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Sunday, December 18, 2016


We can't do the narrative text receding off into the distance like Flash Gordon or Star Wars to recap what happened in the last episode and set the scene for this one. So we'll settle for doing it this way. Last time around, we told you about great things you can do this holiday season, like ice skating on a battleship. We especially want to mention that up front because you can still do it. And you can still do more great stuff that's in that issue. And we don't want you overlooking such wunnerful things and crying and moping around come January when you're all alone with your candy cane.

Now that we've covered the bases, we do, indeed, have FRESH, full-on EXCITIN' information for you this go-round. With a poignant tribute along the way. Buckle-up so you don't fall out of the sleigh, and hang on to your mistletoe. Ya never know when it'll come in handy. And get set for some harmonious ho-ho-hoing.



1) The Guide's Holiday Message? It's an All the Time Message

2) Best Joke of the Season

3) TONIGHT: Two Hot Sunday Evening Concerts

4) Say Your Final Goodbye to L.A. Radio Legend BOB COBURN

5) Feeding the Hungry for Christmas and All Year Long

6) IN DIRE NEED of TOYS: A Few Days Left to Raise 440 Toys

*** Special Section: 3 Features of Irish Christmas an' other Irishy stuff...

7) Irish Christmas Traditions, from the "Irish Weekly E-Missive"

8) A Real Irish Clown now Owns The Irish Import Shop

9) Exceptional Celtic Music for Last-Minute Gifts & Your Own Holiday Joy

10) Pacific Symphony's Chinese New Year Musical "Love Feast” to Celebrate end of Lunar New Year with 2017 "Lantern Festival" in Jan. & Feb.

11) International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Reopens Entries with Stocking-Stuffer Promo Through Jan. 2nd

Let's get started!


# 1 news feature...


It's always good, if a bit strange, to reckon that for you who are reading at this moment, it's a lot like listening to a song. Because, in both cases, a communication was personally crafted so it could be broadly disseminated. And that must somehow carry the hope that anyone who can be reached by it will, somehow, not only find it, but choose to make part of it their own.

One at a time -- or at least one, being you -- has just become made a discovery. And for an instant, you'll either throw it on the ground and resume your journey, or you'll choose to spend this moment as a finder -- focusing a brief bit of your conscious energy and attention because some bit of something here is connecting, at least in this moment.

Since you are still reading this, it's high time to make it deliver something worthwhile. Please allow our moment of connection to convey this to you as our holiday message:

May you find more than love, joy, peace, creativity and fulfillment; may you encounter enough challenge to make you think, and enough need and want to keep you mindful, and enough abundance to be able to make a difference.

That is our wish to fulfill the meaning these holidays are purported to have. May each of us play a role for our fellow planetary inhabitants, as a guide to find paths -- paths to taking care of each other -- paths to nurturing interaction that enables sufficiency for each one of us, whether we are rich, struggling, desperately impoverished, comfortable, deprived, satisfied, lonely, well-housed, homeless, living in a leaky RV, resting for a cold winter's night in a tent or in a penthouse --may each of us find the path to achieving and applying enough of our potential to make the world better in some little way.


# 2 news feature...


This comes entirely from truth. Some entrepreneurial manufacturer of Christmas tree ornaments had a factory somewhere design and produce "Trump hat" ornaments. You know, those red baseball caps festooned with "Make America Great Again." Well, they're supposed to look like miniature baseball hats, but they're also supposed to be all ersatz shimmery, like Christmas ornaments. They come across like helmets from some ancient Chinese mandarin's army. And they're for sale on Amazon.

Amazon allows purchasers to comment on the advertised items. And one comment is, well... here it is:

"This is your only ornament that will try to deport your entire Nativity scene."


# 3 news feature...


Here are two picks from the Guide for TONIGHT, Sunday, Dec 18th. Both are well worth your time and scare holiday entertainment funds. Perfect for out-of-town guests, too.

Sun, Dec 18th at 7 pm:
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE play the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. Venue impresario Bob Stane says, “We get this act only twice per year. It will sell out. Unusual and fine.”

Start thinking "Alt Uke" and get ready for something entirely different. Direct from Silverlake, and locally grown, there's nothing quite like this 15+ ukelele “wall of sound.” Be prepared to hear unique arrangements and mash-ups, with songs ranging from Radiohead, David Bowie, to Led Zeppelin and Abba. Toss in some unexpected holiday faves. Call for reservations before you go, or you'll arrive to find it's sold-out. Tix, $18. Reservations: 626-798-6236.

Sun, Dec 18th at 8 pm:
BOB MALONE, of John Fogerty's band, and renowned New Orleans-style keyboardist and bandleader, is doing a rare Southern Cal performance. It's "Bill Berry's Songwriter's Square," an all-ages showcase with Bob Malone, (Blues) Los Angeles, CA; James Hurley, (Folk) Ventura Co., CA; Karen Nash, (Americana) Studio City, CA; Bill Berry, (Rock) Fort Myers, FL.

It's at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre, 2106 Hyperion Av, Los Angeles 90027; 323-540-0935.

Purchase $15 tickets at:

Use discount code BOB to get 20% off the ticket price.

Press for Bob Malone:

"There’s not a weak cut on this rich and varied outing, which is my pick for best blues album of 2015." — Myrtle Beach Sun News.


# 4 news feature...


Friday's KLOS newsletter tells it as sensitively as possible, and offers you a way to send your thoughts to a giant in the realm of the broadcast music performance-interview. Here's how they ran the story:

"It’s with very heavy hearts we let you know our KLOS family member and Godfather of Rock & Roll, Bob Coburn is down to his final days on this planet. Bob was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer earlier this year, and while he has been fighting like a champion ever since, all rock and roll journeys eventually come to an end. Bob is comfortable, in good spirits, and he’s spending his final time with his family.

"We know this is heartbreaking news, but all of us at KLOS thought you would want to know. If you’d like to share a message or memory with Bob and his family, here’s how you can do that:

• "Call us or text us in the studio, 1-800-955-KLOS

• "Post a message on the Facebook Tribute Page we created."

(That's at )

The Guide adds this: Bob Coburn has always befriended a lot of folks along the way, including many indie musicians he could easily have ignored. Some of them have gone places. Many write and perform in genres other than rock, including folk music. His show, "Rockline," was globally syndicated on Westwood One, and brought countless music lovers insight into the minds and hearts of rock stars. But moreover, into what makes successful creative people tick. And that has always inspired more -- more devotion to one's craft in the arts, more attention to building relationships within the arts community, and, certainly, plenty more memorable and moving music.

Bob instinctively knew that it's never enough to merely be good at what you do. As Maya Angelou, a Poet Laureate of the United States, reminded us, "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will always remember how you made them feel."

Bob is leaving lots of us with countless feelings of deeper appreciation for music that became the soundtrack of our lives. he is leaving us with especially warm feelings of gratitude for him, as one of the key people who enabled us to see beyond the face value of the words and chords and riffs of countless recorded tracks. The light may go out in the studio, Bob, but the signals of the past 40 years go on, reaching into space, into time, and to infinity.


# 5 news feature...


Singer-songwriter and Trough Records recording artist DAVE MORRISON has contributed good work over the past few years on behalf of a fine organization, playing benefit concerts and more. He tells the Guide:

"As I do every Christmas Season, I'm once again raising funds for HEIFER INTERNATIONAL. If you have not heard of them, they are an organization which places livestock with families in the developing world. Each year we purchase a few dairy cows - 32 so far - that end up in Uganda, or Haiti or Nepal, or in the high Andes. Wherever Heifer is working to bring sustainable nutrition to people in desperate need of that.

"I've developed a bit of a relationship with Heifer, and have even been asked to write something for their magazine. It's a privilege to help in my small way. Our goal this year is 6 cows - since this is our sixth year. I may have set the bar too high, given that the country is still so massively distracted by recent political events. But we'll plug away until Jan. 1, and surely score at least three or four young healthy cows ready to provide a rich source of nutrition for a few grateful families.

"If you would like to participate, I'd be grateful. Please follow the link to our team page (link below). We are 'Cows For Christmas 6'. I usually cap this drive with a benefit concert, but I could not secure a good venue for that this year. So ... next year.

"Don't let the picture of a goat in a reindeer sweater put you off. We're all about the cows. (and thanks to those of you who have already given)

"Anyway ... I hope that you are all well and happy and prosperous and satisfied and properly fed and rested. May your holiday of choice be blessed by what spirits attend you, and here's hoping that 2017 might be a calmer and less lethal year.

-- Yours Truly, Dave"

You can learn more about Dave Morrison, his music, his originals that have been recorded by others, his own CDs, and his upcoming gigs, at:


# 6 news feature...


Earlier this year, we reported on JACKSON BROWNE doing a benefit concert for this organization. They are the local, somewhat under-the-radar, and respected "SAFETY HARBOR KIDS," and this is their 10th Annual "Spirit of Goodwill Holiday Toy Challenge for Orphans."

The Guide has helped spread the word about this charity for several years. We were attracted to them because their program includes arts and music for impoverished kids who wouldn't otherwise get that important exposure.

But this isn't a general appeal to think of their work. Right now, they have eight days remaining to raise 440 toys for already identified children in need.

They do a lot for children in dire need, currently raising funds for academic tutors, music and art instructors working in their services. "I want to accomplish my goals and be the first in my family to graduate college," said one 16-year-old foster child in their program.

Safety Harbor Kids runs with one of the lowest expense ratios in the nation -- a 39% expense ratio. That means your donation can go directly to the children, unlike most well known charities that fritter your money away on perqs and salaries.

Safety Harbor Kids is a 501c3 nonprofit formed for the purpose of enriching the lives of parentless and homeless children through education in the areas of college, career, music and the arts. Safety Harbor Kids serves at risk youth from group homes and shelters within Los Angeles, Ventura, Ojai and worldwide.

Their own promo says, "Safety Harbor Kids introduces, inspires and educates the children in the areas of college, career and the arts. SHK provides ongoing programs in academic tutoring, career development, music, art, personal growth and environmental awareness."

They tell their supporters, "Together we are breaking the cycle of poverty, homelessness and prison."

Everything you need to know to support the current urgent toy drive, and more, is at:

or call 800-277-0497


*** SPECIAL SECTION: 3 Features of Irish Christmas an' other Irishy stuff...

# 7 news feature...


"Ireland has a wide number of Christmas traditions that are steeped in the Gaelic and Catholic heritage of the country," reports Jim McDonough in the current edition of the "Irish Weekly E-Missive." That's a FREE online publication, and we'll tell you how to subscribe after you read this and see why you want to. It's usually all about Celtic music events and the Irish pub scene in and around L.A., but this time, it's a bit o' the Yule heritage of the Emerald Isle.


Jim McDonough says it's "An Irish tradition that always captured my imagination which happens on... December 24. The Wren Boy Procession has been revived in recent years with parades being held on St. Stephen's Day in Dublin and other locations throughout Ireland! There are several legends regarding the 'Wren boy'."

He continues, "One such tale tells of a plot in a village against some British soldiers during Penal times. The soldiers were surrounded and were about to be ambushed when a group of wrens pecked on their drums raising the alarm. The plot failed and thus the wren became known as 'The Devil's Bird'.

"To commemorate this deed, a procession takes place where a pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house, and families dress up in old clothes and with blackened faces. In ancient times, an actual wren bird would be killed and placed on top of the pole.

"It is possible that the very Irish tradition of visiting houses of friends and relatives on St. Stephen's Day traces its origin to these events."

Next, McDonough tells us about a traditional observation that assumes a quieter presence. Reminds us of an old John Fogerty / Creedence Clearwater Revival song, "Put a Candle in the Window," but it offers a wonderful way to reach beyond that.


"This was a tradition that I grew up with in the US Mid West, which perhaps was because of my Irish heritage, but I did not think of it as Irish at the time," says McDonough.

He continues, "It was widespread in Ireland in the sixties when I was there one bleak mid-winter! We are told it was very common the 1970s, but which seems to be dying out somewhat and (is observed) especially in urban areas today. The 'candle in the window,' or just a light, is a simple enough practice which would be grand to see again all over! Perhaps, symbolically the candle represented a welcome to Joseph and Mary as they wandered in search of lodgings. However, the candle indicated to strangers, and especially to the poor, that there may be an offering of food in the house within."

His series on Irish Christmas traditions will continue in this coming week's Irish E-Missive. Drop an email to Jim McDonough, that publication's editor. Tell him we sent you. And ask him to sign you up for the FREE "IRISH WEEKLY E-MISSIVE." Write him at:


# 8 news feature...


Hold on. that's not an insult. Bear with us just a wee bit.

"My dear friend and colleague THOM MacNAMARA has recently taken over ownership of the Irish Import Shop in Hollywood. For many years Thom was the Director of the Celtic Arts Center here in Los Angeles and produced all the wonderful shows on their behalf at the John Anson Ford Theater's annual Summer Season of shows. I have fond memories of co-producing some of them with Thom."

One of California's most prominent Irish musicians. KEN O'MALLEY, wrote that report, and he continues, explaining the whole "clown" thing.

"Born in the Bronx, of Dublin parents, ... like many of us, Thom moved to Hollywood in the late '80s while working as RONALD MacDONALD for the 'Ronald MacDonald House,' and had previously worked as a real circus clown for many years."

Ken O'Malley is plenty happy. "Following in the footsteps of original owner Dick Jones who opened the store in 1964, I believe, and a good stretch put in by Anne Coburn, 'Thommy Mack' wants to welcome all of you to the store which is undergoing some real changes. There will be a tea and biscuits area, and maybe even a bit of live music from time to time."

He adds, "It's true that we can get almost anything we want these days on the internet, but if you're looking for something Irish and unique and you're not quite sure, for that special someone, drop in and see Thommy. There's always Barrys Tea and a rake of Irish stuff to eat, read or listen to... and oodles of stuff to wear... stop in before Christmas for bargains, too... and tell him Ken sent you, he might make you a cup of tea..."

Of course, like any respectable troubadour, Ken must add this reminder; "...come and see me perform, too...looking forward to some great shows and concerts in '17."

We've got word of one of Ken's fine CDs in the following story.


# 9 news feature...


Jim McDonough's "Irish Weekly E-Missive" supplied a second item for this edition. He features CD and album previews / reviews. Here are our picks of two of them.

✔ LOREENA McKENNITT's "THE BOOK OF SECRETS" vinyl box set is coming soon, available for pre-order in time for holiday gift-giving. Some refer to it as the pinnacle of Loreena's career. Others know it as the album that includes her worldwide hit, "The Mummers' Dance".

On the cusp of the 20th anniversary of her 1997 album, "The Book of Secrets," Loreena is poised to release an extraordinary vinyl box set that will complete the high-end, audiophile reproductions of her musical catalogue. This numbered, limited-edition, 180-gram vinyl, hand-autographed box set is slated for release in March 2017, which also coincides with the launch of " A Trio Performance," Loreena's spring tour to the U.K. and E.U.

You can reserve your set now and get a beautiful gift notification card in time for Christmas. All the deets and ordering info are at:


✔ KEN O'MALLEY'S "SONGS BY A WINTER'S HEARTH" is available as a "special Irish music offer" for the holidays -- Buy 1 CD and get a second CD for only $10, with a no additional shipping charge.

O'Malley's voice and multi-instrumental dexterity make him a Guide favorite, whether performing solo or with the NE'ER DUWELLS.

Jim McDonough asks, "Did you know that Ken O'Malley has a very special CD of Christmas music? Add something Irish to your music collection and add an extra one for a unique host/hostess gift for holiday parties for just $10 (regular price is $15)."

Your purchase also includes a free download. This CD includes perennial Christmas favorites as well as uniquely Irish selections; it also includes "Ave Maria" and "Danny Boy."

More information and a full track listing is at:


# 10 news feature...


Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St. Clair, is celebrating the 2017 Chinese New Year with the Southern California community by offering a number of unique and multi-faceted events.

First up is the inaugural concert, “Chinese New Year: A Love Feast,” which offers a joyous mix of Eastern and Western music and dance on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at 8 pm, in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Surrounding the concert is a VIP Chinese New Year Celebration reception and formal dinner in collaboration with LUILI crystal art.

Then comes the FREE, family-friendly festival, on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 from 11 am to 4 pm. That day, the Symphony partners with the South Coast Chinese Cultural Center / Irvine Chinese School to present the “2017 Lantern Festival,” commemorating the end of the Lunar New Year. The event features numerous activities and performances traditionally associated with the end of the Lunar New Year. It's free, and, like the most of the symphony's presentations, it takes place in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

“These events will bring cultures from both the East and West and our own community together,” says Charles Zhang, Symphony board member and founder of Pick-Up Stix and Zion Enterprises. Zhang considers himself an ambassador for Orange County’s Chinese-American community, as well as for the Symphony.

"China has a unique culture and a long history that are both appealing to Americans," he adds, continuing, "These events will allow everyone to learn about Chinese culture as we unite together."

Tickets are now available at 714-755-5799.

Full info is at


# 11 news feature...


We've reported many times about the Nashville-based INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION, an organization loaded with prizes, top music industry sponsors, and serious opportunities for unknown songwriters to take their music someplace real. ISC is dedicated to nurturing the talent of songwriters throughout the world and is the only competition in the world to offer such a high-profile panel of judges. ISC offers the unprecedented opportunity for entrants to have their music heard by some of the most illustrious and influential recording artists and executives in today's music industry.

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, ISC has reopened submissions from December 14, 2016 to January 2, 2017 for its annual "Stocking Stuffer" promotion, and the entry fee is a discounted $25 per entry.

All entries are automatically entered into the overall ISC 2016 competition, becoming eligible for all ISC prizes. That includes the Grand Prize package worth over $70,000 (including $25,000 in cash plus a lot of great merchandise, etc). Songs can be entered online through ISC, through Sonicbids, or Acceptd platforms, or through the mail. There is no limit to the number of songs you may enter.

Prizes For Stocking Stuffer

First Place
$1000 cash (USD)
Pair of Adam Audio F7 Studio Monitors
4000 free spins from Radio Airplay

Second Place
Pair of UE 900 In Ear Monitors

Third Place
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth Speaker
CAD D90 Performance Microphone

All Entrants receive 100 free spins from Radio Airplay.

This is the final chance to enter ISC 2016.

ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including $25,000 in cash to the Grand Prize winner.

Songs may be entered in any of the following categories:

AAA (Adult Album Alternative); AC (Adult Contemporary); Americana; Blues; Children's Music; Comedy/Novelty; Country; Christian; EDM (Electronic Dance Music); Folk/Singer-Songwriter; Instrumental; Jazz; Latin Music; Lyrics Only; Music Video; Performance; Pop/Top 40; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Teen (for entrants 18 years old or younger); Unpublished; Unsigned Only (this category is open to unsigned songwriters and artists only); and World Music.

Entrants may submit as many songs as they wish - in the same category or in multiple categories.

Sponsors include Adam Professional Audio, Berklee College of Music, Big Joe Stomp Box Company, CAD Audio, Celebrity Access, D'Addario, Dark Horse Institute, Disc Makers, Gauge Precision Instruments, Gig Salad, Graph Tech, Irie Magazine, Klotz, LANDR, Lewitt, Lowden Guitars, Lurssen Mastering, Marshall, Merch Cat, Musicians Institute, oneRPM, OWC, PRA Audio,, Sweetwater, and Thalia.


Complete details and everything you want to know about the contest and the organization...

International Songwriting Competition, 3940 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216; 615-251-4441;



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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