• SPOTLIGHT


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: HEART OF THE MOUNTAIN, 200 YEARS OF AN APPALACHIAN FAMILY

    ARTIST: JENI & BILLY

    LABEL: JEWEL RIDGE RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: MAY 1, 2016

    By Susie Glaze

    Jeni  Billy - HOTMA new love letter has been written, this one to an entire family and its American ancestors, replete with stories and new songs: Jeni & Billy’s new CD Heart of the Mountain, 200 Years of An Appalachian Family.

    I’ve written before in these pages about the work of the Nashville-based Appalachian duo Jeni & Billy. This new entry in their catalogue released this spring is a concept piece, an historical retrospective of family history with songs written to celebrate a few generations of lives and events. The twenty-seven tracks contain both spoken word and music, illuminating the 200 year history of the Smith family in Virginia.

    Read more: HEART OF THE MOUNTAIN, 200 YEARS OF AN APPALACHIAN FAMILY


    TITLE: THE SPOTTED PONY

    ARTIST: SPENCER & RAINS

    LABEL: OLD-TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: JULY 2016

    By Pat Mac Swyney

    Spencer  Rains - Spotted PonyIf you look up the definition of the Great Plains, it describes the large expanse of predominately flat prairie & steppe grasslands, stretching from southern Canada, across the American Midwest to the Texas-Mexican border; framed by the Mississippi River on the east and by the Rocky Mountains on the west. This broad geography has been home to Native American tribes, European explorers, freed African-American slaves, pioneers and homesteaders and it is from this rich musical landscape that husband-wife duo Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains take their repertoire and inspiration on The Spotted Pony.

    Read more: SPENCER & RAINS - THE SPOTTED PONY


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    July-August 2016

    Where’s the Folk?

    By Linda Dewar

    Tom Paxton album cover: "Ain't That The News!"

    Where’s the Folk? I turned 65 last week. Not a big deal, really, but it does seem to have triggered a bit of semi-nostalgic reflection. The media would have us believe that the definitive event for my age group was the 1967 “Summer of Love” when we all took virtual trips to San Francisco, put flowers in our hair, and danced to the sounds of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead.

    Read more: WHERE’S THE FOLK?

    BOOK REVIEW

    TITLE: 26 SONGS in 30 DAYS

    WOODY GUTHRIE'S Columbia River Songs

    and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest

    AUTHORS: GREG VANDY WITH DANIEL PERSON

    PUBLICATION DATE: APRIL 12, 2016

    By Lenny Potash

    26 Songs in 30 DaysThere are no shortage of writings about and by Woody Guthrie but 26 Songs in 30 Days is a great contribution because it is a work focused on the relationship between the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Woody and what this massive public works project meant to him as the country was coming out of the Great Depression and preparing for World War II.

    Read more: 26 SONGS in 30 DAYS - WOODY GUTHRIE'S COLUMBIA RIVER SONGS


    FILM AND THEATER REVIEW

    THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS

    YO YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE

    By Yatrika Shah-Rais

    The Music of Strangers“Every tradition is the result of successful invention… Human beings grow by being curious and receptive to what’s around them. A lot of people are scared of change, and sometimes there’s reason to be fearful. But if you can welcome change, you become fertile ground for development.”

    This is just one of the many insightful quotes from the movie The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble.

    Read more: THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS


    everything but ...

    DAVE "SNAKER" RAY

    (August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002)

    DAVE "SNAKER" RAY (August 17, 1943 – November 28, 2002) was an American blues singer and guitarist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was most notably associated with Spider John Koerner and Tony "Little Sun" Glover in the early Sixties folk revival. Together, the three released albums under the name Koerner, Ray & Glover.

    Read more: DAVE "SNAKER" RAY


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 8/23/16


    MUSIC


    7:30pm ART PODELL / THE LICATA BROTHERS / STEWART LEWIS / DYLAN BRODY

    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

    9:00pm CHRIS THILE

    The Largo at the Coronet

    366 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

    310-855-0350


    6:30pm BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS SOLD OUT

    Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay

    2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106

    619-523-1010



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    5:30pm - 8:30pm DOWNEY FOLK MUSIC JAM

    fourth Tuesday

    Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center

    7810 Quill Drive, Downey, CA 90242

    562-904-7223

    Bea & Jim Romano 562-861-7049 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:30pm - 9:00pm SDBS OPEN MIC, PICKUP BANDS, FEATURED BAND

    fourth Tuesday

    Boll Weevil Restaurant (Clairemont Mesa)

    9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA

    858- 571-6225

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


    7:00pm - 9:30pm JC HYKE'S SONGWRITERS SERENADE

    every Tuesday

    Matt Denny's Ale House Restaurant & Bar

    145 E. Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006


    7:00pm - 10:00pm BRICK 15 OPEN MIC (SIGN-UP IS 6:30PM)

    every Tuesday

    Brick 15

    915 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, CA

    858-225-1315 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:00pm BLUEGRASS SOUP JAM

    every Tuesday

    Convert-A-Tape

    2420 Gundry Ave., Signal Hill , CA 90755

    Don Rowan 562-883-0573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm TIMMY NOLAN TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    every Tuesday

    Timmy Nolan's Tavern and Grill

    10111 Riverside Dr., Toluca Lake, CA 91602

    818-985-3359

    Dan Conroy 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.


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
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?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.