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Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Music: Festivals, Concerts, plus News, 'n all kinds a things!


In addition to being the culturally unofficial start of summer, the big three-day weekend brings THREE FESTIVALS to Southern California.

We have the deets on that, plus CONCERTS & such, Friday through Monday, plus news of freshly added events at some top venues, a lil' music news, "Words & Music from the Campaign Trail," AND a tribute for Memorial Day.

Let's get started.


In this edition...

(Stories on festivals are first)



# 1 news feature...


The 27th Annual "SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES FESTIVAL" brings a gumbo bowlful of Southern Louisiana music, food of the region, and assorted cultural trappings, with kids activities, Mardi Gras Parades, and more. It's Saturday & Sunday at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Av, Simi Valley 93063;; much more at

Sponsored the Rotary Club Simi-Sunrise, the festival benefits local charities.

Tix: $20/day, either day; $35 two-day pass.
Tix info:

Sat, May 28, 10:30 am–8 pm:
• BLUES STAGE - Guy Martin, Barbara Morrison, Rebirth Brass Band, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Dwayne Dopsie.
• CAJUN – ZYDECO STAGE - Bayou Brothers, Dwayne Dopsie, Doug Kershaw with Steve Riley, Chubby Carrier, Mark St. Mary.

Sun, May 29, 10:30 am–8 pm:
• BLUES STAGE - Kelly’s Lot, Alvon Johnson, Booker T, Leon Russell, Reverend Tall Tree.
• CAJUN–ZYDECO STAGE - Bonne Musique Zydeco, Jo-El Sonnier, Chubby Carrier, Doug Kershaw with Steve Riley, Dwayne Dopsie.


# 2 news feature...


The annual "ORANGE COUNTY SCOTTISH FEST" is Southern California's largest Scottish Fair and Highland Games, with plenty of Celtic music, food, and more, at the Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa 92626;

Tix info: we could not get their website to open at press time.

Featured music acts:
Bad Haggis, Christopher Yates, Highland Way, Neil O’Neil, The Ploughboys, Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles, Sligo Rags, Wicked Tinkers, and others.


# 3 news feature...


The 43rd Annual "TOPANGA DAYS FAIR" is the only local music fest that runs all three days. It has two stages, one indoors, a big kids zone, lots of food choices, beer, and more, at the Topanga Community Club Fairgrounds, 1440 N Topanga Canyon Bl, Topanga 90290; 310-455-1980;

Tix: $25/day adults, $15 kids.
Military w/i.d. gets in free on Monday.
Tix info:

The road closes for three hours Monday morning for the parade through the heart of Topanga Canyon. So get in and parked EARLY on Monday for that.

Good newspaper story:

Scheduled music acts...

Sat, May 28, 11 am-6 pm: Masanga Marimba, Fishtank Ensemble, Topanga Ukulele Revival, Lilt’n’tang & The Regulars, plus others.

Sun, May 29, 11 am-6 pm: Blame Sally, Incendio, Los Lobos, Melanie Kareem Belly Dancers, plus others.

Mon, May 30, 11 am-6 pm: Calico the Band, Venice, Murphy’s Flaw, plus others.


# 4 news feature...


Set aside these dates, 'cause you'll want to take the extra days off to add to the weekends and not miss anything.

First up, the annual "Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Festival" is going strong since its move from Victorville to Ontario and change of sponsorship to the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau. This year's festival is June 10-12, with a great line-up.

Next, there's the newer annual "Route 66 Bluegrass Festival" out in Victorville, because the desert folks just couldn't lose their taste for banjo and all the visitors who brought one. Or a fiddle. Or a mandolin. It happens the following week, June 16-19.


# 5 news feature...


Saturday, 6:30 pm in L.A., there's a PERCUSSION WORKSHOP with BRANDON TERZIC & NACHO ARIMANY at the Markaz, 5998 W Pico Bl, in Los Angeles 90035. Call for info and to reserve your spot: 323-413-2001.


# 6 news feature...


Reminder to also check the festivals listings. Here's what's up in the performance venues around Southern California's acoustic and Folk-Americana scene.

÷ ÷ ÷

FRIDAY, MAY 27 Concerts, etc.:

6-10 pm Weekly "MONROVIA FAMILY FESTIVAL" is FREE, with plenty of music, some of it acoustic, including the weekly "KATTYWOMPUS CONCERT & JAM" at 8 pm, which goes out live on the web, from Dollmakers Kattywompus, 412 S Myrtle Av, Monrovia 91016; 626-357-1091. Info, call Jennifer Ranger, 626-357-1091.

6-8 pm Fri.: Monthly "MOUNTAIN MUSIC JAM" at Joel's Canyon Shack, on Silverado Canyon Road, Silverado (OC).

7 pm Fri.: TODD MOSBY plays SOHo Restaurant & Music Club, 1221 State St, Santa Barbara 93101; 805-962 7776.

7 & 9 pm Fri.: Acoustic Bluesmaster DOUG MacLEOD plays two shows at Alva’s Showroom, 1417 W 8th St, San Pedro 90732; 310-519-1314.

7:30 pm Fri.: PAT DONOHUE of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame plays the first of three shows in different OC venues for the "Lord Of The Strings Concert Series," this one at the Dana Point Community House, 24642 San Juan St, Dana Point 92629; tix, 949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656.

8 pm Fri.: PRESTON SMITH & THE CROCODILES, plus BOBBY BLUEHOUSE, play the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia. Less than a mile S of the 210 Fwy, Santa Anita offramp. Discount advance tix at:

8 pm Fri.: TARA LOUISE plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations (10 am-10 pm, 7 days) 626-798-6236.

8-11 pm Fri.: THE PLOUGHBOYS play their weekly Friday residency at the Tam O' Shanter Ale & Sandwich Bar Lounge, 2980 Los Feliz Bl, Los Feliz 90039; 323-664-0228 or 818-507-8445.

8-11 pm Fri.: Monthly "ROOTS MUSIC NIGHT" at Alex's Bar, 2913 E Anaheim St, Long Beach 90804; 562-434-8292.

10 pm Fri.: WE THE FOLK play the Hotel Café, 1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Bl (1st blk S of Hollywood Bl), Hollywood 90038; 323-461-2040. Check the venue's website to see if one price is good for the full evening from as early as 7 pm; that varies:


SATURDAY, MAY 28 Concerts, etc.:

Noon Sat.: CLIFF LATIMER & LAURA OSBORN play Cody's Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr, Burbank 91506; 818-845-2425. Free with menu or bar item purchase. Park free at Pickwick Bowl.

1-4 pm Sat.: Monthly "OLD TIME MUSIC / TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN FIDDLE & BANJO JAM" outdoors beneath big trees at the Audubon Nature Center in Debs Park, 4700 N Griffin Av, Highland Park (L.A.); off the 110 Fwy in 90031; 323-221-2255.

2 pm Sat.: "CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE & LEGEND OF MERLE HAGGARD" is a multiartist event at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations a must, it'll sell-out, call 10 am-10 pm, 626-798-6236.

5-6:45 pm Sat.: Monthly "LIVING TRADITION FOLK MUSIC JAM" is free at the Anaheim Downtown Community Center, 250 E Center St, Anaheim.

6:30 pm Sat.: THE LUMINEERS play the Santa Barbara Bowl, 1122 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara 93103; 805-962-7411.

6:30-10:30 pm Weekly "BLUEGRASS CONCERTS" series at Me-n-Ed's Pizza Parlor, 4115 Paramount Bl, Lakewood 90712; 562-421-8908.

7 pm Sat.: PAT DONOHUE of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame plays the second of three shows in different OC venues for the "Lord of the Strings Concert Series," this one at the Mission Viejo Civic Center 100 Civic Center Dr, Mission Viejo 92691; tix, 949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656.

7 pm Sat.: GONZALEZ FAMILY and LA VICTORIA play "Caminos Y Canciones" ("Roads and Songs") with Gabriel & Martha Gonzalez of the Quetzal Band; Claudia Gonzalez-Miranda of the Cava Band; Mary Alfaro on guitar; Vaneza Calderón on guitarrón; and Rosalie Rodriguez on violin; at the Japanese American Community & Cultural Center, in thr Aratani Theatre, 244 S San Pedro St, downtown Los Angeles 90012; 213-628-2725.

7 pm Sat.: THE BURGANS & THOLO CHAN return to the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations (10 am-10 pm) 626-798-6236.

7:30 pm Sat.: BERKLEY HART play the AMSD Concerts series in the Laura R. Charles Theater at Sweetwater High School, 2900 Highland Av, National City 91950.

7:30-10:30 pm Sat.: GRATEFUL DUDES BLUEGRASS plays their twice-monthly free show at Vincenzo's Pizza, 24500 Lyons Av (near the I-5 offramp), Newhall 91350.

8 pm Sat.: "WIZARDS OF THE WEST COAST HARP," plus BOBBY BLUEHOUSE, play the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia. Less than a mile S of the 210 Fwy, Santa Anita offramp. "Wizards of the West Coast Harp" are Rod and Honey Piazza, Billy Watson, Jacob Walters, Barry G, and a special guest. Discount advance tix at:

8 pm Sat.: PHRANC plays McCabe’s, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497. Also see the feature on upcoming shows at McCabe's.

8 pm Sat.: THE SALTY SUITES take a break from the festival circuit to play their high energy folk, traditional, and original tunes ( at the Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina 91723; 626-339-7020. Also see the feature on upcoming shows at The Fret House.

9 pm KEN O'MALLEY plays his monthly residency of authentic and original Irish music at Griffins of Kinsale, 1007 Mission St, South Pasadena; 626-799-0926.


SUNDAY, MAY 29 Concerts, etc.:

9:30 am- 2:30 pm Sun.: Weekly "BLUEGRASS BRUNCH" at Urban Solace, 3823 30th St, San Diego 92104; 619-295-6464.

3 pm Sun.: PAT DONOHUE of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame plays the third of three shows in different OC venues for the "Lord of the Strings Concert Series," this one at LCA Wine at SOCO Center, 3303-3323 Hyland Av, Costa Mesa 92626; tix, 949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656.

3 & 7 pm Sun.: JIM & ANNE CURRY play their acclaimed "Tribute to the Music Of John Denver" for two shows at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations a must (it always sells-out), 626-798-6236 (10 am-10 pm, 7 days).

4-7 pm Sun.: Weekly "TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION" at the Auld Dubliner, 71 S Pine Av, Long Beach 90802; 562-437-8300.

6 pm Sun.: PETER FELDMANN & BLAINE SPROUSE play a House Concert in Goleta (near Santa Barbara). Reservations get directions at 805-688-9894.

6:30 pm Sun.: Monthly "FOLK MUSIC OPEN MIC" at the Folk Music Center, 220 Yale Av, Claremont 91711; 909-624- 2928.

7 pm Sun.: JIM & ANNE CURRY play their acclaimed "Tribute to the Music Of John Denver" for two shows (3 & 7 pm) at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations a must (it always sells-out), 626-798-6236 (10 am-10 pm, 7 days).

7:30-11 pm Sun.: Weekly "IRISH MUSIC SESSION" at O'Brien's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 2226 Wilshire Bl, Santa Monica 90403; 310-829-5303.

7:30 pm Sun.: WE THE FOLK play their weekly residency at the Culver Hotel, 9400 Culver Bl, Culver City; 310-558-9400; info from Sean O'Hara 925-216 8993,


MONDAY, MAY 30 Concerts, etc.:

Late addition...

8 pm Mon.: GUY DAVIS with MATT CARTSONIS at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations, 626-798-6236 (10 am-10 pm, 7 days). Matt Cartsonis, former Austin Lounge Lizard and wonderfully adept multi-instrumentalist, tells us: "Guy’s a great bluesman, as well as an accomplished actor and activist. The son of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, and if that rhymes, that’s because he just naturally inspires that sort of thing. He’s full of songs and stories and history, and I promise you’ll dig the hell out of him. Also: This is a MONDAY. People don’t, especially in L.A., tend to go out on Mondays. We know that. But Guy’s here on his way North, and this was our one chance to do something, and we’re doing it. Defy convention (and news about the convention). Have some fun on a Monday night. You won’t be out that late, and you’ll hear some great stuff. Come see us, and support, early in the week, live music in your town! We want to see YOU! Thanks,M.C."
More at:


# 7 news feature...


This basement concert room is literally an underground music scene of great local renown.

The Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina 91723; 626-639-7020;;

Here's what's up:

√ Sat. May 28, 8 pm - The Salty Suites - High energy Folk & traditional -

√ Sat. June 11th - Rick Shea / Ernest Troost - acoustic/singer/songwriters - and

√ Sat. June 18th -Corrina Carter - local favorite,new album - $15

√ Sat. June 25th - Phil Salazar & Mark Heyes - Folk & Bluegrass originals & favorites -

All showtimes 8 pm, doors at 7:30. Tix are $20 except where noted The first Sat of the month there is open mic night.


# 8 news feature...


It's a fun venue, all ages, full bar, good food with generous portions (two can share). But bring earplugs. Seriously. Located at 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia. Less than a mile S of the 210 Fwy, Santa Anita offramp.

The splendid house band, BOBBY BLUEHOUSE, occupies the stage at the opposite end from the headlining guest band. So there is never much of a break in the action. Always a good time here, and there are bar specials if you ask. Doors at 7 for seats, food, bar, and pool tables. Live music starts at 8 pm.

√ Fri, May 27: Preston Smith & the Crocodiles. Tix $10 adv, $15 door.

√ Sat, May 28: "Wizards of the West Coast Harp" are Rod and Honey Piazza, Billy Watson, Jacob Walters, Barry G, and a special guest. Tix $15 adv, $20 door.

√ Fri, Jun 3, 8 pm: Ray Goren. Tix $10 adv, $15 door.

√ Sat, Jun 4, 8 pm: Orphan Jon & the Abandoned. Tix $5 adv, $10 door.

√ Fri, Jun 17, 8 pm: Alastair Green. Tix $5 adv, $10 door.

√ Sat, Jun 18, 8 pm: Jason Ricci & the Bad Kind. Tix $10 adv, $15 door.

√ Fri, Jun 24, 8 pm: James Intveldt. Tix $15 adv, $20 door.

√ Sat, Jun 25, 8 pm: Guitar Shorty. Tix $20 adv, $25 door.

Discount advance tickets available for all concerts at:

More info at:


# 9 news feature...


The concert hall behind McCabe's Guitar Shop, at 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, is justifiably famous. Here's what's up there.


McCabe's June 17 show with Sarah Jarosz has been sold out for a while now, but she's got a show at the Troubadour the night before on June 16. McCabe's is helping them out by getting the word out about this show.


They're adding new shows to their upcoming roster all the time:

• Be Good Tanyas founders Jolie Holland and Samantha Parton on Jul 23.

• "The Titan of The Telecaster" Bill Kirchen on Aug 28.

Tickets for these two shows went on sale Friday.

Tix & info:


# 10 news feature...


A few weeks ago, we did a feature story on the role of music in various presidential campaigns, including how some candidates have gotten in deep doo doo by using music by artists who have taken great issue with being identified with certain candidates.

Let's take a moment to consider that none of us should get lost in the trivial, and to realize that, for an artist, that kind of thing is not trivial.

This Barnum & Bailey election is representative of plenty of very real-life concerns. Riding the MTA busses throughout Los Angeles since the economic collapse of 2008, we have come to know plenty of people riding between a multiplicity of low-wage, part-time jobs. We cheered when the "Fight for Fifteen" succeeded first in L.A. and San Francisco, and then statewide in California. We've spotted some stalwart troubadours at demonstrations here and on tv. But there's a long way still to go.

Nearly eight thousand McDonald's workers have set up an "occupation" camp outside the burger purveyor's corporate headquarters in Oak Park, Illinois. They're just in time for the big annual shareholder's meeting. The workers are demanding a fifteen-dollar hourly minimum wage, in conjunction with the national, multi-industry "Fight for Fifteen," which the company's former CEO has called "nonsense." Of course, that ex-exec is set for life, and now his successor, the company's present CEO is making millions a year in the position. But, somehow, that's not "nonsense."

Little wonder the "occupying" McDonald's employees are also fighting for the right to unionize. And corporate media seems to be ignoring them. Which is disgraceful.

One presidential candidate has marched with striking workers fighting for a fifteen dollar wage. He has marched with striking Verizon workers seeking to protect their hard-won health and retirement benefits that their employer seeks to take from them, even in the face of record profits. The Guide has endorsed that candidate. His name is Bernie Sanders.

We attended one of his Southern California rallies this week. The canned music appropriately conveyed the "Feel the Bern" theme, with "Burnin' for You" by Blue Oyster Cult, the old disco tune "Burn, Baby Burn," and plenty of folk music by Bob Dylan and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Here's a little about the rest of the event.

While waiting outdoors in a very long line, one parked car revealed itself to contain Trumpsters, protesting. They chain smoked in the sustained and gusty wind, trying to hold onto their signs. They were such a novelty that a few people took selfies with them, one remarking, "Nobody who knows me would ever figure I'd be in the same photo with a Trump sign. Especially at a Bernie rally! I'll have fun with that!"

The best crowd line of that or any Bernie rally was directed at the Trumpsters, huddling behind their open car doors in the wind, with cigarettes and signs: "You're driving an '03 Hyundai. You're voting for the wrong guy!"

Cracked up everyone in earshot.

People had to get processed-in, past metal detectors, by Secret Service and TSA. Long before we reached the door, it was evident the line was enormous. It disappeared off somewhere into the distance in S-curves that looked like multicolored streamers, after wrapping all the way around the huge fairgrounds parking lot. It mudt have been more than a mile long.

Bernie was very late getting to the venue. He probably started speaking about 7:15-7:20. He spoke an hour, then did a big ropeline meet'n greet where he was as popular as a rock star.

He covered every conceivable topic of domestic and economic policy and had the crowd cheering throughout.

And that was quite a feat, because people were exhausted after waiting outdoors in that very strong wind for two to three hours or more, then waiting indoors where it was too cramped for all but a few to sit on the floor.

It was absolute capacity. The crowd was mostly youthful, interspersed with people whose ages ranged to elderly. There were fsr more women and girls than men and boys. They were black, white, brown. Asian heritage from throughout that continent. Pacific Islanders. Latinos. African Americans. Packed together, radiant smiles, thrilled to share the moment.

Speaker towers were set-up outdoors for the overflow, and a kid next to me had a message from his friend outside that there were hundreds more there. An employee at the venue — a huge exhibit hall — later said it had never been at capacity with so many choosing to remain outside in somewhat harsh conditions for any other event.

Bernie Sanders electrifies a crowd. Simply by talking sense and talking hope for ways to build a future we can all share, where our hard work and perseverance is rewarded.

He never even mentioned Hillary Clinton. He had no reason to. He laid out his programs and agenda. It leaves hers in the dust.

Once outside, the t-shirt and hat and hot dog vendors were doing a land-office business. With so many there, it took quite a while for traffic to clear. Think sports stadium with one gate.

Notably, everyone was polite getting to the road. There is a residual positive energy, a genuine hope in the midst of so much electile dysfunction.

Even leaving, it wasn't over. From a closed car, you could hear the cheer emanating from rolled-down windows, continuing from the rally: "Go Bernie!" over the music of radios playing everything from pop to country to folk to rap to hip-hop. Improbable but true: positive hope in 2016.


# 11 news feature...


Let's take at least a moment to remember the men and women who wear uniforms and put their lives on the line. While we can argue, quite reasonably, about whether any given conflict should have happened, those in uniform must answer the call when it comes.

It has always been so. Thus, the forerunner of Memorial Day came about to honor Civil War dead. And then all those who followed them. Now, we are rapidly losing the remaining members of "the Greatest Generation" who fought and won World War II. Many alive this Memorial Day will not see next year's.

All the veterans of World War I have passed. Those who endured and survived Vietnam are joining their dead comrades.

We must never again confuse a war with the warriors who entered into their contract of military service because they were willing to risk their lives to keep us safe. It doesn't always turn out that way, given boneheaded actions on the international stage and greed and quests for power by those who should not have it.

But that must never stop us from honoring all our living veterans and all those who died in battle. And those lost in unresolved turmoil of an unseen, unending battle that continued in their mind. Or who have passed after doing their duty to military service, and then in civilian life.

We always like to take this occasion to honor all those who do faithful service in any uniform. Firefighters, law enforcement. Park and forest rangers. And all who have fallen doing those jobs, as well.

Thank you for your service.


More music news is in numerous recent editions. More coming soon, on additional topics.


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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.

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