Thursday, July 28, 2011
Acoustic Americana Music Guide NEWS FEATURES, July 28 edition
The latest News is right here. PLUS, remember to check out the Guide's SHOW-OF-THE-WEEK picks, AND the full abundance of acoustic music doins' – all in The Guide’s SPOTLIGHT EVENTS at
Welcome to the
Tied to the Tracks
July 28, 2011 edition
THIS WEEK’S NEWS FEATURES
1) Record Number of Reader Comments for Guide Story:
The Debt Limit & Budget Battle: Politicians Playing with Dynamite –
Is the Future of Arts Funding Gone in America?
2) Annual “LONG BEACH CRAWFISH FESTIVAL” Brings Lou'siana Music, Food, Dance,
3) Annual “BIG BEAR MUSIC FESTIVAL” returns this Saturday Afternoon / Evening
4) Annual “TOPANGA FILM FESTIVAL” Brings Free Music, Friday through Sunday
5) JOHN FOGERTY's New Keyboard Player is Guide Fave BOB MALONE
6) Supergods: How Comicon Meets Heroes from History
7) We Spoke too Soon: Bye Bye Open Borders, too –
Venue's Last Show Is Sunday
8) In Memorium: JOEL OKIDA, Music Journalist Extraordinaire
9) BERKLEY HART Play their L.A. CD Release Show Saturday Night, July 30
Here are these news feature stories...
Our # 1 Story
RECORD NUMBER OF READER COMMENTS FOR GUIDE STORY:
THE DEBT LIMIT & BUDGET BATTLE: POLITICIANS PLAYING WITH DYNAMITE –
IS THE FUTURE OF ARTS FUNDING GONE IN AMERICA?
You've sent us a RECORD NUMBER of comments since it was published on July 19.
Now, FolkWorks magazine has re-published it, as the longest single feature in the magazine's history. You can read all the comments (and add yours!) It's all there, with the original story, at
What's it about?
First, it shows that the Debt Limit and the Budget are two different things and one should not be used to hold then other hostage, because the long-term (permanent) consequences are too dire. Then, in a call to action for artists, the editor debunks the current fight over the Debt Limit and gets into what's really at stake – whether this one, current, moment will change us and our priorities forever. He digs into the future of public-sector support for accessible arts and arts
education. He assesses whether there will be any ability to find support for the arts again, given current politics, and what we can do to change things in our favor.
It's an in-depth piece that shows just how MANY things are connected, and how the zealots for cutting everything are gambling with our ability to be an innovative player in a globally
There's plenty of context, history and perspective – and competing visions for the future.
You'll find quotes from Thomas Friedman, Larry Summers, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Maher, Goldman Sachs, Jay Carney, Bruce Bartlett, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Abraham Lincoln, David
Ignatius, Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan, Jon Stewart, Bob Schieffer, Fareed Zakariah, George W. Bush, Robert Reich, Ezra Klein, and more.
It's quite thorough, it's about now and the future, and it's at
Need some enticing samples that set-up the major discussion? Here ya go:
“The unique and vital perspective of the artist – to hold a mirror up to society to interpret
and define and challenge and dream and design and reach for things that exceed our grasp – should bring us all a seat at the table. Instead, we get musical chairs. The rich and powerful
corporations are the ones controlling the music. Our elected representatives, rather than
getting a chair for us, are complacent (or worse) running a loud and distracting room while
more chairs are removed. Do they all hope we're too beset by political Attention Deficit
Disorder to notice? ...
“Our message to them is, let's stop the noise and hyperbole and distractions and distortions
over the Debt Ceiling and stop claiming it's something that it's not...
“All the rancor is ugly, and moreover, it's childishly annoying because it's incongruent,
unprincipled and delusional. But when is it time to fight? Has politics ever been so –
CONTRARIAN, without any legitimate regard for well-reasoned principles? Is there anything
Republicans won't fight to oppose? Is there anything this president finds worth fighting for?
Does he understand Ronald Reagan's basic popularity was based on the High Noon image of
the Hollywood gunfighter facing the bad guys, the strong and decisive character whose favorite
words were, “Well, no.” Does he understand, at all, that America wants a give-em-hell Harry
Truman, not a Harry Potter who thinks he can charm the demons with magic? Assessing this –
Intransigence vs. Obsession With Compromise – where no deal is possible would be only
political handicapping, were we not in an economic crisis reaching from the kitchen table to the
international money markets ...
“No one seems to be asking the most basic questions: if government budgets are cut and no
new revenues can be collected, is there any opportunity for comprehensive arts funding or
even enough money to sustain what little we have now? And why no new revenues? If the rich
must continue to receive massive tax breaks because they are job creators, where are the jobs? And why are big issues being held hostage by politicians on both sides before the nation's
outstanding bills are paid to prevent a default and what it would bring – higher interest rates,
and billions more from taxpayers for higher interest payments? ...
“There's an immediate need and a larger context. Politicians can't seem to separate them or
address either one effectively. And just as most of us can't imagine any future society worth
having unless it strongly supports and continuously celebrates the arts, neither could many of
us have foreseen other claustrophobic aspects of our supposedly infinitely networked times.
This was supposed to be a time of expansive opportunity. It's not, and the odds are running
against us. It is, necessarily, a call to action” ...
You can read all of it AND the many, many comments from readers (and add YOURS) – and even get inspired – at
Our # 2 Story
ANNUAL “LONG BEACH CRAWFISH FESTIVAL” BRINGS LOU'SIANA MUSIC, FOOD, DANCE, THIS WEEKEND
Yep, it was only a few weeks ago that we were at the Long Beach Bayou Fest. This one's just as much fun, and Thibodeaux and Boudreau done tell us the music's gonna be tres bonne.
There are performances Saturday by MARK ST. MARY LOUISIANA BLUES & ZYDECO BAND, ANDRE THIERRY & ZYDECO MAGIC, BLUESBOX BAYOU BAND, BENNIE & THE SWAMP GATORS, A.J. GIBBS - THE MYDECO KING, THE HIGH STEPPERS NEW ORLEANS BOOGIE BAND, plus dancing and children's activities.
Sunday brings STEP RIDEAU & THE ZYDECO OUTLAWS, LEROY THOMAS, BONNE
MUSIQUE ZYDECO, ROYALE GARDEN DIXIELAND BAND, A.J. GIBBS - THE MYDECO
KING, THE HIGH STEPPERS NEW ORLEANS BOOGIE BAND, plus more dancing and morechildren's activities.
Of course, the main course is crawfish, in quantities fit for gluttony. There's entertainment
and activities for all ages, arts and crafts booths, ribs, chicken, Jamaican, Chinese, Thai and
other international foods and desserts, and adult beverages (beer, wine, liquor drinks including
"Screaming Crawfish" and margaritas). And lots and lots of Crawfish.
More at www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com
It runs noon-10 pm both days at Rainbow Lagoon, Shoreline Village Dr, Long Beach 90802.
Our # 3 Story
ANNUAL “BIG BEAR MUSIC FESTIVAL” RETURNS THIS SATURDAY AFTERNOON /
Up in the cool San Bernardino Mountains, the Discovery Center in Fawnskin again plays
host this Saturday to a fine late afternoon / evening music festival with four splendid acts.
Taking the stage at 4 pm are CHARLIE RAY & LINDA; at 5 pm is a favorite, SLIGO RAGS;
at 6:30 pm it's SCOTT GATES & THE SALTY SUITES, who played the main stage at the 51st Annual Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest & Folk Fest earlier this year (to great acclaim); at 8 pm is the closer, BRIAN LYNN JONES & THE MISFIT COWBOYS.
THE SALTY SUITES are mandolin wunderkind SCOTT GATES, plus CHUCK HAILES,
CHELSEA WILLIAMS, & ELAINE GREGSTON, performing progressive bluegrass and roots
music with a collective edge. SLIGO RAGS returns with their award-winning Celtic folk music with a bluegrass attitude. A new hot country duo from the Victor Valley, CHARLIE RAY &
LINDA WASHINGTON, will debut this year offering their audience traditional country and
classic rock with a country twist.
It's one ticket for the whole shebang. Adults are $20; teens ages 13-18 are $10; children age 12 and under are admitted free. Dogs on a leash are welcome. Parking opens at 3 pm. The
Big Bear Discovery Center in Fawnskin is located at 40971 North Shore Drive (at Highway 38) and your GPS will show it as Big Bear 92408. There's more, including advance tix, at
Our # 4 Story
ANNUAL “TOPANGA FILM FESTIVAL” BRINGS FREE MUSIC, FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
So, it's really FOUR days of screenings, salon discussions, art installations, parties,
workshops, and MUSIC. Jewels & Johnny of the delightful acoustic band CITY FRITTER tell
us they have “put together a terrific line up of local and not so local talent on a sweet outdoor
stage” at Ribbit Tree & Plant Nursery, 301 Old Topanga Canyon Rd (at Monte Vista).
Access to the music stage is free and does not require a festival pass or ticket. And they'll
see to your needs, with a wine and beer bar, soft drinks, and gourmet food trucks offering
victuals and libations for sale.
CITY FRITTER plays Friday at 2 pm and Saturday at 3 pm. Here's the complete schedule.
Friday, July 29:
Noon-1 pm Joee Corso; 2-3 pm City Fritter; 4-5 pm Preston Smith; 6-7 pm Susan James.
Saturday, July 30:
11 am-Noon Bryan Titus; Noon-1 pm Honeyheart; 1-2 pm Tess & Maya; 2-3 pm Christopher
Hawley; 3-4 pm City Fritter; 4-5 pm The Blue Dolphins (Victoria Scott & Zachary Crocker).
Sunday, July 31:
1-2 pm Terin Ector & Friends; 2-3 pm Philip Boone; 3-4 pm Annemarie Solo; 4-5 pm I-Star.
Our # 5 Story
JOHN FOGERTY'S NEW KEYBOARD PLAYER IS GUIDE FAVE BOB MALONE
We love it that we can report this. Los Angeles based keyboardist, singer and songwriter
BOB MALONE is now playing keyboards with roots-Americana/rock legend JOHN FOGERTY.
A veteran of the main stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Blues Festival and many, many festival and major concert venue stages worldwide, Bob is a major talent and a guy who can play the keyboard or piano with lightning fast precision, superb musicality, and an inherent sense of roots jazz, blues, honky-tonk, swing, and – you name it.
Bob joined the Fogerty band just one month ago and has already played shows in Russia, Canada, and the Midwestern U.S. In addition to his new duties playing and singing with the former CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL founding frontman, Bob will be continuing his long and prosperous solo career. A new Bob Malone CD is in the works, and fall and winter Bob Malone Band tour dates are booked in the UK, Italy, Northeastern US, California, France, Germany and Switzerland. There's complete tour info, a video of Bob taking the solo on “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” at Crocus Hall in Moscow, Russia, and lots more at www.bobmalone.com.
Bob's career has been similar to other top L.A.-based musicians. He plays festivals worldwide, gets big venue bookings everywhere else, but it's tough to catch him in L.A. because he just doesn't get that many opportunities to perform here. He earned “Listener Favorite” honors on radio's “Tied to the Tracks” and he's a featured member of the stellar house band every year at Dylanfest, but his L.A. shows are rare. Of course, we'll keep you posted when you can catch him in Southern Cal. Meantime, all you venue people and other bookers, Bob is tops. To book Bob, contact Karen Grossman at KVision Entertainment, 310-613-2061 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Guide adds our congratulations on his latest achievement!
Our # 6 Story
SUPERGODS: COMICON MEETS HEROES FROM HISTORY, LESSONS FOR TODAY
Comic book writer turned book author GRANT MORRISON, a featured speaker at the recent COMICON convention in San Diego – the gathering of all-things comic book / illustrated novelettes – had a fascinating conversation with DYLAN RATTIGAN on the latter's MSNBC show Thursday. Morrison is the author of the new book, “Supergods.” The central theme in discussing the book was the values of enduring comic book heroes as coherent models for behavior by all of us. Morrison cites that as the key to understanding why comic book heroes provide the basis for blockbuster movies and endure as part of our culture.
The discussion centered on the proper and ethical use of power, not as a tool for the powerful to wield to increase their own wealth and power, but as an equalizer to be used in behalf of those who lack empowerment to help them get a break, a fair deal, a chance to better themselves.
If that sounds familiar, turns out that has been a recurring theme throughout the myths and folk tales of many cultures. Read anything by the late JOSEPH CAMPBELL, and you'll see what we mean. (Or read HOMER. How many times did the gods help Odysseus during his long quest, in return for his courage and fortitude?)
The TV discussion ranged from MALLORY's ancient portrayal of King Arthur – where you had to be pure of heart to pull the sword from the stone – to the 1938 arrival of the Superman character as a champion of the downtrodden when most of society was downtrodden. That was contrasted with the behavior of the rich corporate manipulators of our time.
It brought the editor back to a book he read earlier this summer. It's the 2006 New York Times bestseller, “Revolutionary Characters” by Pulitzer Prize winning historian GORDON S. WOOD. It's subtitled, “What Made the Founders Famous,” and therein is the key to Wood's theme.
In examining and weighing the motivations and contributions of America's key Founding Fathers, Wood cites the way each agonized over remaining “disinterested.” That word doesn't mean the same thing today. In their time, it meant that one sacrificed his own opportunity to pursue wealth and power during the time he gave his talents for the public good. When you acted as a public servant, you offered policies, programs, and legislation that would benefit the people while being careful NOT to benefit your own personal interests. (No wonder the book sold so well during the GW Bush administration.)
Back to TV. We didn't expect to hear a thesis that would cast comic book superheroes in the same light as America's pantheon of founders while tuned to a show focused on the debt / budget stalemate. But the lesson from both places and both authors is surprisingly similar.
Another example of how art, in its myriad forms – even comic books – brings valuable lessons we can cite and emulate to shape our own behavior, our motivations and aspirations, and the expectations we should have for our wannabe leaders.
Our # 7 Story
WE SPOKE TOO SOON: BYE BYE OPEN BORDERS, TOO
VENUE'S LAST SHOW IS SUNDAY
We were just getting used to the fact that their press notices were always for something wonderful. Now there's just one more chance to go there. A last tango at Open Borders happens this Sunday, July 31.
The last Open Borders show, Sunday at 7 pm, is a good one. They're going out in style. It stars I SEE HAWKS IN L.A. and AMILIA K. SPICER as shared headliners, with an opening set by DAVE MORRISON, in Marilyn Babcock's “Four Friends Acoustic Music Series.” The first 100 guests will enjoy dinner with the price of their admission; 6:30 pm dinner at “Marilyn's Famous Taco Burrito Bar,” plus a no-host bar is available. Tix (including all that for the first 100) are $15.
Last week, we celebrated the survival of the former Borders bookstore as the delightful live music venue called Open Borders, which opened in late spring in Thousand Oaks. That news was poignant, set against the sad news of the closing last week of the entire Borders Bookstore chain of 199 stores with the loss of 11,000 jobs. Borders was once a bastion of live acoustic music from coast-to-coast, and Open Borders seemed to be the sole survivor to carry that legacy.
It seems there's no silver lining after all.
Open Borders, playing on its former name and operating as an impressive concert / festival / performance venue presenting substantial folk-Americana concerts, has lasted less than three months.
Last week, it presented concerts by a pair of Grammy-winners, the PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND and the following night, THE KLEZMATICS, plus a show by MEIKO & TOM FREUND. (All were featured in the Guide's News and in our Spotlight Events section.)
Open Borders hosted a festival on June 11, the HOMAGE TO WOODY GUTHRIE with COUNTRY JOE McDONALD & RAMBLIN' JACK ELLIOTT, ROCKY NECK, and THE GET DOWN BOYS. (Featured in advance in the Guide's news.)
The kid-friendly, wheelchair accessible venue will be much missed, especially in the West Valley / inland Ventura County areas. We hardly knew ye. Details and tix for the last show and more are at www.openborders2011.com; their email is email@example.com or call them at 805-497-1018. Open Borders is located at 125 W Thousand Oaks Bl, Thousand Oaks 91360.
Our # 8 Story
IN MEMORIUM: JOEL OKIDA, MUSIC JOURNALIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
A quiet but vital presence will be absent this weekend at the annual return of the Long Beach Crawfish Festival. Just one year ago in the Guide's coverage of that event, we wrote, “As Joel Okida observes in his page-one story in the  summer print edition of FolkWorks, only in Southern California do we celebrate Mardi Gras more than once a year, and in the summer, instead of February.”
Now, the Second Line parade must march for him (July 30, just before STEP RIDEAU takes the stage at 7 pm). Joel Okida is gone, lost to a massive heart attack.
Joel was an artist, a writer, a journalist, and an astute observer who helped us all to see things at their essence or in dimensions we might have missed altogether. And he enjoyed signing his emails with playful quotes and quips, like “ 'How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.' - Emo Philips.”
Joel was a prolific writer for FolkWorks and a contributor here in the Guide. When the editor was recovering from his initial eye surgery in October 2009, Joel covered events for our readers. He wrote a pair of concert reviews for us then. One was on the all-star ensemble WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION (aka WPA) and their show at Largo in L.A., the other on BOULDER ACOUSTIC SOCIETY, that virtuosic ensemble from the Centennial State who played the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Both are still good reads that make you feel like you were there or help you remember the time you saw either of these fine bands perform.
He reviewed for us the Greek Theatre performance of “THREE GIRLS AND THEIR BUDDY, the ensemble of EMMYLOU HARRIS, SHAWN COLVIN, PATTY GRIFFIN, & BUDDY MILLER.
Joel was a consummate writer. He knew how to turn a phrase with effect and purpose.
In his review for the Guide of a 2009 all-star phenom, he wrote, “WPA, aka WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, is a superb conglomerate of ace musicians who have put together a collection of songs that are all as rich as they are varied. This band can stretch out across several genres like they are the house band for all things Americana. The musicianship is solid as a rock (and roll) and they let each other shine in both songs and solos.”
Then he got meaningfully expressive: “The core members of sibs SARA & SEAN WATKINS (of NICKEL CREEK), GLEN PHILLIPS (TOAD THE WET SPROCKET), and LUKE BULLA (LYLE LOVETT) are a quartet of solid singers who can back up the vocals with some sharp instrumentals. At the Largo show, semi-regulars GREG LEISZ (Bill Frisell, Joni Mitchell, Dave Alvin), massaged out some very spot-on lapsteel riffs, BENMONT TENCH (Tom Petty) played the hell out of the house upright piano, SEBASTIAN STEINBERG (Soul Coughing) punctuated the rhythms on bass, and local skin spanker DON HEFFINGTON, rocked each number like this could be his old band. The interplay was tight and each song was ripe with melodies juicy and soulful.”
He wrote more, but can you visualize the essence of that night? So can we.
Here are some examples from his other reviews for the Guide:
Subtitled “Getting Bolder by the Minute,” his play on words with the band's name set the stage for what followed. He wrote, “The name BOULDER ACOUSTIC SOCIETY may sound like a monthly gathering of Colorado audio engineers, but, in fact, is the moniker of four lively musicians who come together on stages across the country to entertain many a sell-out audience.” He cited them as a “multi-faceted music machine.” He detailed their charm and ability, “With a sharp jab or subtle irony, they can get you grinning broadly to any number of rollicking up tempo numbers and then cut you off at the knees with a lament like accordion / keyboard player SCOTT McCORMICK’s 'Take My Hand.' From there, they take that lump out of your throat and boost you up with an inspired gospel hymn.”
Yes, Joel always captured the feel of every note, and he reveled in it. In his full review, he covers the specific key contributions of each band member. He always did that, recognizing the reason each musician was on stage, and what they brought. From the same review:
“Not many bands can be everything to everybody, but BAS touches upon so many musical areas that if they did a show comprised of early music lullabies, bird calls of the Pacific Northwest, Paganini violin concertos and the Star Spangled Banner on ukulele, you would only be mildly surprised, but not shocked at all by how well they do it.”
Joel's output was consistently bright, punchy, and thoughtful, all at the same time. We savored what he wrote, as did many others whose concert ticket purchases followed his guidance.
He once sent us an alliterative piece he did on VAGABOND OPERA. It's vintage Joel Okida:
“As the traveling ensemble Vagabond Opera makes its way up and down the west coast, they will soon park here and bring an entertainment to our fine but fickle and financially-strapped city; an evening which promises to be filled with tongue-in-cheekiness, cheery chicanery, and perhaps a skosh of the scoundrel. Performing selections from the their last recording, ‘The Zeitgeist Beckons,’ as well as offerings from two previous CDs, the staunchly acoustic Vagabond Opera brings thrills and chills in their ‘opera in four acts, maybe even five.’ A tantalizing tango, a tarantella tarriance, a wandering waltz, and who knows, maybe even a triple-measured mazurka will be performed with full operatic interpretation and expert instrumental-attended accompaniment.”
Writing for the Guide about “THREE GIRLS AND THEIR BUDDY,” Joel expressed, “Hey, EMMY LOU is the grand dame of iconic folk/no wig country music so what's not to love?” He celebrated “Voices sparkling with varying degrees of twang and quiver, three sopranos and BUDDY MILLER's distinct and forceful delivery provided for an evening of defining Americana prose-like singing.”
Meanwhile, Joel found “... PATTY GRIFFIN to be near transcendent in her songwriting and elocution of her evening's song selection.”
You always learned when you read Joel's reviews. Sometimes, it was what he already knew:
“Admittedly, I have been a BUDDY MILLER fan for a long time, both in his smart and stylish guitar playing but also his singing and songwriting. Truly an underrated performer outside of the folk/country/roots genre where he is known and well-respected. His 'Shelter Me' and 'All My Tears' etched into the night, counterpoint to the sweet vocals of the womanly takes on tales of woe.”
Sometimes, Joel introduced us as he learned himself:
“I was not a SHAWN COLVIN fan before, not because I didn't like her music, but because I just never really got around to listening to a lot of her book although she enjoyed many a hit in the genre several years ago. She was spot on when her turn came around and no slouch on guitar either.”
(The Guide ran reviews of that show by eight different writers. Read them all at
Joel's “Three Girls” review continued, “I think the youngster in the group at 45, Griffin, would win my honors for charismatic readings of her material. 'Heavenly Day' and 'Mary' really stood out and I also liked that deadpan novelty tune, which for lack of not knowing the unrecorded title, must be something like, 'It's a Dud' (one of the two 'love' songs that she's ever written, according to her).”
When you read that, you know what to look for when you see her perform. That's what Joel gave us, every time he wrote for the folk-Americana music community. That, and his quiet, comfortable presence that somehow was just challenging enough that you always wanted to know what he thought, and you reveled in it whether or not you agreed with him.
Joel tipped us to a show that we put in the Guide for March 10, 2008. He called SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB (playing that night at Safari Sam's in L.A.) “Colorado psychobilly gospel sweathogs.”
Joel Okida gave you enough detail to build your own cognitive framework, whether or not you were there, but never so much minutiae that it became esoteric or limited to those who saw the show.
As a prominent member of a multifaceted community of always-struggling writers with rich resumes, Joel could speak in many of the same subtleties of nomenclature and tech jargon with us, exploring still more aspects of how everything is connected to everything else. It was always fun to talk shop about any of many shops with Joel.
The Guide's editor remembers Joel riding to the rescue when an overdue CD review ran up against recovery from one of the editor's several eye surgeries and its prohibition of computer use. A phone call to Joel, and FolkWorks got the review on time – Joel's review – to the benefit of the very deserving roots-jazz-Americana artist LAWRENCE (“Don't Call Her Larry”) LEBO. Yep, Joel was a good guy.
And he was an unassuming guy. Despite being an influential writer, and one with a devoted following, Joel rarely sought media privileges. He won tickets from the Guide to see CHRIS HILLMAN at the Grammy Museum, competing just like our other readers, rather than asking if we had a ticket for him. When the editor hosted the annual Cowboy Christmas Concert in the Autry Museum's Wells Fargo Theatre, Joel was humbled that we put him on the guest list. Joel's unassuming humility often limited how many shows he could afford to attend, and once we discerned that, we always made it a priority to get him tickets when we hoped he might write for us.
Joel loved the more kinetic forms of folk dance, especially Cajun / zydeco dance. He journeyed to Louisiana for immersion when he could, and he was a reliable presence on the local dance scene where he was universally known and loved. It was while taking part in a dance that he was stricken with the massive heart attack from which he never recovered before dying three days later.
After years of caring for sick and aging parents who finally passed, Joel was just beginning to enjoy a new found freedom and planning more ambitious travels. He had a long hit list of festivals before him, across many states. We will surely catch ourselves looking for him at old haunts and new ones for a long time to come.
We will miss our conversations with Joel most of all. Always quick on his feet, things he said nonetheless sounded thoughtful and reflective. That's rare and notable. It came with a humor that was deadpan dry and witty and occasioned brow-raising hilarity. The guy was wise, and anyone aspiring to wisdom wanted him around. We miss him. A lot.
You can read a compilation of Joel's reviews for The Guide at
In addition, FolkWorks has a tribute and links to his many features and reviews that graced their pages, both paper and cyber. That's available on page one at www.folkworks.org.
There is a memorial service for Joel Okida on August 7, from 3-8 pm. Here are the details:
“IN LOVING MEMORY OF JOEL OKIDA,” a gathering in memory of our friend. (Open invitation to everyone who knew Joel.) Includes an opportunity for those who would like to share their thoughts and for those who would like to play music in tribute to Joel, so bring your instruments. Hosts are asking for those who have an art piece made my Joel to bring it for a group installation and appreciation of his work. They say, “We think he'd have liked that.”
This is a potluck, so all food / drink contributions are greatly appreciated. It's at Warren & Wendy's, 1001 N. Cedar Street, Glendale 91207. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org; Warren's phones, 818-548-4566 or 818-219-3346; Wendy's phone, 818-246-2124. They need help setting up on Friday, August 5; Warren has a WICKED TINKERS show on Saturday (in Ojai, in the Spotlight Events section) and will be out of town, hence the Friday set-up. Please call or email the hosts if you can be there Friday to help for Sunday's event.
Our # 9 Story
BERKLEY HART PLAY THEIR L.A. CD RELEASE SHOW SATURDAY NIGHT, JULY 30
That fabulous San Diego-based acoustic duo BERKLEY HART (JEFF BERKLEY & CALMAN HART) are releasing their 6th studio album, “Crow,” with a show at the Coffee
Gallery Backstage in Altadena this Saturday evening.
Not to be confused with the Grammy-winning STEVE MARTIN album, “The Crow,” the new BERKLEY HART CD, “Crow,” has already been nominated in the “Best Americana Album”
category for this year's San Diego Music Awards.
The promo is clever, saying, “In some cultures, the crow symbolizes despair and darkness, while in others it is a harbinger of hope and light. This contrast fits the yin and yang of the
songs on 'Crow,' both musically and lyrically, and thus inspired the title.”
Among other songs, listeners will find the playfully dark cover, “Little Boxes,” as well as the moody “Barn Sour Horses,” which serves as a sequel of sorts to some of the characters you’ve already met in previous Berkley Hart songs. Longtime fans acclaim Berkley Hart at their best
on this album, while new listeners understand why this incredible duo is so admired.
How's this for a venue-supplied testimonial by concert-goers: “We have seen close to one
hundred shows at The Coffee Gallery Backstage over the last few years. Berkley Hart is in our top five shows. I have never seen a group charm an audience like Jeff Berkley and Calman
Hart. Excellent musicians, original songs, mellow harmonies make them an amazing act. The
sound of the Backstage gives this great act the venue they deserve. Thanks so much for
booking them .” - Kerry and Pat Bower.
Venue impresario Bob Stane says, “Over their more than 10 years together, San Diego’s
Berkley Hart have proven time and again they are worth the price of admission or the cost of a CD.” Go to www.berkleyhart.com for more.
Bob Stane calls them “A big winner.” We heartily concur. The show is Saturday, July 30,
7 pm, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena; more info at www.coffeegallery.com; reservations are highly recommended at 626-798-6236.Tix, $20.
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.
July 19 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) Is the Future of Arts Funding Gone in America?
(a major, in-depth feature, with analysis beyond Washington's maddening politics that
debunks the Debt Limit, spending cuts and budget battles)
2) KCSN Cancels “TWANG;” Nic Harcourt Gets Time Slot for New Non-Folk-Friendly
3) RIDERS IN THE SKY to Play “DAY OF THE COWBOY & COWGIRL” FESTIVAL
at the Autry this Saturday
4) July 23 & 24 Weekend: More Festivals, Concerts, Tough Choices
5) Bye Bye Borders – Except One
6) Full Evenings of Quality Music Programs, New on Fridays on L.A. TV
7) THE SYNCOPATHS Play a Pair of Events at Caltech this Weekend
8) MOLLY’S REVENGE to Play Culver City's free SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL, July 28
9) Annual “LONG BEACH CRAWFISH FESTIVAL” Arrives July 30 & 31
10) Inaugural VENTURA FOLK FESTIVAL Brings Stars in August
July 11 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) Silent Movie Classics with Live Music, Just Five Bucks, Monday, July 11
2) Dulcimers, Anyone?
3) Texas Music Star CAROLYN MARTIN in Town for Thursday Show
4) FUR DIXON & STEVE WERNER's CD Release Show is Friday at McCabe's
5) Boulevard Music Summer Festival, Free, Sunday, July 17
6) Pershing Square Summer Lunchtime Concert Series Starts Wednesday
7) Camarillo Café Concert Series Brings Fine Music to Ventura County
8) July 23 & 24 Weekend: Festivals, Concerts, Tough Choices
9) Skirball's Sunset Concert Series for 2011 – What Happened?
10) Good Music Films in Skirball's Summer Offerings
11) Artist's Suicide Brings Thoughts that May Prevent Another Tragedy
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