Entries for April 2019

  • Get Low…

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    Hello Troubadourians! At some point, every musician gets bored with their playing and/or their instrument. Learning new songs or learning a new technique can do the trick. When that works, you feel accomplished and you have new things to work into you playing. But, sometimes the only way to break through the boredom is to […]

  • Wildflowers

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    After eight straight years of record-setting drought, the rain finally came to California. The Sierra Nevada mountains are packed with snow, ensuring full rivers and lakes all summer long. The Giant Sequoias finally got the deep watering they so richly deserve. And the 40 million people who call California home can breathe a little easier […]

  • THE SILENT COMEDY: Enemies Multiply

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    The new full-length album by The Silent Comedy is Enemies Multiply, and the title says a lot about the content. The rockers have been together since 2007, with six recordings, and their success (SDMA awards, thousands of CD sales and millions of downloads, touring widely, TV and movie soundtrack appearances) seems to be the result […]

  • VINYL! VINYL! VINYL! You Can’t Clean Your Weed Off an MP3

    Here I am a record on a jukebox, A little piece of plastic with a hole—oooh! Play me. Buy me then you play me then my plastic turns to gold. — “The Worst Band in the World” by 10cc (1974) Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth, truth is not […]

  • Playing the LP Backwards: The Golden Age of Record Stores

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    My favorite “toy” from my childhood was a record player. It was kid-sized friendly, suitable for playing the Golden Records series of fairy tales and nursery rhymes. But from the very beginning, I was interested in sampling my parents’ collection of vinyl. I recently calculated that my father was already 34 when Elvis Presley made […]

  • MARCIA FORMAN BAND: Generations

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    The Marcia Forman Band’s latest is called Generations. The new EP is a family affair for alto sax player Forman and her husband, violinist Floyd Fronius mark three decades together. For this seven-song set of jazz standards, the marvelous guitarist is Josh Vasquez, while Jeremy Eikham’s standup bass and Ray Conseur’s drums hold down the […]

  • Passing the Torch

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    Note: This is the first installment of a new column, celebrating recorded music of all kinds… kinda like Lou Curtiss’ column but not. It’ll run alternately with “Recordially” and sometimes at the same time. With a revolving door of writers, I am inviting them to share anything relating to vinyl, CDs, 8-tracks, or whatever influenced […]

  • CHRISTOPHER DALE: Wood & Strings

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    On the local scene since before the turn of the century, Christopher Dale has racked up numerous nominations and awards, and as a solo artist he has released four recordings. A master of the full spectrum of musical genres from power pop to close-harmony folk rock, it’s no surprise that his newest release, Wood & […]

  • 100 Candles for PETE SEEGER

    If we were to choose one person to represent North American folk music, the obvious choice is Pete Seeger (1919–2014). He brought songs out of the hills and onto the airwaves, engaged continuously with the public—from lowest to highest—and embodied the social consciousness of folk music in the labor, civil rights, pro-peace, and environmental movements, […]