• CONCERT REVIEW

    DILLON IN DODGE

    DYLAN AT THE DOLBY: OCTOBER 24, 2014

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Dylan 2Hollywood may have stopped making Westerns, but Bob Dylan hasn’t. Marshall Dillon rode into Dodge City last night and restored law and order. The good guys won without firing a shot—but by the end the bad guys were behind bars. Who were they? Political corruption and decadence (Early Roman Kings), hard times and working class poverty (Workingman Blues #2), natural disasters (High Water Everywhere (for Charley Patton)), existential despair (Tangled Up in Blue) and war and injustice (Blowing In the Wind).

    Read more: DILLON IN DODGE


    PASSINGS

    FAREWELL TO BRUCE FRANZEN

    TOPANGA BANJO•FIDDLE BOARD MEMBER

    (AUGUST 9, 1950 – OCTOBER 15, 2014)

    By Michele Marotta

    Bruce Franzen 2

    Celebration of A Life Well Lived

    Saturday, November 1, 2014 Chapel at 10:00am at Oakwood Memorial Park (22601 Lassen St., Chatsworth, CA 91311 818-341-0344)

    There will be a repast immediately following the service (until 4:00pm) at the home of Joy Felt (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) .

    Jackie has requested that you bring your instruments to celebrate Bruce’s love of music.


    I received a text message on Sunday, October 19, 2014 advising that Bruce Franzen had passed away. I first met Bruce in 1972. Over time, we lost contact, and then reconnected in 1991. We were friends ever since. Bruce was an "older brother" to me, helping me move once and he must have thought he was constantly rescuing me from bad relationships.

    Bruce was past president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and together with his wife Jackie, the two have been organizers and volunteers on the roots music scene for many years.

    Bruce's eyes would light up when Jackie's name was mentioned, and he was the love of her life.

    Read more: FAREWELL TO BRUCE FRANZEN


    FEATURE ARTICLES

    The Redemption Road Not Taken:

    WILL TOM PAXTON’S NEW ALBUM STAND UP TO THE ORIGINAL?

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Tom Paxton KickstarterOne of the bright lights of Austin, Texas—home of Austin City Limits—is L.A. born folk singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, who tours all over the Midwest and has created more than a dozen albums of original songs since 1997, when she released her fourth album Redemption Road. The title song is track 12 and though the lyric insert sheet can be hard to read with the fine print, there is no problem reading the lyrics to the title song—they are plastered in large print all over the CD label itself—where most artists would put a flattering photograph of themselves. Not Eliza; she thought enough of her title track to make sure you couldn’t miss the lyrics; so here they are:

    Read more: THE REDEMPTION ROAD NOT TAKEN: TOM PAXTON


    ANGEL LUÍS FIGUEROA: THE MUSIC OF SANTERÍA

    By Jonathan Shifflett

    SanteroShuffling through a record bin last month, an LP titled Santero from the famed Cuban label Panart caught my attention. The cover is beautiful but a little strange. Set against a fiery background, a conga player is frozen mid strike while a wraith of a beautiful woman billows like smoke from the drum, poised as if waking from a long sleep. In the liner notes, the writer claims it to be the first ever commercially recorded Afro-Cuban “cult music.” The strange track titles – Changó, Babalú Aye, Yemayá, Ochún, Obatalá, Eleggua - I recognized as the names of Santerían deities.

    It was not the kind of record I would have expected to resurface in a new-age vinyl shop, but I was pleased to find it having taken a semester of percussion lessons. My teacher was the renowned Afro-Cuban percussionist, Angel Luís Figueroa, who has for the past decade, endeavored to make the music and philosophy of Santería accessible to all.

    Read more: ANGEL LUÍS FIGUEROA: THE MUSIC OF SANTERÍA


    A TALE OF TWO DYLANS

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Bob Dylan“I did more for Dylan Thomas than he ever did for me,” replied Bob Dylan to an inquisitive journalist asking him for the umpteenth time about his relationship with the Welsh poet born October 27, 1914 whose centennial we celebrate this year. Bob Dylan changed his last name from Zimmerman to honor one of the major poets of the 20th Century when he launched his career as a folk singer in NYC in 1961 just 8 years after his namesake Dylan Thomas had died in NYCs Bellevue Hospital of a “massive insult to the brain” from consuming 18 straight whiskeys at his favorite drinking hole The White Horse Tavern on November 9, 1953. However, like many aspects of his constantly changing biography Dylan (Bob) often shied away from the obvious truth and hid behind a barrage of obscurantist tall tales, such as that he had taken his name from an uncle in Hibbing, Minnesota—yes, one of the many middle-class Jewish “Dylans” in the North Country—or had named himself after Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame before some reporter misspelled it in a story and it became “Dylan.”

    Read more: A TALE OF TWO DYLANS


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    September-October 2014

    COUNTDOWN: THE COLD WAR HIT PARADE

    By Ross Altman

    Atomic PlattersWe know of the great songs to have come out of the Civil War (We’re Tenting Tonight On the Old Camp Ground); and the Revolutionary War (Yankee Doodle), and the First World War (I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier) and the Second World War (The Sinking of the Reuben James), and the Vietnam War (Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation); but the Cold War? Since the battlefield was more like a chessboard, and the casualties were truth and faith in one’s government, what great songs would one point to give some kind of equal nobility to the cause for which so few died in vain?

    That’s the question that vexed me as I spent several months preparing for a Pasadena library show on the subject of folk music during the Cold War. I knew the peace songs I had grown up on—Strangest Dream, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall—but I had no idea there would literally be hundreds more—on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and that they would lead me to a broader understanding of the cultural response to the looming Mushroom Cloud that overshadowed our childhoods in the 1950s.

    Read more COUNTDOWN: THE COLD WAR HIT PARADE

    BLOG

    Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk, and flamenco. Shimabukuro has written numerous original compositions, including the entire soundtracks to two Japanese films, Hula Girls  (2007) and the Japanese remake of Sideways (2009).

    Well known in Hawaii and Japan during his early solo career in the early 2000s, Shimabukuro became famous internationally in 2006, when a video of him playing a virtuosic rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was posted on YouTube without his knowledge and became one of the first viral videos on that site. His concert engagements, collaborations with legendary musicians, media appearances, and music production have snowballed since then. In 2012, an award-winning documentary was released tracking his life, career, and music, titled Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings; it has screened in a variety of festivals, aired repeatedly on PBS, and been released on DVD.

    Jake will be performing in Southern California at the following locations:

    October 30

    Pepperdine Univ. Smothers Theatre

    24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265

    310-506-4522

    October 31

    California Center For The Arts

    340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025

    800-988-4253

    November 1

    Cerritos Performing Arts Center – Lyric Theatre

    12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos, CA 90703

    562 916-8501 or 800- 300-4345


    OCTOBER 28, 2014

    Hamilton CampHAPPY BIRTHDAY

    Hamilton Camp (October 30, 1934 – October 2, 2005)

    British singer-songwriter, actor and voice actor. Camp's debut as a folk singer was at the Newport Folk Festival in 1960; and his first recording, with Bob Gibson, was Bob Gibson & Bob Camp at the Gate of Horn, from 1961.

    For more information, surf over to this page.


    DID YOU KNOW?: FolkWorks started as a hard copy newspaper. We printed 12-15000 copies every two months for 7 years. You can find the PDF versions by using the main menu and finding ARCHIVES on the right..


    Read more: THE FOLKWORKS BLOG


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 11/1/14


    fwpick

    3:00pm AOLANI / JIM ‘KIMO’ WEST

    Hawaiian Singer-songwriter / Slack Key guitar

    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

    7:30pm TOM BALL & KENNY SULTAN

    Blues harmonica and guitar duo

    The New Victoria Theater

    33 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara; CA 93101

    805-722-8155

    Presented by Santa Barbara Blues Society


    fwpick

    8:00pm PHIL SALAZAR AND MARK HEYES

    Noble House Concerts

    Van Nuys, CA 91411

    818-780-5979 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    fwpick

    8:00pm JAKE SHIMABUKURO

    Cerritos Performing Arts Center – Lyric Theatre

    12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos, CA 90703

    562 916-8501 or 800- 300-4345


    fwpick

    8:00pm TOULOUSE ENGELHARDT

    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.


    8:00pm RHYTHM FUTURE QUARTET

    Gypsy Jazz

    Boulevard Music

    4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230

    310-398-2583


    9:00pm HONEYHONEY

    Alt-Folk band

    Bootleg HiFi

    2220 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90057

    213-389-3856

    Presented by Bluegrass Situation and The Fold


    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 11/1/14


    2:00pm - 5:00pm NORTHRIDGE SONG CIRCLE (SONGMAKERS)

    Northridge (Contact via Songmakers website)

    Unlisted, Northridge, CA 00000

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


    5:00pm - 7:00pm FRETTED FROG OPEN MIC

    Fretted Frog Acoustic Guitar Store

    1200 N. Alvarado St., , Los Angeles, CA 90026

    213-353-0734


    6:00pm ORANGE COUNTY HOOT (SONGMAKERS )

    Orange County (Contact via Songmakers website)

    Home of David Borger and Ann Carroll, Mission Viejo , CA 9269X


    6:30pm SANTA MONICA TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC CLUB

    Sha'Arei Am (Santa Monica Synagogue)

    1448 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

    310-453-4276


    6:30pm BLUEGRASS CONCERTS

    Me N Eds Pizza Parlor

    4115 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712

    562-421-8908


    7:30pm GRATEFUL DUDES BLUEGRASS

    Vincenzo's Pizza

    24500 Lyons Ave., Newhall, CA 91350


    8:00pm FRET HOUSE OPEN MIC (SIGNUP 7:30PM)

    Fret House

    309 N. Citrus, Covina, CA 91723-2006

    626-339-7020


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: LAUGHTER OUT OF TEARS

    ARTIST: MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO

    LABEL: WHIM RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

    By Jackie Morris

    Laughter Out of TearsHaunting, ethereal, and totally mesmerizing, Moira Smiley & VOCO bring an almost mystical quality to both original and traditional folk music. Drawing from a deep well of influence, their fourth album, Laughter Out of Tears, moves effortlessly from Appalachian roots to Balkan polyphony to Scandinavian folksongs; and then transcends tradition on five tracks by introducing the innovative “Choir of YOU,” a technology-empowered “chorus” of 200 voices from around the English-speaking world.

    The result is a kind of magic that is both subliminal and sublime, characterized by rich, complex harmonies, other-worldly polyphonic singing and sparse instrumentation. The 8 women who contributed to this VOCO release all sing (divinely, I should add) and play most of the instruments – a minimalist banjo and accordion (by Smiley), a tender cello (by April Guthrie), and plenty of body percussion. Single tracks are also punctuated by fiddle and uke, with guest artists on guitar, trumpet and percussion.

    Read more: LAUGHTER OUT OF TEARS - MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO


    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


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.