(Special to FolkWorks)

The $500 Guitar with the $24,500 Story:

You Won’t Find It at Norm’s

By Ross Altman, PhD

folk city museum guitarMy favorite lefty political story goes like this: A fellow walks into an antique store and finally is attracted to a brass rat, which he takes up to the counter and asks, “How much?” The dealer says, “Well the rat costs 10 bucks, but if you want the story that goes with it it’s a thousand extra.” “Thanks,” says the guy, “But I’ll just take the rat.” The dealer wraps it up and the guy walks out of the store with his new purchase.

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ARTFUL SLACKER MUSIC 

JIM “KIMO” WEST AND KEN EMERSON – RECORDED AND LIVE

By Audrey Coleman

Emerson  WestThe opening selection on Slackers in Paradise: Slack and Steel Guitar Duets conjures up the bliss of kicking back on a hammock near surf-washed sands, caressed and refreshed by island trade winds. The recently-released CD by Jim “Kimo” West and Ken Emerson ushers you into an unhurried world free of traffic jams and family frenzy. With West on slack-key guitar and Emerson on acoustic steel guitar, the slow pieces are dreamy and tantalizing while even the fast-paced numbers evoke a time when life seemed simpler.

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ROSS ALTMAN

FolkWorks Standing Ovation Awardee

Ross AltmanAt FolkWorks first Folk/Roots Festival, we wanted to honor individuals who have contributed to our folk community. For our first award, the selection was so easy and obvious. The person who came to mind immediately was our own esteemed FolkWorks writer, and Los Angeles institution, Ross Altman.

Ross has been writing his column How Can I Keep From Talking since January 2003 when FolkWorks had a hard copy newspaper.

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BULGARIKA

Trans-Atlantic Bulgarian band

BulgarikaBulgarika is a unique trans-Atlantic Bulgarian band playing the Thracian style of the legendary "Trakiiska Troika" from the 1960s and 1970s. Nikolay Kolev and Donka Koleva have invited two extraordinary musicians from Bulgaria to join them for the 2016 tour: kaval player Temelko Ivanov and tambura player Nikolay Kodzhabashev.

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THE DARK SIDE OF THE ROAD: DYLAN’S NOBEL PRIZE

By Ross Altman, PhD

Bob-Dylan-Typewriting“I guess I was never one of those rock and roll singers who was going to win any Nobel Prize—is that what you call it, the Nobel Prize?” Bob Dylan in an old interview opening Lisa Finnie’s The Dylan Hour, Sunday, October 16, 2016: “Dylan Lit 101: Poetics, Lyrics and Prose,” KCSN 88.5 FM, 11:00 AM-1:00pm—a special two-hour broadcast—the definitive radio tribute to America’s poet.

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WHY DOES DONOVAN NEED A POLICE ESCORT?

DONOVAN IN CONCERT AT THE ROSE & THE SABAN THEATRES

By Ross Altman, PhD

DonovanNot all white men are angry. With songs like Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman and Wear Your Love Like Heaven Scottish folk-rock singer Donovan became the 1960s harbinger for the gentle singer-songwriter movement of the 1970s. Never having been a British Angry Young Man he didn’t have to mellow; he transformed his Zen-like nirvana into songs that have stood the test of time.

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DULCIMER FESTIVAL

BEST OF TRADITION AND INNOVATION MEET

By Leo Kretzner

The 22nd Annual Harvest Festival of Dulcimers is this Saturday, October 1, in Costa Mesa (full details below). After a day of workshops, the evening concert presents a pair of performances featuring the very best of folk innovation and deep folk roots: Robert Force, pre-eminent west coast fretted dulcimer innovator of over 40 years, AND Cathy Barton and David Para, likewise seasoned professionals, from the heartlands of Missouri, on hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar… and leaf. Yes, the leaf! Must be seen and heard to be believed!

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Boots of Spanish Leather: Germán López in Concert

Raitt Recital Hall, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

By Ross Altman, PhD

German LopezPart 1 – Germán López in concert at Pepperdine University

The Spanish Civil War began eighty years ago last July 17, so Spain has been much on my mind this year. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteers who sacrificed their lives to save the Spanish Republic from fascism made it an American war; 3,000 went to Spain and only 1500 came home—the bravest of the brave, Pete Seeger called them. The Lincoln Brigade’s last surviving veteran—Delmer Berg—passed away this year in Modesto, California at the age of 100—Modesto’s only white member of the NAACP. Picasso created the mural Guernica–the greatest painting of the 20th Century—in response to the bombing of the Basque village of Guernica.

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LA RECOLTE CAJUN BAND

PLANTING SEEDS FOR A NEW CROP OF CAJUN CULTURE

By Karen Redding

LA RECOLTE CAJUN BANDAppearing on the West Coast for the very first time at the Long Beach Bayou Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2016, La Recolte Cajun Band is bringing the state of Louisiana with them- the state of mind, body, heart and soul of Acadiana and the state of authentic, traditional Cajun music.

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Don’t Look Back?: Bob Dylan: Photographs by Daniel Kramer

The Grammy Museum Exhibit - February 29, 2016—May 15, 2016

By Ross Altman, PhD

Dylan - Kramer 2 at Grammy Museum
From Staley-Wise www.staleywise.com.

A small Paris bistro, a chess board on the table, and Bob Dylan contemplating his next move—that’s all it took for Daniel Kramer to create an iconic image of the folk singer about to turn rock star in an iconic series of portraits of America’s greatest songwriter in 1964 and 1965—over 50 of which now adorn the LA Grammy Museum 2nd Floor Exhibit of Kramer Does Dylan which will be up through May 15.

Read more: DON’T LOOK BACK?: BOB DYLAN: PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL KRAMER

RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT

HEADLINING SANTA CLARITA COWBOY FESTIVAL

Friday April 22, 2016

By Ross Altman, PhD

Ramblin Jack ElliottA cowboy who sings real cowboy songs—not the cardboard cookie cutter silver screen substitutes so popular at “cowboy” festivals these days; a folk singer who sings real folk songs—not their own “original” singer-songwriter pale imitations so popular at “folk” festivals these days; a raconteur who tells amazing epic tales of rambling round your cities and towns for the past fifty years with the likes of Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly and Billy Faier, a master acoustic guitarist who headlines New Orleans Jazz festivals

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RARE APPEARANCE:
THE KRUGER BROTHERS

Kruger BrothersThe Kruger Brothers are making a rare West Coast appearance at the Broad Theater in Santa Monica on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 7:30pm.

If you are not familiar with this trio (Jens on banjo, brother Uwe on guitar and Joel Landsberg on bass), get ready for an amazing evening. Sometimes referred to as “new traditional American music,”

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JUDY COLLINS
ON VALENTINE’S DAY

AT THE ROSE IN PASADENA - FEBRUARY 14, 2016

By Ross Altman, PhD.

Judy CollinsIf you’re looking for something special to do on Valentine’s Day you’ve come to the right place. A new concert venue is coming to Pasadena, sister club to the enormously successful Canyon Club in Agoura and the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. East Side, West Side, All Around the Town—The Rose at Paseo Colorado, 300 E. Colorado Blvd # 101, Pasadena, CA 91101.

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A DAY AT NAMM 2016 WITH ANNETTE & NOWELL

By Annette Siegel (Living Tree Music)

(Ed. Annette and Nowell Siegel run Living Tree Music which specializes in fretted instruments. Nowell is a luthier.)

NAMM exterior 2 smNAMM 2016 was filled with all the usual glamour and glitz; enough noise to make your ears split (literally). A couple of exhibitors caught our eye.

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NAMM Media Preview Day

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

By Becky Nankivell & Michael Frey

NAMM exterior 1 smWe’re excited to attend another NAMM Show as media representatives for FolkWorks. The National Association of Music Merchants annual 4-day trade show at the Anaheim Convention Center is a giant kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, with something for everyone. This year we thought we’d attend their Media Preview Day – maybe the lines for ID badges would be shorter!

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A PALER SHADE OF WHITE AT THE OSCARS

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

A Martin Luther King Day Commentary

By Ross Altman, PhD

OscarsSunday evening February 28—the highlight of Black History Month—America will be glued to their TV sets watching the Academy Awards—for which not one single black actor or actress or director has been nominated. If it weren’t so typical—the rule rather than the exception—it would hardly be noticed. But for some reason it has been noticed, even by the LA Times which published a stunning group photo of all the nominees on their front page Oscar issue—A Whiter Shade of Pale if there ever was one.

Read more: A PALER SHADE OF WHITE AT THE OSCARS