Saturday, June 11, 2011
Acoustic Americana Music Guide NEWS FEATURES, June 10 edition
NEWLY ADDED: This Saturday's “OPEN BORDERS MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL” and its WOODY GUTHRIE TRIBUTE with COUNTRY JOE McDONALD & RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT... see News Feature #6.
In addition to the NEWS that's right here, check out the latest edition of our SPOTLIGHT EVENTS at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/06/spotlight-events-festivals-acoustic_11.html
Welcome to the
Tied to the Tracks
June 10, 2011 edition
THIS WEEK’S NEWS FEATURES
1) TOP INDIE WOMEN MUSICIANS PLAYING THIS WEEK
2) JUNE “ROCKY THE FLYING SQUIRREL” FORAY, WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS ANIMATION VOICE ARTIST: JUNE 16 MUSICAL FETE WITH WILL RYAN & BAND
3) SOCIO-POLITICAL SINGER-SONGWRITER ROY ZIMMERMAN, AMIDST TOUR,
CO-HEADLINES ALL-STAR “PUBLIC CITIZEN” BENEFIT, SUNDAY, JUNE 12
Plus, One Local Solo Show, June 11
4) SPIN MAGAZINE'S AMERICANA ISSUE – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A BIGTIME
ROCK / POP MAG EXPLAINS BANJOS & DULCIMERS, AND MORE?
5) L.A. PIANIST/COMPOSER MARC BOSSERMAN WINS AT PARK CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL
6) JUNE FESTIVALS: THERE ARE MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
7) MAKE MUSIC PASADENA IS A FREE FESTIVAL, JUNE 18
8) 70 FREE SUMMER CONCERTS COMING TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY
9) YOUR BAND BASED IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY? GET REGISTERED,
Here are these news feature stories...
Our # 1 Story
TOP INDIE WOMEN MUSICIANS PLAYING THIS WEEK
This'll be quite a week for women musicians. It's the 2nd Annual “WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE RADIO SHOWCASE” on June 12, plus MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO, with Prairie Home Companion star INGA SWEARINGEN, are here for 3 gigs with New Mexico's ROUND MOUNTAIN, June 12-14. And, you really need to hear KATIE CAVERA and multi-instrumental wunderkind CHLOE FEORANZANO at the June Foray tribute on Thursday.
Let's start with“THE WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE RADIO SHOWCASE” with MANDA MOSHER, GABRIELLE WORTMAN, KRISTY HANSON, JULIA LUCAFO, and DENISE ROSIER. They're five amazing, hard-working female artists from the local music scene, performing together at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, Sunday, June 12 at 7 pm.
Headliner MANDA MOSHER is a multiple L.A. Music Awards Winner (“Female Singer/Songwriter of the Year,” “National Touring Artist of the Year”), and she's performed on national TV on The Late Late Show,. She got her start in the Pasadena club scene.
GABRIELLE WORTMAN is a classically-trained pianist, guitarist & vocalist and songwriter. Her performing prowess and unique alternative pop style earned her a “Bruin’s Choice” Award in 2009.
KRISTY HANSON is out to prove herself everyday through hard work measured in blistered fingers and miles traveled. Powered by vocal chords of lioness strength and a polished guitar sound, Kristy’s music demands attention and instantly takes you in.
JULIA LUCAFO (Juice) is a talented singer/songwriter described as an "Old Soul" with an edgy touch. This infectious and humorous artist is a seasoned performer, opening for artists like Michelle Branch, Michelle Shocked and Sophie B Hawkins.
DENISE ROSIER is a pop singer/songwriter from Orange County whose songs appear on television and movie scores such as The Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural, Everwood, King of the Hill and Showtime's Soul Food.
MANDA MOSHER says, “Make reservations for Sunday night's show if you're planning to attend. Seating is limited and seating reservations secure a seat or table for you. The band is sounding oh so good and new songs, new songs.”
The show is Sunday, June 12, at 7 pm at The Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 91001. Tix, $15, all ages show.
Next is MOIRA SMILEY & VOCO – international touring artists from here in Southern Cal, and they're making the rounds with ROUND MOUNTAIN, a touring duo from Santa Fe, NewMexico. They're teaming-up for a few shows on California's Central Coast and in Los Angeles. Expect an evening of gorgeous vocal harmony from VOCO, while ROUND MOUNTAIN will impress you as a two-person folk orchestra with rhythms to dance by and songs that make you cry.
Moira Smiley & VOCO spend more than half the year on tour bringing effervescent life to the sweet harmony, grit & stomp of American and East European folksong, original music, music of Bela Bartok with the vaudevillian wonderment of voices, cello, banjo, accordion.
The group's luscious harmony vocals are equal parts Appalachia & Eastern Europe and combine with foot-stompin' original body percussion numbers to create an eye-opening and heart warming musical experience. Moira Smiley's original songs and arrangements, sung by thousands around the world, are by turns achingly beautiful and raucously mischievous.
Named #1 a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, Moira Smiley & VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Featured in Dirty Linen and on more than 100 radio stations nationwide on NPR's "Harmonia," following their radio debut on "Tied to the Tracks," VOCO has released two critically acclaimed CDs in '08-'09: "Small Worlds" and "Circle, Square, Diamond & Flag". They've been called, "A visionary blending of voices - joyous, magnificent, hair-raising harmonies - music that mourns and dances at the same time..." More at www.moirasmiley.com.
Joining Moira in VOCO are INGA SWEARINGEN, well-known to NPR audiences for her frequent singing on A Prairie Home Companion and her solo "farm-jazz" tours. Plus, APRIL GUTHRIE, singer and extraordinary cellist with a folksinger's heart and an avant-garde soul. Moira says April "Brings fire and beauty to the low end of all VOCO shows." The current tour ppepares the group's "harmony & stomp" in time to kick off their "Alaska to Australia Tour."
Plus, Santa Fe-based brother duo ROUND MOUNTAIN (Robby & Char) travel widely and listen deeply in their unique songs that draw on East European, West African and Irish traditions. You will be blown away by their effortless virtuosity, searing lyrics and warmth onstage. More at www.roundmountainmusic.com.
(See the News Feature, “JUNE CONCERTS FEATURE SUPERB DOUBLE BILLS in the June 3 edition, archived at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/06/acoustic-americana-music-guide-news.html.)
Catch them on any of three nights: Sunday, June 12, 7:30 pm at SOhO in Santa Barbara, 805-962-7776 for table reservations; Monday, June 13, 7 pm at the UU Church Santa Monica, advance tix www.brownpapertickets.com/event/173694; Tuesday, June 14, 8 pm at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, reservations number (NEW, May 2011) is 626-798-6236.
And we started by saying that you really need to hear KATIE CAVERA and multi-
instrumental wunderkind CHLOE FEORANZANO at the June Foray tribute on Thursday. See the next feature for that one.
Our # 2 Story
JUNE “ROCKY THE FLYING SQUIRREL” FORAY, WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS ANIMATION VOICE ARTIST: JUNE 16 MUSICAL FETE WITH WILL RYAN & BAND
First, if you're thinking, “Yeah, it'd be cool to meet the Queen of Cartoon Voices, but isn't top award-winner WILL RYAN's band called the Cactus County Cowboys? Gads, a whole evening of cowboy music?” Whoa, there, we need to set you straight. WILL RYAN – himself an artist with a pair of Gold Records – runs a band like no other. They're funny, clever, charming, they span the age spectrum – and defy it – with 19-year-old multi-instrumental wunderkind CHLOE FEORANZO performing alongside '60s GRAMMY winner IAN WHITCOMB, and they deliver one of the most entertaining shows in L.A. (or anywhere, including the mythical Cactus County).
They have the unique ability to delight any crowd. Really and truly. They were chosen to play the bachelorette party for HUGH HEFNER's bride-to-be. You'll be humming and singing choruses from their charming, very musical, delightfully hooky songs for days – whether or not you've ever found any use for a band with the word “cowboy” in its name. Try, “I'm the ding-dong daddy of Abu Dhabi and the oobie-doobie-doo of Dubai” on for size (the guy in the song won “more oil wells than you can handle” in a Texas poker game “on the Fourth of July” - a very fun and memorable song.) The Guide is really big
on this band. But this isn't just any one of their shows that you should attend.
Thursday evening, June 16, at 8 pm, WILL RYAN & the CACTUS COUNTY COWBOYS celebrate “National JUNE FORAY Month” at the Coffee Gallery Backstage
This whole shebang is in honor the Queen of Cartoons, JUNE “ROCKY THE FLYING SQUIRREL” FORAY, the most famous animation voice artist in the world (Looney Tunes, Mulan, Cinderella, Smurfs, George of the Jungle, Gummi Bears, Fractured Fairytales,
Rocky & Bullwinkle, and more).
June Foray goes waay back with the band's front man. You’ve been hearing WILL RYAN’s voices for years in Oscar-winning animated films and popular cartoons series. Now, hear him join in four-part harmony with his band, an outfit that's been described as “a mad-cap mash-up of the Marx Brothers and the Sons of the Pioneers!”
Thursday, they’re all here – tuba and bass expert WESTY WESTENHOFER, guitar wizard JOHN “PRESTO” REYNOLDS, banjo-strumming Princess of the West “CHAPARRAL KATIE” CAVERA, and returning to the band from back East for this performance, the mandolin-strumming wunderkind of the clarinet and tenor sax, “CACTUS CHLOE” FEORANZO. Plus, here because he's on a break from his North and South American tour, the band’s fiddler, and professional symphony conductor “BUCKAROO BENNY” BRYDERN.
Expect “A whole lotta music,” as they introduce in this show “Cactus County Euphonium, Tuba, Trombone and Bilabial Fricitationizer” plus unscripted zaniness that will make you wonder why everyone doesn’t just pack up their bags and move to Cactus County, wherever it is.
GRAMMY-winning sometime band member and band favorite “OXNARD IAN” WHITCOMB is here, on the Cactus County accordion. You may remember him for “You Turn Me On,” and “What Did Robinson Crusoe Do with Friday on Saturday Night.”
In addition, a “special surprise guest” is promised, to make the celebration of “National June Foray Month” complete. Rev up your best Bullwinkle voice ans ask, “Who could it possibly be?” Could it be JUNE FORAY herself? “Nothin' up mah sleeve... PRESTO!” Yes, the one and only June herself will be there, direct from Frostbite Falls! This will surely sell-out, so reserve your seats now. It's at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N
Lake Av, Altadena 92675; info, www.coffeegallery.com; reservations number (new, May 2011) is 626-798-6236.Tickets, $15.
Our # 3 Story
SOCIO-POLITICAL SINGER-SONGWRITER ROY ZIMMERMAN, AMIDST TOUR,
CO-HEADLINES ALL-STAR “PUBLIC CITIZEN” BENEFIT, SUNDAY, JUNE 12
Plus, One Local Solo Show, June 11
It's called “Stand Up for Main Street,” and with a lineup on Sunday that includes PAULA POUNDSTONE and ROY ZIMMERMAN, along with comics PATTON OSWALT, ANDY KINDLER, DOM IRRERA, JEFF GARLIN and HAL SPARKS, it's a big deal.
Roy is in the midst of his “Live From the Starving Ear” Tour, and The Guide caught his show Thursday night at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Every time we write about him, we find ourselves saying that he is funnier than ever. And how could it be otherwise, when a gifted lyricist and guitarist is given material like Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman, Donald Trump, and an endless procession of congressmen caught with their pants down?
Who else can rhyme “misogyny” to great comedic effect? (Who else needs to?) With old favorites like “Creation Science 101” (over a million hits on YouTube) and some songs so new he was still writing one in the car on the way to the gig, Roy's credentials as the Tom Lehrer of the 21st century are solid. In the midst of what he describes as “taking my most progressive songs to the least progressive people,” he has gigs starting next week in some very red states.
ROY ZIMMERMAN has one more local solo show, Saturday, June 11, at 8 pm, in Newbury Park, where he performs at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Conejo Valley, 3327 Old Conejo Road, Newbury Park. There's a $15 suggested donation.
Or catch the all-star comedy benefit for Public Citizen on Sunday, June 12, at 7 pm in L.A. at the Brentwood Theatre, 11301 Wilshire Blvd. Tickets there are $100 Orchestra, $50 Mezzanine. More info on both shows at www.royzimmerman.com, Roy's website.
Our # 4 Story
SPIN MAGAZINE'S AMERICANA ISSUE – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A BIGTIME
ROCK / POP MAG EXPLAINS BANJOS & DULCIMERS, AND MORE?
SPIN is a slick, thick rock/pop monthly magazine whose usual coverage is all about the latest black leather-clad, pink-haired hipster with sharp metalic objects protruding from various parts of their anatomies. But not in their June issue, now on the stands.
In a very literate and fun article, writer AMANDA PETRUSICH surveys "THE NEW AMERICANA REVOLUTION" with frequent mentions of this spring's highly successful "Railroad Revival Tour" by OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW, MUMFORD & SONS, and EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS. There's a companion piece that "explains" the instruments that the magazine assumes are new to their regular readers, including comic descriptions of the Jews Harp, dulcimer, banjo, mandolin, dobro and more.
Lest you think it's all about youth culture, there's another in-depth piece about Texas music icon STEVE EARLE.
The Americana cover story places a focus on bands that even some of our readers may not know. Along with MUMFORD & SONS on the cover and featured in the piece, there are profiles of varying depth (some with interesting quotes) on THE AVETT BROTHERS, CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS, THOSE DARLINS, THE CIVIL WARS, THE LOW ANTHEM, THE HEAD & THE HEART, THE BAND OF HEATHENS, AMANDA SHIRES, O'DEATH, DAVID WAX MUSEUM, DELTA SPIRIT, and THE FELICE BROTHERS.
Petrusich observes, "Call it chillbilly, bootgaze, artisanal rock, outhouse, tin can alley, or hobohemian. But dismiss it at your own peril. The homegrown retro scene is here.”
Of course, we here at the Guide have known for years that the "scene" has always been here, it's enduring, and it's far more than "homegrown retro." After all, how many years have we been proving that there are more acoustic shows in the Los Angeles area on any given night than the total number of all other music shows, combined?
Still, it's a hoot to see a rock/pop magazine discover our world, and see that it appeals to young musicians and it's formidable. There is, perhaps, a bit of undercurrent, a subtext that might be a veiled suggestion that it doesn't take all that much proficiency to play in an Americana band – which, all of us know, is a bunch of crap. (We'd put good bluegrass players up against heavyweight improvisational jazz snobs any night of the week, as just one example.)
Back to the SPIN article and what it does say. Overall, it's positive. Even if the acknowledgement of the influential "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack is left as a singular phenomenon, and not as part – albeit, an important part – of a larger musical backdrop.
The article's quotes are fun, especially when you consider that they're being read by a rock audience:
"For Avett, Americana is more of an ethos than a sound – it's simply a commitment to doing it yourself and focusing on feeling and craft. 'Pick up some instruments, write what you feel, sing what you feel, and you can't go wrong,' he says. 'You might not get a lot of people, you might not make a lot of money, but you can't go wrong doing that.'"
And, "Josiah Johnson, a vocalist in the aptly named the Head and the Heart – possibly the first band to be championed by Dave Matthews before signing to Sub Pop, thus uniting two segments of the music world that are traditionally opposed – agrees that these days, tenderness trumps ennui. 'It's music that's made and delivered earnestly; I think that's a useful way of categorizing what's going on,' he says. 'Across all of these bands, if there's any trend, it's moving away from the too-cool-for-school indie-rock vibe. It's making something that people think is real.'
Petrusich concludes, "More than any single musical thread, the idea uniting these bands is their joint pursuit of Americana 'feeling' – a warm-and-friendly guilelessness that's been largely absent from the pop landscape for years (and from indie rock almost forever). They may borrow from ancient strains of folk music, but their sepia-toned approximation of those sounds is almost incidental: It's all about the heart."
It's well worth the read. As are the other features in SPIN's June issue on Americana music and musicians. The cover story is available online at www.spin.com/articles/meet-new-stars-americana, with links to the rest of the current issue's content.
Our # 5 Story
L.A. PIANIST/COMPOSER MARC BOSSERMAN WINS AT PARK CITY MUSIC FESTIVAL
It's a Gold Medal of Excellence win for "INVISIBLE," that is, for the film-score Marc Bosserman just brought home from the Park City Film Music Festival for his work on the project. A well-know Southern Cal music scene figure who plays in a variety of well-crafted and accessible styles, Marc wrote to tell the Guide, “It is a one of a kind film music festival. I was honored to be able to participate and most honored to get an award for the score I did. The film music basically was submitted by the film's amazing producer Chrystina and director Lincoln. [The film was] shown to rave reviews and won this gold medal.”
Marc adds, “It was a total labor of love to create [the entire project]. Lincoln spent hours on each minute of the film." They played it "over and over to make sure that each note totally matched and added the exact right feel to the impact of the film. It was quite a challenge with music from diverse areas.”
That diversity included, says Marc, “Trent Reznor-type rock and coctail piano and sort of neo classical, as well as tracks that used sounds by themselves as soundtrack music. I used a lot of new sounds that I had just gotten in instruments created by a company called Native Instruments. All of it was created In my home studio.”
Marc remains excited about the collaboration of creative energy: “Lincoln was a treat to work with and my very good friend Rex Perry did all the mixing and mastering. I love the studio and the creative precess more than practically anything. The rest of the time, when I'm not doing humanitarian work 40 hours a week, I am gigging all over L.A. or producing demos and tracks for songwriters or working on my own creations. I love helping.”
You can keep up with Marc and his many L.A. area gigs at www.marcbosserman.com
Our # 6 Story
JUNE FESTIVALS: MORE ABUNDANT THAN EVER BEFORE
OLD FAVORITES RETURN, PLUS NEW AND RECENT ADDITIONS
NEWLY ADDED: This Saturday's “OPEN BORDERS MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL” and its WOODY GUTHRIE TRIBUTE with COUNTRY JOE McDONALD & RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT...
Last week, we observed that, in a struggling economy, this spring's festivals were doing well. The 51st annual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival set an all-time high attendance record last month. The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival saw attendance increase over last year. This month, Live Oak and Huck Finn expect big crowds.
June's festivals began with four last weekend, all profiled in the last edition. This month's music festival offerings cover a spectrum of folk-Americana interests and some are FREE.
SATURDAY, JUNE 11, there's the “OPEN BORDERS MUSIC & ART FESTIVAL” all day and evening, closing with the 6 pm “HOMAGE TO WOODY GUTHRIE with COUNTRY JOE McDONALD & RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT,” all at Open Borders, 125 W Thousand Oaks Bl, Thousand Oaks 91360; www.openborders2011.com/cms.php; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-497-1018.
Daytime entertainment includes a 12:15 pm set by ROCKY NECK and a 3 pm set by THE GET DOWN BOYS, with plenty of music all day. The venue says, “Come early to enjoy our multiple art galleries featuring work by the likes of Edward Curtis, Dorthea Lange, Ansel Adams and more, our interactive live web stream, giant game of chess, full bar and gourmet food trucks.”
Doors open for the evening show at 6 pm, and it's $25, if any tickets are left. Country Joe McDonald performs his acclaimed “Tribute to Woody Guthrie at 7:30 pm and Ramblin' Jack Elliott performs at 9:30 pm. In 1950, Ramblin' Jack Elliott met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Jack became so enthralled with the life and composer of This Land Is Your Land, The Dust Bowl Ballads, and a wealth of children's songs that he completely absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, "Jack sounds more like me than I do."
Country Joe McDonald has recorded 33 albums, including 1969's Thinking of Woody Guthrie, and has written hundreds of songs over a career spanning 40 years. In the early 1960s, he began busking on Berkeley, California's famous Telegraph Avenue, and later went on to co-found Country Joe & the Fish which became a pioneer psychedelic rock band with their eclectic performances at The Avalon Ballroom, The Fillmore, Monterey Pop Festival and both the original and the reunion Woodstock Festivals.
And, as Billy Bragg observed, "Like no one of his generation, Country Joe McDonald carries on the mission of Woody Guthrie."
Also on SATURDAY, JUNE 11 is the "GOSPEL JUBILEE," 2-4 pm at the Lighthouse Baptist Church, 2600 White Av, La Verne. The WIMBERLY BLUEGRASS BAND is performing.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, June 17-19, is absolutely nutty with wonderful festivals, some very jam-friendly. Brace yourself...
The Annual "HUCK FINN JUBILEE" brings three days of performances, including ROY CLARK, RODNEY DILLARD & THE DILLARD BAND, THE GIBSON BROTHERS, JULIE WINGFIELD, WAYNE RICE & LIGHTHOUSE, BLUEGRASS ETC, SIERRA HULL, NEW FOUND ROAD, SCOTT GATES & SALTY SUITES, MARK TWAIN LIVE, GRASSLANDS, TOM & BECKY, and more, plus Line Dance Workshops with KC DOUGLAS, Clog Dancing with THE BON FAMILY CLOGGERS, lots of fun activities for kids, and a bit of mid-nineteenth century Mark Twain culture straight from Life on the Mississippi all transported to a bluegrass festival on a river in the California desert (really). At Mojave Narrows Regional Park, Victorville; 951-780-8810. Named in recent years in a national ranking as the best weekend music festival in America.
Meanwhile, northeast of Santa Barbara, all three days, is the annual LIVE OAK MUSIC FESTIVAL with performances by MAVIS STAPLES, THE TEXAS TORNADOS, EVIE LADIN & EVIL DIANE, THE WAILIN' JENNYS, MOLLIE O'BRIEN & RICH MOORE, MOLLY'S REVENGE, OLD MAN LUEDECKE, CAFE MUSIQUE, SIERRA HULL & HIGHWAY 111, TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, SAMBADA, CARL SONNY LEYLAND, THE DAVID MAYFIELD PARADE, SPARROWS GATE, PELLEJO SECO, WILL BERNARD, and more, at Live Oak Camp, off Highway 154, NE of Santa Barbara; 805-781-3030.
The annual IRISH FAIR & MUSIC FESTIVAL with DUBLIN4, FENIANS, SLIGO RAGS, and more happens Saturday & Sunday, June 18 & 19, in Orange County. It's 10 am-7 pm both days at Irvine Meadows, 8800 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine 92618.
The 3rd annual "JOHNNY CASH MUSIC FESTIVAL" happens all weekend at Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 Harbor Bl, Ventura 93001. Festival info, www.roadshowrevival.com. Thousands of fans are expected to converge there on Fathers Day weekend to enjoy live music and more, The event features a vendor marketplace, kids korral, auction items, a pin-up pagent, classic cars and motorcycles, food and beverages and "a few special surprises are all in store for attendees." This year's festival benefits Foodshare and the Coalition to End Family Violence.
If you just can't afford to go anywhere, you'll do fine with a one-day FREE festival here in the L.A. area. Saturday, June 18, is the annual MAKE MUSIC PASADENA, an event that's proven to be folk-Americana friendly over the past three years since it arrived. It's the biggest U.S. expression of the French-based FETE DE MUSIQUE, which happens on this date regardless what day of the week that is. Since the 18th falls on Saturday this year, organizers promised the biggest one yet on many stages, in many venues, and in many performance spaces and street corners throughout Pasadena. As promised last week, we have details of this festival in this edition (see separate feature).
On Saturday only, June 18, in Ventura County, there's the annual “SIMI HISTORY DAYS” festival, at Simi Valley Historical Society and Museum in Strathearn Historical Park, 137 Strathearn Pl, Simi Valley 93065. Full details at www.simihistory.com/History%20Days.htm. MURPHY'S FLAW plays bluegrass and entertains with fine comedic asides from 2-3 pm.
Also on Saturday, June 18, is "FIDDLEFEST" a benefit for People Helping People, that runs 1-5 pm, at Mile Marker 7.28 on Santa Rosa Rd, near Lompoc. Performers include PETER FELDMANN & THE VERY LONESOME BOYS with a program of classic bluegrass and plenty of fine fiddle tunes, featuring former BLUE GRASS BOY BLAINE SPROUSE from West Virginia. Last year's benefit was sold out, so make reservations early.
JUNE 25 & 26, the festival scene brings more choices.
The annual LONG BEACH BAYOU & MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL happens 11 am-9 pm both days, with performances by DR. JOHN & THE LOWER 911, KEITH FRANK & THE SOILEAU ZYDECO BAND, LEROY THOMAS & THE ZYDECO ROADRUNNERS, GENO DELAFOSE & FRENCH ROCKIN' BOOGIE, BILLIE LEE & THE SWAMP CRITTERS, DAVID SOUSA & THE ZYDECO MUDBUGS, SAN DIEGO CAJUN PLAYBOYS, BONNE MUSIQUE ZYDECO, and more, at Rainbow Lagoon Park (N side of Shoreline Dr), Shoreline Village Dr & Linden Av), Long Beach 90802; 562-570-1600.
In Altadena, noon-9:30 pm, the “FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS” a free event for the entire family at Farnsworth Park Amphitheater, 568 E Mount Curb Av, Altadena 91001. One act to catch: at 4 pm RASPIN STUWART plays “Theatre Americana.” Raspin tells us he's just off the road, “Back to LA to work on my new CD titled 'King Of Fools.'” (He plays another local gig, July 8 at Guitar Merchant in Canoga Park. More on raspin at www.facebook.com/raspin.stuwart and at www.RASPIN.comand at www.myspace.com/raspinstuwart.
"THE CHANNEL ISLANDS TALL SHIPS FESTIVAL" runs Friday-Sunday, June 24-26, with appropriate music all three days. BILL DEMPSEY, a well-known singer oif sea shanteys and nautical songs, plays Friday & Saturday at 10 am, and Saturday & Sunday at 2 pm. And there really are tall ships to see, board, and even sail upon, "in a magnificent display of seafaring power and beauty." It's part of the 2011 ASTA TALL SHIPS CHALLENGEｮ Pacific Coast series – more on this one next week.
Meanwhile, the annual SAN DIEGO SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES happens in Vista (San Diego), from 9 am-5 pm both days, with performances by THE WICKED TINKERS, HIGHLAND WAY, THE BROWNE SISTERS & GEORGE CAVANAUGH, BANSHEE IN THE KITCHEN, and more, at Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista 92084. More at www.sdhighlandgames.org/entertainers/index.htm for music & entertainment schedules, and for general info, www.sdhighlandgames.org.
In OC, the “SUMMER SOLSTICE FOLK ARTS FESTIVAL” is Sunday only, Noon-4 pm, sponsored by The Living Tradition series at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malven Av, Fullerton, 92833; www.themuck.com; 714-738-6706.
The band WHEN PIGS FLY! is hosting the all-day folk jam and providing live Irish music for the PLAID IRISH STEPDANCERS. Enjoy a day filled with stage performances by world, traditional music, and dance groups and storytellers from all over Southern California, performing in The Muck's outdoor amphitheater, along with free art workshops, a kids' area, an arts and crafts fair, house and gallery tours, a lawn sports tournament, picnicking, and food vendors.
And then comes July...
Our # 7 Story
MAKE MUSIC PASADENA IS A FREE FESTIVAL, JUNE 18
Annual “MAKE MUSIC PASADENA,” the biggest U.S. expression of the French-based FETE DE MUSIQUE, has on many stages in many venues and on many street corners throughout Pasadena. The full schedule is available at www.makemusicpasadena.org; but we recommend you read this first. The schedule is quite heavy this year with indie rockers and world music. One example is, unfortunately, the Levitt Pavilion stage - the fine bandstand in Memorial Park, active only from 6-9 pm. It will be exclusively Afro Beat and Reggae all evening, heavy on KCRW DJ presences and fare. But wait.
For all us folk-Americana types, don't throw in the towel. Even if they didn't et the memo about Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons and music like theirs leading the way into the nation's hottest new trend, it's not all bleak here. If you can't afford the trek to either LIVE OAK, northeast of Santa Barbara, or HUCK FINN on the Mojave River near Victorville, there are some fine offerings at the free event in Pasadena – if you pick through the crush of its louder offerings.
The Guide recognizes that many of us are just plain broke, so we're giving special attention to the free event in Pasadena. We recommend all the shows at the Pasadena Central Library, 11 am-1 pm, including Susie Glaze and Hilonesome and the harp guitar concert with Greg Miner (“a,” below), plus the following shows on various other stages (many of which happen at the same time): David Vidal at 1 pm (“c,” below); Jessica Fichot at 1:30 pm (“b”); a tough choice of competing shows at 3 pm, where you'll need to pick Border Radio (“e”), Dustbowl Revival (“b”), The Wicked Saints (“c”), or Eliza Rickman (“f”). Then, there are offerings that could keep you around for more music, through a leisurely dinner or picnic or imbibing in Old Town, highlighted by another choice at 9 pm, to see either I See Hawks In L.A. (“m;” one of L.A.'s absolute best roots bands), or The Driftwood Singers (“n,” below).
Early in the day, you might think of checking out the primarily youthful offering of “Classical Music on the Steps of City Hall,” presented by Saturday Conservatory of Music, active 11 am-1 pm (“o,” below).
Here are portions of the schedules and locations, only for the stages that we think will be of greatest interest to you:
a) The “Many Strings” theme at the Pasadena Central Library, Donald R. Wright Auditorium (a nice theater), 285 E Walnut; active 11 am-1 pm;
11 am Susie Glaze and Hilonesome
11:45 am TBD, but expect a folk-Americana act
12:15 pm Harp Guitar music with Greg Miner
b) The Shops on Lake Avenue Courtyard, 345 S Lake Av; active Noon-6 pm;
1:30 pm Jessica Fichot, accordion chanteuse who performs in English and French
3 pm Dustbowl Revival, a solid Americana band
c) The Acoustic Stage at The Armory, 145 N Raymond Av; active Noon-5 pm;
1 pm David Vidal (very solid stuff)
3 pm The Wicked Saints
4 pm The Sheep
d) The Luckman “World Music” Stage, 16 S El Molino Av; active Noon-6 pm;
1 pm La Santa Cecilia
2 pm Carla Morrison, Mexican singer-songwriter
e) Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W Walnut St, Pasadena 91103; active 3-4 pm;
3 pm Border Radio (Guide favorites; splendid prairie grass-flavored Americana)
f) Mercantile Alley, 18 S Fair Oaks Av; active 2-8 pm;
2 pm Alison Standish
3 pm Eliza Rickman
g) Pasadena Convention and Visitor's Center, 300 Green St; active 11 am-4 pm;
2 pm Elaine Faye, presented by Musicians Institute
h) First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, 500 E Colorado Bl; active 2-4 pm;
2 pm FUMC Dulcet Singers
3 pm Chuck Saint and Friends
i) Alliance Française Stage, sponsored by the Luckman Fine Arts Complex and the Consulate General of France, 34 E Union St; active 4-9 pm;
4 pm The Four Fathers
5 pm Salt Petal
6 pm Penelope Fortier
7 pm Nick Ariondo
8 pm Paris loves LA
j) The Church of Scientology of Pasadena, 35 S Raymond Av; active 5-6 pm;
5 pm Shelby, Tieg & Tara
k) One Colorado Emerging Artists Stage, 41 Hugus Alley; active 1-11 pm;
8 pm Jenny O
l) Lineage Performing Arts Center, 89 S Fair Oaks Av; active 8-10 pm;
8 & 9 pm Michelle Macedo
8:30 & 9:30 pm Michelle Bloom
m) T.Boyle's Tavern, 37 N Catalina Av, Pasadena 91106; active 9 pm-Midnight;
9 pm I See Hawks In L.A. (one of L.A.'s absolute best roots bands)
n) Pop Champagne & Dessert Bar, 33 E Union St; active 7-10 pm;
9 pm The Driftwood Singers
o) You can enjoy some classical music and support the kids in music at this one:
Classical Music on the Steps of City Hall, presented by Saturday Conservatory of Music, 100 N Garfield Av; active 11 am-1 pm;
11 am Youth & Junior Choirs
11:15 am Youth Symphony West
11:30 am Brass Ensemble
11:45 am "10:30 Orchestra"
Noon String Quartet
12:15 pm New Age Orchestras
12:30 pm "8:30 Orchestra"
12:45 pm "9:30 Orchestra"
Our # 8 Story
70 FREE SUMMER CONCERTS COMING TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY
From July through October, sounds ranging from contemporary Zydeco and all-girl classic rock to Balinese gamelan and Latin jazz will echo in many outdoor, and a fdew indoor, venues this summer, in all corners of far-flung Los Angeles County. Seventy free concerts are scheduled in parks, plazas, libraries and arts centers. A complete schedule is available online, though the site is awkward to navigate; it's www.lacountyarts.org and you'll need to click on “Free Concerts in Public Sites.”
Since its inception in 1947, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission has sponsored free concerts at community venues to provide access to quality music programming that not only entertains and introduces music not heard there otherwise, but the goal has been to bring music that represents the diversity of the County's residents. Each of the five County Supervisorial offices funds the concerts in its district.
A cross-genre sampling of these free concerts includes:
The tropical dance beat “salsa romantica” from La Palabra at San Angelo Park in La Puente, July 1.
Jazz by the Cal Bennett Band at La Crescenta’s Two Strike Park, July 23.
American Roots music from I See Hawks in L.A. (a Guide favorite) in Whittier’s Central Park, July 28.
Pop nostalgia from The Hodads in Culver City’s Veterans Park ,August 27.
Brazilian sounds of Aloe Blacc on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, September 25.
The artists who perform at Free Concerts in Public Sites are chosen by the concert presenters from the Arts Commission’s Musicians Roster. (See the next feature story).
Additional entertainment options can be found on the L.A. region's leading cultural web portal. Consult the Arts Commission-sponsored Calendar on www.ExperienceLA.com. The calendar is searchable by several criteria – including "free" – and it provides links to transportation information.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, under the leadership of 2011-12 President Ollie Blanning and Executive Director Laura Zucker, provides cultural services in all artistic disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to the Free Concerts in Public Sites program and support of the L.A. County Cultural Calendar on ExperienceLA.com, the Arts Commission oversees the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects; programs the John Anson Ford Theatres; funds the largest arts internship program in the country in conjunction with the Getty Foundation; provides leadership and staffing to support the regional blueprint for arts education, Arts for All, which was profiled in The Guide edition of June 3. (Arts for All administers a grants program that funds more than 300 nonprofit arts organizations annually.)T In addition, the Arts Commission produces the L.A. County Holiday Celebration in the Music Center each December, for a live and TV audience.
Our # 9 Story
YOUR BAND BASED IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY? GET REGISTERED, GET GIGS
The artists who perform at “Free Concerts in Public Sites” series, throughout Los Angeles County, are chosen by the concert presenters from the L.A. County Arts Commission’s Musicians Roster. (This summer's series is described in the preceding feature.)
The roster features more than 180 L.A. County-based groups representing a range of musical styles. This online directory is accessible to the general public and has just been updated to include 23 groups new to the roster.
Go to www.lacountyarts.org and click on “Musicians Roster.”
The roster is searchable by key word, name of artist, and by music style. Artists included are chosen by a panel of experienced and respected music professionals based on artistic excellence, cultural diversity and the ability to work cooperatively with other organizations as representatives of the Free Concerts program.
Instructions are on the site to apply to get your L.A. County-based band listed. Get listed, then get on their mailing list to receive word of opportunities for paid gigs in publicly-owned venues, throughout the year.
Additional options can be found on the L.A. region's leading cultural web portal, the Arts Commission-sponsored calendar at www.ExperienceLA.com. The calendar is searchable by several criteria – including “free.”
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 (last 30 days) are archived and easy to find.
June 3 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) A Folk Legend's Final West Coast Tour Hits Caltech June 4th
2) GRAMMY, Oscar, Emmy Winners / Nominees, & Gold Records: Acclaim for
“How To Work The Media” Seminar, and a Final Chance to Attend In L.A., June 7th
3) June's Festivals Begin this Weekend
4) One to Emulate? L.A.'S “Arts for All” Wins $80,000 Endowment
5) “Pirate Musician” James Potkey's Memorial is June 4th
6) June Concerts Feature Superb Double Bills
May 27th edition is available at
and the stories are:
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
May 20th 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
3) “HERITAGE MUSEUM MUSIC FESTIVAL,” Sunday in O.C.
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
May 12th edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) 51st Annual “TOPANGA BANJO FIDDLE CONTEST & FOLK FESTIVAL” – and
The Guide is a Sponsor
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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