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TOP TEN FOR 2012

STEVE AND LEDA SHAPIRO

  1. Crooked Jades - Soundtrack for Bright Land with Kate Weare Company (CD); Live September 7 at The Echoplex.
  2. We’ve heard the Crooked Jades over the years with different band configurations and the current one really works. The little we’ve seen of their collaboration with the Kate Weare dance company is amazing. We hope that they can bring the show out west in 2013.
  3. Jen Hajj - I of the Storm (CD)
    We met Jen at the FAR-West conference in Irvine this past October. Her 2011 CD was a standout and we look forward to her upcoming release.
  4. Lunasa - Live November 17 at Caltech Public Events (Beckman).
    Although we’ve heard them before and have enjoyed their CDs for years, the balance of the sets of the group and as individual players was superb. Perhaps because we were sitting in the balcony but this was the first time that we thought the sound at Beckman was great.
  5. Carolina Chocolate DropsLeaving Eden (CD); live April 6 at UCLA Royce Hall.
    We were amazed when we first heard these guys and, with their new lineup, we continue being big fans! The new folks augment the strengths of Rhiannon and Dom.
  6. Eric BibbDeeper in the Well (CD)
    We’ve been a fan of Eric’s since he started touring the US. The new CD with Dirk Powell, Cedric Watson, Danny Devillier and Grant Dermody and some other friends brings out the best in Eric. He combines traditional and contemporary music with a Louisiana flavor.
  7. Sixto Rodriguez - Searching for Sugarman (Film), Cold Fact (CD).
    If you haven’t seen the movie, do. It is an amazing story and led us to immediately buy the CDs. The first CD is perfect, the second, not so much.
  8. Run Downhill - Performances at FAR-West Conference (October 18-20) FolkWorks Guerilla Showcases.
    Percussionist and singer/songwriter T.J. Troy has brought together an innovative band. We really enjoyed both nights, the first with just T.J. and bassist Colin Burgess, the second with the full band. Watch for them in 2013.
  9. Joey Abarta - August 30, Coffee Gallery Backstage.
    Joey has become an outstanding Irish (Uilleann) piper. He current lives in the Boston area and plays with the finest Irish players. His on-stage presence and enthusiasm is infectious. He is unlike any other piper and we look forward to recordings from him.
  10. Little Black Train - Barndance (CD); Live February 26 at CTMS Center for Folk Music.
    Stu Mason and John Weed of Molly’s Revenge fame have joined forces with mandolinist Kenny Blackwell to form the old-time powerhouse group, Little Black Train. Grab their CDs and see them in 2013.
  11. Blame SallyLive at KVIEO Studios (CD); Live September 22 at McCabe’s Guitar Shop.
    These ladies from San Francisco rock. Yup, literally and figuratively. They are on the folk-rock side of the spectrum but their individual personalities shine on stage and the band is solid.
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