• ANNOUNCEMENTS

    STREAMING worth catching:


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    PIPER SUNDAYS

    Zoom discussion with guest speakers about Irish piping and music
    Sundays 7pm (Irish Time) / 11am (PST) / 12noon (MST) / 1pm (CT) / 2pm (EST).
    Jan 17, 2021: Cillian Vallely
    Jan 24, 2021: Éamonn Dillon
    Jan 31, 2021: Michael McGoldrick
    Feb 07, 2021: Máire Ní Ghráda

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    FreightAtHome 350x350 1 300x300

    Saturdays at 5:00pm PST
    Saturday 1/23 – FREIGHT AT HOME: Jason Anick Acoustic Trio
    Saturday 1/30 – FREIGHT AT HOME: Nina Gerber & Chris Webster
    Click to livestream and for archived previous concerts

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    MONDAYS WITH JOHN (WHELAN)
    Every Monday at 4:00pm PST
    Live Link
    Whelan Master Sessions

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    Mark and Maggie O’Connor

    Every Monday 6:00pm PDT, encore Tuesday 10:00am PDT

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    OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC 

    Check for new online classes

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    SWALLOW HILL MUSIC

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    CAFÉ LENA ONLINE SCHOOL

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    STREAMING SHOWS

    Quarantine Happy Hour - On Facebook Daily at 5:30pm PDT

    Rolly Brown On FacebookSundays, 7:30pm PDT,  Saturdays, 12:00pm PDT, 

    Paul Simon

    Tom Paxton

    Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan - Fridays at 5:00pm PDT

    Kulak Woodshed's re-broadcast

    Windborne Singers

    More to come...

    new tip jar

    See Read more... for the entire list of donors to the new website.

    Read more: BUSKERS and DONORS

    REGARDING COVID-19 VIRUS

    Concerts, dances and festivals have all been cancelled in order to contain the spread of the covid-19 virus.
    Stay at home! Watch the numerous postings on social media of folk/traditional artists.
    If you find something you find exceptional that we haven't shared, please let us know and we will spread the word.
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    The FolkWorks CALENDAR of EVENTS and the RECURRING EVENTS)
    have been suspended until the stay at home orders have been lifted.

    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    January-February 2021

    Early Banjo Recordings – Is it “Old-Time”?

    By Roland Sturm

    Vess OssmanMore Banjo!, a radio show hosted by Heather Rose on KCSB, covers any music with banjo content. It started in October and its 6-8am Thursdays schedule isn’t conducive to a wider audience at, but I was preparing my class then. The advantage of being up early was that I heard a range of music that I may not have encountered otherwise. “More Banjo!” is also archived on Mixcloud.

    Read more: EARLY BANJO RECORDINGS – IS IT “OLD-TIME”?

    FEATURE ARTICLE

    PHIL OCHS TURNS 80 YEARS OLD TODAY—DECEMBER 19, 2020

    By Ross Altman, PhD.

    Phil OchsI’m writing this on my birthday, which is just ten days before Phil Ochs’ birthday December 19, 2020 when--having been born in 1940--he would have turned 80 years old. The reason I mention it is that it’s the one day of the year my favorite author and poet Robert Graves took off from writing. I did not plan on writing today either, in recognition of Graves’ day off—but I’m no Robert Graves, and tomorrow is Human Rights Day—the 10th—and I may need to finish it then—to be able to get it done by FolkWorks’ deadline which is also the 10th. I don’t have time to waste.

    Read more: PHIL OCHS TURNS 80 YEARS OLD TODAY—DECEMBER 19, 2020

    EXTENDED LENGTH VIDEOS

     

    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE


    REGARDING COVID-19 VIRUS

    Concerts, dances and festivals have all been cancelled in order to contain the spread of the covid-19 virus.
    Stay at home! Watch the numerous postings on social media of folk/traditional artists.
    If you find something you find exceptional that we haven't shared, please let us know and we will spread the word.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The FolkWorks CALENDAR of EVENTS and the RECURRING EVENTS)
    have been suspended until the stay at home orders have been lifted.


    SHORT TAKE VIDEOS

January-February 2007


Supergrass Festival Offers World-Class Luthiery


By Yvonne Tatar

Did you know that 80% of the guitars sold are in the lower-end of the market price range ($1,000 or less) and sold to beginners? And, of that 80%, half of those buyers never progress past the beginning stage of proficiency. So, in guitar sales, the biggest market share is for entry-level instruments. 

Players beyond the beginner stage usually desire a higher quality instrument with better tonal resonance, ease of playing, and ornamentation. This 20% creates the market for the higher-end instruments.

The cost for construction, materials, and point of origin are all kept low to keep entry-level instruments affordable. The use of pressed woods, synthetics, and laminates used with overseas constructions accomplishes this. High-end instruments are generally hand-made out of quality tonewoods such as mahogany, rosewood, maple, and spruce with upgraded hardware. With their construction, time is secondary to the finished product, placing quality above quantity.

The Supergrass Bluegrass Festival is happening again February 1-4, 2007, in Bakersfield and this year it will include a Luthiery, i.e., a gathering of world-class luthiers. This Luthiery is a wonderful opportunity for all levels of acoustic enthusiasts to see the finest and latest in acoustic instruments, parts and accessories. Here's a sampling of some of the luthiers that will attending Supergrass.

Greg Boyd's House of Fine Instruments from Missoula, Montana, has been trading in fine acoustic musicians for 27 years, both in-store and by mail. Boyd's business provides, "the real acoustic instruments that people in bands are making their living with. My customers are usually ones who have played enough and know what better tone is." Boyd revels in his ability to match the right instrument with the right customer at the right price. "This makes it all worthwhile."

Tom Ellis is the owner of Ellis Mandolins, located in Austin, Texas. In 1977, he met Ricky Skaggs, and Ricky then recorded and toured with two Ellis Mandolins for 20 years. Buck White also used his Ellis Mandolin on dozens of recordings. In 1992, Tom founded Precision Pearl Inlay, a major supplier to the US guitar industry. But in 2004, he returned to building mandolins, teaming up with Nathan Arrison and Pava Knezevic. Ellis adds that his mandolins "have been featured in Mandolin and Bluegrass Unlimited magazines."

Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to Johann D. Brentrup, Luthier. Brentrup, highly regarded in his field, is a mandolin maker, and only attends one or two festivals a year. His father was in a mandolin orchestra in Germany and always had a mandolin in the home. Since 2000, Johann has been doing it full time. His mandolins have been described as "old world" and his Loar and F-4 reproductions as "accurate in tone and vintage look."

Cumberland Acoustic hails from the Nashville, Tennessee area and its owner Steve Smith, views his company's primary focus as "manufacturing high quality parts and components. We specialize in reproduction parts and accessories. And we happily consider custom orders." Cumberland Acoustic's impeccable craftsmanship is obvious as customers include Gibson Instruments, Johann Brentrup, Paul Duff, Ron Spears, Ronnie McCoury, and Roland White.

Award-winning fiddle luthier Frank Daniels, owner of Frank's Fiddles, will also be at Supergrass this year. From Idaho, he and wife Karen travel to many festivals to vend Frank's well-known instruments. "Each of my instruments are hand-crafted using a basic Stradivarius, Guarnerius or Maggini pattern. I use my own graduations and a piece of ivory by the string nut - a family trademark started by my father," explains Daniels. Molly and B.J. Cherryholmes are proud players of Frank's fiddles.

Michael A. Lewis Fine Guitars & Mandolins from Grass Valley, CA, uses a variety of tonewoods for his archtop guitars and mandolins. "We have also made subtle changes to the traditional designs that strengthens the structure and improves the instrument's tone," Lewis adds. His guitars are inspired by the D'Angelico and Gibson L-5 guitar, made famous by Maybelle Carter. His customers have included Sarah Campbell, Greg Brown, and David Parmley & Continental Divide. Lewis also offers a full range of repairs, is an authorized service center for Martin Guitars, and will offer emergency repair service on site.

Bruce Sexauer, Luthier, will offer his own guitars and violins for sale, as well as double basses from several sources. Based in Petaluma, CA, his 39+ years of experience can be seen in the individuality of each of his guitars. Sexauer describes his approach to lutherie as that of the artist. No two are the same as they are built almost entirely without molds, jigs, or fixtures. He is far away from manufactured guitars and in the handmade realm. High profile customers have included Joe Satriani, Joe Mock, Shari Ulrich, Duck Baker, and Eric Schoenberg.

Make plans to attend the Supergrass Bluegrass Festival, February 1-4, in Bakersfield, CA, and experience this fine assemblage of luthiers and craftsmen from across the country.

Please visit www.supergrasscalifornia.org for updated ticket and the many additional festival activities happening. Don't miss this West Coast acoustic experience!