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May 2024
Vol. 23, No. 8


Happy Traum and Chris Clarke to Perform in Poway

January 2015

Poway, CA ­ On Friday, January 30th at 7:30pm, San Diego Folk Heritage is excited to present accomplished folk artist Happy Traum live in concert with local bluegrass picker Chris Clarke opening. The all ages event will take place at Templar’s Hall (14134 Midland Rd. Poway, CA 92064). Admission is $15 for members and $18 standard, available at the door or online.

Happy Traum was smitten by American folk music as a teenager and began playing guitar and 5­ string banjo. He was an active participant of the legendary Washington Square/Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1950s and ‘60s, and studied guitar with the famed blues master, Brownie McGhee. Over the past five decades he has performed worldwide, earning recognition as a performer, writer, editor, session musician, folklorist, teacher and recording artist. Several notable accomplishments include:

*Happy’s first appearance in a recording studio was at a historic session in 1963 when a group of young folk musicians, including Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Peter LaFarge and The Freedom Singers gathered in Folkways Records’ studio for an album called Broadsides.

*The New World Singers (Happy, Bob Cohen and Gil Turner) soon recorded an album for Atlantic Records, with liner notes by Bob Dylan, and released a single of the first recorded version of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

*In 1965, Happy wrote his best­selling Fingerpicking Styles for Guitar, the first of more than a dozen important instruction books which documented the playing of the great traditional guitarists. Homespun Tapes, which he and his wife, Jane, co­founded in 1967 is a dynamic and growing company with a catalog of more than 500 music lessons on DVDs, CDs, books and downloads.

*In 1967, Happy and his brother Artie Traum formed a duet that, according to Rolling Stone, “defined the Northeast folk music style.” Their performances at the 1968 and 1969 Newport Folk Festivals helped to gain them an avid following and a contract with famed manager Albert Grossman. This strong musical partnership lasted until Artie’s untimely death in July, 2008.

*In 1971 Happy once again joined Bob Dylan in the studio, playing guitar, banjo, bass, and singing harmony on three songs (“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” “Down In the Flood,” and “I Shall Be Released,”) which appeared on Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2.

*Happy has been editor of Sing Out! magazine, host of an NPR radio show, and contributor to Rolling Stone, Acoustic Guitar, and Guitar Player.

Opening the show will be Chris Clarke, a local favorite and lifelong student, performer and teacher of traditional, southern Appalachian heritage music. Born and raised in Virginia, Chris has been playing old­time, country blues, bluegrass and folk music since the late 1980s. His style is rooted firmly in tradition, his interpretation is authentic and he has the ability to connect with the audience with colorful stories (some even true). He has shared the stage with Dr. Ralph Stanley, sang with Mike Seeger and performs regularly at festivals and venues around his home in Southern California — solo and with his band, Plow.

*Additional note: For those interested, Happy Traum will also be teaching a Guitar Workshop on Sunday, February 1st, sponsored by Poway Folk Circle. Visit­Folk­Circle for more information

San Diego Folk Heritage is an all­volunteer 501(c)(3) non­profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the folk arts in Southern California. For more information about this concert, please visit­traum­w­chris­clarke/