• SPOTLIGHT

    Claremont Folk Festival

    Read more: Claremont Folk Festival


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: KEEPING UP WITH THE HEARD

    ARTIST: THE MACMAMMALS

    LABEL: SELF

    RELEASE DATE: MAY 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    macmammals - keeping up with the heardFor those of us whose first musical love was traditional and neo-traditional folk ballads, the brand new debut album by The MacMammals provides a welcome, refreshing return to the simple beauty of this genre. Garnering songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and North America, Keeping Up with the Heard is authentic, acoustic, and moving; a collection of wonderful songs, tastefully arranged, while still achieving a very full, satisfying sound.

    Read more: THE MACMAMMALS - KEEPING UP WITH THE HEARD


    TITLE: DEVIL IN THE SEAT

    ARTIST: THE FOGHORN STRINGBAND

    LABEL: FOGHORN MUSIC

    RELEASE DATE: MARCH, 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    DEVIL IN THE SEAT - FOGHORNThe Foghorn Stringband began as five guys playing hard-driving old-time music. Two of them, Caleb Klauder and Sammy Lind, formed the Foghorn Duo. Nadine Landry then joined on vocals and bass to make them a trio. Reeb Willms added her guitar and voice to make the Foghorn Stringband what it is today. All four sing powerfully, and they play hard-driving music featuring Sammy's fiddle and Caleb's mandolin, among other combinations. This is the eighth Foghorn release, and it certainly lives up to the standards the band has set for itself. It was recorded in Hawaii, but it's full of hard-driving music and edgy singing.

    Read more: FOGHORN STRINGBAND - DEVIL IN THE SEAT


    TITLE: BALAS Y CHOCOLATE

    ARTIST: LILA DOWNS

    LABEL: RCA RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: MARCH 24, 2015

    By Jonathan Shifflet

    BALAS Y CHOCOLATEHeadlines about the recent violence in Mexico only tell half of the story. In Lila Downs’ most recent album Balas y Chocolate (bullets and chocolate), the other half is given a voice. 

    Using her signature silky register and an arsenal of regional styles, Downs uses Spanish and indigenous Mixtec words to describe the history of violence toward students and journalists. Using the themes and symbols of the Day of the Dead, she creates an allegory for the misdeeds while capturing the feelings of foreboding that follow from such violence and manipulation. The opening line of track one prepares the listener to hear the sounds of radio Mictlan – the radio of the underworld.

    Read more: LILA DOWNS - BALAS Y CHOCOLATE


    TITLE: THE WIDENING GYRE

    ARTIST: ALTAN

    LABEL: COMPASS RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 20, 2015

    By Anya Sturm

    Altan - The Widening GyreAltan’s new CD The Widening Gyre is a fantastic collection of traditional Gaelic songs mixed in with Irish jam regulars. The band is joined by many special guests in this collection of upbeat lively jam tunes as well as slower songs sung by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

    Altan is a traditional Irish band— arguably the most famous one currently playing. It was started in 1987 by Mairéad (rhymes with parade) and her late husband Frankie Kennedy. Mairéad is the daughter of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh, or Francie Moony who also contributed to traditional Irish fiddling.

    Read more: ALTAN - THE WIDENING GYRE


    TITLE: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

    ARTIST: SUSIE GLAZE & THE HILONESOME BAND

    LABEL: HILONESOME MUSIC

    RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    notthatkindofgirlcoverarthi-resAfter three critically acclaimed CDs in the past 5 years, it is not surprising that Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band have created yet another memorable album. But Not That Kind of Girl is more than just “another.” It is, I believe, their best album yet...in part because this group keeps pushing their own boundaries...challenging themselves in terms of musical diversity, original songs and fresh interpretations.

    Read more: SUSIE GLAZE - NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL


    TITLE: DAN GELLERT DVD & CD SET

    ARTIST: DAN GELLERT

    LABEL: THE OLD-TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    Dan Gellert DVD-CD coverSome of Dan Gellert's early recordings seemed to have trouble capturing his unique sound and approach to old-time music. The late Ray Alden told me that he had to use two microphones, one in front and one behind Dan's banjo, to do it. This new recording from David Bragger's Old-Time Tiki Parlour succeeds on multiple levels: it has excellent sound and also comes on both a DVD where you can watch Dan play banjo and fiddle and sing and an audio CD of the same material. David told me that everyone associated in any way with its production is an old-time musician. 

    Read more: DAN GELLERT DVD & CD SET


    BLOG

    MAY 27TH, 2015

    Len Chandler (May 27, 1935) is an American folk musician who was active in the 1960s. [wikipedia]

    Read more: Blog Entry MAY 27TH, 2015


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 5/28/15


    fwpick

    8:00pmSUSIE GLAZE AND THE HILONESOME BAND

    Western Music Association "Out West" Concert Series

    Repertory East Playhouse

    24266 Main St, Newhall, CA 91321

    661-288-0000


    fwpick

    8:00pm NIYAZ

    Skirball Cultural Center

    2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

    310-440-4578


    8:00pm WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE

    The Mint

    6010 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

    323-954-9630

    Presented by The Bluegrass Situation


    8:00pm WILL RYAN & THE CACTUS COUNTY COWBOYS / SAGUARO SISTERS / PHIL CROSBY, JR.

    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.


    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 5/28/15

    Ongoing Music


    5:00pm - 8:00pm KEN O'MALLEY every Thursday

    Auld Dubliner

    71 S Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

    562-437-8300


    6:30pm - 9:30pm WOOD 'N' LIPS OPEN MIC every Thursday

    Kaffee Meister - Santee Coffeehouse

    9225 Carlton Hills Boulevard #30, Santee, CA


    9:00pm ACOUSTIC CORDIALE second & fourth Thursday

    Café Cordiale

    14015 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

    818-789-1985


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    May-June 2015

    THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSIC CENTER

    By Audrey Coleman

    Media-C2 World City-1415-Season-Gamelan-Sekar-Jaya2Ah, the Music Center. That bastion of high culture for the City of Angels. As a subscriber to L.A. Opera, I have strolled beneath the bands of shimmering crystal that drip from the ceilings of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. At the Ahmanson Theater, I have patronized Broadway musicals (Les Miserables twice). At the Taper I’ve sat, enthralled, as gifted and often renowned actors inhabited raw emotional terrain. Clearly the Music Center is a gift from the County of Los Angeles to the audiences for high culture. To those with the means to buy the tickets, that is.

    Hello! Roll back the tape, please! The above assessment is terribly out of date. Terribly! Like about a dozen years.

    Read more: THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSIC CENTER

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.