril Pahinui is keeper of the slack key tradition that his father, Gabby “Pops” Pahinui revitalized and popularized. Cyril shares vocals and plays guitar in a trademark Pahinui number, Hi’ilawe with Jeff Peterson adding his own slack key sound to enrich the accompaniment. Pahinui does a lively interpretation of Miloli’i on vocals and guitar with Sonny Lim spicing up the song with well-chosen steel guitar enhancements.

Amy sings her own composition Keawa Nui with loving attention to the art of falsetto that makes it clear why the mantles of falsetto greats Lena Machado and recently-passed Genoa Keawe have easily remained on her shoulders. A ukulele solo by Jeff Peterson kicks it up a notch.

Chino Montero gets to demonstrate his male falsetto singing and solid slack key technique in Makee ‘Ailana. Dennis Kamakahi plays one of the two slack key solos in this number, enlivening it with a contrasting style. I confess I have not followed Montero’s career as I have the other participants in this album, but I think he performs at a level that is harmonious with his peers.

An all-instrumental number, Vaqueros, brings together composer Sonny Lim with Montero and Jeff Peterson for a flamenco-flavored hats-off to the cowboys who brought the guitar to Hawaii.

I would be negligent if I did not mention the way Jeff Peterson’s talents permeate this album. No fewer than six of the sixteen cuts feature his compositions. My favorite is Pukana La on which he plays solo. He creates an otherworldly feeling with unusual chord progressions, sweet-voiced picking, and sensitive rubato. We also hear Peterson’s eclectic musicianship on eleven of the numbers, mainly slack key but also including classical guitar on Vaqueros and ukulele in Keawa Nui.

In the end, this is still Amy’s album. She opens with Fields of Gold by Sting, bringing to it heartrending nuances. Nevertheless, I find the song a strange choice for an album in which she and her friends otherwise celebrate Hawaiian culture and landscape. The mention of “fields of barley” made me wince despite the added Hawaiian lyrics. Do they even grow barley in Hawaii? Shouldn’t it be “through ponds of taro (traditional Hawaiian staple crop) or to use the old Hawaiian word kalo? Hmmm. The trouble is those ponds have you thigh deep in mud. I’ve been there. As we trudge through the sludge-ponds of kalo? Definitely not as romantic as barley fields. Enough! It’s a great album!

Audrey Coleman is a journalist, educator, and passionate explorer of traditional and world music.