• FEATURE ARTICLES

    DULCIMER FESTIVAL

    BEST OF TRADITION AND INNOVATION MEET

    By Leo Kretzner

    The 22nd Annual Harvest Festival of Dulcimers is this Saturday, October 1, in Costa Mesa (full details below). After a day of workshops, the evening concert presents a pair of performances featuring the very best of folk innovation and deep folk roots: Robert Force, pre-eminent west coast fretted dulcimer innovator of over 40 years, AND Cathy Barton and David Para, likewise seasoned professionals, from the heartlands of Missouri, on hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar… and leaf. Yes, the leaf! Must be seen and heard to be believed!

    Read more: DULCIMER FESTIVAL


    Boots of Spanish Leather: Germán López in Concert

    Raitt Recital Hall, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    German LopezPart 1 – Germán López in concert at Pepperdine University

    The Spanish Civil War began eighty years ago last July 17, so Spain has been much on my mind this year. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteers who sacrificed their lives to save the Spanish Republic from fascism made it an American war; 3,000 went to Spain and only 1500 came home—the bravest of the brave, Pete Seeger called them. The Lincoln Brigade’s last surviving veteran—Delmer Berg—passed away this year in Modesto, California at the age of 100—Modesto’s only white member of the NAACP. Picasso created the mural Guernica–the greatest painting of the 20th Century—in response to the bombing of the Basque village of Guernica.

    Read more: BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER: GERMÁN LÓPEZ


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: THE BEAUTIFUL NOT YET

    ARTIST: CARRIE NEWCOMER

    LABEL: AVAILABLE LIGHT RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

    By Jackie Morris

    Carrie.Newcomer.TBNY .AlbumPageProfound and poetic, Carrie Newcomer’s 16th album, The Beautiful Not Yet, soothes the soul as it stimulates the senses. Capturing the mystery and miracle in the everyday, the songs are at once spiritual and down to earth, filled with wisdom and heart.

    If you simply read the lyrics on her website, you’ll find the words read like poetry. But in truth, even if I didn’t understand a word of English, I would still think this is one beautiful album. The primary reason is Newcomer’s voice – that celebrated, rich contralto that is so luscious, warm and honest, so natural yet perfectly nuanced, that it makes you feel good just to listen to it. Additionally, The Beautiful Not Yet features an array of gorgeous harmonies and an exciting blend of traditional roots instrumentation (banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin) and chamber music (cello, violin, and piano).

    Read more: CARRIE NEWCOMER - THE BEAUTIFUL NOT YET


    TITLE: WHAT THE HEART WANTS

    ARTIST: BRITTA LEE SHAIN

    LABEL: INDIGO DESERT QUEEN

    RELEASE DATE: 2016

    By Jackie Morris

    Britta Lee Shain - What the Heart WantsBritta Lee Shain’s second CD, What the Heart Wants, should come with a warning label: “This album may be addictive.” In truth, I cannot stop listening to it. Shain’s unique brand of cool, bluesy folk-rock is more than “that good.” It is compelling.

    The album was released in tandem with the publication of Shain’s new book, Seeing The Real You At Last: Life and Love on the Road with Bob Dylan, a personal memoir chronicling her time with the folk icon in the 1980s. (One of the songs is a co-write with him, another is a cover of one of his latter-day (1997) hits, and still another … or others … are about him.) But regardless of this intriguing liaison, I have to emphasize that these songs stand on their own. And then some.

    Read more: BRITTA LEE SHAIN - WHAT THE HEART WANTS


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    September-October 2016

    UKE EVENTS TO TOOT ABOUT

    By Audrey Coleman

    JACCC-smAs August gives way to September, this ukulele lady looks back fondly at special uke experiences and forward with gusto to upcoming events featuring Mighty Uke. A highlight in June was the Ukulele Expo held at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in the heart of downtown L.A. It was largely organized by Jason Arimoto, musician, ukulele instructor and uke dealer at JACCC’s U-Space, along with musician-arranger-composer-producer and six-time Grammy winner Daniel Ho. Besides the now-traditional mass uke strumming session outside on the steaming plaza, the event offered some fascinating workshops.

    Read more: UKE EVENTS TO TOOT ABOUT

    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 ...

    RIP: Fred Hellerman

    (May 13, 1927 – September 1, 2016)

    Fred HellermanFred Hellerman (May 13, 1927 – September 1, 2016) was an American folk singer, guitarist, producer, and songwriter, primarily known as one of the original members of The Weavers, together with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert. He was also known for producing the record album Alice's Restaurant (1967) for Arlo Guthrie. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and educated at Brooklyn College.

    Read more: RIP: FRED HELLERMAN


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 9/29/16


    MUSIC


    fwpick

    5:30pm MICHAEL CHAPDELAINE / SEAN MCGOWAN / KINLOCH NELSON

    Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration (SBAIC) Guitar Summit

    SOHo Restaurant and Music Club

    1221 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    805-962 7776


    fwpick

    8:00pm MURIEL ANDERSON

    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

    8:00pm IRIS DEMENT

    Pepperdine Univ. Smothers Theatre

    24255 P.C.H., Malibu, CA 90265

    310-506-4522



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


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

    every Thursday

    Auld Dubliner

    71 S Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

    562-437-8300

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


    6:30pm - 9:30pm WOOD ‘N LIPS OPEN MIC (SIGN UP 5:30PM)

    every Thursday

    Kaffee Meister - Santee Coffeehouse

    9225 Carlton Hills Boulevard #30, Santee, CA


    7:00pm - 10:00pm MACLEOD'S BREWERY OLD TIME JAM

    second & fifth Thursday

    MacLeod's Ale Brewery

    14741 Calvert St., Van Nuys, CA

    Steve Shapiro 818-785-3839 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm PLOUGHBOYS CELTIC

    second, third, fourth & fifth Thursday

    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 HONKY TONK HACIENDA

    every Thursday

    El Cid

    4212 W Sunset Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90029

    323-668-0318


    DANCE


    10:15am - 11:45am PAN PACIFIC FOLK DANCERS

    every Thursday

    Pan Pacific Senior Activity Center

    141 S. Gardner Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    Tikva Mason 310-652-8706


    11:15am - 12:35pm SANTA MONICA CITY COLLEGE ISRAELI DANCING

    every Thursday

    Santa Monica College Clocktower

    1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA


    3:00pm - 4:45pm RESEDA INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCERS

    every Thursday

    Reseda Senior Center

    18255 Victory Blvd., Reseda, CA

    JoAnne McColloch 818-340-6432


    7:30pm - 10:30pm NARODNI FOLK DANCERS

    every Thursday

    Woman's Club of Bellflower

    9402 Oak St., Bellflower, CA

    Judith 562-404-4383


    7:30pm - 10:45pm WESTWOOD CO-OP FOLK DANCERS

    every Thursday

    Felicia Mahood Senior Club

    11338 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

    310-839-1753 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.