• UPCOMING CONCERT

    FolkWorks Logo Presents

    SYNCOPATHS

    The Syncopaths bring a fresh, contemporary spin
    to music and songs rooted in the
    Scottish, Irish, and American folk traditions.

    Syncopath 2014 3

    CONTRA DANCE

    Friday, October 24th

    8:00pm 

    CONCERT

    Saturday, October 25th

    8:00pm 

    doors open at 7:00pm

    (food will be available)

    CDC LogoCONTRA DANCE:Skandia Hall

    2031 E. Villa St., Pasadena, CA 91107


    CONCERT: newly renovated Talking Stick Cafe

    1411 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
    at Lincoln and California St. in corner behind Pollo Loco
    Parking available behind or in Ross Dress For Less parking lot.

    Read more: For Tickets, Venues, Videos and more


    SPOTLIGHT

    labs 11x17 poster final venue-01 smaller

    Read more: BLUEGRASS SITUATION FESTIVAL


    PASSINGS

    REMEMBERING JEAN REDPATH:

    THE VOICE OF SCOTLAND

    APRIL 28 1937 – AUGUST 21 2014

    By Ross Altman

    Jean RedpathIn the dead of winter in 1961 a brilliant young folk singer from the North Country blew into Greenwich Village and caught the eye of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Dave Van Ronk—even sharing their village flat—and the ear of Mike Porco at Gerdes Folk City—who was booking the best and the brightest for his growing clientele of folk music fans—at the behest of the Folklore Center’s Izzy Young next door; a young Bob Dylan, from Hibbing, Minnesota?

    Wrong gender; wrong city, wrong country; wrong folk singer; she was Jean Redpath—all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland—who shared an apartment with Dylan that first fateful “coldest winter in 17 years” when together they redrew the map of American folk music. Thirty-six years later, in 1997s Time Out of Mind, Dylan opened a window onto this early relationship with his long rhapsodic love song, Highlands, inspired by Robert Burns’ song My Heart’s In the Highlands, where he avowed his heart still belonged:

    Read more: Remembering Jean Redpath


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    September-October 2014

    MUSIC FOR A CAUSE, OR A CAUSE FOR MUSIC?

    BY LINDA DEWAR

    national-collectiveFlashback! As I’m writing this, Scotland is in its final weeks of political frenzy leading up to an important referendum vote on September 14. It will be one of the most significant votes taken in any European country in decades… a chance to decide whether we will remain in the United Kingdom or become a separate country on our own, no longer tied to England, Wales and Northern Ireland except as neighbors on the same group of islands.

    This is a true grassroots political event, the likes of which I haven’t witnessed since the sixties. And it’s reassuring to note that folk and trad musicians are involved in much the same way they were in those turbulent times.

    Read more Music for a cause, or a cause for music?

    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: YOU GOT THIS

    ARTIST: HAAS KOWERT TICE

    LABEL: NONE

    RELEASE DATE: JULY 2014

    By Jonathan Shifflett

    Haas Kowert Tice - You Got ThisBrittany Haas, Paul Kowert and Jordan Tice are friends who, after meeting at various string band festivals in their youth, represent a new wave within the American string community. Bursting with their combined influences, You Got This is less like newgrass music and more reminiscent of works for a contemporary music ensemble. Released in July of 2014, the nine original compositions are densely packed with contrapuntal exchanges, changing meters and extended harmonies. The result: fiddle, guitar and bass at their most innovative. 

    Read more: HAAS KOWERT TICE - YOU GOT THIS


    TITLE: SONGS ABOUT TRACTORS AND STUFF

    ARTIST: DENNIS ROGER REED

    LABEL: PLASTIC MELTDOWN RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: 2014

    By Jackie Morris

    Songs About Tractors and StuffFrom the very first blue notes of Dennis Roger Reed’s guitar, I knew I was hooked. And the vocals that followed did not disappoint. Reed has “that sound” – so casual, so fluid, so rhythmically right-on-the-money – that makes his blues-infused Country/Americana, rootsy, rock-a-billy and other “stuff” groove so immediately appealing. It’s a sound that conjures up fantasies of old-time honkytonks and gritty biker bars; yet at the same time, it’s the timeless sound of polished talent.

    Read more: DENNIS ROGER REED - SONGS ABOUT TRACTORS AND STUFF


    CONCERT REVIEW

    GORDON LIGHTFOOT AT THE SABAN THEATRE:

    DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS - SEPTEMBER 27, 2014

    By Ross Altman

    Gordon LightfootI got taken by a creative con artist at Gordon Lightfoot’s concert last night at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills—taken for my extra ticket so graciously offered by theatre publicity manager Luanne Nast. In exchange for my FolkWorks Preview of the concert (Gordon Lightfoot: A True Night Upon the Road) she gave me a press pass + 1, which it turned out I didn’t need. When I got to the theatre, before going to the box office window I was approached by a down-at-the-heels slight-looking bearded man-on-the-street straight out of an O. Henry story who, of course, “had a certain charm about him.”

    He smiled at me and started singing If You Could Read My Mind and asked me if I had an extra ticket. He looked like someone who couldn’t afford to pay for one, and I thought in an instant maybe here is an opportunity to do a random act of kindness, a mitzvah just in time for Rosh Hashanah. He read my mind perfectly—an easy mark—and I said, “Wait a minute, I just might.” After a recent disappointment with a promised press pass that did not materialize I never count my press passes until I hold them in my hand. When I got to the window there they were as promised—and an aisle seat at that just as I had requested so my guest would be able to take an unscheduled restroom break without disturbing the entire row: Orchestra, Row DD (fourth row from the stage) seats 113 and 114—$125 face value each (concealed by a big fat “O” (for O Henry?) where the price would have been).

    Read more: GORDON LIGHTFOOT AT THE SABAN THEATRE


    BLOG

    OCTOBER 1, 2014

    THIS AIN'T NO MOUSE MUSIC! The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records

    Don’t miss the new documentary, This Ain’t No Mouse Music!  about the legendary founder of Arhoolie Records, Chris Strachwitz, coming to the Downtown Independent theater at 251 S. Main St. in LA on October 1st through 9th! Opening night, Wednesday Oct. 1, the filmmakers and Chris will be in attendance. Join him for on a hip-shaking stomp from Texas to New Orleans, Cajun country to Appalachia, on a passionate quest for the musical soul of America.

    Read more: THE FOLKWORKS BLOG


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 10/1/14


    fwpick

    8:30pm FILM: THIS AIN'T NO MOUSE MUSIC: THE STORY OF CHRIS STRACHWITZ AND ARHOOLIE RECORDS

    Downtown Independent Theater

    251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

    213-617-1033


    FEATURED VIDEO

    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 10/1/14


    7:00pm BRAD COLERICK'S WINE AND SONG SERIES

    Firefly Bistro

    1009 El Centro St., South Pasadena, CA 91030

    626-441-2443


    7:30pm - 11:00pm SIMI VALLEY HOOT (SONGMAKERS )

    Simi Valley (Contact via Songmakers website)

    www.songmakers.org, Simi Valley, CA 00000


    7:30pm - 10:30pm IRISH TRAD SESSION

    Griffins Of Kinsale

    1007 Mission St, , South Pasadena, CA

    626-799-0926


    8:00pm GUITAROLOGY

    Bar Melody and Grill

    9132 S Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

    310-670-1994


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.