Highway’s Song

  • “Some Enchanted Evening(s)” and Days Set for Tiki Oasis

    To think that the opening night party will be launched at a restaurant called Bali Hai. How absolutely appropriate. This year’s Tiki Oasis celebration–where the adjectives sublime and kitsch are often lined up at the same intersection–will have as its theme, “South Seas Cinema.” With an added day slated this year, the festival will run […]

  • From Downey to Lubbock: Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore

    It seems music is like the earth, the land, the highways… all joined together, connected and flowing like its own river of love. –Anonymous On the surface, the land from Lubbock, Texas to the Southern California suburb of Downey have little in common. From the busy freeways southeast of Los Angeles that lead west to […]

  • The Soul Legacy of Aaron Neville

    I was born in the southern land That’s where I became a man My roots was down in New Orleans The birth of jazz and voodoo queens From the heart of Louisiana Marie Laveaux and Mojo Hannah Grew up on the music of the streets Second line bands and the Indian beats –Aaron Neville, from […]

  • Tree of Forgiveness from John Prine: Old Prines Just Grow Stronger

    One of the great mysteries in music today is why John Prine is not a household name in the world at large. His fan base has grown steadily and remained loyal over the last five decades. In his L.A. shows, a favorite pastime is spotting the celebrities in the audience. In the world of Americana […]

  • My Life and Times with Arlo Guthrie and Family

    As Arlo, Sarah Lee, and Abe Guthrie return to the Belly Up with the Re: Generation Tour this month, I take a journey through my personal past and the impressions the family has left with me. Let’s let our hair down. It’s time to break the fourth wall. This story is admittedly a bit indulgent […]

  • Matt Hensley: San Diegan Finds Career Playing Squeezebox for Flogging Molly

    Give the credit to the band Those Darn Accordions. It was a late-1990s concert by that eclectic Bay Area squeezebox combo that drew North County resident and budding accordionist Matt Hensley to Los Angeles one fateful night. After the show, he and his LA-based buddy went to grab a pint at Molly Malone’s, an Irish […]

  • Jesse Cook: Nuevo Flamenco Guitarist Thrives in the Snowbelt

    The word “flamenco” tends to conjure images of gentle hillsides covered with whitewashed homes topped with red tile roofs, of azure beaches and balmy nights. And guitarist Jesse Cook, a leading exponent of nuevo flamenco, is hardly opposed to balmy weather. It’s just that when you grew up–and still live with your wife and two […]

  • Me and Kris Kristofferson: A 50-Year Cycle of Story, Song, and Heroes

    Wide awake and feeling mortal At this moment in the dream That old man there in the mirror And my shaky self-esteem. –Kris Kristofferson In the summer of 1970 I was a 15 years-old, a Texas-born-Southern-California-raised kid who lived in a self-built bubble of music, words, and dreams. While my earliest memories are foggy, they […]

  • Trombone Shorty: What is the Meaning of Being a New Orleans Musician?

    At the end of the day, I’m a New Orleans Musician. Whatever that means. –Trombone Shorty This is a curious comment from one of New Orleans’ most important new artists. It begs the question: what does he mean? Is the meaning of the role of a New Orleans musician that hard to define? Here is […]