Featured Stories

  • The Creative Mind of Catherine Barnes

    Catherine Barnes plays percussion, making rhythms and adding dynamics to musical ensembles with snare drums, timpani, and tambourines. She also plays the vibraphone and marimba. Catherine Barnes sings. And since 2018, this San Diego native has become a storyteller. She combines characters and songs with offbeat plots to create theater experiences that are unique in […]

  • Bob Magnusson: Love of Music Was Learned in San Diego

    Bob Magnusson grew up in San Diego, attended Point Loma High School, and played bass behind both Buddy Rich and Sarah Vaughan before returning to San Diego. He was in the house band at Elario’s nightclub in La Jolla for much of the late 1980s, backing national jazz luminaries who came to town, and was […]

  • Tippecanoe and Tyler Who? A Brief History of Presidential Campaign Songs

    Come join hand in hand, brave Americans all / And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty’s call / No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim / Or stain with dishonor America’s name. This is perhaps one of the earliest campaign songs written in 1768 by John Dickinson and titled “Liberty Song,” which was […]

  • Happy Ron Hill and the Pursuit of Happiness

    We sat down in a quaint little restaurant to talk about happiness and some other inspiring things. He may have gotten a rough start in life, challenged with multiple disabilities, the kind of challenges that must be overcome in order to achieve his goals and aspire to new and exciting possibilities. Determination was his driving […]

  • The Dillards Celebrate an Old Road New Again

    The Dillards did an album called Wheatstraw Suite, which is one of my favorite albums. The first thing I did when I came to America was to go and see them. —Elton John There is a friendly and inviting warmth to Rodney Dillard’s voice, a youthful enthusiasm that defies his 78 years on the planet. […]

  • Charles McPherson: Weathering the Pandemic with New Album and Ballet Project

    As with all of us, veteran alto saxophonist and longtime San Diegan Charles McPherson has seen the ongoing pandemic rearrange his routines in ways neither anticipated nor particularly welcome. “Everybody’s affected by this, of course,” the jazz icon said by phone last week. “The pandemic has really taken a toll on us: the clubs are […]

  • Black Market III: Past, Present, and Future

    Damn! I’m inspired! I’m impressed! I’m floored! I’m blown away! And I’m incredibly proud of my and Alicia’s dear friends, guitar virtuoso extraordinaire Scottie Blinn and sister Roxanne Coverdale! I first met Scottie sometime around 1990. My band at the time, the Juke Stompers, was playing at Croce’s Top Hat in the Gaslamp every Thursday […]

  • Anatomy of a Folk Song: Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down

    Whose Deal Is It? As a songwriter, I am intrigued by what makes a song memorable. Out of all the songs that have ever been sung, why are a handful still being sung generations later? Wouldn’t it be fun to dig into some songs that have endured? Let’s do it! Here’s one called Don’t Let […]

  • Keeping the Music Alive During the Pandemic

    The Corona virus has been spreading for months with no sign of abatement in the foreseeable future, especially here in the United States. While there are differing views as to its severity and the necessity of the various measures implemented to cope with it, most would agree that not catching it ourselves and halting its […]