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Friday, December 23, 2016


There's plenty of fun herein. In a moment. Our full TABLE OF CONTENTS is bumped just after the first section. Because we open this edition with resources for HELP for those in need. We should all be mindful that the holiday season is especially rough on lots of folks.

LATE-BREAKING: We had this opening section set and ready to go before we learned some very sad news: JULES DERVAES, founder and patriarch of "THE URBAN HOMESTEAD" in Pasadena, passed-away at 3:15 am Friday. He had suffered a stroke earlier in the week. The "homestead" has, over the past few years, become an acoustic music venue of note. The Guide's listings brought many notifications of their dinner shows -- serving the healthiest of foods -- as its green environs became a beloved hangout for musicians and music lovers. Those smiling, well-fed denizens extended from top award winners to newly-minted performing songwriters and plenty of pickers, grinners, pluckers and bow-wielders at many levels in-between. Our kindest thoughts are with the Dervaes family as they face a difficult Christmas and days ahead without their art-supporting, agronomist leader.

On to our "HELP FOR THOSE IN NEED" feature...

MILITARY VETERANS hotline: 1-800-273-TALK. Veterans, push option "1." On average, 20 veterans a day commit suicide. Those who wore the uniform because their country called deserve someone answering a phone when they call upon the rest of us. Whether Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airman, or Coast Guardsman, the skills you mastered as a member of a team can do so much good here at home, and America needs you as a vital, participating individual and part of a team working to do good in your community. If loneliness or PTSD or unemployment or despair are compromising your chance to be happy and fulfilled, and you served as a member of the US military, call that number, or go to the website below. It's how you saddle-up and get moving. It's a first step to a new start.


Lots of phone numbers are below so you can TALK to someone who understands.

Maybe you need to use the web, for the moment. Okay. Here:

There's also the Didi Hersch Suicide Prevention Center, at:




Poison Hotline

Arson Hotline

Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women

Child Abuse Hotline

California Youth Crisis Line

Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Hotline

Rape Hotline

Reporting Illegal Firearms Activity


Most of what's out there is in the for-profit realm. Here is the free PUBLIC HEALTH agency contact info:

Referrals to treatment centers: 888-742-7900

Also, the Poison Hotline:


Getting a supply of food:

Eating today:

Getting shelter:

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 811 Wilshire Blvd Fl 6, Los Angeles 90017; 213-718-1542;

Or shelter in L.A. County:

(Really an administrative office that, at best, offers referrals) Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W Temple St, Room 358, Los Angeles 90012; 213- 974-1311 or TDD 800-735-2929;

NEVER be embarrassed to call someone for help. That call is the first step in taking charge and making a difference. Even if it doesn't seem like it at the moment, it is.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS THE ABOVE INFORMATION, copy and paste it and send it to him or her. Then call them and talk about it. Or print it out and take it there, and sit with that person and discuss it. That may be the greatest act of friendship you've ever taken in your whole life.

'Tis the season for peace, love and understanding.



1) 33rd Annual "Mara's Tender Loving Christmas" Needs Meat Sponsors

2) Folk Alley's Ten Favorite Albums of 2016

3) Our Pick For NYE: The "New Years Eve Rockin' Hula Party"

4) Grammy Museum Starts 2017 with Superb Event Lineup: Get Tix Now

5) Even the Worst Holiday-Themed Commercial Has Value

6) The TV Ads (Including Some History) that Will Put You in Holiday Spirit

7) If You Haven't Gotten the Holiday Music Out of Your System... Folk Alley's FIFTY HOURS of Holiday Stream, Live for a Limited Time

8) Tales from the Road: Dave Stamey's Tale from the 2016 Trail

9) Pasadena Library Concert Series, a Make-An-Instrument Event, & More

10) I See Hawks in L.A. Stands with Standing Rock

11) Solo Piano Benefit Album for Cancer Research: George Winston CD Due on RCA Records

Let's get started!


# 1 news feature...


The folks at Z107.7 FM radio news in Yucca Valley are putting out the call, aided by L.A. musician/concert producer DUANE THORIN. "Mara" is artist MARA CANTELLO, and she's been successfully hosting/producing this feast for the needy, getting all the food and volunteers together to cook it, serve it, and make it all happen for the past few years.

Like the real-life characters in "Alice's Restaurant" and their big Thanksgiving feast, Mara lives in an old church. And she is likewise devoted to serving a big holiday meal to those with nowhere else to go. But Mara does it on a large scale.

Her "TENDER LOVING CHRISTMAS" feeds thousands of Morongo Basin (Yucca Valley / 29 Palms area) residents on Christmas Day. To do that, the feast needs 1,200 pounds of turkey and ham. TLC must BUY the turkeys and hams: DUE TO HEALTH REGULATIONS, INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS OF MEAT CANNOT BE ACCEPTED.

"Tender Loving Christmas" provides a full Christmas Day banquet for all those in need, or who find themselves alone on the holiday, but they need the community’s help. Z107.7 FM managing editor Tami Roleff says "TLC needs monetary donations to buy the turkeys and hams… [to step up as] meat sponsors for the TLC Christmas Day event at the Yucca Valley Community Center." (The community center is located at 57090 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Yucca Valley, CA 92284."

Mara says, "It's an all-you-can eat buffet. Everybody is welcome. There are free meals to shut-ins, free food boxes, and free clothing."

Several drop-off points for clothing have been active for the past few weeks, and a parking lot sale last Saturday benefitted the feast. A local thrift shop not only helps with some of the clothes, but does more. Mara says, "...the old hospice thrift shop which is now the Morongo Basin Ambulance Association Thrift Shop" hosted an event where people "purchased lots and lots of stuff [and] half [the proceeds] of it... come to us to help us fill a lot of tummies over the holiday."

Everyone enjoying this very special feast will be able to feast their ears on live acoustic music while dining. L.A. musicians DUANE THORIN and THE LICATA BROTHERS are making the trek to the desert to perform, and they may be joined by others. Duane has booked many memorable concerts and opened for numerous big name acts. The young Licatas have already performed in New Orleans, Memphis, and even in Ireland and Iceland.

The cost of the meat comprises roughly one-third of the cost of putting-on the Christmas buffet. Thus, TLC's success is essential to getting "meat sponsors." If you can donate $25, $50, $100, or any amount toward the meat fund, call Mara Cantelo at 760-333-2413.

More information, call Mara Cantelo at 760-333-2413.

TLC address (but this close to Christmas, call before you put money in the mail): PO Box 895, Yucca Valley, CA 92286.

Facebook post about this is at:


# 2 news feature...


Folk Alley is everybody's favorite cyber haven for acoustic Folk-Americana, with both venerated classics by iconic artists, and the latest performing songwriters on their way to the contextual stardom that "our" music genres allow.

In their own words, "Folk Alley casts a wide net to the world of folk, roots and Americana music. Year 'round you hear a healthy mix of all of it, as we champion the best traditional folk, contemporary singer-songwriters, bluegrass, Celtic, blues, indie, world and more, from both long established artists and up-and-comers. So when it's time to look back at our favorite albums of the year, it's always interesting to see what percolates to the top. It's very much an organic process and we never know what we'll end up with."

The short version?

HERE ARE THE FOLK ALLEY 2016 TOP TEN, by artist & title only:

1. Lori McKenna, 'The Bird and the Rifle'

2. Parker Millsap, 'The Very Last Day'

3. Sarah Jarosz, 'Undercurrent'

4. Hayes Carll, 'Lovers and Leavers'

5. Aoife O'Donovan, 'In The Magic Hour'

6. The Stray Birds, 'Magic Fire'

7. Birds of Chicago, 'Real Midnight'

8. case/lang/veirs, 'case/lang/veirs'

9. The Small Glories, 'Wondrous Traveler'

10. Courtney Marie Andrews, 'Honest Life'

You can read the details about everyone who made the above list in the feature, "FOLK ALLEY'S TEN FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2016," at NPR Music. It's complete with LISTENABLE TRACKS and some music videos, at:

More individual Folk Alley host & staff picks are available in the cleverly-named "InFolkus Blog," at:

And their assortment of 24/7 live music streams, sometimes with an option for a new performance-interview session recorded just for their listeners, is at:


# 3 news feature...


No argument, 2016 has been a very rough year. So, like most of our readers, we are in serious need of starting off our '17 in good form. This is the one. With performances by...


Get tix / seats at:

Reserve seats now before it sells out. Show is in Huntington Beach, at Don the Beachcomber. It starts at 8 pm with THE ROSIE FLORES TRIO featuring GREG BOAZ on bass and STEVE MUGALIUN on drums.

Don The Beachcomber has been re-nominated as "Ameripolitan Music's Best Venue" for the second year. Info, on voting for your favorite venue, are at:


Listenable tracks, impressive info, and tasty tastes that'll make you wanna go...

Rosie FLORES: latest album, "Working Girl's Guitar," is available at:

ROSIE FLORES: tour dates, blogs, further information, and more, are at:

And Rosie likes to remind everyone of JANIS MARTIN's last recordings from 2007, "The Blanco Sessions," produced by Rosie Flores and Bobby Trimble. That remains available at:

There's a pretty poster for the NYE event, but it is devoid of the needed info. You can print-out one for the fridge magnets at:


# 4 news feature...


"A CELEBRATION OF THE ASH GROVE WITH ED PEARL," featuring special performances by BERNIE PEARL, BARBARA MORRISON, CLAUDIA LENNEAR, JACKSON BROWNE, and GET LIT TEEN POETRY with RHIANNON McGAVIN, happening Monday, January 30, 2017, at 7:30 pm, is already SOLD OUT. As are "A CONVERSATION WITH BARBRA STREISAND" on January 5th, and performance-interview events with DOYLE BRAMHALL II on January 11th, and SILVERSUN PICKUPS on January 25th. Tickets in an intimate theatre wait for no one who dawdles.

So hop on the following while you can:

"GREAT GUITARS: ERIC JOHNSON" is Thursday, January 19, 2017, 8 pm. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes Texas guitar legend ERIC JOHNSON to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and performance surrounding his first completely unplugged solo album, "EJ." The evening is hosted by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.

"AN EVENING WITH RODNEY CROWELL" presented in conjunction with the Americana Music Association & 88.5 FM KCSN, is Monday, January 23, 2017, 8 pm. Kicking off its Americana Series for 2017, the GRAMMY Museum welcomes multi-GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter RODNEY CROWELL to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation on his career and forthcoming new music, moderated by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. The conversation will be followed by a performance. Get tix now.

"SPOTLIGHT: ERIC HUTCHINSON" is Thursday, January 26, 2017, 8 pm. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes singer-songwriter-performer ERIC HUTCHINSON to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and performance surrounding his fourth studio album, and most insightful one to date, "Easy Street." The evening is moderated by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. Get tix now.

The GRAMMY Museum is located on the corner of the 'LA LIVE" complex, near Staples Center. Official address is 800 W Olympic Bl, Los Angeles 90015. Entrance is around the corner on Figueroa. Museum visitor hours are Mon-Fri, 10:30 am-6:30 pm; Sat & Sun, 10 am-6:30 pm.

Event tix / info, 213-765-6800; or


# 5 news feature...


By Larry Wines

Growing up, there was that cringeworthy annual appearance of the "perfect gifts for billionaires" story that always made some network's news. A reporter would smugly conduct a stratospheric exercise, picking through the holiday catalog from Nieman-Marcus. If it was supposed to make us aspirational and acquisitive, it failed miserably in my case. Things like, "This is the yacht you leave docked in the Mediterranean. And here's the private jet you use to get to it" always made me hope they would find an old World War I sea mine the hard way.

Make a quick jump with me. Are you a devotee of traditional Christmas carols or Hanukah songs? Perhaps you transcend that as a year 'round Folk-Americana music fan and advocate, or as one who knows all the rock peace anthems of the '60s. If so, all that "Peace on Earth" music means you're still upset over the reference to the floating mine.

If you're now thinking of the music of peace, love and understanding, you may understand the observation that we're past the era when you could get support for going retro and grabbing an axe. Okay, that may be too esoteric a reference. It's an allusion to re-enacting PETE SEEGER's infamous backstage scramble for a fire axe to cut the amplifier cord on BOB DYLAN's electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival. Because, dammit, folk music had always been acoustic.

Times change. Folkies-turned-rocker-turned-folkie win Nobel prizes.

But one thing is still sacrilege to many of us, none more so than folkies. That would be the glorification of greed, in any form.

That's where the Nieman-Marcus catalog of toys for billionaires meets music. And the exploitation of music to sell stuff.

The primary shared value of performing folk music -- and lots of the best-known anthems of rock, and of blues and gospel -- still remains "To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

You just cannot doubt that. A quick look around proves there's no shortage of benefit concerts -- from the grandiose charity gala to the single artist gig in a little coffeehouse that's also chipping-in their share -- to prove the primacy of that value held in common in our arts community.

Listen to the music's lyrical substance. Hit one of L.A.'s best acoustic or Americana music venues for the evening, like the more trad Coffee Gallery Backstage (, the more hipster Hotel Cafe (, or more honky-tonkish-Americana Cody's Viva Cantina ( any night, or spend a weekend night on the Westside at McCabe's Guitar Shop ( or Boulevard Music ( Or head eastward to the Arcadia Blues Club (, the Fret House (, or the Folk Music Center (

So. Ethical anchor firmly rooted, let's move on to the exploitation. When a "holiday themed" TV commercial appears for a high-end luxury car, "decking the halls" with an excruciatingly roboticized voice chanting the fa-la-la-la-la's... and then, it repeatedly interjects a robot voice chanting "PAY! - PAY! - PAY!" and the dive for the remote control breaks the sound barrier.

Let's be clear. The ad's use of very traditional music, while electronically altered, isn't the essence of this. It isn't just about rejection of something new -- Dylan's plugged-in guitar -- something based on ethnicity or what's accepted by a specific age cohort, or about being acculturated in specific musical genres. The central aspect -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- isn't the dehumanizing electronic alteration of people singing, creating art with the human voice. Though that annoyance is more than sufficient to get the damn commercial silenced in anybody's house, if they like people who are not being subjugated to being robots.

What's unforgivably obnoxious -- immeasurably worse -- is the sheer arrogance. The elitist bastards are advertising ridiculously expensive gas-guzzling automobiles whose catalytic converters belch sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and C02, and they're celebrating -- but that's not quite it, either. They are exploiting a holiday season that's supposed to be based on giving, on meaningfully expressing good will for our fellow humans -- yes, but that's also contributory.

They're promoting a car for plutocrats in an ad being used for thumbing noses, stealing a carol that always used to be about the right things. And there it is. It's peonage of all the ordinary workin' people and underemployed college grads chained to student loan repayments. It is, in effect, ridiculing folks who expected to be part of the backbone of our society. Folks who could not aspire to affording a luxury car on two part-time jobs. Folks who, despite hard work, have little chance of improving their situation in the short run, much less building savings. And it's an supremely arrogant elitist ad couched in roboticized holiday joy. It's a thing of, by, and for the rich who live in perpetual celebration of their own wealth. Fa-la-la-la-electronically-altered-la. In a carol you used to recognize as one that shared hope.

Someone reading this may respond,

"Well, all that interjected 'PAY - PAY - PAY' crap is simply more honest than anybody else's advertising. After all, 'tis the season for hanging plastic holly and ivy to sell you something. Whether blood diamonds or gold jewelry whose mining despoils the environment and leaves cyanide behind, it propels the consumer economy.

"Buy, buy, buy. Pay - pay - pay. Americans' credit card debt is a record that leads the world. At least we lead the world at something. It's Christmas. Spend in the name of believing that people will 'like' you if you give them something. Oh, and you need to 'like' yourself by buying something you don't need. After all, you're not cool, not 'with it,' if you don't have it.

"It's just another Christmas before the kids are too old to know the magic. But it's really the same. It's always about feeding mindless consumerism instead of using your economic power to help a local youth arts program, or a strapped-for-cash museum that's preserving our shared heritage of the good and the bad. You can't be serious about helping some smallish music venue that needs to pay its ridiculously expensive entertainment license fee, or those crazy fees to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Just focus on buying some blingy junk on a whim instead of deliberately helping some very needy family in your community, or a homeless person that lives under the overpass."

Okay, if that's your argument, you win. But it's still the worst, makes-ya-wanna-storm-the-Bastille, most maddeningly arrogant and elitist commercial of the season.

Fa-la-la-la - PAY!- la.


For those who want to see for themselves, the car is the Acura 2017 TLX. National airings to date of the ad being criticized: 1,914. Price of the car (MSRP) ranges from a bare-bones low of $31,695 for a stripped-down hulk to $44,800 with all amenities. It's in the range of $41,575 with the features most car owners would believe are necessary.

The obnoxious commercial can be seen at:

In the next feature story, we bring you our choice for the Holiday-Themed TV commercials that are the most appropriate to the season. Guaranteed to surprise. Because, believe it or not, some commercial enterprises do choose to present uplifting messages rather than browbeat about their sharpening your elbows for their doorbuster discounts.

(The above ran in the L.A. Progressive, at: )


# 6 news feature...


By Larry Wines

It was a coin toss whether to run the above feature ahead of, or after this one. We decided that America today is about corporate emphasis on everything -- really, on everything -- so we picked the correct sequence for the two pieces.

Time to accentuate the positive. This one must run. We offer you multiple results of our findings, and recommend them all. But there is one must-see, up top. It is THE Christmas commercial that rates as worthy of what everyone expects the season to be.

Of course, you did NOT get to see it in the US. It was made for the 100th anniversary of an incredible bit of history that should be far better known. Made in 2014 and run in the UK and throughout Europe, it's about the very factual "Christmas truce miracle" amidst the carnage of World War I. (Though whether the soccer game occurred is disputed.) It's our must-watch video, Sainsbury's official Christmas 2014 ad, titled "1914," and it's at:

After you've seen "1914," you'll want to see the accompanying quick history behind the actual historical event. This reveals the massive scope of what happened -- peace, up and down the entire front line, invoked by fed-up soldiers tired of killing each other. Like the commercial, this three and half minutes is superbly done:

Also, there's the behind-the-scenes "making of" the Christmas truce short, an additional three and a half minutes that satisfyingly completes the trilogy:

Apart from the ambitious project to produce the Sainsbury ad, there's one more stop on your 1914 tour. Singer-songwriter John McCutcheon has a classic song titled "Christmas in the Trenches," further humanizing that piece of history. The song, including being covered by several other artists, predates the above videos. We recommend this version to watch McCutcheon performing it with historic photos:

I wrote a 2014 feature story in the L.A. Progressive that discusses the history and has numerous links to resources:


Back to the commercials. Which is a phrase that could characterize TV.

Fact is, nothing is more delightful in Britain than each year's eagerly anticipated annual short film / holiday "advert" from Sainsbury's.

By now you're wondering if we'll feature the wonderful Budweiser holiday commercials. Yes. right here.

The "Clydesdale Horses Snowball Fight":

Plus, a 2013 ABC News "Nightline" story on the famous Clydesdales:

And we'll throw-in one of the top spoofed commercials ever, the infamous "farting horse" that had millions believing it was a real Bud Light commercial:


Seriously, the Brits have everything else beat. You can call this our Christmas present to you, so go ahead and open the rest of these. All were made by the folks at Sainsbury's, the UK's second largest supermarket chain, which has expanded into e-commerce and banking -- and making great holiday commercials.

Sainsbury 2015: "Mog's Christmas Calamity." (3:20). It's at:

For all who know the beloved British cartoon cat "Mog," or who are fans of "Wallace & Grommit," this is especially delightful. Plus, the behind-the-scenes short is wonderful, at:

Sainsbury 2016:

This year's project, like all their others, took months to create.

Sainsbury 2012: "Christmas in a Day." This commercial is one result of an enormous number of nationwide submissions. The 3:29 commercial is at:

"Christmas in a Day," the full film (48:02) is better then anything on TV. It's at:


Beyond our suggestions, this being L.A./Hollywood, we know there are those who actually enjoy American TV commercials.

Those with that affliction can go to the "PC Advisor" special feature by Chris Martin, in which he claims to have found "Best Christmas ads 2016 and ever: Forget Buster The Boxer- it's all about Mrs. Claus and the M&S Christmas ad." He is correct to the extent that the "Christmas Truce" ad is among them. His complete list, with links for each one, is at:

Also, "Silicone Republic" writer John Kennedy chose the 2016 holiday ads he thinks are "7 Christmas TV ads guaranteed to stir your emotions." You can subject yourself to that at:

We'll end with a return to Budweiser (Anheuser Busch) for something special. If your Christmas morning activities last longer than the televised KTLA or KCAL gas fireplaces, here's a charming on-demand hour of a Yule log:

Sure, there are others out there. One has a foreground pair of gangly doggies holding their waterworks for three hours. And there's one with a guy asleep in a chair for ten(!) hours. But this one is complete with a Clydesdale munching hay and the Dalmatian that rides the famous red beer wagon. Including the latter looking nervous as the embers crackle and the huge horse browses for stray forage. Best of all, it's a video that's not standard American in-your-face commercialism. Nobody's rolling beer cans across the floor at the pensive pooch. Ho ho ho.


# 7 news feature...


We turn again to the good folks at FOLK ALLEY for the following online listening, guaranteed to satiate your hunger for gingerbread snowmen and manger angels well enough to tide you over for the next eleven months (don't sit there -- the camel was just there, if you know what I mean).

Folk Alley's FIFTY HOURS of Holiday Stream, Live for a Limited Time

The air staff at Folk Alley (well, cyberly air staff, unless you're listening to WKSU in Kent, Ohio) tells us, "If you don't feel like lugging around your holiday music collection -- or if you would rather spend time making the perfect eggnog than making sure there is music playing, Folk Alley's Holiday Stream is your perfect seasonal option. The 50 hour-long stream is two solid days of your favorite artists and special songs for Christmas, Solstice, Chanukah, New Years and winter. Every year, we add more songs, creating the best blend of favorites and newbies to make your celebrations shine."

FIFTY hours. Whoda thunk it?

Use this link, or keep reading for more options:

The Holiday Stream is accessed from,, iTunes, or streaming from their updated free mobile apps. They suggest, "Add Bluetooth speakers or a wireless sound system (like Sonos) and you have the soundtrack for your parties or family get-togethers in the palm of your hand."


# 8 news feature...


The Guide's "Tales from the Road" is an occasional feature that we sorta forget to do. Until we receive a report from an artist that's so outstanding that it's an immediate "must share." That's the situation here. Performing singer-songwriter DAVE STAMEY has won 'purt near every award, honor, and recognition available to the best of western music's top artists. His songwriting, his live performances, his CDs, and his delightfully humble presence all continue to take him to new places where he wins evermore fans, and to have venues clamoring for his return engagements. On top of that, he can write prose, too. Pause a moment and dismount, so your horse'll shield you from the winter wind, and imagine you're reading his letter in longhand.

" 2016. A hell of a ride.

"It was the year we travelled more miles, played more dates, spread the music around to more people than any year before. A year of adventures. A ranch concert where we looked down on a trail Geronimo had ridden many times. Heading toward Cody, Wyoming out of Yellowstone where we were forced to creep along the shoulder of the road, slowly, because a bull buffalo was striding up the middle of the highway, taking his time. In Wisconsin, where I was presented with a cheese-head cowboy hat -- how many people can say that? The Midwest is still mostly rural, full of cornfields and small towns, and it rains there, really rains. In Michigan one night it rained so hard the wipers on the rental car couldn't clear the windshield and I had to pull over. The last time that happened in California my dog was very, very young.

"This was the year we released 'Western Stories,' our eleventh album, and watched it reach album of the year. This was the year we got to perform with a symphony orchestra for the first time. This was the year I learned that one of my essays was to be included in a literary review. The year they decided to put me into the Hall of Fame.

"A hell of a ride. When you are horseback and such a sudden burst of excitement and speed happens, the wisdom is to sit deep, don't jerk on his face, don't clamp down, don't panic. Ride it out. In a few seconds the storm will pass, you can reach down and stroke his neck and reassure him. Heartbeats will slow, and calm will return. In a strange way you will feel as if you've passed some kind of test, and both you and the horse will end up having a better appreciation for each other.

"While I don't think my career was losing its mind or trying to buck me off, it sure got exciting. I did my best to hang on and ride it out. I tried not to yank on the bit.

"The best attitude , they say, is gratitude. I believe that's true, and if I weren't full of gratitude I'd be a pretty sorry excuse for a human bean. I am grateful to the WMA [Western Music Association], for the support, and the accolades and honors. I am grateful to the folks who came to the shows, some travelling for hours and hours to do it. Like the family from Pennsylvania who showed up in Columbus, Ohio with the two kids in cowboy hats and boots, both of them carrying cardboard signs listing the songs they wanted to hear. I'm grateful to the folks who bought the music, who listened to it, responded to it, and reached out to let us know how it touched them or helped them get through something, a bad situation or just a bad day. Like the fighter pilot who described how he flew into Iraq with 'Buckaroo Man' [one of Dave's most-requested songs] blaring in his headphones. I am grateful for a world that has room in it for me to do the thing I love to do, and need to do, the thing I believe I was born to do.

"Years like this one are exciting, certainly. But when the calm returns, that's good, too. It teaches me that there are miles of trail ahead yet, and in them will be barren stretches, and slow going, with no shade. It reminds me that I'm in it for the long haul. I'm still upright. I'm still in the saddle.

"Take a deep seat and a faraway look.

"Still grateful.

-- Dave."

Learn more about DAVE STAMEY at:

Don't dawdle rounding-up your tickets for one of Dave's next Southern Cal shows. They sell-out faster'n a coyote catches a rabbit:

✔ January 7, Altadena, CA: The Coffee Gallery Backstage;

✔ January 8, Tehachapi, CA: Fiddler's Crossing;

✔ January 28, San Diego, CA: AMSD Concerts;


# 9 news feature...


The Pasadena library system has a wonderful concert hall that they call an auditorium. They also have a staff that commits to a lot of music and arts events every year. And we're so impressed with their 2016 accomplishments that we want you to see those, too. First, their January listings of free concerts.


It's a family Concert." The library says, "Kids, bring your parents and grandparents. Grandparents, bring your children and grandchildren." It's a sing-along with folk songs from the '60s and '70s and more. Presented in partnership with the TOPANGA BANJO•FIDDLE CONTEST & FOLK FESTIVAL (which happens in May); WOMEN ON THE MOVE won the Vocal Championship at TBFC in 2012.

Saturday, Jan 21, 11 am, in the Central Library/Donald Wright Auditorium, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena 91101; 626-744-4066;



Enjoy an afternoon of classical guitar with Pasadena Conservatory of Music instructor DAVID MARGOLIS.

Monday, Jan 23, 3 pm, at the Linda Vista Branch of the Pasadena Library, 1281 Bryant St, Pasadena 91103; 626-744-7278;



"VIBRANT RAIN STICKS" allows you to "Create a colorful, melodious rain stick! Use your rain stick’s magic to hear the rain, even as the drought continues. Fun for all ages. All materials provided."

Thursday, Jan 19, 3:30 pm, at the Hill Avenue Branch of the Pasadena Library, 55 S Hill Av, Pasadena 91106; 626-744-7264;




"ROYAL TEA PARTY" invites "Future kings, queens, princes and princesses" to "come dressed in your finery for a very special visit from the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court. The court will share their favorite princess stories and recent New Year’s experiences. Bring a camera and a smile to pose with royalty."

Saturday, Jan 7, 1:30–3:30 pm, at the Hastings Branch of the Pasadena Library, 3325 E Orange Grove Bl, Pasadena 91107; 626-744-7262;



"NEWSWEEKLIES FIND A NICHE" - In this digital age when traditional, daily newspapers are losing revenue, cutting budgets and decreasing staff, alternative newsweeklies are thriving. Join the editorial staff from Pasadena Weekly as they discuss how these hyper-local newspapers have found a sustainable niche serving their communities, the process of putting out a paper each week, how they make editorial decisions, their individual books, Pasadena city politics and more. Featuring Editor Kevin Uhrich, Deputy Editor André Coleman, Arts Editor Carl Kozlowski, Columnist Ellen Snortland and Contributor Justin Chapman.

Thursday, Jan 12, 7 pm, in the Central Library/Donald Wright Auditorium, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena 91101; 626-744-4066;



Egads, NO! While getting the details to bring you for the above events, we found this impressive info on the Pasadena Library -- a small-city library system. Take a perusal before any of those "austerity!" morons get to you with their "better-living-through-budget-cutting" rhetoric. And see our closing note following the bulleted points.

• 1.5 million people visited Pasadena’s libraries in person, on the web or via social media.

• 1.3 million of the library’s books, DVDs, databases and other resources were checked out and tapped into.

• 76,878 items were added to the library’s collection, including 5,476 electronic materials, for a total of 680,387 items. This is more than five items for every man, woman and child in Pasadena.

• 12,801 people registered for a new Pasadena Public Library card.

• 344,355 free internet sessions were launched by Pasadena library patrons.

• 75,156 people attended 3,100 library programs and events at 10 locations.

• 115 community organizations partnered with the library to provide many of the programs and events that helped transform lives through literature, reading and community engagement.

• 402 Pasadena community groups held 850 meetings in a library facility.

• Held the 1st Educator Appreciation Night for teachers who work or live in Pasadena.

• Completed the 14th annual One City, One Story community reading program, with events at each library site.

• Initiated a series of programs and events on mental health and mental illness for teens.

• Held Pasadena’s 1st National Coming Out Day Celebration at Central Library, in partnership with the Pasadena Public Health Department.

• Participated in the annual citywide ArtNight with an Author Fair, featuring 82 Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley authors.

• Re-established the library’s Linda Vista Associates group, which joins three other associates groups and The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library in supporting library programs and services throughout the year.

• Revamped the library website for a more intuitive, easy to navigate, streamlined experience.

• Added new services (electronic magazines), new titles (keeping up with all the bestsellers), and new programs (more for adults, like Zumba, chair aerobics, etc.).

In any town that commits the necessary resources to an active, vital and vibrant library, similar things are possible. And there is no doubting the public need for them!


# 10 news feature...


Add to your list of those allied in nonviolent protest the band I SEE HAWKS IN L.A.

As those encamped to stop a major tar sands oil pipeline were being soaked with fire hoses in subzero temperatures, more and more musicians, artists, and people from all backgrounds were organizing to say "No!" to environmental assault and abrogation of Native American treaty rights in North Dakota.

It took months for corporate mainstream media to begin reporting to the world what was happening with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). That, despite a growing number of brutal assaults by the paramilitary thugs hired by the pipeline builders, and pain, injuries, arrests, strip searches, facial hosings with noxious chemicals, and more being faced by Native American "water protectors" and "land protectors." The Lakota Sioux was joined by an unprecedented representation from native First Nation communities and reservations throughout the Americas, and by individuals of all races, creeds, and many nationalities. The pipeline builders had navigated politics and somehow avoided to perform an always mandatory Environmental Impact Study. Even now, with their behavior exposed, the current rejection of the pipeline's permit to cross beneath the Missouri River is not the final chapter. As a new oil-industry-friendly administration takes office on January 20th, the Indians and their allies are braced for whatever may come, and resolved to stop the pipeline once and for all.


The band tells us, "We’re donating 100% of download money for two versions of our song, 'Hope Against Hope.' the money is going to the Oceti Sakowin, eco warriors defending their land against an oil pipeline that should never be built. We thank all our friends who have gone out to stand with them."

To get the song and support (donate to) the cause, go to:

You can also donate to Native American eco-warriors Oceti Sakowin directly on their website:


Catching the Hawks...

Tuesday Night February Residency at HiHat in Highland Park

In February, 2017, the guys start a Tuesday night residency at the HiHat in lovely Highland Park. They report, "We’ll be sharing our favorite neighborhood stage with some of the finest LA acts including (but not limited to): BRIAN WHELAN, NOCONA, and NAHEEN KULA." The residency begins Tuesday, February 7th at 9 pm. Details at:


All the band's music is now available on, including lots of rarities and live tracks. Check it out:


The Hawks report being "excited and proud" to play the grand re-opening of a Northern Cal music landmark, The Palms Playhouse in Winters, CA. The big night is Friday, January 6th. Tix are $20 for the 8 pm show.

The Palms is at 13 Main St, Winters, CA; tix & info, 530-795-1825;

A nice newspaper story ran on the show, the band, and the landmark that is The Palms, at:


The Hawks have an upcoming EP release, a collaboration with THE GOOD INTENTIONS, coming in 2017. They tell us, "We’re finishing up an EP of songs written and recorded with our friends from Liverpool, The Good Intentions. Keep your eyes out for a release early in 2017!"

More on the band, their CDs, and their schedule, at:


# 11 news feature...


"Spring Carousel" Release Date, March 31, 2017; Proceeds to Directly Benefit City of Hope National Medical Center

He had barely made it through the second half of his show. Now Celebrated American pianist George Winston was laying down on the dressing room floor. He needed to go to the emergency room. It was September 13, 2012, in Sand Point, Idaho. Being rushed to the local hospital soon brought transfer to the City of Hope, the world renown medical center, where he had a bone marrow transplant on November 22nd that year.

As he gained strength, Winston spent his time at the piano in the hospital auditorium every night. Remarkably, "Spring Carousel" is the culmination of those works composed at City of Hope during early 2013, in Duarte, California, near Los Angeles. All are solo piano compositions written by Winston while in recovery from a bone marrow transplant for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). From 59 recorded songs, 15 select works are showcased on the upcoming album, Winston's latest solo piano album.

Announced Wednesday, December 21, "Spring Carousel" will be released on RCA Records as a cancer research benefit album, due out March 31, 2017 as a true spring celebration of music, the season, and life itself. Sales of the album will directly benefit City of Hope, in Duarte, CA.

George Winston reminds music fans on this, his 14th solo piano album, that only one voice is required to be wholeheartedly inspiring. For Winston, that voice has always been solo acoustic piano.

As always with his originals, a depth of piano brilliance effortlessly sinks into one's soul, never leaving the listener eager for anything other than the next swirling song on the recording.

One of the new album's tracks, "Night Blooming," is a direct reflection of his time in the hospital, and how the body heals while sleeping at night. Winston says, "It was as if I composed this in the hospital room itself. My doctor, Stephen J. Forman, Chairman of the Hematology Department at City of Hope, is one of the world's four foremost authorities on hematology and bone marrow transplants, and in a lot of ways, the way we work are similar. We both often stay up all night, and we try to make sure there's food and water near us while we're working so that we remember to eat and drink. He actually had attended some of my shows some years back; he was a friend I didn't know I had."

Winston's career spans more than 40 years, with sales of over 15 million albums, including seven Platinum-selling recordings. As with his previous recordings, including the seven Platinum selling albums "Autumn," "December," "Forest," 'Summer," "Winter Into Spring," "Linus & Lucy - The Music of VINCE GUARALDI," and "Plains," Winston's studio recordings are all experienced-based. His season-themed albums come mainly from his childhood experience in Montana knowing first-hand the drastic difference in the seasons. And his releases "Montana - A Love Story," as well as "Forest and Plains," come primarily from his sense of the different topographies of Montana, as well. By contrast, the setting of "Spring Carousel" is the City of Hope, where Winston was given a second chance at life.

During his late-night piano sessions at City of Hope, themes turned into compositions that he labeled "carousels." These were pieces influenced by the spiraling motions of the planets, stars and galaxies in the universe, composer Howard Blake's piece "The Snowman's Music Box Dance" from the children's video "The Snowman," composer Steve Reich's work, and the circular motion of music boxes and carnival carousels. Thus, "Spring Carousel" is comprised of three types of pieces -- carousels, uptempo songs called "Ms Mysteries," and what RCA is calling "slower ballad-esque bouquets."

Of the many distinct tracks on the upcoming album, Winston will tell you that one of them, "Dream 1," is the only song he ever actually wrote while dreaming. Upon waking and going to the piano, the exact notes worked well, with his left hand muting the strings inside the piano, and the right hand playing similar to the finger-style technique on the guitar, and inspired by the players of the Zimbabwean mbira tradition (aka the "thumb piano"). The first of the ballads on album, titled "More Than You Know," is a tribute to all those who have inspired Winston. Sparse piano sways are connected with a sense of purpose and meaning, supported with loving reassurance. "Many Clocks (Carousel 4)" concurrently contrasts different time signatures in both the left and right hands with an aesthetic reminiscent of music boxes playing, clocks ticking and chiming.

Winston summons cupid in the song "Unrequited Love (Carousel 9)," a short but potent exposition. The piece is filled with all the potentials of love, but in the end, forgoes the experience with all of its inherent emotional risks.

"Fess' Carousels (Carousels 12 & 14)" is subtly based on the influence of PROFESSOR LONGHAIR's playing on Winston's music; "Fess" was a nickname of the great New Orleans Professor Longhair (1918-1980). Another New Orleans piano legend, JAMES BOOKER (1939-1983) ,serves as the muse along with the cat Gobajie for "Pixie #13 in C (Gobajie - A Foggy Day)" -- Winston is a self-professed extreme cat lover, with over 400 cat friends across the country. Booker also lends his genius to Winston's performance on "Ms Mystery 3," a mid-tempo R&B piece.

"Rekindling Love (Carousel 21)" is all about just letting things happen, and not forcing them to take place. Winston notes, "It's a feeling of gratitude of love returning without even trying." The closing track "Requited Love (Carousel 15)" is anything but an ending. "When love fades and comes back, it reminds me of a spring day and realizing the affection for another."

Over the past couple of years, Winston has made a full recovery and has lived life primarily on the road performing in many of America's renowned concert halls and venues. Without the incredible help of City of Hope, "Spring Carousel" would simply not have been possible. The album marks Winston's fourth benefit album. He's previously released "Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions - A Hurricane Relief Benefit,' "Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions Vol. 2 - A Louisiana Wetlands Benefit," and the EP "Remembrance - A Memorial Benefit" for those affected by 9/11. In addition to those already mentioned, other critically acclaimed releases have included "Love Will Come - The Music of VINCE GUARALDI Vol. 2," and his paen to rock, "Night Divides The Day - The Music of THE DOORS."

He has also recorded the solo piano soundtrack for the children's story "The Velveteen Rabbit," narrated by MERYL STREEP, and the solo guitar soundtrack for the story "Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes," narrated by LIV ULLMAN.

You can find a comprehensive list of George Winston's forthcoming tour dates, specific tracks of each album, plenty of notes and more, at:

"A true original with an inimitable style..." - Classical MPR (Minnesota Public Radio).

"...a master of both tone and invention." - Austin American Statesman.

About the City of Hope, Beneficiary of the New Album

City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. It is designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute. City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation.

At City of Hope, scientists work with doctors to treat both the physical and emotional needs of their patients. By attending to the individual, not just the illness, life afterwards can be fuller and more rewarding. At City of Hope, they combine science with soul to make miracles every day. As Dr. Stephen Forman says, "We now learn more in a week than we used to in a year." They also work with the "Be the Match" organization to match donor and patient.

About "Be the Match"

Be the Match is a registry of over 11 million committed marrow donors. Every day, they help thousands of people with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases search for a donor who can make their transplant possible. Learn more, including how to take part, at:


Here's wishing you a bright, happy, creative, visionary, fulfilling, NEW YEAR, filled with possibilities to achieve your dreams and to guide others to finding and achieving theirs!



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Pssst — Hey, kid. Yeah, YOU: It won't be so "basic" when we add all the links for the global network of music news / music education sites that we're joining; THAT'LL be here very soon, as an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the Guide returning to being a MUSIC NEWS journal!

Direct to the Guide's current editions /


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. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.


Monday, December 19, 2016

EXTRA: Free Webinar, Tuesday: "What should artists expect to see in 2017 & beyond?" - Dec 19 special edition 2016

It figures. We just published the Guide's most recent FULL EDITION yesterday, with eleven feature stories. But word hadn't yet arrived of this. (You can still get our entire Guide to getting your ho-ho-ho ready to go with "THE FULL PICTURE OF RECENT EDITIONS" including all their lil' 'ol url's, at the end of this one-item news post.)

Meantime, plenty of our artist readers will want to take part in this.


On Tuesday, Dec 20th, at 1 pm Pacific (4 pm ET), DISCMAKERS is offering a live online event with music industry consultant BOBBY BORG. The purpose? Borg is sharing his predictions for the music industry in 2017 and beyond. The only complication? it seems you need to have a Twitter account. If you do, you are invited to "Come prepared with your questions."

This is the 16th offering and the latest in the series presented by the longtime vinyl record / now biggest CD presser. In cyberspeak, it's their "#DMchat16."

BOBBY BORG is best known as a music industry consultant, author and musician. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a BA in Professional Music and he is an educator at the Musician’s Institute and with UCLA Extension. Bobby is the author of Billboard Books’ bestseller "The Musician’s Handbook" and Hal Leonard's "Music Marketing For The DIY Musician. "

Learn more about him at

What should artists expect to see in 2017 and beyond? Bobby took a focused look at what lies ahead for the future of the music industry in a two-part blog series. You can read it at:

(Concise articles. Ridiculously long url, but you seem to need all of it to get there.)

To participate in Tuesday's live web event:

Tweet during the scheduled time using the #DMchat16 hashtag.

Basic Guidelines:

1.Log in to Twitter before the chat and go to:

to enter the #DMchat16 chat room.

2.Follow @DiscMakers from the Twitter account you plan to use for the #DMchat16.

3.Introduce yourself, stay on topic, and feel free to retweet (RT).

4.Make sure you use the #DMchat16 hashtag in any of the tweets you are posting to the chat, otherwise they might be missed.

5.Have fun!



1) The Guide's most recent FULL EDITION, Sun, Dec 18, 2016:
"HAPPY HOLLANDAISE! Here's the News, & Plenty of The Luck O' the Irish."
With eleven feature stories, including three on Irish music/ Irish Christmas related. At:

2) FULL EDITION, Sat, Dec 10, 2016:
"Turning Ho-Ho-Hum to Ho-Ho-Ho: Music News, Holiday Destinations, and More!"
There are 13 features, including where you can go ice skating on a battleship, and the top-played Americana music of 2016. It's at:

3) SPECIAL EDITION, Wed, Dec 7, 2016:
"Remembering Pearl Harbor, 75 years ago today. Then and now, what it means. Dec 7, 2016." It's at:

4) EXTRA EDITON: Mon, Dec 5, 2016:
"The original 'MUSIC SHORTS'..."
What came before the music video? DECADES before the music video? The answer is delightful:

5) SINGLE-ITEM POST, Sat, Dec 3, 2016:
"Let Us Entertain You (for a moment, anyway)."
The hilarious results of something written in English, translated to another language, then translated back into English:

6) FULL EDITION, Fri, Dec 2, 2016:
"Lots of NEWS to Start December! Participate Sunday with Music Stars, See a Special Film Screening Friday Night, and more good stuff, all within."
Nine feature stories, tagged as "Stuff you should know. Stuff you don't even know that you wanna know, but you do." At:



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Pssst — Hey, kid. Yeah, YOU: It won't be so "basic" when we add all the links for the global network of music news / music education sites that we're joining; THAT'LL be here very soon, as an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the Guide returning to being a MUSIC NEWS journal!

Direct to the Guide's current editions /


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. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.


Sunday, December 18, 2016


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

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



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

2) Best Joke of the Season

3) TONIGHT: Two Hot Sunday Evening Concerts

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

5) Feeding the Hungry for Christmas and All Year Long

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let's get started!


# 1 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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


# 2 news feature...


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

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

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


# 3 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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

Purchase $15 tickets at:

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

Press for Bob Malone:

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


# 4 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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

(That's at )

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

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

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


# 5 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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

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

-- Yours Truly, Dave"

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


# 6 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

or call 800-277-0497


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

# 7 news feature...


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


# 8 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


# 9 news feature...


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

More information and a full track listing is at:


# 10 news feature...


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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are now available at 714-755-5799.

Full info is at


# 11 news feature...


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

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

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

Prizes For Stocking Stuffer

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

Second Place
Pair of UE 900 In Ear Monitors

Third Place
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth Speaker
CAD D90 Performance Microphone

All Entrants receive 100 free spins from Radio Airplay.

This is the final chance to enter ISC 2016.

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

Songs may be entered in any of the following categories:

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

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

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


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

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



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Pssst — Hey, kid. Yeah, YOU: It won't be so "basic" when we add all the links for the global network of music news / music education sites that we're joining; THAT'LL be here very soon, as an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the Guide returning to being a MUSIC NEWS journal!

Direct to the Guide's current editions /


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. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Turning Ho-Ho-Hum to Ho-Ho-Ho: Music News, Holiday Destinations, and More! Dec 9 2016 edition

This period we call "The Holidays" is either stressfully hectic or achingly lonely. We can offer you lots of places to take visiting relatives or go make new friends, and maybe even to make a difference with your presence. We can suggest gifts of music for you to give others, or acquire to treat yourself. Whatever your relationship status, your distance in time and place from whatever you call (or once called) home... whether your Christmas dinner plans are to settle in at the local Chinese restaurant... Or to tolerate that drunk uncle who always ruins your holiday, but is part of the bargain to watch the kids excitedly unwrap packages... whatever your attitudes and values relative to religion, special days that derive from it, or the complete absence thereof...

Never underestimate your ability to make a difference.

The young boy who would become COUNT BASIE took piano lessons for 25 cents a lesson from a German woman named Holloway. We only know about her because of him.

A man named VINCENT LEINEN moved to L.A. from Iowa a bit over 35 years ago. He organized caroling for shut-ins in the San Fernando Valley that first year he was here. Last Sunday, a cavalcade of music stars (Grammy winners, Gold Record holders, rock stars, and many others with recognized stature) joined Hollywood film and TV actors, less-well-known musicians, and members of the community who joined their voices in song for Vincent's 35th annual caroling event. We only hear from Vincent twice a year -- when he recruits everyone to join-in the caroling event, and when he invites everyone to take part in his events surrounding the annual Playboy Jazz Festival. Oh, he COULD get people to turn-out for anything he wanted. But he sticks with those two events. Right now, he's off on his usual month-long December tour, leading caroling events for shut-ins in 21 other cities, until Christmas, back in Iowa. Now remember, he didn't know anyone when he arrived here.

Take a moment and tell yourself a story of someone you know who has made a difference. Someone sung or un-sung. Maybe as a volunteer bringing live music to a school with no music program. Maybe as a performer at the old folks home, or the VA home. Maybe collecting winter coats or getting them washed and dried for distribution at the homeless shelter. Or striving to save an endangered species by saving the last vestige of their habitat from destruction. Or fighting climate change. Or finding loving homes for abandoned animals. Or doing any of a thousand things that make the world just a little bit brighter. More promising. More loving. More caring. In some way. For someone. Maybe there's someone you know whose efforts you could support. Maybe it's you, and you don't get any recognition or help or credit, but you do it anyway because YOU know it makes a difference, even if no one else does.

Don't underestimate YOUR ability to make a difference. You probably are, already, even if you don't pause long enough to know it.



1) NEWS SHORTS... several items, all late-breaking...

2) 2016 Americana Radio Chart Top 100; Most Played Albums of the Year

3) Ice Skate on Board a Battleship? Only in L.A.!

4) GRAMMY MUSEUM: Last of 2016, First of 2017 Special Events Schedule

5) Where to Take Holiday Guests (or to enjoy on your own)

6) Farewell to Norm's: Meeting Place for DR. DEMENTO'S "PICO & SEPULVEDA"

7) "Learn How To Play Clawhammer Banjo" Really? From a Video?

8) "Down Home Family Christmas" Dec 22nd at the Coffee Gallery Backstage

9) Sibelius 8.5 Promises "Write Music Faster and More Fluidly"

10) Berklee College of Music Online: Winter Term, Jan 9; Discounts 'til Dec 12

11) RT's "THE RESIDENT" skewers "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE." You need to know her...

12) A Chockful Weekend: We Dare Ya to Stay Home; C'mon, We Dare Ya!

13) Events: Tasty Treats from the Music Calendar

Let's get started!


# 1 news feature...



Ken Buessler, senior scientist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said Friday that Cesium 134 and 137 have both been detected on the coast of Oregon, and Fukishima is the source. Cesium 137 has been around since the first atomic bomb tests, so it turns-up lots of places. But Cesium 134 has a two-year half-life, and given the level of radioactivity found, its source is certainly the three reactors that melted-down in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that struck the nuclear plant there. Buessler emphasizes that the concentrations are low, and continue to be monitored. But we'll be thinking of our many friends in the vibrant Portland music community.


** First, Happy 100th Birthday (Friday) to actor and author KIRK DOUGLAS! He's played countless roles and brought memorable performances to every single one of them. For us, he'll always be Spartacus who led the slave revolt against the tyranny of the plutocrats of Rome.

** Musician GREG LAKE of EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER died Thursday at age 69. Far, far, too young, as we saw so clearly by the 70+, and some 80+, ages of all those who performed so ably and generated such magic at "Desert Trip" in Coachella in October.

** Pioneering NASA Mercury 7 and Space Shuttle Astronaut, and longtime US Senator, JOHN GLENN died Thursday at age 95. He was the first American to orbit the Earth aboard his one-man "Friendship 7" spacecraft in 1962, when he faced the uncertainty of a sudden termination of his flight after just three orbits, and emergency re-entry when it seemed the heat shield of his spacecraft may have come loose. Later, after an esteemed career in the US Senate, he became the oldest person ever to go into space in 1998, as a crewmember of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-95. There, he conducted a wealth of medical experiments. That mission lasted nine days, orbited the Earth 134 times, traveled a distance of 3.6 million miles, and brought a landing on wheels for a waiting crowd instead of beneath a parachute into the lonely blue ocean. The shuttle Discovery eased through re-entry at a mere 3 Gs, half of what he experienced aboard Friendship 7, 36 years earlier. For all those who've always been told, "You can't go home again," don't believe it. Godspeed, John Glenn.


# 2 news feature...


(Nashville, Tenn.) December 8, 2016 - The Americana Music Association has announced its year-end Top 10 and Top 100 Albums of the Year. These are based on the records reported to the Americana Airplay Chart during the period of December 1, 2015 through December 5, 2016.

This year's Top 100 most played albums are:

1) Avett Brothers, "True Sadness"

2. Tedeschi Trucks Band, "Let Me Get By"

3. Bonnie Raitt, "Dig In Deep"

4. Lumineers, "Cleopatra"

5. Hayes Carll, "Lovers And Leavers"

6. Parker Millsap, "The Very Last Day"

7. Mudcrutch, "2"

8. Sturgill Simpson, "A Sailor's Guide To Earth"

9. Colvin & Earle, "Colvin & Earle"

10. Jayhawks, "Paging Mr. Proust"

11. Margo Price, "Midwest Farmer's Daughter"

12. Record Company, "Give It Back To You"

13. Lucinda Williams, "The Ghosts Of Highway 20"

14. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats, "Nathaniel Rateliff and The Nightsweats"

15. Dylan LeBlanc, "Cautionary Tale"

16. Cactus Blossoms, "You're Dreaming"

17. Darrell Scott, "Couchville Sessions"

18. Elizabeth Cook, "Exodus Of Venus"

19. Bonnie Bishop, "Ain't Who I Was"

20. Aubrie Sellers, "New City Blues"

21. Sarah Jarosz, "Undercurrent"

22. Loretta Lynn, "Full Circle"

23. Sara Watkins, "Young In All The Wrong Ways"

24. Shovels & Rope, "Little Seeds"

25. Carrie Rodriguez, "Lola"

26. Josh Ritter, "Sermon On The Rocks"

27. Wynonna & The Big Noise, "Wynonna & The Big Noise"

28. Infamous Stringdusters, "Ladies & Gentlemen"

29. John Prine, "For Better, Or Worse"

30. Hard Working Americans, "Rest In Chaos"

31. Paul Simon, "Stranger To Stranger"

32. James Hunter Six, "Hold On!"

33. Aoife O'Donovan, "Magic Hour"

34. Robert Ellis, "Robert Ellis"

35. Honeycutters, "On The Ropes"

36. Luther Dickinson, "Blues & Ballads"

37. Peter Wolf, "A Cure For Loneliness"

38. Sam Bush, "Storyman"

39. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, "Call It What It Is"

40. Devil Makes Three, "Redemption & Ruin"

41. Joe Ely, "Panhandle Rambler"

42. Buddy Miller & Friends, "Cayamo Sessions At Sea"

43. Dwight Yoakam, "Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars..."

44. Lori McKenna, "The Bird & The Rifle"

45. Jason Isbell, "Something More Than Free"

46. Yarn, "This Is The Year"

47. Wilco, "Schmilco"

48. Various - The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson, "God Don't Never Change"

49. Anderson East, "Delilah"

50. Randy Rogers Band, "Nothing Shines Like Neon"

51. Corb Lund, "Things That Can't Be Undone"

52. Turnpike Troubadours, "Turnpike Troubadours"

53. Willie Sugarcapps, "Paradise Right Here"

54. Luke Bell, "Luke Bell"

55. Jim Lauderdale, "Soul Searching"

56. John Doe, "Westerner"

57. Bottle Rockets, South Broadway Athletic Club"

58. Teddy Thompson & Kelly Jones, "Little Windows"

59. Miss Tess, "Baby, We All Know"

60. Los Lobos, "Gates Of Gold"

61. Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone, "Transatlanticana"

62. Southern Culture On The Skids, "The Electric Pinecones"

63. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin, "Lost Time"

64. Black Lillies, "Hard To Please"

65. Green River Ordinance, "Fifteen"

66. Jack Ingram, "Midnight Motel"

67. Patty Griffin, "Servant Of Love"

68. Amanda Shires, "My Piece Of Land"

69. Chris Isaak, "First Comes The Night"

70. Charles Bradley, "Changes"

71. Sierra Hull, "Weighted Mind"

72. Wood Brothers, "Paradise"

73. Reckless Kelly, "Sunset Motel"

74. Chris Stapleton, "Traveller"

75. Shovels & Rope, "Busted Jukebox Volume 1"

76. Hackensaw Boys, "Charismo"

77. Grant Lee Phillips, "The Narrows"

78. Todd Snider, "Eastside Bulldog"

79. Seth Walker, "Gotta Get Back"

80. Charlie Faye & The Fayettes, 'Charlie Faye & The Fayettes"

81. Drive-By Truckers, "American Band"

82. William Bell, "This Is Where I Live"

83. Derek Hoke, "Southern Moon"

84. Tim O'Brien, "Pompadour"

85. Sarah Borges, "Good And Dirty"

86. Frankie Lee, "American Dreamer"

87. Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, "So Familiar"

88. Earls Of Leicester, "Rattle & Roar"

89. Hiss Golden Messenger, "Heart Like A Levee"

90. Whiskey Myers, 'Mud'

91. Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, "Shine A Light"

92. Lydia Loveless, 'Real'

93. Sean McConnell, 'Sean McConnell'

94. Malcolm Holcombe, 'Another Black Hole"

95. Billy Gibbons, "Perfectamundo"

96. Tim Easton, "American Fork"

97. Mary Chapin Carpenter, "The Things We Are Made Of"

98. Rob Baird, 'Wrong Side Of The River'

99. Brent Cobb, Shine On Rainy Day"

100. Janiva Magness , "Love Wins Again"


Americana Music makes a great holiday gift. If you haven't heard these and other albums, go to Amazon, iTunes, or visit your local independent record store to start your holiday shopping now.

More at:


# 3 news feature...


It might sound as crazy as that old fish and bicycle line, except this one is real. This year, "North Pole Village" has relocated to the BATTLESHIP IOWA, which is docked as a museum in San Pedro. Now, the first thing we need to do is get you qualified with a bit of vocabulary. They are encouraging you to "Ice Skate on the Big Stick this Winter!"

You need to know that it's a nickname for the USS Iowa, going waaay back before the ship's time to Teddy Roosevelt, when he said his approach to the world was to "Walk softly, but carry a big stick." Teddy was Secretary of the Navy before being elected Vice President, and becoming President when William McKinley was assassinated. Anyway, Teddy's "Big Stick" always referred to his navy ships with their big guns.

The aft deck of the USS Iowa is a vast open space where airplanes were handled and launched in World War II. They were replaced by helicopters in Korea. And the deck is presided over by the three sixteen-inch guns of the Iowa's rear-facing turret. Final piece of the puzzle? The Los Angeles Kings Holiday Ice Rink is relocated to that vast aft deck.

The giant ice rink is open 7 Nights a week until January 8, 2017. Plus there are Night Tours, and Santa Claus is there on select dates. In short, the decks of the Iowa have been transformed into an Arctic paradise. You and your family can lace up your ice skates and spin around the Los Angeles Kings Holiday Ice Rink on the huge fantail - on the only ice rink known to ever have been erected on an actual battleship.

Plus, on select days, you get a rare opportunity to tour the historic ship at night, visit with Santa Claus to share your wish list, and become an official member of "Vicky’s Order of the Blue Noses."

This being the first time anybody has ever done anything like this, and it being on such a massive scale (the ship is HUGE), you can be among the first to skate on board Battleship IOWA (or any battleship, ever) on the Los Angeles Kings Holiday Ice Rink (or any ice rink, ever).

ICE SKATING is open Monday through Friday, 5-10:30 pm, and
Saturday and Sunday, 4-10:30 pm.

Ice Skating tickets are $15 (skate rentals included).

The additional special events, "North Pole Nights at the Big Stick," are open Fridays and Saturdays, 5 pm to 10 pm, Sundays 5 pm to 9 pm. Food options, like warm chicken noodle soup, and nachos, plus cookies, treats, hot cocoa and other beverages, are available to purchase onsite. Dates: for these additional events are December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 30 & 31.

Fantail access is FREE to reach the massive ice rink (where you will pay $15 if you want to skate, including skate rentals).

Evening Tour Tickets to tour USS Iowa are a big deal, because this doesn't ordinarily happen. Those special tix are $12. (Activities and hours subject to change.)

Battleship IOWA / Pacific Battleship Center, is moored at 250 S Harbor Bl, San Pedro 90731;


# 4 news feature...


The GRAMMY Museum's own theatre, the Clive Davis stage, is a great place to see and hear live music. The museum has also partnered with numerous other venues, so check the listings to see where each event occurs. Also note that tickets are going fast for December events, while tickets for some January events are not available until the indicated dates. Those with American Express credit cards almost always have an opportunity ahead of us peasants to get tix early for their events.


✔ "LYTHGOE FAMILY PANTO'S 'A CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS'" runs December 8-January 8, 2017, at the Pasadena Playhouse, in Pasadena. "Panto at The Playhouse," now in its fifth year, has become a "must-do" holiday tradition for Southern California residents. A Cinderella Christmas is the latest Holiday Spectacular presented by The Pasadena Playhouse and Lythgoe Family Panto in the style of the traditional British Panto. This year's stunning production stars LAUREN TAYLOR (DISNEY's "Best Friends Whenever") as Cinderella and ALEX NEWELL (FOX's "Glee") as The Fairy Godperson. A Panto is interactive holiday fun for all ages, and the timeless tale of Cinderella will feature comedy, dancers from "So You Think You Can Dance" and contemporary music from TAYLOR SWIFT to the BEE GEES. "Panto at The Playhouse" productions have featured luminaries from the worlds of music, theatre and television, including Sabrina Carpenter, John O' Hurley, Ariana Grande, Ben Vereen, Olivia Holt and Lucy Lawless.

Receive 20% off tickets by using coupon code: ACCE
Tickets available now, online or by calling 626-356-7529.


✔ "AN EVENING WITH DAVID BROMBERG" is Monday, December 12, 2016; 8 pm, in the Clive Davis Theatre at the GRAMMY Museum. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist DAVID BROMBERG, an "American music icon" according to DR. JOHN, to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation on his latest album "The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But The Blues," and his career, moderated by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. The conversation is followed by a performance.
Tix now available.


✔ "THE DROP: US THE DUO" is Wednesday, December 14, 2016; 8 pm, in the Clive Davis Theatre at the GRAMMY Museum. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes husband-and-wife singer-songwriter duo MICHAEL & CARISSA ALVARADO of US THE DUO to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation on their rising success and latest fan-sourced project, "Public Record," moderated by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. The conversation will be followed by a performance.
Tix now available.


✔ "REEL TO REEL: RATTLE THE HOCKS" is a film screening and live performance with THE GRAHAMS and special guests the NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS, on Thursday, December 15, 2016; 7:30 pm, in the Clive Davis Theatre at the GRAMMY Museum. The GRAMMY Museum presents a special screening of "Rattle the Hocks," a short film directed and co-produced by CODY DICKINSON (founding member of the NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS and son of the late legendary producer JIM DICKINSON) that captures THE GRAHAMS' relentless journey to explore the relationship between train travel and American roots music. The screening will be followed by a special Q&A and performance featuring THE GRAHAMS and LUTHER & CODY DICKINSON of the NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS, hosted by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.
Tix now available.


✔ "LONELY BOY: TALES OF A SEX PISTOL WITH STEVE JONES" is Tuesday, January 10, 2017; 7:30 pm, in the Clive Davis Theatre at the GRAMMY Museum. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes SEX PISTOLS co-founder STEVE JONES to the Clive Davis Theater for a conversation on his forthcoming memoir "Lonely Boy: Tales of a Sex Pistol," moderated by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. The conversation will be followed by a book signing with Jones in the Museum's gift shop.
Tix now available.


✔ "AN EVENING WITH DOYLE BRAMHALL II" is Wednesday, January 11, 2017; 8 pm, in the Clive Davis Theatre at the GRAMMY Museum. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes DOYLE BRAMHALL II, lauded by ERIC CLAPTON as one of the most gifted guitarists he has ever encountered, to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and acoustic performance surrounding his latest album "Rich Man," which documents an intensive spiritual and musical journey that took him to the other side of the world in search of new sounds and an inner peace following the death of his father in 2011. The conversation will be moderated by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.


✔ "PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS VIP PACKAGES" for January 18, 2017; 5 pm, at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. The Grammy Museum says, "Give the gift of a TRUE VIP experience with the PEOPLE's CHOICE AWARDS VIP Packages." On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 at 5 pm, at Microsoft Theater, the 2017 People's Choice Awards return with awards in 64 categories. The 2017 People's Choice Awards promises to be one for the books - with ELLEN DeGENERES nominated in three categories, including Favorite Daytime TV Host, it could be one for the record books. If DeGeneres wins in even one of the categories in which she's nominated, she would become the most-decorated People's Choice Awards winner in history. Call Bryan Schiller at 213-763-7923 promptly to reserve tickets. You can also save 20% on General Admission Tickets to the event.


✔ "GREAT GUITARS: ERIC JOHNSON" is Thursday, January 19, 2017; 8 pm in the Clive Davis Theatre at the GRAMMY Museum. General on-sale begins December 15 at noon. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes Texas guitar legend ERIC JOHNSON to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and performance surrounding his first completely unplugged solo album, "EJ." The evening will be hosted by SCOTT GOLDMAN, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.


Unless otherwise noted, there is a 4 ticket limit per museum membership or household, per program. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Complete information is at 213-765-6800 or online at

The GRAMMY Museum is located at 800 W Olympic Bl, Los Angeles 90015.


# 5 news feature...


"Curbed" is, ostensibly, the best website in L.A. for news about real estate. But, it's never seemed to be THAT -- not at all, as far as we're concerned. It's really about interesting places, a lot of them relatively obscure, some of 'em treasures, even. And it's a great place for news of who's scheming on what, and things to support or to get organized and go fight against. And much of it is usually in "Curbed" before the L.A. Times figures out what's going on. It's also filled with tips for discovering must-see buildings about town -- sometimes just before they're torn down (see the # 6 news feature for one of those).

Their December 9th edition has a fun feature titled, "The ultimate 'La La Land' filming location map," by Jenna Chandler. It's more than the title indicates. It's the basis for you being a tour guide hero for your relatives from snow country.

Jenna writes, "'La La Land,' one of the most anticipated and acclaimed movies of the year, captures the sweetest version of Los Angeles with its cotton candy sunsets, iconic architecture, neon signs, quiet streets, and towering palm trees."

She quotes Mayor Eric Garcetti as saying, "You can’t have a better tourism brochure than this movie." At least, that's what he told "The Wrap" at the musical's Los Angeles premiere Tuesday night. The mayor added, "It highlights 60 locations. It shows that L.A. is not just about the stars. It’s about the romance."

Jenna's "Curbed" story profiles 19 classic L.A. locations used by the movie, with help from Fandango.

It's at:

MAPS (at the link above)...

• The ultimate 'La La Land' filming location map

• 9 spots around Los Angeles to see Christmas lights


# 6 news feature...


If you remember that Dr. Demento radio favorite, "Pico & Sepulveda," this will hurt even more.

Yet another L.A. landmark is about to close and meet the wrecking ball. For years, we've made it a habit to take our guests there -- all of them who arrive at or depart from LAX. Norm's, the always busy, always open, with great service, best-one of the best chain of coffee shops in L.A., is getting run-out by a landlord who wants to make a killing, developing the land on which it sits. Norm's still retains its classic "Googie" architectural style. It still has great meals with soup and salad and dessert included. You'll still wait a few minutes for a table. And, no, it isn't really AT Pico & Sepulveda -- it's at 11001 West Pico Bl, a short block east of the intersection made famous by the song. Well, contextually famous. In some circles, anyway. Like Dr. Demento's. And ours.

But the place to eat has always been Norm's at "Pico & Sepulveda."

The song, "Pico and Sepulveda," is probably best known in the recorded version by FELIX FIGUEROA & HIS ORCHESTRA. But it dates from 1947, first performed by FREDDY MARTIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA, composed by EDDIE MAXWELL and JULE STYNE and first released on Ambassador Records.

There are several versions with fun video action on YouTube. We like:

• The Rooster version:

• Kristofer Raikes version:

• And you can enjoy the commentary about the song, the setting, and how a lumber yard is really what's on the corner, at:

• To read the story that first alerted us what's about to happen to that wonderful Norm's, with notes on its architecture, and a somewhat cautious take on its impending demise, go to:


# 7 news feature...


We are always glad to see the folks from Deering Banjo. They run that hand-craftsmanship factory that produces California-made instruments, down San Diego County way. But when an article turned up yesterday by DAVID BANDROWSKI, making the claim quoted in the title above, we were expecting to see some series of lessons they were presenting somewhere. Nope. They made a video. On top of that, it's free, online.

They ask simply, "Have you always wanted to learn to play clawhammer banjo? Do you know what clawhammer banjo is? Maybe you have played it before… but then again, a little reminder wouldn’t hurt, right?"

They go on to make the audacious claim, "This video will teach you both what it is and how to play this style of banjo."

Wow. Okay, grab your 5-string and brace yourself. Because the very next thing they say is, "And so without further adieu, join Deering’s own BARRY HUNN as he guides you through the first stages of that mesmerizing sound of banjo playing they call clawhammer!"

As the Great One, Jackie Gleason, used to say, "And awaaaaay we go!"

It's at:


# 8 news feature...


Sure, we could tell you about any of a couple dozen big shows in big venues with a Christmas or generic holiday theme. But we selected this one. It's a one-night-only mother-daughter singer-songwriters show at our favorite intimate venue, and one of the two -- that being the daughter half of the duo -- is a very impressive musician whose work and live performance made us fans a long time ago. We're talking about ADJOA, a touring recording artist who sometimes performs with just her first name, and other times with her full name, as ADJOA SKINNER.

Both Adjoa and her mom are multi-instrumentalists and award winning vocalists and songwriters. Her mother, SUSAN ROZLER, is teaming-up on this special night to perform "a fun and lively show of your favorite Holiday classics." They promise to include sweet duets, an audience singalong, and funny originals. Of course there's limited seating in this acclaimed intimate music venue.

The show is Thursday, December 22nd, at 8pm, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena; reservations are strongly recommended. Call 10 am-10 pm, 7 days, at 626-798-6236. Tickets are $18.

For those with the appropriate social media, you can use #downhomefamilyxmas

Though you cannot make online reservations, there's plenty more about the show at the venue's site,

And there's all you want to know about the artists at:


# 9 news feature...


We have not tried this, but we explored it on the web, and we recommend you do the same if you're at all interested in a responsive, adaptable computer-based music composition program. especially if you're wanting to write parts for multiple players. The company behind this is calling it "The Fastest, Smartest, Easiest Way to Write Music."

Most of this feature is in quotes, being from Avid, the company that developed and markets Sibelius 8.5 and its previous versions.

Avid's basic pitch for this newest upgrade is, "When composing music, you have complete control over every note you write. Now get even greater and easier control over every detail in your score with Sibelius 8.5 — available now."

• Access, edit, and organize elements faster with the updated Inspector

• Change staff sizes as desired for more flexible and precise engraving control

• Take full control of your score layout with new features and functionality

A testimonial never hurts, and this is a good one:

"Sibelius is an instrument that is organic and brilliantly organized so a musician can think quickly and rely on it for ease of movement. Its design makes creativity a distinct possibility and always just a keystroke away.” -- GIL GOLDSTEIN, Grammy-Winning Music Arranger.

Their website is organized to offer short statements on numerous aspects. Under the head, "Express yourself with Sibelius," they say, "Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world's best selling notation software."

Okay, that's pretty basic blowing your own horn. Let's see how they do from there.

Editing scores more easily was a common request with the early versions. The Avid folks say, "Thanks to popular demand, you now have more flexible layout and composition possibilities to best present your score. Work faster with the updated Inspector interface, which now offers more flexible access. Change staff sizes by system, individual instruments, and groups of instruments to create a clear and perfect looking score. And gain fine control of the new staff sizes in Engraving Rules."

If somebody says, "Make music easier to learn," that simple statement gets immediate attention. Their point? "Music doesn't have to be so black and white. With the latest Sibelius, you can now color individual notes and/or chords, giving students a more enhanced and visual way of learning to read and write music notation."

It's a cute double entendre to say, "Get better rest." Of course, what they mean is, "Inserting rests into your score," which they claim "is now easier and more intuitive. Whenever you add one, Magnetic Layout automatically repositions the rest to align optimally with the phrasing of preceding notes—no manual fixes required. Create easy-to-read scores faster than ever. Plus, you can now move rests and notes horizontally in your score."

Under the heading, "Re-spell and repeat with ease," the developers tell us, "It's now possible to have the same pitched note display a different accidental in any part compared to the rest of the score. You can also create concise first, second, and third time bars that appear and play back exactly like you'd expect them to, eliminating manual correction. Plus, all time signature changes now appear after the barline but before repeat barlines by default."

Sharing your score is somewhere between desirable and an absolute necessity. They ask, "Want to share your composition with a colleague, client, or friend? You can now export your composition as an MP3 audio file for faster file transfer that won't hit email size limits."

"Write music with a pen on a Surface Pro" is a major attraction for some. They proclaim, "If you own a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet, you can now add and edit notes quickly with just a tap of the pen. This makes it easier than ever to fine tune your compositions on the go. Plus, you can play back your music using the tablet's onscreen keyboard and fretboard."

This looks good for adding notes and comments. As their promo says, "Sometimes you have a great idea, but you forget to write it down. Then the next thing you know, your idea is gone. The new Annotate feature allows you to add notes directly on the score — you can create reminders for yourself as you’re composing, or communicate edits and feedback to others."

Under their heading, "Use multi-touch gestures," they explain, "with Sibelius, you can create scores faster than ever before thanks to an advanced user interface. You can navigate and edit even the most complex scores quickly using multi-touch gestures on your laptop trackpad or Surface Pro 3."

We're always skeptics about what something really costs. In addition to purchasing Sibelius outright, you can now subscribe affordably with low-cost monthly or annual subscriptions. Pay only when you need it — all updates and upgrades are included for the duration of your subscription.

The marketing and product description link for Sibelius 8.5 is:

You can check out the Avid blog -- certainly recommended before you buy, but it's pretty techy wonky. It's at:

Again, we have not tried this. But you can explore a goodly amount of it online, and it appears impressive and something you can use without immersing yourself in some esoteric realm of uniqueness.


# 10 news feature...


The Guide is big on supporting music education, from consistently and strongly advocating the return, with full funding, of arts and music education to ALL of America's public schools, to encouraging patronage by all ages of your local music teacher's digs.

This being the online age, we are also glad to support Berklee Online. You can start 2017 on the right note with courses covering 'purt near all areas of music. Their online courses are enrolling now for the winter term, which starts January 9.

If you enroll and pay by Monday, December 12, you can save up to $200 on select courses.

They offer opportunities to improve your skills in:
• Music Production
• Guitar
• Music Business
• Songwriting
• Music Theory, Harmony, and Ear Training

Full info is at:


# 11 news feature...


If you're thinking SNL just ain't funny, you're hardly alone. With occasional (increasingly rare, but occasional) exceptions, we're in agreement, and we're always wondering what drugs they dispense to the studio audience to get all that wildly whooping applause for bits that start out prostrate, never manage to peel themselves off the linoleum, and are still down there chewing the shag and the dog hair when someone mercifully calls "time" on yet another failed bit of, uh, sketch, uh, "comedy."

On Friday, someone went on-air to call it what it is: dreadfully un-funny.

That someone is RT's "THE RESIDENT," aka satirical onscreen essayist LORI HARFENIST. She opens and closes each of her TV segments with a quick-cut foray of herself dancing through the aisles of a New York City record store, joyfully collecting vinyl 33 1/3 albums from the bins, and she flashes them into the camera to get the title of her spot.

Daily shorts airing several times between, or during breaks in the midst of, other shows? Practically unheard of with today's paradigm of maximum commercial content. So, what's her series of almost-daily TV short dissertations about? She can tell you in her own words:

"In this bizarre society humanity has made, I believe it is my role to question the establishment, whomever or whatever that morphs into as we progress. I take that role very seriously. Or…do I?"

Her website traces the development of her show from a weekly half-hour on New York City cable access in 2001, through a couple of moves, then through to the present. She'll tell you she's "a punk." We find her articulate, astute, incisive, both "inciteful" and incisive. And her usual closing line, "Tonight? Let's talk about THAT," has got to be one of the perfect recurring closing line to one of most refreshing short segments on television.

We'll pick up, partway through, her tale of how and why she got where she is, starting after her breaking free of employment in corporate America:

"In 2006, I moved it (the half-hour TV show) once more to YouTube. They immediately started featuring my videos. They invited me to their offices for input a lot. I was one of their first 75 revenue-sharing partners. That’s when the passion project, 'The Resident,' became the job.

"News outlets decided they needed some of that coooool, user-generated content, so they started contacting me through YouTube. NBC News, CNN, FOX, Discovery Channel, DIRECTV, The Post — I made content for them all. They were all very nice. Currently, I do daily studio commentary pieces for RT America, an international TV news network who is ok with me being a punk. If you’d like to be alerted to where you can find my daily videos, follow me on Twitter or on Facebook. (Links at her website, at:

"I also just finished my first book, which I am describing as 'George Orwell in Wonderland with robots who sing Led Zeppelin songs.' It is called, 'I, Human.' It is by far the most personal thing I have ever released into the public, and it is most definitely punk. If you would like to check it out, you can get it on Amazon!" (info at:

At press time, her skewering of SNL wasn't yet on-line, because it's still airing. It'll get there. Meantime, you can catch plenty of her short dissertations on a wide variety of topics at:

You'll need to scroll-down to the section for "The Resident." (The two other links you can find for her online shows as "The Resident" have content from a looong way back.)

Sometime soon, we'll also introduce you to LIONEL of "Lionel Media." He's the other voice on RT America who cuts through the crap and skewers those who try to shovel it. We already told you that Lori, aka "The Resident," is quite beautiful. For Lionel? Think a skinny, bearded LOUIS BLACK in glasses with a scruffy beard, a lawyer's vocabulary, and a higher pitch. Now, if we could ever get "The Resident" together with Lionel? Katy couldn't bar that door. Those two would blow it clean off the hinges and waste no time putting a pitchfork in the hand of every peasant. We need to talk to Thom Hartmann or Ed Schultz about that, since both have daily shows on RT America...


# 12 news feature...


No, we are definitely NOT going back to presenting comprehensive music calendars. But there are some wunnerful things this weekend, so we reckoned it was our bound duty to make sure you knew about 'em. Also remember to check the very next feature (# 13) for the remains of the last calendar we DID do. Some of those things are mighty fine picks, too, and haven't happened yet, either.


Saturday, December 10...

Sat, Dec 10:
Noon-2 pm "AL SHELTON ART EXHIBITION – COWBOY ARTIST TO THE STARS," presented by the City of Buena Park Fine Arts. It's a FREE reception and memorial celebration of the life of western artist Al Shelton (1920-2016). The venue is the City of Buena Park Council Chamber, 6650 Beach Bl, Buena Park, CA 90622. If possible, rsvp (so they'll have enough free refreshments for you); Greg M. Atkin, at 714-663-0071 or by email to
The Guide ran a full feature story in the Dec 2 edition; news feature # 7; read it at:


Sat, Dec 10, 2 pm:
WOMEN ON THE MOVE TRIO plays their CD release show for "HONEY WITH MY TEA," a wonderful new album that the Guide really, really, likes. Great melodies and fine harmonies, and it sounds great in a car goin' down the road. Catch this rare L.A. show (they tour a lot). It's dedicated to their mentor, friend, and teacher, HARRIET SCHOCK, who was with the vastly bigger group when it was too big to fit on most stages, before it paired down to trio size. It's a midday matinee at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations, 626-798-6236.

"Three distinct voices merged into one angelic blend." -- Acoustic LA - Live.

"Women On The Move have a smooth vocal blend that fits their style of feisty folk perfectly. Switching instruments - guitar, mandolin and djembe, the women are all featured with lead vocal turns and original songs. Stellar work, WOTM!" -- Bill Berry, producer/host Songwriter’s Square.

You can listen to the new album's music and read about the trio members at:


Sat, Dec 10, 3 pm:
"GUITAR WORKSHOP" with RICHARD SMITH at Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City 90230; 310-398-2583.


Sat, Dec 10, 7 pm:
JIM "KIMO" WEST & KEN EMERSON present "HOLIDAY SLACK KEY" at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations, 626-798-6236.


Sat, Dec 10, 7:30 pm:
LIZ LONGLEY & BRIAN DUNNE play Brick 15, 915 Camino del Mar, Del Mar 92014; 858-225-1315.


Sat, Dec 10, 8 pm:
RICHARD SMITH plays Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City 90230; 310-398-2583.


Sat, Dec 10, 8 & 10 pm:
PATTERSON HOOD plays two shows tonight at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497.


Sat, Dec 10, 8 pm:
JEFF LINSKY, plus ABE LAGRIMAS JR. & JENNIFER LEITHAM play the Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina 91723; 626-339-7020.


Sat, Dec 10, 8 pm:
BRUCE FORMAN & COW BOP play Cody’s Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr, Burbank 91506; 818-845-2425.


Sat, Dec 10, 8 pm:
THE MIGHTY ECHOES plus THE STEEL WHEELS play Genghis Cohen Cantina, 740 N Fairfax Av, Los Angeles 90046; 323-653-0640.


Sat, Dec 10, 9 pm:
THE HANDSOME FAMILY plays Pappy & Harriet’s Place, 53688 Pioneertown Rd, Pioneertown 92268; 760-365-5956.


Sunday, December 11...

Sun, Dec 11, 10:30 am:
RANDY KAPLAN plays the "Matinee Kids' Show" series at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497.


Sun, Dec 11, 1:30 pm:
“SINGING FOR PEACE” COMMUNITY CHORUS plus the GAY GEZUNT KLEZMER BAND play the Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center, 1434 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena 91107; 626-798-1161.


Sun, Dec 11, 2-4 pm:
FREE performance, as "LEGENDS OF THE CELTIC HARP" present their show, "A WINTER GIFT," featuring seasonal music with heartwarming tales and folk stories by PATRICK BALL, LISA LYNNE, & ARYEH FRANKFURTER, at the Thousand Oaks-Grant R. Brimhall Library,
1401 E Janss Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362;; 805-449-2660

NOTE: This concert has been incorrectly listed in other sources as being an evening event. OUR information is correct: it is an afternoon concert.


Sun, Dec 11, 4 pm:
MATT CARTSONIS plus MARK "POCKET" GOLDBERG and DEBRA DOBKIN play the FREE monthly "Red Rock Concerts" series presented by RON SARFETY at Crown Books, 6100 Topanga Canyon Bl #1340, Woodland Hills 91367.


Sun, Dec 11, 7 pm:
DEAN FRIEDMAN plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena 92675; reservations, 626-798-6236.


Sun, Dec 11, 7:30 pm:
MATT NAKOA plays the Dark Thirty House Concerts series, 1132 Pinehurst Dr, Lakeside 92040; must call for reservation, 619-443-9622.


Sun, Dec 11, 7:30 pm:
"LITERARY BOB: A CELEBRATION OF DYLAN'S NOBEL PRIZE" with performances by ROSS ALTMAN with Carolyn HESTER, LISA FINNIE, MICHAEL SIMMONS, RENEE SAFIER & ANDY HILL, at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice. BOB DYLAN, Poet Laureate of Rock and Roll, won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. This evening celebrates his lyrics and music with an emphasis on his evocations of great writers going all the way back to Shakespeare and the Bible. Hosted by folk singer Ross Altman; PhD in Modern Literature. Regular $10 admission. Beyond Baroque, 681 N Venice Bl, Venice 90291; 310-822-3006;

NOTE: this concert has been incorrectly listed in various sources as a Saturday event. THIS info is correct. It happens SUNDAY.


Sun, Dec 11, 7:30 pm:
DANÚ plays "A CHRISTMAS GATHERING" at the Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge 91330; 818-677-3000.


Sun, Dec 11, 7:30 pm:
THE STEEL WHEELS play Brick 15, 915 Camino del Mar, Del Mar 92014; 858-225-1315.


Sun, Dec 11, 8 pm:
"A TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF LINDA RONSTADT" featuring GRACE POTTER, DAWES, JACKSON BROWNE, MARIA MULDAUR, J.D. SOUTHER, I'M WITH HER (featuring SARA WATKINS, AOIFE O'DONOVAN & SARAH JAROSZ), GABY MORENO, DAVID LINDLEY, all led by THE WATKINS FAMILY HOUR house band (with SARA & SEAN WATKINS) at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Presented by the Bluegrass Situation, Goldenvoice, & Red Light Mgmt, as a benefit for the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. Sirius/XM host Jim Ladd will also make a special appearance. Expect some very special surprise guests, and more acts to be announced closer to the event. All proceeds will benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Since 2000, the foundation has funded more than $450 million to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressive research agenda and the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. All ages. Doors at 7 pm. Tix range from $49.50-$250 (for the "Super VIP" tix). The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S Broadway, Los Angeles 90015; 213-623-3233.


Sun, Dec 11, 8 pm:
"MCCABE'S UMPTEENTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOW" at McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica 90405; 310-828-4497. Get there early if you want to get in!


# 13 news feature...


The Guide no longer adds to this, being that we're returning to concentrating on MUSIC NEWS. BUT there are still things queued-up — THINGS THAT HAVEN'T HAPPENED YET. The Guide, for many years, published its trademark amazing annotated music calendar, L.A.'s best, hands-down. But we stopped, back on Oct. 28th. There were still events listed, and we continue to list them until the last one happens. Here they are.

Festivals, Concerts, whatever else that's appealing — stuff we've already rounded-up for a look ahead

Continuing shows with multiple-performance dates are listed first. Following are the festivals, the concerts, and everything else, listed chronologically.

Fri, Sat, Sun, ongoing...
11 am-All day "LOS ANGELES FINE ART SHOW" is a new event running every Fri, Sat, & Sun, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90015; 213-741-1151;
It brings Art Galleries - Art Museums - Arts & Culture. The Los Angeles Fine Art Show, a new art fair dedicated to historic and contemporary traditional works, has just launched in conjunction with the LA Art Show.
Tix: $20 at the door, or advance at:

...through Dec 11:
World premiere engagement of "HANSEL & GRETEL BLUEGRASS." Show runs Oct 29-Dec 11 at 24th St Theatre in L.A. It's Bluegrass as a classic fairy tale, narrated by distinguished actor BRADLEY WHITFORD ("The West Wing"), and features music of THE GET DOWN BOYS. Tix now available. Tix & info, 213-745-6516 or

Tue, Dec 27:
3:30 & 7:30 pm TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA plays two Southern Cal shows during its annual national holiday tour, both at Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is an American progressive rock band founded in 1996 by Paul O'Neill. The Washington Post has called them "an arena-rock juggernaut", describing their music as "Pink Floyd meets The Who and Andrew Lloyd Weber." 2014 marks the first time they will be touring their all new live rock opera “The Christmas Attic”. This new show features songs that have never been performed live as well as fan favorites including 'Wizards In Winter, 'Requiem' and 'Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24'". TSO has played more than 1,600 shows for more than 13 million fans, cementing itself as one of the world's biggest rock acts. Tix at:

Mar 7 & 8, 2017:

May 27, 2017:
2nd show added: "BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS PET SOUNDS: The Final Performances with special guests AL JARDINE and BLONDIE CHAPLIN," at the Hollywood Pantages."
Tix available now. You nay get some advantage by using the password: PETSOUNDS



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Pssst — Hey, kid. Yeah, YOU: It won't be so "basic" when we add all the links for the global network of music news / music education sites that we're joining; THAT'LL be here very soon, as an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the Guide returning to being a MUSIC NEWS journal!

Direct to the Guide's current editions /


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♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS — and views of interest to artists everywhere — more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.