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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Adieu April, Welcome May! News, Weekend Events (and Beyond), and More, within...

Here's a nice, full edition with PLENTY of fun options this weekend and way beyond, and other good stuff.

• Interested in your Saturday & Sunday? Check out features 1, 2, 4, 5, & 8.

• Number 3 is about a Saturday deadline to perform at FAR-West in October.

• And features 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 are about music topics or future events.

Specifically, this is what awaits you here...

1)  26th Annual "DYLANFEST" IS THIS SUNDAY, MAY 1st


3)  DEADLINE for FAR-West Official Showcase Submissions 2016 is SATURDAY, APRIL 30






9)  30th annual "LONG BEACH BAYOU FESTIVAL" coming June 18 & 19, 2016


Let's get started!


# 1 news feature...


Whether you come from the deeply steeped traditions of Folk-Americana, or anyplace else tangent to the Great American Songbook, there's no argument that Bob Dylan is one of our greatest and most prolific songwriters, whose catalog includes more instantly recognizable classics than anyone else's.

And if there's a better annual tribute festival, to any artist, we haven't found it. This event reliably brings wonderful musicians — including top L.A. studio musicians, some prominent touring types fresh off the road, and award-winning top local bands. Numbering more than 60, they meld into ensembles and deliver plenty of panache, artistry and energy to 60 Bob Dylan originals — without a single repeat, all day.

Personally, we're thrilled that two of our seldom-performed favorites are in the program — "The Hour When the Ship Comes In," and "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again." Plus literally dozens of songs everybody recognizes.

Dylanfest is held in the spacious outdoor courtyard of the Torrance Cultural Center complex (address below). It's under a peripheral, partial canopy, of trees that doesn't block views of the stage. The sound system is excellent. There's plenty of accessible adjacent indoor space where you can find the photo gallery of all 25 past Dylanfests, and cool surroundings if you want them. It has great facilities, good food and libations are available, and a whole lot of fun awaits singing along with dancers costumed as characters from the songs.

We bring you the full story every year, and our first feature this year was more than two months ago. But if you missed all that, tix ARE still available.

Here's the full schedule, right after these LATE DETAILS.

√ Save $5 off the door price with online tix purchase at

√ You can stay for as much or as little of the festival as you like and can come and go as you please (but why would you want to miss anything?)

√ Because of insurance and permit issues, pets or outside food or drink are not allowed at Dylanfest.

√ Cash or credit cards for tickets and merchandise at the show. Food is CASH ONLY.

√ Want to see what's in store for you? Their website has music videos of last year's 25th anniversary Dylanfest. You can watch:
"Queen Jane Approximately"
"Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"
"Every Grain Of Sand"

All, plus tix and info, at:

DOORS / GATES open at 11:45 am, MUSIC STARTS at 12:30 pm.


(Print or copy into your phone and take it with you)...

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
1) Love Minus Zero/No Limit
2) The Hour When the Ship Comes In
3) Workingman's Blues #2
4) Girl From The North Country, feat. Evyn Charles
5) Emotionally Yours

Uncle John's Band:
6) Up to Me - John Rosenberg

The Batti Family:
7) It Ain't Me Babe

Daniel Leanse:
8) One More Cup of Coffee

Brax Cutchin:
9) Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You. Steve w/ bass

Catalina Kings:
10) Thunder on the Mountain
11) Cry Awhile

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain: 
12) For Ramona
13) My Back Pages
14) I Shall Be Released
15) Caribbean Wind
16) The Mighty Quinn, feat. Fuzzy Thurston (Craig Gross)
17) Born in Time - Terry Buck
18) Slow Train Comin' - Paul Zollo
19) Watching the River Flow - John Brown
20) You Ain't Goin' Nowhere

Bob Hawkins:
21) One Too Many Mornings

John Hoke w/ Bob Hawkins:
22) Make You Feel My Love

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain: 
23) True Love Tends to Forget
24) Is Your Love in Vain?
25) Senor - Al Diesan
26) Changing of the Guards
27) It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Renee

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
28) Things Have Changed
29) Every Grain of Sand
30) Tambourine Man w/ John Hoke, Dave Crossland, Andy

31 Leopardskin Pillbox Hat
32) Man of Peace

Dave Leahy:
33) Florida Key
34) Wagon Wheel

Patti Orbeck:
35) I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
36) I Believe in You

Jack of Hearts:
37) Days of 49
38) Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again

Renee / Marty / Andy:
39) With God on Our Side

Hard Rain / Trish Gomez:
40) Subterranean Homesick Blues

Pillow of Wrongness:
41) Positively 4th Street
42) From A Buick Six

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
43) Rainy Day Women

Davey Allen:
44) Maggie's Farm

Dave Crossland - w/ Bob Hawkins:
45) Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
46) Don't Think Twice - Renee
47) Hurricane w/ Jamie Daniels

Karen Nash:
48) I Want You

Bob Malone:
49) Tangled Up In Blue

50) Forever Young
51) Paths of Victory

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
52) Blowin' in the Wind

Scott Gerber:
53) Ballad of a Thin Man

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
54) Chimes of Freedom
55) Knockin on Heaven's Door
56) Blind Willie McTell - Fuzzy Thurston
57) Silvio

Luis Oliart:
58) All Along The Watchtower

Andy & Renee & Hard Rain:
59) Serve Somebody - Renee
60) Like A Rolling Stone- Andy


The Torino Plaza at the Torrence Cultural Center complex, 3330 Civic Center Dr, Torrance 90503. Ample free parking.

Tix (discounted in advance) and more info:


# 2 news feature...


(Notes: (a) shows at the Coffee Gallery Backstage have full write-ups in a SEPARATE feature, and (b) events with individual feature story write-ups — at various venues — are NOT double-listed here.)

and Sat & Sun

√  Annual "ADAMS AVENUE UNPLUGGED FESTIVAL," Sat & Sun, Apr 30 & May 1, noon-10 pm Sat, noon-7 pm Sun, has stages and various performance locations along Adams Avenue in San Diego 92116. With Nathan & Jessie, Patty Hall & Gregory Martin Campbell, Fanny & the Atta Boys, Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi, Bill Dempsey, Jeff Berkley, Joe Rathburn, G Burns Jug Band, Gregory Page, Sara Petite & The Sugar Daddies, Ross Altman, and more.


√  Annual "STAGECOACH FESTIVAL" runs through Sun, May 1, at Empire Polo Club in Indio. Two stages of the best of roots-Americana. Publicized headliners are all Nashville pop-country acts.


√  Annual "New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival" is happening all weekend through May 1st in "the other LA," Louisiana.


√  Annual "BAY AREA STORYTELLING FESTIVAL" Sat & Sun, Apr 30 & May 1, in Northern Cal at the Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way, Orinda 94563.


√  Annual "Spring Concert" by the SCOTTISH FIDDLERS OF LOS ANGELES, Sat, Apr 30, 3:30 pm at the Pasadena Central Library, in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena 91101.


√  BURNING HEART BLUEGRASS plus CHRIS CERNA & BLUEGRASS REPUBLIC, Sat, Apr 30, 8 pm, at Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City 90230; 310-398-2583.


√  "MAY DAY," Sun, May 1, noon, at 11th & Figueroa (near Staples Center / L.A. Live / Grammy Museum), downtown L.A. Not specifically a music event; centers on social activism and a call for action to "protect our families, jobs, and future." Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Central Labor Council is taking part. Info, 213-353-1784.


√  Latin Grammy nom Sandra Sandia plays the "Matinee Kids' Show" Sun, May 1, 11 am, at McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl (at 31st St), Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497;
Those with little ones will want to catch this show with Sandra Sandia. Sandia performs original Spanish music with her band. Her debut album, "Sandra Sandia," was released in 2008 and was a nominee for the 2010 Latin Grammys in the Children's Music Category. Sandra recently released her second CD,"Alegria," which provides an explosive fusion of Samba, Axe, Cumbia, Bossa Nova, and Funk,creating a joyous musical experience. She brings an eclectic collection of instruments to the stage for a joyous musical vibration. When not on stage, Sandra facilitates drum circles for children and adults (in Spanish and English) as a means to get happy and empower individuals with music. "Con Alegria se gana La Loteria!" ("With happiness you win the lottery!")


√  Live Music Accompanying Classic Silent Film, Sun, May 1, 3 pm, at the Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. See feature story in this edition.


√  RODNEY CROWELL plays Sun, May 1, 7:30 pm, for the AMSD Concerts Series, in the Laura R. Charles Theater at Sweetwater High School , 2900 Highland Av, National City (San Diego Co.) 91950.


√  Andy & Renee & Hard Rain, Thu, May 5; fresh from Dylanfest (May 1), they play the "Cinco de Mayo" show at Don the Beachcomber in Long Beach. Check for details.


√  "KEITH URBAN: INSIDE THE SONGS OF RIPCORD" is Tue, May 10,  8 pm, at the GRAMMY Museum, 800 W Olympic Bl, L.A. 90015; 213-765-6800. Tix: AmEx card only, now. General on-sale starts Fri, May 6 at noon.
On May 10th, four-time GRAMMY Award winner Keith Urban celebrates the release of his eighth studio recording "RIPCORD," live in the GRAMMY Museum's Clive Davis Theater. The one night only event includes intimate performances and stories behind the writing, producing and recording of Urban's new album. It has already produced Urban's 19th and 20th No. 1 songs, "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16," "Break On Me." From Pitbull and Nile Rodgers to Carrie Underwood and Dann Huff to Jeff Bhasker, Greg Wells and Busbee, Urban's nearly 18-month journey creating "RIPCORD" has included influential and celebrated musicians. The evening is moderated by Scott Goldman, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.


√  Annual "LOS ANGELES OLD-TIME SOCIAL" runs Thu, May 12-Sat, May 14. Concerts, workshops, dances, in an immersion in the good time roots music that preceded bluegrass.


√  Hard Rain opens for Iron Butterfly at Saint Rocke, May 12. Check for details.


√  "A Conversation With Claudette Robinson And Warren 'Pete' Moore," in conjunction with the opening of "Legends of Motown: Celebrating The Miracles," is Fri, May 13, 7:30 pm, at the GRAMMY Museum, 800 W Olympic Bl, L.A. 90015; 213-765-6800. Tix avail. now.
The GRAMMY Museum welcomes "First Lady of Motown" Claudette Robinson and fellow founding member of The Miracles, Warren "Pete" Moore, to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation surrounding the enduring legacy of "Motown and The Miracles," moderated by GRAMMY Museum Curator Nwaka Onwusa.


√  "The Art of Singing," Sat, May 14, 3 pm, in the Recital Hall (Music Building) at L.A. Valley College. Tix, $10, at 818-517-4102;  seating is limited. It's a rare opportunity to see a true international operatic star conduct a Master Class in vocal technique and style with five up-and-coming young singers. Renowned mezzo-soprano Milena Kitic, most recently seen in L.A. Opera's recent production of "Madama Butterfly," is the special guest master teacher. More:


√  Annual "TOPANGA BANJO•FIDDLE CONTEST & FOLK FESTIVAL" Sun, May 15, at Paramount Ranch in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, near Agoura. The best one-day folk fest anywhere. Full info at:


√  "Confronting Progressive Politics & the Black and Brown Vote" is not music but an L.A. Progressive Forum, Mon, May 16, 7-9 pm, at Ward AME Church, 1177 W 25th St, Los Angeles. FREE with RSVP to:
Topic: "An alliance of progressive voters across racial lines would be a political force to be reckoned with but a vacuum exists between social movements and electoral politics. Why?"
Speakers / panelists: Melina Abdullah, Chair, Pan-African Studies Department at Cal State L.A.; Black Lives Matter; Erin Aubry Kaplan, Journalist, Author of "I Heart Obama;" Mark-Anthony Johnson, Dignity & Power Now; Unai Montes-Irueste, SEIU and ACLU SoCal; Sharon Kyle, Moderator, Professor of Law, People’s College of Law, and Publisher, LA Progressive. Sponsors - Beautiful Trouble, LA Progressive, Ward AME Church.
Info: Dick & Sharon at
or phone, 213-434-4643; or Chelsea Lee Byers at


√  12th annual "MusiCares MAP Fund® Tribute Concert Honoring GRAMMY® winner Smokey Robinson" at The Novo (formally Club Nokia) in Los Angeles, is May 19. Proceeds benefit the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment regardless of their financial situation. Performers include Tamar Braxton, Backstreet Boys, El DeBarge, Kem, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, and Cee Lo Green. Robinson will give a closing performance. Cedric the Entertainer hosts the event. Tix now available at 213-765-6800.


√  "The Delight of Light Opera" on Sat, May 21, two performances, 2 & 7 pm, at L.A. Valley College's Main Stage Theatre, 5800 Fulton Av, Valley Glen. Tix at 818-517-4102; $25 gen'l, $15 for students and seniors (open seating).  Center Stage Opera and The Valley Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Michael Arshagouni, team-up to present highlights from FOUR all-time favorites of operetta: Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Mikado" and "The Pirates Of Penzance," Strauss' "Die Fledermaus," and Lehar's "The Merry Widow."


√  Annual "CLAREMONT FOLK FESTIVAL" Sun, May 22, is already SOLD-OUT.


√  "An Evening of Sacred Music with Annmarie Soul" is May 22, 7 pm, at Yoga Desa, 120 N Topanga Canyon Bl, Topanga. Tix, $15 adv., $20 at door. Adv. tix: It's a warm spring evening of music in beautiful Topanga Canyon, and she is joined by David Bergeaud, Steve Postell, Nacho Arimany, Idan Meyer, Marla Leigh Goldstein and addt'l musicians.  More:


# 3 news feature...

DEADLINE for FAR-West Official Showcase Submissions 2016 is SATURDAY, APRIL 30

Saturday, April 30, at 11:59 pm (PDT), applications close to perform at an "Official Showcase" at the Folk Alliance Region-West FAR-West 2016 conference held this coming October in Bellevue, Washington. 

The application e-form, tips for applying successfully, and all the guidelines are on the FAR-West site, at:

Questions? Contact:


# 4 news feature...


An afternoon of action, mystery and romance awaits when organist Dennis James performs the thrilling soundtrack to the 1920 silent movie classic, “The Mark of Zorro” on Sunday, May 1, at 3 pm, in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

Swashbuckling musical adventures and exciting swordfights explode on screen when this acclaimed organist returns to the home of the Pacific Symphony to re-create the soundtrack to the 1920 silent-film masterpiece.

The groundbreaking film stars the legendary Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., in the double role of Don Diego Vega / Señor Zorro, while the Symphony’s concert organ sets imaginations ablaze and sensations reverberating.

The 4,322 pipes of the mighty “King of Instruments” thunders forth for this special movie matinee. In the skilled hands of James, indescribable sounds emanate from the commanding William J. Gillespie Concert Organ to provide the film’s original score, as the classic movie plays overhead.

Fairbanks biographer Jeffrey Vance writes, “ ‘The Mark of Zorro’ is a landmark, not only in the career of Douglas Fairbanks, but also in the development of the action adventure film.”

“Silent films were never meant to be presented silently,” says the organist, James, currently the living embodiment of the silent-film/music tradition.

“From the beginning of the motion picture era at the turn of the 20th century, music was an expected element of the presentation, whether supplied by pianist, organist or band," he adds.

“The Mark of Zorro,” a nearly century-old film starring Fairbanks as the bumbling Vega, son of wealthy ranchero Don Alejandro, is set in 19th-century Spanish California (present-day San Juan Capistrano!). Don Diego despises the oppressive colonial government and takes on the masked identity of Señor Zorro to act as a champion of the people. With surprising humor and athleticism, Zorro slashes his trademark “Z” into the faces of his enemies and leads the way for justice for all.

This promises to be a memorable revival.

Tix, $10-$50, at 714-755-5799. More at


# 5 news feature...


McCabe's, that Santa Monica sanctuary for music, has just added some amazing shows. Tix are available now, until sold-out. Which won't take long.

Newly announced first:

√ Two shows with amazing gee-tar slinger Junior Brown on June 3.

√ It's "a night with one-man Brill Building" Dan Bern on June 12.

√ There's virtuosity with the California Guitar Trio on June 24.

√ Rock 'n roll legend Mitch Ryder plays two nights,  July 1 & 2.

√ The great Slaid Cleaves returns on July 9.

√ Americana all-star Jim Lauderdale has been added on July 24.

Previously announced McCabe's schedule:

• Sun, 5/1: Matinee Kids' Show with SANDRA SANDIA, 11 am. $10. Kids under age 2 get in free.

• Fri, 5/6: CRYSTAL BOWERSOX, 8 pm. $25.

• Sat & Sun, 5/7 & 8: ALBERT LEE with special guest Jerry Donahue, 8 pm both nights. $26.50.

• Fri, 5/13: DIRK HAMILTON, 8 pm. $20.

• Sat, 5/14: JANIVA MAGNESS, 8 pm. $25.

• Sun, 5/15: DARRYL PURPOSE plus Paul Zollo, 8 pm. $16.

• Fri, 5/20: THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL, 8 pm. $20.

• Sat, 5/21: JOSH ROUSE, 8 pm. $25.

• Sun, 5/22: TIM O'BRIEN, 8 pm. $25.

• Sat, 5/28: PHRANC, 8 pm. $20.

• Sun, 5/29: Matinee Kids' Show with PEANUT, 11 am. $10. Kids under age 2 get in free.

• Fri, 6/3: JUNIOR BROWN, 8 & 10 pm. $28.50.

• Sat, 6/4: HAPPY TRAUM presents "Coming Of Age in the Folk Revival," a multimedia event featuring live performance, rare visuals, and personal anecdotes. 8 pm. $20.

• Sun, 6/5: Matinee Kids' Show with PETER ALSOP, 11 am. $10. Kids under age 2 get in free.

• Sat, 6/11: CHARLIE HUNTER TRIO featuring Scott Amendola and Kirk Knuffke, 8 pm. $24.50.

• Sun, 6/12: DAN BERN, 8 pm. $20.

• Fri, 6/17: SARAH JAROSZ, 8 pm. $22.50. SOLD OUT.

• Sat, 6/18: DAN NAVARRO, 8 pm. $20.

• Sun, 6/19: PETER CASE, 8 pm. $22.50.

• Fri, 6/24: CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO, 8 pm. $20.

• Sun, 6/26: Matinee Kids' Show with THE HOLLOW TREES, 11 am. $10. Kids under age 2 get in free.

• Fri, 7/1 & Sat, 7/2: MITCH RYDER, 8 pm, both nights. $25.

• Sat, 7/9: SLAID CLEAVES, 8 pm. $25.

• Sun, 7/10: Matinee Kids' Show with MISTA COOKIE JAR, 11 am. $10. Kids under age 2 get in free.

• Sun, 7/24: JIM LAUDERDALE, 8 pm. $20.

It's all at McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl (at 31st St), Santa Monica 90405; tix,  310-828-4497 or


# 6 news feature...


In the run-up to the annual "Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival," the Guide is running features on those instruments and people who play them.

Elle King played banjo for a recent "Woodroom Session" — aptly named, since these special musical experiences are held in the Deering Woodroom, where the wood is prepared for use in crafting instruments.

Did you know that the incredibly talented Elle King plays banjo? She performed, armed only with a Sierra model banjo. The Ohio born songstress is emerging as a rising star and has seen great success in the last year, receiving a Grammy nod for her platinum selling track, "Ex's & Oh's." She's created buzz with several prominent performances including "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon, and on the big festival circuit at Bonaroo and SXSW.

Of course, Deering makes world-class banjos at their Southern California factory in the North San Diego County of Spring Valley. They provided the video in their latest e-newsletter.

Jamie Latty, Deering's Vice President for administration, writes, "Elle is often seen on the road playing her Eagle II Woody (a standard Eagle II without a tone ring) but dropped by the factory to place her order for a very special banjo while in San Diego. While she was here, of course we had to ask if she would like to record a Woodroom Session."

Jamie adds, "Luckily for us, Ms. King is a true pro, and couldn’t have been more gracious with her time," adding that she "picked out a custom Sierra with a pop-on resonator and Kavanjo pick up to play."

You can watch the interview to accompany a song on their site, where they also give you Elle King and a solo rendition of her song, “Good to Be a Man,” all at the same link.

Watch and enjoy at:


# 7 news feature...


It's billed as "Two Epic Journeys in One Night: Vivaldi’s 'The Four Seasons' with Violinist Philippe Quint and Strauss’ 'An Alpine Symphony.'" Two all-time favorite pieces will provide a feast for the ears, while stimulating imaginations with their vivid, arresting beauty.

Pacific Symphony performs one of the most beloved works of the Baroque repertoire, then takes a stunning excursion through the Alps.

First, Vivaldi’s lyrical masterpiece “The Four Seasons,” which paints tantalizing pictures of the changing seasons, is performed and led by award-winning Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint. It's a revel in the celebration of the autumn harvest, the warmth of the winter fire, and the languor of the summer sun, as Vivaldi’s Venetian tour de force unleashes all of the drama and splendor of the Baroque period and the lyrical beauty of the strings.

Then, led by Music Director Carl St. Clair, the Symphony retraces the majestic, musical depiction of a dawn-to-dusk hike up and down the Bavarian Alps, as brought to life by Richard Strauss’ lush, splendid musical descriptions in his fine work, “An Alpine Symphony.”

To illustrate Strauss’ grand masterpiece, each movement is introduced by breathtaking images from acclaimed filmmaker Gregory MacGillivray’s “National Parks Adventure,” marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Also on the big screen, live image magnification (IMAG) of the musicians performing onstage brings an up-close-and-personal experience of both symphonic pieces.
“Overall, this program celebrates Earth’s nature and its deep influence on composers and their music throughout the ages,” says Maestro St. Clair. He continues, “Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ is as permanent and important a part of our orchestral repertoire as the seasons themselves are to our daily lives. This far-reaching concerto has become such a rich staple on concert stages.”

The concert runs for three performances, Thursday through Saturday, May 19-21, at 8 pm in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. A preview talk with Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia begins at 7 pm.

Tix range from $25-$110, at 714-755-5799. More info at:


# 8 news feature...


Show biz veteran Bob Stane is irrepressible, and that's a very good thing. His club, The Coffee Gallery Backstage, is the best intimate acoustic music venue in L.A. Even though it's actually in the highlands above Pasadena, at 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena. Always make reservations or you risk a "sold-out" sign. That's by phone only, 10 am-10 pm, 7 days, at 626-798-6236.

Here's this weekend through next.

• JANET KLEIN & HER PARLOR BOYS, Sat, Apr 30, 7 pm. Tix, $20. 
"Obscure, Naughty and Lovely tunes of the 1910s, 20s & 30s" is a rollicking feast for the ears, eyes and heart. Janet and her distinctive musician pals deliver a bundle of spirited and inspired renditions of cleverly fun but forgotten Tin Pan Alley, early hot jazz, saucy bits and late ragtime gems. Adding to the band's already extensive repertoire these merrymakers zestfully branch into obscure vaudeville and Vitaphone numbers, Hawaiian, Yiddish novelty tunes, French and Italian knock-out ballads.
Bob Stane calls it, "So much fun it should be illegal. And maybe it was once, but now you can enjoy them on a Saturday night. Big Time Merriment."
Check out for tunes and info on their latest CD, "It's The Girl."


• 2 GUYS NAMED BEN, Sun, May 1, 3 pm matinee. Tix, $15.
In the fall of 2014, Ben Townsend, a renowned storyteller and traditional musician from the Appalachian mountain region, and Ben Guzman, a native Angeleno, known for his involvement in the Los Angeles Old Time Social, The Bicycle Kitchen, and Triple Chicken Foot, rode their bicycles across the country, playing music, and filming regional musicians and artists along the way.
2 Guys Named Ben performances blend storytelling, live music, film to take the audience on a multimedia bicycle tour starting in Hampshire County, West Virginia through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Louisiana Bayou, along the Mexican border, through the southwestern desert, finally landing in Los Angeles. At the end of their journey, they recorded an album of music, "Deep End Sessions Volume 3: Ben Townsend and Friends."
Check 'em out:


• JASON HAWK HARRIS and NATALIE NICOLES, Sun, May 1, 7 pm. Tix, $12.
Young virtuosos, one from THE SHOW PONIES, one from THE WILD REEDS.
Jason Hawk Harris, born and raised in the swampy forests of southeast Texas, is the current guitarist of that outstanding roots outfit, The Show Ponies. His appearance at the Coffee Gallery marks his debut performance as a solo artist. While many modern guitarists regard themselves as emancipated from the “strictures” of classical music, Harris credits Queen for kindling his interest in Bach and Mozart. He couldn’t have predicted what came next: “I went to school for music composition and had planned on going the academic route until I heard a bluegrass guitar solo a week after I graduated and decided I didn't want to do anything else.” When he heard Co-Lead vocalists Andi Carder and Clayton Chaney perform together, he became enamored of their duet Americana sound and traded his electric guitars and Brian May solos for a Martin acoustic and flatpicking lessons with Michael Daves.
NATALIE NICOLES says, "My musical journey began as early as I can remember; feeling, experiencing, and processing through music. I grew up singing, but started experimenting with songwriting in high school. I wasn't quite finding a musical endeavor that was satisfying, and continued my growth into college. In fall of 2010, while at college in Southern California, in a living room full of people singing with us, Branches formed. I am currently part of this amazing musical project and have five wonderful brothers in music to share the journey with. We are SO privileged to travel all over the country to sing with our friends on the road, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We can't wait to see where we end up next!"
"Also close to Branches forming, The Wild Reeds began to take shape in December of 2009. Knowing Kinsey since first grade, and singing with her since fifth, it came as no surprise when we found Sharon and happened to form what looked like a band.
"With three-part harmonies that we could feel all the way down to our toes, we set out to be strong women in music, and to bring joy and light into a dark industry. In January of 2013, after three years with The Reeds, I played my final show and decided to step down from The Wild Reeds. I recorded two full length albums, 'Songs for the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening,' and 'Even When The Strong Winds Blow,' with these ladies, as well as a Christmas E.P.
"Lastly, I continue writing songs under my own name, and perform my own material in my free time from touring with Branches. I am excited to say after many attempts at releasing my own recorded solo material, my full length project 'Lucent' has finally been released. It's available on all of the musical internet platforms! I create to make people feel in hopes that these projects fester in the deepest parts of your soul and to warm the smallest cockles of your heart. Thank you for reading, and being part of my story!" —


He is the only guitarist ever to win First Prize in the world's top competitions in both the Classical and Fingerstyle genres; the Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition and the National Fingerstyle Championships at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfiled, Kansas.
His performances, played on both steel string and classical guitars, include musical styles ranging from blues to Bach to country and beyond.
In the '80s and '90s, Michael proved himself to be one of the world's finest classical guitarists, twice winning the coveted National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Grant,and taking First Prize in both the Guitar Foundation of America's and the Music Teachers National Association's Guitar Competitions. He also won the Silver Medal in Venezuela's VIII Concurso International de Guitarra "Alirio Diaz".
Check him out: You tube:
This is about the fifth encore for Michael at The Coffee Gallery Backstage. He first came as a college instructor in guitar and well-known prize winner in all the contests that make a difference (see above). He of the shock of hair and foot of bare entertains with the best of string plucking and sly wit.
Recently, he completed a tour of Asia (amongst many world wide). Youthful and fun, he has a delightful style and fills the room.
Again and impossibly, The Coffee Gallery Backstage ensnares the best in the world for you to watch and listen from 6 feet away.
Check out the Web Page and the youtubes. A treasure trove of musical gems.


• WITCHER - RECUPIDO - LEVITT & WITCHER, Sat, May 7, 7 pm. Tix, $18.
That's right, a band name with eleven syllables, two dashes and an ampersand, and those two Witchers are WITCHER BROTHERS. This is Bluegrass at its best, great harmonies, exciting instrumentals and some of the finest original material around. Dennis Witcher, founder of the legendary Los Angeles based bluegrass band The Witcher Brothers, and long time Witcher Brothers band mate and songwriting collaborator Tony Recupido, team up with Banjo stylist extraordinaire Dan Levitt to form this must see, exciting new Los Angeles bluegrass band.
For more that twenty years, Dennis Witcher and Tony Recupido have been mainstays on the West Coast bluegrass circuit. Their amazing songs have touched audiences across the country for years with soul grabbing melodies, lyrics that touch the heart and harmonies that are as close to sibling harmonies as you can get without having the same last name. When you add Tony's amazing work on the guitar and Dennis' distinctive mandolin style, that's a pretty complete act in itself.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! Dennis and Tony have teamed up with the amazing and innovative banjo stylist Dan Levitt. Having developed and mastered a banjo style he calls “Contemporary Clawhammer” with a melodic frailing style that incorporates elements of bluegrass, ragtime, folk, classical and blues, Dan makes an enormous contribution to the unique sound of the band. And if that's not enough, of course Loren Witcher will be holding everything together on bass and wowing you with an occasional song of his choice. A MUST SEE.


• FORTUNATE SON, with special new star act, THE LICATA BROTHERS doing a 30 minute opening stint, Sun, May 8, 2 pm matinee show. Tix, $20.
Since 1994, Brad Ford has starred as John Fogerty, pioneering the ultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute, FORTUNATE SON. This show quickly became known as "THE PREMIER" act celebrating the music of CCR & John Fogerty and was recently singled out by AXS-TV’s hit show “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” for which the band performed their show, live from Hollywood and broadcast to millions of viewers.
The longest-running tribute to CCR, FORTUNATE SON continues to perform across America, Canada, Europe, and Asia rocking rocking fans around the globe with timeless hits like BORN ON THE BAYOU, GREEN RIVER, BAD MOON RISING, LODI, LOOKIN’ OUT MY BACKDOOR, PROUD MARY, CENTERFIELD, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN and so many more. Check 'em out: v=1WUtS7e_P84
Bob Stane says: "This is an encore appearance for FORTUNATE SON. A big hit here with the fab Licata Brothers. A great afternoon."


• JIM "KIMO" WEST and KEN EMERSON......A HAWAIIAN FANDANGO, Sun, May 8, 7 pm, tix $20.
Jim Kimo West and Ken Emerson are both living legends in the world of Hawaiian slack key and acoustic steel guitar. They strive for freshness and spontaneity in there duet shows, often performing without a set list or any idea of what comes next. Their diverse musical influences venture beyond the islands toward the land of blues, ragtime and even jazz and both have played on Grammy-winning records. Ken played on the first-ever winner in the Hawaiian category as well as Donald Fagen’s Grammy-winning “Morph The Cat.” His many other touring / recording credits include Jackson Brown, Boz Scaggs, Todd Lundgren, Taj Mahal, Charlie Musselwhite and Elvin Bishop as well as Hawaiian slack key legends Gabby Pahinui, Moe Keale and Raymond Kane.
JIM "KIMO" WEST: Besides his solo slack key career, Kimo is long-time guitarist on CDs and tours for the world’s most famous musical satirist, “Weird Al” Yankovic whose recent CD, “Mandatory Fun” debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and won the Grammy for Best Comedy Recording.
  Kenton Robert Lopaka Emerson is a San Francisco bay area born/Hawaiian island bred guitarist who covers many musical genres. He has played his special blend of Blues/Jazz Hawaiian guitar for 40 years and running..His original compositions and performances on 'Slack Key Guitar Vol 2' (Palm Records) helped bring in the first ever 2005 GRAMMY award for Hawaiian music. 'KE' most recently played on Donald Fagen's 2007 GRAMMY winning "Morph the Cat" album. Born into a musical family, Ken grew up with his fathers' extensive record collection of jazz, swing, Hawaiian and world music styles. In early 1968 Ken's family moved to Hawaii. Absorbing the Hawaiian culture, Ken and his brother Phil began studying Hawaiian language and music. They learned to emulate the players of the 1920's and ‘30s era by listening to vintage Hawaiian 78 rpm records, zeroing in on the jazz and blues styles of Sol Ho'opi'i and Sol K. Bright. By the mid'70's Ken and Phil were playing alongside such legendary performers as Gabby Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Raymond Kane, Auntie Alice Namakelua, Sol K. Bright and George Ka'ainapau, and recorded and toured with Moe Keale. In between his love of traditional Hawaiian music, Ken has played and/or toured with many luminaries in the musical world beyond Hawaii including Todd Rundgren, Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, Jackson Browne, Donald Fagen, Dave Mason, Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin Bishop, Graham Nash, San Francisco's Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann, Pablo Cruise Band and The Rowan Brothers. Dividing his time between Kaua'i and San Francisco, Ken plays many local venues and festivals and is a frequent visitor to the east coast of the United States as well as Europe and Asia.
"Emerson writes pieces that update the classic sounds of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar. His unaccompanied songs have an open, relaxing quality to them, moving forward in a gentle rhythm.." ( )  — Jessy Terry, Rolling Stone Magazine.


You owe it to yourself to stay informed about who's playing this venue. Shows can be seven nights a week, plus multiple matinees on weekends.


# 9 news feature...

30th annual "LONG BEACH BAYOU FESTIVAL" coming June 18 & 19

The Long Beach Bayou Festival is a Zydeco,Blues, Creole & Cajun festival chockful of music, food, and fun. Befitting a milestone anniversary, this year's always excellent festival has a strong lineup, featuring Guitar Shorty, Big Jay McNeely, Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners, Leon Hughes' World Famous Coasters, Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys, The Sai Whatt Band, Mark St Mary Louisiana Blues & Zydeco Band, and more.

There's Cajun & Creole cuisine, dance instruction & continuous dancing, a "Mardi Gras Parade," Watermelon Eating & Crawfish Eating Contests, activities for kids and teens, and more. There's a popular Mardi Gras atmosphere and music everywhere.

It all happens at Rainbow Lagoon Park, (Linden Av & Shoreline Dr), Long Beach, on Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19, 2016. 

Headlining an incredible Blues Stage lineup  Saturday night is legendary guitarist-vocalist Guitar Shorty. Shorty is credited with being an influence to Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy.

Setting the stage for Shorty on Saturday are Leon Hughes' World Famous Coasters starring Leon Hughes from the original Coasters - known for classic hits such as "Poison Ivy," "Charlie Brown," and "Yakety Yak."

Headlining the Blues Stage on Sunday is "King of the honkin’, squealin’, bar walkin’, flat-on-his-back Blowin’ (saxophone) tenor men" Big Jay McNeely.

Before McNeely's finale are the popular smooth jazz / R&B outfit, The Sai Whatt Band. Formerly known as "Prime Time," they scored a massive hit with their single "I Owe it to Myself," which went to no. 19 in the US and no. 1 in Europe. Their TV appearances include "American Bandstand" and "Soul Train."

Andy Hill and Renee Safier's Hard Rain brings a roots flavor to the Blues Stage. Their ensemble won "Americana Group of the Year" at the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2007, and they host theday 26th annual "Dylanfest," happening this year on May 1st.

Rounding out the Blues talent is Kenny Sara & the Sounds of New Orleans, with bristling New Orleans Jazz, R&B, and '70s and '80s funk, and William "Soul" Porter & the Porterhouse BJS with their Tribute to B.B King, who bring their blues, jazz and soulful inspiration to celebrate the sound of the "King of the Blues."

The Zydeco Stage features the most popular artists in the Cajun and Zydeco genre.

International Zydeco stars Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners add their own flavor to "old school Zydeco" and have eight CDs to their credit.

Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys add highly innovative contemporary Zydeco while still respecting tradition.

"The Delta King", Mark St. Mary and His Louisiana Blues & Zydeco Band, bring their infectious, award-winning (Bay Area Blues Society's "Best Zydeco Band" 2007) traditional Louisiana blues and Zydeco sounds.

The stellar lineup includes La Recolte Cajun Band, whose decidedly danceable Cajun styling made them winners for “Best New CD of the Year” at the Annual “Le Cajun Awards 2014." 

The Revelers, the Louisiana supergroup whose tonic of swamp-pop, Cajun, country, blues, and Zydeco was called “Groove bound and dance compelling …” by Offbeat Magazine.

There's J.J. Caillier & the Zydeco Knockouts, whose combination of the Blues styles of Clifton Chenier and the funky Beau Jocque moves everyone.

West Coast favorite Bonne Musique Zydeco draws upon the influences of the blues and New Orleans artists of the '50s, '60s and '70s to create a blend of music designed for dancing.

As always, the large shaded wooden dance floor will be filled all weekend long. The easy dance instruction for all ages is always a popular feature, so even the most inexperienced dancers can join in the fun.

Popular festival traditions continue with a colorful costumed Mardi Gras parade led each day by the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band,and a delectable French Quarter marketplace with gumbo, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, hush puppies and other Cajun and Creole delights, plus coffees and desserts such as sweet potato pie, beignets and an array of cobblers. The popular crawfish and watermelon eating contests also return this year.

Children of all ages appreciate the Kids Corner featuring storytelling, sing-a-longs,arts and crafts,magic, and costume and mask making for the Mardi Gras Parade. The Kids Corner also features kids shows and games and activities for older kids are also featured.

Rainbow Lagoon Park is located on the North side of Shoreline Drive, between Shoreline Village Drive and Linden Avenue. Parking is available on the Marina Green Lot across from Rainbow Lagoon Park.

The event is presented by Benoit Entertainment Group. A portion of the profits benefit LALA (Louisiana to Los Angeles), a non-profit organization which raises educational funds for local youth to attend college.

Here's who you'll enjoy each day...


• Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners (Sat,Sun)
• Terry & the Zydeco Bad Boys (Sat,Sun)
• La Recolte Cajun Band (Sat)
• Mark St. Mary's Louisiana Blues & Zydeco Band (Sat)
• Bonne Musique Zydeco (Sat)
• The Revelers (Sun)
• J.J. Caillier & the Zydeco Knockouts (Sun)


• Big Jay McNeely (Sun)
• Guitar Shorty (Sat)
• Leon Hughes' World Famous Coasters (Sat)
• The Sai Whatt Band (Sun)
• Jimmy Hewitt & the Soul Dogg Band featuring Lyrica Garrett (Sat)
• Hard Rain (Sun)
• Kenny Sara & the Sounds of New Orleans (Sat,Sun)
• William "Soul" Porter BJS Band Tribute to B.B. King (Sat)

Plus, there's a "Mardi Gras Parade" each day with New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band, and Dance Instruction throughout the day.

Festival is Sat & Sun, June 18 & 19, 11 am-9:30 pm Sat, 11 am-8 pm Sun. Tix are available now at 562-912-4451, or at Tix: Adults, $25/day-advance, $30/day-gate; Seniors (age 60+) and Students (age 18+) are $20/advance, $30 at the gate; Children age 12 & under are free. Active Duty, Retired and Reservists of the Military are free with current,valid Military ID.


Music news, FESTIVALS, and events are in the UPDATED edition originally published April 16 and available at a separate click.

Much more, soon, on other topics.


The Guide brings you frequent editions covering MUSIC NEWS, arts and industry events, and ticket alerts, available right here on the Guide's Blogspot site.


Direct to the current editions /


editions load quickly at
CONTACT US at / send Questions / Comments to: . Tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
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, both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues monumentally large and intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the roots of the blues and where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A full day's film fest, exploring the legacy of nuclear power - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TODAY, Wednesday, April 27, noon-11 pm is...

"THE ATOMIC AGE FILM FEST," the premiere event launching the global 2016

Appropriately timed for the 30th anniversary of the disastrous Chernobyl nuclear plant meltdown.

The Guide has brought you two feature stories (the first more than a month in advance) plus numerous listings in "events" with info to get your FREE tickets.

It happens today at Raleigh Studios, in thr Charlie Chaplin Theater, 5300 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, California 90004

It's still FREE with tickets...

Comp tickets, contact: Alexandra Radlovic, Event Producer, LA BRAND MANAGEMENT Mobile: 323-206-7025

Or, use either of these email addresses: and

Full info:

About the festival, in brief...

The International Uranium Film Festival is dedicated to all films about nuclear power and the risks of radioactivity, from uranium mining to nuclear waste. The festival was founded 2010 by the non-profit arts and cultural organization, “Yellow Archives” (Arquivo Amarelo), based in Rio de Janeiro. Objective is the preservation and support of cultures in danger and the production of videos, films, CDs and DVDs against oblivion and displacement. The Yellow Archives is a project against forgetting and to keep valuable knowledge alive. The event welcomes any support and your donation.

More at:


• noon: SPECIAL SCREENING, tba...

•  2 pm: "NUCLEAR SAVAGE: THE ISLANDS OF SECRET PROJECT 4.1," USA, 2012, 87 min, Documentary, Director: Adam Jonas Horowitz, Marshallese & English. Featuring recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and unseen archival footage, "Nuclear Savage" uncovers one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history: how Marshall islanders, considered an uncivilized culture, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs to study the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings. (Winner of the Yellow Archives Award 2013). Director Adam Horowity will be present for Q & A with the audience.

•  4 pm: "Hot Water," USA, 2015, Documentary, Drama,1 h 20 min by Liz Rogers and Kevin Flint, Executive producer Elizabeth Kucinich. The Uranium Industry's Dirty Little Secret: When you were growing up, how many people did you know who had cancer? How many do you know today? Filmmakers Lizabeth Rogers and Kevin Flint travel to South Dakota following a story about uranium contamination—only to discover that the problem flows much farther and runs much deeper than they could have imagined. Hot Water tells the story of those impacted by uranium mining, atomic testing, nuclear energy and the subsequent contamination that runs through our air, soil and—even more dramatically — our water. - Directors and Producers will be present for Q & A with the Audience.

•  4:15 pm: "Final Picture," Germany, 2013, Fiction, Drama, 92 min, German with English subtitles, director Michael von Hohenberg, with Nadine Badewitz, Julian Bayer, Hubert Burczek, Michael Schwarzmaier. Producer White-Lake-City Filmproduction, - A movie about the senselessness of atomic war. Iran used an atomic bomb against Israel. In a short period of time America, Russia and China take part of the conflict. The war escalates and America starts his atomic rockets. In a small town in the middle of Europe, Caroline, Frank and Peter try to get save in an old military bunker. The people have a civil bunker, but not for all residents. The head of the district has to decide between saving some lives or dying of all. The movie is shot in original bunkers at a landscape region in Germany. In team and cast are many young people, shooting their first professional movie. (Winner of the Yellow Archives Award 2014) - Director Michael von Hohenberg will be present for Q & A with the audience.

•  6:30 pm - Red Carpet with filmmakers and Hollywood personalities.

•  7:30 pm: "The Man Who Saved the World," Denmark, 2014, documentary, 105 min, with Kevin Costner, Stanislav Petrov, Walter Cronkite, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Director Peter Anthony, Produced by Jakob Staberg, Christian D. Bruun, Mark Romeo, Raphael Avigdor, Svilen Kamburov - The Man Who Saved the World tells the gripping true story of Stanislav Petrov - a man who single-handedly averted a Nuclear World War. “Few people know of Stanislav Petrov, yet hundreds of millions of people are alive because of him.”

•  9:20 pm: Nuclear Power Panel of Speakers, with:

√ Harvey Wasserman - Co-Moderator,  journalist, author, and “No Nukes” strategist and organizer for over 30 years. He teaches history and cultural & ethnic diversity at two central Ohio colleges, and works primarily for the permanent shutdown of the nuclear power industry and the birth of Solartopia, a democratic and socially just green-powered Earth free of all fossil and nuclear fuels.

√ Kat Kramer - Co-Moderator, founder of “Films That Change The World.” Daughter of legendary filmmaker, Stanley Kramer, who directed and produced the original nuclear holocaust film "On The Beach.“ Kat Kramer is an actress and producer, was Miss Golden Globe for The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and recorded an album of Mick Jagger solo covers.

√ Esai Morales - award-winning actor and activist is a graduate of New York's High School for the Performing Arts. Describing himself as an “actorvist”, Morales has combined art and activism to build bridges of understanding. He is involved in a bevy of charities and non-profit organizations that span everything from social to environmental issues.

√ Mimi Kennedy - the 3 career woman, actress, author and activist, well known for her performances in television dramas and comedies.

√ Libbe HaLevy - she produces and hosts Nuclear Hotseat, the weekly international news magazine on all things nuclear... from a different perspective. She is also the co-creator of Radiation Awareness Protection Talk, or RAPT ( ), an audio series on how to best protect from the negative impact of radioactivity on our health.

•  10 pm: After party with live entertainment and Cachaça Magnífica, a speciality from Rio de Janeiro.

Festival venue:

Raleigh Studios Hollywood, where tradition meets innovation. Originally founded by Adolph Zukor as the Famous Players Fiction Studio in 1912, the Raleigh Studios Hollywood is the oldest independent studio in continuous operation. Undergoing a five-year renovation and expansion when first acquired in 1979, the 11 acre complex of 13 sound stages, production and support space, serves as the headquarters for Raleigh Studios.

The studios' beautiful Chaplin Theater is named after Charlie Chaplin, who made several films at Raleigh Studios in the 1920s and 30s.


Music news, FESTIVALS, and events are in the UPDATED edition originally published April 16 and available at a separate click.

Much more, soon, on other topics.


The Guide brings you frequent editions covering MUSIC NEWS, arts and industry events, and ticket alerts, available right here on the Guide's Blogspot site.


Direct to the current editions /


editions load quickly at
CONTACT US at / send Questions / Comments to: . Tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
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, both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues monumentally large and intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the roots of the blues and where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell.

Friday, April 22, 2016

EARTH DAY EDITION (green, green... where the grass is greener still)...

√ Happy Earth Day! We proudly present our A-to-Z guide to what YOU can do — yes, actually, really DO. It's quite comprehensive with a lot of resources and has been published elsewhere, as well.

• We've been listening to an album titled "Green" (what could be more appropriate?) It's by the fine nu-folk duo, Sabrina and Craig. Google it to catch a selection or buy your own copy. We promise it's just as good after Earth Day.

√ Yesterday the music world lost yet another giant. We published a special edition that's received lots of acclaim — here and elsewhere where it was published.

√ As for THIS WEEKEND...

• Music news, FESTIVALS, and events are in a very much UPDATED edition originally published April 16 (but updated several times). It's readily available at a separate click.



by Larry Wines

With all the causes; campaigns; concerns; appeals; projects; initiatives; social media triple exclamation points; hyperventilated rhetoric from totally unauthentic wannabe leaders; cable news stampeding into oblivion; and trivialities competing for attention? There is still one thing that does not make us cynical. That is the wonderful array of dedicated, nonprofit, volunteer-driven organizations, large and small, who try so diligently to save the planet — in spite of the resolve of its occupants to thwart their efforts by destroying it, anyway.

Okay, we do get cynical about what they, on the environmental front lines, are up against. Which is to say, what we — meaning all of us who inhabit this overpopulated blue sphere — are up against.

Earth Day is both a day for celebrating nature's heroes spreading growing awareness, and all that enables, and a day for emphasizing every way we can to recruit more people and ring more alarm bells for all that is being irrevocably lost.

There is plenty that needs doing. We'll offer you some effective options and let you in on some things you should know about.

Let's start with the positive. There's breaking news that 150+ countries are signing-on to tackle the climate crisis. You can even take part in that.


"A generation from now, we will look back on this Earth Day as a turning point for humanity and our work to tackle the climate crisis," says Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. [ ]

If that sounds too rosy, he continues, "Today at the United Nations, a signing ceremony marks the first phase of implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. Representatives from the United States, China, India and more than 150 countries from around the world will officially sign on to the historic agreement."

You may recall the grief visited on President Obama by conservatives who said the Paris Climate Accords would destroy opportunities for American business (meaning multinational megagiant corporations with rich American stockholders who move operations to countries with no constraints on pollution and no worker safety laws).

Brune sees it differently. He asserts, "This is a turning point in our efforts to save the planet and move toward an economy powered by 100 percent clean energy. Citizen support for climate action made the Paris Agreement possible and will be critical to its success."

And by "citizen support," he means something quite specific, in which you can take part. That's the first of our three participatory exercises.


Brune says, "By delivering tens of thousands of signatures to the UN today, we can send a powerful message to world leaders that we’ve got their back. This Earth Day, add your name as a citizen signer of the Paris Climate Agreement."

[ ]

You can even add your personal message.

"We can be proud that the United States is among the first countries to sign the agreement. As countries sign on to the agreement and begin to implement their climate action plans, we must remain engaged. In the U.S., policies like the 'Clean Power Plan' and grassroots campaigns like the 'Beyond Coal Campaign' and 'Ready for 100' will be critical to reaching and exceeding our carbon reduction goals," Brune adds.

In fact, he'll tell you that we have much to celebrate this Earth Day. Across the world, the growing climate movement is organizing to keep dirty fuels in the ground, achieve 100 percent clean energy, and challenge the corrosive influence of the fossil fuel industry.

Speaking for the environmental community, not just his Sierra Club, Brune says, "Make no mistake, we are a powerful force for global climate action. Add your name as a citizen signer to the Paris Climate Agreement to celebrate this historic moment of action!"

[ ]

That's surely a "feel good" single action that can help support like-minded world leaders and awaken others. Maybe even some Republicans.

Other actions make unquestionably lasting little changes. And a sum total of little changes can have profound impact.


U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D), Oregon [ ] is the only member of the senate to endorse Bernie Sanders. His progressive credentials are Stirling. He observes, "Today, world leaders are signing on the dotted line to move forward with the historic Paris climate agreement. It’s the largest one-day signing of an international agreement, and that’s something to celebrate!"

Then he sets-up his call for your action. "The only way the United States can keep up with our side of the deal is by moving forward with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The plan moves us away from carbon-based fuels and toward a green energy future," says Merkley.

And here it is: "On Earth Day, let’s keep up our end of the bargain. Sign the Petition: stand up for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan!" [ ]

It's more than your typical petition. It's a citizen's amicus brief, sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey, Sen. Chris Coons, Sen. Martin Heinrich, Sen. Angus King, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Sen. Ron Wyden, and Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Rep. Matt Cartwright, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Kathleen Rice, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.

Sen. Merkley says, "This is a pivotal moment. At the same time that the world is moving toward a real solution to climate change, our climate progress is under attack here in the United States. Fossil fuel barons like the Koch brothers are doing everything they can to block the Clean Power Plan. Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Join me and sign on to defend the Clean Power Plan!" [ ]

Of course, you need to be careful. Things can be like those Big Oil funded tv ads trying to recruit you to be "an energy voter."

The same applies to what some legislators can misrepresent. Environmental Action's [ [ ] Drew Hudson says, "Even as hundreds of world leaders meet to ratify the Paris climate agreement this Earth Day, the United States Senate celebrated by passing a dirty energy bill that will subsidize fossil fuels — especially fracked gas — and expedite the construction of new pipelines from coast to coast. And that Paris agreement — as historic as it is, and despite the fact that it's being ratified faster than any similar international agreement in history — doesn't do enough to protect our climate."


Maggie Bruns of the League of Conservation Voters [ ] offers an opportunity "to support our clean energy future by choosing clean, renewable energy today."

No, we're not forwarding some appeal from her organization to send them a donation. This is really something you can DO.

Bruns explains, "We are working with Arcadia Power to provide you with the tools to go green this Earth Day. Arcadia Power has developed a platform that enables you to choose clean energy at your home or apartment. Hundreds of LCV members all over the country have joined, and this Earth Day we encourage you to join, too."

Wait. Don't you only have service from the company whose wires connect to your apartment, house, or other humble abode? Well, no. The laws have changed and you have options.

Bruns says, "Starting with your next electric bill, Arcadia Power covers every kWh you use with clean, renewable energy, and you keep your service with your local utility. You get a personalized energy dashboard, a great customer service experience (you get to talk to humans!), exclusive member rewards, and you can monitor your monthly positive environmental impact."

That's nice. But really, why do that? "Right now, the majority of American’s utility bills support more fossil fuel production and not every utility provides their customers with an affordable clean energy option," as Bruns asserts.


We are nearing the end of this year's annual National Parks Week. And 2016 marks the centennial of the National Park Service, the perpetually underfunded guardians of what the acclaimed Ken Burns' documentary calls "America's best idea."

Fortunately, there is a nonprofit support organization to make up some of the missing funding and support. That's the National Park Foundation [ ]. That organization's Senior Vice President,Susan Newton, wants you to know, "There’s still time to celebrate National Park Week by visiting any park free through Sunday, April 24th."

National and state park units preserve both natural and historical sites. Everything from Civil War battlefields to alpine wilderness to beaches and fragile reefs.

In Southern California, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is a mosaic protected by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service, and state and county park rangers and trained volunteers. On May 15th, the annual Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest and Folk Festival happens there, under the auspices of NPS. It's held at the only remaining rural movie ranch with an old Western town, Paramount Ranch, near Agoura. The site was nearly lost to private estates for the rich. Every park and monument needs advocates to get even rudimentary funding.

We'll add that any time you visit any park, monument, museum, or historic site, be sure you sign the register. When budgets are determined, proof of visitors is critical for funding. The simple power of the pen.


Every National Park, National Monument, state park, and other protected place has its own back story of how it was preserved.

We'll tell you a story you don't know. Once upon a time there was an organization called the Save the Redwoods League. We can't give you a cyber link for it because it's gone. Founded in the 1890s, it put itself out of business by succeeding. As late as the 1970s and '80s, there will still huge groves of ancient old-growth redwoods in California and Oregon that were not protected. They were slated for "harvesting" by timber companies. The League nearly all of them, and along the way, was largely responsible for Redwood National Park.
Yes, you CAN do things that make a difference.


Any journey begins with a single step. Just like doing your part with water conservation, there is always more each of us can do. Often, that begins with a simple commitment to awareness.

Though it's rather unbelievable how certain people choose to remain willfully unaware.

Most of us know that science is finding it necessary do something that people in white lab coats are not known for: screaming at us to look at the overwhelming concurrence of mountains of data. From public personas like Neil de Grasse Tyson to Bill Nye the Science Guy to people who generally surface once a year at academic conferences to present research findings, the message is clear. There is simply no question that human activity has produced a headlong rush into sudden and rapidly accelerating global climate change.

That should, in no way, be political. But it is. One party exploits it to galvanize support for its position and elect its candidates. The other party acknowledges the validity of science and calls for action — even if part of that is to galvanize support for its position and elect its candidates.

The Democratic National Committee didn't miss the opportunity to capitalize, sending an email blast that reads, "Today we celebrate Earth Day, but as Democrats, we know we have to fight every day to protect our planet because it's the only one we've got."

The email offers a chance to "Add your name if you're ready to make sure we elect leaders who understand the stakes couldn't be higher when it comes to acting on climate."

To make sure no one misses the point, they quote each of the GOP presidential candidates:

• "I don't believe in climate change." — Donald Trump.

• "Some theory that's not proven." — John Kasich.

• "Scientific evidence does not support global warming." — Ted Cruz.

"Adding your name" to the DNC's list to "make sure we elect leaders" attuned to scientific reality does, of course, bring-up a box to click in agreement. That, in turn, brings-up a fundraising page. But you can do the former without getting fleeced on the latter.
[ ]


A central tenet of understanding the environment is that everything is connected to everything else. Nothing is an isolated case. Preserving an economically convenient amount of wild lands while developing the rest is a Disneyland approach. In no way does that enable indigenous species to have the minimum range to sustain their habitat, or the range needed for the plants and animals on which that species is ultimately dependent.

In today's America, every day, more than 6,000 acres of open space are lost.

The San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land [ ] is a key organization focused on preventing that. Thanks to supportive partnerships, they are able to save $4 worth of wildlands, parks, and historic places for every $1 you donate. Currently, a generous matching gift opportunity can save $8 worth of land for every dollar of public support.

Will Rogers — not the early 20th century humorist, but the group's President and CEO — speaks of a "passion for stopping unchecked development from eating away at wild open places... building parks in communities where green space is seriously lacking... and protecting historic landmarks that define our national identity."

Currently, Rogers' organization is funding critical work in many special places, from the iconic "Sierra Checkerboard" of mixed public and private land in California, to a unique nature sanctuary on an old mill site in Montana, to a 3.5-mile park in New York City that was once a hotbed of drug use and pollution.

The Trust for Public Land must also fight for full reauthorization of the federal government's Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). That has long been the budgetary lifeblood for parks and open space in the United States. Now, like so much else, LWCF faces mindless demands for budgetary cutbacks or actual elimination in the name of "austerity," today's Republican mantra.


If success or failure of many environmental causes makes all the difference between asphalt or natural habitat, between life and death for wildlife and ancient plant communities, other times it can mean the difference of life or death for human advocates of wild lands.

Six weeks ago, environmental activist Berta Cáceres was murdered in Honduras. She was killed because of her opposition to an environmentally devastating dam project. In the weeks since, Berta’s fellow activists — including Friends of the Earth Mexico’s Gustavo Castro — have been threatened, attacked, and prevented from leaving the country. Despite the risks, they’re still fighting to stop the dam.

That story was related to us by Jeff Conant, Senior international forests campaigner for Friends of the Earth. [ ]

Conant also turned his attention to the U.S., as he continued, "Today is Earth Day — a day to call on our government to protect the planet. There are thousands of demonstrations happening across the U.S."

And no wonder. In writing this, I want to emphasize that we're not talking about "environmental wackos" conducting and participating in those demonstrations. My own experience over the past fifteen months, working to save an entire mountain complex from complete destruction by surface mining, demonstrates that our environmental laws are absolutely inadequate.

Despite proving the existence of a critically endangered species — and that it lives only in the mountain complex currently being destroyed — there is no clear way to save it in its habitat. Let's be clear: that's the only place on the entire planet where that species lives.

Yet our government, at all levels, has no interest in stopping the total destruction of a unique habitat where unique things live. The only place they live. And frankly, I have reason to be concerned for my well-being because I'm trying to stop this destruction.

Friends of the Earth's Jeff Conant, who has a long list of concerns, says, "...throughout Central America, activists are being murdered for defending the environment. The violence may seem far away, but our actions here in the U.S. can help put a stop to it. Pressure from people like you helped get Gustavo safely home to Mexico. And your calls to Congress have helped drum up support for an independent investigation into Berta’s murder."

That may sound encouraging, but it's not just the editor who has found a deaf government in our own country.

We do provide contact information for your federal and California state elected representatives in a section that follows, and additional reasons why you'll want that.

Conant, addressing murder, threats, and travel bans imposed against activists in Latin America, cites the need for ordinary Americans to exert pressure at the intersection. He says, " the situation continues to deteriorate, we need to keep the pressure on the U.S. government to intervene."


It can all seem overwhelming. But ordinary Americans putting pressure on government — national, state, regional (like AQMD and MTA), county, and local, can make a difference.

Even down to your own city, where decisions are made that allow rapid, ill-advised development because they want to collect fees from issuing permits and property taxes on new structures. That, despite the fact those developments will force water rationing and strains on electrical and transportation grids, wastewater disposal, and by driving-up property values, further diminish affordable housing in the near-term future. All politics are local, and they bring environmental impacts.

It's not just about banning a pesticide because it kills bees, or campaigning for labels that reveal what GMO "Frankenfoods" are in your local grocery store, or buying dolphin-safe tuna. It's about being informed enough to be a responsible citizen, even as we drown in information that is mostly pablum amidst contrived noise intended to distract us.

It's about attaining an awareness that we are but one species in a complex, interwoven, interdependent web of life that changes in response to environmental stresses — whether or not those changes make a fortune for "the right people." And it seems that each day — sometimes with great drama and tv reporters hamming it up leaning into the blast — those stresses include weather, climate, drought, flood, apocalyptic wildfires, glacial melt, loss of farmland, lack of pollination, overpopulation, famine, and the ultimate threat to our very survival: human activities that exceed natural assimilative and regenerative capacities.


Earth is abundant with life because we are a water planet. And the health of our fresh water sources eventually devolves to our oceans. Sometimes that's pollution. Sometimes it's the impacts of overfishing because we fail to manage our land-based food production.

Lauren Parks of the nonprofit Oceana is dealing with a "right now" crisis that's getting visibly worse, daily.

She says, "It started four years ago and is happening again: a surge of baby sea lions stranding on California’s coast, starving and dehydrated. We’re in the peak of the crisis right now. More and more arrive each day. Emaciated and weak, most of them will die. Overfishing sardines during a natural population decline has severely reduced the number of these forage fish that sea lions rely on."

So, Oceana — an organization that knows how to do it — has a campaign, raising money to provide nutrition for all these starving baby sea lions.

Of course, Oceana wants "Your support right now," but not just to feed these starving sea mammals.  The organization wants you "to help us ensure the fishery stays closed until the sardine population recovers."

That requires pressure on U.S. regulatory authorities to, as Parks says, "make meaningful changes to how the fishery is managed to prevent future collapse, and implement other science-based strategies that will allow these fish — and the sea lions who depend on them — to recover and thrive."


Another important organization looking to the health of what makes our blue planet blue is the D.C. based Ocean Conservancy. [ ]

Nicholas Mallos is the director of "Trash Free Seas" for the Ocean Conservancy.

He says, "We talk trash a lot, because there’s a lot of it in the ocean — and it’s getting worse. Much worse. Today is Earth Day and we need your help to create solutions that will cut the amount of trash entering the ocean in half by 2025."

Simple and direct. They want to "STOP trash from entering the ocean, and like numerous organizations, they have a matching-gift sponsor who signed-on for Earth Day.

Mallos tells us, "Unfortunately, one of the most visible, most vivid reminders of just how much trash is in our ocean is a trip to the beach where you can find bottle caps, straws, plastic bags and more. This definitely alters your beach day. Trash is an unpleasant experience for beachgoers — but much more so for wildlife."

He continues, "In recent months, some 30 sperm whales have beached off the North Sea. While not determined as the cause of death, their bellies were full of ocean trash. Forty-three-foot long fishing nets, car engine covers, buckets and more — in their stomachs!"

His goal: "If we prevent trash from entering the ocean, we can make a difference on a global scale."

Mallos expects "Millions of people will take action today to show their support for the environment — and our ocean."

We hope he's right.


In honor of Earth Day, the Guide asks YOU to do something simple: put pressure on the U.S. government to protect our national, local, and global environment, and environmental defenders.

Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing we can do to protect anyone or anything. To save endangered critical habitat. To stop violence.

"But in fact, the opposite is true," says Friends of the Earth's Jeff Conant. 

Speaking specifically of murders and intimidation of environmental activists in Central America, he says, "The U.S. government has the power to put a stop to these human rights violations." "We need to demand that it uses that power!" says Conant.

He continues, "That’s why we’re demanding that Congress and the State Department cut off funds and military assistance to these governments. Thousands of people like you have called your Representatives and have written to the State Department demanding just that — and we’re starting to gain some traction. But now, we need to make it stick. So we’ve been organizing Congressional briefings and meetings with local activists — so our decision-makers can hear directly from local communities about how the U.S.’s actions are impacting them. We need your help to keep this work going... [to] stop the U.S. government from condoning violence against activists."

Reporting on the work of his organization, Conant says, "Local communities throughout the tropics are fighting back against deforestation from palm oil development and other destructive projects. Last year, a first-of-its-kind environmental court in Guatemala charged a palm oil company with ecocide. The ruling was a huge step forward for people and the planet! But nearly every community victory over the abuses of the palm oil industry is met with threats and violence. Immediately after the ruling in the ecocide case, the leading plaintiff, Rigoberto Lima Choc, was killed."

If that makes you think that it's just the way things are in corrupt little countries, think about the guy who wrote this, and the threat he faces for trying to save a unique place right here in America.

Earth Day isn't just about planting geraniums. It's serious — sometimes deadly serious — for those on the front lines. Even here.

Murders of environmental activists overseas are facts. "And the U.S. has an important role to play in these tragedies," adds Conant. He explains, "Our government helps fund the governments that drive the destructive projects — and condone the violence against activists."

The people on those front lines aren't naive about things. "It’s going to take all of us working together to convince our government to stand up for activists overseas," says Conant, continuing, "But I know that if you and I do our part, we can push the U.S. to do the right thing."

Hence, the section, just ahead, with links to contact your representatives.


For Conant, that drives his Friends of the Earth campaign to push the U.S. government into standing up for Guatemalans facing murderous opposition to defending the environment in their country.

For me, it means going to the next level in trying to save an entire mountain complex — and its unique life that lives no where else on Earth — from being destroyed by surface mining. You'll see more about that soon, when it's safe to go public.

In the meantime, check in with your elected officials. Tell them that clean air and water matter to you. Tell them that the most credible science agrees overwhelmingly that rising sea levels, due to proliferating greenhouse gases causing global warming, are a threat to human civilization. You might want to add that clean, renewable energy and clean "green" transportation matter to you.

Make sure to tell them you're watching them in this election year, that they're hearing from you because Earth Day inspired you, but you'll still be watching them even when April is long past.

Tell them instead of contributing to their campaign SuperPACs, you're sending a few bucks to your favorite environmental education or wildland advocacy orgsnization, or a park support organization — or to somebody doing hard science, measuring melt rates of glaciers or documenting changing atmospheric or oceanic chemistry — or to somebody working to save the lives of those who speak-up for the natural world against the greed and destruction of money-grubbing exploiters.

Here's how to find and contact your elected federal and state representatives:

Your U.S. government representatives.

[ ]

Your California State representatives.

[ ]

Make those four calls or send them each an email. Be general or be specific. Plenty of basic, general, points and some specific ones are above.

Any environmental organization will happily bring you up to speed on specifics of their current efforts, if you want to address something specific. The important thing is that you call or email your elected officials and tell them maintaining a healthy and habitable environment for you and your family really matters to you, and you're watching them. It's a fine way to spend a few minutes helping the planet to celebrate Earth Day. Or any day. It's doing something simple that really matters.


For some, getting a politician's office staffer for three minutes on the phone won't feel effective, even when it is. Let's face it: we all know people for whom direct action seems the most effective course. Perhaps that's you.

We've already cited Drew Hudson, who represents the group, Environmental Action [ ]. They were founded in 1970 with the first Earth Day. Hudson makes the point that this is "Not a day, but a movement."

He says, "Our movement is in the street, alive with the possibility of this moment. Because our movement is not made up of days — it's made of people."

He recounts what got his organization, and the rest of us, here: "Forty six years ago, millions of Americans took to the streets at the first Earth Day and affirmed our unalienable right to clean water, clean air and a sustainable planet to live on. That simple idea is alive today in our movement to save the planet and all of us who just live on it."

If you're looking for a place to physically impose yourself between the exploiters and protecting nature, Hudson's organization may be one to check out.

He says, "I've seen it in the wave of protests we're planning next month to break free from fossil fuels and #KeepItIntheGround. I've met this movement in the streets of New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Miami, and dozens of other cities. Our movement is powerful, and that power threatens politicians and polluters. That's why I've seen members of it get arrested on the Steps of the U.S. Capitol, in the streets of the our financial districts and in a dozen cities and towns where people refuse to be silent in the face of injustice, oppression and pollution."

Hudson will tell you the movement is "also hopeful," saying, "I've literally danced with it in the streets of Paris, and the Earth Day events and parties happening in hundreds of cities and towns today are a testament to our achievements. I've also prayed for our movement along with leaders of dozens of faiths, many of whom have opened their doors to us so we could meet in their pews, sleep in their basements and share their peace regardless of what gods we do or do not believe in."

He takes the front-line approach, saying, "Our small but mighty staff are spread all over the country today at events in DC, Texas and beyond. It's not always easy. There is no permanent progress for our planet."

Hudson cites "the nearly one million people who've taken action with us online," as he seeks to "build a bigger, better, more inclusive movement with the guts and honesty to do what it takes to protect our planet."


For most of us, getting involved in, or supporting, the many other organizations and their leaders and spokespeople named herein will be better, certainly safer, options.

Plus, there are a great many more organizations we didn't get to, including the Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, and others that all deserve acclaim and support. Many have one or more specializations as their focus. Mostly staffed by enthusiastic volunteers who arrived with specialized knowledge or who received training to acquire new knowledge, they take their missions seriously. All would welcome your support.

Because everything is connected to everything else. And every day is Earth Day.


Music news, FESTIVALS, and events are in the UPDATED edition originally published April 16 and available at a separate click.

Much more, soon, on other topics.


The Guide brings you frequent editions covering MUSIC NEWS, arts and industry events, and ticket alerts, available right here on the Guide's Blogspot site.


Direct to the current editions /


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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

SPECIAL EDITION: Prince — an American original musical genius and more...

This is a special edition. Music news, FESTIVALS, and events are in the UPDATED edition originally published April 16 and available at a separate click.



★ Friday, April 22, NASA released an image of "The Purple Nebula," in memory of Prince.

★ Saturday morning, April 23, when the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery opened in Washington, D.C., visitors discovered a new addition to its collection -- a portrait of Prince. We do not know if the Gallery holds portraits of Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, B.B. King, or Merle Haggard -- we intend to ask.


(Updated at 8:26 pm, 4-21-16)


by Larry Wines

We'll start in an esoteric place. Today's crop of innovative banjo players can trace their realization of the instrument's non-traditional potential to just two people: Bela Fleck and Prince.

Today, we lost one of them. And if you're thinking, "I won't take time to read this because it's not about a genre I care about," please don't be dismissive. Because this guy could play anything, every instrument you can think of, like David Lindley and a handful of people on this Earth.

And Prince absolutely knew and understood music and could very specifically envision the right person in the right place, like any classical conductor you could name.

Prince was found dead today at his estate and recording studio in Minnesota.

The President of the United States put-out a statement noting the shocking loss of "one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time."

Prince was full of surprises. No two of his albums were stylistically the same — and there were 39 of those albums over 37 years, his first at age 19. Sometimes he'd record with unconventional instrumentation, like horns and viola, sometimes things were all strings, but not what you'd expect. He has notable tracks with no bass, so the melody line can carry the day, or the artistry of the percussionist is clearly on display.

He really didn't like or respect rap or hip hop. His innovation often went in the direction of admiration for those who had come before him.

And really, the reason you don't know a lot of things about Prince is not because his genres were not folky, which they weren't, or because of the freaky gender-bending sex-imbued badaas character he sometimes enjoyed playing — as a game with the public and the media.

You don't know a lot of things about his musical genius because so much of him was unassuming and anything but grandstanding. Prince embodied the artist who pursues art for what it tells you about yourself. Not for what you can put up in lights and say "look at me."

Seven GRAMMYS, an OSCAR, a Golden Globe, inducted as a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 100 million records sold worldwide, number 27 on the all-time list of the top 100 recording artists, 39 albums over 37 years — plus a central role in calling-out exploitation, discrimination, and things that were just plain wrong. That includes fighting for artists rights and a lot more.

After-hours Eastern time, the New Yorker released next week's magazine cover: solid purple with big raindrops. Purple rain.

He was only 57 years old, still making music last month, after releasing his first recording in 1978. His passing is causing an all-day pre-emption of cable tv. In our time, when a new pop music phenom — mistakenly presumed to be "an artist" — is "a sensation" that's around and gone in three years, Prince is from another era, when there were stars who endured.

It's been a tough year for music icons. Before this, we lost Merle Haggard. Before that, David Bowie, and Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey, and the essential "fifth Beatle," George Martin.

What makes somebody influential? Artists of every genre owe a huge debt to Prince for taking-on the piratical business model of Big Music. It cost him plenty, including having to give-up using his name, so he could say "no" to the exploitation of big record labels — in his case, Warner Music. Changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol and writing "Slave" across his face were perceived and presented by corporate mainstream media as unbalanced or even insane. But it worked to bring public attention to the gross inequities of the music biz.

Only the comparatively obscure but landmark case that folk artist Michelle Shocked took to the Supreme Court had a greater impact on recording artists' rights; the Court agreed that her label was holding her in "involuntary servitude," banned as slavery by the 13th Amendment. But Prince's battle with Big Music showed how much more needed to be done.

"People want music when they want it, but who do they think it's going to come from if nobody is willing to pay the artist for creating it?" asked Brian Williams, in one of the most concise summations of the central, perhaps existential, problem of the music business.

Despite public misunderstanding in the pre-internet age about his "symbol guy" status, he remained innovative in and out of music. Before long, Prince was THE pioneer in digital online distribution of music, when hidebound execs simply cowered in fear. Yet, he was something of a control freak, so no one else was as perfectly positioned to achieve that technological breakthrough.

Who else could play Jimi Hendrix and James Brown while still being ideosyncratically a music master? He was enigmatic, and he embraced it, because that was Prince, being authentically himself.

All those and plenty more recognitions are part of the tributes coming out of the shock.

Guide contributor Michele Marotta worked with Prince when he first attained fame. She wrote this remembrance to share with readers:

"Prince's passing hit me like a thunderbolt this morning. I was on the freeway and had to pull over. Then spent the next ten minutes crying, and let the shock sink in.

"I first met Price in 1985. My sister, Karen, worked for his management company, Cavallo, Ruffalo and Fargnoli. Through this connection, I was fortunate enough to go on the controversial Purple Rain tour. Drugs and alcohol were not allowed. Anyone caught with or on either, was immediately dismissed.

"Prince was a unique individual. He was a perfectionist. He prayed before every show. And he wore purple lace. As a musician he was a professional in every sense of the word. He was also the only musician on his label given complete creative control.

"He and his ex-wife, Mayte, had a child that died shortly after birth. A tragedy for anyone, famous or not. I believe they divorced shortly thereafter.

"Like the creative person he was, he wrote music to get through the pain.

"He was eccentric, which was part of his charm. Prince was a kind, generous and giving person. He was a musical genius and he will be missed."

Michele is among the many musicians shedding tears today. News sources and social media are filled with proof of that.

Prince music videos were among the pioneers of that art form in the '80s. On MSNBC, they've been running all day between interviews with musicians.

As known as he is for his own distinctive performance art, he goes beyond it. There is so much there. He wrote "Manic Monday" for the Bangles, and "Nothing Compares to You" for Sinead O'Connor. He said he grew-up listening to the Bangles, though he was making his own mark when they became famous.

He was such a contradiction, an enigma, in so many ways. Puritanical about touring band members using drugs. Prayer and spirituality. And the most blatantly scandalous sexy lyrics of the time.

Rachel Maddow reminisced, "Years before the music industry came up with those little warning stickers, Prince's label decided they needed to affix something... just for his records. Now, as a kid growing-up in the '80s and going to record stores, those little stickers could not have been a more powerful attractant. I wanted those records sooo much. Scandalized parents had everything to do with it. Those little stickers could not have been a better marketing tool."

"He was unconventional, wearing flamboyant clothes, hair, and makeup. He was a heterosexual man who was never afraid to explore the female parts of his own character," noted National Correspondent Joy Reid on MSNBC.

So much there. Prince wasn't passive when he saw opportunity for people to be involved. And life always demanded passion. If you attended a Prince concert, you were expected to be on your feet as a participant.

In New York City, the marquis of the Hard Rock Café is now displaying lyrics from "Purple Rain." Outside the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, people are dancing to Prince's "I Would Die for You."

Last year, Prince gave a free concert in Baltimore after the death by police of Freddie Gray — the artist trying to bring that torn city back together. After the Trayvon Martin tragedy, Prince founded and very quietly funded "Yes We Code" to teach high-end high tech industry skills to underprivileged young people.

Prince always sought-out talent. Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman worked closely with him before and after doing iconic tv show themes on their own, including "Crossing Jordan," where they also wrote memorable material for Jill Hennessey to perform on acoustic guitar as part of the story lines. Novi Novog played viola on his tours and records; before that, Novi played for Frank Zappa. When you see a booking around town for STRING PLANET, that's Novi Novog and Larry Tuttle. Very innovative stuff. Go see them.

Thinking and writing about Prince inescapably brings freely-associating thoughts. Perhaps he'd like that. He certainly causes it.

Saturday Night Live knew that, too, through several casts and many years, parodying the reclusive, elusive star and his remarks (when he made them), that often seemed astutely incongruous or mildly scandalous.

Rev. Al Sharpton was a Prince friend who went on tv today to relate how Prince supported a lot of civil rights causes and never wanted credit. And if that sounds like an odd association, Sharpton worked for music icon James Brown for more than 20 years.

CNN went to an all-day Prince tribute. Brian Williams hijacked MSNBC's broadcast schedule for hours, evicting the bloviating politicians and echo chamber of pundits. Both cable channels got music luminaries on the phone —including Aretha Franklin with Williams and Stevie Wonder with Anderson Cooper — and many more flocked to cite Prince's influence on their careers.

Susan Rogers engineered some of his most notable recordings. She notes, "Very few artists have worn the 'triple crown' of public fame, artistic respect, and critical acclaim. Duke Ellington was one... Prince was one who wore that triple crown."

Rogers continues, "When we were on the Purple Rain tour, we would do special shows during the day for handicapped kids..., people who couldn't come to the regular shows at night. He would do that on the condition that the press not be told. I have heard from many artists who say he kept their careers alive by funding their tours. As we hear more stories coming in, people will be amazed at who this man really was."

Prince's other principal engineer, Chuck Zwicky, said, "He was gifted and talented and innovative." And to emphasize what "innovative" really means, he added, "We used to say at the end of the day that if something wasn't f'ed up, it wasn't a Prince record."

The Recording Academy® — the GRAMMY organization — released a statement that reads:

"Our GRAMMY® family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Prince. Today, we remember and celebrate him as one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time. Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape. Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work."

— Neil Portnow President/CEO, The Recording Academy.

Prince was a vegan. He drove people crazy on tour with his Jehovah's Witness religion. Beyond that, he was deeply spiritual and so private he was accused of being reclusive.

Many people who knew him are noting, as Brian Williams is emphasizing, that the unreleased catalog of his recordings is overwhelmingly enormous. Talk will be abundant about what it will take to release the material that Prince didn't.

Alicia Quarles, a freelance entertainment writer, notes that he was working on a book about his life, edited by his brother. "Too many people around him would have said 'yes' to everything, and he needed someone who could be harsh and critical and tell him 'no,' so he would only allow his brother to be involved with his book," she said.

Quarles named Tavis Smiley, Dave Chapell, Eddie Murphy, and Tamron Hall as people with whom he was close.

"Prince made pancakes for Eddie Murphy and his brother after they played a basketball game. Growing up, Prince was quite an athlete," she added.

Van Jones, a CNN political commentator, spoke of Prince's athleticism, too. "He could absolutely kill you at table tennis, and talking trash the whole time."

Jones also said, "He was one of the funniest people I've ever known. He could have you on the verge of peeing yourself, you were laughing so hard. He could do so many things."

Prince wrote "Nothing Compares to You" for Sinead O'Connor. He grew-up listening to the Bangles. "He was unconventional, wearing flamboyant clothes, hair, and makeup. He was a heterosexual man who was never afraid to explore the female parts of his character," noted Joy Reid on MSNBC.

If you attended a Prince concert, you were expected to be on your feet as a participant.

In New York City, the marquis of the Hard Rock Café is now displaying lyrics from "Purple Rain." Last year, Prince gave a free concert in Baltimore after the death by police of Freddie Gray —the artist trying to bring that torn city back together. After the Trayvon Martin tragedy, Prince founded and very quietly funded "Yes We Code," to teach high tech industry skills to underprivileged young people.

James Peterson, Prof. of Africana Studies at Lehigh University, cited the importance of Prince's presentation and how he enabled fans to comfortably embrace it. "With rap and hip hop pushing a model of hypermasculinity for black entertainers, [Prince] was invested as an artist in being the most prolific artist he could be... in a way that transcends anyone's stereotypes and expectations."

Jersey has the Boss. Seattle has Heart and Nirvana. L.A. had the Doors and the Byrds. Minnesota has long been just as proud of Prince.

Tonight, on the facing banks of the Mississippi in Minnesota's Twin Cities, baseball's Twins have their stadium bathed in purple. So do both downtowns, where thousands of Prince fans have congregated to hear local bands play his music, all organized on five hours' notice from a local radio station. Appropriately, all is bathed in purple. And it's raining.

Today we lost an artist and an authentically American original. A man whose influence transcends music. A man who positively gifted American and global culture.


Music news, FESTIVALS, and events are in the UPDATED edition originally published April 16 and available at a separate click.

Much more, soon, on other topics.


The Guide brings you frequent editions covering MUSIC NEWS, arts and industry events, and ticket alerts, available right here on the Guide's Blogspot site.


Direct to the current editions /


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