• UPCOMING CONCERT

    FolkWorks Logo Presents

    SYNCOPATHS

    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)

    VENUE CHANGE:
    Spero House in Santa Monica

    Address will be provided upon ticket purchase.

    Call 818-785-3839 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more info

    Tickets

    General Admission: $18

    FolkWorks members (Friend and above) – reserved seating: $16

    Online:      Syncopaths Concert Tickets                   

    Read more: For Tickets, Venues, Videos and more


    SPOTLIGHT

    Show Ponies

    More information about Show Ponies:

    Founded by lead singers and songwriters Andi Carder and Clayton Cheney in Texas in 2011, The Show Ponies recruited guitarist and producer Jason Harris, champion fiddler Philip Glenn, and master percussionist Kevin Brown when the band moved to Los Angeles. The music they make now can be described as Bluegrass-Infused Americana, but really they¹re just making songs that speak to their lives today. Whether it¹s struggling with the thought of marriage, working through issues of faith, or just blowing off steam from long weeks of touring, this is the voice of today¹s American artists. With Run For Your Life, The Show Ponies are crafting anthems for their generation.

    Read more: SHOW PONIES


    FEATURE ARTICLES

    NOBEL WHO? YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN

    TO KNOW WHICH WAY THE PRIZE GOES

    A Commentary By Ross Altman, PhD

    Nobel Prize for LiteratureAnother wasted Nobel Prize for Literature goes to someone you’ll never hear of again, while the writer whose Collected Lyrics are responsible for more quotable quotes than any book this side of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is passed over again. What were they thinking in Stockholm, I wonder, to make yet another award for extra-literary reasons—in this case the literary remembrance of the Nazi Occupation of France—rather than for literature itself, a body of work that truly represents what Victorian poet/critic Matthew Arnold called “the best that has been thought and said.”

    I refer of course to the collected works of the Poet Laureate of Rock and Roll, Bob Dylan, America’s weathervane in spite of himself—the artist whose every utterance is likely to find itself in newspaper headlines whenever the editor wants to hook a reader on a story. The vapidity of the Literature Prize has become all too predictable; no one can tell without a Google Search who won after it stopped being given to writers you had to have heard of before they won the award.

    Read more: NOBEL WHO? YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN


    ANGEL LUÍS FIGUEROA: THE MUSIC OF SANTERÍA

    By Jonathan Shifflett

    SanteroShuffling 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

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Bob Dylan“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


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    September-October 2014

    COUNTDOWN: THE COLD WAR HIT PARADE

    By Ross Altman

    Atomic PlattersWe 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.

    Read more COUNTDOWN: THE COLD WAR HIT PARADE

    BLOG

    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 21, 2014

    Clyde DavenportHAPPY BIRTHDAY

    Clyde Davenport  (October 21, 1921)

    Old-time fiddler, banjo player from Monticello, Kentucky

    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..


    Read more: THE FOLKWORKS BLOG


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 10/24/14


    6:30pm DENNIS ROGER REED & DON REED

    Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe Bistro

    54245 North Circle Dr. Unit C-8, Idyllwild, CA 92549

    814-360-7379


    fwpick

    7:30pm KATHY KALLICK BAND

    Bluegrass

    San Dieguito United Methodist Church

    170 Calle Magdalena, Encinitas, CA 92024

    858-566-4040

    Presented by San Diego Folk Heritage


    fwpick

    7:30pm PETE HUTTLINGER

    Fingerstyle Guitar

    Dana Point Community House

    24642 San Juan St., Dana Point, CA 92629

    949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656

    Presented by Lord Of The Strings Concert Series


    fwpick

    8:00pm CARRIE NEWCOMER

    Grace First Presbyterian Church

    3955 Studebaker Road, Long Beach, CA 90808

    562-420-2292


    fwpick

    8:00pm PRESTON REED

    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 NELL ROBINSON /RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


    fwpick

    8:00pm BOB DYLAN

    Dolby Theatre

    6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028


    fwpick

    8:30pm SHOW PONIES / BEFORE THE BRAVE / MOONSVILLE COLLECTIVE

    The Troubadour

    9081 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

    310-276-6168


    fwpick

    9:00pm SWING RIOTS QUIRKTETTE

    Gypsy, Créole & Carpathian Jazz

    The Trip Bar

    2101 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-396-9010


    8:00pm ALICE RUSSELL

    British soul singer

    Skirball Cultural Center

    2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

    310-440-4578


    fwpick

    9:00pm GRIFFIN HOUSE

    Hotel Café

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

    323-461-2040


    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 10/24/14


    7:00pm - 10:00pm BELL ARTS SONG CIRCLE (SONGMAKERS)

    Bell Arts Factory

    432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, CA 93001


    8:00pm KATTYWOMPUS CONCERT / JAM

    Dollmakers Kattywompus

    412 S. Myrtle Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016

    626-357-1091


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: LAUGHTER OUT OF TEARS

    ARTIST: MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO

    LABEL: WHIM RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

    By Jackie Morris

    Laughter Out of TearsHaunting, 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

    LABEL: NONE

    RELEASE DATE: JULY 2014

    By Jonathan Shifflett

    Haas Kowert Tice - You Got ThisBrittany 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


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.