Entries for January 2019

  • When the Music Fades

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    I wanted to cry, but I had to laugh. Sitting in a sound proof room at my local Costco, the results of my hearing test in plain view on the computer screen, the evidence was incontrovertible. I need hearing aids. It seems that all those years playing in rock ‘n’ roll bands has finally caught […]


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    This month’s cover story subject, altoist Christopher Hollyday, had already lived a storied life in jazz that began even before he discovered the saxophone at the age of 10. By the time he was 20, he had a major label recording contract (remember those?) on RCA/Novus, and had been hailed a “young lion” mentioned in […]

  • Strange Stage Stories

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    A new year a new FYI. This time out we have a new batch of Strange Stage Tales, My Top 15 Shows for 2018 and and a few reviews. Dakota Ringer (The Naked I): “Once we had an audience member jump on stage with a melodica and hijack a microphone. We just kinda kept jamming […]

  • DAVID BENEDICT: The Golden Angle

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    If top notch bluegrass instrumentation on acoustic instruments is your cup of tea, you will love the new instrumental album from David Benedict. Titled The Golden Angle, this great recording features some of the best in the business on complementary backup instruments–David Grier and Ross Martin on guitar, Mike Barnett and Stuart Duncan on fiddle, […]

  • Happy New Year!

    Welcome to a new year of great bluegrass music! We close out the year 2018 with fondness, looking back at many wonderful bluegrass experiences: – The Summergrass Bluegrass Music Festival, held in Vista over a long weekend in August, featuring ten-plus top national and touring bands, workshops, a Kids Music Camp, camping, food, vendors, workshops, […]

  • Gary Heffern: Where Sun Diego Meets the North Pole

    Question: who’s flying in from the tundra of Finland to visit the boys and girls of San Diego this winter? I’m sure many said “Santa Claus” because, yes, Santa does live in northern Finland. Don’t believe me? Just visit Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle. But, unfortunately, “Santa Claus” is not the correct […]

  • Amps IV

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    Hello Troubadourians! This column will complete our overview of amplifiers (for now). Since this is the January issue of the Troubadour, next month’s column should be devoted to my review of the 2019 NAMM show, which happens at the end of the month. We left off last month by discussing clean or semi-clean amps in […]

  • JOHN MAILANDER: Forecast

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    A few short years ago, John Mailander was known for his work in bluegrass music here in San Diego in numerous band projects. The fiddler got together with some stellar friends for a solo CD in 2014, Walking Distance, recorded in Massachusetts, then he relocated to Nashville. He has remained an in-demand studio recording artist, […]

  • The Story of The Band: From Big Pink to The Last Waltz

    When you explore the annals of rock ‘n’ roll aristocracy, rarely do you think of Canadians as being perched near the top of the heap (Randy Bachman, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young notwithstanding). The gutbucket elements of rock ‘n’ roll belong to the greasier exponents of the Deep South. It’s that gritty, grimy, salt-of-the-earth aspect […]