• SPOTLIGHT

    Levitt Pavilion Pasadena Weekly Back Cover Ad

    Read more: Levitt Pavilion


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    July-August 2015

    OLD-TIME MUSIC IN LOS ANGELES

    By David Bragger

    old time tiki 3Old-Time music in Los Angeles has a long and wonderful history. It is a genre and culture that really thrives here. I’m often asked by musicians and newbies what it’s like out here in the West. I’ll often cite the names of great SoCal musicians who have had a huge influence in the area such as Earl Collins, Mel Durham, Tom Sauber, Ed Lowe and others. Lately, an 81-year old Cajun/Creole accordion player, Mr. Joe Fontenot, has swept many of us off our feet (literally) and is inspiring local Cajun players and novices, myself included!

    Read more: OLD-TIME MUSIC IN LOS ANGELES

    PASSINGS

    THE DARK WORLD OF KIM FRIEDMAN:

    L.A.’S BLIND BALLAD SINGER RIP

    (APRIL 5, 1954—JUNE 22, 2015)

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Kim Friedman Photo by April Halprin Wayland 20150709 164527Kim Friedman did not have the luxury of John Milton to consider how her light was spent ere half her days were done in this dark world and wide. She was blind before birth.

    Kim’s eyes couldn’t see the fret board her fingers never missed a note on, no matter how high up the neck they traveled; they couldn’t see the strings her right hand never missed a finger-style pattern on, no matter how intricate the back beat she was playing; and they couldn’t see the audience her singing had such an indelible impact on, no matter how deep the tears she inspired, or unaffected the laughter with which she caught them by surprise. And yet it was not Kim who was blind, but we—to how precious those moments were, how much we would miss her when she was gone, and how irreplaceable she was.

    Read more: THE DARK WORLD OF KIM FRIEDMAN


    SUNRISE, SUNSET: THEODORE BIKEL RIP

    (MAY 2, 1924-JULY 21, 2015)

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Theodore BikelLet others write about his versatility, his songs in 21 languages, his character actor roles from all over the globe, and his celebrated beginnings as Captain Von Trapp—the role he created for the original stage production of The Sound of Music.

    To me Theo Bikel will always be Tevye—the put-upon dairyman from Fiddler On the Roof, a part he played for an epic 2,000 performances. And first and foremost he will always be the quintessential Jewish folk singer. Theodore Bikel died last night in Los Angeles at 91 years old—a world away from Vienna, Austria where he was born May 2, 1924—and which he always disowned for their “shameful treatment of my people.”

    Read more: SUNRISE, SUNSET: THEODORE BIKEL RIP


    TRIPLE CROWN: A LONG STRANGE WEEK FOR FOLK MUSIC

    RIP: WILL HOLT (APRIL 30, 1929 – MAY 31, 2015), 
    JEAN RITCHIE (DECEMBER 8, 1922 – JUNE 1, 2015), 
    AND RONNIE GILBERT (SEPTEMBER 7, 1926 – JUNE 6, 2015)

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Will Holt

    Jean Ritchie Ronnie Gilbert

    American Pharoah wasn’t the only Triple Crown winner last Saturday, June 6, D-Day. God took home the Belmont when he crowned the Weavers Ronnie Gilbert and gave her an angel’s wings; she already had an angel’s voice. What a long strange week it has been.

    The gods of folk music, as if in a conspiracy of malevolent intent, have robbed us of three of our most significant and distinctive voices—like a destruction myth parody of Genesis: In the beginning God took home the songwriter and popular folk musician Will Holt, who wrote Lemon Tree; and on the 2nd day God took home the singing family of the Cumberlands’ Jean Ritchie, who wrote Black Waters and The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore; and even on the 7th day God did not rest—He sent his henchmen to take the gorgeous alto of The Weavers, Ronnie Gilbert, whose clarion voice soared high above Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes and Fred Hellerman—raising them to the skies.

    Read more: TRIPLE CROWN: A LONG STRANGE WEEK FOR FOLK MUSIC


    FEATURE ARTICLE

    THE WOODY GUTHRIE PRIZE:

    WHAT IS IT AND HOW DO YOU GET IT?

    A FOLKWORKS COMMENTARY

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Woody Guthrie PrizeI had no problem with the first recipient of the “Woody Guthrie Prize,” which was awarded to Pete Seeger last year. With Pete’s name on it you could count on a little press.

    Unfortunately, between the time the prize was announced, and the time Pete was to receive it at an event in New York City co-sponsored by the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles—and for which Arlo was to serenade Pete as the highlight of the ceremony—Pete—whose timing was usually impeccable—passed away. Kind of took the wind out of the Clearwater’s sails. Nonetheless, they went ahead with the ceremony and it became one of hundreds of memorials for America’s Tuning Fork, albeit with a lot more cachet due to Arlo. But all in all it was not an auspicious beginning for the “Woody Guthrie Prize” to be bestowed upon a dead man. If it was to amount to anything they would have to be very careful on whom they bestowed it the second time around.

    Read more: THE WOODY GUTHRIE PRIZE


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: I CAN SWING FOREVER

    ARTISTS: TRACY NEWMAN / CHARLOTTE DEAN

    LABEL: KABEAUTY MUSIC

    RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 12, 2014

    By Stefani Rosenberg

    TRACY NEWMAN - I CAN SWING FOREVERToday, many artists feel the need to record only the music that they have composed; for many, this works. The same holds true in the world of children's music. For every CD that stands out, there are two that are just mediocre.

    Among the best we have Malvina Reynolds, Ella Jenkins, Jose-Luis Orozco, Suni Paz, Marcia Berman, Patty Zeitlen, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and “Uncle Ruthie” Buell. Their music and stories have withstood the test of time.

    Read more: TRACY NEWMAN / CHARLOTTE DEAN - I CAN SWING FOREVER


    TITLE: CHEMISTRY

    ARTIST: LESLIE BEAUVAIS

    LABEL: LESLIE BEAUVAIS

    RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2014

    By Ron Sarfaty

    Leslie Beauvais - ChemistryI first received my copy of Leslie Beauvais 's new CD Chemistry about 2 weeks before it was officially released. I had heard Leslie sing backup vocals for Severin Browne and a few times with Jaynee Thorne at John Zipperer and Friends concerts.

    My first impression of her voice was very positive. Although I mostly heard harmony, she had good breath control and a pretty good range - Alto to High Soprano. When I heard that she was working with Ed Tree to produce her new CD, I was an instant fan and preordered through her social fundraising attempt.

    Read more: LESLIE BEAUVAIS - CHEMISTRY


    TITLE: YOU’RE HOME NOW

    ARTIST: RICHARD BERMAN

    LABEL: ARIES RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: 2014

    By Jackie Morris

    Youre home now  richard bermanRichard Berman is one of the great masters of the story-song. And his new seventh album, You’re Home Now, just might be his best work yet. This is no small compliment...as decades of critical acclaim, multiple awards, and Folk DJ “favorite” lists can attest to. Poetic yet always relatable – intimate, thought-provoking, and entertaining – his songs draw you in with lovely, haunting melodies and hold you with beautifully understated feeling.

    Read more: RICHARD BERMAN - YOU’RE HOME NOW


    TITLE: THE NE’ER DUWELS

    ARTIST: THE NE’ER DUWELS

    LABEL: SELF

    RELEASE DATE: JUNE, 2015

    By Mark Dresser

    Neer DuwelsThere are times when travelers on different paths meet at a crossroads and discover they have been brought together for a purpose. Connections are forged because each knows the road ahead is right and true. Such is the case with the band the Ne’er Duwels: four accomplished musicians who have joined together to create a solid recording.

    Ken O’ Malley from Dublin, Ireland, is the lead singer of the band. Ken has entertained audiences for over 30 years, and is one of the most well-known and beloved Irish folk singers working today. His rich voice and skillful guitar work are fueled by deep passion for his people and their history. Ken pours his soul into every word he sings, every measure he plays, and the music of the Ne’er Duwels laughs, breathes, and aches with his dedication.

    Read more: THE NE’ER DUWELS


    BLOG

    JULY 23RD, 2015

    RIP: THEODORE BIKEL (MAY 2, 1924-JULY 21, 2015)

    Read more: Blog Entry JULY 23RD, 2015


    FULL CALENDAR click here

    TODAY'S EVENTS 8/2/15


    12:00pm & 2:00pm THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL

    Skirball Cultural Center

    2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

    310-440-4578


    3:00pm THE NEW ASH GROVE PLAYERS

    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

    7:00pm JIM RADFORD / ROSS ALTMAN

    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 JEAN RITCHIE MEMORIAL AND LEGACY CONCERT AND FILM

    with Susie Glaze, Joellen Lapidus and friends
    featuring the first Los Angeles screening of "Hearts of the Dulcimer,"
    a documentary film tracing the Mountain Dulcimer's journey
    from Jean Ritchie's rich Appalachian heritage to the musicians of the West Coast ().

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


    FULL ONGOING MUSIC click here

    TODAY'S ONGOING MUSIC 8/2/15

    Ongoing Music


    8:00am - 1:00pm FAIR MARKET BAND every Sunday

    Hollywood Farmers Market

    Ivar Ave. & Selma Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028


    11:00am - 2:00pm OLD-TIME MUSIC JAM first Sunday

    Viva Cantina

    900 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91506

    818-515-4444


    12:00pm - 3:00pm GUITAR MERCHANT BLUEGRASS JAM first Sunday

    Guitar Merchant

    7305 Topanga Blvd.,, Canoga Park, CA

    818-884-5905


    1:00pm - 3:00pm EL CAMINO COLLEGE BLUEGRASS JAM first Sunday

    El Camino College

    16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506


    3:00pm - 5:30pm WILDE THISTLE IRISH SESSION every Sunday

    Wilde Thistle

    3456 Motor Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    310-730-6208 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    4:00pm - 7:00pm AULD DUBLINER TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION every Sunday

    Auld Dubliner

    71 S Pine Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802

    562-437-8300


    5:30pm - 9:00pm THE GRAND OLE ECHO every Sunday

    The Echo

    1822 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026

    213-413-8200


    6:00pm - 9:00pm FUN-DO-MENTAL MUSIC SONG CIRCLE first Sunday

    Fun-do-mental Music

    1489 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite C , Thousand Oaks , CA 91362

    805-778-1000


    7:00pm - 9:00pm SAN DIEGO OLD TIME FIDDLERS JAM first & third Sunday

    Boll Weevil Restaurant (Clairemont Mesa)

    9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA

    858- 571-6225


    7:30pm - 11:00pm O'BRIEN'S IRISH MUSIC SESSION every Sunday

    O'Brien's Irish Pub and Restaurant

    2226 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

    310-829-5303 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm KEN O'MALLEY every Sunday

    O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant

    2941 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405


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.