Richie Furay of Buffalo Springfield fame

Returns to Southern California

By Terry Roland

Photo by Shanna Lemke

There are some days in this life that are simply golden. Contacting veteran country rocker, Richie Furay, for an interview in 2007, led to a series of articles chronicling his continuing legacy over the last ten years. For this writer, being a witness to what followed has been like days of gold.

During a 2010 interview with Richie for a feature article in No Depression, he spoke with a hint of disappointment that old friends Neil Young and Stephen Stills, co-founders of the iconic Buffalo Springfield, hadn’t returned recent calls to request to open for their respective solo shows with his own Richie Furay Band. But, a few months later, in the fall of the same year, his legacy began to shine a bit brighter when he received a now famous text from Neil Young which simply read, “Call me.”

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Fourth In A Series Of Annual Reports Exclusive To Folkworks

By Larry Rosenberg

Photo by Susan Rosenberg

By the end of the Winter 2012 NAMM show, 95,709 registered attendees had toured 1,441 exhibitors in the 110th edition of what continues to be by far the largest and longest running music merchandise show in the United States. The 4-day show took place from January 19th through the 22nd and was again held at the Anaheim Convention Center. This mid-sized city of music makers grows larger each year with this year seeing a 6 percent increase over last year, and 231 new exhibitors.

NAMM stands for the National Association of Music Merchants. The two large trade shows it produces are not open to the public (other than a public day at their July, Summer Show in Nashville), however, the press is welcomed. This is my fourth report for FolkWorks on acoustic music at NAMM and despite the increased attendance, your reporter was able to attend the press-only preview day on January 18th, as well as arrive early before the crowds on the weekend days while it still seemed there were more ukuleles at NAMM than people and surveying what was being presented at the show was somewhat more relaxed. None-the-less, even with that early bird advantage, it was still difficult to see, let alone report on, all that was there.

Read more: ACOUSTIC NAMM 2012

Politicized Maria: Tango in San Pedro

By Audrey Coleman

Maria_De_Buenos_AiresThe tango has come a long way. Born in the turn-of-the century slums of Buenos Aires, where it was danced by pimps and prostitutes, by 1968, it had ascended to that most elite of the arts, opera. In that year, Astor Piazzolla, who had been infusing tango with contemporary classical and jazz elements that shocked diehard tango fans, premiered what he termed his tango operito (little tango opera) Maria de Buenos Aires.

Combining opera, spoken word, and dance, this haunting piece of theater, with its sizzling libretto by Horacio Ferrer, has been staged in different ways by companies from Brisbane to Pittsburgh. I can safely say that it will be worthwhile to see the upcoming production by Long Beach Opera on January 29 or February 4, 2012 at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

By the way, this has nothing to do with the fact that I recently spent three weeks in Argentina.

I did see some spectacular tango dancing in Buenos Aires, and, frankly, it would be hard to find that level of performance in a production such as this, where the dancers are not specialists in tango. But at the preview program on Sunday, January 15, held at the Museum of Latin American Art, LBO artistic director Andreas Mitisek conveyed a deep understanding of Piazzolla's and Ferrer’s main character. Maria was, as the libretto tells us, “born on a day when God was drunk…born with an insult in her voice.” I had to leave 45 minutes before the end of the two and a half-hour preview program (longer than the opera!), so I can't say for sure whether the dancers performed a tango or two from the production. We can only hope that choreographer Nannette Brodie does justice to Piazzolla's nuevo tango score.

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By Michael Frey

Walking up to the convention center for my first visit to NAMM, I wondered just how big it would be. Looking at the NAMM sign, I figured it must be BIG!
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