• SPOTLIGHTS

    NILE PROJECT

    NILE PROJECTThe musical traditions of the cultures found along the Nile basin offer sonic treasures comparable to that mighty flowing river’s own life-giving abundance. No group taps into those White and Blue Nilotic melodies and rhythms with such sublime, joyful synergism as the Nile Project. Featuring a touring group of a dozen members hailing from seven different countries, the collective’s membership collaborates on each other's music as well as fusing those disparate traditions into tasty new hybrid blends.

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017 - 7:00PM

    Valley Performing Arts Center

    18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330-8448

    818-677-3000

    Read more: NILE PROJECT


    GLOBAL CURRENTS

    Global CurrentsCelebrating World Cultures  & Earth's Shared Resources

    Six Los Angeles ensembles representing six regions of the world

    Brazil — Ballet Folclorico do Brasil

    West Africa — Futa Toro West African Drummers & Dancers

    Hawaii — Halau Keali’i O Nalani

    Mexico — Las Colibri

    Japan — On Ensemble

    Middle East — Yuval Ron Ensemble

    Special appearance by The Nile Project with L.A. ensemble master artists

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017 - 1:00PM-6:00PM

    Valley Performing Arts Center – Lawn & Courtyard

    18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330-8448

    818- 540-2400

    Read more: GLOBAL CURRENTS


    JOHN GORKA

    John GorkaJohn Gorka was born in Edison, New Jersey. He received his first guitar as a Christmas gift, though Gorka alleges that his older brother stole it from him shortly thereafter. He eventually learned, instead, to play the banjo, and began performing in a folk music group at his church.




    WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 - 7:00PM

     with THE CAIRO GANG 

    Tales from the Tavern -Maverick Saloon

    3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, CA 93460

    805-686-4785

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    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017 - 8:00PM

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497

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    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017 - 7:30PM

    Laura R. Charles Theater, Sweetwater High School

    2900 Highland Ave., National City, CA 91950

    829-303-8176

    Presented by AMSD Concerts

    Read more: JOHN GORKA


    FEATURE ARTICLES

    WHO WROTE COPPER KETTLE?

    A Study In Disputed Authorship

    By Ross Altman, PhD.

    Copper KettleSometime during Prohibition—which lasted from the passage of the 18th Amendment in 1920 to its repeal with the passage of the 21st Amendment in1933—Elliot Ness and his revenuers came to a Kentucky moonshiner’s cabin in the Appalachian Mountains and knocked on the door. A young boy answered and Ness asked him if his pa was home.

    Read more: WHO WROTE COPPER KETTLE?



    RICK TURNER, HANDMADE?:“YES, NO, MAYBE AND ALWAYS”

    Interview with the legendary guitar luthier at NAMM 2017

    By Annette Siegal

    Rick Turner at NAMM BoothThis year at NAMM I decided to focus on seeking out an instrument maker (luthier) that was more than a production line. With imports of instruments in mass numbers, and varying degrees of quality, I believe from a luthier’s wife perspective that it’s also important to retain handcrafted skills.

    One such luthier is Rick Turner of Rick Turner Guitars. His remarkable story started from a small town in Massachusetts and ended up influencing the sound of many musicians / bands that are intertwined with a part of America’s musical history. He’s also a collector of Howe-Orme instruments that were coincidentally made in MA (1897-1910).

    Read more: RICK TURNER, HANDMADE?:“YES, NO, MAYBE AND ALWAYS”


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    January-February 2017

    INTERVIEW WITH AARON O’ROURKE

    SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27th, 2016

    By Joellen Lapidus

    CD Cover Unaccompanied001Once you hear Aaron O’Rourke play Hi Mom or Spoon on the mountain dulcimer, your past concepts of what a dulcimer sounds like will change forever. His melodies, rhythms, playfulness, and exceptional finger technique bend your recollection of the sound of the mountain dulcimer into a new shape. Take a listen and judge for yourself.

    Read more: INTERVIEW WITH AARON O’ROURKE

    GRAMMY NOMINEES


    everything but ...

    Classic song performed by guys who would become rock legends

    Read more: JORMA KAUKONEN - JACK CASADY


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 2/22/17


    MUSIC


    7:00pm THE CAIRO GANG / JOHN GORKA

    Tales from the Tavern -Maverick Saloon

    3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, CA 93460

    805-686-4785


    7:30pm INTERNATIONAL GUITAR NIGHT

    Lulo Reinhardt, Luca Stricagnoli, Chrystian Dozza, and Debashish Bhattacharya

    California Center For The Arts

    340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025

    800-988-4253


    8:00pm HOOT AND HOLLER

    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.



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    6:00pm VENTURA BLUEGRASS JAM

    second & fourth Wednesday

    The Golden China

    760 S. Seward Ave, Ventura, CA

    Gene Rubin 805-340-2270 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:00pm - 8:30pm LAGUNA INTERNATIONAL DANCERS (FOLK)

    every Wednesday

    Clubhouse 2

    24112 Moulton Pkwy., Laguna Woods, CA

    Miriam 949-680-9946


    7:00pm - 10:00pm OPEN MIC AT GUITAR MERCHANT

    every Wednesday

    Guitar Merchant

    7305 Topanga Blvd., Canoga Park, CA

    818-884-5905

    818-884-5905


    7:30pm - 10:30pm PLOUGHBOYS CELTIC

    second & fourth Wednesday

    Buchanan Arms Restaurant & Pub

    2013 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA

    818-845-0692

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


    8:00pm - 11:00pm IRISH SESSION

    every Wednesday

    Griffins Of Kinsale

    1007 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA

    626-799-0926

    Michael Kelly


    9:00pm WE THE FOLK

    second & fourth Wednesday

    Seventy7 Lounge

    3843 Main St., Culver City, CA

    310-559-7707

    Sean O'Hara 925-216 8993 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    DANCE


    5:30pm - 8:00pm LAGUNA WOOD FOLK DANCERS

    every Wednesday

    Clubhouse 2

    24112 Moulton Pkwy., Laguna Woods, CA


    7:15pm - 9:30pm SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE CLUB

    every Wednesday

    Balboa Park Club

    2150 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA

    Jean Cate 858-278-4619 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 9:30pm ANAHEIM INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCERS

    every Wednesday

    Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim

    511 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA

    Ruth or Ted Shapin 714-758-1050


    7:30pm - 9:30pm CONEJO VALLEY FOLK DANCERS

    every Wednesday

    Hillcrest Center for the Arts (Small Rehearsal Room)

    403 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA

    Jill Lundgren 805-497-1957 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 10:00pm SKANDIA DANCE CLUB (SCANDINAVIAN DANCING)

    every Wednesday

    Lindberg Park

    5041 Rhoda Way, Culver City, CA

    Frances Sotcher 310-827-3618 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm WILD WOOD MORRIS DANCING

    every Wednesday

    Whaley Park

    5620 E Atherton St., Long Beach, CA

    Julie James 562-493-7151 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 10:00pm SWEDISH FOLK DANCE CLUB OF LOS ANGELES

    second & fourth Wednesday

    Skandia Hall

    2031 East Villa St., Pasadena, CA

    Norman and Jane Kindig 714-777-4036 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


CARRIE NEWCOMER
HER LEGACY OF PEACE
THROUGH MUSIC

AN INTERVIEW

By Terry Roland

CARRIE_NEWCOMER.jpg
Photo by Jim McGuire

Carrie Newcomer is not so much a hit maker as she is a legacy-maker. And it's quite a legacy she's been creating; a flow of songs that stream down from her life as a writer, philosopher, peace activist, conservationist and a silence-practicing Quaker. 'Pay attention' she says, and so doing, miracles emerge in an abundance of small ways. Her peace-activism is not about the absence of war, but the presence of a grace everyone can experience each day by practicing what she refers to as 'the greatest law, love.'

Her current tour in support of her new album, Before & After, follows a good will mission to India where she shared her music and participated in the daily life of the people there. As she spoke on the phone from her Indiana home she elaborated on her philosophy and the influences behind her legacy of songs that serve to point her audience toward a deeper appreciation of their everyday lives.

CARRIE NEWCOMER
HER LEGACY OF PEACE THROUGH MUSIC

AN INTERVIEW

By Terry Roland

Carrie Newcomer plays at McCabe's on Friday, March 12 at 8:00pm  

CARRIE_NEWCOMER.jpg
Photo by Bill McGuire

Carrie Newcomer is not so much a hit maker as she is a legacy-maker. And it's quite a legacy she's been creating; a flow of songs that stream down from her life as a writer, philosopher, peace activist, conservationist and a silence-practicing Quaker. 'Pay attention' she says, and so doing, miracles emerge in an abundance of small ways. Her peace-activism is not about the absence of war, but the presence of a grace everyone can experience each day by practicing what she refers to as 'the greatest law, love.'

Her current tour in support of her new album, Before & After, follows a good will mission to India where she shared her music and participated in the daily life of the people there. As she spoke on the phone from her Indiana home she elaborated on her philosophy and the influences behind her legacy of songs that serve to point her audience toward a deeper appreciation of their everyday lives.

TERRY: How did you get started with the music as a career?

CARRIE: I started early on. I didn't come from a musical family. There was a music/arts program in the public school where I was raised. I became a part of wave of musicians and artists during my teenage years. I fell in love with poetry as I learned to pick guitar. I wrote some awful songs, but I was always drawn to the stories in the music. I went for visual arts in college. I got a degree to go along with it. I didn't start out in music even though it was my first love. But, then I began playing at schools, in coffee houses, and bowling alleys.

TERRY: Your songs carry a literary feel to them. Also, there are spiritual overtones.

CARRIE: I am a big reader. I love to read books. I love ideas. I love beautifully written language. I always leaned into language and stories. My dad was an educator. For me, reading has really made a difference. Spiritually, I've been a life long seeker. I don't think there are a lot of easy answers. There are really good questions. But, it's the questions that sustain me. Good questions are at the heart of my life. You know, it's the realm of the poets, theologians and mystics. That's how I approach songwriting.

TERRY: Tell me about the new album, Before & After.

CARRIE: It's about finding something extraordinary in an ordinary day. About paying attention. The idea of being in the moment. We live such busy lives. Someone once said we don't remember days, we remember moments. We remember songs.

TERRY: In one song you refer to religious cornflakes. What is that?

CARRIE: (Laughs) It's a metaphor for the packaged religion of today. The superficial. You know, it's like fast-food. It doesn't sustain you for very long. I have a spiritual current running through my work. But it's not exclusive, it's inclusive. I don't want to put the Sacred in a box.

TERRY: You identify yourself as Quaker.

CARRIE: I didn't grow up Quaker. I discovered it later. What drew me in was the silence. I've been attending a silent meeting for over 20 years. It's funny because people will say, ‘you're a woman whose life is in sound!' But, it's a balance. Some of my best language comes out of silence. It is actually really understandable.

TERRY: The silence-meditative place inspires music?

CARRIE: Yes. Taking time to be quiet, to reflect. Being a writer is a very solitary profession. You're alone a lot. You're committed to sitting down and showing up for work. You really have to sit down and be with the practice of writing. It's been said, writers get to live their lives twice. You live it, then you write it. There's a song on the album, I Meant To Do My Work Today. It's about that idea. We're so busy and there are all of these things we need to do. But, there are times when we're called to do nothing. We're a busy culture. Doing is everything. You know, I'm a proponent of doing. I love engaging. But there's a balance between being engaged and being quiet.

TERRY: Some of this sounds a bit like Zen.

CARRIE: I've heard Quakers called Zen-Christians. Some Quakers don't call themselves Christians. But, I've heard the term and it makes sense. There's a place for the contemplative, for the practice of meditation on the simplicity of the moment. You know, the Dali Lama always stops in our little town in southern Indiana. He has a brother who lives there. It's funny to read his itinerary....New York, Chicago, Bloomington, Indiana...(we both laugh). But there's a vibrant Buddhist community in the area.

TERRY: Do you take your songs beyond the spiritual, philosophical themes?

CARRIE: As a student of philosophy and religion there's a lot in the songs about my own exploration. I find wonderful truth there. The songs then become inclusive, compelling. It's a tricky thing to have universal themes. You can't write about world peace all the time. It's just too big to get your arms around. But, you can write about things that happen everyday. I can tell a story with particular human details.

TERRY: That's illustrated in the song, I Do Not Know Its Name, the story about meeting the man on the airport shuttle.

CARRIE: It's a true story. The title comes from the saying....'the name that can be named is not the Tao.' We just experience these moments of transcendence, these moments when we feel larger than ourselves. Maybe it can be found in some formal spiritual practice. But it's there in the little moments. I was on this shuttle early when this wonderful man just started singing and he told me he sang in a gospel choir. He finished the song, the doors opened and I never saw him again. I never forgot it. These are the moments we remember. Life is a series of these moments.

TERRY: How do you deal with conversation with the larger ‘Christian' community?

CARRIE: We talk in metaphor. As soon as you start to talk this way and people take it for something literal, it stops being a metaphor. People take it for something solid. This puts the Sacred into a very small container. I think it's interesting now. There's a spiritual movement everywhere. There's a rumble out there. People are really interested in spiritual conversation. They're not looking for easy answers, but authentic spiritual conversation. They sometimes find their way to my work. Putting ideas into action, making a difference. You know, the greatest law is love, but what does that mean? I had a conversation about this with author, Parker Palmer. He's a Mennonite. I love his work. It was this idea that we may not see the fruit of the seeds we plant but it's no less important to drop the seeds. Like the ripple in water from a small stone. But, this is not always encouraged in our culture. This is in the song, Stones in the River.

TERRY: Are there any other themes running through Before and After?

CARRIE: The title song is about moments that have changed me. They could be large or they could be very small moments. Once a friend read me a Mary Oliver poem over breakfast. I was never the same. Sometimes, it's just a friend who sits down with you. And I think, ‘how did she know what I needed most was someone to sit down and say it'll be okay?' The song Before and After is also about forgiveness, which begins with self-forgiveness. We have to give up all hope that we can ever change the past. Nothing can change what has happened. You get this loop in your head, how things might have turned out different. It takes forgiveness to step beyond that. I forgive myself, then I can forgive others. So, the songs on this album are universal themes written in a personal way.

TERRY: One of the most engaging songs on the album is Do No Harm.

CARRIE: It was inspired by a story by Scott Russell Sanders. It's from a collection of short stories, Wilderness Plots: Tales About the Settlement of the American Land taken from stories and incidents he encountered. It's funny, tragic, bewildering. This particular story was called Savages. He had read about this part of the country that was being settled by a man from the east. He was establishing a Utopian society where native Americans and white settlers could live and work together. It worked for ten years. Eventually, others came and it ended. But, the song is about trying to hold the balance with the best of our human nature. We've seen the worst, but we're quite capable of the best. We can achieve this. There is a violent side to human nature and those who don't get the idea of the greatest law, love. Look what happened in this story. We hold the tension between the worst and the very best of our nature.

TERRY: Tell me about your influences.

CARRIE: I have to say I was inspired early on by the singing poets with beautiful, interesting lyrics and poetry. Early on it was Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. That vein of songwriter and they still come out with amazing writing. Also, high on my influences list is a local songwriting group in Bloomington. There are five of us. We bring songs to the group. We give each other challenges. We push our edges. I've been part of this group for 8 years now. It's really a wonderful experience. One of the members is Krista Detor. She's so good. A good writer and singer. She sings harmony on Do No Harm. She has this beautiful low voice in the tenor range. Like Mary Chapin. It's so fun to sing with her. You don't usually hear two women with low voices. Singing together, we strike this sound. It works quite well.

TERRY: Who influences the ideas that come out of your songs?

CARRIE: Authors like Russell Sanders. I've worked with Barbara Kingsolver. Also Philip Gulley. I've really admired their work. It all works together.

TERRY: I heard you called If Not Now your first real folk song.

CARRIE: (laughs) Well, it's my first sing-along. It's a group song in the spirit of We Shall Overcome. It was written for a specific purpose. But, I hope it wouldn't be for just one thing but would reach across to all kinds of issues that need our attention, like health care. When do we start taking care of the least of these. When do we give our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters full legal rights? It can be used in a variety of ways. It's a song of hope.

TERRY: From the album, you have some really fine musicians featured.

CARRIE: Yes. There's Gary Walters on piano. He's worked with me for five or six years now. He's a wonderful pianist. He's with me on the album tour. I occasionally work with a band. A cellist and violinist. I love the musicians on this new album. They are a great combination of musicians. They're elegant players. Everyone on this album is masters of their instruments. It's not about how many notes they play, but that the right notes are placed perfectly, uncluttered. It's all about the song. That's what makes this work.

TERRY: There's a phrase which seems to sum up a lot of your philosophy. It's on the album, something about the center.

CARRIE: Yes. If holy is a sphere that cannot be rendered, / There is no middle place because all of it is center. It's inspired by a concept in physics.

TERRY: It strikes me as the inclusive/universal theme you've emphasized on Before and After and much of your previous work. I look forward to hearing the songs live. See you at McCabe's on March 12!

Terry Roland is an English teacher, freelance writer, occasional poet, songwriter and folk and country enthusiast. The music has been in his blood since being raised in Texas. He came to California where he was taught to say ‘dude' at an early age.