• 2018 Festival Logo Wide

    Click on video to see highlights from the March, 2018 festival and a peek into our plans for 2019: Exploring our African roots from Zimbabwe to Appalachia.

    Ticket sales for producing a festival typically do not cover the cost of production. And that’s where you come in! FolkWorks depends on your generosity. When you click to donate below, 100% of the money we raise in this campaign will go to pay talented performers and teachers.

    Please donate what you can to allow us to present the best diverse musical traditions for this amazing event.

    Read more: FolkWorks Folk/Roots Festival Appeal

    PASSINGS

    ROY CLARK

    (April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018)

    By Larry Wines (Acoustic Americana Music Guide)

    Roy ClarkHe never bought a joke and he didn't read music, but he was a legendary musical giant, filled with good humor everywhere he went.

    In announcing the death this morning of banjo legend, musician, and entertainer extraordinaire Roy Clark, his friend and publicist, Jeremy Westby, began with a life-defining and inspiring quote from Roy himself:

    Read more: RIP: ROY CLARK

    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    November-December 2018

    The Road Not Taken – A Tragic Tale of Missed Opportunity

    By Art Podell

    Sealed with a Kiss by Brian HylandWhat follows is the legend of two folk singers, their brush with fame and the avalanche of events that followed them.

    At some point in most lives, a genuine opportunity arises and is ignored. No? Well it did in ours. I’m talking about an up-and-coming folk music duo poised at the edge of fame. Yes, indeed. 

    Read more: THE ROAD NOT TAKEN – A TRAGIC TALE OF MISSED OPPORTUNITY

    CONCERT REVIEW

    BÉLA FLECK AND ABIGAIL WASHBURN AT CAP-UCLA

    In Concert At Royce Hall

    Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 8:00pm

    STRUMMING ON THE OLD BANJO

    By Ross Altman, PhD

    Bela and Abigail“This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender” ~ on Pete Seeger’s banjo head

    The last time I heard a banjo played at Royce Hall, Earl Scruggs was giving his farewell concert. I was thrilled to be able to hear him, and to review his performance. So it’s no accident I am here to enjoy his greatest successor Béla Fleck, who now performs with his wife and fellow banjo player Abigail Washburn. She plays old-time clawhammer style against his sumptuous Bluegrass plus many original redefinitions of Scruggs’ style three-finger picking. Together they demonstrate in song after song the Darwinian evolution of banjo playing from its first appearance in the Appalachian mountains as inherited from African slaves.

    Read more: BÉLA FLECK AND ABIGAIL WASHBURN AT CAP-UCLA

    everything but ...

    Paramount Ranch, home of the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival
    destroyed by fire

    On November 9, 2018 the #WoolseyFire has destroyed the iconic Western Town at Paramount Ranch, a piece of Hollywood history used to film shows like “Westworld” and “M*A*S*H.” It was the site of the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival since 1990. Click here for a short history of the Festival.

    TBFC site after

    Read more: Destruction of site of Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest

    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 12/14/18


    MUSIC


    8:00pm TOMMY EMMANUEL / JERRY DOUGLAS

    Saban Theatre

    8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    323-655-0111


    8:00pm SLEEPWALKER’S STATION

    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.


    9:00pm ROBERT CRAY

    The Canyon Club

    28192 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills, CA 91301

    818-879-5016


    9:00pm COLTER WALL

    The El Rey Theatre

    5515 Wilshire Blvd., L. A., CA 90036

    323-936-6400



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    8:00pm - 10:00pm KATTYWOMPUS CONCERT / JAM

    every Friday

    Dollmakers Kattywompus

    412 S. Myrtle Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016

    626-357-1091

    Jennifer Ranger 626-357-1091


    9:30pm KEN O'MALLEY AND THE TWILIGHT LORDS

    second Friday

    Ireland's 32

    13721 Burbank Blvd., Van Nuys, CA

    818-785-4031This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    DANCE


    9:30am - 12:00pm KAYSO FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Casa del Prado, Rm. 206, Balboa Park

    1800 El Prado, San Diego, CA

    Jerry Waddell 619-479-8015 `


    7:15pm - 10:00pm WEST VALLEY FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Canoga Park Senior Center

    7326 Jordan Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    Jay Michtom 818-368-1957 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:45pm - 11:00pm PASADENA FOLK DANCE CO-OP

    every Friday

    Throop Unitarian Church

    300 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA

    Jan Rayman 818-790-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:45pm - 9:45pm SOUTH BAY FOLK DANCERS

    second Friday

    TORRANCE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER

    3330 Civic Center Drive, , CA

    310-781 ? 7171

    Beth Steckler 310-372-8040


    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 L.I.F.E.BALKAN DANCE

    every Friday

    LA DanceFit Studio

    10936 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

    Sherrie Cochran 626-293-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:30pm - 11:30pm KYPSELI GREEK DANCE CENTER

    every Friday

    The Tango Room

    4346 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA

    Louise Bilman 323-660-1030 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm - 11:00pm BEVERLY HILLS ISRAELI DANCING

    every Friday

    Temple Emanuel

    8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA

    James Zimmer 310-284-3638 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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.

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