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Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25th Guide: Places to Be Cool & Tuneful! ...2016

Edition 1,555.
In this edition...

★ FIRST:  The remarkable tale of this date in history...

Then, our music news and events...


(Including a SUNDAY FESTIVAL in OC!)



5)  Alvas: John York, Saturday; Fun Show Sunday

6)  San Pedro Blues Festival is Saturday, July 9


8)  Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Celebrate Historic 50th Anniversary with First Show in their Hometown in over 40 years

Let's get started!



The remarkable tale of this date in history...

History Challenges Us, Whether We Listen or Not

By Larry Wines

Just a hot Saturday with the Fourth of July not far off. Except there is a remarkable tale to this date in history, and we live with its legacy.

One hundred forty years ago, on June 25th, 1876, everything was in place for America to celebrate its 100th birthday. In just days, the Great Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia — a proto World's Fair — would mark a century since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But then something happened. And America couldn't be jubilant.

It happened two thousand mile away from the pending celebration. It happened out West. It was the September 11th of its time.

After riding all night as one prong of a US Army unit — sent to find and return Native American Indians to the Reservation on which the government had ordered them to live, that army unit found them. The hunted were native people who had, for generations, roamed freely over thousands of square miles of that very land, until only recently.

Their lives had been richly tied to pursuing buffalo, the Great American Bison that was the most important source of their culture. Now they were trying, one last time, to regain a final chance, even a small moment, of that lost life. They were camped in a wide elongation in the valley of a small river, shaded by many trees, rimmed by steep and pointed hills. It was a place the old people had camped in their youth. But never so many people together.

The commander of that army unit, upon finding his quarry, decided to act immediately rather than wait for the rest of the military force, still a couple of days away. He knew that "Indians," when confronted with a dangerous armed force, would most often melt-away into the landscape. By going in every direction, there was no one to catch. He intended to prevent that.

He divided his force. One half of his cavalry would rush to attack the widened valley from upriver, charging in noisily, as frighteningly as possible, to amplify their small numbers and disorganize the inhabitants of the encampment.

The other half, under his command, would make a looping ride screened by the hills, arriving to seal the downstream exit where the river narrowed. His remaining force, a third contingent with a pack train of tents, supplies, and ammunition, would get orders to hurry to his position as quickly as they could move.

His scouts warned him he was underestimating the situation.

The attack began. The commander and his force were on their ride behind the hills. Thus, they didn't learn what the attackers did: that the congregation of "Indians" was far larger than anyone imagined. That initial attack force, under command of a drunk who quickly became unnerved, retreated in a rout with half his force dead or wounded. His survivors would take refuge in a barely defensible hollow in the scorching dry hills above the river, where they were immediately besieged and isolated from water as the heat rose.

The commander and his cavalry, unaware of all that, raced northward behind the sharply-ridged hills. When the distance covered seemed sufficient and scouts reported a ravine on the opposite side that appeared to lead safely down to the river, he led his force up and over, down a feature we now know as Medicine Tail Coulee.

Exactly what happened next has been the subject of theory and speculation for 140 years. An archaeological investigation after a denuding grass fire a few years ago answered many questions.

Some of his cavalry, galloping down the ravine, reached the river. At least a few crossed it. Some died there. Most were sent riding back up into the hills in headlong retreat as their comrades and horses fell around them.

Most attempted to rally, as military-trained people do, on the high ground. They were just below the sharp bird-beak tops of the hills. There, they began to be overwhelmed by barrages of arrows plunging vertically down on them from beyond the tops of those sharp peaks behind them, and by charging "Indians" with repeating rifles better than theirs. Moving up on them.  Moving in on them. Only muzzle flashes visible from below the tops of the golden grass. And then visible, coming up all parts of the hills beneath them. There, the cavalrymen shot their horses to provide cover. As high up as they had been able to reach. Near the peaked tops of the steep hills. One of which would be named Last Stand Hill.

And there, Brevet General George Armstrong Custer and everyone in his command perished in combat. After seeking to attack a village of men, women, children, babies and old people, they were high above that village fighting Sioux and Lakota warriors who rushed out to protect their families, their loved ones, from mortal danger.

The remaining force at the far end of the valley of the Little Bighorn River included a Captain Weir, who attemped to lead a relief force along the hilltops to ride to Custer's aid. He failed, was driven back as Custer's fight commenced. Weir and his men lived.

The unnerved leader of that routed attack, Major Marcus Reno, would live the rest of his life in controversy. As would Captain Frederic Benteen, commander of the pack train who ignored Custer's orders, lollygaged for a precious two hours, and eventually joined Reno's besieged force where many of his men died in the siege.

Leaders of the "Indian" encampment that day included numerous Lakota and Cheyenne war chiefs. Each band had added to or reduced the number in camp as it arrived or left to hunt. The numbers there were too many to stay together for long.

The leader who had inadvertently assembled one of the largest-ever Native gatherings on the plains was Sitting Bull. He had created the white man's alarm by leading his people off the reservation to avoid starvation. And to rebuke the endless stream of broken promises from the white man's government, and the white man's army, that food and supplies would be provided in return for staying on the reservation. The reservation. What was left of it. Where there was nothing to hunt. He had been joined by many other bands, large and small, including the respected leader Crazy Horse his people.

Crazy Horse would emerge from the battle with even more renown. He would be murdered by other Lakota a few years later while attempting to surrender to enable his people to eat. Today in the Black Hills of South Dakota — once sacred to several Native American nations, going back to the Crow — a massive stone carving of Crazy Horse continues to slowly take shape. In the same Black Hills promised forevermore to the Lakota. Until the army broke the treaty and sent an expediton in. It discovered gold. It had been led by Custer. Hoards of white gold seekers descended on that "Indian" land and destroyed it for two generations.

Immediately after the victory of June 25th, Sitting Bull would lead an escape into Canada to save his people, knowing the army's wrath after the Little Bighorn would be fierce. It was, finally, in the 1890s, at the Wounded Knee Massacre. But long before that, and just a few years after the Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull was pursuaded to bring his people back into the US.

He eventually joined his friend, Buffalo Bill Cody, on tours of the "Wild West Show" to Eastern cities — including the site of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, which had, on America's 100th birthday, been not the center of celebratration, but a place of horrified sadness. Because word had arrived there just in time. Word that Custer had been "killed by Sitting Bull in a massacre with no survivors."

The Centennial celebration shattered by utter catastrophe. It hit 19th century Americans like the crashing twin towers hit people 15 years ago.

Sitting Bull lived a most remarkable life. He even met all the crown heads of Europe traveling with Buffalo Bill Cody — before he declared he wanted to go home where it was quiet.

There, he, too, was murdered by his own people. Who, as with Crazy Horse before him, were young warriors denied their traditional life and made "Indian Police" by the white man.

Today, you can go to Little Bighorn Battlefied National Monument. It used to be called "Custer Battlefield..." as if it were all about him. He isn't even there. He was re-buried at West Point over a hundred years ago.

The once-sharp birdbeak peaks of the ridgetop were chopped-off decades ago to make way for a road, so people could visit and "see what happened." But making way for them erased the barrier of terrain faced by combatants, making everything else impossible to comprehend.

I learned much of this firsthand, riding horseback, tracing the routes of both sides to and upon the battlefield. My guide and companion was the late Joe Medicine Crow. Along with his dog. He showed me the remarkable beauty of a natural place we see in a very specific and almost wholly inaccurate way.

Joe was the very last War Chief of the Crow Nation, and the last Native American war chief of any tribe. His home, all his life, was alongside the Little Bighorn River.

Not far from where Major Reno charged off cliff banks his men could not reascend in retreat. Joe and I crossed there on his horses. I wondered if he saw with more than his eyes. Thanks to him, I believe I did. There, and everyplace he took me. He died last year. And I'm sure he's still there.

The battlefield is surrounded by the Crow Reservation. The scouts of Custer's Seventh Cavalry were Crow. There's a reason. The Crow had, for millenia, called the western plains and Black Hills and Little Bighorn country home.

Until the Lakota were driven westward from the Great Lakes forests and their agricultural settlements by the ever-conquering, land-devouring white man. West, where they would adapt into the finest light cavalry in the world and become synonymous in the popular imagination as "the" Plains "Indians."

Before they lost almost everything. Everything except the pride and heritage and dignity and respect for those who survived to enable our lives, and the love for the Earth that they, and the Cheyenne, and their former Crow enemies, and so many other First Nations peoples have tenaciously held and publicly reclaimed and begun to teach to all of us.

It's been a long road from the Little Bighorn, 140 years ago today. Its legacy still challenges us.


Now, our music news and events...


# 1 news feature


The Guide named it the "The Best Intimate Acoustic Music Venue of the Decade" in greater L.A. We've written about it, quite literally thousands of times. We've written more listings with this address, website, and phone, than any other:

"... at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena; info,; reservations (10 am-10 pm, 7 days) 626-798-6236."

And now it's time to tell you that this celebrated venue needs a little help. If you go and enjoy the music being presented in benefits for the venue — two of the three concerts offered there this weekend — great! Go! If not, then think about sending them the price of a ticket, anyway. They need help to pay off debts that have threatened the life this great venue.

The venue's impresario, the inimitable Bob Stane, tells us, "(We have) unexpected, and temporary, upkeep bills. Various government agencies tapped The Coffee Gallery Backstage for some largish fines for minor, and unknown by all, sins of omission. Acts and audiences are chipping in to wipe the financial slate clean."

As Willie Nelson says, "Miracles occur in the strangest of places."

Here's what's up.

√  Sat, Jun 25, in a 2 pm matinee: "CELEBRATE THE 80th BIRTHDAY OF KRIS KRISTOFFERSON" in this "A CONCERT TO BENEFIT THE COFFEE GALLERY BACKSTAGE." Earlier this week, on June 22nd, a walking, breathing, living treasury of American song turned 80 years old. With his deep gravel voice, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON has forged a legacy of great American standards for the last 50 years. His best known and loved songs include “Me & Bobby McGee,” “Sunday Morning Come Down,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” and “For the Good Times." Through a legendary film career staring in such classics as "A Star Is Born," "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid," and "Blume in Love," he has always held strong to his role as one of America’s finest songwriters. Coming together for an afternoon of songs and stories are some of the finest singer-songwriter in the Los Angeles area. They include Chad Watson, Pam Loe, Paul Zollo, Duane Thorin, and many more to be added. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the life of a great songwriter as he takes his 80th turn around the sun — and to help this wonderful venue. Tix, $20.

√  Sat, Jun 25, 7 pm: JANET KLEIN & The PARLOR BOYS (Wow! Janet is delightful, musical and fun and WHAT A BAND!) It's "Musical Prospecting Madness with lots of Prohibition Era Naughty Fun" from these inspired entertainers, giving quality performances of 1920s and '30s music with merriment and historical illuminations. Always sells out, so hurry. The enchanting and effervescent chanteuse Janet Klein with her band The Parlor Boys entertain in a lively Speakeasy Jazz Revue style. This dapper, multi-talented troop performs scintillating early hot jazz tunes with authentic expert grace. Between songs, the band peppers the entertainment with musical and local historical folklore tidbits. Janet & Her Parlor Boys are all about sharing their loved historical discoveries and not just playing to nostalgia and quaintness. "Janet is the most refreshing anachronism to materialize from the ether of the Prohibition." "Klein is a channel to a definitive time in American music when bob hairdos were the rage and batting-eyes meant you had a live one on your hands." Not nostalgic shtick, but real obscure barrelhouse jazz, foxtrots, chansonettes, Tin Pan Alley, ragtime ditties and vaudeville from the Great Depression. She actually lives them, and transports her audiences along the way. Janet considers herself an “archeologist” for digging up buried treasures by the likes of Wilton Crawley and A.P. Randolf, Robert Cloud, Ruth Etting, Lil Armstrong, Mae West, Annette Hanshaw, Fannie Brice, Josephine Baker and so forth. Janet Klein with band The Parlor Boys feature a dapper all-star line-up: John Reynolds -banjo and guitar, Corey Gemme -cornet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet & percussion, Randy Woltz - Vibraphone, Ian Whitcomb - vocal & accordion and Marquis Howell - Stand up bass. Tix, $20.

√  Sun, Jan 26, 7 pm: "A CONCERT TO BENEFIT COFFEE GALLERY BACKSTAGE" with national headliner JAMES LEE STANLEY, plus stellar ensemble THE TALL MEN GROUP. Bob Stane says, "James Lee Stanley... will, bravely, stand by himself on the stage of The Coffee Gallery Backstage, protected only by his military grade, double walled, titanium guitar, slung low to protect vital parts," and, THE TALL MEN GROUP "who do not huddle together for protection, but form a solid wall of musical talent unafraid and formidable in their skills." (That's our Bob.) Oh, yes. Two well known, and superbly talented musical acts, famed for their outstanding songwriting and witty stage shows share the stage for an exceptional cause — helping one of their favorite venues — The Coffee Gallery Backstage.

•  JAMES LEE STANLEY has toured with everyone from Robin Williams to Stephen Stills; Steven Wright to Bonnie Raitt. One of his CDs was hailed by FI Magazine as the "Best Recording of 1998 and one of the Top 200 CDs of All Time." He plays guitar brilliantly and writes remarkable songs of depth and beauty, while retaining accessible melodies and musicality. His voice has been described as an instrument of beauty and finesse. Bob adds, "And he's a funny guy. It's truly amazing. He should be President of the World. Really." Did we say Bob? Oh. So says JAMES LEE STANLEY. And he is "cute" in his own way. President? What could he hurt? But save your vote for the least unlikeable candidate. "His comedy and songs won the hearts of the 6,000 in attendance and brought them to their feet in an ovation that brought him back for two encore numbers." — SHAMELESS PLUG MAGAZINE (which we think was a one-off published by one JLS).

•  THE TALL MEN GROUP brings together six of the finest singer/songwriters in Los Angeles. Severin Browne, Edward Tree, Jimmy "Muffin" Yessian, Marty Axelrod, Jeff Kossack and John Stowers have been meeting once a month since 2012 to enjoy Jimmy's cooking (a lot!) and bring in songs written to a new theme each month. The very best of those songs are arranged for the band, then included in the stage show. The Tall Men show is rich with brotherly rapport, crafted harmonies, stories and musicianship. But that's only the "icing". The "cake" is songwriting at a very high level -- accessible, fresh, original, often funny, always moving. Audiences from Oregon to San Diego rave that "every song is a gem". .... This is good stuff, folks, and the price and result is good for all of us. Feast on the good times...wallow in the golden glow. Tix, $20. For a good cause.


# 2 news feature

(Including a SUNDAY FESTIVAL in OC!)

From this weekend through to whenever, the Guide recommends these events. (Also see the other Feature Stories in this edition: if it got its own feature, we prob'ly didn't "double-list" it in this quick run-down of events!)


√  Sat, Jun 25: "CELEBRATE THE 80th BIRTHDAY OF KRIS KRISTOFFERSON" in this "CONCERT TO BENEFIT THE COFFEE GALLERY BACKSTAGE" at 2 pm at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena;; reservations (10 am-10 pm, 7 days) 626-798-6236.

√  Sat, Jun 25: "BASEBALL IN SONG" by ROSS ALTMAN. 2 pm at Allendale Branch Library, 1130 S Marengo Av, Pasadena 91106; 626-744-7260. The often thematically-inclined folksinger performs a program of his baseball songs in tribute to the national pastime. Sponsored by the Baseball Reliquary,

√  Sat, Jun 25: Lindsay Tomasic: 4 pm for "Full Moon Saturdays" series at Stonywood Backyard Concert Series in Pasadena. Info:

√  Sat, Jun 25: JANET KLEIN & The PARLOR BOYS, 7 pm at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena;; reservations (10 am-10 pm, 7 days) 626-798-6236.

√  Sat, Jun 25: CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO plays "AMSD Concerts." 7:30 pm in the Laura R. Charles Theater at Sweetwater High School, 2900 Highland Av, National City 91950. More,

√  Sat, Jun 25: ROCKY NECK BLUEGRASS BAND plus STRING MADNESS. 8 pm at Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City 90230; 310-398-2583;

√  Sat, Jun 25: MELANIE. SOLD-OUT. 8 pm at McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497; McCabe's says, "We are thrilled to present a sold out show with '70s songbird Melanie, who after a breakout performance at Woodstock went on to enjoy success with hits like 'Lay Down,' 'Brand New Key,' 'What Have They Done to My Song Ma,' and 'Beautiful People.' Influential to a myriad of artists from Miley Cirus to Morressey, Melanie continues to perform (albeit rarely here in California) and for those lucky enough to have gotten tickets for this, tonight promises to be a special occasion indeed!"


★★★ Annual "SUMMER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL" with LISA HALEY AND THE ZYDECATS and SALTY SUITES. Sun, Jun 26, Noon-4 pm at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W Malvern Av, Fullerton 92833. Info:!

√  Sun, Jun 26: Matinee Kids' Show series favorites The Hollow Trees. 11 am at McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497;

√  Sun, Jun 26: CLIFF LATIMER & LAURA OSBORN. Noon at Cody's Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr, Burbank 91506; 818-845-2425.

√  Sun, Jun 26: WEEFOLK ENSEMBLE. 1 pm at 1463 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga 90290.

√  Sun, Jun 26: FISH TO BIRDS, plus CATINA DELUNA, and ASHLEY MAHER, 4-6 pm, at Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro 90732; ASHLEY MAHER opens the show with guitarist Federico Ramos, followed by Brazilian born singer/pianist CATINA DELUNA, exploring music by various Brazilian composers with guitarist Roberto Montero. Catina's album was nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards (2016). Beloved a cappella vocal improv group, FISH TO BIRDS (Cathy Segal-Garcia, Emile Hassan-Dye, Adrianne Duncan, Cecily Gardner, Ashley Maher, and Mon David), closes with a frothy, thrilling, entertaining, set, creating music out of thin air. Six voices, no script.

√  Sun, Jun 26: MICHAEL McNEVIN & BOB MORLEY. 6 pm, at The Barn, 2290 S Buenos Aires Dr, Covina 91724.

√  Sun, Jun 26: "A CONCERT TO BENEFIT COFFEE GALLERY BACKSTAGE" with national headliner JAMES LEE STANLEY, plus stellar ensemble THE TALL MEN GROUP, 7 pm at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena;; reservations (10 am-10 pm, 7 days) 626-798-6236.

√  Sun, Jun 26: JILL SOBULE. 7 pm at McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497; McCabe's says, "We feature the return after too long of the utterly charming Jill Sobule,whose beguiling songs are at once deeply personal, socially conscious, and seriously funny. The Denver-born, NY-based songwriter-guitarist-singer has tackled such topics as the death penalty, anorexia, shoplifting,  reproduction, the French resistance movement, adolescence, and the Christian right. Did we mention love? Love found, love lost, love wished for, and love taken away. In the words of New York Times pop music critic Jon Pareles,'Sobule can claim her place among the stellar New York singer-songwriters of the last decade. Topical, funny and more than a little poignant... grown-up music for an adolescent age.' Often famous friends drop by to sit in, including Margaret Cho, Dan Wilson, and most recently, Weird Al Yankovic. A Jill Sobule show is always a night to remember. See you here!"

After this weekend...

√  Jun 29: CHICAGO Plus special guest Rita Wilson at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles. Get tix now.

√  Thu, Jun 30: Eric Schwartz: 8 pm at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena;

√  Jul 2: Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band at The Greek Theatre. Get tix now.

√  Sat, Jul 2, 8 pm: "THE LAST DUEL GONE DOWN," as Lorin Hart and Tom Fair bring the last of their “Dueling Dylans" shows to the Urban Homestead, 631 Cypress Av, Pasadena. Twelve classic songs apiece including a few audience sing-along Dylan favorites. Tix $20 adv, $25 door.; 626-765-5704.

√  Mon, Jul 4: 2nd Annual "July 4th Old Fashioned Barn Dance and Barbeque," 11 am-5 pm, at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N Topanga Canyon Bl, Topanga 90290 (midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura Freeway). Old-fashioned July 4th family celebration at Theatricum with a family hoe-down. Activities include live music, a barn dance, pie-eating contest, watermelon seed-spitting contest, cake walk, horseshoes, relay races, dunk bucket, family games and more. Barbeque and fixin’s, beer and wine available for purchase. Folk and country fun. Tix & info, 310-455-3723 or
• Adults 13 and up: $20 before July 3 at 5 p.m.; $22 at the door
• Kids ages 5-12: $8 before July 3 at 5 p.m., $10 at the door
• Family Pack (2 adults + 2 kids + 5 free raffle tickets): $50 by July 3 at 5 p.m. only (not available at the door)
• Ages 4 and under: Free

√  Jul 9, 8 pm: WILSON PHILLIPS, with MICHAEL ANN opening, at The Rose in Pasadena. Tix at:

√  Jul 16: "Patrick Ball's Celtic Harp" at the Pasadena Folk Music Society concert series at Caltech.

√  Jul 23, 7:30 pm: "Live The Dream Tour Gala Fundraising Concert" at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. BOB MALONE is one of the featured performers. He says, "This concert, and the tour to follow later this year, is all about raising awareness and money for music in the schools — a cause very near and dear to me." Get tix ($43-$22) at:
He's touring Italy and Switzerland this summer with his own band, and Canada as a member of John Fogerty's band.
More at
"A true virtuoso and crowd-pleaser — he showed that while he is a fantastically technically accomplished player, he fully knows the meaning of showmanship as well." — Shetland News.
"Bob Malone has brewed up a heady mixture of rock, blues and New Orleans soul over the years and 'Mojo EP' is a perfect sampler for the upcoming 'Mojo DeLuxe' album." — MUSIC RIOT UK.
"If he could find a way to throw that Steinway grand over his shoulder the way a hot dog guitar player does, I think he would." — NOLA Defender.

√   Jul 30: Bonnie Raitt at The Greek Theatre. Get tix now.

√  Aug 4: Flogging Molly plus special guests Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls and Chuck Ragan at Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles. Get tix now.

√  Aug 6: The Piano Guys at The Greek Theatre. Get tix now.

√  Oct 8: "FolkWorks Roots Festival." Info is promised soon from the producers.


The free summer music series are getting underway. Here are a few:

√  Grand Performances at California Plaza in downtown L.A. started last weekend.

√  Pasadena's Levitt Pavilion in Central Park officially starts June 26.

√  The Los Angeles Levitt series in Macarthur Park begins on July 2 with a fireworks and music show.

√  Two big ones are on the West side...

•  Culver City’s Boulevard Music Summer Festival and the

•  Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series

both battle for your attention on Thursdays beginning July 7, and now you can escape the traffic quagmire by riding the new Expo Line light rail to both places.


# 3 news feature


Saturday, June 25, you can escape the heat by going up in the tall pines of Wrightwood, in the eastern end of the San Gabriel Mountains. You can there from I-15 in Cajon Pass, or take a pleasant (but long) drive on Angeles Crest (Hwy 2) from La Canada.

Either route gets to "THE RED BARN OPRY," with the WIMBERLEY BLUEGRASS BAND, HIGH D BOYS, & BRITTAN EGNOZZI. The performance starts at 5 pm, at Wilkinsville Corner, 1364 Oriole Rd, Wrightwood.

There's FREE food. Bring your own chair. Thr unique venue is a charming little "Old West" town recreated in the tall pines in the mountain community of Wrightwood, not far from the Mountain High ski areas.

More on the event, and videos of the talented Wimberleys recording their new album and playing last weekend's "Route 66 Bluegrass Festival," is at

ALSO note: The WIMBERLEY BLUEGRASS BAND plays the ORANGE COUNTY FAIR, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, nightly from Wed, Jul 27 through Sun, Jul 31, 8-11 pm, on the Meadows Stage.


# 4 news feature


Saturday, June 25, 8 pm, at The Fret House in Covina, you have a chance to see the debut of two accomplished and celebrated veterans in their new guise.

Fiddle Legend Phil Salazar and Emmy Award winning composer-singer-songwriter Mark Heyes "have teamed-up to offer a new brand of exciting entertainment. A great blend of blazing instrumentals and sensitive, heartfelt originals that touch on relationships and social issues, as well as their toe-tapping, smile inducing good time music." That's what their press release promises, and we believe 'em.

"We want the world to know about us," says Salazar. And it should. Those familiar with either of them speak enthusiastically.

"Mark Heyes is a fantastic, creative force and a production-savvy studio veteran. Over the years, I've watched him transition from scoring to singer-songwriter, and there's clearly nothing he can't do well." — Mike Knobloch, President, Film Music, Universal Studios.

Roz and the late Howard Larman, Folkscene Hosts at KPFK Pacifica Radio, said, "Phil Salazar's wizardry on the fiddle is evident whether he is playing bluegrass, swing or jazz. The genius of Phil's fiddle playing sparkles with creativity and excitement."

The Fret House has a legendary downstairs music room, very intimate, so arrive early.

The duo also plays The Wine Rack in Ventura on July 9th.

Their full schedule is on their new website:


# 5 news feature

Alvas: John York Saturday; Fun Show Sunday

Saturday, June 25, at 8 pm, the former BYRD plays a celebrated venue in San Pedro: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro 90732.

John York is a singer, composer and instrumentalist well known from his role with the Byrds. He was a member of the Sir Douglas Quintet and The Mamas and The Papas touring band. Since 2008, John has been singing and playing guitar with Barry McGuire (“Eve of Destruction”) in "Trippin' the Sixties."

"John York is the last pure voice of the Silver Sixties to make it through....intact to the first decade of the 21st century." — Kim Fowley.

Tix are $20. Call Alvas Showroom for reservations, at 310-519-1314.

Alvas (no apostrophe s) is quite unique. When they figured they couldn't afford a restaurant license, they invited patrons to bring their own food. So some make it a feast. The venue supplies its own Alvas-brand bottled water. They host some Folk-Americana shows, and jazz (a lot of jazz). Keep 'em on your radar at

SUNDAY, Alvas offers another interesting show.

Catina DeLuna, Fish To Birds, and Ashley Maher play Sun, June 26, at 4 pm.

• Ashley Maher, on vocals and percussion, will kick off the concert with her highly infectious brand of world/folk/jazz accompanied by guitarist Frederico Ramos.

• Catina DeLuna on piano & vocals is joined by Roberto Montero on nylon string guitar. Brazilian born singer/pianist Catina DeLuna, whose album was nominated to the 58th Grammy Awards (2016), explores musical selections by various Brazilian composers.

• Closing the show is the a cappella vocal improv group Fish To Birds, who will wow you with their amazing harmonies and spontaneous vocal combustion. Six voices, no script: Cathy Segal-Garcia - vocals; Adrianne Duncan - vocals; Mon David - Vocals; Cecily Gardner - vocals; and Emile Hassan-Dye - vocals.

Tix are $20. Call Alvas Showroom for reservations, at 310-519-1314. Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro 90732


# 6 news feature

San Pedro Blues Festival is Saturday, July 9

A night of blues from some real legends, including James Harman, Barry G 'n' Grease Fire, The Mighty Mojo Prophets, and Big John Atkinson, comprises this year's "San Pedro Blues Festival" on July 9, beginning at 4 pm at the fabulously cavernous Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W 6th St, San Pedro 90731.

A spokeswoman for the venue says, "Join everyone in downtown San Pedro at the historic Warner Grand."

Long time blues fan and founder Juanito Ibarra has been a longtime resident of San Pedro. After success in the entertainment /fight business worldwide, he is "bringing... back to his roots" in the city he loves.

• "Meet & Greet VIP Tickets" $50, are already sold-out.
• General admission tix are $25, and you should jump on that. This could sell-out soon.

Tix & info at:


# 7 news feature


This year's OC Fair in Costa Mesa runs July 15-August 14. (88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa; )

Each year, every Southern California fair is a grab bag, musically. There's always a lot of rock. There's usually SOME Folk-Americana, including blues, but that can be a lot or just a little. This year's OC Fair in Costa Mesa offers plenty on good music most any night you visit. Concerts in the Pacific Amphitheater and the Hangar require extra tix that sell-out in advance. All other stages are free with fair admission. Here, listed in date sequence, are the Guide's picks for the 2016 OC Fair.

√ Jul 14, 8 pm: THREE DOG NIGHT w/ PACIFIC SYMPHONY play the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Special pre-Fair show. Tix  include 2016 OC Fair admission. Save your ticket stub and come back to the Fair Jul 15-Aug 14. Concert tix:

√ Jul 15-17, 8-11 pm: THE FALLEN STARS play the MEADOWS STAGE. "An Americana Rock band from Southern California that believes a good story can break your heart and a driving guitar riff can put it back together again, all in the space of a three minute song."

√ Jul 15, 8:30 pm, 
√ Jul 16, 8:30 pm, 
√ Jul 17, 8 pm: HULA GIRLS play the BAJA BLUES BAR & RESTAURANT STAGE. The "self-described Kings of Hulabilly! It's all the stuff that you dig so much. Rockabilly and Surf in tiki land."

√ Jul 16: BOSTON 40th Anniversary Tour at the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Concert tix:

√ Jul 16 & 17, 1 pm: MAI TAIS play the BAJA BLUES BAR & RESTAURANT STAGE. They "bring their own rockin' surf sound influenced by surf, punk, metal, and the blues."

√ Jul 20-24, 8-11 pm: TEXAS HOUSE PARTY plays the MEADOWS STAGE. "Western Swing meets Cowboy Boogie."

√ Jul 20-24, 8-11 pm: CAITLIN LUCIA plays the PROMENADE STAGE. She's performed on "The Voice" and "American Idol." OC native uses "her talented pop voice and love for the folk genre to create a unique music experience."

√ Jul 20, 8 pm,
√ Jul 21, 8:30 pm,
√ Jul 22, 8 pm,
√ Jul 23 8:30 pm, 
√ Jul 24 8 pm: BILL MAGEE plays the blues on the BAJA BLUES BAR & RESTAURANT STAGE. "Jimi Hendrix was playing as Jimmy James... when Willie (Bill) Magee met, befriended and eventually joined up with Hendrix to form the band 'Jimmy James and the Flames.' In 1967, Hendrix went to England, and Magee took his newly formed band, the 'Kansas City Playboys' on a tour around Europe. The rest is history... now after a brief hiatus Bill Magee has felt the pull of the blues once again and come out of retirement. Catch a performance of his and see the best of Southern Blues music."

√ Jul 22: Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson with A Great Big World play the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:


√ Jul 27: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons play the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Jul 28: Jeff Dunham plays the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Jul 29: Chris Isaak with David Rosales play the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Jul 27-31, 8-11 pm: WIMBERLEY BLUEGRASS BAND plays the MEADOWS STAGE. They've played lots of bluegrass festivals and just got back from a Texas gig. Four siblings based in OC "who strive to keep the traditional sounds of bluegrass music alive and well." Video of them recording their new album at

√ Aug 4: Jim Gaffigan plays the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Aug 5: Hunter Hayes plus Cassadee Pope plays the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Aug , 6 pm: MARIACHI SOL DE MEXICO DE JOSE HERNANDEZ plays THE HANGAR. Requires extra ticket that includes free fair admission (link below). Formed by international mariachi star Jose Hernandez in 1981, the group is "a talented ensemble of beautiful voices and musicians who offer traditional mariachi sounds embellished with fresh contemporary passion and powerful new rhythms." More,
** (This year, The Hangar is almost exclusively rock tribute bands requiring extra tickets. We don't list that. If it's your thing, the website is: )

√ Aug 6 & 7, 1 pm: THE ROAD KILL KINGS play the BAJA BLUES BAR & RESTAURANT STAGE. They "infuse traditional bluegrass and country into a potently contagious style of roadhouse music that is sure to win over any crowd, young or old."

√ Aug 10: Lindsey Stirling with Carah Faye play the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Aug 11: Chris Young plus Ruthie Collins play the PACIFIC AMPHITHEATRE. Reserved seats include FREE OC Fair admission. Concert tix:

√ Aug 10-14, 8-11 pm: ALICE WALLACE plays the MEADOWS STAGE. With nominations as "Best Country/Americana Artist" and "Best Live Band" from the Orange County Music Awards, she brings her "powerful, elastic singing and melodic, literate song-crafting skill." The Guide is mightily impressed with her.

√ Aug 10-14, 8-11 pm: SURF FLAMINGO plays the PROMENADE STAGE. Surf and Spaghetti Western classics on flamenco guitar.
• "Killing it! Muy Caliente!" - Guitar Player Magazine.
• “Flying fingers and some mad virtuosic Flamenco - Metal chops." - Guitar World Magazine.

√ Aug 14: Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone plays THE HANGAR. Requires extra ticket that includes free fair admission (link below).
** (This year, The Hangar is almost exclusively rock tribute bands requiring extra tickets. We don't list that. If it's your thing, the website is: )

More info on the fair's other events at:


# 8 news feature

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to Celebrate Historic 50th Anniversary with First Show in their Hometown in over 40 years

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band returns is celebrating their Golden (50th) Anniversary together and will headline this year’s "Folk Revival Festival" on September 17th. The group was founded in Long Beach, CA in 1966, and they've played all over the world. But they haven't performed together in their hometown in four decades.

Often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, they've earned multi-platinum and gold records. Their strings of top ten hits have included "Fishin' In The Dark" and "Mr. Bojangles." They've had multiple Grammy, IBMA, and CMA Awards and nominations.  Their groundbreaking "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" album became a series and the original was inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Now, after 40 years, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will play a show in the town where it all started, as they come "Circlin’ Back" for one historic night in beautiful downtown Long Beach’s Rainbow Lagoon Park.

This year’s lineup is full of amazing musicians, as diverse as they are talented:

• The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
• The White Buffalo
• Chuck Ragan
• J.D. McPherson
• Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
• Willy Tea Taylor
• Leo “Bud” Welch
• The Lowest Pair
• Paige Anderson & The Fearless Kin
• Moonsville Collective
• Pearl Charles
• Big Bad Rooster
• Honey Whiskey Trio
• Mcdougall
• The Hollow Trees
• Echo Mountain
• introducing Smoggy Mountain String Band
• plus more still being added

In addition to the music, fan favorites from last year are back. These include the signature contests — pie eating, beard & mustache, and banjo. The festival offers gourmet food trucks, craft beers, an interactive kid’s area with “Instrument Petting Zoo,” and a “Vintage Bazaar” shopping experience and Craft Pavilion.

The fourth annual Long Beach Folk Revival Festival happens September 17, 2016, from 11 am to 11 pm, returning to Rainbow Lagoon Park. Just across from Shoreline Village and the Marina in Downtown Long Beach, this beautiful ocean front location sets the perfect stage for showcasing the best in Folk, Roots,Americana, & Bluegrass music acts.

Tickets are on sale now:
• $35 in advance.
• Increases to $40 on August 1st.
• $50 at the door.
• Kids age 12 and under, and Seniors age 75 or older, get in FREE.

More info and tix link:


The festival also sponsors its "Official Bluegrass Jam Session" several times a year. They tell us it's "A great place for dinner and amazing music."

Their next jam is Thursday, July 14th, starting at 7 pm at the Red Leprechaun in Long Beach. The featured band is The Ponderosa Aces.

More info on the jam:


Plenty of EVENTS — still upcoming — are in last week's giant edition. An abundance of music news and reviews, film festivals, arts events, gear reviews, and more, are in that and numerous recent editions. So look around the TABLE of CONTENTS at the top of each edition when you open it.

Much more, soon, on additional topics.


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♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS and views of interest to artists everywhere, more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music, both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues monumentally large and intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the roots of the blues and where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell.

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