Friday, May 27, 2011
Acoustic Americana Music Guide MEMORIAL WEEKEND FESTIVALS – NEWS FEATURES, May 27 edition
FESTIVALS! Egads, our world is rich and crazy with 'em this fine weekend!
Welcome to the
Tied to the Tracks
May 27 edition
THIS WEEK’S NEWS FEATURES
1) 22nd Annual “SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL” Sat & Sun
2) ANNUAL “SCOTS FEST,” THIS WEEKEND IN ORANGE COUNTY
3) “TOPANGA DAYS COUNTRY FAIR” – THE ONLY FEST THAT'S ALL 3 DAYS
4) “SUMMERFEST SONGWRITERS PROJECT” – DEADLINE MAY 31
5) “HOW TO WORK THE MEDIA” SEMINAR – ONE LAST TIME IN L.A., JUNE 7
Here are these news feature stories...
Before you start, a suggestion: just go to a different festival each day, and you'll save the costs of air fare to Louisiana and Scotland and to whatever mythical land is evoked in Topanga...
Our # 1 Story
22nd Annual “SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL” Sat & Sun
The first-rate “SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL” recently experienced a name change, to bring equal billing to the second half of its focus. You may recall its years as the “Simi Cajun Creole Festival.” Well, the blues are taken seriously here, and the name reflects that. The festival is even a member of the Blues Foundation. But don't think for a moment that the Cajun and zydeco entertainers are anything but the best, as well.
This festival has two stages. Both have a full-scale festival sound and lights package, plus dance floors at each.
On the Cajun Creole Stage, catch BILLY LEE & THE SWAMP CRITTERS, ANDRE THIERRY & ZYDECO MAGIC, 2010 Grammy winner BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO, LIL POOKIE & THE ZYDECO SENSATIONS, and more.
On the Blues Stage, catch THE 44s, LOS FABULOCOS FEATURING KID RAMOS,
MIKEY JR. & THE STONE COLD BLUES, ARTHUR ADAMS, ANA POPOVIC, THE MANNISH BOYS with TRACY NELSON, RUSTY ZINN, LYNWOOD SLIM, THE KING BROTHERS, BOB CORRITORE, PETER DAMMANN, JOHN NEMETH, and more.
The lineup has more fine musicians, including MARIA MULDAUR, and legendary slide guitar master ELVIN BISHOP with his HELL RAISIN’ REVUE and their album release party. More? There's SHAWN PITTMAN, an up-and-coming Texas guitar slinger, and JOHN NEMETH, Blues Music Award nominee for Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year.
Come hungry, or just stay long enough to get caught-up in the whole spirit of Mardi Gras-style Second Line Parades and that marvelous music. There's plenty of N'Awlins style cuisine and some cool vendors with a whole variety of wares.
This is always a fine event, lots of fun, ably operated, and it benefits a number of local charities and youth organizations.
The festival runs 10:30 am-8 pm on Saturday & Sunday in beautiful Rancho Santa Susana Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Av, Simi Valley 93063; info and parking / shuttle directions are at www.simicajun.org.
Adult admission, age 13 and up, is $18. Kids age 5 to 12 are $15, and under age 5 is free.
Our # 2 Story
ANNUAL “SCOTS FEST,” THIS WEEKEND IN ORANGE COUNTY
The annual “SCOTS FEST,” aka the UNITED SCOTTISH SOCIETY'S HIGHLAND GAMES & GATHERING, is another event whose name may throw you if you haven't been for a few years. It was formerly called the “Orange County Scottish Festival & Highland Games.” It takes place Saturday & Sunday, 9 am-5 pm, at the Orange County Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa 92626; www.scotsfest.com.
Music includes performances by ALEX BEATON, SLIGO RAGS, THE BROWNE SISTERS, HIGHLAND WAY, BAD HAGGIS, BROTHER, KRIS COLT & THE BLACK ROSE BAND, THOSE MANNING BOYS, PLOUGHBOYS, L.A. SCOTS PIPE BAND, SCOTTISH FIDDLERS, CHRISTOPHER YATES, and more.
There are four stages, plus arena events, highland dancing, bagpiping and drumming competition, massed bands, sheep herding demos, and “junior activities” for the wee ones. And, and of course, there are the “Scottish Athletics,” with events like the one where people toss telephone poles around like matchsticks, and the one where they throw the “heavy hammer,” and the one where they pitch pebbles, in the form of a 56-pound boulder.
And remember to eat some haggis and other authentic treats from the British Isles. They're there, they're tasty, and you should plan to eat earlier or later than regular lunchtime, because the food is popular and lines get long.
This year, everything happens during the day, with no added evening events (but the days are packed).
Not to be missed is the “Massed Bands.” The amalgamated army of pipes and drums will perform at the opening ceremony on Saturday, starting at noon, and at Closing Ceremonies both days, starting at 5 pm.
The fairgrounds charges a $5 parking fee for general and handicap parking, $8 for preferred. A Courtesy Tram is available to and from the ticket gate
An adult two-day pass is $25, one-day is $18. Seniors get discounts, active military in uniform get in free, and kids' tickets are truly cheap, just $3 for one day, $4 for two days.
Our # 3 Story
“TOPANGA DAYS COUNTRY FAIR” - THE ONLY FESTIVAL THAT'S ALL 3 DAYS
Sunday through Monday, with good musical offerings amidst an eclectic lineup each day, is the 38th annual “TOPANGA DAYS COUNTRY FAIR,” running 10 am-7 pm each day at the Topanga Community Center fairgrounds, 1440 N Topanga Canyon Bl, Topanga, midway between the 101 and PCH. It's “One of the most celebrated country fairs in Southern California,” with three stages of music and more.
Musical headliners this year include the FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, JOHN MAYALL, MAGGIE MAYALL, JIM MESSINA, THE STRAY CATS’ LEE ROCKER, & YESTERDAY’S CHILD.
We ran a major feature on this festival a few weeks back, available in the archive at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/05/acoustic-americana-music-guide-previews.html. General admission is $20. A discount is offered to members of the military and Topanga Community Center at $15; children ages 6-12 & seniors are $10.
Our # 4 Story
“SUMMERFEST SONGWRITERS PROJECT” - DEADLINE MAY 31
Summerfest officials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have included a new “viral video contest” that “allows Summerfest fans to express their love for the World’s Largest Music Festival and compete to win great prizes.”
Well now. Everyone who enters the Summerfest Songwriters Competition will receive a Commemorative Opening Day ticket. The five finalists will also receive a four-pack of Commemorative Opening Day tickets, a four-pack of Summerfest General Admission tickets and cool Summerfest swag.
Fans are encouraged to let their creativity shine by creating a video of a “Let’s Fest!” song they composed (30 seconds to 5 minutes in length) about Summerfest. Songs can come in any form – from jingles to cheers, raps, spoken word poetry, ballads, guitar solos, whistled ditties or any other creative offering with rhythm and melody.
Songwriters can enter by uploading their videos via www.Summerfest.com/SongwritersProject no later than May 31. All submissions will be reviewed by Summerfest staff, including entertainment and marketing executives. Five finalists will be announced on June 8. The public will then have their chance to vote for their favorite submission through June 13 at Summerfest.com. A grand prize winner will be announced on June 14 and will receive some great prizes, including a thousand dollar ($1,000) cash prize, a pair of tickets to the show of their choice in the Marcus Amphitheater during Summerfest, entry to Summerfest every day during the 2011 festival, a two hundred fifty dollar ($250) Gift Card to Summerfest, and prime video placement on Summerfest.com.
Summerfest 2011 will take place June 29 - July 3 and July 5 - 10, from noon until midnight daily (closed Monday). Billed as “The World's Largest Music Festival,” and “Milwaukee's cornerstone summer celebration,” sponsors say it “attracts the music industry's hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites.” The Marcus Amphitheater and ten additional stages, along with a diverse selection of food and beverage vendors, marketplaces and interactive exhibits, are set against Lake Michigan and downtown backdrops, “creating a festival experience like no other.” More? www.Summerfest.com.
Our # 5 Story
“HOW TO WORK THE MEDIA” SEMINAR – ONE LAST TIME IN L.A., JUNE 7
A coveted prize at the 51st annual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival was a scholarship certificate – one of the ten – to attend one of Larry Wines' workshop / seminars.
To accommodate the winners of the festival's top prizes, one more local offering of the "media workshop / seminar” – and probably the last one for quite a while in the L.A. area – has been scheduled for Tuesday evening, June 7, at 7:30 pm.
Musicians, managers and producers, and /or leaders of bands whose members have won or been nominated for music's top awards, including the GRAMMY, Music EMMY and Music OSCAR, have attended previous sessions and voiced acclaim for this workshop / seminar.
Larry teaches you how to save your time and your money – and save yourself from the emotional investment you make when you send your CD off for radio play or to hopefully get a review, but then you hear nothing – no reply, nothing, not even an acknowledgment they received it. There are specific techniques that get results, and Larry knows and teaches them. Moreover, his techniques comprise a plan that you can put to work in your music career.
An award winning editor, journalist, and broadcaster, Larry knows the media from the inside. He's been on the “receiving end” of artists' materials and appeals for years. He knows what works and what doesn't, and WHY.
It often has little to do with how good your music is, or how much money you spent recording your new CD (or tracks for sale as downloads). Larry teaches you what's truly effective, how to get results, and how to do it without spending your way to the poorhouse.
This is likely to be the last offering in the L.A. area for a while.
The workshop (it's really a very formidable seminar) runs three hours with a break halfway through. If that sounds like a lot of time, ask how much of an investment you're willing to make in your arts career. And ask anyone who attended the last time. They'll tell you that everyone stayed for more conversation after the session ended, and they stayed until the venue closed and they had to leave.
“This really pumps-up your enthusiasm, as well as adding immeasurably to your useful knowledge and skill sets,” says Duane Thorin, who produces and presents many workshops for artists.
Duane adds, “This is a real bargain for all you get. It's worth a whole lot more than it costs.”
What you get is formidable. You get the whole thing on a CD, at the conclusion of the evening. In addition to the entire, 161-slide PowerPoint™ presentation, the disc contains 22 supportive pdf documents, from full-size, full-color one-sheets and bios to multipage detailed explanations of techniques and key points to formulate your own plan.
The workshop / seminar is Tuesday evening, June 7, and starts promptly at 7:30 pm. It's at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Ave, Altadena 91001. Reservations are strongly recommended, since the session is limited to 30 people. And advance reservations get a discount. Make your reservation at email@example.com.
Advance registration is $35, or $45 at the door if any spaces remain. You owe it to yourself, and the hopes and dreams you have for your music career, to experience this.
MORE STUFF >>>>>>> Resources, etc...
Our recently 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
Just check our archive! Read the contents bar on the left side of the page at www.acousticamericana.blogspot.com and click the appropriate month.
The MOST RECENT past editions are archived and easy to find!
Our May 20 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) What a Weekend of Festivals!
2) Sunday's “L.A. Acoustic Music Festival” Offers Free Outdoor Show, Ticketed Indoor
3) “Heritage Museum Music Festival,” Sunday in OC
4) Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday, May 24th, To Be Musically Celebrated by Folk Legend
Ross Altman & Friends In Santa Monica
5) 14th Annual “Doheny Blues Festival” in Dana Point, All Weekend
6) “Silver Lake Jubilee Music & Arts Festival,” All Weekend in L.A.
7) Paddy’s Pig CD Release & Apocalypse Show, Saturday, May 21
8) “How to Work the Media” Seminar – One Last Time in L.A., June 7
9) “Roots Roadhouse” to Return in August
10) Artist “Asset Discovery & Development Seminar,” June 14
11) “Midsummer Nights Coffee House & Music Festival” Date Set
Our May 12 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) 51st Annual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival – and The Guide is a
2) Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Del McCoury Band Share a Stage
3) "6th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social," Thu-Sat, May 12-14
4) 21st Annual "Dylanfest," Saturday, May 14
5) Butch Hancock, Texas Legend, Plays L.A. May 19
6) Performance Review: Sid Hausman & Washtub Jerry
7) Performance Review: Gerry O'Bierne & Rosie Shipley
8) Performance Review: Sligo Rags
9) Kenny Rogers in a Revealing Interview, part two
10) Blues in L.A. with Bernie Pearl, Three Weekends in May
11) "L.A. Acoustic Music Festival" Returns May 22 at Different Venue
12) "Forever Young: Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday" at the Grammy
Museum, May 24
13) Memorial Day Weekend Music Festivals Are Nearly Upon Us –
We Profile Two of Them
14) Performance Opportunity: "Make Music Pasadena," June 18
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