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Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas: tidings of comfort and joy — and tuneage. Dec 25 2020 edition


Ho-Ho-Holiday greetings, from our place of necessary isolation to yours! We have a very full edition of wondrous joys and distractions, so hop aboard the sleigh! There’s plenty of room for you and your banjo, since the bags of toys were emptied last night. Remember to bring your mask, ’cause when we get where we’re going, the elves want to stay healthy.


McCabe's Holiday Concert!

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Photo by Josh Hild 

McCabe's Holiday Concert

watch here!

Starts at 3PM PDT

 3:00         Intro
  3:02   Ruthie Foster
  3:07   Jim Kweskin
  3:13   Chris Smither
  3:18   Stan Rogers
  3:21   Justin Townes Earle
  3:25   Reina del Cid
  3:33   Dead Rock West
  3:36   Little Willie G
  3:41   Peter Mulvey
  3:44   Frank Fairfield
  3:48   Gene Taylor Blues Band
  3:53   Ernest Troost
  3:57   Paul Kowert & Brittany Haas
  4:01   Jonatha Brooke
  4:07   Jeffrey Foucault & Kris Delmhorst
  4:11   David Bromberg
  4:17   Terry Evans
  4:25   Aoife O'Donovan
  4:29   Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas
  4:35   JackShit
  4:39   Rufus Wainwright
  4:48   Steve Ros


L.A.’s Annual Holiday Extravanganza, on tv & on-demand

If you missed the premiere of the 61st Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration on PBS SoCal, you can watch the full show online at or watch the following encore presentations on TV:

  • December 24, 2020, 7:00 p.m. - 10: 00 p.m. PST on PBS SoCal 1
  • December 25, 2020, noon-3:00 p.m. on KCET
  • December 25, 2020, 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. on PBS SoCal 2

Sean Oliu & The Coastline Cowboys Let It Be Christmas

Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca Mambo Yo Yo


Grand Ole Opry’s home station brings holiday special programming

Our gift to you: Christmas Music All Day! 
Tune in to hear your favorite Christmas songs today on WSM!

Today, we're cranking up the Christmas music to provide the perfect playlist for all of your holiday festivities. We have country Christmas hits, holiday favorites, and all of the traditional standards you know and love coming up on 650 AM,, and the free WSM mobile app for our 24-hours of Christmas music!!

Plus, we have two special Christmas episodes of WSM at 95 with Keb' Mo and the McCrary Sisters airing this morning at 10am/c and 11am/c.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at WSM Radio!
The Dailey & Vincent Show airs tonight!
Join Jamie Dailey & Darrin Vincent tonight at 6pm/c for another episode of the Dailey & Vincent Show presented by Springer Mountain Farms!
Listen at!



The Conversation

Academic rigor, journalistic flair

Kalpana Jain, their Senior Religion + Ethics Editor, writes:

Even though Christmas festivities are muted this year, Nativity scenes common in Christian households continue to recreate a familiar biblical story: The three wise men, a guiding star and Joseph and Mary surround the baby Jesus. In the backdrop is Bethlehem, a small town in the Palestinian West Bank, considered, in popular lore, to be the place where he was born.

The story was part of my childhood, and I too associated Jesus with Bethlehem. But was he really born there? Fuller Theological Seminary’s Rodolfo Galvan Estrada III explores the Gospels’ varying and contradictory descriptions of Jesus’ birth and explains how Bethlehem became so important to the story told and sung every year at Christmas.

Also today: 


Corona Christmas — family-friendly Americana song video from Europe

There have been bunches of new songs about these unprecedented times and circumstances. We like a lot of them. Here’s our choice for Christmas song of 2020. It comes with a charming animated video at the link:

(Cover by Meghan Turner Digital Art)



Enjoy the story of the song in Brett’s own words and interactive attachments:

What a year this has been - certainly not boring -  reminding me of the adage "May you live in interesting times". (The phrase was introduced in the 20th century in the form 'interesting age' rather than 'interesting times' and appears that way in the opening remarks made by Frederic R. Coudert at the Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, 1939). Now you know. ..

It's definitely been a year of evolution and transformation for me, beginning with challenging feelings of fear and limitations as my entire business model came to a halt, progressing into proactive action and appreciation of the many blessings of my life; a gratitude made even more present by the pandemic.


(Debut Corona Christmas performance, Cph Listening Room)
(Full Performance Video Below)


I hope you'll enjoy, share and download 'Corona Christmas' as the uplifting message and music it was intended to be, as well as supporting the critical work of the World Health Organisation's Covid19 Response Fund - to which all sales proceeds are being donated. 

It was a singular joy to 'riff' on the developing lyric with my 11 year old singer/songwriter daughter Liva September - who's "bad for business, except Amazon" was pure gold to the process in a creative collaboration that emanated from discussion on how to prevent necessary precautions from disrupting our enjoyment and spirit of the holiday season.

The enthusiastic "Yes!" of Denmark's reigning Queen of Country Music  Tamra Rosanes,  and production of the single by her highly talented producer, guitarist, writer son Noah Rosanes(Who produced my 2010 Christmas single & award winning When You Gonna Figure It Out? single) made for a high energy, family love fest of studio fun - which I believe shines through on the recording.

(Vocal Session with Noah, Tamra, Brett @ Best Kept Secret Studio)

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along...

πŸŽ… πŸŽ„πŸŽ

Corona Christmas


We'll have a Corona Christmas

In the year 2020

Practice social distance

All around the family tree

Even sanitize the Santa

Hangin' from the old chimney

On this Corona Christmas

Staying healthy as can be


Well I don't want to be a cynic

But I'm tired of this pandemic

While we're in it

Let's stay thankful and inspired


And I know it's bad for business

When I shop at home for Christmas

Except for Ebay 

And the Amazon empire


We'll have a Corona Christmas

In the year 2020

Practice social distance

All around the family tree


Even sanitize the Santa

Hangin' from the old chimney

On this Corona Christmas

Staying healthy as can be


On that day we'll say a prayer

For the ones no longer there

Recalling our most precious memories


Then we'll raise a toast

To all the frontline folks

Workin' round the clock for you and me


We'll have a Corona Christmas

In the year 2020

Practice social distance

All around the family tree

We're sayin' No, Ho, Ho to Santa

Comin' down the old chimney

On this Corona Christmas

Staying healthy as can be


(c) 2020 Liva September Riis Perkins/Brett Perkins/Tamra Rosanes

Debut Performance On The Copenhagen Listening Room
November 8, 2020
Working up the song arrangement with Noah Rosanes
Liva September adding her voice to the mix.
Mastering with Peter Brander, Media Sound Studio
2010 found me singing about being alone at Christmas. 2020, about staying socially distanced. 2030 theme suggestions/predictions anyone? πŸ˜ƒπŸ€£πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸŽ…πŸ»⛄️😘




LIVESTREAM From NEWGRANGE Winter Solstice 2020


The Magic of Christmas

Wild Mountain Thyme a Film by John Patrick Shanley

From Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and director John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck), Wild Mountain Thyme captures the romance, lyricism and transcendent beauty of the Irish countryside in an extraordinary love story between two lonely souls. Passionate, determined and smart, Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) has been in love with

We have always liked Brad Colerick’s song "Juarez." He sent us “a little parody spin on it — "Santa Lives In Juarez" to enjoy. Merry Christmas to all!  -bc 

ays liked Brad Colerick’s 


Pat Bagley is one of the all time great editorial cartoonists!  Pat has drawn for the Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune for decades. He is syndicated through Cagle Cartoons (


From the weekly

Los Angeles Times

By By Rachel Schnalzer

Design and illustrations by Jade Cuevas

🐧 Walk in Shackleton’s shoes in Antarctica

Even the most intrepid travelers may not make it to Antarctica in their lifetimes. But not for lack of desire. A quick Google search reveals that trips to the icy continent often cost $10,000 — or much more.

Enter Shackleton 100, a website created to celebrate the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic mission. Its interactive map lets virtual adventurers explore the continent.

Using the map, you can walk inside ultra-remote places such as Shackleton’s hut — full of rustic provisions — and Half Moon Island, home to scores of chinstrap penguins. And it doesn’t cost you a penny to get there.

Screengrabs from Shackleton 100's site showing a map and a photo of Antarctica

Take a detour to the South Pole this week with the help of Shackleton 100. (Screengrabs from Shackleton 100; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angles Times)

🦌 Take a sleigh ride in Lapland

Get a taste of what life is like in Rautas, a reindeer herding village in Sweden, with this interactive video. Viewers can use their mouse to get a 360-degree view of a reindeer farm and a swift sleigh ride through winter woods.

If you’d like to further immerse yourself in northern Sweden’s winter wonderland, Lights Over Lapland offers a video tour of an ice hotel, as well as the northern lights as seen in Abisko National Park.

video of interactive sleigh ride lays on top of blue and yellow squiggle background

Move over Santa, we’re taking the reins on a sleigh ride this week with from; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)

⛰️ See the beauty of southeast Alaska

This virtual tour of destinations in and around Sitka, Alaska, lets viewers soak in views from southeast Alaska’s Harbor Mountain Trail, Sitka Sound and other jaw-dropping places.

If you fall in love with Sitka and don’t want your virtual adventure to end, continue your visit with the National Park Service’s tours of historic sites in the area.

video of boat touring through a lake in southeast Alaska with rainbow background

Take a tour through southeast Alaska and soak in the icy views from the warmth of your bed. (Screengrab from; photo illustration by Jade Cuevas / Los Angeles Times)


Explore America’s Sacred Places

Plus, cozy up with holiday movies that focus on the love of saving places.

Sacred Places

Uncover America’s Sacred Spaces

Sacred places can evoke powerful responses to people who experience them. Explore lofty cathedrals and earthen mounds, wooded paths and rolling battlefields—places that encourage contemplation and reflection.



Holiday Movies

Preservation + Love = Holiday Movies!

Every year without fail, a slew of romantic holiday movies are released to celebrate the season. This year, many of the storylines focus on preservation, with couples finding love while saving a place that is meaningful to them. Check out our list of streaming holiday movies that find love in all the right (historic) places.



Historic Fireplaces

8 Historic Fireplaces to Warm Up Your Day

With winter’s chill in the air, there is nothing more comforting than warming yourself in front of a roaring fire. The best fireplaces have a gravitational pull to them, inviting deep conversations over cups of hot chocolate or mulled wine. Explore the list of the best fireplaces featured in past Preservation magazine stories to warm your body and soul.



From the South Bay / Hermosa Beach based “Easy Reader News.”

“Louis van Beethoven” – A symphony [MOVIE REVIEW]

Sabin Tambrea as Pfeiffer, an early teacher, and Colin PΓΌtz as young Beethoven in “Louis von Beethoven.” Photo courtesy of Eikon Media and Film Movement.

by Neely Swanson

“Louis van Beethoven,” written and directed by Niki Stein, is film biography of the composer better known as Ludwig. Made for German television, “Louis van Beethoven” has all the production values of a fine film. And a fine film it is, indeed.

Stein has chosen to frame the history of one of the greatest composers ever to live (if not the greatest, depending on where you rank Bach and Mozart) by juxtaposing the last months of his life against his early story. If this sounds like the interminable use of flashbacks, it is not; it’s much more complex and interesting. Although much is commonly known about the man and artist – that he carried a torch throughout his life for the woman he loved and lost and that he was completely deaf by the time he wrote his Ninth Symphony, there was so much more.

The film opens on Beethoven decamping from Vienna to the countryside after the seeming failure of his last symphony, the Ninth. Accompanied by his nephew and ward, Karl, they are bound for the villa of his brother Johann. It is as much to shield his nephew from scrutiny and possible institutionalization after a suicide attempt, as it is to find haven from financial and health difficulties. Close to his brother, but disdainful of his sister-in-law, it is a harbinger of tensions to come when Ludwig and Karl are met with a farm wagon instead of the carriage he had been promised.

Working on his latest musical piece, one deemed too dissonant and difficult to play by his publisher, we cut to a time when he was a piano prodigy at the age of 8 in Bonn, the provincial state and capital of the Electorate of Cologne ruled by the Archbishop, the prince-elector. Ludwig, or Louis as he was sometimes affectionately called, was groomed by his father Jean, a semi-successful opera singer with the local, Elector-sponsored opera and orchestra, to be the second coming of Mozart. A string of increasingly more important teachers guide young Ludwig to more successful local appointments until the local leaders of the municipality sponsor him to go to Vienna and work with Mozart.

Tobias Moretti as Beethoven and Johanna Gastdorf as his sister-in-law Therese in “Louis von Beethoven.” Photo courtesy of Eikon Media and Film Movement.

Returning to the aged Beethoven, his irascibility is emphasized in the imperious way he treats all around him. He is well aware of his importance and refuses to integrate into family life, regardless of their generosity and his imposition upon them. Among the possessions he values most is the small portrait of a beautiful young woman. As he sits in his room, he composes a letter to a long lost but never forgotten friend; presumably the young woman in the portrait.

Cutting to a teenaged Beethoven, now the toast of Bonn and breadwinner of his much diminished family. With the death of his mother, closely followed by that of another sister who joined a string of other siblings who died in childhood, Jean descended into acute alcoholism and neglected his financial and emotional duties to his remaining sons. Young Ludwig, however, had increased in prestige despite the debacle of his short period with the profligate Mozart. Foremost among his supporters was the upper class Helene von Breuning, the mother of Eleonore, one of his piano students and a surrogate mother to Ludwig. Eleonore and Ludwig clearly adore each other. Although Madame von Breuning recognizes his genius, it is his lack of social status that determines her next steps. It is she, primarily, who schemes to separate them.

Given a choice between a return to Vienna, sponsored by von Breuning, this time to study with the more stable Josef Hayden, or remain in the backwater of Bonn, he chooses a future we are all aware of. Eleonore, compliant to her mother’s wishes, will go on to marry an aristocrat; and Beethoven succeeds beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. But he seems always haunted with the feeling of “what if” whenever he looks at the small framed portrait that had been a gift of Eleonore during a time when all seemed possible.

The acting is excellent led by the three actors playing Beethoven at various ages: Colin PΓΌtz as a child; Anselm Bresgott as a teenager; and most importantly Tobias Moretti as an old man. Moretti gives the aged Beethoven the hard edge of a man whose greatness is assured and the vulnerability of someone who is angry by what has been dealt him at the end of life.

Niki Stein has adeptly created a framework that never feels like a series of flashbacks but instead an opening into the time and events that shaped the old man in front of us. Much of this is also due to an experienced editor, Jan Pusch. The cinematography by Arthur W. Ahrweller artfully recreates both the German countryside and Viennese city life, all of which was enhanced by the skills of Production Designer Benedikt Herforth and Costume Designer Veronika Albert. The film can seem slow and longer than its 2 hour running time, but it is still worth it and you’ll know a lot more about the man than when you started. It is, nevertheless, a fitting tribute to the genius who was born 250 years ago, baptized, fittingly enough, on December 17, the day of this review.

In German with English subtitles.

Opening December 16 at the following Virtual Theaters: The Laemmle and our local South Bay Film Society


___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___

Stay healthy, stay safe. 

Honor the health care people who are, in the words of one COVID unit ER doctor, "Not the front line first responders, but the last line of defense, if it comes to keeping you alive."

How to honor them?

Don't be a maskhole who joins the Branch Covidians. 

This will all be over and we can brag about how well we came through -- if we don't get reckless in these final days of great risk.

___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___ ^ ___

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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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