• 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.

    Syncopath 2014 3

    CONTRA DANCE

    Friday, October 24th

    8:00pm 

    CONCERT

    Saturday, October 25th

    8:00pm 

    doors open at 7:00pm

    (food will be available)

    CDC LogoCONTRA DANCE:Skandia Hall

    2031 E. Villa St., Pasadena, CA 91107


    CONCERT: newly renovated Talking Stick Cafe

    1411 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
    at Lincoln and California St. in corner behind Pollo Loco
    Parking available behind or in Ross Dress For Less parking lot.

    Read more: For Tickets, Venues, Videos and more


    SPOTLIGHT

    labs 11x17 poster final venue-01 smaller

    Read more: BLUEGRASS SITUATION FESTIVAL


    PASSINGS

    REMEMBERING JEAN REDPATH:

    THE VOICE OF SCOTLAND

    APRIL 28 1937 – AUGUST 21 2014

    By Ross Altman

    Jean RedpathIn the dead of winter in 1961 a brilliant young folk singer from the North Country blew into Greenwich Village and caught the eye of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Dave Van Ronk—even sharing their village flat—and the ear of Mike Porco at Gerdes Folk City—who was booking the best and the brightest for his growing clientele of folk music fans—at the behest of the Folklore Center’s Izzy Young next door; a young Bob Dylan, from Hibbing, Minnesota?

    Wrong gender; wrong city, wrong country; wrong folk singer; she was Jean Redpath—all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland—who shared an apartment with Dylan that first fateful “coldest winter in 17 years” when together they redrew the map of American folk music. Thirty-six years later, in 1997s Time Out of Mind, Dylan opened a window onto this early relationship with his long rhapsodic love song, Highlands, inspired by Robert Burns’ song My Heart’s In the Highlands, where he avowed his heart still belonged:

    Read more: Remembering Jean Redpath


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    September-October 2014

    MUSIC FOR A CAUSE, OR A CAUSE FOR MUSIC?

    BY LINDA DEWAR

    national-collectiveFlashback! As I’m writing this, Scotland is in its final weeks of political frenzy leading up to an important referendum vote on September 14. It will be one of the most significant votes taken in any European country in decades… a chance to decide whether we will remain in the United Kingdom or become a separate country on our own, no longer tied to England, Wales and Northern Ireland except as neighbors on the same group of islands.

    This is a true grassroots political event, the likes of which I haven’t witnessed since the sixties. And it’s reassuring to note that folk and trad musicians are involved in much the same way they were in those turbulent times.

    Read more Music for a cause, or a cause for music?

    CD REVIEWS

    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


    TITLE: SONGS ABOUT TRACTORS AND STUFF

    ARTIST: DENNIS ROGER REED

    LABEL: PLASTIC MELTDOWN RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: 2014

    By Jackie Morris

    Songs About Tractors and StuffFrom the very first blue notes of Dennis Roger Reed’s guitar, I knew I was hooked. And the vocals that followed did not disappoint. Reed has “that sound” – so casual, so fluid, so rhythmically right-on-the-money – that makes his blues-infused Country/Americana, rootsy, rock-a-billy and other “stuff” groove so immediately appealing. It’s a sound that conjures up fantasies of old-time honkytonks and gritty biker bars; yet at the same time, it’s the timeless sound of polished talent.

    Read more: DENNIS ROGER REED - SONGS ABOUT TRACTORS AND STUFF


    CONCERT REVIEW

    GORDON LIGHTFOOT AT THE SABAN THEATRE:

    DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS - SEPTEMBER 27, 2014

    By Ross Altman

    Gordon LightfootI got taken by a creative con artist at Gordon Lightfoot’s concert last night at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills—taken for my extra ticket so graciously offered by theatre publicity manager Luanne Nast. In exchange for my FolkWorks Preview of the concert (Gordon Lightfoot: A True Night Upon the Road) she gave me a press pass + 1, which it turned out I didn’t need. When I got to the theatre, before going to the box office window I was approached by a down-at-the-heels slight-looking bearded man-on-the-street straight out of an O. Henry story who, of course, “had a certain charm about him.”

    He smiled at me and started singing If You Could Read My Mind and asked me if I had an extra ticket. He looked like someone who couldn’t afford to pay for one, and I thought in an instant maybe here is an opportunity to do a random act of kindness, a mitzvah just in time for Rosh Hashanah. He read my mind perfectly—an easy mark—and I said, “Wait a minute, I just might.” After a recent disappointment with a promised press pass that did not materialize I never count my press passes until I hold them in my hand. When I got to the window there they were as promised—and an aisle seat at that just as I had requested so my guest would be able to take an unscheduled restroom break without disturbing the entire row: Orchestra, Row DD (fourth row from the stage) seats 113 and 114—$125 face value each (concealed by a big fat “O” (for O Henry?) where the price would have been).

    Read more: GORDON LIGHTFOOT AT THE SABAN THEATRE


    BLOG

    OCTOBER 1, 2014

    THIS AIN'T NO MOUSE MUSIC! The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records

    Don’t miss the new documentary, This Ain’t No Mouse Music!  about the legendary founder of Arhoolie Records, Chris Strachwitz, coming to the Downtown Independent theater at 251 S. Main St. in LA on October 1st through 9th! Opening night, Wednesday Oct. 1, the filmmakers and Chris will be in attendance. Join him for on a hip-shaking stomp from Texas to New Orleans, Cajun country to Appalachia, on a passionate quest for the musical soul of America.

    Read more: THE FOLKWORKS BLOG



    FEATURED VIDEO

    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 9/30/14


    6:00pm JC HYKE'S SONGWRITERS SERENADE

    Matt Denny's Ale House Restaurant & Bar

    145 E. Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006


    7:00pm TIMMY NOLAN TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    Timmy Nolan's Tavern and Grill

    10111 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, CA 91602

    818-985-3359


    7:00pm BLUEGRASS SOUP JAM

    Convert-A-Tape

    2420 Gundry Ave., Signal Hill , CA 90755


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.