(Click on hyperlink for tickets)
Series at the Talking Stick Café
1411 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
NEVENKA September 27
East European Women's Choir
SYNCOPATHS October 25th
RICHARD THOMPSON PLAYED REAL GOOD FOR FREE
AT THE LEVITT PAVILION IN MACARTHUR PARK - JULY 10, 2014
But the one man band
By the quick lunch stand
He was playing real good for free
If you wanted to see the best concert in town last night you were at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park where Richard Thompson held court for an hour and a half—alternating between his Fender Stratocaster—the instrument behind his last album Electric—and his Irish-made Lowden guitar—the instrument behind the collection he had on sale for the folkies in the audience like me—Acoustic Classics—gathered together from live performances. It was a tour de force of masterful guitar accompaniment highlighting his dark world of original songs—but for two encores, which we’ll get to in a moment—going all the way back to Fairport Convention in the 1960s and later when he and his wife Linda added folk rock to the British Invasion.
JOAN BAEZ & GINGER AT THE GREEK
WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD DOGS— JULY 3, 2014
I never thought I’d be reviewing a dog for FolkWorks, but Joan Baez’s Dog-God-Dock Boggs-and-Bob Tour just rolled into town and I knew you’d want to hear about it. Her dog Ginger stole the show without even playing guitar. The late great actor Jack Lemmon when asked if he had any advice for young actors boiled it down to this: “Never do a play with a dog—they’ll steal every scene they are in.” Whenever she’d get up and approach the front of the stage to get a better look at the limousine liberals in the first three rows Joan would quip, “Attention follows motion, not sound,” meaning if the audience would stop moving around, so would Ginger. She was also given a tall glass of water during the show, and Joan let us know that she “couldn’t sing until Ginger had finished her water.” As far as I know she wasn’t a seeing-eye dog, so why was she on stage at the—ahem, Greek Theatre? It seems that Joan Baez has been stricken with a sudden crisis of lack of self-confidence and thinks she needs a huge bag of tricks to hold the audience’s attention—I assume we can all look forward to a dog-and-pony show the next time she is in town. (Memo to Joan: you know Dylan has a dog too—judging from the back cover of Self Portrait—but he doesn’t put him on stage when he’s performing.) Anyway, Ginger did a great job of being just who she is—a dog—and all Joan would have to do to present a great concert is to be just who she is—a folk singer—in case she has forgotten.
[Editors note: The following are parts 1, 2 and 3 of Ross' interview with Don McLean. The introduction to this interview is Ross' July-August Column ]
DON MCLEAN: THE FOLKWORKS INTERVIEW
In the following interview Don McLean has a few things to say about Pete Seeger that may raise some eyebrows, especially since the interview was conducted well before Pete passed away last January 27; so I want to preface it with this lovely tribute by Don McLean for Pete and what his loss meant to him; it is copied directly from his web site and shows how complex love can be.
Thank you, Don.
For about seven years from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, I knew the Seegers (Pete and Toshi) about as well as anybody. I worked with Pete Seeger frequently. He was very generous and encouraging at a time in my life when it meant a great deal to me.
DON MCLEAN: THE FOLKWORKS INTERVIEW
July 14, 2014, Woody Guthrie’s 102nd birthday—a day to celebrate folk music.
RA: Let me ask you about your father. You said at some point in the interview that I read that you were being encouraged to quit music because you weren’t making enough or weren’t successful enough and then the way you looked at it was you were making more in a day than your father made in a week…
RA: Okay, so to repeat that you were making more in a day than your father was earning in a week, which was about $150, and so you couldn’t see the argument. So I wanted to ask you, what did your father do for a living? And what influence did he have in terms of values and the things that you saw around your home?
DM: My father was a district manager for Consolidated Edison, the utility.
RA: Oh, okay.
DM: And he sold gas heat to people. And I never knew one single thing about what he did. He never spoke about what he did. He never talked about himself too much at all. He was taciturn in some ways, but near the end of his life when we were together, he told me all about childhood which was very tough. And then he died when I was with him.
Don McLean: The FolkWorks Interview
RA: How did you get acquainted with Pete?
DM: I got acquainted with him because, well I always loved his records, and loved that image which I felt was the perfect image for me, you know, because I was always kind of an outsider. I didn’t really want to work with people. I didn’t get along with people. I was always getting punished for things I was saying, you know, even at home. In school, at home, whatever, I would say something that was the truth, but it would get me in a lot of trouble and it kind of continued right on.
RA: Can you think of an example off the top of your head of that kind of thing?
DM: I can – wow, I mean, no. But I was always being impertinent, let’s say.
DM: The biggest example was American Pie, you know, where everybody sort of crucified me for – Rolling Stone crucified me for trying to take over the telling of the history of rock and roll.
DON MCLEAN: THE FOLKWORKS INTERVIEW
I happened to be at a roadside coffee stand yesterday where the radio was tuned to K-Earth 101; they were taking a commercial break to promote the station, and were playing two brief song excerpts to do so. The first was the Rolling Stones Satisfaction and the second was Don McLean’s American Pie. That’s all—no Beatles, no Madonna, no Elvis, no Rod Stewart, no Chuck Berry, and no Dylan; just the Stones and Don McLean. After the sound samples concluded the announcer breaks in and delivers the tag line: The greatest songs on earth—K-Earth 101. He doesn’t even bother to identify the artists or the songs, that’s how universally well-known they are. The Stones I got; but Don McLean? And then I connected the dots.
Ed Haley’s Rebel Raid
Old Time Grind House Fiddle Lesson
I’m ecstatic about sharing an Ed Haley fiddle lesson with y’all! He’s one of the very best fiddlers to have ever lived. Few people actually carry his torch in my mind. His recording of this tune features all the classic Haley elements. His control of melody, bowing and stream of consciousness variations are ever present and so wonderful to listen to. In this lesson, I present the tune with a few built-in variations. Nothing is simplified. A couple particular bow patterns are highlighted. The idea is to get you playing the tune without being overwhelmed by all the possibilities of Haley’s playing. I’ve selected one of his A Section melodies as the foundation for the section, which can be perfectly articulated with several shuffle patterns. The B section will retain its notey attributes with a focus on this shuffle bow pattern concept. There are many options but I’ve kept things under control so as not to create an hour-long lesson with too much of a focus on the infinite possibilities. So here’s Rebel Raid in a bite-sized tablet for your edification and enjoyment.
David Bragger is a Los Angeles-based instructor and player of old time fiddle and banjo music. He also photographs, films, and collects the lore of traditional artists, from puppeteers in Myanmar to fiddlers of Appalachia www.myspace.com/davidbragger