Entries for October 2011

  • Bill Monroe

    Bill Monroe is universally considered the “father of bluegrass” music. If he were still alive (he died in September 1996) Bill Monroe would have turned 100 in September of 2011. Let’s take a look at this man known as the “father” and see why he is so universally regarded as a key figure in the […]

  • October 2011 Calendar

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  • Deering Banjo Brings Tradition into the Future

    Popular music has always been influential in our culture even as the popular musicians have changed time and time again. Pop music has introduced the listening public to new political ideas and it has even been the catalyst for important cultural movements in history. Today, popular music from bands like Mumford and Sons and the […]

  • THE RIDERS: Acoustic Duo

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    The Riders, in full complement a quintet playing roots-rock, was profiled in a cover story in the May 2010 issue of the San Diego Troubadour, along with a review of their second studio album, Crown City Sessions. This time out, the Riders appear as an acoustic duo (consisting of front man Tom Cusimano on guitar […]


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    Nine Pound Hammer Heart is the debut CD by Melly Frances and the Distilled Spirits, a group built around singer/songwriter Melanie Sponselee (AKA Melly Francis) and her backing band, fronted by guitarist/keyboard player Tom Cusimano of the local roots band the Riders. The nine track disc is a blues-rock potpourri, with Frances’ husky blues-mama voice […]

  • BILLY WATSON: Secret 8: Blues for the Modern Frontier

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    Fans of the local blues scene are familiar with Billy Watson, either as sideman for various artists (Robin Henkel, Mississippi Mudsharks, Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs, and others) or as a front man of his own band, singing and playing harp with a group of interchangeable players, often including A-list players from other local […]

  • Looking Back (like that’s what I don’t usually do)

    Well for some 10 years I’ve pontificated (and occasionally bitched and moaned) on the pages of the SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR. I’ve told you stories about going to see Hank Williams, meeting Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff, getting to know ROSE MADDOX, CLIFF CARLISLE, WADE MAINER, and a whole lot more fairly well. I told you […]


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    As Baby Boomers come to terms with the Great Recession, and scratch their heads about what passes for popular music these days, what better time to take a nostalgic listen back to the music that their parents grew up with. Before rock and guitars, it was big band jazz and horns, but then as now, […]

  • What Is a Troubadour?

    As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the San Diego Troubadour, it is only fitting that we dwell upon the paper’s name and ask, “What does the word Troubadour really mean?” We probably all have a vague conception of the troubadour as some guy who stands up alone in front of a mic and sings […]