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Friday, October 16, 2020

Mid-October weekend: all the news that fits... Oct 16 2020 edition

Here's as much as we are allowed to publish by Google's crappy new format.

It's less than we'd like, but we do you bring you good stuff!


We built this edition with a lot of links and click-to-play videos. It seems Google randomly robs you of seeing the pics at some of those click points. Just click 'em anyway. And then if they don't work, tell Google, not us.

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Notable film documentaries get TV premieres tonight

“The Way I See It," Dawn Porter’s new doc about Obama's White House photographer Pete Souza, has been in theaters where they're open, and gets  its TV debut tonight, Friday, airing just twice on MSNBC:

7 pm-9 pm, & re-airing 10 pm-midnight, both times PDT

The original songs written for the movie are a fun element that contributes to the depth and meaning -- and there's plenty of that here.

Two related notes from Brian Stelter...

 -- In an interview with the Daily Beast, Obama's WH photographer Pete Souza argues Trump's photos from Walter Reed "were obviously posed pictures..." (Daily Beast)


 -- Souza also spoke with Variety's Brent Lang about the documentary about him... (Variety)

The other film? 

It's "The Perfect Weapon," which compellingly traces the short, game-changing history of the ultimate form of asymmetrical warfare -- the cyber attack. Check HBO listings for days/times it airs, including Friday's premiere.

Brian Lowry writes: 

"Two worthwhile documentaries are airing on TV Friday: 'The Way I See It,' which was mentioned up above, and 'The Perfect Weapon,' an HBO documentary based on NYT reporter David Sanger's book about cyber warfare. Sanger goes back to the US's tactics employed against Iran, which, he says, 'basically legitimized the use of cyber as a weapon against another country against whom you had not declared war.' The most interesting section, however, might involve the Sony hack, which predated the political attack on the Democrats and largely predicted the media response. 'The media took the victims of a crime and made it 100 million times worse,' Seth Rogen says..."

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Save Our Stages "SOS FEST" Day One: Oct 16

presented by the National Independent Venues Association 


Tune In To #SOSFEST Tonight at 5PM PT / 8PM ET

#SOSFEST marks seven months since most independent venues, concert halls, comedy clubs, theatres, and festivals learned that they would be closing indefinitely. 


90% of independent music venues are on the verge of closing forever - and they need your help! 

#SOSFEST Trailer

Featuring, and narrated by Neil Young, with the earliest known footage of the iconic artist performing live at the late American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT. 


Special Guests Just Announced

In addition to the weekend's musical performances, expect appearances from Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells, Flume, Jimmy Buffet, Jimmy Fallon, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Quincy Jones, Shaed, Slash, Shannon Powell, Stanton Moore, and others. 


How to Watch #SOSFEST

1) Subscribe to the NIVA YouTube Channel

2) 🔔 to set a reminder on the NIVA #SOSFEST channel

3) Tune in starting tonight to catch exclusive performances and help #SaveOurStages

4) Watch for FREE + Donate to the NIVA Emergency Relief Fund 🆘

· Shop #SOSFEST Merch ·

Support the National Independent Venue Association by shopping merch, including limited-edition #SOSFEST posters featuring EVERY performer at #SOSFEST. 

Tell Your Reps to #SaveOurStages

Over 2 MILLION messages have already been sent to Congress, and the Save Our Stages Act has been included in the updated HEROES Act.


We need Congress to get to work and pass this legislation. Can you send another message on our behalf, letting your representatives know you support this bill? 

This notice presented by The Acoustic Americana Music Guide in cooperation and support of NIVA, 1 Penn Plaza #6263, New York, New York 10119, United States.

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Festival this weekend! Lou'siana music!

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Just in -- in time to report it to you...

Announcement of the 2020 Steve Martin Banjo Prize Winners

The folks at the Deering Banjo factory in Spring Valley, California, put the word out Friday afternoon. This week saw the 2020 recipients for the "Steve Martin Banjo Prize" announced by the FreshGrass Foundation, who partnered earlier this year with Steve Martin to keep this award, which he initially conceived and funded, going forward into the future. This announcement brought five co-winners of this year's prize. 

Steve had designed the annual prize of $50,000 to be given annually for ten years to a banjo player of special merit, and had originally called it the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. Now shortened to the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, FreshGrass and other new partner, Compass Music, intend for the award to be given to a wider variety of players in many different styles. 

Where the award used to recognize master bluegrass and old-time banjo playing, it now recognizes musicianship across a wider spectrum. Martin beams as he describes the different styles — Irish flatpicking, jazz banjo influenced by board members Béla Fleck and Noam Pikelny, African American styles, the likes of which previously award recipient Rhiannon Giddens plays, “clawhammer” style. 

The 2020 Steve Martin Prize winners are: 

Jake Blount: Jake is a clawhammer banjoist and scholar specializing in the music of Black and indigenous communities. He highlights the experiences of queer people and people of color in his work, including his latest album, Spider Tales. clawhammer banjo player who focuses on old time music from African Americans. 


Catherine “BB” Bowness: Born in New Zealand and trained at the New Zealand School of Music and University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Bowness is a member of Mile Twelve, which won Best New Artist at this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association awards. She is at the forefront of the current crop of young players reimagining the musical possibilities for Scruggs-style 5-string banjo. 


Matthew Davis: At 21 years old, Davis is already one of his generation’s premier banjo players and composers, and a member of “chambergrass” band Westbound Situation and progressive bluegrassers Circus No. 9. He won the National Banjo Championship at age 17, studied jazz at University of Michigan, and has enrolled in seminary to train for priesthood. 


Buddy Wachter: Widely regarded as the most influential 4-string banjo player of our time, Wachter has played more than 7,000 concerts to audiences in 130 countries and has introduced the instrument to some of the most remote parts of the globe as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department. 


Gerry O’Connor: Dublin, Ireland-based O’Connor has brought his unique tenor banjo style to places no other Irish banjo player has tread before, experimenting with elements from bluegrass to African to Asian and back to Irish again, all the while maintaining his signature sound. He has guested and toured with a long list of artists, including Joe Bonamassa, and played on the Lord of the Dance soundtrack. 


These five will share this year’s $50,000 award equally, and were featured in a livestream presentation Wednesday evening. 

Steve Martin introduced the proceedings, which include performances by all five 2020 awardees, plus Chris Thile, Dom Flemons, and Alison Brown with the Kronos Quartet.  

Award winners are chosen by the prize’s board, which is comprised of original members Béla Fleck, Noam Pikelny, Tony Trischka, Pete Wernick, Alison Brown, and Anne Stringfield and this year expanded to include Deering Banjos CEO Jamie Deering, American Banjo Museum Executive Director Johnny Baier, International Bluegrass Music Association Executive Director Paul Schiminger, Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown, banjoist and banjo scholar Dom Flemons, previous Banjo Prize winner Kristin Scott Benson, FreshGrass Foundation founder and president and No Depression publisher Chris Wadsworth, and Compass Records Group co-founder Garry West.

Beginning in 2021, a prize of $25,000 will be awarded to one or more banjo players chosen by the Board of Directors of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize.

Previous winners of the award, originally called the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, are Victor Furtado (2019), Kristin Scott Benson (2018), Scott Vestal (2017), Rhiannon Giddens (2016), Danny Barnes (2015), Eddie Adcock (2014), Jens Kruger (2013), Mark Johnson (2012), Sammy Shelor (2011), and Noam Pikelny (2010).

The Guide joins the folks at Deering in saying thank you Steve Martin for your incredible gift to the worldwide diverse and talented banjo community!

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Rootsy Rick Shea double-header, Fri/Sat

•  on The Woodshed Sessions Fri Oct 16th at 6 pm PST, the show starts at 5 pm with the very wonderful Susie Glaze & Steve Rankin.

•  on FaceBook Live Sat Oct 17th at 5 pm PST, Live from Casa de Calora

Facebook Link:

You can see last week's show here:

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Songwriter's Round - Tonight

Friday, October 16th at 5 PM (Pacific)

Click on

Password:  music

The full scoop...

Meeting ID: 893 4958 3880
Passcode: music
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 893 4958 3880
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Find your local number:

More at:

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The Opry 95th Celebration Continues this Saturday
featuring Bill Anderson, Mandy Barnett, Brandy Clark, Chris Janson, & Don Schlitz
WSM invites you to join everyone this Saturday at 5 pm/PDT as they keep the Opry's 95th Birthday celebration going. The radio station hosts tell The Guide, "We can't wait to welcome our friends Bill Anderson, Mandy Barnett, Brandy Clark, Chris Janson, and Don Schlitz back to the Opry stage. As always, the show is coming to you live on Circle and WSM Radio!"

Ways to tune in to the Opry:



New Show Alert: "95 Years of Opry"
Tune in on Mondays at 4 pm/PDT for 95 Years of Opry with host Dan Rogers to celebrate the songs and stories from the Opry's 95 year history. Listen on 650 AM,, and the WSM app

Storytellers Virtual Concert
Tune in on YouTube on November 14 at 6 pm/Pacific for a very special virtual concert featuring Jake Owen, Jay DeMarcus, Jason Mraz and more.

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ANDY & RENEE play two livestream shows this weekend

• "Missing Persons Fundraiser" Saturday, Oct 17, 2 pm PDT (5 pm EDT)

•  Andy & Renee Livestream #59, Sunday, Oct 18, 5 pm PDT (8 pm EDT)

Saturday, Oct. 17th, at 2pm Pacific time (5pm Eastern)
, Andy & Renee will do a performance to benefit the GINA For Missing persons FOUNDation.

Watch on Youtube at 

Please join us to support the important work this heartfelt organization does. Hundreds of missing people profiled collectively by GINA, GINA Artists, nonprofit partners, sponsors, media, law enforcement and families of the missing have been FOUND. Help us to increase that number - keep your eyes open, spread the word, and remember the Missing

Welcome to the GINA For Missing persons FOUNDation. GINA's mission is to educate the public by utilizing enterainment to create awareness and media attention for missing persons world-wide, and to offer a source of information to help people whose family members become missing. By opening their hearts and doors, those in the music industry and the sponsors who participate are promoting an ongoing effort of raising awareness. GINA was created in honor of musician Gina Bos, who disappeared from Lincoln, Nebraska on October 17, 2000 after a performance. Her case remains unsolved.

The Annual Squeaky Wheel® Tour - Each year, GINA produces the Squeaky Wheel® Tour, a world-wide event consisting of talented musicians performing shows and profiling missing persons in their area. Due to the current worldwide pandemic, the 2020 SWT® will be held as a special one-day online event on October 17, 2020. This year's Tour also commemorates The GINA FOUNDation's 20th year of searching for the missing.

Sunday, Oct. 18th, Livestream #59

5pm PDT, 8pm EDT

Andy & Renee

Watch on YouTube

Make requests from their list of 470 songs, and they'll get to as many requests as possible. See the list, and send your requests to before the show. Put the show on your Smart TV or watch on your computer, phone, or tablet, and chat with friends in the Chat Room!

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Art Deco Society of Los Angeles 

  Events: this weekend & beyond

15th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar
Presented by "L.A. as Subject"

Saturday, October 17
8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
This year will be a whole new adventure as the Archives Bazaar will be entirely virtual. Although the environment will be different, the event still wants to encapsulate the spirit of showcasing L.A. archives “All Day. All in one Place.” through live presentations, interactive sessions, and on demand videos. Links to access the virtual events and presentations can be found on the event website:

ADSLA has submitted a video exhibit to the Virtual Exhibitor booth that we encourage you to check out. It can be accessed via the event website, our Facebook page or on Vimeo.


Coffee & Conversation: Warner's Western to the Wiltern
Presented by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation

Saturday, October 17
10 a.m.
The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation hosts this virtual conversation. Things kick off at 10:00am with a history presentation lead by LAHTF Board Members Mike Hume and David Saffer, followed by a Q&A where all your questions will be answered. This virtual conversation is FREE, but registration is required. Head on over to to register!


The Lost Legacy of Art Deco and Modern Architecture on Bunker Hill
A virtual presentation with the author Nathan Marsak. Presented by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles.

  Sunday, October 18
3:00 PM PDT
Join us on October 18 when author Nathan Marsak discusses his new book Bunker Hill Los Angeles: The Essence of Sunshine and Noir. The architectural landscape of old Bunker Hill, before being bulldozed in the 1960s and redeveloped, is often thought of as only filled with florid Queen Anne Victorian houses and sprawling clapboard Edwardian apartment buildings. But it was much more than that—there existed Art Deco, Late Moderne, and Modern structures intermingled among the gingerbread, too. In this presentation, developed specially for the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, Nathan will take you up onto pre-redevelopment Bunker Hill to investigate some of the demolished treasures built between 1925-1955 that once stood in Los Angeles's first suburb.



Tour New York Art Deco from anywhere!
Presented by the Art Deco Society of New York.

Tuesday, October 20
4:00 PM ET
Even if you think you know Manhattan's Art Deco icons, this not-to-be-missed online tour gives you an opportunity to see details up-close, like never before!

In this web-based Art Deco extravaganza, Art Deco expert and tour guide extraordinaire, Tony Robins, will lead us on an in-depth virtual tour of Midtown Manhattan’s major boulevard of Deco skyscrapers, which showcases some of the city’s most famous monuments. Even though this event is online, it will include a live PowerPoint—with wonderful images that you will be able to see directly on your computer screen, tablet, or mobile device––as well as a Q&A session with participants.

For more information or to register for this event, visit:


Art Deco Society of Los Angeles | PO Box 972Hollywood, CA 90028

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Karen Hart plays a benefit Sunday

Free to tune-in; your contributions make it a benefit.

Register early!

Karen tells us, "My 'tip jar' will go to 2 of my favorite non profits: Camp de Benneville in The Pines Music Camp... they are trying to survive after the recent California wildfires; and to the Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center, who provide wonderful services to the affected community of cancer survivors and their care givers."

Catch her in live performance with LA3 Way:

"I miss you! I miss everybody!"

"Please let me come sing for you, right in the comfort of your own home, in your jammies or whatever!"

Lots of songs from my upcoming CD:

This Sunday 10/18/20 from 3-5 pm West Coast time,
6-8 pm East Coast Time,
11 pm across the pond.

A few rules...
This is live broadcast from Tucson, Arizona.
1. It's free, but you must register in advance
2. They don't let you in if you are late
3. Go to this link to register, click October 18 on the calendar there, so they can send you the link to attend:

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Get your Irish up -- Sunday


2 PM Pacific, 5 PM Eastern, and 10 PM UK and IRELAND

Ken O'Malley Live: "More of the Most Famous Irish Songs"

 You can see the show at even if you are NOT on Facebook. The link is also on the website

The show will last approximately 60 minutes and is free of charge.

 Venmo: @kenomalley

For those who would be interested in contributing to the virtual tip jar, you will find options for Venmo, PayPal, or Credit Card on Ken's website (click on the tip jar picture).



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Americana Music Association presents


4 nights of music, conversation and music education

Psych-rockers Making Movies, with the support of the Americana Music Association, will hold a four-night virtual event, AMERI’KANA: an exploration into American music. Featured artists will include Making Movies, Los LobosFlor de ToloacheCedric BurnsideThe Sensational Barnes BrothersBoo MitchellKevin MorbyLuke Winslow-KingNina Diaz, Addie Sartino, and many more plus youth songwriters from The Rebel Song Academy. Learn more here.
Livestream on YouTube and Facebook | Starting each night at 6 PM PST / 8 PM CST
Oct 21 - NIGHT 1

Making Movies: In Concert 
(Live from Auditorio Nacional)
Making Movies takes its electric guitars, psychedelic synths, and rumbero rhythms to Mexico City’s historic Auditorio Nacional in this concert performed November 20, 2019. Special introduction and live Q&A with Making Movies after the concert.

Oct 22 - NIGHT 2

“RSA Live” from AMERI’KANA
(Educational Panels)
Interactive panels to empower the next generation of young songwriters:
Find the Dream with music producers Steve Berlin (Los Lobos/REM) & Tim Anderson (Billie Eilish/Halsey) hosted by Enrique and Diego Chi of Making Movies
 - Fund the Dream with Erin McGrane (Artist Inc), Rhonda Lyne (Midwest Music Foundation Anthony Magliano (Quixotic) hosted by Alt-Cap

Oct 23 - NIGHT 3
Art As Mentorship Stage
(Youth Performers)
The young songwriters of the Rebel Song Academy showcase their original songs and collaborations with artists Kevin Morby, Samia, Luke Winslow-King, Nina Diaz, Making Movies and more.

Oct 24 - NIGHT 4 
(Living Documentary)
The story of American music is told by Los Lobos, Terrance Simien, Flor de Toloache, The Sensational Barnes Brothers, Rev. Charles Hodges, Boo Mitchell and more, hosted by Making Movies. Musical collaborations, interviews, and documentary footage bring a fresh perspective on the past and look toward what, or perhaps how, the future will be.

RSVP to watch the four-night immersive event.
All shows begin 6 PM (PST) / 8 PM (CST)
Go to:

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Webbery 101

"What is an algorithm? How computers know what to do with data"

This piece ran October 16, 2020 in "The Conversation," and the link is below. 

It's by Jory Denny, University of Richmond

"Computer algorithms can involve complicated math, but the concept of an algorithm is simple... To get a feel for the concept of algorithms, think about getting dressed in the morning. Few people give it a second thought. But how would you write down your process or tell a 5-year-old your approach? Answering these questions in a detailed way yields an algorithm."

Here's the complete text...

The world of computing is full of buzzwords: AI, supercomputers, machine learning, the cloud, quantum computing and more. One word in particular is used throughout computing – algorithm.

In the most general sense, an algorithm is a series of instructions telling a computer how to transform a set of facts about the world into useful information. The facts are data, and the useful information is knowledge for people, instructions for machines or input for yet another algorithm. There are many common examples of algorithms, from sorting sets of numbers to finding routes through maps to displaying information on a screen.

To get a feel for the concept of algorithms, think about getting dressed in the morning. Few people give it a second thought. But how would you write down your process or tell a 5-year-old your approach? Answering these questions in a detailed way yields an algorithm.


To a computer, input is the information needed to make decisions.

When you get dressed in the morning, what information do you need? First and foremost, you need to know what clothes are available to you in your closet. Then you might consider what the temperature is, what the weather forecast is for the day, what season it is and maybe some personal preferences.

All of this can be represented in data, which is essentially simple collections of numbers or words. For example, temperature is a number, and a weather forecast might be “rainy” or “sunshine.”


Next comes the heart of an algorithm – computation. Computations involve arithmetic, decision-making and repetition.

So, how does this apply to getting dressed? You make decisions by doing some math on those input quantities. Whether you put on a jacket might depend on the temperature, and which jacket you choose might depend on the forecast. To a computer, part of our getting-dressed algorithm would look like “if it is below 50 degrees and it is raining, then pick the rain jacket and a long-sleeved shirt to wear underneath it.”

After picking your clothes, you then need to put them on. This is a key part of our algorithm. To a computer a repetition can be expressed like “for each piece of clothing, put it on.”


Finally, the last step of an algorithm is output – expressing the answer. To a computer, output is usually more data, just like input. It allows computers to string algorithms together in complex fashions to produce more algorithms. However, output can also involve presenting information, for example putting words on a screen, producing auditory cues or some other form of communication.

So after getting dressed you step out into the world, ready for the elements and the gazes of the people around you. Maybe you even take a selfie and put it on Instagram to strut your stuff.

Machine learning

Sometimes it’s too complicated to spell out a decision-making process. A special category of algorithms, machine learning algorithms, try to “learn” based on a set of past decision-making examples. Machine learning is commonplace for things like recommendations, predictions and looking up information.

For our getting-dressed example, a machine learning algorithm would be the equivalent of your remembering past decisions about what to wear, knowing how comfortable you feel wearing each item, and maybe which selfies got the most likes, and using that information to make better choices.

So, an algorithm is the process a computer uses to transform input data into output data. A simple concept, and yet every piece of technology that you touch involves many algorithms. Maybe the next time you grab your phone, see a Hollywood movie or check your email, you can ponder what sort of complex set of algorithms is behind the scenes.


The article, with photos, is at:

You can sign-up, free, for "Deep knowledge, daily"-- Sign up here for The Conversation’s newsletter.


Our editor adds...

Jory Denny's feature serves as an introduction to inform about a modern buzz word -- algorithms. It's one that many toss-around with next to no understanding of it. But stopping the discussion where the piece does? That risks dismissing the subject as benign. It isn't.

A closing line or two is needed, about how chains of algorithms always and inevitably produce data tracking that subjects each of us to infinite forms of targeting and inevitably, to predictive analytics. Countless unknown entities profitably subject every scrap of data (that we unknowingly shed) to evermore algorithms. We are grist in mills of manipulation for advertisers, marketers, political interests, opinion makers, those who want to escape taxes, and more.

Example? Take the URL on the article. If you forward it to a friend from your subscription to their free newsletter, a massive data trail is created -- unless you chop-off several hundred characters starting at the question mark, about 30 characters into the address. That's hardly unique to content in "The Conversation." It's ubiquitous, and every mile-long chain of tin cans tied to your bumper attracts attention of those you do not know. (Just look in the little address window, before you hit "send" on a forward.)

Even what we see on the news -- that's a product of what predictive analytics tells corporate media will draw the biggest ratings

... to draw the biggest advertising revenues from those who want to draw the biggest specifically targeted audience

... to sell something to the "correct" demographic (product or concept or belief) that carefully targeted audience suddenly can't live without -- something they didn't know existed five minutes ago.

Hence, the tale in the original story of algorithms to determine getting dressed in the morning. Or, what is in Jory Denny's closet to "choose" to wear -- and to immortalize in a selfie to influence a social media list, by visually suggesting to everyone you added there as "friends" -- after they were "suggested" to you to add them, by algorithms.

Of course, all that merely opens the door to the topic. 

But it does warn of what comes in, like mosquitoes, while the door is open, however briefly. Another article might warn of risks from innocent things like using a handy app to build your own avatar to attend virtual concerts. Because once you put it out there, you have no control over your digital alter ego and no idea what might be done to create the impression that "you" were anywhere you were put -- by infinite unknown interests that are not your friend.

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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. 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 cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.

We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)

Til we catch ya again on the flip side 
in this new world of the improbable unknown...

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