Entries for August 2011

  • Summergrass!

    At last, Summergrass has arrived! Summergrass is one of the West Coast’s premiere outdoor bluegrass festivals, celebrating its ninth year in 2011. If you have never been to Summergrass, this would be a great year to go. Headlining the event are the award-winning Grascals, one of the most successful bands in modern bluegrass history (see […]

  • Trails & Rails: Western Tales

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    Trails & Rails’ new CD reminds me of what happens at the end a long trail ride. After driving cattle to the rail head and stockyard to market, you begin to reap the rewards for your hard work and days wondering among the canyons, mesas, and western ghost trails. This album also marks a new […]

  • Some Folks I Know Whose Music Is Special

    I first met Hank Bradley in Fresno, or maybe it was at the Sweets Mill Folk Festival, or maybe it was the Cabale Creamery in Berkeley. At any rate, by the time he played at the second San Diego State Folk Festival (in 1968) I had seen him with the Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band […]

  • Steph Johnson: Soul-Jazz Diva on the Road Less Traveled

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    “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”                         —attr. Hunter S. Thompson Art and commerce have always made strange bedfellows; the above quote has been co-opted to describe several other “creative” […]

  • Colin Clyne Has His Feet in Two Worlds

    Though many locals take it for granted, San Diego’s vibrant music scene continues to draw international media attention. As the global media profile increases, so too does the amount of musical transplants from around the world, making the local music community an amazing melting pot of sounds. Of course, some artists find their ways to […]

  • Naked Emotion

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    If I’m not mistaken, this month wraps up ten solid/liquid/gaseous years of this column. For ten years (taking time out for meals) I have given freely of myself to ensure that music endures, that creativity flourishes, that terrorists are punished, that no tsunamis obliterate the West Coast, that I remain alive while others drop dead […]

  • Chris Sullivan: Reading Between the Bass Lines

    Chris Sullivan has reason to gloat these days. This month, two of his bands are up for San Diego Music Awards. His hard rockin’ Farmers are up for Best Americana. His old band the Penetrators are receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award. When MTV set out to dismantle rock n’ roll in the early ’80s, swapping […]

  • The Wisdom of Water

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    Water permeates and shapes everything it touches. It carves mountains into sand and swells seeds to fruition. It grows forests and destroys cities. It fills our bodies, builds our blood, and bathes our cells. Nothing is as simultaneously ordinary and miraculous as water. But like a draught of forgetfulness, its ever-presence lulls us into complacency. […]

  • The Grascals: A Fresh, Original Voice in Bluegrass

    Bluegrass music covers the fields and landscapes of America in some very unsuspecting places. At times the salt-of-the-earth music reaches out from beyond itself into the deepest heart of the country. From Indiana to Nashville; from Mayberry to Memphis with a quick stop in California and Ohio and most of all through the eyes of […]