• SPOTLIGHTS

    L.A. OLD TIME SOCIAL
    LA Old Time Social

    THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019 -  8:00PM
    Parker Smith (Arizona), Latimer & Osborn (Los Angeles), Old Time Machine (Los Angeles)
    Stories Books & Cafe
    1716 W Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
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    FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2019 -  8:00PM
    Dos Valley Trio (Fresno), Casy Meikle & Austin Derryberry (Tenessee), Have More Fun Stringband (Los Angeles)
    The Velaslavasay Panorama
    1122 West 24th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007
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    SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2019 -  12:00PM-6:00PM
    American Legion Post 206
    227 North Avenue 55, Los Angeles, CA 90042

    Read more: L.A. OLD TIME SOCIAL

    TOPANGA BANJO FIDDLE CONTEST
    Topanga

    SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2019 -  9:00AM-6:00PM
    Paramount Ranch
    2903 Cornell Rd. Agoura Hills, CA 91301
    Topanga Banjo Fiddle Festival

    Read more: TOPANGA BANJO FIDDLE CONTEST

    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    March-April 2019

    Bobby Mason – Road Warrior and Adventurer

    By Art Podell

    Bobby Mason 2 smallTake more than fifty years of singing in bars and clubs in one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, stuff them into a 22-foot vintage 1965 Airstream Safari Travel Trailer because your lungs and your heart can no longer handle 8,500 feet above sea level. Then throw in two guitars, whatever clothing and stuff you can’t do without, add your wife and your own time-worn body, hook up to a GMC Yukon and drive down from the safety of the mountains you’ve called home for practically your entire adult life.

    Read more: BOBBY MASON – ROAD WARRIOR AND ADVENTURER

    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: RULE OF 3

    ARTIST: VÄSEN

    LABEL: EAST SIDE, INC.

    RELEASE DATE: APRIL 19, 2019

    By Stuart Mason

    Reprinted with permission fromFiddle Freak

    Vasen Rule of 3 coverSwedish folk supergroup Väsen celebrates 30 years with the release of a new album on April 19. The title Rule of 3 refers to these three decades as well as their favorite time signature, shared by both polskas and waltzes, forms which they often play. The band is a trio, forming of course a solid triangular foundation for the music itself, and among writers, the Rule of 3 is “a writing principle which suggests that a trio of events or characters is more humorous, satisfying, or effective than other numbers.” (from Wikipedia)

    Read more: VÄSEN - RULE OF 3

    TITLE: Visions

    ARTIST: Alice Howe

    LABEL: SELF PRODUCED

    RELEASE DATE: May 17, 2019

    By Russ Paris

    Alice Howe by Jim SheaAlice Howe’s highly anticipated full-length debut CD, Visions, releases in May 2019. It’s an album that lives up to expectations and could not have been written without plenty of time on the road and a strong love for the process.

    Howe’s previous EP, You’ve Been Away So Long, hit the Folk-DJ charts with a #1 song — Homeland Blues — and reached #11 itself. She has recently been selected as a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, a Formal Showcase Artist at Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, an Official Showcase Artist at the FAR-West Music Conference, and 2019 Kerrville New Folk Finalist.

    Read more: ALICE HOWE - VISIONS

    everything but ...

    Featured at the Folk/Roots Festival

    Willy Souly will be leading an African Dance Workshop

    and featured in the Evening Concert

    Read more: Willy Souly

    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 5/27/19


    MUSIC


    NO EVENTS TODAY



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    7:00pm - 10:00pm CAMARILLO HOOT (SONGMAKERS)

    fourth Monday

    Camarillo Center for Spiritual Living

    340 Mobil Ave., Camarillo, CA

    Laraine Hall & TJ Zeiler 805-910-7565 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:00pm - 10:00pm FOSTER LIBRARY UKULELE SONG CIRCLE (SONGMAKERS)

    second & fourth Monday

    E.P. Foster Library

    651 East Main St., Ventura, CA

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


    7:30pm - 10:30pm BROMBIES BLUEGRASS

    every Monday

    Viva Rancho Cantina

    900 Riverside Dr., Burbank, CA 91506

    818-845-2425

    Jo Ellen Doering 323-874-0213 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 9:30pm OC CELTIC JAM

    every Monday

    Peace Lutheran Church

    18542 Vanderlip Ave, Santa Ana, CA

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


    8:30pm - 11:00pm CELTIC ARTS CENTER IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    every Monday

    Celtic Arts Center @ The Mayflower Club

    11110 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, CA

    818-760-8322 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm - 10:30pm CELTIC ARTS CENTER SLOW PLAY IRISH MUSIC SESSION

    every Monday

    Celtic Arts Center @ The Mayflower Club

    11110 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, CA

    818-760-8322 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    DANCE


    10:00am - 11:30am ROBERTSON FOLK DANCE

    every Monday

    Robertson Recreation Center

    1641 Preuss Rd., Los Angeles, CA

    310-278-5383


    10:45am - 1:00pm UNIVERSITY OF JUDAISM

    every Monday

    UNIVERSITY OF JUDAISM

    5600 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA

    Natalie Stern 818-343-8009


    7:00pm - 10:00pm CLAREMONT ISRAELI DANCERS

    every Monday

    Claremont Masonic Lodge

    272 West 8th St., Claremont, CA

    Yael Steinfeld 909-921-7115 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:00pm - 11:30pm SAN DIEGO ISRAELI DANCERS

    every Monday

    Infinity Sport Dance Center

    4428 Convoy St., San Diego, CA

    Yoni Carr 760-631-0802 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:15pm - 8:45pm SIERRA FOLK DANCERS

    every Monday

    Temple City Christian Church

    9723 Garibaldi Ave., Temple City, CA

    Ann Armstrong 626-893-0303


    7:30pm - 9:30pm SAN DIEGO FOLK DANCERS

    every Monday

    Balboa Park Club

    2150 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA

    Jean Cate 858-278-4619 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 9:30pm SANTA MONICA ISRAELI DANCING

    every Monday

    Beth Shir Sholom

    1827 California Ave., Santa Monica, CA

    David Katz 323 466-3411 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm TARZANA ISRAELI DANCING

    every Monday

    MATI Center

    19626 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, CA

    Sagi Azran


    7:45pm - 10:45pm WEST LOS ANGELES FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Brockton School

    1309 Armacost Ave., West Los Angeles, CA

    Beverly Barr 310-202-6166 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm SWEDISH FOLK DANCE CLUB OF LOS ANGELES

    every Monday

    Skandia Hall

    2031 East Villa St., Pasadena, CA

    Norman and Jane Kindig 714-777-4036 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 9:30pm SIERRA MADRE FOLK DANCE CLASS

    every Monday

    Sierra Madre Recreation Building

    611 E. Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA

    Ann Armstrong 626-358-5942


    9:00pm - 11:00pm INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE CLUB AT UCLA

    every Monday

    UCLA Ackerman Student Union Building - 2nd Floor Lounge Room

    Westwood, CA

    310-284-3636 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


January-February 2007

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Goodbye Kulak's and Highland Grounds

 

By Larry Wines

Not all progress is smooth. Seldom does anything race, or even plod, continuously in the same direction without hitting ruts, experiencing reversals, giving us cause to question, and sometimes to mourn losses along the way.


Tales of zoning, land use, conditional use permits and cranky neighbors might seem far removed from performing and enjoying folk music, but 2006 proved that wasn’t so.

By the time you read this, the controversial and celebrated Kulak’s Woodshed in the Valley Village area of North Hollywood may be a memory, or perhaps a homeless concept looking to land somewhere else. Not unlike New York City’s CBGB’s, the demise of the Woodshed has been predicted many times. Paul Kulak’s frequent appeals for help always produced legions of musicians to testify at zoning, planning commission, LA City Council and other assorted hearings.

The Woodshed, its ambiance and five-camera live webcasts, have been beloved by many, but the sand has left the hourglass. Last spring, Paul Kulak was given six months to correct numerous building and safety code violations. The deadline for completion arrived on October 31, and no work had begun. During the same time, an arrangement for use of a parking lot across the street was to have been formalized, and that turned out to be no more than talk.

The Woodshed’s woes with two of its neighbors, including a prominent ex-porn actor and his run-ins with Kulak and the “Shedhead” folkies, have made police blotters, newspapers and national TV. The sensational nature of that, along with a lot of wishful or oblivious thinking, were enough, for over a year, to draw popular attention away from the requirements of numerous city agencies.

For the landlord, endless wrangling among his tenants was one thing, but the continued insurability of his multi-tenant building, given those documented and uncorrected code violations, was the breaking point. In early November, Paul Kulak received a 60-day notice to vacate. The latest news, or one side of it, anyway, is probably posted at www.kulakswoodshed.com .

The popular and award-winning Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena also faced zoning issues and hostile neighbors who resented parking and other impacts on their adjacent residential street. Both the coffee bar-café and entertainment venue have been operating outside the allowed uses of their commercial zoning. A pair of hearings with many music fans testifying eventually brought a unanimous recommendation from the Altadena Town Council, aimed at securing full approval for the Coffee Gallery and its “Backstage” performance venue from the LA County Planning Commission. This one is looking good, but it’s not over yet.

Meanwhile, Highland Grounds will experience an interior and exterior makeover in January, and emerge as “The Dive,” devoid of live music. Their last show is currently scheduled for Friday, December 22.

Co-owner Leslie Brenner, who has also worked for BMI, said in a phone interview, “We presented seventeen years of live acoustic music at Highland Grounds. Everything has a cycle to it, and it’s time for a change. It’s tough for small business.”

She explained that they own three other restaurants, Hugo’s in West Hollywood and in Studio City, and Hugo’s Tacos in Studio City. She added, the transformation of Highland Grounds “Is a business decision to emphasize our restaurant and bar at that location, continuing those activities into the evening hours. We’ve added a professional mixologist.”

That’s a mixer of drinks, not sound.

Another establishment chose not to continue as an acoustic performance venue. Gayle’s Perks, a Northridge coffeehouse, had hosted music since January, 2005, and had bookings extending months in advance when the end came. The proprietors were simultaneously hit with ASCAP’s demands for performing rights license fees in arrears, and from residential neighbors who were not enjoying the music over their back walls from Gayle’s patio. The latter was a zoning issue, and resolving either would have cost money.

Finally, musician Dave Osti had a good thing going in a burger joint parking lot in Sierra Madre, booking and playing summer outdoor concerts. But the zoning and neighbors shut that down, too.

You can seek many morals in these stories. One is, before you covet operating a performance venue, check the zoning (typically, it’ll be commercial C-2, which isn’t enough) and regardless of the building’s past uses, dedicated parking must be available to avoid denial of your entertainment license and operating permits. And, be aware that the PRO’s (Performance Rights Organizations) ASCAP, BMI and SESAC will demand their fees, ostensibly to protect their artist members.

Big Recognitions for Some Talented Folks

Let’s turn to happier news items, and the evidence that acoustic folk-Americana continues on the rise.

Stephen Michael Schwartz was honored again, this time not for his Parachute Express children’s music or individual troubadour successes, but with a coveted Ovation Award (think West Coast Tony) for his charming musical, It Came from Beyond. After winning a Broadway theater competition, the show had an LA run, got a bunch of nominations, and an Ovation for Stephen Breithaupt as Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

Paul Marshall has a song, Light of a New Day, in the Robin Williams / Christopher Walken film, Man of the Year. Paul’s no stranger to success, as a member of the roots band, I See Hawks in L.A., and alum of the Strawberry Alarm Clock and the cult favorite film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Julie Gribble, a notable LA-based singer-songwriter made her second performance on the CBS Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in December. Julie’s got great stuff.

Robert Morgan Fisher has gained global niche recognition. As opposition to the war in Iraq grew in late 2006, Neil Young’s Living with War web site expanded exponentially with worldwide submissions of new peace and antiwar songs. LA-based singer-songwriter Robert made it to #1 there with We’ll Buy a Flag. Simultaneously, Robert’s song Jester King also reached that top ten. Thousands visit the site daily to listen and vote, determining rankings of over 1,000 songs.

Both songs will be on Robert’s third album. His first two CDs enjoy nationwide airplay. His song, A Life in Music, made it to the final round of the 2005 VH-1 folk music competition. Robert has co-writes with Daryl Purpose, and the two will perform live for a full hour on the radio edition of Tied to the Tracks on January 20.“Grassroots Grammys” for Bad Haggis and Susie Glaze.

Musicians have taken to calling it the “grassroots grammys,” though event organizers aren’t foolish enough to court legal action by embracing that slogan. Winners of the international 2006 Just Plain Folks Awards were revealed at a gala show and banquet in November. Over 25,500 albums and 350,000 songs from 105 countries were entered, 8000 judges selected nominees from 70 countries, then web listener votes determined the Best Song in 67 genres, Best Album in 81 categories, best videos, best lyrics and more. All the results are at www.JPFolks.com . The five-and-a-half-hour event featured 25 performances that ran on time, providing another example for the Grammys to emulate.

Southern Californians Eric Rigler and Bad Haggis were big winners at JPF. Their six nominations produced three awards, including “Best Group of the Year” spanning all categories. You know Eric’s flute music from the movie “Titanic,” and he’s done other film and TV soundtracks. Bad Haggis mixes trad-influenced originals with Celtic rock and they’re a crowd-pleaser on the festival circuit.

Bob Malone also won big at the JPFs, as Male Artist of the Year, and with Best Male Singer/Songwriter Album for Born Too Late.

Susie Glaze won “Best Roots Album of the Year” at the JPF Awards. In FolkWorks, I named Blue Eyed Darlin’ the Best Bluegrass Album for 2005. Same wonderful CD, different cycles of recognition. Susie shared the JPF honors with her co-writer, band member Rob Carlson.

And speaking of Susie, her band Hilonesome is derived from The Eight Hand String Band, which has a unique honor. The new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, uses their tracks, including Susie’s vocals, in its exhibits. The CD of that period music is Listen to the Mockingbird and Other Civil War Era Songs.

That’s a wrap. See you on the radio!


Stay in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and with the massive, frequently-updated, acoustic Americana music calendar and radio show news at www.myspace.com/laacoustic .

  

All Columns by Larry Wines

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