• 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 7/23/18


    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.


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

    every Monday

    Celtic Arts Center @ The Mayflower Club

    11110 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, CA

    818-760-8322This 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

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


    DANCE


    7:00pm - 10:00pm SKANDIA SOUTH (SCANDINAVIAN DANCING)

    every Monday

    Anaheim Downtown Community Center

    250 E. Center St., Anaheim, CA

    Ted Martin 714-533-8667 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:00pm - 10:00pm SKANDIA SOUTH (SCANDINAVIAN DANCING)

    every Monday

    Anaheim Downtown Community Center

    250 E. Center St., Anaheim, CA

    Ted Martin 714-533-8667 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 CELTIC ARTS CENTER IRISH CéILí DANCE

    every Monday

    Celtic Arts Center @ The Mayflower Club

    11110 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, CA

    818-760-8322This 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.


ARTIST: MARLA FIBISH

TITLE: MARLA FIBISH IRISH MANDOLIN BASICS: TUNES AND TECHNIQUES (DVD)

LABEL: MARLA FIBISH MUSIC

RELEASE DATE: 2012

By Annette Siegel

Marla_Fibish_Irish_Mandolin_BasicsSo you want to learn some Irish mandolin basics, but don’t know where to turn? Irish mandolin traditionalist Marla Fibish, the mandolinist behind the Three Mile Stone and more recently The Morning Star CDs has a great solution. She’s put together an instructional Irish mandolin DVD. Usually you would have venture out to find a local Irish session (still recommended) to pick up these tunes. (It would be helpful to have a basic mandolin/music theory background to understand some of the language she uses.) But lucky for us fledgling Irish mandy players, Marla has given us a leg up by being able to learn some Irish tunes in the comfort of our own home. And I don’t know about the rest of the mandolin learning population, but it sure helps me to learn when I have a visual aid.

The DVD opens with Marla and her trademark Vintage Gibson A Mandolin (early 1920s) playing the tune Humors of Bandon and explaining how the mandolin has only been involved with Irish music in the last 40-50 years…and that it’s still finding its way. This sort of makes you feel like a pioneer. She also talks about how to develop your own “Irish” music ear by listening to different musicians and various instruments used in Irish music to develop a “feel” for this type of music.

And anybody that’s plays, or tried to play, the mandolin can tell you how important tuning it is. Marla explains this further in detail by having your “pairs” in tune as well as the octaves on the fifth fret sounding together. She covers the left hand technique and how in Irish music the mandolin’s strength is the sustain and how very important the right hand is, as well as the selection of the pick you use…these are all covered fully. It’s truly amazing how many nuances of sound you can create using different pick shapes, thicknesses and where you place your fingers on the mandolin.

Marla_Fibish_Irish_MandolinNow - on to the tunes. She divides the tunes into three categories: reels, jigs and waltzes. You’ll learn that the picking patterns with the right hand are oh so important. Marla jokes that the notes are almost optional as long as the patterns are right and you keep your right hand moving, down on the downbeat and up on the upbeat! The reels are a fun way to start. The tune structure is AA/BB and the melodies are simple but easy to remember (the first ones, anyway!). My husband (on the guitar) and I were playing them together in no time. Marla presents the tune in a very easy, understandable manner; breaking it down and then playing the tune up to speed, showing a close up of the left hand fingering. Then she plays the tune at a “practice” pace for you to play along. I found it easy to stop the DVD and play the instruction over and over again, till I got the part or musical phrase. There are just the right number of tunes to get your feet wet and whet your appetite for more! This DVD is a delightful way to learn to play this style. I certainly hope it is only the first of more to come from Marla on Irish mandolin instruction!

This recommended DVD may be purchased by emailing Marla This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by visiting herwebsite.

Annette Siegel is one half of Living Tree Music & The Seagulls with her husband Nowell. She also holds a “day” job working for the Bob Hope Estate/Family for the last 18 years.

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