• SPOTLIGHTS

    Simi Valley Cajun Blues Festival

    MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MAY 28-29th
    Tickets

    See Read more... for location, schedule and videos

    Read more: SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL


    Topanga Days

    Topanga Days pictureTickets

    See Read more... for location, schedule and videos

    Read more: TOPANGA DAYS


    CONCERT REVIEW

    THE SHOW PONIES IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

    WITH MOONSHINER COLLECTIVE AT BOOTLEG THEATER, MAY 20, 2016

    By Tom Cheyney

    The Show PoniesOn a clear night when a full moon’s south pole glow spread like a mountain man’s beard, The Show Ponies tapped deep into their own particularly luminous brand of rockin’ string-band Americana at the Bootleg. Rambunctiously professional musicianship, tightly wrapped harmonies, rootsy soulfulness and an evangelical-edged zest for living brought band and fans together in a sweaty salvational embrace.

    Read more: THE SHOW PONIES IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: ALL THESE YEARS

    ARTIST: SOLAS

    LABEL: THL RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 17, 2016

    By Anya Sturm

    Solas - All These YearsFor the past 20 years, Solas has blurred the line of modern and traditional Irish music. In their new album, All These Years, they blend traditional and contemporary tunes, American and Irish music, and even rock with traditional Celtic energy. Moira Smiley, the new singer, joins the long standing members consisting of Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran), Winifred Horan (fiddles, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and, Mick McAuley (button accordion, vocals).

    Read more: SOLAS - ALL THESE YEARS


    TITLE: BEHAVE THE BRAVEST

    ARTIST: NUALA KENNEDY

    LABEL: UNDER THE ARCH RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: January 29, 2016

    By Jackie Morris

    Nuala Kennedy - Behave the BravestA true Celtic gem! Nuala Kennedy’s fourth solo album, Behave The Bravest – Traditional Music from Ireland, Scotland, and Beyond - is a brilliant display of the acclaimed singer and flutist’s multi-faceted talent. The album, recorded over six months on three continents – while Nuala was on tour with her band in the U.K., Australia and the U.S. – provides a lovely mix of traditional music with an excitingly fresh sound. There are ancient ballads...a waulking song, sung in Gaelic...love songs from Scotland and Ulster...a contemporary Celtic instrumental...and two instrumental medleys, one of reels and the other of jigs.

    Read more: BEHAVE THE BRAVEST - NUALA KENNEDY


    TITLE: CAN’T STAY HERE THIS A-WAY

    ARTIST: BRUCE MOLSKY

    LABEL: OLD-TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: MAY 2016

    By Pat Mac Swyney

    Bruce Molsky - Can't Stay Here This a-Way Last summer, the trailer for this latest release from the Old-Time Tiki Parlour started showing up on social media. It opens with black screen audio of Bruce Molsky blazing through the classic fiddle tune Old Sledge followed by a seemingly audacious quote from Darol Anger, a founding member and fiddler from the David Grisman Quintet; declaring Bruce Molsky to be “The Rembrandt of Appalachian Fiddle.”

    Read more: BRUCE MOLSKY - CAN’T STAY HERE THIS A-WAY


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    May-June 2016

    STORIES WE COULD TELL

    By Dennis Roger Reed

    1984RalphStanley-300If you are around music for long, you have music stories. Here are two. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, unless I forgot or want to name drop. I find if I am vague about the who, the greatly exaggerated what may be overlooked.

    Ralph Stanley and the Jogging Suit

    I know a gentleman who is not only a great musician and singer, but also a great songwriter. Bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley has recorded some of his songs, and he and Ralph are friends. About 25 years ago Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys were playing a few engagements in Southern California, and Ralph stayed at the songwriter’s home in the Inland Empire. The songwriter worked out regularly at a local gym, and he invited Ralph to join him. And to entice him to do so, he bought Ralph a then “stylish” purple, velour, jogging suit. If you are a Ralph Stanley fan, you have no doubt seen him photographed wearing workout clothing, but 25 years ago, you had not. If fact, you’d probably expect to see Mike Tyson playing hot five string banjo before you would dream that you would ever see Dr. Ralph in workout gear.

    Ralph’s next gig was in South Orange County at Shade Tree Music on a Monday night. He obtained lodging near the beach.

    At the Shade Tree gig, the songwriter told me about Ralph having stayed with him, the gym and Ralph’s new jogging suit.

    Read more: STORIES WE COULD TELL

    everything but ...

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    BOB DYLAN

    (May 24, 1941)

    Click Read more... for
    TOPANGA BANJO-FIDDLE CONTEST WINNERS

    Read more: BOB DYLAN AND TOPANGA BANJO-FIDDLE CONTEST WINNERS


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 5/27/16


    MUSIC


    TENOR GUITAR GATHERING (TGG7)

    Astoria, Oregon


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    10:00am-3:00pm ORANGE COUNTY SCOTTISH FEST

    With Bad Haggis, Christopher Yates, Highland Way, Neil O’Neil,
    The Ploughboys, Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles, Sligo Rags, Wicked Tinkers

    Orange County Fairgrounds

    88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


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    10:30am – 8:00pmSIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL

    BLUES STAGE:

    Guy Martin, Barbara Morrison, Rebirth Brass Band,

    Eric Burdon & The Animals, Dwayne Dopsie

    CAJUN – ZYDECO STAGE

    Bayou Brothers, Dwayne Dopsie, Doug Kershaw with Steve Riley
    Chubby Carrier, Mark St. Mary

    Rancho Santa Susana Community Park

    5005 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063


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    11:00am-6:00pm TOPANGA DAYS FAIR

    With Masanga Marimba, Fishtank Ensemble, Topanga Ukulele Revival, Lilt’n’tang & The Regulars

    Topanga Community Club

    1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290

    310-455-1980 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    fwpick

    12:00pm CLIFF LATIMER & LAURA OSBORN

    Viva Cantina

    900 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91506

    818-845-2425


    2:00pm CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF MERLE HAGGARD

    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.


    6:30pm THE LUMINEERS

    Santa Barbara Bowl

    1122 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103-2336

    805-962-7411


    6:30pm PERCUSSION WORKSHOP: BRANDON TERZIC & NACHO ARIMANY

    The Markaz

    5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035

    323-413-2001


    7:00pm PAT DONOHUE

    Mission Viejo Civic Center

    100 Civic Center Dr., Mission Viejo, CA 92691

    949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656

    Presented by Lord Of The Strings Concert Series


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    7:00pm GONZALEZ FAMILY / LA VICTORIA

    Caminos Y Canciones (Roads and songs)
    With Gabriel & Martha Gonzalez (Quetzal Band)
    and Claudia Gonzalez-Miranda (Cava Band)

    And Mary Alfaro (guitar), Vaneza Calderón (guitarrón), and Rosalie Rodriguez (violin)

    Japanese American Community and Cultural Center - Aratani Theatre

    244 South San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    213-628-2725


    7:00pm THE BURGANS & CHAN

    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

    7:30pm BERKLEY HART

    Laura R. Charles Theater, Sweetwater High School

    2900 Highland Ave., National City, CA 91950

    Presented by AMSD Concerts


    8:00pm PHRANC

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


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    8:00pm THE SALTY SUITES

    Fret House

    309 N. Citrus, Covina, CA 91723-2006

    626-339-7020


    8:30pm BRANDON TERZIC & NACHO ARIMANY

    Moroccan & Malian music

    The Markaz

    5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035

    323-413-2001



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    6:00pm - 8:00pm MOUNTAIN MUSIC JAM fourth Friday

    Joel's Canyon Shack

    Silverado Canyon Road, Silverado, CA

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

    Joel Robinson 714-649-9084 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 10:00pm VENTURA BELL ARTS HOOT (SONGMAKERS) fourth Friday

    Bell Arts Factory

    432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, CA 93001

    TJ Zeiler 805-910-7565 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm PLOUGHBOYS every Friday

    Tam O' Shanter (Ale & Sandwich Bar Lounge)

    2980 Los Feliz Bl, Los Feliz, CA 90039

    323-664-0228

    818-507-8445 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm ROOTS MUSIC NIGHT (LONG BEACH) fourth Friday

    Alex's Bar

    2913 E. Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804

    562-434-8292


    8:00pm - 10:00pm KATTYWOMPUS CONCERT / JAM every Friday

    Dollmakers Kattywompus

    412 S. Myrtle Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016

    626-357-1091

    Jennifer Ranger 626-357-1091


    DANCE


    2:00pm - 5:00pm SANTA PAULA SCANDINAVIAN DANCE second & fourth Saturday

    Briggs Elementary School

    14438 W. Telegraph, Santa Paula, CA

    Madeleine Waddell 805-604-9608 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:00pm - 10:00pm 4TH SATURDAY LANCASTER CONTRADANCE fourth Saturday

    Lutheran Church of the Master

    725 E Avenue J, Lancaster, CA

    Kevin Reilly 661-510-4148 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    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


    7:10pm - 10:30pm 4TH SATURDAY ANAHEIM CONTRADANCE fourth Saturday

    Downtown Community Center

    250 E. Center St., Anaheim, CA

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


    7:30pm - 11:00pm 4TH SATURDAY SOUTH PASADENA CONTRADANCE fourth Saturday

    South Pasadena Woman's Club

    1424 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, CA

    Steve Lewis 661-992-6014 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 11:00pm SAN DIEGO CONTRADANCES second & fourth Saturday

    Trinity United Methodist Church

    3030 Thorn St., San Diego, CA

    619-283-8550


    8:00pm - 11:00pm VESELO SELO FOLK DANCERS fourth Saturday

    Anaheim Downtown Community Center

    250 E. Center St., Anaheim, CA

    Kathy Molga 949-573-1585


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.