Full Circle

  • Memories of Merle

    Lou Curtiss interviews Merle Travis, Part 2 There was that fateful day at a certain Tex Ritter recording session when Merle Travis and Cliffie Stone (real name Clifford Snyder) met. Merle was waiting his probation time (three months) while he transferred his membership in the American Federation of Musicians from Local 1 in Cincinnati to […]

  • Memories of Merle

    Lou Curtiss interviews Merle Travis, Part I When I saw Tom Boyer up at the Sam Hinton Folk Heritage Festival in June doing some of that thumb pickin’ made famous by all those Kentucky guitarists, it got me to thinking about maybe the most famous of them all: my favorite, Merle Travis. I grew up […]

  • Friends Tied Together by a Double Bass

    Bass player Dave Marr ran a hand over the instrument, stepped back, and turned to his friend of 40 years, Dave Millard. “Feel that, I think it feels good,” he said on a Thursday morning. “Feels good,” Millard agreed. Nearly 10 years after they started work on it, years that were interrupted by the “stuff […]

  • Lori Bell Dreams of Brooklyn

    San Diego-based jazz flutist Lori Bell, one of the many world-class musicians calling our town their home, has been an active and essential part of our local music community for a good while. An elegant improvisor, Lori’s efforts as band leader, arranger, composer, educator, and collaborator in a wide field of styles has built a […]

  • Iconoclasts: The Ballad of Phil Ochs

    The Revelle Campus Cafeteria at UCSD, 1970, was the first time I became entirely aware of folksinger/anti-war activist and counter culture hero Phil Ochs. He was performing to a full house of hippies, New Left agitators, Marxist professors with a collective lapse of enthusiasm for talk of revolution, rattled undergraduates, and unsmiling advocates for black […]

  • 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, […]

  • Noel Paul Stookey: There Is Love (with a capital L)

    Take a look at the Billboard Hot 100 songs of 1962 and you will find Ray Charles and Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, the Everly Brothers and the Isley Brothers, the Kingston Trio and the Beach Boys. That’s the year that Peter, Paul and Mary made the list with “If I Had a […]

  • Jorma Kaukonen–Been So Long: My Life and Music

    There’s an old saying that goes “If you can remember the Sixties, you weren’t there.” Those 60 and over go ha-ha, ho-ho, I get it; too many flashbacks, too many bong hits, far too many uppers to balance all those downers, and too many long drum solos. The conceit was that there was too much […]

  • 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 […]

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