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  • SPOTLIGHTS

    JIM KWESKIN AND
    GEOFF MULDAUR

    jim and geoff

    Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 7:00pm
    Four Friends Gallery
    1414 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    Presented by Brogden Bay

    While Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur are appearing as a duo, it is important to place them in the context of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Jim and Geoff, along with Fritz Richmond, were the constants in the Jug Band. The rock critic Ed Ward once listed the most important bands of the early 1960s as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Apparently thinking that some people might be surprised to find the Kweskin gang on that list, he added: "I'm not kidding." No one who has ever seen the Jug Band would have thought he was.

    Read more: JIM KWESKIN AND GEOFF MULDAUR


    RISING APPALACHIA

    Rising Appalachia

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 8:00pm
    Thursday, December 1, 2016 – 8:00pm
    SOHo Restaurant and Music Club
    1221 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    Friday, December 2, 2016 - 8:00pm
    Teragram Ballroom
    1234 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Read more: RISING APPALACHIA


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: One Light Many Windows

    ARTIST: Merlin Snider

    LABEL: Barking Dog Music

    RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2016

    By Terry Bailey

    Merlin Snider - One Light Many WindowsYears ago I visited painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser in his Venice (Italy) studio. I was surprised to see canvases lining the walls in all sorts of styles – not just the colorful spiral and raindrop paintings he was well known for at the time.

     “My gallery owner prefers that I stick to one style. He believes that is what art buyers want from artists: a consistent identity,” he explained to me. “Sadly, I cannot even bring these other works of mine into the gallery.”

    This marketing identity demand bleeds over to all art forms: too often writers, filmmakers, composers, songwriters – all creators – are pressured to create in one style and stick to it.

    Read more: MERLIN SNIDER - ONE LIGHT MANY WINDOWS


    TITLE: THE BEAUTIFUL NOT YET

    ARTIST: CARRIE NEWCOMER

    LABEL: AVAILABLE LIGHT RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

    By Jackie Morris

    Carrie.Newcomer.TBNY .AlbumPageProfound and poetic, Carrie Newcomer’s 16th album, The Beautiful Not Yet, soothes the soul as it stimulates the senses. Capturing the mystery and miracle in the everyday, the songs are at once spiritual and down to earth, filled with wisdom and heart.

    If you simply read the lyrics on her website, you’ll find the words read like poetry. But in truth, even if I didn’t understand a word of English, I would still think this is one beautiful album. The primary reason is Newcomer’s voice – that celebrated, rich contralto that is so luscious, warm and honest, so natural yet perfectly nuanced, that it makes you feel good just to listen to it. Additionally, The Beautiful Not Yet features an array of gorgeous harmonies and an exciting blend of traditional roots instrumentation (banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin) and chamber music (cello, violin, and piano).

    Read more: CARRIE NEWCOMER - THE BEAUTIFUL NOT YET


    FEATURE ARTICLE

    ARTFUL SLACKER MUSIC 

    JIM “KIMO” WEST AND KEN EMERSON – RECORDED AND LIVE

    By Audrey Coleman

    Emerson  WestThe opening selection on Slackers in Paradise: Slack and Steel Guitar Duets conjures up the bliss of kicking back on a hammock near surf-washed sands, caressed and refreshed by island trade winds. The recently-released CD by Jim “Kimo” West and Ken Emerson ushers you into an unhurried world free of traffic jams and family frenzy. With West on slack-key guitar and Emerson on acoustic steel guitar, the slow pieces are dreamy and tantalizing while even the fast-paced numbers evoke a time when life seemed simpler.

    Read more: ARTFUL SLACKER MUSIC - JIM “KIMO” WEST AND KEN EMERSON


    PASSINGS

    WAYNE SLATER-LUNSFORD

    (February 14, 1951 – November 4, 2016)

    Wayne Slater-Lunsford

    By Lyndsay Ortiz

    Wayne was the main man behind Desert Song Productions, and was also a “ringtailed raconteur” (his words) and an accomplished musician in his own right, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things music, and really, all things in general.  But then, what do you expect of a U.S. Air Force brat with a brain about two sizes too big? Wayne was born in Georgia, and raised in a dozen locations across the US and England, eventually graduating from high school in Jacksonville Florida, where he learned to sight-read choral music.

    Read more: WAYNE SLATER-LUNSFORD


    LEONARD COHEN

    (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)

    leonard cohenLeonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen was inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Read more: RIP: LEONARD COHEN


    TED SHAPIN

    (November 10, 1927 - November 16, 2016)

    Ted ShapinTheodore Shapin Jr., known as Ted, recalled that as a child his father encouraged his interest in things mechanical and electrical, and helped him build a crystal radio set. He was an avid folk dancer and enjoyed playing folk songs on his banjo and guitar. Ted received a scholarship to the University of Illinois and graduated with a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering.

    Read more: TED SHAPIN


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    November-December 2016

    FIDDLERS FROM CAPE BRETON – PART I

    By Audrey Coleman

    AndreaBeatonAs I drove my rented Ford Fusion south on Cape Breton Island’s Route 19, the name of the folk festival I had attended, Celtic Colours, took on glorious meaning. Maple and oak trees on both sides of the highway were busting out yellow, orange, and red. They were as vibrant as the music I had experienced for five days. As fragile too: The fiddling tradition that had all but vanished some 60 years ago has made a spectacular comeback since the seventies.

    You aren’t familiar with this island? Cape Breton is part of Canada’s eastern province of Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Coast, occupying 3,981 square miles. In the 1600s, French settlers emigrated and established a thriving community. They came to be known as Acadians. The mid-18th century spelled catastrophe for them. The British, following victory in an Anglo-French war, deported approximately 10,000 Acadians between 1755 and 1758. They were sent principally to the southern colonies where survivors became the Cajuns who eventually developed their own musical style. Several hundred Acadians escaped exile; their descendants are French-speaking residents of a few Cape Breton towns such as Cheticamp on the west coast. British loyalist settlers partially filled the population void left by the exiled Acadians. But the character of the colony shifted dramatically in the 1800s when some 50,000 Gaelic-speaking immigrants from Scotland, fleeing famine, settled on the island. Its character is now decidedly Scottish. In fact, because of its isolation, musicians from Scotland now consider Cape Breton fiddling more representative of centuries-old musical traditions than styles currently played by Scots.

    Read more: FIDDLERS FROM CAPE BRETON – PART I

    everything but ...

    PATRICK SKY

    Patrick Sky (born Patrick Lynch: October 2, 1943 in Liveoak Gardens, Georgia) is a musician, folk singer, and songwriter of Irish and Native American ancestry (Creek Indian). Sky was raised near the Lafourche Swamps of Louisiana).

    Read more: PATRICK SKY


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 12/2/16


    MUSIC


    fwpick

    7:30pm PEPPINO D'AGOSTINO / RICHARD SMITH

    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 DOUG MACLEOD & DENNY CROY

    Hong Kong Inn

    435 East Thompson, Ventura, CA

    805-816-9663


    fwpick

    8:00pm JAKE SHIMABUKURO

    Cerritos Performing Arts Center – Arena

    12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos, CA 90703

    562 916-8501 or 800- 300-4345


    fwpick

    8:00pm RISING APPALACHIA / AROUNA DIARRA / DUSTIN THOMAS

    Teragram Ballroom

    1234 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

    213-689-9100


    fwpick

    8:00pm THE JANGLE BROTHERS

    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.


    8:30pm GILL LANDRY

    From Old Crow Medicine Show

    Bootleg Theatre – Bar Stage

    2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057

    213-389-3856



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    4:00pm - 9:00pm WESTCHESTER FIRST FRIDAYS

    first Friday

    Westchester Triangle

    6200 Block of West 87th St, Los Angeles, CA

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


    6:30pm - 9:00pm TRADITION IRISH TUNES WITH THE QUINNS

    every Friday

    La Arcada Bistro

    1112 State St., Santa Barbara, CA

    Willie Quinn


    8:00pm SEVERIN BROWNE AND FRIENDS

    first Friday

    Kulak's Woodshed

    5230-1/2 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91607-4934

    818-766-9913

    Severin Browne


    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


    8:00pm PLOUGHBOYS CELTIC

    first 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.


    9:00pm KEN O'MALLEY

    first Friday

    Gallagher's

    2751 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA

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


    DANCE


    9:30am - 12:00pm KAYSO FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Casa del Prado, Rm. 206, Balboa Park

    1800 El Prado, San Diego, CA

    Jerry Waddell 619-479-8015`


    7:15pm - 10:00pm WEST VALLEY FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Canoga Park Senior Center

    7326 Jordan Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    Jay Michtom 818-368-1957 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 11:00pm SAN DIEGO CONTRADANCES

    first & third Friday

    Trinity United Methodist Church

    3030 Thorn St., San Diego, CA

    619-283-8550


    7:45pm - 11:00pm PASADENA FOLK DANCE CO-OP

    every Friday

    Throop Unitarian Church

    300 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA

    Jan Rayman 818-790-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:45pm - 10:45pm WEST LOS ANGELES FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Brockton School

    1309 Armacost Ave., West Los Angeles, CA

    Beverly Barr 310-202-6166 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm L.I.F.E.BALKAN DANCE

    every Friday

    LA DanceFit Studio

    10936 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

    Sherrie Cochran 626-293-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:30pm - 11:00pm KYPSELI GREEK DANCE CENTER

    every Friday

    The Tango Room

    4346 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA

    Louise Bilman 323-660-1030 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm - 11:00pm BEVERLY HILLS ISRAELI DANCING

    every Friday

    Temple Emanuel

    8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA

    James Zimmer 310-284-3638 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.