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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Music News, plus Events -- today through the Music Parlor Christmas Shows. Dec 9 2017 edition

LATE ADDITIONS: there's one more Music News feature (A-11) for ANN WILSON’s "CHRISTMAS WITH A HEART" TV concert series, airing Dec 17-24 with a BUNCH of different musicians each night; and there's an added Events Section listing for "IMAGINE JOHN LENNON: 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT" airing Sun, Dec 10, 6-8 pm and 10 pm-midnight (Pacific) on AXS, with 20 performances by WILLIE NELSON, JOHN FOGERTY, SHERYL CROW, and more. FREE previews, online, for each of these late listings -- urls are in the stories. Also, we've added a few more things to the events section, each marked with a "Late Addition" tag.

Now, here's the full edition as originally published, with those additions in place...
Finally, all that nonsense from the TV talking heads and the bloviating gasbag politicos about a "War on Christmas" seems to have abated. At least until somebody needs to inject even more obfuscation and distraction into what pathetically passes for the "news cycle" these days. Or maybe the melee of holiday-fueled consumerism is enough distraction for them to leave us be for awhile.

Seems it's not so much that Americans have hopelessly short attention spans -- it's more a case that it's ridiculously easy to push people's buttons by prodding their tribal identities.

But then, whoever would've thought that saying "Ho, Ho, Ho" would sound like sexist rap lyrics? Oy, vey.

No, we're not oblivious to all the folks and critters hurting because of the new normal of year 'round apocalyptic fire seasons and the choking smoke that works its way downwind. We're just unsure whether we sound oblivious because we try to take your mind off it for a while.


Because you deserve a break today -- and we don't mean by ingesting pink slime and a cocktail of hormones and chemicals in what you think is hamburger. Oops. We did it again, didn't we? We let calling-out the bs and baloney of the overhyped corporate-controlled world of Big Media and its protection racket for its interwoven web of corporate advertisers intrude into the parameters of our musical safe zone. Alright already, we'll behave. If only to fool their "predictive analytics" A.I. that they believe tells them what we want before we know it ourselves. Ha. Let them scratch their robot heads raw. We're artists. We make unpredictability an art form. Screw 'em.

Yes, we'd best strike up the band. Take it away, maestro, and let's get started!



Section A: Music News

A-1) New Music Releases

A-2) Special Release: Avenged Sevenfold Special Acoustic Album, out now

A-3) Tracks from Upcoming Folk-Americana Albums

A-4) John Prine's 2018 Tour Leapfrogs L.A.

A-5) "Jens Kruger Masterclass - Banjo Tones" is Free Online

A-6) Our Pick for this Week's "Best Read in the Musical Universe"

A-7) Simi Valley Cajun Music & Blues Festival Has a Good Year-Round Blog

A-8) Music Videos for Momentary Impulses & Your Watch List

A-9) Latest Americana Music Albums Chart: Comebacks and New Artists

A-10) Links to Find this Week's Other Good Music News Reads

Ann Wilson’s "Christmas with a Heart" Brings Music Stars to TV Dec 17-24

Section B: Events

B-1) Live Performance Events, through the Music Parlor Christmas Shows

(Our picks starting with Sunday, December 10, through the following weekend)


NEWS... Section A

# A-1 news feature...


Those year-end releases are rolling in, vying for your holiday buying impulses. Here are a few we think will interest you.

Moonsville Collective, "Moonsville IV"

The Oh Hellos, "Notos"

Shovels & Rope, "Busted Jukebox Volume 2"

Chris Thile, "Thanks for Listening"

As always, we encourage you to support your local record store with your purchases, so we are not putting links in here for job-stealing roboticized, lobotimized, dehumanized shipping warehouses. That said, we know that not everyone is willing to actually go outdoors and make a trek to a record shop. Thus, for those who deny themselves the tactile sensations and true satisfaction of having a CD package to caress and fondle, the foregoing releases are also available as downloads, from, uhh, the usual e-music purveyors.


# A-2 news feature...


Recorded live at their sold-out evening at the GRAMMY Museum, the newest release from the band AVENGED SEVENFOLD is an eleven-track special acoustic recording of their live performance. It's available now, but since it's unlikely that folk-roots folks have any idea who they are, we'll take this opportunity to introduce you.

"Avenged Sevenfold Live at the GRAMMY Museum®" on Capitol Records was produced by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Nine Inch Nails) and by the band's members. This is a digital-only release featuring unique renditions of new songs and classic tracks captured during their first-ever acoustic performance.

There's something of an underground tradition for a hardcore rock band to show their chops on acoustic instruments and deliver vocals that aren't yelling over the screeching effects. It goes back most notably to the FIVE MAN ELECTRICAL BAND's album, "Five Man Acoustical Jam," an all-time classic.

Now it's the turn of AVENGED SEVENFOLD, with an album that captures the energy of a live performance as well as acoustic artistry. They were already quite accomplished, even if it's always been electrical and loud until now.

Formed in Huntington Beach, CA in 1999, they have become one of the more successful and accessible metalcore outfits of the early 21st century. Avenged Sevenfold has endured changes both stylistic and internal during their rise from teenage troublemakers to mainstream success story.

Like a lot of Southern California outfits, the members of this band, known to their fans as A7X, were still attending high school in Huntington Beach when they first got together musically. It didn't take long for M. Shadows (vocals), Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Synyster Gates (guitar), the Reverend (drums), and Johnny Christ (bass) to make an impression with their aggressive hybrid of metal, hard rock, and punk-pop. The band made its official debut in July 2001, releasing "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" on the Goodlife label. They soon moved to the Hopeless records roster for 2003's "Waking the Fallen." Warner Bros. took interest in the band's aggressive sound and issued its breakthrough release, "City of Evil," in June 2005.

The album reached number 30 on Billboard's Top 200, propelled in part by the Top Ten success of the single "Bat Country." The album's accompanying music video was heavily rotated on MTV and Fuse, while live appearances helped boost Avenged's growing profile, and the band ultimately won the "Best New Artist" Award (though they were hardly newcomers) at the 2006 "MTV Video Music Awards."

Boasting a grittier sound than previous releases, their self-titled/self-produced 4th disc appeared in October 2007, debuting at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and three songs cracked the Top Five of the U.K. rock charts. Their 2008 CD/DVD package "Live in the LBC and Diamonds in the Rough" captured the band during a nationwide tour stop in Long Beach. Since then, they've had an original member die, they've done music for a big-selling video game, made number one on the Billboard chart, and had another original member leave over "creative differences."

NEIL deGRASSE TYSON, the revered astrophysicist, does a spoken word performance on the 16-minute closing track, "Exist," on that album, "The Stage." It arrived in October 2016 following a live-streamed, 360-degree, 3-D performance atop the Capitol Records building in Hollywood.

Having done about all they can to be electrically fresh, they're now on record -- well, digitally, anyway -- as musicians playing real instruments without special effects.

A portion of the new, digital-only acoustic live album's proceeds will benefit the education initiatives of the GRAMMY Museum.

It's available for listening and purchase at:


# A-3 news feature...


Recommended new tunage available now, FREE online.

• RUBY BOOTS moves on but doesn't want to be reminded of her troubles on "Don't Talk About It," the breezy title-track from her forthcoming LP, due Feb. 9. Listen at the "Brooklyn Vegan" site, at:

• BRANDI CARLILE, singing "Welcome to the end of being alone inside your mind," shares a touching ode to her daughter. It's on a track called "The Mother," a second preview off "By the Way, I Forgive You," out Feb. 16. Catch the music video at the "American Songwriter" site, at:

• CALEB CAUDLE bears nothing but a heart on his sleeve on "Empty Arms," a hazy, twangy number from "Crushed Coins" due Feb. 23. Listen at the NPR Music Site (especially since NONE of NPR's exploratory performance-interview music programming is available on Southern California airwaves, you'll have to catch it this way) at:

• PEDIGO's MAGIC PILSNER accepts the duality of life on "Orion," a shimmering piano-led track from his album of the same name, due out sometime next year. Listen on "The Daily Country" site at:

• THE REVEREND SHAWN AMOS voices his call-to-action on the bluesy "2017," the first taste of "The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down," due out next year. Catch the "Official lyric Video" on "The Alternate Root" site, at:

• TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND rock out on their cover of NEIL YOUNG's "Alabama," a live recording robust with their signature blues horns and guitar riffs. Listen on the "JamBase" site at:

• JD WILKES is on a mission to do the impossible on "Walk Between the Raindrops," a rhythmic string-filled number from "Fire Dream," due out Feb. 16. Listen on "The Bluegrass Situation" site at:

Enjoy! Just remember to find your way back here to catch the rest of the Guide's music news!


# A-4 news feature...


Though more dates are promised, as it now stands, you'll need to journey to San Diego, San Francisco, or Folsom to catch JOHN PRINE during his 2018 tour. He's set to kick things off April 13 at New York's Radio City Music Hall, co-headlining with STURGILL SIMPSON. He has a date in Philly with KURT VILE. Eventually, he travels beyond his Chicago and Milwaukee shows for only three West Coast dates, all in California. The tour's current final date is June 2nd in Norfolk, Virginia's Chrysler Hall with "very special guest" MARGO PRICE.

John's 2018 road trip tours his new studio album of all-new original material on his label, Oh Boy Records. John says the album, whose title and release date remain unknown, will mark his first collection of new songs since 2005’s "Fair and Square."

Prine's California tour dates are below. And you can catch the video testimonial by actor-comedian BILL MURRAY that ran at the "American Songwriter" site. Murray recommends Prine’s humor as an antidote for the doldrums. It's at:

California dates, as of December 8:

May 19, 2018 — San Diego, CA's Balboa Theatre
May 23, 2018 — Folsom, CA's Harris Center
May 24, 2018 — San Francisco, CA, at The Warfield


# A-5 news feature...


This is an online freebie from our friends at Deering Banjo in Spring Valley, CA. In it, Jens Kruger of the KRUGER BROTHERS guides you through some simple techniques to add some very cool and very surprising tones to your playing repertoire.

Learn from master banjoist Jens Kruger how he creates a chorus effect on his acoustic banjo using palm muting. This really opens up the the tone of his banjo and brings his banjo playing in new directions.

Those attending the NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center complex in January can catch the KRUGER BROTHERS performing live. Everyone can get the free masterclass lesson from Jens online, at:

To see all that's going on with the Deering folks and their mighty impressive stable of endorsed artists, check things out at


# A-6 news feature...


OLD 97s' RHETT MILLER shares his own take on the current state of the music industry in "The Baffler," and he has plenty to say about where technological changes have taken us and what that really means for artists. From the now central role of bot talent scouts to over-marketed consumption and a snowstorm of technological "advances" that, he says, allow DIY artists to create at the expense of an overall sense of comradery, this is quite a read. Don't be decieved by a title that sounds like it's only about one genre, because this is transcendent: "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker -- Can music still save your mortal soul?" is a must-read for anyone thinking (or hoping) they can make a living in music. It's equally important for music lovers who long to be consumers, but don't often find much that's worth parting with their hard earned cash.

Now, don't ditch it when you hit the opening passage with its too-familiar tale of drug-dropout subculture. Before long you'll get to passages like, "In the days of the old business model, there were successful predators at the top of the food chain, but the kids who made the music were hiding down in the bushes with our friends." And, "We all knew there was a cutthroat cabal of music industry execs waiting on the top floor of a tower in Rockefeller Center, but we also knew that we were the good guys, the proletariat to their bourgeoisie, the Rebel Alliance to their Empire."

Then you get to his insight: "It’s all different now. My own observation of the current music industry is colored by my history with the extinct model... now the talent scouts are bots." And he examines that premise and what characterizes today's schisms, contradictory paradigms, and sets of social media-dictatted music-vs-business notions.

He writes, "The ability to record oneself in a bedroom represents an impressive flash-forward advance in technology, but it also is profoundly isolating. For starters, it negates the very human necessity of convincing small-time investors to fund a session, or the simultaneously joyful and agonizing experience of collaborating with the requisite technicians to make such a recording happen. In short, it eliminates people from the equation. And more to the point, it eliminates all the good people from the equation."

Part of his analysis sees "The Artists & Repertoire department has been replaced by a bot that alerts the label chief when an artist reaches a predetermined number of Twitter followers or Facebook likes. This sort of micro-market calculation was once anathema to creativity—it’s the origin of the old punk-rock contempt for 'the suits' who moved product on the AM airwaves."

He notes, " obsessive attention to online clicks and listens is all that an independent artist can rely on to outfox the system."

And contrary to the idea that artists today enjoy unprecedented creative freedoms, he asserts, "As the old (and abundantly flawed) avenues of income are closed off entirely, our new music delivery system reroutes the great majority of returns from music-making back to the corporations... Does YouTube share the revenue generated by these commercials with the creators of the content? Does YouTube give the artists in question any say over whose ad might be attached to the art they created? Hell no."

He includes, but does not rant about, how Google ripped him off by stealing one of his songs for a "crappy phone commercial" without ever compensating him, and then used their millions to intimidate him and his publishing house into letting them get away with it. We're glad he discussed it, because that kind of arrogance is becoming the new normal of megagiant corporate hegemony.

Lest anyone think it's only the Darth Vader-like presence of Google, Miller adds, "There’s another less obvious casualty of the great digital enclosure of the music business: as Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Google, et al., hoover up nearly all the available profits, the people marooned on the production side of a revenue-starved business model are trapped in a perennial race to the bottom, just to get by."

We believe we sums-up the current state of affairs facing both musicians and music listener/consumers in the following observation:

"The only way to carry over a lucrative music career in the prevailing market conditions is to puff oneself into a mammoth brand of the Taylor Swift/Kanye/Beyonce ilk. Bands, as over-romanticized as they may be by the rockers of my own generation as fearless anarcho-syndicalist collectives, no longer occupy a viable perch in the music ecosystem. Many of the new ones taking root in this top-heavy scrum to market online product have been systematically drained of all recognizable human traits—autotuned inside and out. As a dad seeing my kids fall for an indistinguishable blob of well-coiffed brandoid bands and Disney graduates, I’m not at all shocked that amid their many fast-germinating aesthetic and creative ambitions, my own offspring have never seriously taken it into their heads to pick up an instrument or start a band. The craft of music has entirely succumbed to its marketed spectacle."

Catch Rhett Miller's revealing and thought-provoking take on where we are -- and some suggestions for what we need to do about it -- in his full essay, at:

RHETT MILLER is the lead singer of Old 97’s. In addition to this piece for "The Baffler," his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Salon, and elsewhere.


# A-7 news feature...


The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival happens every year in May, on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Though the latest edition didn't arrive until December 8, and is loaded with folklore for a musical Thanksgiving, we won't sell them short. fact is, it's worth copying and pasting things into your file for next year's Turkey Time.

Their latest edition's topics are:

* How You Benefit from Attending Live Concerts and Music Festivals
* Cajun Cooking Facts
* Perfect Songs for Your Thanksgiving Playlist
* Cajun-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes
* Common Thanksgiving Traditions Explained

HERE IS one of that edition's stories, which first appeared Nov 30:

How You Benefit from Attending Live Concerts and Music Festivals

New study shows that getting out and attending concerts and music festivals is actually good for you.

A new study out of Australia suggests that people who engage with music by attending concerts and dancing along are actually happier. The study entitled “ If You’re Happy and You Know It: Music Engagement and Subjective Wellbeing,” explains that concert-goers reported being happier, more positive, and more stable over time.

This study on music’s relation to “subjective wellbeing” is particularly useful in helping to develop treatment for people suffering from depression and mood disorders. The study argues that creating and producing music “encourage(s) self-exploration, emotional expression, self-esteem, and confidence.” However, you don’t have to be a musician to benefit from music. The study also explains that enjoying music as an audience member is “associated with higher mood.”

However, the study warns that engaging with music requires more than passive listening. Instead, much of the benefits of music comes from social interaction with other concert-goers and members of the music scene. While listening to music alone can have physical and mental health benefits, engaging with music while with others creates “stronger positive experiences.”

While the study does not supply definitive proof that concerts and music festivals are beneficial for your health, many people agree that the music and experiences that come along with concerts makes them feel happy and excited. If you find yourself feeling stressed, lonely, or simply sad, then consider buying a ticket to your favorite band’s next concert. Who knows, you might emerge feeling more relaxed and positive.

Are you eager to reap the benefits that come from attending a live music festival? Then make sure you mark your calendar for the next Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. In summer of 2018, Simi Valley will come alive with Cajun music and food, zydeco music, blues music, a Mardi Gras parade, zydeco dance lessons, and more! To learn more about this exciting local event, contact Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival today.

You can share the above story, on the Simi festival's blog, at:

Sign-up to catch all their blog post editions at


# A-8 news feature...


At least until net neutrality falls to the barbarians in the thousand-dollar suits and the corporate capitalists keep you from seeing what you want on the web? (Unless, of course, you pay the non-creative Wall Street banksters some new extortion fee) we can all, for the time being, still enjoy free online music videos. It's bad enough that you miss a lot unless you can stay up for the last six or seven minutes of the latenight chat shows, and even then, all the music performances happen at exactly the same time. But we'll save all that for another time. Some of what follows comes from the wee hours broadcasts, and was sent to us by the Americana Music Association from their "Americana on Your Screen" recommendations.

We'll start with our two favorites this week. First, an unlikely mix of roots musicians with a pop singer who shows she can shake the rafters at the barn dance. Next, a bonafide nu-folk supergroup trio. Enjoy.

* OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW & KESHA team-up on the mega-high-energy, get-up-and-dance bluegrass song, "Flicker & Shine" live on CMT's "Crossroads" show, at:

* The superfolk trio of SARA WATKINS, SARAH JAROSZ, and AOIFE O’DONOVAN perform in their group identity as I'M WITH HER (with immeasurably more success than a certain politician who used that slogan). The trio does "See You Around" live; it's the title track and first song from their debut full-length album, due Feb. 16; catch the live track at:

* GREGG ALLMAN does "Song for Adam" at:

* THE STEVE EARLE BAND, featuring LUCINDA WILLIAMS, does "You're Still Standing There" live on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" at:

* FATHER JOHN MISTY performs "Leaving L.A." in his "official music video" at:

* HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER performs "Domino (Time Will Tell)" taped live on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," at:

* CHRIS STAPLETON performs "Millionaire" live on the "Ellen" show, at:


Turn it up just loud enough to get coworkers to come and see what you're listening to...


# A-9 news feature...


CHART QUICKIE NEWS: Across the pond, CHRIS STAPLETON's "From a Room, Vol. 2" debuted at # 2 on the U.K.'s Official Americana Albums chart. Meanwhile, NEIL YOUNG and PROMISE OF THE REAL's collaboration on "The Visitor" debuted at # 1.

Southern Cal rising star PHOEBE BRIDGERS is on the chart at # 17 with her song, "Stranger in the Alps." We told you a long time ago -- as in a few years back, when she was still in high school -- that she was definitely going places. Her album advanced to # 17 from the # 21 position last week. It's been on the charts the past 11 weeks, including a peak position at # 5. She's come a long way since we saw her playing the local barbecue joint in Pasadena where the "stage" was just an area where they slid a couple tables out of the way. Congrats, Phoebe!

Some iconic names, living and dead, that are back on the albums chart include BOB SEGER at # 31, NEIL YOUNG at # 15 (in addition to his # 1 hit with Promise of the Real), THE LUMINEERS at # 15, GLEN CAMPBELL at # 8 with his former # 1 "Adios," VAN MORRISON at # 5, ROBERT PLANT at # 3, STEVE WINWOOD at # 32, LUCINDA WILLIAMS at # 35, MAVIS STAPLES at # 25, RICHARD THOMPSON at # 30, and BILLY BRAGG at # 21.

ALISON KRAUSS -- she could break her tie with Quincy Jones as the 2nd biggest winner of all time at the upcoming Grammys -- is at # 36 on this week's chart.

You can see this week's full US/global "Americana Albums Top 40 Chart" at:


# A-10 news feature...


• ERIC CLAPTON gets candid about his days of addiction and reflects on his career documentary "Life in 12 Bars," revealing that his former manager was responsible for setting him on the path to recovery while also looking back on Cream and looking ahead at the future of guitar. Read that story in "Rolling Stone" at:

• JASON ISBELL, LUKAS NELSON and PROMISE OF THE REAL, and more have contributed original songs to next year's remake of the three-time hit film "A STAR IS BORN." This one stars BRADLEY COOPER and LADY GAGA. Let's hope it proves to be a better idea than that awful remake of "Ben Hur" or the questionable use of old titles to tell altogether different stories, as in the 2016 feature films "The Magnificent Seven" and "Birth of a Nation." Previous cinematic efforts to tell the oft-told tale of the shooting star headed for a tragic end brought larger-than-life images to silver screens in 1937 with the David O. Selznick-William Wellman classic starring JANET GAYNOR and FREDRIC MARCH, and in 1954 with what would become a prophetic role for JUDY GARLAND, and then the 1976 retelling with BARBRA STREISAND and KRIS KRISTOFFERSON. Read the tale of the music for this go-round at:

• Congratulations to RAY WYLIE HUBBARD who will be inducted into the "Texas Heritage Songwriters' Hall of Fame" along with late icons BUDDY HOLLY and MICKEY NEWBURY during a ceremony in Austin, TX on Feb. 24. Read all about it in "Wide Open Country," at:

If you'd like us to include a tour of the music press, in addition to our own original reporting, let us know. We can even include more of it if it's what you want to see.


# A-11 news feature... (LATE ADDITION)


Starting December 17th, eight nights of Christmas concerts bring a strong lineup of artists to the small screen, including CHRIS ISAAK, BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA, ROD STEWART, FAITH HILL, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, HEART, MICHAEL McDONALD, JENNIFER NETTLES, JESSICA SIMPSON, TWISTED SISTER, and more. It’s called "Christmas With a Heart," hosted by ANN WILSON (of the sisters band, HEART). It runs on AXS TV, for all those fortunate enough to have it on their cable, satellite, or webwatch package.

FREE previews are online for multiple shows, at:

Here's the lineup for the Christmas concert series' entire run:

Dec 17 - Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby
Dec 17 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
Dec 18 - Faith Hill – Joy to the World
Dec 19 - Jessica Simpson Happy Christmas
Dec 20 - Michael McDonald – This Christmas
Dec 21 - Band Against Cancer presents Jennifer Nettles: ‘Tis The Season
Dec 22 - Chris Isaak Christmas
Dec 23 - Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks
Dec 24 - Twisted Sister – A Twisted Christmas: Live In Vegas
Dec 24 - Heart & Friends: Home For The Holidays From Benaroya Hall

ALSO, check out our companion LATE ADDITION in the events section, for the Sun, Dec 10 airing on AXS of "IMAGINE JOHN LENNON: 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT." The concert features 20 performances of BEATLES and solo classics by WILLIE NELSON, JOHN FOGERTY, PETER FRAMPTON, SHERYL CROW, STEVEN TYLER, and more. It airs twice, 6-8 pm and 10 pm-midnight (Pacific).

That brings us to a wrap of this week's music news. But don't run off yet. The show goes on with our roundup of live performances.


EVENTS... Section B

# B-1 events feature...


We present our picks starting with Sunday, December 10, through the following weekend.

There's plenty happening in the Folk-Americana universe, whether you're looking to escape holiday commercialism or indulge in seasonal or non-seasonal music. Here are our recommendations.

3 pm "CELLAR SESSIONS" presents JAMES LEE STANLEY and AIREENE ESPIRITU, musically hosted by BRAD COLERICK, in the barrel room at Old Oak Cellars, 2620 E Foothill Bl, Pasadena, CA 91107; 626-356-4010.
* Light snacks provided along with complimentary wine tasting. Bring something to share/enjoy with your wine if you like.
* $5 of the sale of each bottle goes to MusiCares.
* Dress warmly, the wines like it cold.
* Tix $22 advance, $25 at door. Tix at:

Sun, Dec 10:
6-8 pm and 10 pm-midnight (Pacific) "IMAGINE JOHN LENNON: 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT" goes out tonight to those with the AXS TV channel.
* The concert features 20 performances of BEATLES and solo classics by WILLIE NELSON, JOHN FOGERTY, PETER FRAMPTON, SHERYL CROW, STEVEN TYLER, and more.
* Recorded live at The Theatre At Madison Square Garden, it honors the songs of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.
* FREE PREVIEWS online -- a pair of them -- are at:

Sun, Dec 10:
7 pm KEN O'MALLEY'S "AN IRISH CHRISTMAS" at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3722 Boyce Av, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (near the Tam O'Shanter).
* Ken's annual solo Christmas concert is one of the best. The venues change every year, but the performance, with or without side players, is reliably wonderful.
* Tix $20, available from Ken or Chris or call Karen Lloyd at the parish office, at 323-664 4723. To pay with PayPal email
* Concert is for ages 12+.

Sun, Dec 10:
7 pm JIM ‘KIMO’ WEST does his annual "HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY SLACK KEY SHOW" with KEN EMERSON at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* A star of the instrument, he mostly plays big concert halls. This is a fine chance to see him perform in an intimate venue.
* Tix $20.

Sun, Dec 10:
8 pm HOLIDAY SWING with MARIA MULDAUR & JOHN JORGENSON in the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-828-4497.
* Tix $35.

7 pm TED RUSSELL KAMP, LAUREN ADAMS w/ NICK KIRGO, & HANK VANSICKLE play this week's "BLUE GUITAR" concert series hosted by BRAD COLERICK in the Blue Guitar room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, 1055 Lohman Ln, South Pasadena, CA.
* Concert hall doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
* Adjacent to the Blue Guitar is the Arroyo Seco Grill which has food, wine, and full bar. You can bring your own bottle for a $10 corkage fee. The restaurant is open all day.
* Tix $15, at:

Wed, Dec 13:
8 pm "Spotlight: THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL, presented in conjunction with the Americana Music Association, plays the GRAMMY Museum, 800 W Olympic Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90015; 213-765-6800.
* American folk-roots-soul band The Dustbowl Revival plays the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate performance and conversation, hosted by the museum's Executive Director Scott Goldman. Known for their unique sound combining soul, New Orleans funk, pre-war blues, and roots music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party, the band was recently featured in an HBO documentary alongside Dick Van Dyke. They have toured the U.S. and Europe, headlining festivals and playing alongside The Mavericks, JD McPherson, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
* Tix $15 at:

Wed, Dec 13:
8 pm WILL RYAN & THE CACTUS COUNTY COWBOYS mix it up with a few Christmas Songs, lots of their regular stuff (which is pretty doggone outstanding) with mashup parodies and a good time show that sounds like it landed from the 1930s, all disguised as "A Western Music Show," at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix, $20.

Thu, Dec 14:
5 pm & 8 pm THE LONG RUN - Experience The Eagles: for one night (2 performances) at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix $25 either show.

Fri, Dec 15:
8 pm DEAN FRIEDMAN, singer-songwriter and stage personality, plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Friedman’s single, "McDonald's Girl" was officially banned by the BBC for mentioning the tradename of the fast food restaurant, but his irrepressible pop song was successfully covered by a number of acclaimed contemporary bands including the Blenders (Universal) and top canadian band Barenaked Ladies.
* Tix $25.

Sat, Dec 16:
2 pm THE TALL MEN GROUP return for their annual holiday show and party with "some new songs, raffle drawings for free albums, TMG T-Shirts and other surprises," at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* An ensemble of Southern California's songwriting elite, they're currently working on their fourth album, so expect some tunes and vocals that'll be new to you.
* Tix $20.

Sat, Dec 16:
7 pm JIM CURRY AND BAND PRESENT "A ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS" with the music of JOHN DENVER at Historic Hemet Theatre, 216 E Florida Av, Hemet, CA;
* This is one of two shows they're doing in Southern Cal (see Dec 19 for the other one); the rest are across the US.
* Tix:’S_ROCKY_MOUNTAIN_CHRISTMAS-Historic_Hemet_Theatre-December-16-2017.html

Sat, Dec 16:
7 pm SLIGO RAGS, the darlings of Disneyland's “Paradise Garden Bandstand,” present Celtic Folk (and more) with a decidedly bluegrass attitude at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix $20.

Sat, Dec 16:
8-10 pm WITCHER-RECUPIDO & LEVITT — BLUEGRASS GREATS play Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City, CA 90230; 310-398-2583;
* This is Bluegrass at its best, great harmonies, exciting instrumentals and some of the finest original material around.
* Dennis Witcher, founder of the legendary Los Angeles based bluegrass band The Witcher Brothers, and long time Witcher Brothers band mate and song writing collaborator Tony Recupido, team up with Banjo stylist extraordinaire Dan Levitt to form this must see, exciting, new Los Angeles bluegrass band.
* For more that twenty years, Dennis Witcher and Tony Recupido have been mainstays on the West Coast bluegrass circuit. Their amazing songs have touched audiences across the country for years with soul grabbing melodies, lyrics that touch the heart and harmonies that are as close to sibling harmonies as you can get without having the same last name. When you add Tony’s amazing work on the guitar and Dennis’ distinctive mandolin style, that’s a pretty complete act in itself.
* BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Dennis and Tony have teamed up with the amazing and innovative banjo stylist Dan Levitt. Having developed and mastered a banjo style he calls “Contemporary Clawhammer” with a melodic frailing style that incorporates elements of bluegrass, ragtime, folk, classical and blues, Dan makes an enormous contribution to the unique sound of the band.
* Tix $15.

Sat, Dec 16:
8-10:30 pm MICHAEL O'DORN in Concert at The Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina, CA 91723; 626-339-7020;
* The Fret House welcomes back their old friend and great picker Michael O'Dorn. You may have seen one of Michael's books, "Getting Onto Travis Picking" published by Mel Bay. In the back, there's a photo of Michael with Merle Travis that was taken in the Fret House in the early 70s.
* Michael's mastery of the guitar styles of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Marcel Dadi, and, of course, his own, have him in demand to perform several times a year for the "Chet Atkins Appreciation Society" in Nashville, Tennessee, and for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade shows in California and Tennessee.
* He has taught Merle Travis style guitar at these events and for the "National Guitar Summer Workshop" (NGSW) at the University of Redlands, California.
* Michael has performed numerous concerts in France, California and Tennessee and has opened for country performers that include Joe Diffie, and Jeff Cook of the group Alabama. He has also recorded on three of Jody Reynolds' albums (of "Endless Sleep" fame). Also, Michael frequently donates time to perform for hospitals, benefits and telethons for groups such as the United Way.
* Watch and listen to him in action:
* Tix by phone, above.

Sat, Dec 16:
10 pm KEN O'MALLEY & TWILIGHT LORDS play Finn McCool's; info at

Sun, Dec 17:
1-7 pm Annual "Fret House Christmas Recital, Staff Show and Pot Luck" at The Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina, CA 91723; 626-339-7020;
* This renowned music shop invites everyone to "come celebrate the holidays with us." They continue, "This loosely organized event will begin with a student recital (all Fret House students are welcome to perform), then segue into performances by members of our staff and perhaps some special guests. There will be food and drink and merriment. We hope to see you there."
* The Fret House has a good start on their 2018 concert schedule, starting Jan 13, so check their website.
* Tix - none - this is a free event.

Sun, Dec 17:
6:30–8:30 pm "A CELTIC CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY HARP WITH CYNTHIA ARTISH" at the Folk Music Center, 220 Yale Av, Claremont, CA 91711; 909-624-2928;
* The harp in ancient times tells the story of holiday cheer. The venue says, "Come join us in celebrating the magic of the season!"
* Doors at 6, starts at 6:30.
* This is their final concert for 2017. Check their website for next year's concert offerings.
* Tix $10.

Sun, Dec 17:
7-9 pm "THE BOULEVARD MUSIC FREE HOLIDAY SHOW" is an annual tradition with FREE admission and FREE homemade cookies, at Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City, CA 90230; 310-398-2583;
* Their invitation says, "Join us for a fun-filled evening with our staff, teachers, families, and friends (free cookies) in the one evening when Boulevard Music transforms into the “House of Schmooze.” There’ll be the regulars plus some (free cookies) new surprises to keep you on your toes. Featuring the ultimate toffee, Kathy’s Kholesterol Krunch. Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven."
* Their concert schedule resumes Jan. 13, so check their website (above).
* Tix - none - this show is free.

Sun, Dec 17:
7 pm "THE UMPTEENTH ANNUAL McCABE'S HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR" is FREE in the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-828-4497.
* This show rings-out their 2017 concert schedule; there's plenty booked for 2018, so check it out at
* Tix for this show - NONE - it's Free.

Dec 17:
7 pm "A CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS -- AN EVENING OF HOLIDAY MUSIC" at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Bl, Sierra Madre, CA 91024.
* A selection of contemporary Christmas songs in addition to classical yuletide favorites will be performed. This year, a couple of Chanukkah songs will be added to the mix.
* This concert sold out last year. Order your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
* Sierra Madre is just east of Pasadena.
* Ample free parking available in lot behind the Playhouse.
* Tix $20 adults and seniors; $12 students (up to age 21).
* Reservations, 626-355-4318, or online at

Sun, Dec 17:
7 pm The BEATUNES play musical homage to the Beatles in a show that always sells-out at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix $20.

Tue, Dec 19:
7 pm "MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET - 70th ANNIVERSARY" is a film academy event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Bl, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211
* Featuring a special holiday pre-show and a new 35 mm print.
* Enjoy holiday cookies and pictures with Santa after the screening.
* Directed by George Seaton. Produced by William Perlberg. Screenplay by Seaton. Story by Valentine Davies.
* Cast: Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood.
* Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his delightful performance as Kris Kringle in this holiday classic from 1947. The story of a skeptical young girl and a department store Santa who claims to be the real thing, "Miracle on 34th Street" portrays, for all age groups, the joy that comes from believing.
* Set in Macy’s Herald Square during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the film played a significant role in making the annual "Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade" an American institution.
* Also the winner of Academy Awards for "Motion Picture Story" and "Screenplay," "Miracle on 34th Street" was added to the "Library of Congress National Film Registry" in 2005.
* Tix & parking info:

Tue, Dec 19:
8 pm "JIM AND ANNE CURRY PRESENT 'A ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS' THE HOLIDAY SONGS OF JOHN DENVER," plus other seasonal favorites, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake, Altadena, CA 91001.
* This is the most intimate venue they play anywhere, especially since their popularity has soared. This show is one of two they're doing in Southern Cal (see Dec 16 for the other one); the rest are across the US.
* Tix $18, and require reservations by phone or you'll find it sold-out and you won't get in; call 626-798-6236 between 10 am and 10 pm, 7 days.

7 pm HOLIDAY SPECIAL at "BLUE GUITAR" concert series, brings performances by CORRINA CARTER, LORIN HART, WILD MOUNTAIN MYSTICS, CHAUNCEY BOWERS, series host BRAD COLERICK, and surprise guests, in the Blue Guitar room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, 1055 Lohman Ln, South Pasadena, CA.
* Concert hall doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
* Adjacent to the Blue Guitar is the Arroyo Seco Grill which has food, wine, and full bar. You can bring your own bottle for a $10 corkage fee. The restaurant is open all day.
* Tix $10 advance, $15 at door. Adv tix at:

* Looking ahead with a couple of events...

Dec 22:
Time tba KEN O'MALLEY with GEORGE CAVANAUGH, RICH CASHMAN and RACHEL GRACE play Brendan's in Camarillo; info at

* An EXTENSIVE feature for New Year's Eve musical options will be forthcoming. For now, here's one that happens very early in the day:

3 pm KEN O'MALLEY plays an early "IRISH NEW YEAR" show to correspond with midnight in Ireland; it's at the Auld Dubliner. Info at



The Guide will return with many more inclusive and inquisitive
and informative and pretty dad-burn interestin' coverage
of all kindsa things, continuing forward and onward
in our next MUSIC NEWS edition,
coming your way soon.

Meantime, check in and let us know what you think about THIS one.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?


See you next time!



As always, we invite you to join us and to let us know what YOU are listening to, and what artists or bands just sent you swooning and need to be shared with others.

Doing our part depends on you doing your part. That way, you'll know that a whole lot more is always coming soon — including fresh MUSIC NEWS, PREVIEWS & REVIEWS, and more additions to our massive guide to the MUSIC FESTIVALS of 2017.

Meantime, we are ALWAYS big advocates of supporting LIVE PERFORMANCE. With everything happening in the big, wide world, and through these festival-packed, waning-of-summer weekends? Go get tuneful!



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox? Is it Walschaerts or Baker or Stephenson valve gear? Superheated or saturated? Duplex or Standard stoker? Circulators or syphons in the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for basic essential informational stuff... geeez... soon as we take water from the tank, top-off the lubricators, and get beans from the Harvey House, we are sooo steamin' down the line...

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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.


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