• SPOTLIGHTS

    Simi Valley Cajun Blues Festival

    MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MAY 28-29th
    Tickets

    See Read more... for location, schedule and videos

    Read more: SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL


    Topanga Days

    Topanga Days pictureTickets

    See Read more... for location, schedule and videos

    Read more: TOPANGA DAYS


    CONCERT REVIEW

    THE SHOW PONIES IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

    WITH MOONSHINER COLLECTIVE AT BOOTLEG THEATER, MAY 20, 2016

    By Tom Cheyney

    The Show PoniesOn a clear night when a full moon’s south pole glow spread like a mountain man’s beard, The Show Ponies tapped deep into their own particularly luminous brand of rockin’ string-band Americana at the Bootleg. Rambunctiously professional musicianship, tightly wrapped harmonies, rootsy soulfulness and an evangelical-edged zest for living brought band and fans together in a sweaty salvational embrace.

    Read more: THE SHOW PONIES IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: ALL THESE YEARS

    ARTIST: SOLAS

    LABEL: THL RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 17, 2016

    By Anya Sturm

    Solas - All These YearsFor the past 20 years, Solas has blurred the line of modern and traditional Irish music. In their new album, All These Years, they blend traditional and contemporary tunes, American and Irish music, and even rock with traditional Celtic energy. Moira Smiley, the new singer, joins the long standing members consisting of Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran), Winifred Horan (fiddles, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and, Mick McAuley (button accordion, vocals).

    Read more: SOLAS - ALL THESE YEARS


    TITLE: BEHAVE THE BRAVEST

    ARTIST: NUALA KENNEDY

    LABEL: UNDER THE ARCH RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: January 29, 2016

    By Jackie Morris

    Nuala Kennedy - Behave the BravestA true Celtic gem! Nuala Kennedy’s fourth solo album, Behave The Bravest – Traditional Music from Ireland, Scotland, and Beyond - is a brilliant display of the acclaimed singer and flutist’s multi-faceted talent. The album, recorded over six months on three continents – while Nuala was on tour with her band in the U.K., Australia and the U.S. – provides a lovely mix of traditional music with an excitingly fresh sound. There are ancient ballads...a waulking song, sung in Gaelic...love songs from Scotland and Ulster...a contemporary Celtic instrumental...and two instrumental medleys, one of reels and the other of jigs.

    Read more: BEHAVE THE BRAVEST - NUALA KENNEDY


    TITLE: CAN’T STAY HERE THIS A-WAY

    ARTIST: BRUCE MOLSKY

    LABEL: OLD-TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: MAY 2016

    By Pat Mac Swyney

    Bruce Molsky - Can't Stay Here This a-Way Last summer, the trailer for this latest release from the Old-Time Tiki Parlour started showing up on social media. It opens with black screen audio of Bruce Molsky blazing through the classic fiddle tune Old Sledge followed by a seemingly audacious quote from Darol Anger, a founding member and fiddler from the David Grisman Quintet; declaring Bruce Molsky to be “The Rembrandt of Appalachian Fiddle.”

    Read more: BRUCE MOLSKY - CAN’T STAY HERE THIS A-WAY


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    May-June 2016

    STORIES WE COULD TELL

    By Dennis Roger Reed

    1984RalphStanley-300If you are around music for long, you have music stories. Here are two. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, unless I forgot or want to name drop. I find if I am vague about the who, the greatly exaggerated what may be overlooked.

    Ralph Stanley and the Jogging Suit

    I know a gentleman who is not only a great musician and singer, but also a great songwriter. Bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley has recorded some of his songs, and he and Ralph are friends. About 25 years ago Ralph and the Clinch Mountain Boys were playing a few engagements in Southern California, and Ralph stayed at the songwriter’s home in the Inland Empire. The songwriter worked out regularly at a local gym, and he invited Ralph to join him. And to entice him to do so, he bought Ralph a then “stylish” purple, velour, jogging suit. If you are a Ralph Stanley fan, you have no doubt seen him photographed wearing workout clothing, but 25 years ago, you had not. If fact, you’d probably expect to see Mike Tyson playing hot five string banjo before you would dream that you would ever see Dr. Ralph in workout gear.

    Ralph’s next gig was in South Orange County at Shade Tree Music on a Monday night. He obtained lodging near the beach.

    At the Shade Tree gig, the songwriter told me about Ralph having stayed with him, the gym and Ralph’s new jogging suit.

    Read more: STORIES WE COULD TELL

    everything but ...

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    BOB DYLAN

    (May 24, 1941)

    Click Read more... for
    TOPANGA BANJO-FIDDLE CONTEST WINNERS

    Read more: BOB DYLAN AND TOPANGA BANJO-FIDDLE CONTEST WINNERS


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 5/27/16


    MUSIC


    TENOR GUITAR GATHERING (TGG7)

    Astoria, Oregon


    7:00pm TODD MOSBY

    SOHo Restaurant and Music Club

    1221 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    805-962 7776


    7:00pm & 9:00pm DOUG MACLEOD

    Alva’s Showroom

    1417 West 8th St, San Pedro, CA 90732

    310-519 1314


    7:30pm PAT DONOHUE

    Dana Point Community House

    24642 San Juan St., Dana Point, CA 92629

    949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656

    Presented by Lord Of The Strings Concert Series


    8:00pm TARA LOUISE

    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.


    10:00pm WE THE FOLK

    Hotel Café

    1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038

    323-461-2040



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    6:00pm - 8:00pm MOUNTAIN MUSIC JAM fourth Friday

    Joel's Canyon Shack

    Silverado Canyon Road, Silverado, CA

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

    Joel Robinson 714-649-9084 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 10:00pm VENTURA BELL ARTS HOOT (SONGMAKERS) fourth Friday

    Bell Arts Factory

    432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, CA 93001

    TJ Zeiler 805-910-7565 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm PLOUGHBOYS every Friday

    Tam O' Shanter (Ale & Sandwich Bar Lounge)

    2980 Los Feliz Bl, Los Feliz, CA 90039

    323-664-0228

    818-507-8445 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm ROOTS MUSIC NIGHT (LONG BEACH) fourth Friday

    Alex's Bar

    2913 E. Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804

    562-434-8292


    8:00pm - 10:00pm KATTYWOMPUS CONCERT / JAM every Friday

    Dollmakers Kattywompus

    412 S. Myrtle Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016

    626-357-1091

    Jennifer Ranger 626-357-1091


    DANCE


    9:30am - 12:00pm KAYSO FOLK DANCERS every Friday

    Casa del Prado, Rm. 206, Balboa Park

    1800 El Prado, San Diego, CA

    Jerry Waddell 619-479-8015`


    7:15pm - 10:00pm WEST VALLEY FOLK DANCERS every Friday

    Canoga Park Senior Center

    7326 Jordan Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    Jay Michtom 818-368-1957 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 10:00pm MONROVIA ENGLISH COUNTRY DANCE second & fourth Friday

    St. Luke's Episcopal Church

    122 S. California Ave., Monrovia, CA

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


    7:45pm - 11:00pm PASADENA FOLK DANCE CO-OP every Friday

    Throop Unitarian Church

    300 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA

    Jan Rayman 818-790-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:45pm - 10:45pm WEST LOS ANGELES FOLK DANCERS every Friday

    Brockton School

    1309 Armacost Ave., West Los Angeles, CA

    Beverly Barr 310-202-6166 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm L.I.F.E.BALKAN DANCE every Friday

    LA DanceFit Studio

    10936 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

    Sherrie Cochran 626-293-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:30pm - 11:00pm KYPSELI GREEK DANCE CENTER every Friday

    The Tango Room

    4346 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA

    Louise Bilman 323-660-1030 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm - 11:00pm BEVERLY HILLS ISRAELI DANCING every Friday

    Temple Emanuel

    8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA

    James Zimmer 310-284-3638 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.