• FEATURE ARTICLE

    LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULIER!

    SIMI CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL

    By Karen Redding

    Simi Cajun - Blues Festival

    Forget the beach, the mountains, and Las Vegas. Camping? Who cares? Southern California's 26th Annual Simi Cajun & Blues Festival is the only place to be for Memorial weekend. With the most spectacular lineup of Blues, Cajun and Zydeco music in its 26 year history, there's no better option for entertainment for this All-American holiday. The festival is held on Saturday and Sunday, May 23 and May 24. Hours are 12:00pm-7:30pm both days.

    Read more: LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULIER - SIMI CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL


    SPOTLIGHT

    simi cajun blues festival detail

    Read more: SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL


    PASSINGS

    MY KIND OF GUY - GUY CARAWAN

    (JULY 27, 1927 - MAY 2, 2015)

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Guy CarawanGuy Carawan passed away at his home in New Market Tennessee last Saturday, May 2, 2015, sandwiched in between May Day and Pete Seeger’s birthday. He was 87 years old. He would have appreciated the perfect placement in terms of the musical world he represented. Guy and his wife and musical partner Candie lived nearby the extraordinary school where he served as Music Director—Highlander Folk School (its original name) since the passing of founder Myles Horton’s wife Zilphia Horton. Both Guy and Zilphia’s (their original Music Director) names are on the copyright of their crowning achievement—We Shall Overcome. Having roots in African American hymns from the early 20th century, Zilphia had brought the song back from a tobacco workers’ strike in South Carolina in 1946 and she and Guy shaped it into the civil rights anthem we know today.

    Read more: MY KIND OF GUY - GUY CARAWAN


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: KEEPING UP WITH THE HEARD

    ARTIST: THE MACMAMMALS

    LABEL: SELF

    RELEASE DATE: MAY 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    macmammals - keeping up with the heardFor those of us whose first musical love was traditional and neo-traditional folk ballads, the brand new debut album by The MacMammals provides a welcome, refreshing return to the simple beauty of this genre. Garnering songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and North America, Keeping Up with the Heard is authentic, acoustic, and moving; a collection of wonderful songs, tastefully arranged, while still achieving a very full, satisfying sound.

    Read more: THE MACMAMMALS - KEEPING UP WITH THE HEARD


    TITLE: DEVIL IN THE SEAT

    ARTIST: THE FOGHORN STRINGBAND

    LABEL: FOGHORN MUSIC

    RELEASE DATE: MARCH, 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    DEVIL IN THE SEAT - FOGHORNThe Foghorn Stringband began as five guys playing hard-driving old-time music. Two of them, Caleb Klauder and Sammy Lind, formed the Foghorn Duo. Nadine Landry then joined on vocals and bass to make them a trio. Reeb Willms added her guitar and voice to make the Foghorn Stringband what it is today. All four sing powerfully, and they play hard-driving music featuring Sammy's fiddle and Caleb's mandolin, among other combinations. This is the eighth Foghorn release, and it certainly lives up to the standards the band has set for itself. It was recorded in Hawaii, but it's full of hard-driving music and edgy singing.

    Read more: FOGHORN STRINGBAND - DEVIL IN THE SEAT


    TITLE: BALAS Y CHOCOLATE

    ARTIST: LILA DOWNS

    LABEL: RCA RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: MARCH 24, 2015

    By Jonathan Shifflet

    BALAS Y CHOCOLATEHeadlines about the recent violence in Mexico only tell half of the story. In Lila Downs’ most recent album Balas y Chocolate (bullets and chocolate), the other half is given a voice. 

    Using her signature silky register and an arsenal of regional styles, Downs uses Spanish and indigenous Mixtec words to describe the history of violence toward students and journalists. Using the themes and symbols of the Day of the Dead, she creates an allegory for the misdeeds while capturing the feelings of foreboding that follow from such violence and manipulation. The opening line of track one prepares the listener to hear the sounds of radio Mictlan – the radio of the underworld.

    Read more: LILA DOWNS - BALAS Y CHOCOLATE


    TITLE: THE WIDENING GYRE

    ARTIST: ALTAN

    LABEL: COMPASS RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 20, 2015

    By Anya Sturm

    Altan - The Widening GyreAltan’s new CD The Widening Gyre is a fantastic collection of traditional Gaelic songs mixed in with Irish jam regulars. The band is joined by many special guests in this collection of upbeat lively jam tunes as well as slower songs sung by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

    Altan is a traditional Irish band— arguably the most famous one currently playing. It was started in 1987 by Mairéad (rhymes with parade) and her late husband Frankie Kennedy. Mairéad is the daughter of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh, or Francie Moony who also contributed to traditional Irish fiddling.

    Read more: ALTAN - THE WIDENING GYRE


    TITLE: NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL

    ARTIST: SUSIE GLAZE & THE HILONESOME BAND

    LABEL: HILONESOME MUSIC

    RELEASE DATE: MARCH 2015

    By Jackie Morris

    notthatkindofgirlcoverarthi-resAfter three critically acclaimed CDs in the past 5 years, it is not surprising that Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band have created yet another memorable album. But Not That Kind of Girl is more than just “another.” It is, I believe, their best album yet...in part because this group keeps pushing their own boundaries...challenging themselves in terms of musical diversity, original songs and fresh interpretations.

    Read more: SUSIE GLAZE - NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL


    TITLE: DAN GELLERT DVD & CD SET

    ARTIST: DAN GELLERT

    LABEL: THE OLD-TIME TIKI PARLOUR

    RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 2015

    By Steve Goldfield

    Dan Gellert DVD-CD coverSome of Dan Gellert's early recordings seemed to have trouble capturing his unique sound and approach to old-time music. The late Ray Alden told me that he had to use two microphones, one in front and one behind Dan's banjo, to do it. This new recording from David Bragger's Old-Time Tiki Parlour succeeds on multiple levels: it has excellent sound and also comes on both a DVD where you can watch Dan play banjo and fiddle and sing and an audio CD of the same material. David told me that everyone associated in any way with its production is an old-time musician. 

    Read more: DAN GELLERT DVD & CD SET


    BLOG

    May 20, 2015

    Larry WinesFolkWorks extends a big hand to all the participants of the 2015 Topanga Banjo-Fiddle Contest. It was a perfect day. Click the read more for 2015 Contestant Winners.

    Congratulations to Larry Wines who was this years Legend Award Winner.

    Read more: Blog Entry May 20, 2015


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 5/23/15


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    9:30am-5:30pm SCOTTISH FEST

    With Neil O’Neill, Bad Haggis, Highland Way, Sligo Rags, Wicked Tinkers, The Ploughboys,
    Christopher Yates, Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles

    Orange County Fair and Event Center

    88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626


    10:00am-7:00pm TOPANGA DAYS FESTIVAL

    Topanga Community Club

    1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290

    310-455-1980 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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    10:30am – 8:00pm SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL

    Featuring Canned Heat, Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers,
    Andre Theirry & Zydeco Magic, The Magnolia Sisters, Yardbirds. The Magnolia Sisters
    Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience, Candye Kane, Guitar Shorty,
    Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys and more

    Rancho Santa Susana Community Park

    5005 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063

    805-517-9000


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    2:00pm FIDDLE/BANJO WORKSHOP: RAFE & CLELIA STEFANINI

    Old Time Tiki Parlour

    House Concert in Northridge

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


    3:00pm & 8:00pm THE BROTHERS CAZIMERO

    Whittier College - Ruth Shannon Center for the Performing Arts

    6760 Painter Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

    562-907-4203


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    5:30pm JOHN ZIPPERER & FRIENDS / NATHAN MCEUEN

    Julie’s Joint House Concert Series

    Canoga Park, CA 91306

    818-261-0682 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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    7:00pm LEFTOVER CUTIES

    Dancing Oak Ranch

    HWY 150 4585 Casitas Pass Rd., Ventura, CA 93001

    805-649-5189
    Sponsored by Ojai Concert Series


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    7:00pm RAFE & CLELIA STEFANINI

    Old Time Tiki Parlour

    House Concert in Northridge

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


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    7:00pm TRACY NEWMAN / ART PODELL

    Theta Sound Studio

    1309 W. Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91506

    818-955 5888 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:00pm DALE LADUKE BAND

    Throop Unitarian Universalist Church

    300 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101


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    8:00pm CONJUNTO OYE!

    Grand Annex

    434 West 6th St., San Pedro, CA 90731-2632

    310-833-6362


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    8:00pm BRYAN BOWERS

    Fret House

    309 N. Citrus, Covina, CA 91723-2006

    626-339-7020


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    8:00pm THE NE’ER DUWELS

    Tam O’Shanter

    2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039

    323-664-0228


    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 5/23/15

    Ongoing Music


    1:00pm OLD TIME MUSIC JAM (TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN FIDDLE AND BANJO) fourth Saturday

    Audubon Nature Center, Debs Park

    4700 N Griffin Ave., Highland Park; off the 110 Fwy, Los Angeles, CA 90031

    323-221-2255


    5:00pm - 6:45pm THE LIVING TRADITION FOLK MUSIC JAM fourth Saturday

    Anaheim Downtown Community Center

    250 E. Center St., , Anaheim, CA


    6:30pm BLUEGRASS CONCERTS every Saturday

    Me N Eds Pizza Parlor

    4115 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712

    562-421-8908


    7:00pm - 11:00pm WEST VALLEY HOOT (SONGMAKERS) fourth Saturday

    Woodland Hills (Contact via email or website)

    www.songmakers.org, Woodland Hills , CA 91367


    7:30pm GRATEFUL DUDES BLUEGRASS every Saturday

    Vincenzo's Pizza

    24500 Lyons Ave., Newhall, CA 91350


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    May-June 2015

    THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSIC CENTER

    By Audrey Coleman

    Media-C2 World City-1415-Season-Gamelan-Sekar-Jaya2Ah, the Music Center. That bastion of high culture for the City of Angels. As a subscriber to L.A. Opera, I have strolled beneath the bands of shimmering crystal that drip from the ceilings of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. At the Ahmanson Theater, I have patronized Broadway musicals (Les Miserables twice). At the Taper I’ve sat, enthralled, as gifted and often renowned actors inhabited raw emotional terrain. Clearly the Music Center is a gift from the County of Los Angeles to the audiences for high culture. To those with the means to buy the tickets, that is.

    Hello! Roll back the tape, please! The above assessment is terribly out of date. Terribly! Like about a dozen years.

    Read more: THE MANY FACES OF THE MUSIC CENTER

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.