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June 2024
Vol. 23, No. 9

Cover Story

The Troubadour @ Twenty

by J.T. MoringDecember 2021

Ellen & Lyle Duplessie celebrating the first issue in September 2001.

One measure of success must surely be the number and quality of people who appreciate you. By that metric, the Troubadour has reached a pinnacle in the San Diego music community. When I took the assignment to write about the first 20 years of the magazine, I quickly realized that more voices than mine were needed. The bulk of this article consists of love letters from some of the folks that the Troubadour has touched along the way. (If you think I’m going to make an inappropriate joke about “touching,” forget it. I have learned a few things over the years!) Let me just give a brief recap before we get to the testimonials.

Troubadour 10th anniversary cover.

The first ten years of the Troubadour were well documented in the October 2011 edition. Since then, the magazine has lost some of its columnists (e.g., José Sinatra, Peter Bolland, Jim McInnes) and gained some others (Simeon Flick, Charlie Loach); columnists Sven-Erik Seaholm and Dwight Worden are still finding new material to cover.
Over the years, we’ve lost uncounted music venues—notably Java Joe’s—and irreplaceable members of our community. Some of our old friends have headed for (hopefully) greener pastures: Barbara Nesbitt to Texas, Veronica May to Colorado, Eve Selis to Tennessee, Charlie Imes to Florida. Skimming old Troubadour covers show us faces we’re never going to see around town again: Tomcat Courtney, Dennis Caplinger, Jeffrey Joe, Jimmie Cheatham, Lou Curtiss. We’re reminded to fiercely appreciate those still with us!
The more recent issues shine a light on faces not seen during those first years of the Troubadour, folks like Clinton Davis and Jules Whelpton and Rhythm Rose Turner. While we no longer have the “backpage of the Troubadour” to scour for our faces, I’ll wager every issue will open your eyes to some facet of the music scene, no matter who you are. (ed. note: The Troubadour plans to resurrect the photo page soon!)
There’s no vaccine for magazines; to survive the pandemic, the Troubadour is now all electronic, and will be for the foreseeable future. Costs are down, but so is advertising income. The magazine relies on donations to stay alive, and this year’s fundraiser (December 12, 5pm at Tango Del Rey) is an opportunity to toss some $$ in the tip jar while we’re reconnecting with our gang. VIP tables are available for purchase for $100 (seats four). To reserve your table, go to:
And how about Liz Abbott / The Troubadour being presented the Music Industry Award at the 2021 San Diego Music Award ceremony! In the interest of sharing that wealth, we’ve invented awards for ALL the contributors to this article!
I asked Liz a few questions for this article.

Liz Abbott & Kent Johnson at the award ceremony. Photo by Cathryn Beeks.

Care to comment on the SDMA Music Industry Award you received this year?
We were thrilled, of course. I felt very honored and proud. I was extremely nervous beforehand because I knew I had to make an acceptance speech. But the love and respect we received from our peers was the best. I never thought we’d be standing there after 20 years, but there we were.
Challenges. If you could make certain problems go away, what would you choose?
It’s always been a challenge to put the paper together with the amount of work that goes into it. Gathering everything up, such as photos, content, and ads is like herding cats sometimes. I especially worry about money and generating enough advertising revenue to pay for the printer, our writers, and photographers, and have a little left over for living expenses (I HATE ad sales; I’m just not good at asking people for something). Lately it has become more and more difficult because vendors, venues, and companies either don’t have the budget for advertising or else think if they advertised on FB it would take care of their promotion. If I had my wish, I would have the money to put together a team to handle and advise me on web stuff, a collaborator to help shape our future, an ad sales guy, and a financial guy. 

Rewards. What has kept you doing this for 20 years?
It has been extremely rewarding to have been doing the Troubadour for so long. After the Duplessies passed away in 2004, I wanted to keep the paper going for their sake, but now it’s kinda our baby and I suppose I’m driven to do it. We have made wonderful friends and I’ve learned so much doing all this. And, of course, the music we have enjoyed. It’s fantastic to be part of the music community and rewarding, too.

 Looking forward. What do you see on the Troubadour’s horizon?
I’m not sure what the future holds. It’s kind of a month to month deal for me. To tell you the truth, I’m getting tired; doing the paper takes a lot out of me, especially when it was in print. I thought I might want to retire at the end of 2019, but then what? When the pandemic happened and we went online only, it was much less work, and I feel like I can continue indefinitely. My dream would be to find someone to take the paper over in order to preserve the Troubadour’s legacy, when the time comes to retire. However, you need to have a lot of skills to do it. Well, I’m speaking for myself because I do it all alone pretty much. You should first and foremost love music, know the local music scene, be able to do basic layout and design, have editing skills, plan the content, and generate income through advertising. With a team it would be much easier, but we’ve never had the budget to hire people in a working capacity.

Vacation. When’s the last time you had one? When and where is the next one?
The last time I went on vacation was in fall of 2019 to visit my friends on the East Coast. I never have more than two weeks for a vacation because the last two weeks of the month, I’m buried in producing the next issue. Over the years, I’ve been going up to Portland for a long weekend to visit my brother, with whom I am very close. We enjoy each other’s company and spend our visit cooking, eating, drinking, and going to hear music.

One day in the near future, I would like to go on a dream vacation. I love to cook, so I’m thinking of going on a cooking vacation in the South of France or Italy. There are vacations available for every interest these days!
Now on to those love letters I mentioned…

Joe Rathburn.

Blythe Effron.

JOE RATHBURN is a singer-songwriter, superb guitarist, song collector, longtime host at the Folkey Monkey concert series, and winner of the “Early Bird” prize for being first to submit his Troubadour testimonial.
 I remember 19 years ago when I first heard of the Troubadour. I thought, “Gee, what a great idea to have a magazine for the local acoustic scene.” Then I thought, “Man, I hope I can get some coverage in it.” Then the next thing I knew I’d heard of the passing of the two founders Lyle and Ellen Duplessie. So, then I thought, “Wow, how sad is that?” and “It was good idea while it lasted.” Only to learn that co-founders Liz Abbott and Kent Johnson were going to keep the magazine running! I cheered inside my head and have been cheering for them ever since. I finally did get my coverage in the San Diego Troubadour, with my own cover story and several articles about me over the years. I’ve even written a piece or two about other folks that made it into that publication. Most important, I’ve advertised, when I could, in the Troub, and supported them with donations so that they could continue their mission. I urge others who see the worth of both; the magazine and those whose labor has gone into it, to back the Troubadour whenever possible. We need it.
BLYTHE EFFRON has a face you’ll see all over town, supporting the arts. She is the world’s No. 1 Gregory Page fan. Who else could get Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson to review a G Page album? She wins the “Poetic License” prize for the most rhymes in her testimonial.

Poem for the Troubadour
Liz Abbott moved from Evanston
To the San Diego sun
And became musics published voice
Now 20 years we can rejoice
The Troubadour that we adore
Our calendar and so much more
Every article to peruse
Artist news, album reviews
History and road stories

Each month, each cover story told
The Troubadour, the standard gold
The writerseloquence combined
Make this paper a rare find
Among the rags, a tapestry
Such value we receive for free
Thank you to the Troubadour
For being all of this and more
Every word on every page
Applause from both sides of the stage

—Blythe Effron, Oct. 10, 2021 

Eric Lieberman with his wife, Alicia. Photo by Steve Covault.

ERIC LIEBERMAN is a jumpin’, swingin’ guitar guy, keeping the blues alive in San Diego with Blue Largo. He gets the “Cool Rag” award for colorful language.
Ive been a San Diego musician since 1981, when I was a member of the King Biscuit Blues Band. My first memory of seeing the Troubadour was on the magazine stand at Gelato Vero on India Street, probably 20 years ago, and I thought it was super hip right off the bat. I love the word troubadour,” so that caught my attention right away, and I think maybe jazz guitarist Peter Sprague may have been on the cover. I just remember thinking, That looks like a cool rag!”
Over the ensuing years Liz started featuring more blues artists, and she gave my current band, Blue Largo, a cover feature in the August 2020 issue, for which I am most grateful and very proud of, in large part due to the great interviewing style of Troubadour staff writer Tim Mattox.
Lizs passion for American roots music, whether it be folk, country, jazz, or blues, and her personal medium for sharing it with San Diego and the world at large, through the internet, is a priceless gift to all who share this love for our countrys greatest art form. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Liz, and all who so graciously and generously have contributed to the San Diego Troubadour over the past 20 years.

Lori Bell.

Jimmie Lunsford.

Peter Bolland. Photo by Dennis Andersen.

Ronnie Graciano. Photo by Dennis Andersen.

Peter Sprague.

Lisa Sanders and Brown Sugar (Karen Hayes).

Yale Strom & Elizabeth Schwartz.

Chickenbone Slim (Larry Teves).

Tim Mattox & his wife, Yachiyo.

Ted Burke.

Dwight Worden.

Marie Haddad.

Richie Strell. Photo by Dan Chusid.

John Hancock. Photo by Jon Naugle.

Will Edwards.

Bart Mendoza.

Jazz vocalist Allison Adams Tucker.

Marty Katz.

Simeon Flick.

Charlie Loach.

Sande Lollis.

Gregory Page. Photo by John Hancock.

Shawn Rohlf. Photo by Dennis Anderson.

Dave Humphries.

Jim McInnes.

Beston Barnett.

Paul Homicz.

Marcia Claire.

JT Moring.

LORI BELL is the mistress of all things flute and winner of the “Plus One” award for her 21-word Troubadour salute. Here’s her 2010 cover story.
I love The Troubadour for its down-to-earth, grassroots approach, cheering at times for the unsung heroes in our community.
JIMMIE LUNSFORD writes songs like he means it, hosts a superlative open mic, and relentlessly spreads positivity from coast to coast. He wins the “Consistent Consonance” award for his write-in.
Ain’t that a peach?! Crikey, the Troub’s been the go-to for poop, peeks, and percolations for as long as I been musically musing in America’s finest municipality. Liz iz an icon. If the music scene in San Diego were an incorporated entity, she’d be the CEO, the mayor, the most loved. I’m gonna write her in for the next Miss San Diego. I love the Troub and the Liz. They are synonymously syncopated. And indispensably inky.
PETER BOLLAND is a pillar of our community with a list of accomplishments that would fill a magazine in themselves, as they did in this 2014 cover story. Based on his own admission, we’ll give him the “Whole Lotta Words” award.
After writing five features for the Troubadour in the early 2000s I talked Liz into letting me do a column. Thats how Stages: Philosophy, Art, Culture, and Music was born. I had a great run with that column, from June 2007 to February 2020—152 columns overall for a total of 180,000 words, but whos counting? I knew Lyle and Ellen Duplessie, and Liz Abbott and Kent Johnson back when the Troubadour was just a conversation around a kitchen table. I was so thrilled when it was born and even more thrilled to see it thrive. When Ellen, and then Lyle both died way too young, the whole thing became Lizs project since she had the professional design, layout, and editorial chops. Kent and a raft of volunteers handled the complex distribution logistics. And how much money do you think they all made creating, producing, and distributing a free monthly newspaper? You do the math. But the Troubadour anchored and transformed the San Diego music scene and gave space to so many of our stories. I think thats why they did it. For love. For all of us musicians, venue operators, talent buyers, and fans, the Troubadour was and is the hub of the wheel that keeps us all in orbit around each others lives. Happy Birthday Troubadour! I dont who wed be without you.
RONNIE GRACIANO is an un-indicted co-conspirator of Liz Abbott and a maker of things happening on the music scene. She wins the “On the Button” award for writing exactly 20 words for the Troubadour @ 20.
The San Diego Troubadour is the well-loved and greatly appreciated nucleus of the San Diego Music Scene and community.
PETER SPRAGUE is a jazz guitarist, like Paul Bunyan was a wood chopper. We treasure his music and his presence; here’s his 2019 cover story. He earns the “Mr. Mellow” award for giving credit to his smoothie.
I love reading the Troubadour and its so fun to tune into what wonderful things the other musos in our community are up to. The articles are beautifully written and I LOVE the pictures. Time disappears once I get my smoothie dialed in and am sitting down with the latest copy of the Troubadour. Its like magic and its all because of you that these precious moments appear in my life
LISA SANDERS is a songwriter who seems to deliver her songs with every molecule of her body and soul, going strong from her 2003 cover story to her 2014 cover story to today. Lisa gets the “Most Emphatic!!!” award.
Congratulations Troubadour on 20 years!!! I don’t know where our community would be without Liz Abbott and Kent Johnson! Thank you for Twenty Years of covering our musical community!! I’ve saved many copies of my favorite issues, written by our very own San Diego musical scholars. 
Thank you for bringing us together on those wonderful pages and those wonderful Christmas parties. Thanks for introducing me to Annie Dru years ago at the Troubadour Christmas party! We got a great song and a lifetime friendship from that Xmas party! 
Sending you much love and gratitude for this and all that you do!
YALE STROM and ELIZABETH SCHWARTZ produce books, films, social awareness, and klezmer music with Hot Pstromi. Here’s his 2016 cover story. Here’s her 2011 cover story. They receive the “His & Hers” award for the only married pair to contribute.
The Troubadour is a magazine packed with well-written articles on a vast array of genres of music. A music journal that also welcomes the professional, amateur, and the non-musician equally. —Yale
How many people in these troubled times only inspire feelings of love and gratitude? Without Liz, Kent, and the wonderful folks who write and read the Troubadour, I don’t know how San Diego-based musicians and music lovers would be as connected as we are to each other. It’s a wonderful comfort to be recognized and supported by them and a joy to be part of the Troubadour universe. —Elizabeth
CHICKENBONE SLIM (Larry Teves) win the “Tastiest” award; it’s what’s on the menu. Read about him here.
The Troubadour is the glue that holds our San Diego roots music community together.
TIM MATTOX is a blues lover, a prolific Troubadour contributor, and recipient of the “Well Done” award.
Congratulations to the San Diego Troubadour on 20 years of music news, reviews, information, and entertainment! Well done!
TED BURKE is a stalwart Troubadour contributor, an admitted associate of the infamous Liz Abbott, and recipient of our “This Old House” award.
Liz and I share a love of walking through older neighborhoods and taking in the details of old homes, petite and grand, the sorts of homes they dont build anymore. Weve done a dozen walks, Id say, in our wonderful friendship, observing the way the seasons change the temper and personality of fine old buildings and glorious parks, canyons, the works. What I love about Liz is that she wears her heart on her sleeve and gives so much of time and energy to her passions and friends. What shes been doing with the San Diego Troubadour has been a needed and important service for San Diego, as we have a large, diverse, and brilliant community of creative musicians, songwriters, poets, writers, and bohemian wonders all. I am not the most punctual writer in the universe, and I seldom submit mistake-free articles to her; Liz has shown the loving patience of a saint as she helps hammer out and clarify my sentences. I am very grateful to be a part of the San Diego Troubadour community and to be friends with this smart, gifted, and creative lady.
DWIGHT WORDEN is the bassist and basis of the Prairie Sky band, and longtime writer of the Bluegrass Corner column. We award Dwight the “Show Us the Numbers” prize for the compelling use of hard data in a prose piece.
My records show I started writing a column, the Bluegrass Corner, for the Troub in 2003 and that over the years I have penned over 200 columns and about a half dozen or so cover and interior articles. Whew!
The Troubadour is the glue that holds the San Diego music community together and has done so for 20 years. I look forward to at least 20 more! A couple of my favorite memories include when the Troubadour served as the official program for the early days of the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival, and of course all the fun we have had sharing music and good times at the many Troubadour annual parties, including the very early ones at Liz and Kent’s house
MARIE HADDAD is a singer-songwriter suprema and winner of the “Most Enthusiastic” award for this write-up. Here’s her 2016 cover story.
Oh, the Troubadour…how many ways doth San Diego love thee?! The first time I met Liz and Kent was at a Sounds Like San Diego event being held at Dizzy’s downtown. Even though I was just starting out, I was lucky enough to have been asked to perform (thank you, Bart Mendoza!). Liz and Kent made sure to come up to me after the show and introduce themselves. They were so wonderful and encouraging and really cared about the music that had been performed that night. Our conversation filled me with so much hope and pride for what I was doing…and a yearning to continue chasing my musical aspirations. I was just at the beginning of my foray into being a solo performer and wasn’t sure how I would be received. There’s was such a welcomed introduction to the nurturing and uplifting music scene here in San Diego.
Like countless others, you could find me sitting at a coffee shop each month going through the latest edition of the Troubadour top to bottom. Invaluable for its columns, interviews, and recommendations, eventually there was also the thrill of finding myself and other musical friends on the back page!!, reading the thoughtful, valuable words written in reviews for my own albums, and then years later, the dream-come-true moment of being on the cover (I’ll never get over that feeling)! The Troubadour has been essential in my music career and there aren’t enough thank yous to emphasize that.
The San Diego music scene and I personally owe a HUGE thank you to the Troubadour for the entertainment, advice, publicity, and consistent inspiration you’ve provided. I couldn’t be more honored to have been asked to contribute a few words for you on your twentieth anniversary. THANK YOU, Liz and Kent and all at the Troubadour. You’ve been and continue to be a shining, valuable, essential light for the music scene here. We love you, we thank you, we need you, and we’re so grateful for all that you’ve done and continue to do.
RICHIE STRELL has played harmonica on as many San Diego stages as anyone and wins the “Clean Limerick” award, even though I’m not convinced that’s a valid category.
From cool front page covers… to locally seen”
Jazz, roots and folk… and all in between
It brought us free” news
From bluegrass to blues
A toast to # 20… Troubadour magazine
JOHN HANCOCK is a photographer and keeper of the famous Musical Chair, which he has recently threatened to call out of retirement. In the meantime, here’s the “Five Copies for My Mother” award.
When I first started taking music photos of local musicians around town here in San Diego, Liz and the Troubadour were the first to share my photos. Seeing my photos in print not only gave me confidence but great exposure here in San Diego. I was eventually able to start photographing for other publications and websites both locally and nationally. I was introduced to many of my musician friends, which eventually led to my Musical Chair series. I have had the great privilege of photographing several covers for the Troubadour and even appearing on one with a few of my fellow photographers. It was the local equivalent to being on the cover of the Rolling Stone. I hope to continue contributing to this local treasure for another 20 years! 
WILL EDWARDS is a singer-songwriter and Troubadour insider who has managed the website. “Perfect Antidote” would make a good band name but is the name of his award.
The Troubadour is the perfect antidote to the recent stressors weve all experienced. The Troub has always celebrated San Diegos common culture by getting to know people and helping to connect them with each other through music and art. Thanks for doing your valuable work!
BART MENDOZA has been doing music in San Diego since forever and has probably written more words about San Diego music than anyone. Here’s his 2012 cover story. We’ll give him the “Jewel in the Crown” award.
The Troubadour is a jewel in San Diego’s arts crown, an integral part of the music community. Personally, I love the in-depth articles and columns, but as a musician I also know the value of having such a great publication help get the word out about various gigs and projects. Two decades in print and online is an amazing feat; here’s hoping for at least 20 more. In the meantime, thanks to Liz and Kent, Lyle and Ellen for all the help and support over the years. San Diego wouldn’t be the same without you!
ALLISON ADAMS TUCKER is so much more than a jazz singer as we see in her 2017 cover story; she is also winner of the “Ebb and Flow” award.
Im delighted to sing the praises of the Troubadour and of Liz Abbotts unwavering promotion of our local music community over the years. I feel fortunate that my hometown San Diego has such a magazine—supporting the ebb and flow of this this beautiful music family and focusing on the voice. As an indie artist who has handled my own press and publicity for national and international tours, the Troubadour is the only magazine Ive encountered of its kind, catering personally to the artist and bringing cross-genre artists together with our voice at the center. Thank you Liz and Troubadour team for all you do to keep the music flowing in San Diego!
MARTY KATZ is a musician, song circle host, and owner of more books on Dylan, Dead, and Guthrie than any library in San Diego. He takes the prize for “Gratuitous Use of Gaudy Verbiage.”
I really enjoy seeing photos of people I know in the Troubadour as well as learning about talent that I wasn’ previously aware of. There certainly is a plethora of talent in San Diego (as well as people who just enjoy making music).
SIMEON FLICK is a musician and writer and winner of our “Deviant” award (see below). Here’s his Raider of the Lost Arts column and his 2017 cover story.
As a singer/songwriting musician and freelance writer, I owe a great deal of whatever success I’ve enjoyed in San Diego to Liz Abbott and her monthly paper. She gave me my first press clipping when the review of my first solo CD was published in the Troub’s back pages in 2004, and has had most of my subsequent releases also reviewed, even despite having slowly, drastically deviated from the genres listed in the masthead.
 I began writing CD reviews myself, followed shortly thereafter by articles and cover stories (and also got invaluable web design experience by being a photo editor for the online presence for a stretch), and started penning what I call my “Old Man” column––Raider of the Lost Arts––in December of last year.
The importance of those published writing experiences to my professional development cannot be overstated, as I would be hard-pressed to think of another media outlet in San Diego that would’ve taken a chance on a writer/journalist with no prior experience or a related college degree, much less where I wasn’t already acquainted with someone on the inside.
My Raider column has just been picked up by fellow Troubadour affiliate Chuck Schiele and his Inside Cool music magazine, which has all bestowed the kind of professional cachet needed to successfully interview at another publication, if so desired.
I arrived in San Diego just before the Troubadour debuted in September 2001, so it’s an honor that my 20-year journey in America’s Finest City pursuing multiple long-term goals parallels Liz’s and the Troubadour’s. I salute my dear friend, Sista Lizzy Abbott, on her remarkable two-decade dedication and devotion to publishing coverage of a scene comprised of so many wonderful and talented (and otherwise overlooked) musicians and writers!
CHARLIE LOACH is a musician, longtime author of the Ask Charlie column and winner of the “Fishing for a Raise” award.
Ten years ago, I got the idea that I’d like to write about my experiences playing music. My friends Sven-Erik Seaholm and Peter Bolland were writing columns for the Troubadour, so I asked Sven who I should talk to about writing for the Troubadour. A couple days later I was sitting across a table from Liz Abbott at the Kensington Cafe. I told Liz that I had an idea about writing a column that would be intended for performing musicians, which would help them with the technical aspects of performing and with some personal anecdotes thrown in on occasion. As it turned out, Jim McInnes was giving up his Radio Daze column and she needed a columnist to take his place. She decided to take a chance on me. I think we’re both happy that she did. Best. Boss. Ever.
SANDE LOLLIS is the award-winning songwriter, performer, and front of Enter the Blue Sky band. She takes the “It’s Never Enough” award.
20 words is so not enough.
From the first time I met Kent and Liz, I was welcomed like family. We’ve shared drinks and coffee, and editing woes. I have appreciated the articles and reviews and photos through the years, you guys are the best!
GREGORY PAGE is one of the handful of performing songwriters who has made their mark internationally but still plays intimate shows for us in San Diego. He also has the most concrete reason for loving the Troubadour and so earns the “Where Am I Tonight?” award. Here are Five Questions and a 2006 cover story.
I love picking up the Troubadour paper each month to see who made the cover and also to find out where I am playing. Liz has no clue how many times I found out about my own shows by looking at the calendar section. I would always read José Sinatra’s column and, of course, the late great Lou Curtiss’ column. This paper is really important to me on many levels and it’s a great way to find out where I am performing each week in our beautiful city.
SHAWN ROHLF is a man that makes music from most anything with strings, and a man that makes things happen. Check out the 2010 cover story and the 2017 album review. Give Shawn a hand for getting the “This Guy Should Write for the Paper!” award.
The Troubadour has been the life blood of the San Diego roots music scene for the past 20 years, creating a supportive and inclusive community of musicians, artists, and music lovers alike. Liz Abbott is outstanding and unshakable in her dedication to keep things running through so many obstacles and incredible challenges. It is truly an amazing demonstration of love and passion for keeping the importance and power of music alive in San Diego. I am personally forever grateful for Liz, Kent, and the Duplessie family, and for their gift of appreciation and support they have given to all of us!
DAVE HUMPHRIES is at the top of San Diego’s very tall singer-songwriter heap—and a Beatle maniac to boot; here’s his 2018 cover story. He gets the “Don’t Forget the Parties!” award.
What can we say about the Troubadour? I feel that Liz and Kent, along with everyone connected to the Troub are San Diego treasures. The value of the paper (now online) to the music community here is immense and has been for years. It’s always fun getting to hear about all the wonderful acts here in town that you cannot get to see because you are out playing yourself and lots of information on the calendar if you can get out. Can’t forget the parties too, where you can mingle ‘til your heart’s content with other musos of varying styles.
 Thank You Liz and Kent for everything.
JIM McINNES is apparently known around the Troubadour for his Shenanigans, with a capital S; he earns our “Lessons Learned” award. Here’s a link to his Radio Daze column.
When the Troubadour was starting up Liz Abbott said that they needed writers, so I volunteered to write a column based on nothing but my experiences. I rarely, if ever, wrote about music. I wrote about my dog, about being on the radio, and about predicting the future, among other topics. It was fun for a while until the “pressure” of writing a monthly article finally forced me to hang up my word processor! In retrospect, I learned one important lesson…I am a terrible writer!
Thanks, Troubadour! I love you!!
BESTON BARNETT swings with the Zzymzzy Quartet, among other projects; here’s his 2014 cover story. He gets the “Best Thing Since Sunny Tacos” award.
Along with fish tacos and sunny winters, the Troubadour is surely one of the top perks of living in San Diego. The live music section of every paper in the country has shrunk to the size of a free google ad. Meanwhile, Liz and Kent know every working musician, they’ve listened to every new release, they’ve supported every fundraiser for a stolen guitar, and they’ve kept printing the only live music calendar left in town. Somehow, they make running a mom-and-pop music rag look fun. And the cover is in color! (sort of).
Long live the Troubadour!
PAUL HOMICZ is a bassist, member of Zzymzzy Quartet, and recurring Troubadour writer. Here, for example, is his cover article on Jeffrey Joe. We’ll give him the “Hey, What’s Wrong With Silly Kids Songs?” award.
From its very beginning, the San Diego Troubadour has focused on local musicians, the ones playing the clubs, cafes, and smaller concerts around town. It hasnt mattered that you may be a singer and guitarist who plays silly songs at childrens parties, Liz Abbott and the Troubadour will profile you. You might even be featured on the cover.
And although the banner of the Troubadour says that the publication concentrates on alternative country, Americana, bluegrass, folk, and other down-home music, the scope of the publication goes far beyond that. Features have covered classical music, such as the chamber ensemble Camarada, and rock bands from generations ago, like the Doors.
MARCIA CLAIRE is a bass player for the stars, a member of the Liz Abbott Mutual Mischief Society, and wins our “Never Too Late” award. Here’s her 2007 cover story.
The Troubadour has served the music community not only as a wonderful resource for San Diego musicians but as a conduit for musicians to meet, collaborate, and network with musicians from other genres. The Troubadour is a multitasker! Hope Im not too late!
JT MORING produces songs of uncertain originally, Troubadour columns of dubious worth, and videos of questionable entertainment value.
Here’s a song he wrote for the Troubadour. Very clever!

The San Diego Troubadour 20th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Fundraiser will take place on Sunday, December 12, 5pm-midnight at Tango Del Rey, 3367 Del Rey St. (off Mission Bay Drive). Headlining the show are the Whitney Shay Band with Laura Chavez, the Shawn Rohlf Band, Sue Palmer & her Motel Swing Orchestra, Chuck Schiele’s Quatro, and the Charlie Arbelaez Jazz Quartet. All free with your donation.
Rather than a potluck, three food trucks will provide a variety of yummy food. A jam circle around the fire pit outside welcomes anyone interested to join in and play. In addition, 20th anniversary t-shirts will be available for purchase. Various CDs, including the Troubadour 10th Anniversary compilation CD, will be available for free and some for sale.
A reminder that this is our annual fundraiser, the only time of the year that we ask for your donations. Funds are used throughout the year to take care of unexpected expenses as well as paying writers, photographers, and staff, should we run short any given month.
Click here to pay by check or PayPal:
You can also donate by purchasing a VIP table for $100. Seats four. Seating, which is limited, is available on the floor or upstairs in the Mezzanine. Use the link above to reserve your table.
Editor’s note: Wow! Thank you to those who shared their thoughts. You’re very kind. This year has indeed been a banner year for the Troubadour, topped off by being awarded the Music Industry Award at the SDMA in August. With all this attention, I am extremely humbled. I grew up in the Midwest and we were raised not to make a big deal about anything and not to draw attention to ourselves. Ha!
In truth, we must acknowledge the fact that without Ellen and Lyle Duplessie, there would be no Troubadour. It was their idea and we helped execute its inauguration and continued years of production. It was so much fun when there was the four of us. You don’t really get to know and appreciate someone until you work with them and it was a great experience while it lasted. They will always have a special place in my heart.
I have to give a shout out to all the people who have contributed to the success of the Troubadour… columnists, writers, and photographers all. It feels like giant family and I am extremely grateful, especially since these are not paid nearly enough. Long live us all, indeed! Much love to all. —Liz Abbott

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