Friday, September 23, 2011
NEWS FEATURES, Acoustic Americana Music Guide, September 23 edition
TONIGHT, Wednesday, the 28th, there are two fine events: The BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA plus SARA & SEAN WATKINS (FROM NICKEL CREEK) do a performance-interview session at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A.; and JESSICA RIVERA performs “SONGS FROM MY SOUL” at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena.
Yikes! We missed one! The ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL, subtitled “A Community in Concert,” is Sunday, September 25, from 10 am-6 pm in Venice (the California one, not the Italian one). Music includes Cajun-zydeco Grammy nominees LISA HALEY & THE ZYDEKATS (3:30 pm, Kidsquad Stage) and a hodge-podge of world music and alt rock all day. The event website omits a LOT of the music, but seems to include the armada of food trucks – www.abbotkinney.org.
PARKING TIP: Park at Venice High (13000 Venice Blvd)- $5 donation to the school’s booster club is suggested & take free shuttle.
Welcome to the latest edition of The Guide's NEWS section.
If you're looking for the section with all the EVENTS – concerts, club gigs, workshops, festivals, etc., you'll find that in The Guide's SPOTLIGHT EVENTS section – it's a click away at
Here's the latest NEWS, so let's get started!
Welcome to the
Tied to the Tracks
September 23, 2011 edition
THIS WEEK’S NEWS FEATURES
1) 17th annual “HARVEST FESTIVAL OF DULCIMERS” this Saturday in Culver City
2) All-Star Lineup for “BLUEGRASS CONCERT AT THE FORD,” September 25
3) This Weekend's Festival Scene Brings a Hodge-Podge of Music – Catch
THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, DAVID LINDLEY, FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, more
4) Cajun Music from Grammy Nominee Headlines “CASTAIC DAYS FESTIVAL,” Saturday
5) “AMERICANAFEST,” Oct 12-15, is "Nashville's Best Music Festival" says Southern Living
6) Arts Commission Workshops Start September 26
7) Pasadena's Boston Court Announces Fall Music Series
8) SEPTEMBER's Best Remnants – A Quick Roundup – Newly Updated
9) OCTOBER - First Look at an Acoustic Rocktober's Impending Events
Here are this week's news feature stories, listed above...
Our # 1 Story
17th ANNUAL “HARVEST FESTIVAL OF DULCIMERS” THIS SATURDAY IN CULVER CITY
There are two wholly unrelated instruments both called “dulcimer.” One is easier to carry than a guitar, has only three or four strings, and is played with a pick or fingerstyle. The other is as portable as a baby grand piano, has more strings than we can count, and is played with bent sticks called hammers. Both will be gathered in profusion at Saturday's all-day festival, which runs 9 am-8 pm.
Now, because this is at a church, don't think that it's just a big concert in one space. Not so. It makes use of the church's entire campus, with lots of well-lighted indoor and shady outdoor spaces.
Better than that, this festival is lots of things. It includes workshops, teaching, a chance to get your hands on instruments, concerts by top players, and jamming – and they'll let you jam with them on your acoustic string instrument of whatever kind, so bring it.
Fiddles and guitars just sound better when they're combined with dulcimers. Both kinds of dulcimers, in fact. If you don't know that, go and listen. Or go and jam and see how much fun it is to put your stringed thing in the mix. You'll probably take home a beginner dulcimer – the instrument, not the player (don't get your hopes up), and the instrument being one of the three-or-four-string “lap” or “mountain” fretted kind, not the brobdignagian you-need-a-U-Haul kind.
Sponsors tell us, “We even have a couple of loaner instruments if you want to try before investing in an instrument. And there will be other instrument workshops as well, including: *Ukulele* *Tin Whistle* *Guitar* *Irish Piano* and *Bodhran*
Okay, so not all hammered dulcimers are like Hannibal and the elephants crossing the Alps. Some are no bigger than a large autoharp. But they all sound sooo resonantly sweet and melodious. We still remember the first time we heard a hammered dulcimer, at a Renaissance Faire, accompanied by a lute, playing “Wee MacGregor's Highland Patrol.” First time we'd ever heard that splendid tune, too. Memorable enough that, during a flirtation with big band music a few years later, we found an old recording of the tune by the Benny Goodman Orchestra and dropped everything to listen to it. Grand as that was, the memory of it on that hammered dulcimer is still the one that plays in the listening room of the mind.
Dulcimer people would understand. Go. You'll find they're a friendly bunch. They gon't have any strange complexes. They've never been banished like the accordion and banjo people, so they won't be suspicious of you and your six-string or your shamisen.
Hard to believe this annual gathering has persisted for so many years. This is the 17th annual festival, though only the third or so at this site. It's a good one. Go. It's at Culver Palms United Methodist Church; 4464 Sepulveda Bl; Culver City; info, www.scdh.org.
While the festival is only on Saturday, there is more on Sunday, September 25. Special classes will be offered in hammered dulcimer by festival headliner JODY MARSHALL at the Island Bazaar store in Huntington Beach, 11 am-3 pm; and in fretted dulcimer by fellow festival headliner BING FUTCH at a private home in Garden Grove. After those workshops, they'll gather at Island Bazaar for another concert, 4:30-6:30 pm, by these wonderful artists and teachers, and Jody will be joined on stage by local roots band LOONEY'S FORTUNE (PATTI AMELOTTE, GEORGIANA HENNESSY & MATT TONGE). That's at Island Bazaar, 16582 Gothard St, Suite R (East side of st, between Warner & Heil), Huntington Beach 92647; info and tix, www.ukuleleparadise.com
Our # 2 Story
ALL-STAR LINEUP FOR “BLUEGRASS CONCERT AT THE FORD,” SEPTEMBER 25
After taking a year off, the Bluegrass Association of Southern California is back with their annual outdoor extravaganza at the lovely Ford Amphitheatre. The double-bill headlines MICHAEL CLEVELAND & FLAMEKEEPER, a great bluegrass band from Back East, plus local stars LOAFER'S GLORY, on Sunday, September 25, at 7 pm.
TOM SAUBER, virtuoso mandolin and fiddle player with Southern California's own all-star LOAFER'S GLORY observes, “The Ford is a great place to see and hear music.” He keeps company with a group that's anything but loafers. His band mates are HERB PEDERSEN on guitar, BILL BRYSON on bass, and PATRICK SAUBER on banjo & mandolin.
MICHAEL CLEVELAND is “one of the greatest improvising violin players in any style,” observes Matt Glaser, Berklee College of Music. It's a treat to have him and his band on the left coast.
As for LOAFER'S GLORY? Caltech Folk Music Society series producers Rex Meyreis and Nick Smith say, “You really owe it to yourself to hear the harmony singing of this quartet. You'll find that you certainly don't have to be from Kentucky or Tennessee to capture the soul of bluegrass.”
The Pasadena Star News' ran a fine story on them before their August show at Caltech. It's available at www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_18619005.
Our Americana readers will especially appreciate one aspect of the Star News article. Band member BILL BRYSON points out that there is little in common between bluegrass and modern day country music.
Catch one of LOAFER'S GLORY's gospel numbers, “If I Be Lifted Up” on Youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9CAntPq9fg. For another take, try “Lazy John” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrwv8nkkSN4.
LOAFER'S GLORY's website is part of the site of one of their illustrious band members, at www.herbpedersen.com/loafersglory.
Now, a note on the very special venue. It's our favorite of the many outdoor music venues in Los Angeles. Box dinner orders are available for some shows at 310-652-3797. Or come early and bring your own picnic and beverage of your choice (wine and beer are welcome). Either way, you can feast at the Ford's tables and chairs in the “leafy entryway” by the waterfalls (the grounds open two hours before showtime, for picnicking). Snack bar food & drink are available on-site, though they always run out of hot cocoa when it’s chilly, and they prepare limited quantities of the high-end offerings.
The venue is the Ford Amphitheatre (aka John Anson Ford Amphitheatre), 2580 Cahuenga Bl East, Hollywood 90068; 323-GO1-FORD (323-461-3673); www.FordTheatres.org. Tix are available at the venue's site, or at any BASC event before the big show.
Our # 3 Story
THIS WEEKEND'S FESTIVAL SCENE BRINGS A HODGE-PODGE OF MUSIC – CATCH THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, DAVID LINDLEY, FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, MORE
In addition to Saturday's Dulcimer Festival, there's plenty more happening outdoors. This weekend's annual “CASTAIC DAYS” includes lots of music of all kinds, with a 7 pm Saturday headliner set by Grammy nominees LISA HALEY & THE ZYDECATS (see separate feature story); at Castaic Lake.
Otherwise, go north. Ventura County has THREE music festivals this weekend...
On Saturday, there's the annual “CAMARILLO ART & JAZZ FESTIVAL” (eclectic enough to attract people beyond the hardcore jazz types) – it's a free daytime and ticketed mid-afternoon-to-evening event, free during the day (beginning at 10 am) in Old Town Camarillo (along Ventura Bl). Nearby, with tickets required (beginning at 2 pm), it's also at Pleasant Valley Outdoor Performance Center, 2222 E Ventura Bl, Camarillo. Info, www.camarilloartandjazz.com
Despite the “Jazz” title, this will interest a broader audience. There's entertainment on three stages during the day – Dizdar Park Stage, Palm Street Stage, and Fir Street Stage. That includes a battle of the bands (Dizdar Park Stage). The ticketed evening show features jazz, plus BLUE MOON SWAMP BAND (CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL tribute band). Evening tix, $25, daytime free.
Saturday – and especially Sunday – is the “SIMI VALLEY FAIR & MUSIC FESTIVAL” at Rancho Simi Park, 1765 Royal Av (at Eminger), Simi Valley. Event info, www.simivalleydays.org or call 805-338-5582.
Live music here really is a hodge-podge – until SUNDAY – which brings the event's “COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL” with THE SIDESHOW PREACHERS at 2 pm, VON COTTON at 3:35, LARRY BAGBY BAND OF BROTHERS at 5:10, and JUST DAVE BAND at 6:45 pm. It's all part of a big end-of-summer country fair that includes a car show, a parade on the 24th, a 5 & 10 K run, and girls' softball tournament. It began Wednesday and ends Sunday, and it's all a benefit for local nonprofits (Simi is good at that, as we know from their annual Simi Cajun Creole Festival, every spring).
Ventura County's third music festival is Sunday-only, and starts at 1 pm. The “VENTURA HILLSIDES MUSIC FESTIVAL” brings THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, DAVID LINDLEY, FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, & CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, at Arroyo Verde Park, Ventura. It's a benefit for the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy. Info and tix, www.venturahillsides.org.
If you'll be in Northern Cal this weekend, there's a September 24 & 25 festival in Sacramento that looks like fun: the annual “SEAFARER'S MARKETPLACE & PIRATE FESTIVAL” brings Cajun-zydeco music and dance, and seafaring and pirate music. (See our Spotlight Events section.)
Our # 4 Story
CAJUN MUSIC FROM GRAMMY NOMINEE HEADLINES “CASTAIC DAYS” FESTIVAL, SATURDAY
This weekend's annual “CASTAIC DAYS” includes lots of music of all kinds, but a “must-see” is the 7 pm Saturday headliner set by Grammy nominees LISA HALEY & THE ZYDECATS. They are marvelous, and fiddle wizard / vocalist Lisa is a world-class talent with a splendid and powerfully joyous voice. They've recently returned from a world tour that included the South Pacific Music Festival on Borneo (no kidding!), and a bunch of dates in Europe.
In addition to live performances and recordings, they have collaborated on major motion pictures, including "Where the Red Fern Grows," “The Muppet Movie,” “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and "Man in the Moon." They play authentic, high-energy Americana / Louisiana / Cajun / Folk music that is fun to sing along. It's an infectious repertoire, ranging from contemporary Louisiana music (one of the few genres of pop that's still good) to 120-year-old traditional Cajun and zydeco songs, and they blend education with rollicking entertainment, teaching all ages about the rich history of Louisiana/Americana migration.
The band brings the talents of three women and two guys, with “Accordion Diva” GIGI RABE, CHUCK ALVAREZ on guitars, ANDY ANDERS on bass, fine drummer MARIA MARTINEZ, and band leader / fiddler / vocalist LISA HALEY. Catch Lisa talking about / playing Cajun & zydeco music at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbYuHlI2xxA.
The festival is outdoors at Castaic Lake, the big recreation-friendly reservoir just a short ways up I-5 north of Santa Clarita. It's at 32132 Castaic Lake Dr, Castaic 91384; or just look for the off ramp; event info, 661-257-4050 or www.castaicdays.com
Our # 5 Story
AMERICANAFEST, OCT 12-15, IS "NASHVILLE'S BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL" SAYS SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE
One can hope it's a harbinger of things to come when the iconic “Southern Living” magazine picks the key Americana music festival as “Nashville's Best.” Given Nashville's exclusive devotion to “red-state-trailer-park-rock / dysfunctional-relationship / pop-country,” the magazine's recognition feels a bit like being named the best Italian restaurant in Beijing.
Nevertheless, registrations, tickets and wristbands are said to be “going fast” for Americanafest, where the headliners include LUCINDA WILLIAMS, PETER ROWAN, NANCI GRIFFITH, JAMES MCMURTRY, and the BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA.
You may still be able to capture tickets for something at www.americanamusic.org .
Otherwise, we'll try to give you the picture here. Lost Highway Recording Artist and Americana trailblazer LUCINDA WILLIAMS will take part in the Americana Music Association's (AMA) Honors & Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium, Thursday, October 13, 2011. She joins a star-studded lineup that will feature legends and the next generation of Americana stars – a group that would have been called rock stars less than a decade ago, but whose music now includes mandolins, banjos, even accordions and dulcimers, and includes the likes of ROBERT PLANT and GREGG ALLMAN, along with folk-Americana artists like ELIZABETH COOK and newbies like the CIVIL WARS.
With late additions of twenty more artists to the Americanafest lineup, this year will showcase the depth and diversity of the growing Americana genre. As the AMA proclaims, “Americana Music has quietly become the fastest growing genre of music today.”
Artists who will perform during the four day event include Amanda Shires ~ Ben Sollee ~ Blind Boys of Alabama ~ Brian Wright ~ Brigitte DeMeyer ~ Chris Altmann ~ Deadman ~ Muscle Shoals Tribute ~The Deep Dark Woods ~ Eric Brace & Peter Cooper ~ Farewell Milwaukee ~ Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen ~ Hayes Carll ~ Henry Wagons ~ James McMurtry ~ Meg Hutchinson ~ Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore ~ Nanci Griffith ~ Orbo & The Longshots ~ Packway Handle Band ~ Peter Rowan~ Romantica~ Ryan Tanner ~ Sam Llanas ~ Scott Miller & Mic Harrison of the V-roys ~ Sierra Hull & Highway 111 ~ Tara Nevins ~ The Milk Carton Kids ~ The 1861 Project ~ Tom T Hall Tribute ~ The Wilders~ The Wiyos ~ The Wronglers with Jimmie Dale Gilmore ~ Amy LaVere ~ Black Lillies ~ Blackie and the Rodeo Kings ~ The Bottle Rockets ~ Carrie Rodriguez ~ Catherine Britt ~ The Civil Wars ~ Connie Smith ~ The David Mayfield Parade ~ David Wax Museum ~ The Dirt Daubers ~Elephant Revival ~ Elizabeth Cook ~ The Farewell Drifters ~ Foster & Lloyd~ The Gourds ~ Grayson Capps ~ The Greencards ~ Gurf Morlix ~ Hymn for Her ~ Ian McLagan ~ The Jayhawks ~ JD Souther ~ John Oates ~ Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison ~ Kenny Vaughan ~ Lake Street Dive ~ Lera Lynn~ Malcolm Holcombe~ Marshall Chapman ~ Marty Stuart ~ Matraca Berg ~ New Country Rehab ~North Mississippi Allstars ~ Patrick Sweany ~ Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three ~ Tim Easton ~ Tommy Womack & the Rush to Judgment ~ The Vespers ~ Will Hoge~ Will Kimbrough ~ and more are being announced.
Festival wristbands are good for all four nights at five of “Nashville's hippest venues” where the showcases happen. Wristbands are $50.
That's a great deal. Still, it's all starting to feel very “music business-y” and a whole less homegrown indie. Not that we're complaining. We can't wait for the day when you have your choice of L.A. radio stations playing folk-Americana programming. But what leads us to thinking it's becoming big business is two things: one, the fact that an iconic Southern magazine calls this event “Nashville's Best Music Festival,” and two, the quote from Americanafest's sponsors: “If you are interested in the business of music, the Americana Conference is a must attend event!” Yep, Conference, not just festival, and “Full Festival and Conference Registrations get you in to all day and night time events including a ticket to our critically acclaimed Honors & Awards show Thursday October 13th at the historically cool Ryman Auditorium.”
Whatever works, for fans and artists and recordings and live shows and festival bookings and doin' the Lord's work for folk-Americana music. We've gotta say, more money in the hands of the artists is good all around. It's not just the obvious, that the recordings are far better and the tours better planned with the artists on time for sound checks and interviews. It's also a lot easier working with experienced publicists who know what to do, than to try to work with talented but fumbling, clueless artists who waste opportunities trying to get media attention.
More on the event and the sponsoring organization, the Americana Music Association (which is headquartered in Nashville) at www.americanamusic.org or 615-386-6936.
Our # 6 Story
ARTS COMMISSION WORKSHOPS START SEPTEMBER 26
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission offers a number of grants and structures workshops for artists, arts professionals and organizations to help applicants apply and succeed. This time, they present a round of workshops on how to apply for funding through their Organizational Grant Program (OGP). But stick around. This may be worth your time.
With Laura Zucker, Executive Director, at the helm, the Arts Commission provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to its grants program, the Arts Commission provides leadership and staffing to support the regional collaboration for arts education, “Arts for All” (which we've covered in the Guide's News Features); 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; and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on ExperienceLA.com. The Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. Holiday Celebration and a year-round music program that funds more than 70 free concerts each year in public sites.
It's worth your time to learn about the Commission and how you can interact with them. You may learn how to qualify for events they book or grants they award or administer. In the current round of workshops, you can learn about the Commission's new electronic application system, how to improve your artistic samples, and how to craft more flexible guidelines for proposals. (More flexible means you can use the core product of your presentation for multiple applications in a variety of places. - Editor)
Arts organizations considering applying to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Organizational Grant Program (OGP) can learn valuable skills for producing grant proposals as well as the details of the new electronic application system at eight workshops throughout Los Angeles County between September 26 and November 9. The workshops, which are free, do NOT all have the same content! They will be held at various locations on dates extending from Downtown Los Angeles on September 26, to Pasadena on October 20, to Long Beach on November 1, to Pomona on November 5. There are additional dates and places, as well. You'll need to check the Commission's website to learn the unique content features of each date.
A new section of the workshop, “Improving Artistic Samples,” will be offered for the first time October 20 in Pasadena. Taught by marketing specialist Nancy Hytone Leb, the session will focus on high-quality artistic samples and how to connect them to your application narrative.
Other specialized sessions taught by experienced consultants include “Simple Steps to Building a Program Budget” (Boyle Heights, October 12); “Arts Education: Addressing the Visual & Performing Arts Standards in Proposals” (Watts, October 26); “Program Evaluation” (North Hollywood, October 22); and “So you want to get funded?” (Long Beach, November 1).
You can view complete details and register for a workshop at www.lacountyarts.org - click on “Grants,” then “Workshop Schedule.”
New applicants and applicants that did not receive funding the last time they applied to the Organizational Grant Program are required to attend a workshop. This series of workshops are designed to benefit L.A. County-based non-profit arts organizations of all sizes. To access the OGP guidelines and application go to www.lacountyarts.org and click on “Grants.” For more info, email email@example.com
Our # 7 Story
PASADENA'S BOSTON COURT ANNOUNCES FALL MUSIC SERIES
Fortunately for everyone, they offer music seasons in addition to their award-winning theatrical productions. The Boston Court Performing Arts Center is one of our favorite state-of-the-art performance spaces. It features two theaters, one a 99-seat equity theater with the best tech production balcony we've seen this side of a giant theater, the other a room with a reconfigurable floor and acoustics so good that no amplification is required.
They've just announced their Fall “MUSIC AT THE COURT” Season, and they're calling it their “largest and most diverse music series ever,” with fifteen music, dance, film and lecture presentations, from September 27 through November 19. We are especially happy to see JESSICA RIVERA booked for September 28; LEE HOLDRIDGE – orchestra leader for the late JOHN DENVER – in a musical event on October 16; the screening with new live score of the 1922 silent classic “Nosferatu,” on October 21; and the October 29 reenactment of the 1961 PABLO CASALS White House Concert with STEVE ERDODY & FRIENDS, as originally played for President Kennedy and an incredibly esteemed audience of arts giants of the time. It's worth looking over the whole season, because they offer specials when you buy tickets to multiple shows.
The Series Opens with “A Week of Heaven – Five Spiritual Performances,” September 27 through October 1, then continues October 15 and runs through November 19 with the kind of offerings that should always constitute anything that wants to be called eclectic and still taken seriously.
In many ways, this venue, and its guiding philosophy, are a model worth emulating. Boston Court Performing Arts Center say they are “dedicated to presenting works that are creative, bold and daring. We strive to challenge the audiences of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley with diverse programs in an intimate setting.” They are a 501c(3) nonprofit / charitable organization.
September 27, they present SOULAVIV: “JEWISH GOSPEL AND SOUL.” SoulAviv's unique and original repertoire is infused with the sounds of Motown, gospel, Memphis soul, and a particularly affinity with the great harmony groups of the '60s and '70s. “Socially conscious lyrics mix with deep spirituality; combined with jubilant celebration,” and “a little California sunshine” is “thrown in for fun.”
September 28 is JESSICA RIVERA: “SONGS FROM MY SOUL.” We've seen her perform. She's wonderful. The venue says, “With her uncommonly beautiful vocal luster and exceptional musical intelligence, the ravishing Los Angeles-based soprano has established herself as one of the premiere interpreters of 20th and 21st century music. Her deeply spiritual connection and religious convictions, along with an innate ability to communicate intense emotional expression in her voice, make her singing truly the extension of her soul.”
September 29 brings ADAAWE: “SEVEN WOMEN STRONG.” They are seven diverse women artists creating rich, organic music for the voice and drum. Boston Court says, “Through constant improvisation, they breathe new life into ancient music. An international fusion of African music and rhythms, R & B pop vocals, arresting gospel harmonies, and funky original creations.”
September 30 is THE AROHI ENSEMBLE: “SOULS ASCENDING.” The group features PAUL LIVINGSTONE on sitar, PEDRO EUSTACHE on “world winds,” ABHIJIT BANERJEE on tabla, PETER JACOBSON on cello, and DAVE LEWIS on drums, with guest vocalist from India, MAHESH KALE.
October 1 brings WAH!: “SACRED SPIRITUAL CHANTING.” They're a music legend in the yoga world, known for creating Eastern-tinged, hip music for yoga and meditation centers. Concerts include Sanskrit chanting and storytelling and songs in English, where the “atmosphere is festive and jubilant.”
October 15, OPERAWORKS brings “THE NEWEST RECITAL IN THE WORLD.” The OperaWorks ensemble will invent a custom recital right in front of your eyes, with made-to-order music, at your request. It's entirely improvised, with arias, duets, trios, and scenes with improvised accompaniment, all performed without any prepared or printed music.
October 16 is “TRACKING FILM AND TELEVISION MUSIC: AN AFTERNOON WITH LEE HOLDRIDGE & JON BURLINGAME.” World renowned author and lecturer JON BURLINGAME helps to see and hear this astonishing and precise world when he and Emmy and Grammy award winning composer LEE HOLDRIDGE (the late JOHN DENVER's orchestra leader and collaborator) discuss, from the composers perspective, music composed for the big and little screens. Live musical performances and selected clips from Mr. Holdridge’s extensive catalogue of his film and television scores are interspersed throughout this fascinating, behind the scenes look at the music behind the magic.
October 21 is “THE NEW SOUND OF SILENT FILM: CLASSIC SILENT FILM 'NOSFERATU' WITH LIVE SCORE BY BASSIST TOM PETERS.” Peters provides a newly conceived, live musical score for the classic silent film “Nosferatu.” Director F.W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu” (1922) stands as one of the most important films to come out of pre-World War II Germany. After almost 90 years, it still delivers chills.
October 22, the CALIFORNIA E.A.R. UNIT presents “Sonic Revolution.” Don't panic. They are a chamber ensemble that performs music where the ink is still wet. The core of highly acclaimed players include Vicky Ray, Eric Clark and Amy Knoles who strive to reflect Southern California’s unique cultural diversity by acting as L.A.'s new music ambassadors to the world. The evening features works penned especially for the group by Macedonian composer Darija Andovska, Portuguese composer Miguel Azguime, Berlin's Michael Maierhof, New York's Lisa Coons, Rhode Island's Todd Winkler, as well as an offering from Alan Schockley, who is currently residing in Los Angeles.
October 29, it's “THE WHITE HOUSE CONCERT WITH STEVE ERDODY & FRIENDS.” On November 24, 1961, President Kennedy revolutionized arts performances at the White House by presenting the famous but reclusive 84-year-old cellist PABLO CASALS in a recital for 150 of the world’s most famous and influential classical composers, conductors and musicians. To commemorate the anniversary of the historic occasion, Music at the Court is presenting local cello virtuoso STEPHEN ERDODY with an all star ensemble of chamber musicians in a recital replicating the original program from 50 years ago.
November 4, “OH COSMONAUT!” is presented by the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre.
November 5, VOX FEMINA presents “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL,” an inspiring evening about love and equality, as the mighty voices of Vox Femina explore the issues of equality and immigration, and their passion for fairness, proving that all men and women are created equal. The highlight of the concert will be Mark Koval’s work “We the People,” the story of the fight for marriage equality in narration and song.
November 11 is the ILIANA ROSE BAND: “HOT NIGHTS IN HAVANA!” Romantic melodies, voluptuous poetry, and pulsing rhythms of Cuban Salsa abound. Hailed as a spirited and vibrant presence on and off stage, Iliana's voice is pure, warm, sensual and beautiful, captivating audiences in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
November 12 is RICHARD PEARSON THOMAS: “SONGS FROM NEW YORK.” With “the heart and soul of the quintessential New York musician,” Thomas has received praise from the likes of Audra McDonald, Sanford Sylvan, Lauren Flanagan and Kurt Ollmann. Richard will perform an eclectic selection of his music with his brilliant TRILLIUM ENSEMBLE collaborators, California based soprano PATRICIA PRUNTY and New York based baritone BRUCE RAMEKER.
November 19, “ORPHEUS AND EURIDICE” explores what happens when Orpheus gives up his mythic lyre for a clarinet. Find out in an innovative staging of award-winning American composer RICKY IAN GORDON’s reimagining of the classic love story. Graceful and dramatic is the beloved Euridice as created by up-and-coming soprano superstar ALEXANDRA LOUTSION. World renowned pianist ALAN SMITH provides the vibrant keyboard landscape that supports the longing voice of masterful clarinetist JAMES SULLIVAN’s poignant Orpheus.
Boston Court Performing Arts Center is located at 70 N Mentor Av, Pasadena 91106. Tickets and info, including discount and bonus packages, are available at www.bostoncourt.com or 626-683-6883.
Our # 8 Story
SEPTEMBER'S BEST REMNANTS – A QUICK ROUNDUP – NEWLY UPDATED
Sure, there's a veritable cornucopia of detailed, chronological listings and write-ups in our current Spotlight Events Section, at
But, in quick form, here are our “Show-of-the-Week” highlights, through the end of the month...
FESTIVALS: They ARE happening this weekend, despite the demise of summer...
See the separate features in this edition on Saturday's 17th annual “HARVEST FESTIVAL OF DULCIMERS” in Culver City; this weekend's annual “CASTAIC DAYS” at the big reservoir just a little ways up I-5; and our feature on the rest of this weekend's festival scene with its “Hodge-Podge of Music,” including Ventura County's THREE music festivals – on Saturday, there's the annual “CAMARILLO ART & JAZZ FESTIVAL,” a free daytime and ticketed mid-afternoon-to-evening event; through the weekend is the “SIMI VALLEY FAIR & MUSIC FESTIVAL” in Simi Valley; Sunday-only is the “VENTURA HILLSIDES MUSIC FESTIVAL,” a benefit with BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, DAVID LINDLEY, FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS, & CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, at Arroyo Verde Park in Ventura.
CONCERTS: You'll find marvelous acoustic concerts, indoors and out.
OUTDOORS, there's the big annual “BLUEGRASS CONCERT AT THE FORD” (see our separate feature story) brings MICHAEL CLEVELAND & FLAMEKEEPER plus LOAFER'S GLORY to the wonderful outdoor Ford Amphitheatre. Saturday in Ventura County at 7:30 pm, the CHUMASH INTER-TRIBAL SINGERS present an evening cultural program, representing and sharing many local regional Native American Indian cultures, at Rancho Sierra Vista / Satwiwa Site in Newbury Park. (Our Spotlight Events section has directions.) In Pomona, the LOS ANGELES COUNTY FAIR – the nation's largest – has music performances of various kinds on a multiplicity of stages and various performance spaces each day, through October 2.
INDOORS, plenty is happening through the end of the month...
Tonight, FRIDAY the 23rd, brings THE BRACKEN BAND with Irish music to the Grand Annex in san Pedro, while BORDER RADIO with TOM CORBETT play the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Up in Ventura, ROD PIAZZA & THE MIGHTY FLYERS BLUES QUARTET play Yolies.
This SATURDAY brings the roughly annual offering of “POETRY GETS THE BLUES” with L.A. blues legend BERNIE PEARL at the Rumor Mill Cafe, on the border of L.A. and Culver City (spend the day at the Dulcimer Festival then go a few blocks to catch this evening event). Saturday at 3 pm, KEN O'MALLEY brings a matinee of authentic and original Irish music to the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, and JANET KLEIN & HER PARLOR BOYS are there in the evening. Plus, other evening choices on the 24th include TONY BENNETT, STEVIE WONDER, & CARRIE UNDERWOOD doing a benefit concert for “Drive to End Hunger” at Staples Center in downtown L.A. You can choose “A FAMILY EVENING OF IRISH MUSIC & DANCE” in Burbank with top local Irish artists and competitive dancers. There's a pair of Saturday house concerts, with WOMEN ON THE MOVE doing a dinner show in Sherman Oaks and “FOLK ROOTS OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC” in South Pasadena. Or choose FRANCISCO GONZALEZ's “Mexican Harp” show at the Folk Music Center in Claremont, or JENNIFER WARNES at McCabe's.
This SUNDAY brings NEREA, Canadian Folk Music Award Winner for “Young Performer of the Year,” for a matinee show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena and SIMPLY PUT for an evening show there. You can catch JIM LAUDERDALE plus PIETA BROWN at McCabe's. And the same evening at the Echo is the very last GRAND OLE ECHO for 2011, with SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS (see our separate feature story). And remember the outdoor “Bluegrass Concert at the Ford,” too (see the separate feature on that one).
In short – don't overlook the FESTIVALS and OUTDOOR EVENTS this weekend, 'cause the weather is here and we hope you are beautiful.
DURING THE WEEK:
On the 27th, EMMYLOU HARRIS with her RED DIRT BOYS, plus PATTY GRIFFIN & BUDDY MILLER, play the Greek Theatre.
Wednesday, the 28th, there are two fine events: The BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA plus SARA & SEAN WATKINS (FROM NICKEL CREEK) do a performance-interview session at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A.; and JESSICA RIVERA performs “SONGS FROM MY SOUL” at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena.
Thursday the 29th at 8 pm, “THE BYRDS & BEYOND” brings former BYRDS JOHN YORK & BILLY DARNELL, and L.A. fave CHAD WATSON, to the Coffee Gallery Backstage.
Friday the 30th, B. B. KING plus SHAWN JONES play the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, bluesman / actor HUGH LAURIE performs with RASPIN STUWART at the Mint in L.A., while OLLABELLE is at McCabe's in Santa Monica, the HOLLYWOOD BLUE FLAMES are at Yolies in Ventura, and THE AROHI ENSEMBLE presents “SOULS ASCENDING” at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. (We did a feature story on HUGH LAURIE, “Blues in House: HUGH LAURIE the Musician,” in our Sep 9 edition, Feature #5, that you can still read at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/09/acoustic-americana-music-guide-news.html)
“OOH LA L.A.,” aka the 3rd Annual “FRENCH MUSIC FESTIVAL IN LOS ANGELES,” runs September 29 through October 1 at the El Rey Theater and features an eclectic lineup of NOUVELLE VAGUE, TINARIWEN, HINDI ZAHRA, HUGH COLTMAN, DJ CAM, BIRDY NAM NAM and others. Amoeba Hollywood will present a special in-store showcase with acclaimed Touareg band TINARIWEN, performing live in the store on September 29 at 6 pm (caution – this one is an electric show).
The annual “WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL” in Ojai brings “music from all over the world” to Libbey Bowl and the Ojai Art Center, Friday-Sunday, September 30-October 2. Info, 805-646-8907.
And of course, a whole LOT more Southern Cal events are described in Spotlight Events, too!
Our # 9 Story
OCTOBER - FIRST LOOK AT AN ACOUSTIC ROCKTOBER'S IMPENDING EVENTS
Egads, before we know it, hordes of miniature humans bedecked as creatures of all persuasions will be infesting our doorsteps, begging for treats rendered poisonous by BigFood's ubiquitous infatuation with High Fructose Corn Syrup. (THAT is a scarey Halloween story. Stick to the Jack-o-Lanterns and we'll help you eat the homemade pumpkin pie.)
Fortunately, plenty of days and evenings precede Ghoulo-fructo-popalypse, and all of 'em offer chances to hear or perform acoustic music.
While we anticipate some artists' workshops that have yet to be announced, here's a quick look at some EVENTS HIGHLIGHTS in the month to come.
“UNDERWOOD FAMILY FARMS HARVEST FESTIVAL” runs weekends, Oct 1-31 in Ventura County, and includes the annual “FOLK FESTIVAL”weekend Oct 8 & 9, and the Oct 22 & 23 “WESTERN HERITAGE” weekend, all at Underwood Family Farms, 3370 Sunset Valley Rd, Moorpark. More later, or check www.underwoodfamilyfarms.com, or call them at 805-529-3690.
“BILL TAPIA, LIVE AT THE WARNER GRAND THEATRE - THE 100th BIRTHDAY CONCERT” CD Release Party is Saturday, October 1. Yep, the world's oldest professional musician, the only one living who played with JOHN PHILLIP SOUZA and with most of the Big Band legends, and who is STILL AT IT making music, is indeed releasing a new CD, recorded three years ago at his 100th Birthday concert. And, yep, he IS amazing! "If there was a Mount Rushmore for ukulele players, Bill Tapia would be on it." Reservations get directions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“MOORPARK COUNTRY DAYS” is Sat, Oct 1, 9 am-4 pm, and includes a street fair, parade, and live music. This year's theme is “Celebrate American History.” Info, 805-529-3690.
“OXNARD MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL” is Sat, Oct 1, 10 am-6 pm, with live music and vendors at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard. Info, 805-385-7434.
MARINA V plays Sat, Oct 1, at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood. She says, “My bday show with Russian chocolates! $5 suggested donation at the door goes to Cancer Research foundation.”
CATHY BARTON & DAVE PARRA do a 3 pm matinee, then there's an evening show by SIMON LYNGE at 7 pm, both on Sun, Oct 2, both HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, both at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.
BUTCH HANCOCK plays an 8 pm Monday night show, Oct 3, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.
The annual “SEASIDE HIGHLAND GAMES” are Sat & Sun, Oct 8 & 9 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura. This is a wonderful event. We ran a News Feature in the Sep 15 edition that you can read (Feature # 10) at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/09/news-features-acoustic-americana-music.html
Annual “FOLK FESTIVAL”weekend, Oct 8 & 9, part of the month-long “UNDERWOOD FAMILY FARMS HARVEST FESTIVAL” runs weekends, Oct 1-31 in Ventura County; also includes the Oct 22 & 23 “WESTERN HERITAGE” weekend, all at Underwood Family Farms, 3370 Sunset Valley Rd, Moorpark. More later, or check www.underwoodfamilyfarms.com, or call them at 805-529-3690.
TOM CORBETT, RICK SHEA and the fabulous AUDREY AULD-MEZERA, play Oct 8, 8 pm at The Fret House in Covina.
40th Annual “OLD TIME FIDDLER'S CONVENTION & FESTIVAL” is Sunday, October 9, a one-day event, 10 am-5 pm, at Rancho La Patera & Stow House, 304 N. Los Carneros Road, in Goleta 93117. It's a landmark year for a fine event that's always under-promoted. We ran a News Feature in the Sep 15 edition that you can read (Feature # 11) at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/09/news-features-acoustic-americana-music.html
Annual “WESTERN HERITAGE” weekend, Oct 22 & 23, part of the month-long “UNDERWOOD FAMILY FARMS HARVEST FESTIVAL” runs weekends, Oct 1-31 in Ventura County, at Underwood Family Farms, 3370 Sunset Valley Rd, Moorpark. More later, or check www.underwoodfamilyfarms.com, or call them at 805-529-3690.
“SAMHAIN” Irish Song, Dance & Story, with optional traditional Samhain dinner, brings the story of Halloween and a celebration of the Celtic New Year, with SLUGGER O'TOOLE, BARRY LYNCH, ACS DANCERS, ADAM KIRK, CHRIS LOKEN, AEDAN MacDONNELL, STEVE PRIBYL, & LINEA SOLEDAD, sponsored by the Celtic Arts Center at the Burbank Moose Lodge, 1901 W Burbank Bl, Burbank 91506. Two shows, 3 pm or 7 pm, tix for either are $18; 5 pm dinner tix are $15; show + dinner, $30. Tix will sell-out early; info & advance tix, www.CelticArtsCenter.com/Samhain.
MUCH more coming soon!
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 easy to find HERE:
September 15 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) Musician ALEX BEATON Paralyzed from Accident
2) Innovative Ways to Sell Your CDs
3) Stuff that Works: Musicians' Comedic Press Release of the Month
4) “MILLPOND MUSIC FESTIVAL” Brings Finale to Summer Fests, this Weekend
5) 8th Annual “CELTIC CONCERT” at the Ford Brings the Craic, this Sunday
6) Grand Ole Echo Brings “GRAMATHON” this Sunday
7) FUR & STEVE Invite You to Recording Sesh for their Live CD, this Sunday
8) All-Star Lineup for “BLUEGRASS CONCERT AT THE FORD,” September 25
9) Of Autoharps, Jobs Bills, and a Vision for Our Future (or the Lack of it)
10) “SEASIDE HIGHLAND GAMES” Coming October 8 & 9 in Ventura
11) 40th annual “OLD TIME FIDDLER'S CONVENTION & FESTIVAL” is Sunday, October 9
12) KEN GRAYDON Memorial Concert Brings Fitting Adios
13) SEPTEMBER MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS – The Guide's Quick Roundup
September 9 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) Frightful Heat Comes and Goes, but Upcoming Music is Delightful
2) Performance Workshop: Learn from Successful Indies, Saturday at the Autry
3) And Now for Something Completely Different: PHIL WARD, this Friday Night
4) “Equinox Folk Music, Dance & Storytelling Festival” is this Weekend
5) Blues in House: HUGH LAURIE the Musician
6) “Songwriter Sanctum,” Local Recurring Event, Gets Media Attention
7) “Millpond Music Festival” Brings Fine Lineup, September 16-18
8) 9-11's Legacy: The Part Played by Artists, and What's Still to be Done
August 26 edition is available at
and the stories are:
1) “Americana” Music Added to Webster's Dictionary
2) 9/11 Commemorative Project from Red House Label
3) Blues Musicians Team-Up to Play Cancer Benefit on Sunday, August 28;
Proceeds Support The City of Hope
4) “Remember The Music” Benefit will Bring Grammy Winner SHELBY LYNNE, plus
PATRICK PARK & BRIAN WRIGHT, to Fight Alzheimers, September 1
5) Saturday's “FAR-West Folk Alliance Benefit” Promises Fine Americana Artists
6) DON McLEAN & Broadway Stars Headline Saturday's “BELIEVE Only in Love”
7) Guitar Goddess VICKI GENFAN Plays Altadena, August 26
8) DAVID GRIER, IBMA Guitarist of the Year, Plays Culver City, August 26
9) “The Drop: JOHN DOE” At The Grammy Museum, August 31
10) JONATHAN McEUEN & NATHAN McEUEN Together for Two Rare Shows
11) LAUREN ADAMS Plays a Birthday Show, September 2
12) Acoustic ALARM 30th Anniversary Tour Hits L.A. September 4
13) Musical Memorial Service For KEN GRAYDON is September 4
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“It'll never sell...too many notes!” - Gene Autry
(passed along to us by Bruce Forman of COW BOP.)