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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

News & Reviews; a time of remembrance: Nov. 22nd; Rhonda Vincent; Thanksgiving; New (Fall) Record Store Day & other new releases; Leon Russell -- Nov 22 edition 2016

This edition is a rich variety. Lots of history, fresh news of a major bluegrass star, a new annual day for special new releases, other news of just-released recorded music, and some events. Jump right in, before it's time to stuff the turkey.


Contents / in this edition...

1) We've lost a lot of people...

2) November 22nd—One of modern history's darkest days

3) Not what you expect: memories of Dallas on November 22nd, 1963—Geo. McCalip

4) RHONDA VINCENT's "All The Rage - Volume One" debuts at no. 1 on Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart


6) "THE PILGRIMS," the excellent 2015 "American Experience" documentary, returns

7) The wartime Thanksgiving of 1950

8) Debut of "RECORD STORE DAY BLACK FRIDAY" for 2016

9) BEN FOLDS has new release on "RECORD STORE DAY BLACK FRIDAY" — Brady Brock

10) Remembering LEON RUSSELL

11) Stuff still ahead: tasty remnants from The Guide's music calendar

Let's get started!


# 1 news feature...


We always seek to do justice to a number of creative people. Some are highly influential individuals from our shared world of musical arts. Others aren't or weren't, but only because the breaks never went their way. It's difficult, under the best of circumstances, to keep that as a statement of purpose for The Guide. But these are not the best of circumstances, because, for the past few weeks, talented people keep dying. It seems we keep receiving word of the death of yet another uniquely talented human being who is gone. Someone whose individual gifts manifested musically in ways they shared with, and that influenced, all of us who knew them—or knew what they presented on the stage and brought to the world through microphones and pickups in the studio.

In this edition, we start something that necessity has mapped-out as a journey down a road of respect. It's the first in a series of remembrances and assessments of what someone, now suddenly gone, meant to us while they were here. More tributes, memoriums, and yes, here's that word—obituaries—will follow the one in this edition. Today, we remember Leon Russell, who influenced far more music in far more genres than you may know. In coming editions, we'll catch up and help you remember more folks we have lost. Perhaps we'll introduce you for the first time to someone whose gift still influences us now, and lives on through what they left—in the ears and hearts and minds of those they left behind.


# 2 news feature...


That year, it was a Friday. It had rained the night before, but the weather had turned bright, sunny, comfortably warm and beautiful. So the glass bubble top was ordered removed. It would be top-down on the convertible limo for the motorcade, on instructions from The Boss himself, who enjoyed working on his tan. The crowds everywhere in Texas had been visibly enthusiastic and friendly, thrilled to greet the President of the United States and the First Lady, reveling in the fact that she was there for them. That was something she never did—accompanying her husband on a political trip that wasn't an overseas diplomatic mission.

Being Texas, there were Texas-size egos to assuage. So, rather than driving from Fort Worth—where they spent the night and were guests at a breakfast filled with laughter and instantly-built good will—it required a ridiculously short hop on Air Force One to the Dallas airport so citizens there wouldn't feel like second choice for the prom. Indeed, Dallas would get a parade, with the whole city turning out to see the First Couple. A luncheon gala was set to follow, where the President had prepared an especially moving speech. Surely his words would capture plenty of column-inches in all the nation's Friday evening and Saturday morning newspapers.

But Friday's news wouldn't turn out that way. And that luncheon speech would be forgotten for years, and then relegated to a footnote that can still produce tears, even from those too young to have been there.

The Guide is bringing you this because the news of the last two weeks warrants it. And our editor, Larry Wines, wrote a newspaper piece published in 2013. It marked the 50th anniversary of that terrible day. Locally, the story appeared in the L.A. Progressive, where the boxed quote was, "It is certain that America lost its innocence and its faith in its leaders during the 1960s and 1970s. And it’s certain that began on November 22, 1963."

Here it is, in full, beginning with the 2013 title. Also note the art that ran with it, which is quite significant: it's an image of the famous Jamie Wyeth oil portrait of JFK. (Strangely enough, the author was once assigned to safeguard the original, but that's another story.)

(from 2013, on the 50th anniversary)

A Final Word on November 22: The Day We Lost the Future of the Future

By Larry Wines

We’ve just finished a week of television’s incongruous mixes of wallowing in horrific forensics juxtaposed with revealing tributes, of critical commentary and analysis mixed with half-century-old images and memories of genuine grief and hand-wringing angst.

A few more words beg to be said about John Fitzgerald Kennedy, because we don’t want questions of how he died to continue to overshadow the kind of leader he was. Sadly, even after five decades, society isn’t quite capable of separating those things.

It is certain that America lost its innocence and its faith in its leaders during the 1960s and 1970s. And it’s certain that began on November 22, 1963.

The 800,000 who lined JFK's funeral route, and the 75 million who watched on television, were processing the shock and the grief. Few, if any, could have understood the substance of what was lost. Even today, it’s almost overwhelming. And it is transcendent. We live in a time that looks nothing like the future we expected.

Would there have been a Watergate, a Vietnam quagmire, a preeminence of the Military-Industrial Complex, or even a Nixon Presidency, had there not been the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Would America have seen the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act had JFK, instead of consummate political-arm-twister LBJ, been president?

Would there have been a Cuban Missile Crisis if Nixon had beat Kennedy in 1960? Would there have been global thermonuclear war in 1962 had anyone but Kennedy been president? Would we have gone to the Moon without a Kennedy Presidency, and would we have gone had he not been killed?

Would the spirit of unity and common effort — and asking what we can do for our country — have vanished in favor of high-tech narcissism? Would today’s politics of “I’ve got mine, you’re on your own,” have been possible had the culture of suspicion and cynicism and distrust not developed from the post-assassination / Vietnam war world?

At last, historians are focusing on questions like these, instead of the titillating and salacious boudoir gossip and the assassination theory du jour.

Enough facts are emerging to clarify all these questions, and more. And what is clear is that the man who founded the Peace Corps and the Green Berets; who faced-down the Russians over Cuba; the man who challenged us to “choose to go to the Moon and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” remains the most forward-looking American President since Woodrow Wilson.

After being one of only two men in history – the other was Nikita Kruschev – who looked into the face of hotter-than-the-sun destruction of human society and a radioactive wasteland for survivors, JFK was deeply committed to achieving lasting peace with the Soviet Union, three decades before it happened. After the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, he was in the middle of quiet negotiations with the Castro regime to normalize relations – something that still has not happened.

Conventional wisdom holds that the Apollo program and its lunar explorations were possible only because of the Cold War. Was it just an exercise of the national ego after Russia launched Sputnik as the first artificial satellite and Yuri Gagarin as the first human in space? We now know that JFK had taken his overture beyond his UN speech about the new frontier of space exploration, proposing that the US and the USSR go to the Moon together as a cooperative venture.

How many conflicts, uprisings, revolutions, refugee crises, flood and drought and famine deaths, and individual and collective cases of human mortality and suffering were prevented because JFK founded the Peace Corps?

He has been found wanting in historical speculations as someone with the savvy to convince Southern Democrats that Southern segregation – the American apartheid – needed to end. It became conventional wisdom that only Lyndon Baines Johnson, as a prominent leader from Texas—a state more Southern than Western, a state of the Confederacy—had the political skills to pass President Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act.

That may not be the case. JFK’s Texas trip, until the moment of the assassination, was a resounding success with the crowds. It was likewise a success with the warring factions of the Texas Democratic Party, who seemed to reconcile their differences with the visit by the President — and Jacqueline Kennedy, whose popularity and charm have never been exceeded by any other First Lady.

Internationally, President Kennedy had a proactive Latin America policy, a resounding success in the wake of Eisenhower’s Vice President Nixon getting stoned – it had a literal meaning then – in Latin America. No American president since JFK has understood the concerns of the Western Hemisphere south of Texas. And like the Europeans, the rest of the Americas loved him.

Not until George W. Bush took steps to fund AIDS prevention in Africa have we had a president that understood Kennedy’s “Africa for Africans” policy – and no president but JFK—including our current president—was proactively pro-African.

But we need not speculate simply on the basis of terrestrial perceptions. What enabled his global popularity was the largely intangible embodiment of one of JFK’s favorite words: vigor.

America was seen as a leader — happily, expectantly, peacefully and vigorously racing into a bright future, embracing it even before it was there, and inviting the rest of the world to come along.

Secretary of State Dean Rusk was on his way to Japan when the assassination turned his plane back home. Along with the many concerns of his trade delegation, Rusk had a personal mission: to arrange a reunion of mariners for 1964. It would have been a reunion of the crew of PT 109 with the crew of the Japanese destroyer that rammed and sunk them in the South Pacific during World War II in 1944—twenty years earlier.

Little things are often as important as big ones when they are characteristic of outlook. And so many things about the Kennedy Presidency reveal a thoughtful, forward-looking leader who couldn’t wait to get to a brighter future.

When the trips to the Moon were achieved, Nixon omitted the name of the man who started us on humanity’s greatest voyage. There are plaques affixed to the descent stages of the six Lunar Modules, still on the Moon where they will last for millenia, and each bears the signatures of the crew of that mission and the signature of Richard M. Nixon. With no mention of the man who had committed us to be bold and go there. And Nixon’s complex personality of paranoia, petty resentment and retribution was no doubt at work when he cancelled the final three Apollo missions and mandated the long starvation diet to suck the vigor out of the manned space program.

Had Kennedy lived, there is good reason to believe the American presence in Vietnam would not have escalated. There is reason to believe we would have achieved détente with the Soviet Union, beyond Kennedy’s Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Those things alone would have freed billions of dollars for human empowerment and scientific exploration, two things dear to the spirit John Kennedy embodied with his dual sense of noblese oblige and bold adventure.

Perhaps the twenty-first century that Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick portrayed in their 1968 epic, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” would have come to pass. Given the momentum that Nixon abruptly stopped, there is more reason to believe that we would have achieved the lost world of “2001” than not to believe it.

Without the assassinations and the personal threat of getting drafted into the pointless meat-grinder of Vietnam, could the hopeful vigor of the Kennedy years have soured into disillusioned cynicism, protest and riots?

And without the modern outlook of suspicion and mistrust, would we instead have presidents today who could challenge us to boldly go forth to explore and discover and take humanity to a realization of ever-increasing aspirations?

Barack Obama can’t even get enough congressional support to repair the infrastructure we inherited from the administrations of Roosevelt and Truman, or of Eisenhower and Kennedy. It is excruciatingly impossible to imagine President Obama challenging us to reinvigorate the human spirit by returning to the adventurous exploration of space.

Had Kennedy lived and completed a second term, I might be writing a column from a colony on Mars.

Just before we gather with family and friends to partake of a Thanksgiving feast, there is the annual return of the perennial disturbance when we read about that distant day. It will be forever disturbing, especially when we contemplate all that changed, and all that was lost.

November 22, 1963, was a singularity, one with implications so far-reaching we will never comprehend all that we lost: it was a specific moment in time when everything changed, when, transcending the shock and grief, the future of the future was forever stolen.


# 3 news feature..


Upon learning The Guide would re-publish the above piece from 2013, with new additions, Geo. McCalip sent us the piece he had written for his social media page for that same 50th anniversary. The Guide's editor recalled reading in an email what Geo. wrote, those three years ago. The first and immediately obvious difference is, Geo. was in Dallas. The second difference is shocking and not at all what you expect to see. This is what he wrote on November 22, 2013:

November 22, 1963 - Dallas, Texas - An Eyewitness Account

by Geo. McCalip

"I have promised to post my memories of what happened on November 22,1963, so here they are.

"I was living in Dallas, Texas on November 22,1963 and was in sixth grade at L.O. Donald Elementary School.

"My memories actually begin a few days before. The Dallas Independent School District announced that the only excused absences to go see the President would go to students who had a note, saying they were being accompanied by their parent. The announcement made it very clear that going to see the President with a legal guardian would not qualify as an excused absence. Even as a sixth grader, I found this suspicious. There was only one student from my class who went to the parade.

"On the 22nd, I arrived at school as usual approximately a half hour before my first class. I was a flag monitor. That means that I had the responsibility of raising the flags (American and Texas) on the pole in front of the school each morning and lowering them each afternoon. It was the windiest day of the school year. Larry Howell, the other monitor and my good friend since before first grade, and I had no problem getting the flags to the top of the pole, but the wind was blowing so hard that we could not pull the rope down properly, enough to wrap around the cleat. We had to call Gary McFarland, a 7th grade Safety Patroller, over for help, and he only managed to get the rope around the cleat by employing the 2” long, 1” diameter, dowel that was the handle of his Safety Patrol flag.

"After lunch I went to my fourth period math class in the southwest corner of the second floor. Sitting in the front corner by the door, I could not see the flag, but the students in the far corner of the room could, and they started giving me a hard time about what a bad job we had done that morning putting the flag up, since it was at least a flag’s height from the top of the pole. I distinctly remembered otherwise, just how high and tight it was. After walking across to the window and seeing what they were talking about, I told Mr. Owens, the teacher that I needed to go down and fix the problem. He said that I should go the office first and ask them about it. I thought this was a little strange, but I did as I was told. The secretary in the office asked why I was there and then disappeared for about a minute into the Principal’s office. She came back out and told me I should go back to class.

"About five minutes before the end of class, I got called down to the office. I was taken into the principal’s office. Mr. Breeding, the Principal, told me that the problem with the flag was that they had attempted to lower it to half-mast because the President and the Governor had been shot.

"He then told me that the President was dead, but that, thankfully, the Governor was still alive. He went on to explain that this caused a certain dilemma. Since the Governor was still alive they could not fly the Texas flag at half-mast until he issued an order to do so, but they knew they could not fly the Texas flag over the American flag. They resolved the issue by ordering me to take down both flags. I protested that they should both be at half-mast or we should at least put the American flag back up at half-mast after pulling down the Texas flag. Each of those suggestions was met with an absolute no, so I agreed to take both flags down.

"Before I was dismissed to lower the flags I was asked not tell anyone about the shootings, as they did not want panic in the school. Mr. Breeding explained that the first graders had just left, the second graders would go home at the end of fifth period as usual, and he would make an announcement during sixth period for the third through seventh grades. After I took the flags down, folded them and put them safely away in their locker, I went to my fifth and sixth period classes, but did not tell anyone what had happened."

Now, brace yourself.

"Sixth period was Library, and our class was sitting reading when the PA came on with the announcement. Immediately after the announcement there were a few seconds of stunned silence. This was followed by an eruption of applause, whistles and cheers (e.g., 'Yeah! They got him!') from other rooms throughout the school. Yes, I was there and yes, that is exactly what happened. I remember the librarian crying. I’m sure part of it was hearing about the President’s death, but I have to believe an even greater part was in response to the reaction of the other students (those of us in the library simply sat there quietly – we were in the library).

"I mentioned that one classmate went to the parade. Steve Stacey was with his dad on Main Street, less than a block from Dealey Plaza. He was one of the last people to see the President alive. Less than 15 minutes after the shooting, his father drove through Dealey Plaza on the way back to Oak Cliff. Steve was in the pickup with him, and in their truck's rear window was a gun rack holding a 30.06 rifle in plain sight. No one even noticed, or if they did, they didn’t say a thing.

"I had suspicions before the shooting, and hearing Steve’s experience did nothing to reassure me. I give the Warren Commission Report even less credence than I give the 9/11 Commission Report. Inasmuch as Congress has disavowed the Warren Commission Report and a majority of the members of the 9/11 Commission, including its co-chairs, have disavowed their report, I would have to say the crazy conspiracy theorists are the ones who still believe either of those works to be anything but fiction."

- Geo. McCalip.


# 4 news feature...


By Kyle Watson

NASHVILLE, TENN. (November 22, 2016) - After being dubbed "The New Queen of Bluegrass" by The Wall Street Journal, winning multiple "Entertainer of the Year" honors, and becoming one of the most visible artists in bluegrass music, Rhonda Vincent continues to reach new heights. Her latest project, "All The Rage - Volume One," is off to a roaring start, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. One of the tracks, "Missouri Moon," pays homage to Vincent's home state.

She gushes that she is "So thrilled to celebrate a #1 project that captures the fun, excitement, and authenticity of these world-class musicians." Rhonda shared that from a Nashville TV studio, continuing, "We love what we do, and we're very thankful to see the incredible sales of a project that captures exactly what we do! To debut at #1 is a perfect early Christmas present! Thank you so much for listening."

Accompanying the album is the live DVD, which also makes its chart entrance at No. 21 on the Billboard Music Video (DVD) chart. The invigorating collection was captured at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. During the 60-minute concert setting, Vincent is accompanied by her world-class band, THE RAGE, which includes HUNTER BERRY (fiddle), BRENT BURKE (resophonic guitar), MICKEY HARRIS (bass), AARON McDARIS (banjo), and JOSH WILLIAMS (guitar).

In addition to topping the charts, Vincent's return was met with high critical acclaim, securing features on, Wide Open Country, Country Music Pride, Bluegrass Today and more.

The IBMA winner's rigorous tour schedule concludes late in 2016 with select shows. The first-quarter of 2017 is jam-packed, with the touring sensation bringing her lively show to audiences nationwide. The vocal powerhouse will also be featured on the "Country's Family Reunion 20th Anniversary Caribbean Cruise," which also includes MARK WILLS, GENE WATSON, LEROY VAN DYKE, BILL ANDERSON, JEANNIE SEELY and more.

The next RHONDA VINCENT & THE RAGE tour is a big one. It launches Dec 16 in Augusta, Georgia and runs through Jan 21 in North East, Maryland before a short break for the big multi-artist cruise, Jan 29-Feb 4. Her terrestrial tour with the band resumes February 11 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, plays the South up to Washington DC, over to West Virginia, and across the Midwest, concluding May 27 in Maquoketa, Iowa. But no dates are planned on the Pacific coast.

The entire tour and much more are at:

Rhonda Vincent, dubbed "The New Queen of Bluegrass" by The Wall Street Journal, began her musical journey at the age of three, performing alongside her family members on what was called "The Sally Mountain Show." She sang bluegrass as a teenager, then recorded a couple of mainstream country albums in the 1990's, when makeup artists cared more about her looks than her sound. She was asked if she could "get the bluegrass out of her voice." Confused and heartbroken, she put together her first bluegrass band, and found the most natural approach to her music was in the bluegrass realm.

In addition to being the most award-winning band in Bluegrass music history, alongside her band THE RAGE, totaling over 100 awards, Vincent has also performed and recorded with the best of the best, including DOLLY PARTON, WILLIE NELSON, KEITH URBAN, ALAN JACKSON, FAITH HILL, MARTINA McBRIDE, DARYLE SINGLETARY, RICHARD MARX, HANK WILLIAMS, JR. and more. She is a 15-time "Entertainer of the Year," and through it all, Vincent has established herself as one of the most visible, best-selling artists in the genre, whose cross-over appeal stretches well into the mainstream media.


# 5 news feature...


We like to do full reviews. And we've got a stack of albums awaiting that. We like to think we're smart enough to mix that treatment with shorter heads-up sorta things, just to get the word out. Of course, if we really were smart enough, there'd be a lot more of the kinda thing that's below, and a lot shorter stack of albums awaiting full reviews.

Here's a nice assortment of what's new and interesting, as you plan your foray for "Record Store Day Black Friday."


JAKE SHIMABUKURO, "Nashville Sessions."

Jake’s new album is one of the most adventurous, multifaceted and engaging recordings yet from the man whose music has redefined the ukulele for the 21st century. In Shimabukuro’s gifted hands, the age-old Hawaiian instrument has become a medium for previously undreamed of levels of expressiveness and musicianship. Fans of Rodrigo y Gabriela, Bela Fleck, Jeff Beck, Tommy Emmanuel, Umphrey McGee will love this new record. Be sure to check him out on tour.

Meanwhile, enjoy this free seven song sampler of the album at:


ATHENA, "For Leonard."

Athena is a singer-songwriter who has worked with renowned producers and songwriters that include Eric Appapoulay (Natasha Bedingfield, Cat Stevens), Richard Causon (Ryan Adams, The Kings of Leon), Adam Levy (Norah Jones), & Ethan Allen (Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow).

She has sold out international shows, topped the Amazon Top 5 and Virgin UK Charts, and has been featured internationally on multiple television series, commercials, BBC radio stations, and movies.

Those who enjoy the musical vision that marks Ed Sheeran or Adele will love Adele. Her songwriting is paired with a fresh ambition to boldly stand out as “brave and original” (The Guardian). Athena not only touches people through her music, but her environmental concerns are at the core of her work. All her merchandise and album packaging is manufactured using plastic-free, environmentally-friendly, and recycled materials; she has written and performed songs inspired by environmental issues including the celebration of solar energy usage.

Sample and get free downloads of some of her music at:


BUTCH WALKER, "Bad Friends" - 2016 Sampler

Butch Walker: Americana musician, rocker, Georgia boy. Composer of dozens of songs that stick in your head; Architect of albums that have few boundaries, embracing hard rock and ballads, pop rock and Americana. Or, as Butch says, “I think it’s all just rock & roll.” Pick up his new album Stay Gold + the vinyl-exclusive Cassette Backs in independent record stores on Black Friday.

This sampler includes 5-songs of "just rock & roll" from Butch Walker's recent history - including one previously unreleased exclusive — “Bad Friends” — captured on a 1980’s TEAC 4-track cassette recorder for the limited edition vinyl release Cassette Backs available in stores on Black Friday.

Hear and get free downloads of some of his music at:


# 6 news feature..


We are raised from elementary school on cartoonesque imagery of Pilgrims eating turkey with Indians. There are elements of truth in the fantasy that are more compelling than all the embraceable falsehoods.

In the early 17th century, a small group of religious radicals emigrated from Europe to establish a separatist religious community across the Atlantic Ocean in the New World. In the months after their arrival in Plymouth Bay, while navigating a complex relationship with the indigenous population, the Pilgrims would face rampant starvation, disease and death. In this state-of-the-art project from the best techniques of the film documentarian style of storytelling that is true to history, you can rediscover the harrowing and brutal truths behind the Pilgrims' arrival in the New World and the myths of Thanksgiving.

1) Watch "The Pilgrims" in L.A. on "PBS+" Thanksgiving Thursday, 8-10 pm. Or,

2) watch on-demand online, at:

3) watch through the PBS app, at:

Also see the next news feature.


# 7 news feature...


A new 2016 episode of "The American Experience" premiered a week ago. It's available on-demand online for just a few more days. For most of us, there's plenty for which to be thankful on Thanksgiving, regardless of what we have and where we are. Seeing the challenges previous generations faced—things they didn't ask for—is one very solid way to do that.

On Thanksgiving Day 1950, American-led United Nations troops were on the march in North Korea. Holiday meals were distributed, and hopes were high that everyone would be home by Christmas. Days later, the American troops found themselves surrounded, outnumbered and at risk of annihilation at the Chosin Reservoir.

The Marines who survived call themselves "The Frozen Chosin." The low temperatures and terrible conditions were among the most severe any US troops have ever faced, and evoke images of Valley Forge and the Battle of the Bulge.

Free streaming for "The Battle of Chosin" ends this week. It's available to stream free, on-demand, on the PBS "American Experience" website FOR JUST ONE MORE WEEK. That's at:


# 8 news feature...


Alright, this gets confusing. We'll sort it out for you. There's the annual "Record Store Day" that you know and love, the day that brings many special release albums available only on that day. It's a day The Guide always supports, and it's in the spring. And there's that whole disgusting push-and-shove after waiting in line freezing all night to fight over a ridiculously small number of ridiculously underpriced and otherwise expensive items that are touted with idiotically cutesy monikers like "Doorbusters!" to entice people to behave disgracefully. Just after being on their best behavior to gather with family and friends to be thankfully reflective and strive for Zen-like peace on Thanksgiving. The Guide never supports Black Friday. And finally, there is the other thing The Guide does support, which is "Small Business Saturday," the antithesis of the greedy mega-giant corporate puppetering of Black Friday. The underadvertised celebration of Small Business Saturday and those struggling to make it and keep their customers happy? That happens on the day following the travesty of Black Friday. Got it so far?

Well, NOW there is this new thing. It's sort of a second coming of Record Store Day, in the fall. They're calling it "Record Store Day Black Friday," even though the record stores they're trying to promote are almost always small businesses that should be celebrated on Small Business Saturday. Can you say incongruity? I knew ya could.

Like the original day in the spring, there are a lot of independent stores that participate in Record Store Day / Black Friday. Not all of them will choose to participate in all promotions, or carry all releases. Just because a store is listed at the link below, that doesn't mean it will have the goodies or records you're looking for. That said, find a store near you and check with them directly. It's always a good idea to be BFFs with your neighborhood record store, anyway—year-round. They post notices of cool concerts that don't appear anywhere else, because the artists have no clue how to do any media. But they know the folks at the local record store, so something gets posted there. Along with limited and special release albums or EPs. And other great stuff.

Like, fr'instance, right around the time he released his latest album, "The Narrows," and before he headed back to Stars Hollow, GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS stopped into a record store (Schoolkids, in Durham, NC) and did a little talking about time spent in those spaces that propel his songs. Fun and informative video at:

And catch up with DRIVE BY TRUCKERS and their new album "AMERICAN BAND." It's out in record stores now with limited edition colored vinyl, while it lasts. Bonus 7" too.

Catch their video at:

Get the scoop on what's happening THIS WEEKEND at a record store near you at:

But don't take our word for it. Check out these great quotes from musicians you know, talking about exploring their local record shops and what that has meant to inspiring them and propelling their careers.

Then, see the next feature story for a specific release on Friday.

"I'd like to thank all the indie stores from Florida to California and all points in between for being so welcoming in 2007. I played Park Ave CDs, Waterloo, Shake It, Horizon, Amoeba (LA & SF), Criminal Records, Shangri-La, Grimey's, Vintage Vinyl, Ear X Tacy, Twist & Shout,Record Exchange, and a few more I can't recall. Thanks for your help with my Grammy-nominated Charlie Louvin album and Live At Shake It Records CD. Look for my new CD in late 2008. "
- Charlie Louvin

“It’s dreamlike... I’m walking around in a cool blue but sort of crowded place with great music playing and people really and then talking about music. Incredible; there is new vinyl, old vinyl, more CD titles than seem possible, old posters, new posters, turntables, sharp gear and graphics, news about every show around, amazing music I haven’t heard before, and the great vibe of a place so familiar that it feels home? ...Of course. It is home. It’s a record store."
- JD Souther

“It’s important to keep indie record stores alive because their unique environments introduce music lovers to things in a very personal way.”
- Norah Jones

Don't get me wrong. My day job pays me well for making records for those kinds of folks, but I don't wanna listen to it. I mean, would you wanna eat donuts for dinner, if you made them all day in a factory? Nope. Same with music. thanks Eric...."
- Butch Walker

"The physical act of picking up a recording (CD, vinyl, cassette), checking it out, finding something unavailable, etc.; is an experience you will NEVER get online. And now it's becoming common knowledge that CDs have more digital information than most files, so they sound better. A great or even good record store is like no other."
- John Doe

"The record store. Where true fandom begins. It's the soul of discovery, and the place where you can always return for that mighty buzz. The posters. The imports. The magazines. The discerning clerks, paid in vinyl, professors of the groove. Long live that first step inside, when the music envelopes you and you can't help it. You walk up to the counter and ask the question that begins the journey—"what is that you're playing?" Long live the record store, and the guys and girls who turn the key, and unlock those dreams, every day."
- Cameron Crowe
(one time Associate Editor of Rolling Stone, Screenwriter for films like “Fast Times At Ridgemont High,” and Director of films such as “Say Anything…,” “Jerry McGuire,” “Almost Famous,” “Vanilla Sky” and “Elizabeth Town.”)

"I was introduced to lots of great music through my local record store. It was a place where people knew music and they knew me, and could make great suggestions and discoveries. Whether it is in the physical world or on-line, the value of a great and knowledgeable record store has not gone away"
- Peter Gabriel


# 9 news feature...


"Record Store Day Black Friday" exclusive 10-inch "In Concert 2015-2016" on New West Records

By Brady Brock

Let's start with some quick bits of previous praise, accomplishments and recognition:

"So There Remained" in Top 20; on Classical Crossover Chart for an entire year.

“’Capable of Anything’ feels like a 5-Hour Energy drink on tightly wound strings — the arrangement is brilliant, with yMusic performing in deft ways where guitars and bass might fall into mediocrity and cliche.”— NPR Music.

“Folds has inherited some of Gershwin’s missionary zeal – and his fans are undoubtedly ready to follow.” — The Guardian (UK).

Now, let's get into this.

Multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter-producer BEN FOLDS will release "In Concert 2015-2016" this Friday on New West Records. This "Record Store Day Black Friday" exclusive 10” vinyl is a live snapshot capturing electrifying chamber rock performances by Ben Folds and New York-based classical sextet ensemble yMusic from their extensive North American tour surrounding the critically acclaimed LP So There. The album was released on September 11, 2015 and debuted at #1 on both Billboard's Classical and Classical Crossover charts – remaining in the Top 20 on the Classical Crossover chart for an entire year following its release. In Concert 2015-2016 includes “Capable Of Anything,” “Not A Fan,” and “Phone In A Pool” from So There, as well as previous pop hits “Erase Me” and “Steven’s Last Night In Town.” Each purchase also includes a digital download with three bonus tracks.

"In Concert 2015-2016" by Ben Folds w/ yMusic is available this Friday, November 25, at all indie retailers who participate in "Record Store Day Black Friday." Find participating stores at:

The new album's tracks will be released digitally to all DSPs on December 9.

What Else Is Up with Ben?

Folds has recently wrapped up a sold-out solo tour entitled “Ben Folds & A Piano,” reminiscent of his first solo tour in 2001 where he defied skeptics by delivering a high energy rock performance using the intimacy of just a piano. In addition to consistent touring over the past year in North America, Europe, and Australia, Folds has also expanded his resume to include multiple TV appearances. In October, he guest-starred in an episode of "You're The Worst" on FX, followed by an episode of "Comedy Bang Bang" on IFC this month. He will also guest star in an upcoming December episode of SHOWTIME’s new hit original series "Billions."

Folds first found fame with BEN FOLDS FIVE and has proceeded to have a very successful solo career, which includes writing and performing pop hits, recording multiple studio and live albums, collaborating with other renowned artists, and writing and recording for film and TV.

Additionally, Folds is an avid photographer and a member of the distinguished "Sony Artisans of Imagery." Folds is also an advocate for music education and music therapy as a member of "Artist Committee of Americans For The Arts," and he serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Nashville Symphony.


Side One
1. Not A Fan
2. Erase Me
3. Capable Of Anything

Side Two
1. Phone In A Pool
2. Steven’s Last Night In Town

More at:
and on the label's site,


# 10 news feature...


Think you can easily sort-out who performs in, and "owns" what musical genre? This'll derail THAT notion. We lost LEON RUSSELL just a few days ago. This YouTube video from 2011 is a tribute by Sir ELTON JOHN at LEON RUSSELL's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011—and it's so much more than that—bringing you the best of what happened that night. It'll thrill you as it increases your knowledge of a giant of music of our time—another star that will continue to shine on us from afar.

Then have a look at this Dec, 2010, feature from "CBS Sunday Morning" on the then-new album by Leon Russell and Elton John:

Don't expect melancholia at those links. You'll find your feet dancing the rest of the day.


# 11 news feature...


The Guide no longer adds to this, being that we're returning to concentrating on MUSIC NEWS. BUT there are still things queued-up -- THINGS THAT HAVEN'T HAPPENED YET. The Guide, for many years, published its trademark amazing annotated music calendar, L.A.'s best, hands-down. But we stopped, back on Oct. 28th. There were still events listed, and we continue to list them until the last one happens. Here they are.

Festivals, Concerts, whatever else that's appealing -- stuff we've already rounded-up for a look ahead

Continuing shows with multiple-performance dates are listed first. Following are the festivals, the concerts, and everything else, listed chronologically.

Fri, Sat, Sun, ongoing...
11 am-All day "LOS ANGELES FINE ART SHOW" is a new event running every Fri, Sat, & Sun, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90015; 213-741-1151;
It brings Art Galleries - Art Museums - Arts & Culture. The Los Angeles Fine Art Show, a new art fair dedicated to historic and contemporary traditional works, has just launched in conjunction with the LA Art Show.
Tix: $20 at the door, or advance at:

...through Dec 11:
World premiere engagement of "HANSEL & GRETEL BLUEGRASS." Show runs Oct 29-Dec 11 at 24th St Theatre in L.A. It's Bluegrass as a classic fairy tale, narrated by distinguished actor BRADLEY WHITFORD ("The West Wing"), and features music of THE GET DOWN BOYS. Tix now available. Tix & info, 213-745-6516 or

Fri, Nov 25:
7:30 pm Monthly "SEA SHANTY SING" at The Whale & Ale, 327 W 7th St, San Pedro 90731; 310-832-0363.

Sat, Dec 3:
5-8 pm 6th annual “HOLIDAYS ON THE HOMESTEAD” brings Cowboy Songs, a Chili Cook-off, Crafters, and more, at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, a California State Park, at 15701 East Avenue M; a Lancaster address that's 20 miles from that town, and near Lake Los Angeles. Info,; 661-946-3055.
Stay warm around the blazing bonfire while cowboy-singer MICHAEL TCHERKASSKY, “The Saddle Serenader”, croons the romantic poetry about life on the range that cattlemen composed by day during their journeys across the old west, and then shared around the campfire when the sun went down. Michael has performed traditional cowboy songs and poetry for many years at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival and other events around the country.
Featuring live acoustic music around a campfire, the museum, originally a 1930’s homestead, and its historic grounds, will be decorated in vintage holiday style. A chili cook-off, tours of the grounds, a country craft boutique, real cowboy coffee brewed over the fire, and hot chocolate or cider for the kids make for a nice evening. Explore the unique hand-built museum and whimsical grounds at night, with soft lighting and the smell of fresh greenery, and the wintery sky sparkling over the desert.
The country craft boutique features unique gift ideas, made by local artists. The crafters carry on the artistic tradition of Howard Arden Edwards, who built the Indian Museum to display his collection of American Indian artifacts. The Craftsman-style building is decorated with his colorful representations of Indian culture and creative hand-made furniture.
Rose Edwards was known for her tasty rib-sticking chili and cornbread feasts at their holiday celebrations. Try the chili cook-off entries and Rose’s original 1930 Christmas Chili recipe, complemented by delicious cornbread generously provided by The Lemon Leaf Café.
The Chili Cook-off is still open to competitor sign-ups, and vendors are still being accepted. Contact Jean Rhyne at 661-946-6900 or for information.
This event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, which provides funding to help keep the museum open. Event is rain or shine to support the museum!
Event admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free.
Cell phones are iffy out there, so here are directions. From Fwy 14, take Avenue K east 17 miles, turn right on 150th Street East for two miles, then left on East Avenue M. The museum is on the left, at the foot of the big rocky butte.

Sat, Dec 3:
8 pm WITCHER, RECUPIDO, AND LEVITT, featuring the nucleus of the Witcher Brothers, Dennis Witcher and Tony Recupido, joined by the fine banjo of Dan Levitt, play the Pasadena Folk Music Society series at Caltech in Pasadena. Park free in either lot at the S end of Michigan Av, S off Del Mar. Call the Caltech Ticket Office Monday through Friday, 9 am-4 pm, at 626-395-4652, or buy tickets online or at the door (if any remain).

Sat, Dec 3:
9 pm: THE COUNT BASIE SEPTET, presented by The World Stage Performance Gallery on The World Stage, 4321 Degnan, Leimert Park (Los Angeles). Tix $15-$20. The Count Basie Orchestra, founded over 80 years ago, is widely regarded as the greatest jazz orchestra in the world. The orchestra continues to tour the world spreading its unique brand of swing. In early December The Count Basie Orchestra will be in Los Angeles to record its latest collection of music. During their stint at Capitol Records several of the band members will break from the recording to "stretch out" at the venerable World Stage Performance Gallery co-founded by master drummer Billy Higgins and consummate poet Kamau Daaood. This is a historic, limited engagement. One night only. ** Presale tickets are $15, available before Nov 1.
** General Admission tix are $20 thru Dec 2, 2016. Tickets at the door, subject to availability.
** Because seating for this historic, limited engagement is limited, patrons are advised to purchase tickets in advance, at:

Sun, Dec 4:
ANDREA BOCELLI plays the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Tue, Dec 27:
3:30 & 7:30 pm TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA plays two Southern Cal shows during its annual national holiday tour, both at Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is an American progressive rock band founded in 1996 by Paul O'Neill. The Washington Post has called them "an arena-rock juggernaut", describing their music as "Pink Floyd meets The Who and Andrew Lloyd Weber." 2014 marks the first time they will be touring their all new live rock opera “The Christmas Attic”. This new show features songs that have never been performed live as well as fan favorites including 'Wizards In Winter, 'Requiem' and 'Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24'". TSO has played more than 1,600 shows for more than 13 million fans, cementing itself as one of the world's biggest rock acts. Tix at:

Mar 7 & 8, 2017:

May 27, 2017:
2nd show added: "BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS PET SOUNDS: The Final Performances with special guests AL JARDINE and BLONDIE CHAPLIN," at the Hollywood Pantages."
Tix available now. You nay get some advantage by using the password: PETSOUNDS



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Pssst -- Hey, kid. Yeah, YOU: It won't be so "basic" when we add all the links for the global network of music news / music education sites that we're joining; THAT'LL be here very soon, as an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the Guide returning to being a MUSIC NEWS journal!

Direct to the Guide's current editions /


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Contents copyright © 2016,
Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.
All rights reserved.
♪ 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. That includes 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 (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, 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 swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.


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