• SPOTLIGHT


    FEATURE ARTICLES

    RARE APPEARANCE:
    THE KRUGER BROTHERS

    Kruger BrothersThe Kruger Brothers are making a rare West Coast appearance at the Broad Theater in Santa Monica on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 7:30pm.

    If you are not familiar with this trio (Jens on banjo, brother Uwe on guitar and Joel Landsberg on bass), get ready for an amazing evening. Sometimes referred to as “new traditional American music,”

    Read more: RARE APPEARANCE: THE KRUGER BROTHERS


    JUDY COLLINS
    ON VALENTINE’S DAY

    AT THE ROSE IN PASADENA - FEBRUARY 14, 2016

    By Ross Altman, PhD.

    Judy CollinsIf you’re looking for something special to do on Valentine’s Day you’ve come to the right place. A new concert venue is coming to Pasadena, sister club to the enormously successful Canyon Club in Agoura and the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. East Side, West Side, All Around the Town—The Rose at Paseo Colorado, 300 E. Colorado Blvd # 101, Pasadena, CA 91101.

    Read more: JUDY COLLINS ON VALENTINE’S DAY


    A DAY AT NAMM 2016 WITH ANNETTE & NOWELL

    By Annette Siegel (Living Tree Music)

    (Ed. Annette and Nowell Siegel run Living Tree Music which specializes in fretted instruments. Nowell is a luthier.)

    NAMM exterior 2 smNAMM 2016 was filled with all the usual glamour and glitz; enough noise to make your ears split (literally). A couple of exhibitors caught our eye.

    Read more: A DAY AT NAMM 2016 WITH ANNETTE & NOWELL


    NAMM Media Preview Day

    Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

    By Becky Nankivell & Michael Frey

    NAMM exterior 1 smWe’re excited to attend another NAMM Show as media representatives for FolkWorks. The National Association of Music Merchants annual 4-day trade show at the Anaheim Convention Center is a giant kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, with something for everyone. This year we thought we’d attend their Media Preview Day – maybe the lines for ID badges would be shorter!

    Read more: NAMM MEDIA PREVIEW DAY


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    January-February 2016

    Talking Blues with Doug MacLeod

    Part One

    By Audrey Coleman

    Doug MacLeodListening to a concert (or set) by Doug MacLeod means confronting the cruel jokes life can play on us, sometimes evoking moaning protests, other times raucous laughter. MacLeod’s guitar playing is gritty and true. Like the sound of his instrument, his voice and storytelling draw from the roots of the blues in the African-American South. The evening before our interview, I had ridden a roller-coaster of emotions listening to this white-skinned, white-haired bluesman at Boulevard Music in Culver City.

    Read more: TALKING BLUES WITH DOUG MACLEOD

    CONCERT REVIEWS

    TOMMY EMMANUEL IN CONCERT

    Pepperdine Smothers Theatre - January 20, 2016

    Certified Guitar Player and a Class Act

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Tommy EmmanuelThe Grand Canyon, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Sphinx, to those and the other 8 Wonders of the World you can add Certified Guitar Player Tommy Emmanuel, who gave a spectacular concert last night (January 20, 2016) at the Pepperdine University Smothers Theatre in Malibu.

    Read more: TOMMY EMMANUEL IN CONCERT


    MARC COHN IN CONCERT

    Pepperdine Smothers Theatre - June 16, 2016

    Reflections on the 25th Anniversary
    Of Walking in Memphis

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Marc CohnSinger-Songwriter Marc Cohn broke through to a national audience 25 years ago with his 1991 hit Walking in Memphis. But before he could walk in Memphis this Cleveland songwriter had to fly there, and thereby hangs a tale. James Taylor no less gave him the idea—to break out of a spell of writer’s block. Taylor told him to “try a geographic,” change his locale, get out of familiar places and habits and shake his mind up so it might be receptive to new experiences and ideas. Marc Cohn was telling this story last night by way of introducing his hit song and how it came to be written.

    Read more: WALKING IN MEMPHIS: MARC COHN IN CONCERT


    Here Comes the Knight: Van Morrison Live

    At the Shrine Auditorium - Friday January 15, 2016

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Van MorrisonForget about Celtic Soul, forget about Irish Mystic, forget about Belfast Cowboy, and above all forget about 1970s soft-rock—all the comfortable hybrids we’ve grown accustomed to using to describe this now-70-year old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. Last night I heard the greatest pure blues singer of my life in downtown Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium

    Read more: HERE COMES THE KNIGHT: VAN MORRISON LIVE


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON DVD

    ARTIST: ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON

    LABEL: OLD TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    Eric  Suzy Thompson DVDDavid Bragger has filmed this superb 18-cut performance DVD of Berkeley's Eric and Suzy Thompson. The intimacy of the video puts you up close and personal. It's a bit like attending a concert and sitting a foot or two in front of the performers. The extensive liner notes also help you to get inside the tunes and songs. Not many musicians can play such a wide range of genres and maintain such a high level of excellence in each one, but Eric and Suzy are definitely up to the task.

    Read more: ERIC & SUZY THOMPSON DVD


    TITLE: INTO THIN HAIR

    ARTIST: THE SUNNY MOUNTAIN SERENADERS

    LABEL: NONE

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    SUNNY MOUNTAIN SERENADERS - INTO THIN HAIRThe Sunny Mountain Serenaders comprise three great old-time musicians who play very well together. I have known all three for a long time. Mark Campbell is a Virginia fiddler who has won the prestigious fiddle contest at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, West Virginia. Mac Traynham, who plays banjo and harmonica and sings lead has won both banjo and fiddle at Clifftop. John Schwab has played guitar in many great bands and has written a book on old-time backup guitar. John sings harmony. They offer a generous 18 selections on this, their first CD.

    Read more: SUNNY MOUNTAIN SERENADERS - INTO THIN HAIR


    TITLE: SHAKIN' DOWN THE ACORNS

    ARTIST: RED SQUIRREL CHASERS

    LABEL: VIGORTONE

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    Red Squirrel Chasers - Shakin Down The AcornsThe Red Squirrel Chasers first formed about a decade ago to play dances. Now, they have combined their formidable talents into this new recording of 16 tunes and songs. The four members of the band are fiddler Stephanie Coleman, mandolinist Jim Collier, guitarist Jim Nelson, and bass player Dedo Norris. All four sing, though Collier and Nelson sing all the leads and most of the harmony. Their musical interests span the genres of old-time music and early bluegrass.

    Read more: RED SQUIRREL CHASERS - SHAKIN' DOWN THE ACORNS


    TITLE: SORROWS AND GLORIES

    ARTIST: RED MOON ROAD

    LABEL: SELF

    RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 11, 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    Sorrows and Glories - Red Moon RoadOne of the most exciting folk groups to come out of Canada in recent years, Red Moon Road brings an irresistible blend of energy, charm, story-telling, and musical virtuosity to their songs that makes you want to hear them again and again. With wonderful melodies punctuated by spot-on harmonies and upbeat rhythms, their second album, Sorrows and Glories, is as refreshingly original as it is inviting; as ideal for careful listening as it is for just driving in your car and not minding the traffic so much.

    Read more: RED MOON ROAD - SORROWS AND GLORIES


    TITLE: HURRY UP AND WAIT

    ARTIST: DUET 2 IT

    LABEL: ET ENT.

    RELEASE DATE: 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    duet 2 itOnce, when I was at a concert, I overheard someone say (about the artist), “She could sing the telephone book and it would sound amazing.” That’s the kind of voice that Erin Montgomery brings to Duet 2 It. And her abilities are matched, on lead guitar, by her partner, Chris Roullard. Together, in Hurry Up and Wait, this young duo has created a debut album that fairly explodes with talent, vitality, and a sophistication that belies their years.

    Read more: DUET 2 IT - HURRY UP AND WAIT


    everything but ...

    KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & MERLE HAGGARD

    Dateline Beverly Hills,

    February 2, 2016:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Merle Haggard's concert with Kris Kristofferson at the Saban Theatre tonight was canceled due to Merle's illness. He is recovering from double pneumonia.

    FolkWorks wishes Merle Haggard a complete, painless, and speedy recovery so that your concert with Kris Kristofferson may be rescheduled later this year.

    All fans of great country and folk music are on the fighting side of Merle Haggard and send our heartfelt prayers and good wishes to his family for a return to good health.

    Read more: KRIS KRISTOFFERSON & MERLE HAGGARD


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 2/6/16


    MUSIC


    fwpick

    1:00pm NATHAN AND JESSE

    Cafe Aroma

    54750 North Circle Dr., Idyllwild, CA 92549

    951-659-5212


    fwpick

    3:00pm RATTLE THE KNEE

    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

    6:00pm NATHAN AND JESSE

    Ferro

    25840 Cedar St, Idyllwild, CA 92549

    951-659-0700


    7:00pm TARA BEIER

    Canadian folk singer-songwriter

    Hotel Café

    1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038

    323-461-2040


    7:30pm ELLIS PAUL

    Laura R. Charles Theater, Sweetwater High School

    2900 Highland Ave., National City, CA 91950

    Presented by AMSD Concerts


    fwpick

    8:00pm JIM KWESKIN / HAPPY TRAUM

    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

    8:00pm LAURENCE JUBER

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


    8:00pm KEOLA BEAMER and HENRY KAPONO

    Hawaiian guitar concert

    Irvine Barclay Theatre

    4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, CA 92697

    949-854-4646


    fwpick

    8:00pm JAMES LEE STANLEY

    Boulevard Music

    4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230

    310-398-2583


    10:00pm MISS TESS AND THE TALKBACKS

    The Mint

    6010 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

    323-954-9630



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    2:00pm - 5:00pm NORTHRIDGE SONG CIRCLE (SONGMAKERS) first Saturday

    Northridge (Contact via Songmakers website)

    Unlisted, Northridge, CA

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

    Lisa Reinhardt 818-885-6108 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:00pm ORANGE COUNTY HOOT (SONGMAKERS ) first Saturday

    Orange County (Contact via Songmakers website)

    Home of David Borger and Ann Carroll, Mission Viejo , CA 9269X

    David Borger and Ann Carroll 949-297-8393 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:30pm BLUEGRASS CONCERTS every Saturday

    Me N Eds Pizza Parlor

    4115 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712

    562-421-8908


    6:30pm - 11:00pm SANTA MONICA TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC CLUB first Saturday

    Sha'Arei Am (Santa Monica Synagogue)

    1448 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

    310-453-4276

    April Wayland 310-376-8760 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm FRET HOUSE OPEN MIC (SIGNUP 7:30PM) first Saturday

    Fret House

    309 N. Citrus, Covina, CA 91723-2006

    626-339-7020


    DANCE


    6:00pm - 9:00pm SOLVANG VILLAGE FOLK DANCERS first, second, fourth & fifth Saturday

    Bethania Lutheran Parish Hall

    603 Atterdag Rd., Solvang, CA

    David Heald 805-688-3397


    7:30pm - 11:00pm 1ST SATURDAY BRENTWOOD CONTRADANCE first Saturday

    Brentwood Youth House

    731 So. Bundy Dr., Brentwood, CA

    626-205-2044

    Beata Ponder 310-621-8538 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm VESELO SELO FOLK DANCERS first, third & fifth Saturday

    Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim

    511 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA

    Kathy Molga 949-573-1585


    PASSINGS

    Andy M. Stewart

    (September 8, 1952- December 27, 2015)

    Silly Wizard
    Andy M Stewart, 2nd from left with members of Silly Wizard..
    Andy M. Stewart, born in Alyth, Perthshire, Scotland, was known as the lead singer in the group Silly Wizard.

    Andy M. Stewart had been left paralyzed from the chest down after a failed operation on his spine in September 2012. He was taken into hospital in early December after suffering a stroke.

    Read more: ANDY M. STEWART


    Al Ard

    (September 19, 1946 - December 18, 2015)

    By Ed Glass and Fron Heller

    Al Ard
    Photo by Leda Shapiro
    Al Ard at Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest in 1998.

    Our friend Al Ard died December 18, 2015 at the age of 69.

    Only rarely did he venture far from Lennox and Inglewood. But staying local never impeded the breadth and depth of his humanity and understanding.

    Al was an unpretentious and completely unselfish mentor to everyone, perhaps most importantly in a spiritual way. He never hesitated to enthusiastically teach others whatever he knew in the realm of music: spoons, rhythm, singing, guitar, harmonica, banjo, or anything else.

    Read more: AL ARD


    GRAMMY NOMINEES

    2015 GRAMMY NOMINEES

    OF INTEREST TO FOLKWORKS READERS

    11. BEST CONTEMPORY INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM

    36. BEST GOSPEL PERFORMANCE SONG

    38. BEST GOSPEL ALBUM

    40. BEST ROOTS GOSPEL ALBUM

    44. BEST TROPICAL LATIN ALBUM

    45. BEST AMERICAN ROOTS PERFORMANCE

    46. BEST AMERICAN ROOTS SONG

    47. BEST AMERICANA ALBUM

    48. BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM

    49. BEST BLUES ALBUM

    50. BEST FOLK ALBUM

    51. BEST REGIONAL ROOTS MUSIC ALBUM

    53. BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM

    54. BEST CHILDREN'S ALBUM

    66. BEST ALBUM NOTES

    67. BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM

    -->Click for DETAILS

    Read more: 2015 GRAMMY NOMINEES


    BOOK REVIEW

    TITLE: WOODY GUTHRIE L.A.—1937-1941

    AUTHORS: DARRYL HOLTER AND WILLIAM DEVERELL
    FOREWORD BY ED CRAY

    PUBLISHER: ANGEL CITY PRESS (SANTA MONICA, CA)

    PUBLICATION DATE: January 15, 2016

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    WOODY GUTHRIE L.A.1937-1941This account of Woody Guthrie’s pivotal four years in Los Angeles from 1937 to 1941—during which he became the political songwriter who influenced four generations of American folk singers—from Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen—will send a seismic shockwave through the standard narrative of the folk revival of the1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s. Measured on the Richter Scale, I would put it at a 6.7—in the same territory as the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

    Read more: WOODY GUTHRIE L.A.—1937-1941


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.