• CONCERT REVIEW

    CAT STEVENS-YUSUF IN CONCERT

    NO SEX, NO DRUGS, NO ROCK AND ROLL—GOT FOLK?

    AT THE NOKIA THEATRE—LA LIVE - DECEMBER 14, 2014

    By Ross Altman

    Cat Stevens with D-28England’s greatest mathematician, pacifist and philanderer once said of Austria’s greatest logician and language philosopher: “Ludwig Wittgenstein came to Cambridge and taught the English to speak their own language.” Bertrand Russell, meet Cat Stevens. With his new album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone—from the Lead Belly chain gang song Take This Hammer—English folk singer Cat Stevens has come to the U.S. and taught Americans to sing our own folk songs—black, blues, and even the singing cowboy Gene Autry classic (written by former Louisiana Governor Jimmy Davis) You Are My Sunshine, a song relegated to nursing home sing along song sheets until Cat reshaped it into a modern blues and made it shine all over again—as he did with Lead Belly.

    Read more: CAT STEVENS-YUSUF IN CONCERT


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    November-December 2014

    CONFLICT AND LEGACIES

    BY LINDA DEWAR

    Young and CrosbyOK, I’m not sure this is actually news… it seems that Neil Young and David Crosby have had a serious disagreement, and as a result Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young will never perform together again. That’s according to Young. Crosby, though, says the statement is a bit “like saying there are mountains in Tibet,” and that the whole thing will blow over. There’s no mention of the nature of the blowup, but Crosby did take the opportunity to mention that he knew “at least 20” guitar players who are better than Young.

    Read more Conflict and Legacies

    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: BEYOND THE BLUE

    ARTIST: THE DUHKS

    LABEL: COMPASS RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: 2014

    By Jackie Morris

    The DuhksThe Duhks are back...flying higher than ever with their 5th CD, Beyond the Blue. After taking a hiatus of two years, this celebrated Canadian neo-trad folk band demonstrates, yet again, the bold, beautiful, eclectic, exciting and innovative music that has consistently earned them critical acclaim. All of their previous CDs have been nominated for Juno Awards - winning Best Roots & Traditional Album by a Group in 2005, and a Grammy nomination in 2007.

    Beyond the Blue is a stunning album, almost addictive in its adventurous rhythms, harmonies and arrangements....mixing a strong Celtic base with a lot of everything else: Appalachian... old-timey....a little blues....a little soul...a French song from Mali...and a lot of driving folk-rock and Afro Cuban rhythms.

    Read more: DUHKS - BEYOND THE BLUE


    TITLE: ALEXIS ZOUMBAS: A LAMENT FOR EPIRUS 1926-1928

    ARTIST: ALEXIS ZOUMBAS

    LABEL: LONG GONE SOUND/ANGRY MOM ARCHIVES

    RELEASE DATE: APRIL 20, 2014

    By Jonathan Shifflett

    Alexis Zoumbas78-rpm collector Christopher King has a way of making old music seem new. Although he grew up listening to pre-war blues and hillbilly recordings, he focuses now on reissuing 78-rpm recordings from performers outside the American vernacular. What he finds is that the rawness, the spirit and the energy of the early American performers like Skip James or Dennis McGee is evident in ethnic recordings as well. In a sense, he curates the blues and country music of other cultures.

    His most recent production, Alexis Zoumbas: A Lament for Epirus 1926 -1928 profiles Zoumbas’ masterful violin adaptations of Greek sheepherding music, now available on a beautiful gatefold LP with artwork by R. Crumb. An immigrant to the States from the Albanian influenced region of Epirus, Zoumbas recorded for Columbia in Prohibition-era New York City. Apart from his recorded works, very little biographical information exists about the exiled performer.

    Read more: ALEXIS ZOUMBAS: A LAMENT FOR EPIRUS 1926-1928


    BLOG

    December 19, 2014


    2014 GRAMMY OF INTEREST TO FOLKWORKS READERS


    Read more: Blog Entry December 19, 2014


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 12/21/14


    4:00pm WILDFIRE

    Bonnie Insull, Richard Scher

    House concert in Monrovia

    626-422-4365


    FEATURED VIDEO

     Klezmatics - spin, dreydl, spin
    (http://www.youtube.com/v/ZUMqeE-SnD0 )

    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 12/21/14


    8:00am - 1:00pm FAIR MARKET BAND

    Hollywood Farmers Market

    Ivar Ave. & Selma Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028


    12:00pm - 3:00pm WESTERN MUSIC ASSOCIATION JAM

    Autry National Center / Autry Museum of the American West

    4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA 90027

    323-667-2000


    1:00pm - 5:00pm EAST VALLEY HOOT (SONGMAKERS)

    Van Nuys (Contact via Songmakers website)

    www.songmakers.org, Van Nuys, CA 91411


    3:00pm - 5:30pm WILDE THISTLE IRISH SESSION

    Wilde Thistle

    3456 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    310-730-6208 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    4:00pm - 7:00pm AULD DUBLINER TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    Auld Dubliner

    71 S Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

    562-437-8300


    5:30pm - 9:00pm THE GRAND OLE ECHO

    The Echo

    1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026

    213-413-8200


    7:00pm - 9:00pm SAN DIEGO OLD TIME FIDDLERS JAM

    Boll Weevil Restaurant (Clairemont Mesa)

    9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA

    858- 571-6225


    7:30pm - 11:00pm O'BRIEN'S IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    O'Brien's Irish Pub and Restaurant

    2226 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

    310-829-5303 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm BOULEVARD MUSIC OPEN MIC (SIGNUP AT 7:30PM-8 SLOTS)

    Boulevard Music

    4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230-4716

    310-398-2583


    BOOK REVIEW

    THE RHYMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’

    TITLE: THE LYRICS: SINCE 1962

    AUTHOR: BOB DYLAN

    EDITOR: CHRISTOPHER RICKS, LISA NEMROW, JULIE NEMROW

    PUBLISHER: SIMON AND SCHUSTER

    RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 28, 2014 (NYC)

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    They LyricsThe most complete collection of Bob Dylan’s lyrics we are likely to see in our lifetime has just been published, and the most notable thing about it is the juxtaposition of Dylan’s lyrical changes in many songs from their original recorded versions to the printed versions to the various live recorded versions, yielding in some cases three rather different texts. Each section is framed by a full-size replica of the original album cover, in full color front and back. The dimensions of the LP determined the size of the book.

    As my rabbi pointed out after seeing Dylan’s third concert at the Dolby Theatre (I reviewed the first in these pages) Bob seemed to have altered the lyrics my rabbi knew in both Tangled Up in Blue and Simple Twist of Fate. What gives? He wondered; we are accustomed to hearing different tempos, arrangements, instrumentation, even melodies for many of Dylan’s classic songs in live performance; now must we also get used to different lyrics? At what point do we find it difficult to think we heard the same song?

    So I decided to order the $200, 961 page, 13 pound book and find out for myself. It just arrived from Barnes & Noble in NYC and what can I say? Rabbi, Things Have Changed.

    Read more: THE RHYMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’


BATTLEFIELD BAND’S NORTH AMERICAN TOUR

By Ron Young

Battlefield_BandScotland’s venerable Battlefield Band has been playing great Scottish and Irish music since their formation in 1970, and they are just embarking on their latest tour of North America. Unlike some Rock and Roll bands who have become sad caricatures of themselves, they have stayed to the forefront of traditional music. They have pretty much seamlessly pulled it off with the timely changing of personnel, not always an easy or satisfying feat to accomplish.

I first saw them in the early nineteen eighties at the home of Clark and Elaine Weissman in Tarzana, who in my estimation did more to promote this kind of music in Southern California than did all the Scottish and Irish cultural organizations put together at the time. The Weissman’s also hosted Silly Wizard, Ossian, and the Tannahill Weavers, among others. To say that I was blown away, is a serious understatement, as I really thought that I had died and gone to musical Heaven! I subsequently saw then at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, the Barn at U.C. Riverside and Cal Tech in Pasadena and always enjoyed them.

The Battlefield Band, named for an area in the South of Glasgow, has had a great deal of lineup changes since their founding, and their list of alumni reads like a who’s who of great Scottish and Irish musicians. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the current line up were just a gleam in their parent’s eyes, when the band first hit the road.

The current musicians are Sean O’Donnell (vocals, guitar), Ewen Henderson (fiddle, bagpipes, whistles, piano, and vocals), Alasdair White (fiddle, tin whistle, banjo, bouzouki, Highland bagpipes, small pipes, and bodhran), Mike Katz (Highland bagpipes, small pipes, various whistles, bass guitar, and guitar). A swift piece of arithmetic comes up with around twenty instruments, which must be no fun for their roadie!

They are currently beginning their umpteenth tour of the States, which will include AMSD Concerts in San Diego on the 24th of March, Ojai Women’s Club on the 27th and Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on the 28th. If you have seen them before, then you will know that they are the real deal (or make that the reel deal), and if you haven’t, then you are in for a treat. From frenetic jigs and reels to traditional (and not so traditional songs, such as O.V. Wright’s hit That’s How Strong My Love Is (made famous by Otis Redding). The tunes and songs continue to sound fresh, and you get the feeling that they are really enjoying themselves. Their somewhat different version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising will always be a classic for me!

Philadelphia Folk Festival 2011
(http://www.youtube.com/v/Vn7vKDjOq1s )

I had a really interesting conversation on the 9th of March with Robin Morton, who has managed and produced them since the early days. Robin was an original member of the Boys of the Lough, so he has a very good pedigree in this particular field. It was somewhat surreal, as he was in New York, and I was in the Scottish Highlands. We talked about the current economy and its effect on musicians in general. We also discussed the current line up, and talked about the early days.

In this current climate of the internet, there is a whole world of information at your fingertips, so look them up, see what they are about, and attend one of their concerts near you. You will not regret it.

Tour Dates

New Album:

Battlefield Band's latest record Room Enough For All was released in the USA on the 19th March, by Temple Records.


Ron Young had the good fortune to grow up in rural Scotland, surrounded by the traditions of Scottish music and dance. He would like readers to know that whatever you heard about that sheep, it’s not true. Ron has spent the better part of thirty years involved with various Celtic and Scottish cultural organizations in southern California, and now back in Aberfeldy where he has continued to pursue his love of traditional music.