• SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

    THE NEW FOLKWORKS

    January 1, 2020 will mark FolkWorks’ 20th anniversary! We started out as a hard copy newspaper with 15k distribution, and have morphed into an online resource with over 400k hits/month! Our website offers news about artists and the arts, CD reviews and other articles of interest. FolkWorks supports mature and new talent through concerts, dances and festivals that both entertain and educate. Our Calendar has become the “go to” source for folk/roots events in SoCal. Our columnists are a resource for artists and their audiences with topics ranging from commentary to history and folk tales. The popularity of this part of our work forms the basis of an exciting new phase of FolkWorks.

    In keeping with our rapidly changing world of broader access to information, and technology that enables wider communication, our focus will be to provide a pathway for geographic expansion, interactive programming and collaborative support and exchange. To attain these goals, our plan is to:

      • grow our audience by moving to a statewide, west coast or national platform
      • develop curated access to the FolkWorks’ calendar, which will provide event and venue producers, artists, agents, teachers, and educators the ability to directly enter events. Event details could contain detailed descriptions, photos, links, maps, and calendar exports
      • continue and expand our columns as blogs, with the ability to easily add new writers
      • partner with individuals, formal and informal groups, and organizations that share our vision of a centralized source for events, featuring a variety of traditionally based folk/roots music, dance and art to a large audience.

    We want to thank all of you in the community who have made FolkWorks possible. Please support our new adventure by becoming a FolkWorks member, or renewing your current membership. We will soon have a button on the website for one-time donations.

    We welcome your thoughts, ideas and contributions as we move toward a bold New FolkWorks.

    Read more: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

    SPOTLIGHTS

    LILA DOWNS

    Lila Downs

    ATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2019 - 8:00PM
    SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2019 - 8:00PM
    John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
    2580 Cahuenga Blvd., East, Hollywood, CA 90068
    323-461-3673

    Read more: LILA DOWNS

    PASSINGS

    RIP: John Cohen

    "THE ONLY REASON I'm STICKin' Around NOW,  FOLKS,  IS to See What IN THE HECK IS GONNA Happen Next"

    (August 2, 1932 – September 16, 2019)

    By Steve Goldfield

    John CohenI first saw John Cohen and the New Lost City Ramblers in 1963 at a show at the Lambertville Music Circus in New Jersey. At the time, they were touring heavily and Mike Seeger didn't even remember the venue when I asked him about it decades later. Tom Paley had already left the band then, largely due to the touring schedule, and Tracy Schwartz had joined the group. I still have some of their early LPs in my collection. The NLCR influenced many in my generation to learn to play instruments, especially old-time music. My earliest memory of John was his recording of Talking Hard Luck, a talking blues which derives from the 1927 recording by Chris Bouchillon called Born in Hard Luck, though only the very beginning appears in Cohen's version.

    Read more: RIP: JOHN COHEN

    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    September-October 2019

    THE PRODUCERS

    By Dennis Roger Reed

    DennisRogerReedstudio 300dpiI sometimes produce recordings of the music of other artists. It can be very rewarding and educational. It can also be a lot like trying to jam your head into a pencil sharpener.

    All artists are different and the role of the producer is hazily defined. You may end up only holding hands with an artist that needs confidence or is dealing with recording with little or no experience. You may end up “casting” and hiring all the musicians. You may end up firing musicians chosen by the artist. You may end up deciding to never produce again. A good positive experience with a talented artist will cure most of these ills. Sometimes all an artist needs is a voice to help determine what issues are important, and which are not.

    Read more: THE PRODUCERS

    CONCERT REVIEWS

    BOB DYLAN AND HIS BAND

    AT UC IRVINE THE BREN EVENTS CENTER - OCTOBER 11, 2019, 8:00 PM

    INTIMATIONS OF MORTALITY

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Bob Dylan at Bren

    When you think that you've lost everything

    You find out you can always lose a little more

    --Trying To Get To Heaven—Bob Dylan

    At nine minutes after 8:00pm Bob Dylan and his five-man band walked out on the stage of the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine and picked up his guitar. We were already in strange territory, and the concert hasn’t even begun. I haven’t seen Dylan play guitar in over five years—piano only these days, the only instrument in his photograph—he clearly had an opening statement to make. Especially since he only played it that one time all night.

    Read more: BOB DYLAN AND HIS BAND

    LEO KOTTKE IN CONCERT

    SMOTHERS THEATRE AT THE LISA SMITH WENGLER CENTER FOR THE ARTS (PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY) - OCTOBER 10, 2019~8:00pm

    ROCK ON TOUR

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Leo Kottke“The single greatest influence on finger-style guitarists…It’s the cat’s pajamas.”  --Don Ross

    Raconteur extraordinaire and finger-style guitarist par excellence Leo Kottke held forth for an hour and a half last night, dazzling his enthralled listeners with stories and songs and instrumentals on six and 12-string acoustic guitars. In between he told amazing tales of the late great Leon Redbone and the hole in his trombone case, the cartoonist’s worst nightmare Flattop and propane tanks, the siege of Vicksburg, his third grade teacher, and his uncle Irv Funk. 

    Read more: LEO KOTTKE IN CONCERT

    DANIEL NORGREN AND BAND

    AT THE TERAGRAM BALLROOM - OCTOBER 8, 9:00pm

    FOLK-ROCK’S ANSWER TO INGMAR BERGMAN

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    DANIEL NORGREN AND BANDSwedish singer-songwriter Daniel Norgren wound up his three-week tour of North America in Los Angeles last night at the Teragram Ballroom 1234 West 7th Street downtown. The 36 year-old folk rocker and his rockin’ four-piece band gave a splendid two hour and 15 minute performance. He opened the show on piano and switched to electric guitar after three songs, then went back and forth.

    Read more: DANIEL NORGREN AND BAND

    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2019

    By Kathleen Masser

    HSB19 CopyWarren Hellman loved bluegrass music. A banjo picker himself, he wanted to share his passion with the community, so in 2001 he invited a handful of artists -- Emmylou Harris, Alison Kraus, the Road Oilers and others -- to join him in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park , on an October Saturday. He called the concert Strictly Bluegrass, and a few thousand people showed up. Admission was free.

    He did it again the following year, and the next. Crowds grew larger and musicians of other genres wanted to take part. In 2004, he loosened the boundaries around musical styles and added "Hardly" to the name.

    Read more: HARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL 2019

    JOHN PRINE IN CONCERT

    THE JOHN ANSON FORD AMPHITHEATRE - OCTOBER 1, 2019~8:00 PM

     “CARAVAN OF FOOLS”

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    John PrineAfter surviving two bouts of cancer, two-time Grammy winner John Prine has had his share of hard luck and hard times. And yet he never says a word about it. Because the hard times he writes about make those pale in comparison:

    His brains were on the sidewalk, and blood was on his shoes,

    (Six O’clock News) was the second song from his first album—with the aching refrain—

    Come on baby, spend the night with me.

    Read more: JOHN PRINE IN CONCERT

     

    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 10/19/19


    MUSIC


    fwpick

    1:00pm & 3:15pm & 7:30pm FILM: FIDDLIN’

    Laemmle Music Hall

    9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211


    1:00pm SHE-LON

    full cast of women each with their own empowering voice to share.

    Coffee Gallery Backstage

    2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001

    626-798-6236 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:00pm SARAH ROGO

    Hacienda de Vega

    5806 Van Allen Way, Carlsbad, CA 92008

    760-738-9804


    fwpick

    7:00pm PHIL SALAZAR & THE KINFOLK

    Pilgrim United Church of Christ

    2020 Chestnut Ave., Carlsbad, CA 92008

    Presented by San Diego Folk Heritage


    fwpick

    7:00pm FRU SKAGERRAK

    Coffee Gallery Backstage

    2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 91001

    626-798-6236 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    fwpick

    7:30pm ALAN REID

    Anaheim Downtown Community Center

    250 E. Center St., Anaheim, CA 92805

    714-955-3807 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Presented by The Living Tradition


    7:30pm TAIMANE & HER QUARTET

    California Center For The Arts – Concert Hall

    340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025

    800-988-4253


    fwpick

    7:30pm DAN CRARY / THE CACHE VALLEY DRIFTERS

    Camarillo Cafe at Camarillo Community Center

    1605 East Burnley St., Camarillo, CA 93010

    805-814-9366


    7:30pm ROSCOE AND ETTA

    Frogstop House Concert

    San Marcos, San Diego, CA 92078

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 760-295-0222


    fwpick

    8:00pm PERLA BATALLA

    Music of Leonard Cohen

    California Institute of Technology - Beckman Auditorium

    332 South Michigan Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106

    626-395-4652

    Presented by CaltechLive!


    8:00pm LULA WILES

    McCabe’s Guitar Shop

    3101 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    310-828-4497


    fwpick

    8:00pm LILA DOWNS

    John Anson Ford Amphitheatre

    2580 Cahuenga Blvd., East, Hollywood, CA 90068

    323-461-3673


    fwpick

    8:00pm BÉLA FLECK, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, EDGAR MEYER / RAKESH CHAURASIA

    UCSB Campbell Hall

    574 Mesa Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5030

    805-893-3535


    8:00pm THE CHIKAS

    Grand Annex

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

    310-833-6362


    8:00pm WAKING KATE

    Tam O’Shanter

    2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039

    323-664-0228



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    NO EVENTS TODAY



    DANCE


    8:30am - 11:00am LEISURE WORLD FOLK DANCERS

    every Saturday

    Club House 1

    Leisure World, Laguna Hills, CA

    Florence Kanderer 949-425-8456


    7:30pm - 11:00pm 3RD SATURDAY SOUTH PASADENA CONTRADANCE

    third Saturday

    South Pasadena Woman's Club

    1424 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena, CA

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


    7:30pm - 10:30pm VESELO SELO FOLK DANCERS

    every Saturday

    Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim

    511 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA

    Lu Perry 714-828-2581


    7:30pm - 11:00pm INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCING (SATURDAYS)

    every Saturday

    Folk Dance Center at Dancing Unlimited

    4569 30th St., San Diego, CA


    8:15pm SHERMAN OAKS VINTAGE ISRAELI DANCING

    every Saturday

    Anisa's School of Dance

    14252 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA

    Louis Richter 818-881-7494 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    INTERVIEW

    A Conversation with The Storytellers’ Storyteller

    By Michael Garcia and FolkWorks

    Storytellers

    In 2018, The Storytellers, the self-described “indie-folk band,” burst onto the LA music scene seemingly out of nowhere. After only one year together, they appeared on stages of some of the larger clubs in Los Angeles, as well as regional music festivals including a career defining performance last week at the Huck Finn Jubilee. Lauded by the L.A. Weekly and by legendary folk music promoter Bob Stane, we sat down with the manager of The Storytellers to get the inside story of this fast-rising roots band. And what a story it is …

    Read more: A CONVERSATION WITH THE STORYTELLERS’ STORYTELLER

    CD REVIEWS

    Song of Time: Two Folk Classics from Art and Paul Are Reissued for First Time

    By Joe Marchese

    (Reprinted with permission of The Second Disc)

    Art and Paul Hangin Drinkin and StuffWith a recent pair of reissues, Sony Music/Legacy Recordings has transported listeners to Greenwich Village at the dawn of the 1960s, when guitar-wielding troubadours took the stages at venues like Café Wha? to share their own “alternative” music: folk. While Connie Francis, Brian Hyland, Elvis Presley, and even Percy Faith were ascending to the top of the Pop chart, folksingers were spinning their own musical yarns that didn’t involve teenage romance or itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polkadot bikinis. Two such artists were Art and Paul – no, not that Art and Paul, but rather Messrs. Podell and Potash, signed to Columbia Records roughly three years before those other guys with the same first names. Legacy has reissued Art and Paul’s two Columbia long-players, Songs of Earth and Sky (1960) and Hangin’, Drinkin’ and Stuff (1961) to digital service providers (streaming and download) for the first time. Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street studio with renowned engineers Frank Laico and Roy Halee, these stereo albums are intimate, immediate time capsules back to this long-gone era.

    Read more: SONG OF TIME: TWO FOLK CLASSICS FROM ART AND PAUL ARE REISSUED FOR FIRST TIME

    Artist: THE SUSIE GLAZE NEW FOLK ENSEMBLE

    Title: LIVE AT MCCABE’S

    Label: Hilonesome Music

    Release Date: September 1, 2019

    By Ernest Troost

    Susie Glaze Live at McCabes The Susie Glaze New Folk Ensemble Live at McCabe’s, Susie’s tenth album, was recorded at the venerable folk venue McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. Sound engineer Wayne Griffith knows this room exceedingly well and captured the evening’s magic beautifully. The mixing and mastering by Frank Rosato add the final polish.

    Read more: THE SUSIE GLAZE NEW FOLK ENSEMBLE - LIVE AT MCCABE’S

    ARTIST: Sarah Rogo

    TITLE: Smoke and Water

    LABEL: Funzalorecords

    RELEASE DATE: September 13, 2019

    By Art Podell

    SARAH ROGO Smoke and WaterSarah Rogo showed up recently at a round table jam group I play with. John S. who hosts our group had spotted her in the parking lot of the place we jam. She was carrying a guitar case, so he invited her to join us. Makes sense, right? Our group is a weekly gathering of friends who play old-time standards on fiddles, mandolins, guitars and banjos just for the fun of it. After a few turns around the circle, we asked Sarah if she’d like to perform something on her own. She agreed happily, sat forward in her chair, tucked her chin in, closed her eyes, cradled her National guitar, and proceeded to mesmerize us with a passionate blues, dancing the beat with her bare feet, while the glass slide-bar on her left little finger whined the changes.

    Read more: SARAH ROGO-SMOKE AND WATER

TITLE: EVIE LADIN BAND

ARTIST: EVIE LADIN BAND

LABEL: EVIL DIANE RECORDS

RELEASE DATE: 2012

By Jackie Morris

EVIE_LADIN_BANDYou don’t often hear words like “traditional,” and “authentic” paired with “innovative” and “unique,” but Evie Ladin has brought them together brilliantly in the self-titled, debut album of the Evie Ladin Band, and the result is truly a high point in new old-time music.

If you are not already familiar with Evie Ladin’s music, don’t let the term “debut” fool you.  While the four multi-instrumental band members – Ladin, Keith Terry, Dina Maccabee, and Erik Pearson – have been playing together for three years, they are all seasoned professionals. And the polyrhythmic sound of Ladin’s clawhammer banjo, her clogging, and her beautifully modulated voice, have infused five previous albums with The Stairwell Sisters, as well as the 2010 release of her highly acclaimed solo album, Float Downstream. But in the 13 new old-timey, Appalachian-flavored tracks of Evie Ladin Band, Ladin surpasses herself.

What makes this album SO good? First there are the songs themselves: eight delicious, rootsy and rhythmic originals – six by Ladin, one by Maccabee, and an instrumental by Pearson; and 5 inspired covers (including songs from Lotus Dickey, Walter McNew, Carter Family, Ewan McColl, Dock Boggs, and John Ashby).

Then there is Ladin’s voice, more fluid and versatile than ever, sailing effortlessly on and around beautiful melodies with a seemingly effortless combination of strength and sensitivity. When joined in harmony by the silvery vocals of Dina Maccabee, the result is pure honey.

And then, there is the band itself, each member adding a wealth of talent to the mix: Dina Maccabee on violin and harmony vocals; Erik Pearson on guitar, banjo and harmony vocals; and last but far from least, Keith Terry on bass, cajon, pizza pan, metal toys, Engelhart Gankogui (a type of African bell), bass harmonica, body music (aka, body drumming) and harmony vocals.

A renowned percussionist and rhythm dancer, Terry, in fact, provides one of the most defining elements of this album: an incredibly compelling and often complex rhythm. And for Ladin as well, who started her career as a percussive dancer and choreographer, the rhythm is intrinsic to the sound of Evie Ladin Band (which Ladin produced, and Terry co-produced with Ivan Rosenberg).

The importance of this unique and varied percussion is evident from the very first track, Got You On My Mind (by Lotus Dickey). This catchy tune opens with just Ladin’s voice, which within five words is joined by Terry’s rhythm on metal toys. Only after the first verse of just vocals and percussion does Ladin’s clawhammer banjo join in and augment the rhythm; it is followed, in turn, by harmony vocals, violin and guitar. Like an underground river that surfaces, vanishes, and then resurfaces again, the intricate metallic rhythm appears and disappears, reappearing to play behind the instrumental solos. The result is a simple, lovely melody that builds into something very diverse and exciting.

This skillful building, layering, and counterpoint of voices and instruments is evident throughout the arrangements on this album. For example, in the second track, Come Down To The Door Of My Home, Ladin’s original composition achieves a richly textured sound, with her rhythmic, funky banjo beat answered by the fiddle, and her vocals swelling to 3-part harmony as the song progresses.

At this point, I should probably point out that every song on this CD is a winner. But I do have my favorites, of course, and they are all originals by Ladin. She is, among her many talents, an excellent songwriter, and Track 3 makes that very clear. He’s Not Alone sounds like a classic to me. Sung and played like an old-fashioned country song, with a drag and a catch in the voice, a great slide guitar, and harmony in all the right places, it packs an old-fashioned, true-to-life, emotional punch. Dime Store Glasses is another “classic-in-the-making.” In the country tradition of writing upbeat songs about heartbreak, this song is energized by a wonderful, prominent bass and body music. And for something “entirely different,” there’s Ladin’s quirky novelty song, Coffeeshop, with its interesting rhythms, fun lyrics and contemporary theme.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not call out one more song on this album. It is the song made famous by Roberta Flack – The First Time, by Ewan McColl – now reborn and transformed by the Evie Ladin Band. Whether you have never heard the song, or you have it stored away among your long-time favorites, it will, pardon the pun, be like hearing it for the first time. Roberta Flack’s version was slow and sensual, tinged with melancholy. But not anymore! In Ladin’s wonderful rendition, you will hear – for the first time – the pure joy in this song. It is a celebration of love, a quickening of the senses, that is simply uplifting.

I could go on and on about this gem of an album, but in the last analysis, you must hear Evie Ladin Band for yourself. It’s just that special.

A New York transplant to the tiny town of Carpinteria, CA, Jackie is a freelance writer by profession and a singer-songwriter by passion. Her newly-released third album of original Folk/Americana songs was among Top Folk Albums of 2011 on the Folk Music Radio Airplay Charts. Jackie is also an active member in such acoustic music communities as SummerSongs, SongMakers, and FARWest Folk Alliance.