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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Acoustic Americana Music Guide NEWS FEATURES, March 30 edition

Acoustic Americana Music Guide NEWS FEATURES, March 30 edition


LOTS within, but what's not quite here yet are photographs to accompany News Features...


.        Welcome to the
      Reinvented (and still under re-construction)

    Tied to the Tracks 


                              MUSIC GUIDE
                                        NEWS FEATURES
                                                       March 30 edition



  1) ARLO GUTHRIE, Family and Friends, to Barnstorm Woody's Legacy, April 7-10
     Winners To Be Announced Late April / Early May     
  4) KENNY ROGERS in A Revealing Interview     
  5) ART WALK Will Bring 20,000 to Downtown L.A. & Add Interactive Website     
  7) CLAREMONT FOLK FEST Takes Another Hiatus   
  8) This Week’s SPOTLIGHT EVENTS, in Quick Takes   


Herein is the News. OTHER Sections of the Guide are available at separate addresses. They are…

“SPOTLIGHT EVENTS” – the newest edition – is available at    

“THE SCENE” in individual editions covering each of the next few days, is not yet available for each day. You can get it now for some, but not all, days. Where it’s available, you can check its many new features, including “the odds” of finding a show at any of the venues in your neighborhood.
    On days we’ve not yet completed it, you can check our old format's “Recurring Events” sections… check it out…

Tuesday, March 29, “THE SCENE”   

Wednesday, March 30, “Recurring Events”   

Thursday, March 31, “Recurring Events ”     

Friday, April 1, “THE SCENE”    

Saturday, April 2, “THE SCENE”    

Sunday, April 3, “Recurring Events”     

Monday, April 4, “THE SCENE”    

Tuesday, April 5, “THE SCENE”    

(Editions of the Guide’s NEW Section, “THE SCENE,” include “Recurring Events” and MUCH more – is still under construction...)

       Here are this week’s news feature stories…

Our # 1 Story:


    They'll prob'ly take forty-seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs...

    ARLO GUTHRIE, that is – with his tribute to his late father, folk icon WOODY GUTHRIE.

    ARLO GUTHRIE, son of the illustrious WOODY GUTHRIE and current patriarch of folk music’s most notable family...

    ARLO GUTHRIE, the man who told us the story of “ALICE'S RESTAURANT” and carried us on the train to the “CITY OF NEW ORLEANS,” is "Coming into Los An-ge-lees" – and the wider region thereabouts.

    A concert by Arlo is the centerpiece of an ambitious Guthrie-theme series in the Redlands / Riverside area, April 8-10, in addition to Arlo's concerts with musical guests at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center April 7 and his big return to UCLA Live! in Westwood's Royce Hall on April 8.

    While Arlo is the centerpiece of a very full few days of traditional and folk-Americana music in Southern Cal, some of the artists from the Inland Empire Woody Guthrie-themed series are playing other L.A.-area gigs, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to get your Guthrie on.

Here's the scoop, followed by the schedules at venues in each area.

    “ARLO GUTHRIE - A WEEKEND OF GUTHRIE IN REDLANDS” featuring shows by Arlo, SARAH LEE GUTHRIE & JOHNNY IRION, ABE GUTHRIE, JOEL RAFAEL, THE BURNS SISTERS, and the JIMMY LaFAVE BAND – is a veritable festival at several venues in Redlands, Riverside, and Mentone. Info,  Producer RENEE BODIE says, “There will be fun for the whole family when the music and legacy of Woody Guthrie comes to Redlands and Riverside.”

    Each event has an individual listing in the Guide's Spotlight Events, so this is an overview of all the Guthrie-related events, artists and bands.

    At all three venues – Lancaster, UCLA, and Riverside – Arlo will bring an evening of music tinged with humor, warmth, blues, originals, and his endearing and often meandering storytelling style. Anyone who has seen him perform knows how effectively he shares timeless tales and unforgettable classic songs, carrying on the Guthrie family legacy.

    From the enduring epic “Alice’s Restaurant” first recorded in 1967 to his latest road trip, Arlo has built his own legacy of humorous and insightful stories. He was one of the key performers at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969, was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary film about it, and he starred in another film about his song, and Alice, and the restaurant, and the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction. And the half-a-ton of garbage, and bureaucracy, and the draft.

    His series of albums over the last 40 years have included hits he made famous beyond the folk world, most notably the late STEVE GOODMAN's song, “City of New Orleans.” Arlo's entertaining and informative acoustic concerts bring not just his songs, but his stories, including some about Woody and some of Arlo's own adventures in America and throughout the world.

    With his singular voice as both a singer-songwriter and social commentator, Arlo Guthrie maintains a dedicated fan base that spans the globe. His artistic ventures leave lasting impressions of hope and inspiration, and his inimitable musical ingenuity leaps to new creative heights as he perseveres through the times.

OTHER ARTISTS are involved in all this...

    JIMMY LaFAVE, with or without his band, brings his own brand of “Red Dirt” music. One of the most booked performers on the folk-rock scene, producer (of the Redlands / Riverside series) Renee Bodie says, “LaFave will have you on your feet, unable to stay rooted. His shows are spellbinding.” Jimmy, in addition to his role as author and featured performer of the “RIBBON OF HIGHWAY, ENDLESS SKYWAY” Woody Guthrie Tribute, is considered one of the foremost Bob Dylan interpreters, and he writes and performs fine original songs.

   JOEL RAFAEL, singer, poet and storyteller, kicks-off a veritable festival of Guthrie for the weekend in the Inland Empire. His show, “WOODY’S AMERICA,” is FREE at the San Bernardino County Museum. In it, Rafael brings Woody Guthrie’s words and music to life, as he does as a featured performer at the annual “Woody Guthrie Folk Festival” in the legendary artist's hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. Joel has taken part there since its inception in 1998.

    Considered a natural and preeminent interpreter of Guthrie's music, Joel Rafael is a member of the national touring cast of the celebrated Guthrie revue, “RIBBON OF HIGHWAY, ENDLESS SKYWAY.” He has released two albums honoring Guthrie’s songs, “Woodeye,” released on Jackson Brown’s Inside Recordings in 2002, followed by “Woodyboye” in 2005.     

    There's even a kids show. Saturday afternoon brings SARAH LEE GUTHRIE (Woody’s granddaughter) and her musical partner and husband JOHNNY IRION with their interactive children’s concert, “GO WAGGALOO!” Series producer RENEE BODIE says, “This musical experience is a delightful experience for kids, by kids and with kids.”

    Growing up in the Guthrie family, Sarah Lee knew first hand how positive and transforming music can be for children. Together with Johnny and their children they have created a musical experience that reaches kids at their level. Prior to the afternoon show, families can participate in a ‘make your shaker’ workshop where children can make their own rattles for use in the show.
SCHEDULES, VENUES, ETC for Guthrie-related events...

Thursday April 7, in Lancaster; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm “ARLO GUTHRIE – JOURNEY ON” at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 W Lancaster Bl, Lancaster 93534;; 661-723-5950. Last time he was here, we got to interview him. He delighted the house – even the local predominantly Republican crowd – with his tales of personal antiwar adventures and avant garde living.

Thursday April 7; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm JIMMY LaFAVE plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; info on this show at; reservations, 626-794-2424. He's in the area for the big series of Woody Guthrie-themed shows this coming weekend, one in Thousand Oaks on Friday, and this one at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena tonight.

Friday, April 8, at UCLA; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm “ARLO GUTHRIE & FRIENDS” featuring ARLO GUTHRIE, ABE GUTHRIE and THE BURNS SISTERS, at UCLA Live, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr, on the UCLA campus at Royce Dr between Westwood Bl and Hilgard Av, West L.A.;; info 310-825-4401; UCLA ticket office 310-825-2101. Tix, $33-58 ($15 for UCLA students) at 310-825-2101 or    

Friday, April 8; Fri-Sun, Apr 8-10; in Redlands; the FREE “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7:30 pm, “WOODY GUTHRIE’S AMERICA” with JOEL RAFAEL is a FREE concert at the San Bernardino County Museum (SBCM), 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands 92374; follow signs to exit N off I-10 East, E of the 215, in Redlands.
Friday, April 8, in Thousand Oaks; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm JIMMY LaFAVE plays the “Bodie House Concert Series at the Thousand Oaks Library” at the Thousand Oaks / Grant R. Brimhall Library, 1401 E Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks 91362; 818-706-8309.
Saturday, April 9; in Redlands; children's show; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
1:30 pm “GO WAGGALOO!” children’s concert with SARAH LEE GUTHRIE & JOHNNY IRION at the San Bernardino County Museum, 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands 92374.

Saturday, April 9; in San Bernardino County; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm JIMMY LaFAVE BAND at Mill Creek Cattle Co. Smokehouse & Saloon, 1874 Mentone Bl, Mentone (San Bernardino Co.); 909-389-0706. Venue is 21+, has full bar, is known for its BBQ.

Sunday, April 10, in Riverside; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7:30 pm “ARLO GUTHRIE – JOURNEY ON” with ARLO GUTHRIE, ABE GUTHRIE, & THE BURNS SISTERS, at the gloriously restored Fox Performing Arts Center – the old Fox Theater , at 3801 Mission Inn Av, Riverside. Tonight's show wraps-up the veritable festival, Friday-Sunday in Redlands, Riverside and Mentone. Info, Tickets tonight range from $37 to $67, with VIP Ticket Packages that include premium seating and a “Meet and Greet Artists Reception” after the show for $155. Tickets available at     


Our # 2 Story


(The companion feature tells you all about ISC, a major, annual, multi-category competition. Here, we tell you about the artists with the most nominations.)

    Australian singer-songwriter KASEY CHAMBERS is the leading finalist with seven original songs, and South African band THE PARLOTONES have six nominations. They were selected from over 115,000 entries from 115 countries, all sorted into 22 categories.

    KASEY CHAMBERS is an award-winning, internationally renowned Australian artist who descries herself as “Country/Americana.” Kasey leads the pack this year with seven songs among the finalists in various categories. This is the first time any artist has received so many finalist nods in an ISC, and the contest organization notes, “This achievement recognizes the excellence of her songwriting ability.”

    Indeed, Kasey's career already includes multiple ARIA, APRA, and CMAA awards (Australia's top music awards) as well as multiple top-selling albums, establishing her as one of today's most respected and successful Aussie artists.

    She's the daughter of Aussie musician and songwriter BILL CHAMBERS, who has toured in the US with Aussie expatriate AUDRY AULD and others.

    THE PARLOTONES entries to ISC brought six of their songs finalist status. They are one of South Africa's most popular and successful groups, known for electrifying live performances. They had the biggest-selling rock album of the last decade in South Africa, achieving double Platinum status and seven radio singles from the album – in addition to their other recordings. They just completed a US tour.

    As finalists in the current competition – ISC 2010 – these and the others in the final round survived the most competitive year in ICS's history, in terms of number of entries. There were over 115,000.

    “ISC received so many wonderful songs that reflected creativity, diversity, and excellent songwriting craftsmanship, and as a result, it was the most difficult year to select the finalists,” says Founder and Director CANDACE AVERY, calling it, “a challenging and daunting task."

    Avery continued, "The status of being selected a finalist or semi-finalist [this year is] an honor... elevated and even more prestigious than in past years. Accordingly, there is a record number of finalists and semi-finalists. Congratulations to all these deserving songwriters!”

    Entrants were able to submit as many songs as they wished, all in one category, or one or more songs in multiple categories.

    ISC entrants came from 115 countries throughout the world, representing all genres of contemporary music. The ISC listening committee narrowed these entries down to 323 finalists in 22 categories. These finalists hail from 33 countries, from Uruguay to Armenia, from Moldova to Hungary, from Zaire to the Ukraine, and everywhere in between. These songs are now in the hands (and ears) of the ISC celebrity judges who will select the final winners.

    In addition, there's a "Peoples' Voice" winner, in which the competition invites you to "play judge" and tell them which song you like best. The song with the most votes wins. Info on voting and more, including all the finalists in each category, is available at     


Our # 3 Story


(The companion feature tells you about the artists with the most nominations. Here, we let you know all about this major annual competition, and how to participate next year.)

    Winning the ISC, in any category, is a very big deal. Fortunately, there are 22 categories, including “Folk / Singer-Songwriter” (though that is all lumped together), “Americana,” “Blues,” “Instrumental,” “AAA” (Adult Album Alternative), “Adult Contemporary” (AC), “Children's Music,” “Comedy / Novelty,” “Country,” “Gospel / Christian” (unfortunately lumping traditional gospel music with often sappy contemporary Christian), “Jazz,” “Latin Music,” “Lyrics Only.” There are categories for Unsigned Only, and World Music,

    With the Oscars and Grammys long past, it must be the last of the 2010 awards. But there are compelling reasons why the annual International Songwriting Competition (ISC) takes so long. First, there are over 115,000 entries from 115 countries in 22 categories for the judges to hear. Then there are the judges, a busy who's-who of the music industry. Secrecy is preserved through the contest. Last year's recording artists judges included TOM WAITS, JERRY LEE LEWIS, ROBERT EARL KEEN, RAY WYLIE HUBBARD, WYNONNA, CHRIS HILLMAN (THE BYRDS, DESERT ROSE BAND), BEN HARPER, JOHN MAYALL, JEFF BECK, PETER GABRIEL, BEN FOLDS, DAN ZANES, JOE NICHOLS, MICHAEL W. SMITH, and many pop and rock stars.

    Plus, industry executives serve as judges. Lat year, they ranged from Dr. Demento (Radio Host, The Dr. Demento Show), to Tommy Morris (Talent Coordinator, The Comedy Store), and a long list of those you would more reasonably expect, like Monte Lipman (President, Universal Republic Records); Amanda Ghost (President, Epic Records); Rick Krim (Exec. VP, Talent & Music Programming, VH1); Brian Malouf (VP A&R, Walt Disney Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Angel Carrasco (Sr. VP A&R, Latin America, Sony/BMG); Ric Arboit (President, Nettwerk Music Group); Daniel Glass (Founder/CEO, Glassnote Entertainment Group); Cory Robbins (Founder/President, Robbins Entertainment); Steve Lillywhite (Producer); Dan Storper (President, Putamayo World Music Records and Putumayo Kids); Lisa Ramsey Perkins (Sr. Director, A&R Sony Nashville); Kim Buie (VP A&R, Lost Highway); and Leib Ostrow (CEO, Music For Little People).

    There's a category for “Music Video,” and a separate one for “Performance.” Despite what some of us see happening to rock, there are still separate categories for “Rock” and “Teen.”

    It's notable and revealing that some genres are combined into single categories beyond the obvious – “Pop / Top 40” – as the contest uses a single category for “R&B / Hip-Hop,” recognizing that R&B truly no longer bears any resemblance to what it was, historically. Similarly, another change (perhaps evolution) combines “Dance / Electronica” (though it makes us wonder if there are any bands who could play a high school dance these days.)

    The list of sponsors of the ISC looks like list of an aisle at the NAMM show. They include Martin Guitar, Berklee College Of Music, Disc Makers, D'Addario, Shure, Westone, Thayers, Onlinegigs, ASCAP,, Grooveshark, TuneCore, Aspen Brownie Works, The Music Business Registry, Independent Mastering, Indie Venue Bible, Tanager, George Stein, Esq., Celebrity Access, Sonicbids, Taxi, Music Submit, and Alphabet Arm Design.

    There's lots more, including how to enter your songs in the 2011 contest, at     


Our # 4 Story


Part One

    He has a solid multi-generational fan base. He's sold over 120 million records worldwide and recorded more than 65 albums, including one that went Diamond, 19 Platinum, and 31 Gold. He's had 24 #1 hits. He's won three Grammys, 11 People's Choice Awards, 18 American Music Awards (AMAs), eight Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMs), and five Country Music Association Awards (CMAs) among the literally hundreds of music and charity recognitions and honors he's received. He is RIAA's 8th best-selling male artist of all time. His “Greatest Hits” album has sold over 24 million copies to date. He was voted in a USA Today / People magazine joint poll as the readers' “Favorite Singer of All Time” in 1986. And he's the only artist, ever, to have hits in every one of six consecutive decades.

    How can others who are called “legends” compare with a resume like that?

    On March 28, KENNY ROGERS sat down with SCOTT GOLDMAN, vice president of the Grammy Foundation, in an interview for a sold-out audience of 200 in the Grammy Museum's Clive Davis Sound Stage. The Guide was there to bring you the rare and insightful conversation.

    Right away, you discern that Kenny Rogers is a good interview who picks up the ball and runs with it. He's charming and forthcoming and he isn't guarded. He knows what he's about, which may seem obvious for someone who has achieved such stardom, but is all too refreshingly rare. It's probably because he seems genuinely comfortable in his own skin. He easily recalls formative wisdom received in childhood, and if his frequent expressions of that seem well-rehearsed, the aphorisms always fit the point and purpose he intends to illuminate.

    Kenny uses more than a little self-deprecating humor, and in ways that are surprising, as when he says, “I'm impressed not with me but with what I've been able to do with very little talent.”

    It doesn't take long to learn that a line like that masterfully sets him up to say something that would otherwise sound egotistical. It's endearing and masterful manipulation. It's charm.

    If anyone should know how, it's Kenny Rogers. He still tours, doing over 100 live concerts a year, and along the way, the man has mastered the world of media, film and broadcast entertainment. He's an accomplished feature film and TV actor; he's hosted his own TV variety shows; he's sang for beautifully-produced broadcasts of live shows from arenas and concert halls all over the world.

    Appropriately, the evening opened with two well-produced videos.

    First came a music video / retrospective film trailer for the five films in “The Gambler” franchise. It's loaded with a seemingly complete pantheon of all the western movie stars who are still living. They're seen interacting with Kenny in scenes on horseback, steam trains, stagecoaches, old west main streets, galloping across the wide open spaces, and in plenty of barroom brawls. It's an action-packed stream of nicely crafted edits and close-cuts with the right touch of facial expressions. It's all held together with that hit song sung by Kenny, recorded live in concert before a huge audience somewhere, including an off-mic passage that curiously wasn't fixed.

    The second video must be the one for awards shows he can't attend. It has clips of THE FIRST EDITION's band rehearsals back in the early '70s, and touches plenty of stepping stones to the present. Throughout, it's filled with clips of Kenny's singing and his good-natured observations about life. And that, as it turns out, is the appropriate preparation for his in-person conversational stage pesence.

    Kenny, thus introduced, took the stage. He began with a quick bit of song title name-dropping in a list that includes “Lucille” and “Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town.” It was done so he could observe, “I have had an incredible career singing songs about dysfunctional families.”

    More equally charming observations followed. An hour later, in response to an audience question, he revealed the Rosetta Stone of his on-stage easy humor, saying, “People will clap to be nice. They will not laugh to be nice. I always try to use lots of humor in my shows.”

    Knowing that's his game plan is key to understanding his presence and presentation. The audience waited to learn that at the end. You have the benefit of knowing it, going in.

    Much of Goldman's questioning centered on the success of Kenny's legacy of landmark duets, a repertoire unparalleled in recorded music. The video had brought quick images of him with KIM CARNES singing “Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” and with DOLLY PARTON, singing “Islands in the Stream.” DOTTIE WEST and many other of his duet partners were mentioned. Kenny's praise of his collaborators was ever present, reflecting genuine respect.

    Ultimately, Rogers observed that no matter who the singer and how wonderful their talent, “Anybody sings better in a duet than they sing alone. Inevitably, you sing better.”

    More instructive was his assertion, “You never start with a partner, you start with a song. You pick someone for a song because they're going to sound good on it.”

    He drifted into an apparent aside that he has been working on a song with WYNONNA, and “She sounds great on it, but I don't. I'll probably just have to give her the song so she can get it out there.”

    Though he claims that he doesn't listen to music for enjoyment – at all – Rogers is very much about the song. He allowed, “I pick hit songs better than anybody. Every one of my hit songs tells you two things: they tell you where you are – 'on a train bound for nowhere' – and they drop you off with an emotion.”

    Scott Goldman's questions about Rogers' history in the music business brought many tasty vignettes. Goldman took him all the way back to his high school rockabilly band in the doo wop era. They were THE SCHOLARS, which Rogers declares was “a bunch of 'D' students with very forgettable songs.” Yet they got a record deal. And one single – a 45 rpm B side called “Crazy Feeling” – landed them a spot on TV's “American Bandstand.”

    Rogers mused, “My claim to fame is that DICK CLARK doesn't remember me.”

    About that time, as “a little kid from Houston,” Rogers recalls, “I'd only just changed my name from Kenneth Ray to Kenny Rogers because... [a deejay] I knew in Houston had told me, 'Kenneth Ray? You can't have that name in show business!'”

    Common to bands of that age group, they drifted apart. Kenny had started on guitar and sought gigs as a singer-guitarist with other bands. Then someone he respected told him, “Change to bass. Every band has a bass player. Not every band has a guitar. And no matter where you go, every bad bass player can find work.”

    That led Rogers, at age 19, to a job as bassist for BOBBY DOYLE's jazz band. The world quickly expanded for him as they toured extensively. Rogers, the East Texas boy, talks of nearly losing his nose and ears to 50 below zero temperatures when he ventured out in a tee shirt in the Canadian winter.

    He seems to have come of age with that band. At one point, “The place where we played and rehearsed was across the street from where TONY BENNETT played. He used to come over and sit-in with us. Lots of jazz people did then.”

    In a statement that speaks volumes about how much music has changed, he observed, “We were very hip, avant garde. It was all distinction and no statement. Now it's all statement, but I'm not sure of what.”

    +    +    +

    Continued next week in part two. We'll bring you more as KENNY ROGERS discusses his years with other celebrated groups, including THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS and THE FIRST EDITION – “I was bothered when I was the one whose name went up front as KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION. I'd been in groups, and I knew how that worked” – and through the many years of his stellar solo career, his part in the revolution in country music, his collaborations with music stars across genres, his take on his second time around as a dad raising twin six-year-old boys, and lots more.


Our # 5 Story


    Indeed, it does draw over 20,000 people each time it happens. It has a crazy, checkered past that includes a director who resigned or was fired, depending who you ask, and he took the event into oblivion with him, or tried to... It involves dozens of galleries, music venues, restaurants, bars, street performers and others. It brings a myriad of downtown denizens in official and unofficial roles. And the whole thing mixes in a blender the upscale who stare, expressionless, at paintings, with the “We're-only-here-to-party” hooting of inebriated stumblers.
    What could better reflect the essence of L.A.?

    The next Downtown Art Walk happens Thursday, April 14. The timing means the revelry will be supplemented by those who've just completed their taxes, and probably by some who won't get them done on time and spontaneously decide to give up and go play. The idiosyncrasies come and go each month but the ever-growing numbers of prosperous urban loft dwellers and sadly lost and homeless shopping-cart pushers are there, and through it all, this event endures.

    In time for the next fete, it's adding a new website with bells, whistles and horns. Though it's not quite finished, the new site – – may become a model for other sites. It will offer pop-up descriptions of all venues, transportation options and “official” maps, and an interactive aspect. It will allow site users to map their own itineraries and post them on the site for others, and sharing with their own e-connected friends to coordinate a gallery/music/pub crawl, and to print-out the customized features as field maps for recon and tactical maneuvers.

    The team that produces the event says they're launching the fancy new site because they really didn't have an option: they can't afford to post signs all over downtown to explain things and give directions to 20,000 Art Walkers.

    Still, it may be like trying to impart order inside a popcorn popper. If you make use of the new site, let us know if the interactive aspects – and the event – lives up to its promise.

    It's Thursday, April 14. Interactive features are due soon at the new  


Our # 6 Story


    We were there when they performed for the first time. We were the first to play their music on the radio. We always knew them boys would make good.

    Band leader TUMBLEWEED ROB wrote to tell us, “We did it! We're #1! Our song 'California' just hit #1 on the 'Top Ten Western Songs' chart in the new Rope Burns Magazine!”

    That's not all. Rob adds, “We... just found out that [our album] 'Blaze Across the West,' is #2 in it's first appearance on the 'Top Twenty Cowboy / Western Music CDs' chart in 'The Western Way' Magazine! Woo hoo!”

    From where we sit, it was rather predictable. They had shown signs, early, of being able to reach beyond their SONS OF THE PIONEERS tribute act, and they won both the Academy of Western Artists (AWA) “Western Music Group of the Year” title and the Western Music Association (WMA) “Crescendo Award.”

    We could turn this into a piece in praise of niche genre music / arts organizations and the importance of music charts for specific genres, since the Grammys still have no award for western music (and fat chance anybody in pop-country would allow consideration of some cowboy song). But it's a celebratory time, so we'll make nice.

    Speaking for the group's four vocalists and fiddler JEAN SUDBURY and upright bassist DAN DUGGAN, Rob says, “We are really excited and so very grateful to you all for your continued support of our music!” (How come the televised awards acceptance speeches aren't that short?)

    To listen to samples or get your own copy of “Blaze Across the West,” go to  

Or you can download your digital copy from iTunes or from CDBaby at  

    There's plenty about the group at     

    No question that western music is making a comeback with a number of truly talented artists.

    And all you western music / western swing / modern western / traditional cowboy / cowboy poetry fans will be glad to know that both the annual “SANTA CLARITA COWBOY FESTIVAL” in Newhall and the annual “STAGECOACH FESTIVAL” at the Empire Polo Field in Indio are just around the corner. See the write-ups in the Guide's “Spotlight Events” section, or check out and     


Our # 7 Story


    Sponsors of the nominally annual CLAREMONT FOLK FESTIVAL have announced that the event is on hiatus this year. The sponsors, Folk Music Center in Claremont, hope to bring it back in 2012. You may recall that it was on hiatus in 2009, too, and that factor was cited as a reason for launching the “L.A. ACOUSTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL” that year – which then took a year of hiatus in 2010, but will return this year.

    Maybe they should all get together and decide to alternate years?


Our # 8 Story


    Wednesday through Tuesday, March 30 through April 5, 2011; see The Guide's SPOTLIGHT EVENTS section ( for plenty more detail.

    Wednesday, March 30 Spotlights

Wed, Mar 30; music documentary screening; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7:30 pm “TROUBADOURS,” presented for the “Reel to Reel” series by Concord Records and The Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Sound Stage, 800 W Olympic Bl, L.A. 90015; 213-765-6803;     
Wed, Mar 30; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm JOHN JORGENSON QUINTET play the Cerritos Performing Arts Center - Sierra Cabaret, 12700 Center Court Dr, Cerritos; 562 916-8501 or 800- 300-4345;     

    Thursday, March 31 Spotlights

Thu, Mar 31; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm BRUCE COCKBURN plus JENNY SCHEINMAN at the El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Bl, L.A.; 323-936-4790; A few discount tix are still available through McCabe's, at; they're $35 there.

Thu, Mar 31; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm “AN EVENING WITH R. CARLOS NAKAI,” Native American flautist, at the Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Sound Stage, 800 W Olympic Bl, L.A. 90015; 213-765-6803; Full description in the Guide's SPOTLIGHT EVENTS section.
Thu, Mar 31, in Santa Barbara; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm JAKE SHIMABUKURO plays Campbell Hall on the UCSB campus in Santa Barbara; 805-893-3535. One of the world's top ukulele players...

Thu, Mar 31:
8 pm SURFIN' SAFARI at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena.

Thu, Mar 31; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
9 pm GONZALO BERGARA plays the Saddle Peak Lodge, 419 Cold Canyon Rd, Calabasas 91302;; 818-222-3888. One of the world's top Djangostyle gypsy jazz guitarists...

    Friday, April 1 Spotlights

Fri-Sun, Apr 1-3, in Indian Wells; festival:
Annual “INDIAN WELLS ARTS FESTIVAL” at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Indian Wells 92210. Music includes performances all three days by INCENDIO.

Fri, Apr 1; workshop; an “EVENT-OF-THE-WEEK FOR ARTISTS:”
7 pm “COUNTRY & WESTERN MUSIC ON UKULELE & WASHTUB BASS,” workshop with Sid HAUSMAN & WASHTUB JERRY at Island Bazaar, 16582 Gothard St, Ste R, Huntington Beach 92647; 714-843-9350. Workshop is $15. The two play a concert here Sat, Apr 2, 8 pm; tix, $20.

Fri, Apr 1; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm THE SCARLET FURIES play the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena; info on this show at; reservations, 626-794-2424.

Fri, Apr 1:
8 pm “FIRST FRIDAYS” monthly series with SEVERIN BROWNE, the very notable “FIRST FRIDAYS BAND,” and one or more guest recording artists, at Kulak’s Woodshed, 5230-1/2 Laurel Canyon Bl, North Hollywood; info and web simulcast at; info, 818-766-9913.

Fri, Apr 1:
8 pm THE BOBS at McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Bl (Pico at 31st), Santa Monica 90405;; 310-828-4403; tix, 310-828-4497.

Fri, Apr 1; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
9 pm SIMON LYNGE plays Genghis Cohen, 740 N Fairfax Av, L.A. 90046. In town from Europe for his first L.A. show in a year-and-a-half. (This show at originally been announced for 10 pm.) More at     

    Saturday, April 2 Spotlights

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
2 pm BILL FRISELL TRIO: “SELECTED WORKS OF BUSTER KEATON” is the first of their two different shows today at UCLA Live, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr, on the UCLA campus at Royce Dr between Westwood Bl and Hilgard Av, West L.A.;; info 310-825-4401; UCLA ticket office 310-825-2101.

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
3 & 8 pm “ALOHA CONCERT SERIES” brings Grammy winners GEORGE, MOSES & KEOKI KAHUMOKU at the Ruth Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus at Whittier College, 6760 Painter Av, Whittier; 562-907-4203;     

Sat, Apr 2:
3 pm “AS TIME GOES BY” is a “musical play of songs & nostalgia” for a matinee at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675. Presented by Theaters of Vision Productions. Details of this show at; reservations, 626-794-2424.

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7 pm JULIE FEENEY plays an early hour-long set at the Hotel Café, 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Bl, Hollywood 90038;; 323-461-2040.

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7 pm JIM KWESKIN, pioneer revivalist of the jug band and all-around fine musical entertainer, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; details of this show at; reservations, 626-794-2424.

Sat, Apr 2:
7 pm SID HAUSMAN & WASHTUB JERRY perform “Country & Western Music on ukulele & washtub bass” at Island Bazaar, 16582 Gothard St, Ste R, Huntington Beach 92647; 714-843-9350. The two do a workshop here Fri, Apr 1, 7 pm, see listing. Concert tix, $20.

Sat, Apr 2:
7 pm DOUG MORIER performs at Westwood Music, 1627 Westwood Bl, L.A. 90024; 310-478-4251.

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7:30 pm EMMA'S REVOLUTION plays the “Orange Coast Concerts” series at Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church, 1259 Victoria St, Costa Mesa 92627; 949-829-1752. They are a fine female new-folk duo from Washington, D.C., with plenty of credits.

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm BILL FRISELL TRIO: “SELECTED WORKS OF BUSTER KEATON, JIM WOODRING AND BILL MORRISON” is the second of Frisell’s two different shows today at UCLA Live, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr, on the UCLA campus at Royce Dr between Westwood Bl and Hilgard Av, West L.A.;; info 310-825-4401; UCLA ticket office 310-825-2101.  

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm RONNY COX and JACK WILLIAMS play Russ & Julie's House Concerts in Oak Park (Agoura Hills area); info, Reservations get directions at or 818-707-2179. More at &     

Sat, Apr 2; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm “ALOHA CONCERT SERIES” brings Grammy winners GEORGE, MOSES & KEOKI KAHUMOKU at the Ruth Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus at Whittier College, 6760 Painter Av, Whittier;; 562-907-4203. Shows at 3 & 8 pm.

Sat, Apr 2:
10 pm TRACY NEWMAN & THE REINFORCEMENTS play the Oyster House Saloon, 12446 Moorpark St, North Hollywood 91604; 818-761-8686.

    Sunday, April 3 Spotlights

Sun, Apr 3:
“KINGS OF CALIFORNIA TRAIN” embarks from Los Angeles to Oakland, then Portland, and return, with DAVE ALVIN, CHRIS SMITHER, PETER CASE, RICK SHEA, LAURIE LEWIS and NINA GERBER; info, Roots on the Rails,; 866-484-3669.

Sun, Apr 3; a FREE “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
2 pm SCOTTISH FIDDLERS OF LOS ANGELES play the Pasadena Public Library, Central Branch in the marvelous theater-like auditorium, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena 91101; 626-744-4066.

Sun, Apr 3:
3 & 7 pm “AS TIME GOES BY” is a “musical play of songs & nostalgia” for a matinee and evening at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675. Presented by Theaters of Vision Productions. Details of this show at; reservations, 626-794-2424.

Sun, Apr 3, workshop; an “EVENT-OF-THE-WEEK FOR ARTISTS:”
4:30 pm WORKSHOP: “HAND DRUMMING WITH DAMARU” at the Folk Music Center & Museum, 220 Yale Av, Claremont 91711; 909-624-2928.

Sun, Apr 3; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
5-9 pm “GRAND OLE ECHO” spring-fall alt-country / Americana music series returns tonight for the 2011 season at the Echo, 1822 Sunset Bl, Echo Park;; 213-413-8200. No cover, all ages. See the Guide's big feature story in our March 19 News Features edition (story #9), at    

Sun, Apr 3; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
SOLD OUT: 7 & 9 pm DAVE ALVIN, CHRIS SMITHER, & PETER CASE at McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405;; 310-828-4497.

Sun, Apr 3; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7 pm “ROOTS AND TWANG NIGHT” series debuts tonight with BORDER RADIO, THE GET DOWN BOYS, & CLIFF WAGNER & THE OLD #7, at Molly Malone's, 575 S Fairfax Av, Los Angeles; 323-923-1577. See the Guide's big feature story in our March 19 News Features edition (story #10), at     

Sun, Apr 3, in San Diego; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
7:30 pm DAVID WILCOX plays the AMSD Concert series at 4650 Mansfield St, San Diego; 619-303-8176.

Sun, Apr 3, month-long residency; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm MARINA V and her band play a Sundays-in-April residency at the Hard Rock Cafe, 6801 Hollywood Bl #105, Hollywood 90028. It's next to the Kodak Theatre in the Hollywood / Highland complex. Plenty has been happening for Marina. Recently, SIR BOB GELDOF presented her with a “YouBloom Award” in London. And now she lands a residency at a famous venue.
    Marina tells us, “We'll be doing 3 sets each night, about 27 different songs, including a couple of cover songs and songs like 'Ghost Wandering This Earth' which I've played many times solo, but [am] super excited to play with my band. Nick, Shannon, Ben & I are happy to welcome our new drummer, Darren (make sure to say hi to him and check out his lovely Australian accent).”
    Reasons you want to go: "hauntingly beautiful" – L.A.Times; "melodic and passionate music" – The Washington Post; "the voice of an angel" – The Prague Post; "Congratulations on your new album is fabulous. Songs and singing are delightful! ... very beautiful." – multi-platinum recording artist Howard Jones.
    Marina, who is a naturalized American citizen, was born in Russia. She shares this brand-new tale: “Nick and I had a great opportunity to meet and talk with the famed astronaut BUZZ ALDRIN a few days ago! I told Buzz about my grandpa designing the MIG-29 jet, and it was quite an honor to have a conversation with this legendary man!”
    Show begins at 8 pm sharp, is all ages, no cover.

Sun, Apr 3, in Santa Barbara; world music:
8 pm “SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA” in Campbell Hall on the UCSB campus in Santa Barbara; 805-893-3535.

    Tuesday, April 5 Spotlights

Tue, Apr 5; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm TISH HINOJOSA plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; info on this show at     

Tue, Apr 5; a “SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK” pick:
8 pm THE PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND from New Orleans does a performance-interview at the Grammy Museum, 800 W Olympic Bl (entrance on Figueroa), downtown Los Angeles 90015; 213-765-6800.


See the Guide's SPOTLIGHT EVENTS Section for more events, waaaay through all of 2011.


MORE STUFF >>>>>>> Resources, etc…
Our newly updated VENUE DIRECTORY    

...with OVER 500 acoustic-music-friendly venues in Southern California, is available at   


RECENT EDITIONS of The Guide’s NEWS FEATURES are still available…

March 19 edition’s NEWS FEATURES are available at 
The topics are…

  1) Artists Helping Japan Relief Efforts     
  3) Top Acts & Locals Play TEMECULA BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, this Weekend   
  4) “JONNY WHITESIDE’S MESSAROUND” Presents Guitar Legend on Sunday    
  5) Bay Area’s SADDLE CATS to Play one L.A. Show, March 24     
  6) Local Irish Dancers to Compete in Dublin Championships    
  7) CELTIC ARTS CENTER Founder Succumbs to Cancer    
  8) NEW ORLEANS TRAD JAZZ CAMP Awards Scholarships  
  9) “GRAND OLE ECHO” Series Launches 6th Season, Sunday, April 3rd     
10) BORDER RADIO to Host “Roots & Twang Night (Series) at Molly Malone’s”
11) “Sun Studio Sessions,” “Austin City Limits,” now Back-To-Back on KLCS   
12) 2012 NAMM Show to Include 27th Annual TEC Awards   
13) This Week’s Spotlight Events, in Quick Takes   


March 11 edition’s NEWS FEATURES (including the March 12 update) are available at  

The topics are…
  1) Irish Music Weekend, thru St. Patrick’s Day – Erin Go Braugh!    
  2) Free Tax Help for Musicians     
  3) LOS LONELY BOYS to Release CD at Grammy Museum, March 25     
  4) ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo – Coming to L.A., April 28-30     
  5) Understanding the Artist within: Our Needs, Drives and Impulses    
  6) AARON LEWIS – Big Hit Album, Single & Video; Is “Country” Changing? 
  7) Review: “FOLKTACULAR,” President’s Day Weekend     
  8) Time to Speak Up to Protect Your Interests    
  9) “Quick Takes” from the Coming Week’s Spotlight Events Page…   
10) Reconstruction Progresses: Reinvention of The Guide…   


March 4 edition’s NEWS FEATURES are available at    

The topics are…
1) “PHIL OCHS: There but for Fortune” – Special Screening Sunday    
2) Time to Speak Up to Protect Your Interests    
      What a Week Ahead! Eat Your Heart Out if You’re Someplace Else…    
4) Review: “Folktacular,” President’s Day Weekend     
5) “Quick Takes” From the Coming Week’s Spotlight Events Page…   
6) Reconstruction Progresses: Reinvention of The Guide…   


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The LATEST EDITION of THE GUIDE, with the NEWS FEATURES, THE SCENE, SPOTLIGHTED EVENTS, & THE VENUE DIRECTORY – what it takes to bring you the world of current acoustic music happenings, including “heads up” notices to buy advance tickets for shows likely to sell-out…


– is available 24/7 (& frequently updated!) at ~

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