• PASSINGS

    Louis F Curtiss

    (July 2, 1939 – July 8, 2018)

    A remembrance and appreciation

    By W Bruce Reid

    Lou CurtissLouis F Curtiss has passed away at home at age 79.

    In 1972, a few months after I arrived by thumb in San Diego from my native New England, I was on a city bus and saw a sign, "Hoot Night Tuesday" in a shop window. So I screwed up my courage and returned some Tuesday soon after, played a few songs, and was asked by the proprietor to come back and do a weekend concert and, later, play in the locals first night concert at the San Diego Folk Festival. That was Lou at his store, Folk Arts Rare Records. He and his wife, Virginia, his essential partner in all things, kind of adopted me, giving me the third chair in The Old Home Town Band like so many young players before and after me. They introduced me to Sweet's Mill and encouraged my musical pursuits in countless ways.

    Read more: RIP: LOUIS F CURTISS

    CD REVIEW

    TITLE: PAUL BROWN

    ARTIST: PAUL BROWN

    LABEL: TIKI-PARLOUR RECORDINGS

    RELEASE DATE: APRIL, 2018

    By Christine Lovelace

    Paul Brown CD CoverI received my copy of Paul Brown’s eponymous DVD/CD release with Tiki-Parlour Recordings (the brainchild of David Bragger and Rick Hocutt) in the mail last week and fired up the DVD player immediately.

    I was watching it, trying to come up with profound words to describe it, like “homey” and “mellow”, but in the intro to the set, celebrated novelist and writer on American music, Tom Piazza sums up Brown’s first solo banjo and fiddle outing by saying “It’s the understatement of the year.”

    Read more: PAUL BROWN CD-DVD

    SPOTLIGHT

    STRIKING IRON: THE ART OF AFRICAN BLACKSMITHS

    Striking Iron

    Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths, is an international traveling exhibition that combines scholarship with objects of great aesthetic beauty to create the most comprehensive treatment of the blacksmith’s art in Africa to date. The exhibition includes over 225 artworks from across the African continent, focusing on the region south of the Sahara and covering a time period spanning early archaeological evidence to the present day. Borrowed from American and European public and private collections, it features wood sculptures studded with iron, blades, and currencies in a myriad of shapes and sizes, diverse musical instruments, body adornments, an array of ritual accoutrements, tools and weapons, and other important objects that enabled Africans to forage and hunt, till the soil, and assure their own protection and prosperity.

    JUNE 3 – DECEMBER 30, 2018

    Fowler Museum at UCLA - UCLA North Campus
    405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095
    310-825-4361

    Read more: STRIKING IRON: THE ART OF AFRICAN BLACKSMITHS

    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    July-August 2018

    Your Second Album

    By Art Podell

    man with guitar silhouette questionsInspired by a comment made by a DJ friend after reviewing countless CDs submitted for air play, as well as reflections of my own journey—mea culpa!

    Section One - Reflecting:

    OK. After years of career and business making a living and raising a family and trying to be true to the dream, it’s time. The horizon is clear, and the future is now a luge chute aimed at golden time. A time to reflect on a life well lived. Kids? Launched. You and your spouse at peace or permanent truce. Time to exhale. 

    Read more: YOUR SECOND ALBUM

     

    FEATURE ARTICLE

    THE WORK OF PETE SEEGER: HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING?

    GRAMMY MUSEUM EXHIBIT REVIEW

    ON PETE SEEGER’S 99TH BIRTHDAY - MAY 3, 2018

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Pete at Grammy MuseumThe Grammy Museum has thwarted the twisted un-American ambitions of Red Channels~ the primary instigator of the notorious blacklist that destroyed the careers of the Weavers and Pete Seeger during the late un-great red scare of the McCarthy era in the “Silent Generation” of the 1950s by mounting a glorious tribute to Pete on their fabled 4th floor, enshrining the man that poet Carl Sandberg called “America’s Tuning Fork” in the definitive home of the very best in American music.

    Read more: THE WORK OF PETE SEEGER: HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING?

    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 7/22/18


    MUSIC


    10:30am FUTURE HITS

    Matinee Kids Show

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


    12:30pm-5:00pm A DAY IN THE PARK

    With The Mighty Echoes, Cambalache, Twanguero, Adaawe
    plus Community Dance Demos , Lyons Academy of Irish Dance, Grupo Folklorico Nadino,
    Arteluta Capoeira , Peoples Place Western Line Dancing,

    Anderson Park

    8th & Mesa Streets, San Pedro, CA 90731

    Presented by Grand Annex


    fwpick

    7:00pm RUNA

    Ojai Valley Woman's Club

    441 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 92023

    805-649-5189

    Sponsored by Ojai Concert Series

    Presented by Ojai Concert Series


    fwpick

    7:00pm MOIRA SMILEY

    House concert in Santa Monica

    Presented by FolkWorks


    12:00pm & 2:00pm STORY PIRATES

    celebrate the words and ideas of young people

    Skirball Cultural Center

    2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

    310-440-4578



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    9:30am - 2:30pm URBAN SOLACE BLUEGRASS BRUNCH

    every Sunday

    Urban Solace

    3823 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104

    619-295-6464


    10:30am - 12:00pm HOUSE OF IRELAND TRADITIONAL IRISH SESSION

    every Sunday

    House of Ireland

    665 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA


    12:00pm CLIFF LATIMER & LAURA OSBORN

    fourth Sunday

    Viva Rancho Cantina

    900 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91506

    818-845-2425


    1:00pm - 5:00pm BASC BLUEGRASS JAM

    fourth Sunday

    West Valley Music Center

    24424 Vanowen Street, West Hills, CA 91307

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

    Jeff Fleck 310-390-4391 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    1:15pm - 4:00pm TOM BALL AND KENNY SULTAN

    every Sunday

    Cold Spring Tavern

    5995 Stagecoach Road, Santa Barbara, CA

    805-967-0066


    1:30pm - 4:30pm SAN DIEGO FOLK SONG SOCIETY

    fourth Sunday

    Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library

    9005 Aero Dr, San Diego, CA


    3:00pm - 8:30pm COSTA MESA TRADITIONAL SONG CIRCLE AND JAM (SONGMAKERS)

    fourth Sunday

    Debby and Terry Koken's house

    1778 Kenwood Pl., Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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

    Debby and Terry Koken 949-574-0333 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


    4:00pm - 7:00pm ACOUSTIC FOLK MUSIC (OPEN SESSION)

    fourth Sunday

    Black Watch Pub

    492 N. Central Ave. #B, Upland, CA

    909-981-6069


    4:30pm - 7:30pm SANTA BARBARA TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    every Sunday

    La Arcada Bistro

    1112 State St., Santa Barbara, CA


    5:00pm - 9:00pm WEST L.A. HOOT & POTLUCK (SONGMAKERS)

    fourth Sunday

    West L.A. (Contact via email or website)

    www.songmakers.org, West L.A. , CA 90025

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

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


    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

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


    DANCE


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!

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