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Join us for a day of American Heritage Music on Sunday, October 8.
2016 Entertainment Line-Up
“Meredith Axelrod sings and plays guitar as if she really returned to the pre-mic days. We’re not talking revisionist copy of so and so from way back when; we’re talking as if we plucked an original out of the era and time-traveled…” – JL Stiles
Meredith Axelrod is multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence and drove it ahead. Ms. Axelrod learned to sing and play by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders, 78-rpm records, and from sheet music.
The dominant theme throughout her expansive repertoire, is that, whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources which were released between the 1890s and the 1930s. Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, her performances draw on many of the tools of musical scholarship. Part of the allure of old time music, indeed any music throughout the history of recorded music, is hearing the original recordings as played and sung by the original performers in their heyday, loving what they’re doing and doing it because it means something to them in that moment, never because of nostalgia, and Meredith brings the same unbridled passion, earnest devotion and candid vitality to all of her music. There’s nothing to dust off in her bag of reclaimed songs, as her resourceful arrangements and heartfelt renditions prove. In her care, the songs are unmistakably inspired, infectious and relevant. Meredith Axelrod is an example to herald, someone who has found possibility and joy in the treasures of cultural folklore amidst our loud and insistent pop culture noise. Learn more about Meredith here.
PETER FELDMANN & The Very Lonesome Boys
Peter Feldmann and the Very Lonesome Boys perform a wide variety of music, primarily in “traditional” bluegrass style, heavily influenced by old time Appalachian string music. Their repertoire ranges from Elizabethan-era ballads to Appalachian songs and breakdowns; from country blues to modern bluegrass and beyond. The band, widely recognized as one of the best in California, plays straight, unadulterated bluegrass, including high energy instrumentals and heartfelt singing.
Their sound can vary from unadulterated and exciting bluegrass music to the rich, warm blend of violin, mandolin and guitar. The group is led by Peter Feldmann, an award-winning vocalist, mandolin and guitar player, a recognized authority on the music and founder of the Santa Barbara Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention. Peter is joined by master-fiddler Blaine Sprouse, a first-rank performer in toplevel bluegrass bands. David West and Tom Lee, both founding members of the Cache Valley Drifters and consumate, nationally-known players, round out the group, with David doubling on banjo and guitar and Tom handling the stand-up bass.
Feldmann is a singer and multi-instrumentalist with many years’ performing experience throughout California and the West, Peter has been presenting bluegrass, folk, string band, and related musics since the early 1960’s, and is known as the founder of the Santa Barbara Old Time Music Front, and the original Bluebird Café in Santa Barbara, a music club highly influential on the Southern California Music scene. Peter’s tribute CD to Uncle Dave Macon, Grey Cat On The Tennessee Farm, was named to the nation’s Top Ten Bluegrass albums of 2005 by the Chicago Tribune. Learn more about Peter and his group here.
SAUSAGE GRINDER STRINGBAND
Sausage Grinder, Los Angeles’ all-natural hillbilly and country blues band, combines the traditional sounds of fiddle and banjo breakdowns with the low-down sound of country blues, topped off with a touch of ragtime and hillbilly jazz. The versatile acoustic ensemble features fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, jug, washboard, and a few odds and ends.
The band was formed in 2008 out of a desire to play this classic music “right” without being slavish imitators or academic lecturers. As old-time and blues fiddler Adam Tanner puts it, Sausage Grinder’s “reverence to the old 78s hasn’t restrained them from exploring even grimier nooks and crannies … unrestrained and impolite the Grinder’s performances are visceral and joyous — a blast from the past with a nod to the immediacy of the future!”
Band members of the Sausage Grinder Trio include Chris Berry, David Bragger and Susan Platz.
Sausage Grinder has performed at the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest, the Los Angeles Old Time Social, The Portland Old-time Music Gathering and has performed alongside many of today’s greatest old-time musicians including Alice Gerrard, Rafe & Clelia Stefanini, Compton & Newberry, Dan Gellert, Tracy Schwartz, Spencer & Rains and many others. The Grinders were also the featured wedding band on an episode of AMC’s Freakshow for the “Littlest Wedding!”
Thompsonia combines Eric and Suzy Thompson’s deep devotion to southern roots music with daughter Allegra’s fresh perspective, creating feel-good music that richochets between the rowdy and the sentimental, with an abundance of groove and a bit of a quirky edge. Suzy and Allegra’s genetically-matched vocals (dubbed “The Everly Sisters sound” by Geoff Muldaur) are featured, along with stellar lead playing from Eric on mandolin and guitar. In addition to the Cajun, blues and old-time music for which Eric and Suzy have long been acclaimed, the trio also performs witty originals alongside obscurities in styles ranging from rockabilly to hokum to Americana.
The Darling Brothers are San Diego’s newest old time group. Formed by Clinton Davis and Tim McNalley of the G Burns Jug Band, the duo balances rowdier jug band and rag tunes with more intimate five-string banjo stylings and songs of mountain players like Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Roscoe Holcomb, and Morgan Sexton. Davis, a multi-instrumentalist and native Kentuckian, rotates between banjo, harmonica, mandolin, piano, and fiddle, with the solid accompaniment of McNalley on guitar.
The Salt Martians (whose name refers to the Carpinteria Salt Marsh) are a Santa Barbara-based, all-acoustic bluegrass band, established in 2005. Ken Gaston (lead vocals and guitar) and Tim Mullins (banjo, dobro and harmony vocals) first performed together in the mid-Seventies at the legendary Bluebird Cafe. Aaron Douglas (string bass and harmony vocals) is our recovering rock and roll and rockabilly bass ace. Doug Toews (mandolin, lead and harmony vocals) is our newest member, bringing his over forty years of bluegrass knowledge and playing experience.
The Martians have performed at scores of venues over the last ten years, from the Santa Barbara Mission to the Parkfield Bluegrass Festival. Their combined talents give the Martians over 175 Earth years of playing experience. Their enjoyment of playing bluegrass music together — from Bill Monroe to the Byrds — is otherworldly!
Echo Mountain is an old-time string trio based out of Los Angeles. Peter Linden is an artist and plays banjo. Kyle McNally works in film and plays fiddle. Jonathan Shifflett is a journalist and plays guitar. Together they play square dances and farmers markets in the LA area and have been featured performers at the Watkins Family Hour. The collective vision of Echo Mountain is to build a repertoire that reflects the whole spectrum of the old-time tradition, playing each each fiddle tune and mountain ballad with new energy while remaining true to traditional style and form. Visit their Facebook page.
David is a leader in the Old-Time community and we are thrilled he has agreed to serve as Artistic Director.
He is a Los Angeles-based old-time musician, instructor and co-founder of Tiki Parlour Recordings. He is also the curator of The Old-Time Tiki Parlour. David was an itinerant street magician, collector of South Asian folk tales and filmmaker following his graduation from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Religious Studies. After inheriting his great-uncle’s fiddle, the obsession for old-time began.
After years of visiting with and studying old-time musicians including Mel Durham, Tom Sauber, Dan Gellert, Charlie Acuff, Benton Flippen, Clyde Davenport and Joe Thompson, David is a go-to-guru for learning old-time fiddle, banjo and mandolin. He has students all over the world and is in great demand as a workshop teacher at traditional music festivals. In addition to teaching, he has now started documenting the greatest living old-time musicians for future generations. David directs, shoots, records, edits and spearheads the vision of Tiki Parlour Recordings. David is also the director of the UCLA Old-Time String Band Ensemble. Read his articles in FolkWorks.
For more information about the Festival, contact email@example.com or call (805) 637-6783