Author Archives: Peter Cutler

Herb Benham’s piece in the Bakersfield Californian, June 27, 2014


Herb Benham: Folk music in Tehachapi cool way to spend hot day

By HERB BENHAM, Californian columnist

Recently I drove to Tehachapi for a concert at Fiddlers Crossing featuring Eric Andersen, a folk singer I’d first heard 40 years ago with his song “Violets of the Dawn.”

Forty years can be hard on anybody, but 40 years in the music business is not like sitting on comfortable patio furniture watching the sun set. Who knew whether Andersen would be upright, drug-ravaged or float in on a magic carpet ride. He was one of the early Greenwich Village singers, along with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger, and that was the last I’d heard of him.

A trip to Tehachapi was part of my summer strategy anyway. When you live in a hot place, it makes sense to have one; otherwise, you’re like a school of fish in a shrinking mud puddle.

The less experienced summerer thinks in large chunks, vacations so expansive they can block the sun.

That works if summer were two weeks rather than five months. A week in the mountains, 10 days at the beach, these are noble efforts. But you can’t run from a valley summer. Better to work with the heat, give it its due, respect its tenacity, bow to its ferocity and when it has let down its guard, sneak away for a few hours.

I left Bakersfield at 5 p.m., the temperature hovering around 100, my back sweaty, throat dry and prospects dimming.

When I reached Tehachapi 40 minutes later, it was in the low 80s, breezy and I felt like I had arrived at the gates of heaven with my best footwear.

I met friends at Kasagiri Restaurant, across the street from Fiddlers Crossing, described by owners Peter Cutler and Deborah Hand-Cutler as a “listening room.”

The Japanese food was good. I ordered tempura. I love tempura because you can disguise a piece of broccoli, shrimp or sweet potato in the light tempura batter and every bite is a surprise. It’s like opening a parade of presents Christmas morning.

After dinner, we walked across the street to the listening room. Scale is important, and to be able to walk from dinner to a concert is a pleasure.

Tehachapi is cute. At least downtown. The police station was close by and in case the old hippies began skirmishing, officers could stroll slowly across the street and gently separate the clashing tie-dyes.

The room at Fiddlers Crossing was cozy — 49 seats. It was like your living room with better stage lights and a sound board in the back operated by Peter that would make a grown audiophile drool. The kitchen, to the left, had tables and counters filled with cookies, cakes and freshly brewed coffee. It felt like Vermont, circa 1968.

A man stood in the back of the room wearing a black fedora. He wore the fedora in such a way that permanently eliminated it as future headwear for any man present.

No way that was Eric Andersen. That guy was supposed to be 71; this guy had an unlined face, looked 50 and as if he could bump Hugh Jackman from the cover of Men’s Health.

He adjusted the mike, strapped on his harmonica and started to play. After the first song, I wanted to call everybody I knew and tell them to drive to Tehachapi, drink in some fresh, mountain-washed, 80-degree air and listen to Eric Anderson play.

Garrison Keillor is a national treasure. So is Eric Andersen. I wanted to quit my job and follow him on the road, the next night at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica.

Great songs included “Foghorn,” “Thirsty Boots,” “Come to My Bedside My Darlin'” Blue Heart,” and “Sex with You.”

If you have iTunes, buy those songs now.

I shook his hand after the concert and told him he didn’t settle for cliches in his songwriting. He was polite but did not seem overly moved by my credentials. I rolled down the mountain in less than 40 minutes. Summer strategy, Tehachapi style.

Friday, October 24, 7:00pm– Freebo, singer-songwriter, with Ray Sodolsky, bass– $20.00



To folk, rock and blues musicians, Freebo is an icon. During a 30-year career, he provided the solid bass foundation for such artists as Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, Ringo Starr, Maria Muldaur, Neil Young and many other top names in blues and pop music As an in-demand bassest on stage and studio, he appeared on Saturday Night Live, Midnight Special, Muppets Tonight, and in concert with Spinal Tap. Over the last two decades, Freebo has also been reinventing himself as a compelling singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is now out front, giving inspiring and intimate concerts of songs that speak to the spiritual nature and yearnings of humanity.
Freebo will be making his third appearance at Fiddlers Crossing on Friday, October 24, at 7 pm, and will give a workshop the next day for guitar players and songwriters. Freebo leads a regular song-writing workshop in Bakersfield. He and his wife, Laurie, now make their home in California Hot Springs, in the foothills of the Southern Sierras.
Freebo says of his metamorphosis, “I never had any aspirations to be a songwriter,” but as I played with more and more people, I realized I had a lot of musical ideas, and as a bass player, I really couldn’t get them into the music. I finally realized that if I wanted to get these ideas out, the song was the place to do that.”
This yearning for more creative expression drove Freebo to begin a process of “deep inner discovery” and make the conscious decision to tackle the challenges of songwriting in middle age, at the height of his career. Now, more than 20 years later, he says that this creative process has taken him to “a much higher level as a human being.”
Perhaps it’s because he came to songwriting later in life that most of Freebo’s lyrics have a deep spiritual resonance. He sings about such things as the “inner angel” that guides him, about the end of a life well lived deserving “a standing ovation.” Audiences as Fiddlers Crossing have already given Freebo standing ovations.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased online at, or at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, or Lucky’s Barbershop. To reserve tickets or pay by phone, call 661-823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30p.m.
The workshop will run from 10 am to 1 p.m. and cost $35. Freebo calls it, “Singer/songwriter 202 – right hand and left hand guitar techniques and shortcuts.” The workshop is aimed particularly at singers who accompany themselves on guitar, as well as songwriters and guitarists in general.

Special combo deal: concert and workshop, only $40.00! Call to take advantage of this. (661)-823-9994.





Freebo’s bio is best stated by several writers who have reviewed his most recent CD, the aptly named “Something To Believe”….

PAUL ZOLLO, Songwriters On Songwriting: “Freebo is more than a beloved musician, he’s an institution. Most famous for the funkified precision and fluid soul of his bass playing for Bonnie Raitt, he’s also a longtime beloved studio cat, a musician’s musician, sought out for his greatness in the studio by everyone from Ringo and Dr. John to CSN, Joe Walsh, Aaron Neville, Maria Muldaur and the late great Willie DeVille. But Freebo is more than one of LA’s best players, as those in the know have known for a long time: he’s also a richly gifted and distinctive songwriter, as expressive in his writing as on a bass. If anyone has written a more poignant song about homelessness than “When There’s No Place Like Home”, I haven’t heard it yet. Because it’s aiming high, to write a song about a subject so hopeless without being hopelessly maudlin or cliché, so most songwriters don’t even try. Freebo does it with easy grace, as simple and right as the beautifully understated arrangement. It’s a song of kindred spirit, and it’s a remarkable amalgam of influences, as if Harold Arlen collaborated with Pete Seeger, a timelessly tuneful chorus with lyric of folk wisdom and compassion.”

Walt Falconer, “Listening to Freebo is like riding on a cumulus cloud of peaceful awareness. His songs are at once uplifting, while also serving as mini socio-economic history lessons interspersed with beautifully spiritual melodic love songs in his own cosmic blend of country/blues/folk/rock/soul ear-pleasing genre defying music”.

Janet Goodman, Music News Nashville: “Freebo’s intimate and go-down-easy personable vocals can tie in light-hearted fare, social commentary, and spiritual quest with love-sweet-love, and make it sound seamless”.

Russ Paris, “Standing Ovation is an astounding song which encompasses a profound view of life. It is destined to become a classic”.

Come see Freebo for yourself, and listen to this Folk/Rock/Blues legend and award winning singer/songwriter. You won’t be disappointed…and please, feel free to write your own review!





Saturday, December 20, 7:00pm “A Christmas Carol, read by Alex Zonn–$12.00

xmas-carol-zonnA Tehachapi Christmas tradition has found a new home this year. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” read by Tehachapi’s own Alex Zonn, will be presented twice at Fiddlers Crossing this month, on Saturday, December 20, at 7:00 pm and Sunday, December 21, at 3:00 pm.

First published in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” is the story of a bitter old miser named Ebeneezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit from the ghost of his former buisiness partner, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. It has delighted audiences in theatrical and film adaptations for well over a century.

Alex Zonn is well known to Tehachapi audiences, having appeared in a number of Tehachapi Community Theater productions including “The Lion in Winter,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and the fully staged production of  “A Christmas Carol.” He has also directed some of TCT’s productions. He is an accomplished actor and voiceover artist with many credits to his name.

Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased online at, or at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, or Lucky’s Barbershop. To reserve tickets or pay by phone, call 661-823-9994. Tickets to the readings are $12, and as always, coffee and goodies are included.  There are two shows being presented, Saturday, December 20, at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30pm sharp), and Sunday, December 21, at 3:00 pm (doors open at 2:30pm sharp).

Sunday, December 21, 3:00pm “A Christmas Carol”, read by Alex Zonn–$12.00



A Tehachapi Christmas tradition has found a new home this year. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” read by Tehachapi’s own Alex Zonn, will be presented twice at Fiddlers Crossing this month, on Saturday, December 20, at 7:00 pm and Sunday, December 21, at 3:00 pm.

First published in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” is the story of a bitter old miser named Ebeneezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit from the ghost of his former buisiness partner, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. It has delighted audiences in theatrical and film adaptations for well over a century.

Alex Zonn is well known to Tehachapi audiences, having appeared in a number of Tehachapi Community Theater productions including “The Lion in Winter,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and the fully staged production of  “A Christmas Carol.” He has also directed some of TCT’s productions. He is an accomplished actor and voiceover artist with many credits to his name.

Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased online at, or at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, or Lucky’s Barbershop. To reserve tickets or pay by phone, call 661-823-9994. Tickets to the readings are $12, and as always, coffee and goodies are included.  There are two shows being presented, Saturday, December 20, at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30pm sharp), and Sunday, December 21, at 3:00 pm (doors open at 2:30pm sharp).

Friday, June 1, 2018, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase, featuring Gary Stockdale, singer-songwriter, FREE EVENT (tips for the performers are encouraged)

Gary Stockdale 1


Gary Stockdale has an impressive resume:

Wonderful singer. Witty songwriter. Engaging performer. TV and film composer. Two EMMY nominations. A BMI award for music composition.

He plays piano and guitar. He has sung on many Henry Mancini movie scores. He has scored films for Roger Corman and others. He was an arranger for film composer Lalo Schifrin. He composed music for many Penn & Teller projects, as well as for television sitcoms including Sabrina the Teenage Witch.  He has sung on commercials, on TV and in films.

And then there’s his infectious grin.

Gary Stockdale will live up to his resume and then some when he returns to Fiddlers Crossing on Friday, June 1, at 7 p.m. as part of our First Friday Showcase series. This is a free event, tips for the performer are encouraged!

Music was part of his life growing up. His mother was a jazz singer before she gave it up to raise a family, and he sang in church choirs from an early age. Stockdale started piano lessons when he was only four, but in sixth grade, when the Beatles hit the airwaves, he switched to guitar.

He studied theater and music at Los Angeles City College, writing, performing, and directing the music for their shows. “After a time,” he said, “it became obvious that music was where my greatest abilities lay.”

Stockdale ignored his father’s advice to have something “to fall back on” other than show business. “I always figured if you have something to fall back on, if times get tough, you’ll fall back,” he said.  From college on, he was able to make a living in doing what he loved — either singing, playing music directing or writing music.

Stockdale’s singing credits range from being the solo singer on commercials for In-and-Out Burgers and singing a Paul McCartney sound-alike for a John Lennon miniseries on NBC, to creating “odd vocal sounds” in a chorus in the film “Avatar.” He said, “You can hear us most prominently in the scenes where the alien people are all sort of chanting and praying together.”

With a full body of work behind him, Stockdale now has the freedom to pursue his love of live performance, singing and playing piano and guitar. His songs are those of a man who sees the irony in life and is enjoying sharing it with his audience. Even his more serious songs have wit and humor in them.

And then there’s that grin….

The show begins at 7pm, doors open 6:30pm.

Fiddlers Crossing
206 E. F St.


Friday, August 3, 2018, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase, featuring Aireene Espiritu, FREE EVENT, tips for the performers are strongly encouraged



Aireene is a singer/songwriter playing mostly original songs accompanied by latin/african rhythms, folk, bluegrass pickings and inspirations from gospel music – a mix of stompin’, swayin’, and timeless Americana.

 She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at 10 years old, growing up in the third culture: the old country, the new country and a blend of both worlds. Mainly influenced by listening to Alan Lomax’s field recordings from the South and growing up listening to her uncles’ Filipino folk guitar fingerpicking, her music is reminiscent of front porch storytelling, of ghosts and the living, times of laughter and tears. She tours solo as well as with her band as Aireene & The Itch, a mix of San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles musicians.

“This is our jaw dropping act of the season…she gathered some of the best musicians in town around her…She has taken off like a rocket ship and everyone is suddenly in love with the music and show of Aireene Espiritu…You might like to say, “Remember When” a short way up the musical road.”  – Bob Stane, The Coffee Gallery Backstage

“Espiritu’s vocal range tells the story, eliciting the invincibility of a young Dolly Parton and blue-collar work ethic of Loretta Lynn.” – Adam Joseph, Monterey County Weekly

“Espiritu’s penchant for songs that sound like they came off a 78 rpm record, listeners will be swept away.” – Good Times Weekly, Santa Cruz CA

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 7pm, Nicole Stromsoe, with Dorian Michael, guitar and Ken Hustad, bass, eclectic, old-soul, jazz, folk & blues $20.00

This show is sold out.

Fiddlers Crossing is celebrating its ninth anniversary this month. The downtown venue opened on April 17, 2010 to present acoustic music styles, from folk and bluegrass to Celtic, old-time, singer-songwriters, acoustic blues and Americana. Along the way, the venue has ventured beyond the boundaries of traditional “folk club” fare, presenting performers who have blurred the lines between folk, jazz, blues, rock and more. The boundaries will stretch outward once again on Saturday, April 20, as singer Nicole Stromsoe , accompanied by Dorian Michael, guitar and Ken Hustad, upright bass, comes to Tehachapi to present her eclectic brand of jazz, old soul, folk and blues.

As the daughter of renowned silversmith, Randy Stromsoe, Nicole grew up in the coastal village of Cambria, California with the sound of hammers accompanying an ever-playing stereo system. Music was revered in her household and she was introduced to a wide spectrum of musical artists and styles in her early years. Some of Stromsoe’s earliest memories include imitating every nuance of singer Ella Fitzgerald on an album of Gershwin songs at age five and playing a collection of Atlantic Soul Classic hits over and over again, studying one of her childhood singing favorites, Barbara Lewis.

She began singing in choirs at the age of eight and, during her high school years, assembled a jazz quartet. With her ever-increasing focus on music, she transferred to the Idyllwild Arts Academy and started seriously studying classical vocal technique, arias and art songs. While studying in Siena, Italy, Stromsoe became interested in jazz after hearing a quartet perform in a neighborhood alcove.

Returning to California’s Central Coast, she continued her musical education at Cuesta College while starting to perform locally as a jazz vocalist. Eventually, she decided to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. It was there, that she was re-introduced to the folk, Americana and roots music styles she heard as a child, mixing with the hammers of her father’s silversmith work. Stromsoe then began to incorporate these influences into her repertoire, creating an eclectic array of jazz, blues, old r &b, folk and roots music.

Of Nicole Stromsoe, jazz guitarist, Graham Dechter has said, “she effortlessly draws from her musical influences and presents her listeners with a sound and style that is soulful, authentic and uniquely her own”. “Her voice is over the moon with stunning emotion, depth, range and timbre. Nicole gives me goosebumps when she sings”, says Jacalyn Kreitzer, mezzo-soprano and vocologist.

Fiddlers Crossing will begin its tenth year with a concert that definitely breaks new musical ground for the venue with the appearance of Nicole Stromsoe on April 20. It promises to be a very special evening, indeed!



“A vocalist with a strong command of a wide variety of genres including jazz, blues and folk, Nicole Stromsoe effortlessly draws from her musical influences and presents her listeners with a sound and style that is soulful, authentic and uniquely her own.”

—   Graham Dechter, Jazz Guitarist


“Her voice is over the moon with stunning emotion, depth, range and timbre. Nicole gives me goosebumps when she sings. ”

—   Jacalyn Kreitzer, Vocologist & Mezzo-Soprano


Friday, May 3, 2019, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase, featuring Cej, singer-songwriter, FREE EVENT, tips encouraged


Cej, aka Carl Johnson, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has been composing songs and instrumental pieces for 50+ years. Most recently, he was lead guitarist for the Joel Rafael Band (1994-2004), along with band mates Joel Rafael, Jamaica Rafael and Jeff Berkley.

Prior to that he was lead guitarist and song writer with:

Small Talk, 1980-82 (Small Talk album released on MCA Records, 1981);

Rock Rose, 1978-80 (Rock Rose album released on Columbia Records, 1979);

The Frisco Kids, 1971-78 (unsigned but lots of fun…may share demos someday, aka “The Flyers” and “Jungle” briefly); and

Sweet Pain, 1969-71 (United Artists Records, 1971).

During the “quiet years”,1983-93 and 2004-Present, Cej trained and worked as a Clinical Social Worker, traveling extensively; and, continued to play and compose music, when work and family life allowed, even sneaking in a few solo performances at house concerts in the Los Angeles area.

Born in Chicago (while Truman was in his second term and the Korean War was raging), his family moved to Southern California before Cej’s first birthday. They settled in the San Gabriel Valley, which was still an active agricultural area at the time (primarily Citrus, Dairy and Avocados). Highway 10 was still under construction and did not yet fill the 30 mile span to Los Angeles.

Taking up the classical violin at age 6, Cej abandoned this instrument a few years later, switching to guitar after falling in love with Folk Music (and Joan Baez) in 1960. The next several years were spent immersed in the thrill of learning new songs and musical styles, meeting other local musicians and beginning to write. During this time, the electric guitar made it’s way (via the blues) into Cej’s tool box. After a year and half as a music major at the local community college, Cej was offered the opportunity to join a new band, lured by hopes of a pending record deal. That band would become Sweet Pain, setting the course of his next several years as a professional musician (construction worker, laborer, ranch hand, grape picker, painter…).

Over the course of his career, in rough chronological order, Cej has shared the stage with Linda Ronstadt, Doug Kershaw, Gabor Szabo, Seals and Crofts, Dave Mason, Chuck Berry, Rodney Crowell, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Odetta, Richie Havens, Eric Anderson, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Steve Earle, Crosby Stills and Nash, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, John Trudell, Ben Harper, Joel Rafael, Jimmy LaFave and Jackson Browne.

For the record: “Cej” (say “siege”) is a childhood nickname recently revived as the artists “handle” for reasons both practical and personal.



Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7:00pm Dan Navarro singer-songwriter $20.00


Fiddlers Crossing has presented a wide range of acoustically-based music in its nine years in downtown Tehachapi. From traditional folk styles to contemporary acoustic pop, Americana, country, acoustic blues, Celtic, bluegrass and, recently, jazz, soul and r & b with singer, Nicole Stromsoe, the venue has covered a lot of musical ground. One genre that has been well represented over the years is that of the contemporary “singer-songwriter”. There are many out there these days, each with their own particular point of view, style, and approach to the art of song. On Saturday, May 11, the  venue will present one of the very best of the current crop of singer-songwriters, Dan Navarro.

Based in Los Angeles, Navarro began playing guitar and writing songs when he attended UCLA, starting in in 1969. After college he sought a career in the music business, achieving his first success when outlaw country singer Rusty Wier recorded his song “I think it’s Time (I learned How to Let Her Go)” in 1976. The following year, he landed a job as a singing waiter at a West Hollywood restaurant, leaving for a time to tour with Severin Browne. When he returned, he found that he had been replaced at the restaurant by fellow singer-songwriter, Eric Lowen. The two, eventually, became good friends and began writing and performing together.

After several years of performing locally without getting a record deal, Lowen and Navarro first gained recognition when Pat Benatar recorded their song, “We Belong” in 1984. The song was issued as a single and peaked at number five in the Billboard top one-hundred in January of 1985. After that, the duo had a string of songs in films, including “Police Academy 4”, “Casual Sex”, “Roxanne” and more. Lowen and Navarro were brought in as writers for the Bangles’ album, “Everything” in 1988, and co-wrote “Something to Believe in” along with David White and Michael Steele and “I’ll set you Free with White and Susanna Hoffs. Another song, “Everything I Wanted” eventually turned up on “The Bangles Greatest Hits” and went platinum in 1990. They also wrote for Dave Edmunds, Dionne Warwick. The Temptations and many more.

By the late 1980’s Lowen and Navarro were performing regularly around LA and were considered part of the “Nu-Folk” movement of the time. They ended up releasing twelve albums between 1990 and 2008. Tragically, Eric Lowen was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2004. The duo was able to continue to record and perform until 2009 when Lowen’s condition forced him to retire. He passed in 2012.

In addition to songwriting and performing, in 1988, Navarro began singing Spanish advertising jingles, which led to vocals in film and television, voice-overs for commercials and, later, character work in animated features and series. His singing and voice credits include Roxanne, The Emperor’s New Groove, Happy Feet, The Lorax, The Book of Life, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Coco, Family Guy and American Dad. His songs have appeared in Deadpool 2, Pitch Perfect 2, Blue Valentine, One Tree Hill and The Office.

Dan Navarro has continued to record and tour solo in recent years. He released a solo album, “Shed My Skin”, in 2018, which reached Top ten at the NACC Folk chart in August of 2018. He also serves as National Recording Artists / Singers VP for SAG-AFTRA, and has served on the boards of Folk Alliance International, The Recording Academy’s LA Chapter, Levitt Pavilions LA and Pasadena, and as an Advisory Trustee to the ALS Association’s Golden West Chapter.

He thinks sleep is for babies and is a known abuser of acoustic guitars. “I love my job. It’s crazy but I love it”, says Navarro.





Saturday, June 8, 2019, 7:00pm, John Gorka, singer-songwriter $25.00


Online tickets sold out!


Mention John Gorka to anyone who has heard him and the response is immediate: “Where and when is he playing and how do I get a ticket?!”

The short answer is: Fiddlers Crossing, Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m. This will be Gorka’s second appearance at the downtown venue, the first being back in 2014.

Among the acoustic singer-songwriters, Gorka is generally considered to be one of the brightest stars. His songs have been covered by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith, Mary Black, Bill Morrissey and Suzanne Vega, among many others, and performed at Open Mic nights by many an aspiring musician. Whether it’s a song about the “Land of the Bottom Line,” “Italian Girls,” or one sung from the point of view of a tree, Gorka offers wry, slice-of-life observations that put his college major in philosophy to good use.

Originally from New Jersey, Gorka attended Moravian College in eastern Pennsylania in the 1970s, living in the basement of a small coffee house, Godfrey Daniels, and acting as resident MC and sound man.  There, he was introduced to such songwriters as Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt, and began performing his own songs as an opening act. It wasn’t long before he was traveling to play in New York City, Boston and the Texas Kerrville Folk Festival, where he won the New Folk Award in 1984.  With his beautiful, soulful baritone voice and his original take on life in his songs, those top tier acoustic musicians who had inspired him soon became his peers.

Gorka now lives with his wife and children in Minnesota, and tours regularly in the US and Europe. He has released fourteen albums and has appeared on CNN, Austin City Limits, A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, FolkScene, and other TV and radio programs.




Sunday, June 16, 2019, 2:00pm, “Concerts in the Park”, featuring Ticket To Ride, Beatles tribute band. FREE concert at Philip Marx Central Park, Tehachapi, presented by TVRPD in association with Fiddlers Crossing, Lehigh Cement and MusicMX Entertainment




Get Ready! The Beatles are returning to Tehachapi! As the kick-off for this year’s “Concerts in the Park” series, Beatles tribute band, “Ticket to Ride” will take the stage at Philip Marx Central Park in downtown Tehachapi on Sunday, June 16 at 2pm for a free concert. Bring your picnic lunches and lawn chairs and get transported back to the 1960’s with all the great Beatles hits everyone loves! This group will make you think you are actually watching The Beatles. Jeff Toczynski is Paul, Howard Pattow is John, Jimmy Pou is George and Mike Sarafian is Ringo. Ticket to Ride has been touring internationally since 1999 and features some of the best Beatles impersonators in the country.

For years, summer in Tehachapi meant Sunday afternoons in Central Park, gathering together and listening to an eclectic mix of music. The program was put on by the Arts Coalition of Tehachapi (ACT) and sponsored by the City of Tehachapi and local businesses. When ACT disbanded, the concerts series eventually ended, as well.

This concert, as well as two others scheduled for July 14 and August 4, are being presented by Tehachapi Valley Recreation and park District (TVRPD) in association with Fiddlers Crossing and MusicMX Entertainemnt. The concert series is sponsored by Lehigh Cement.

As in the former Concerts in the Park series, donations will be welcome and opportunities given to win door prizes and gift cards donated by local merchants and restaurants.

Mark your calendars for June 16, 2pm.  “Ticket to Ride” is sure to start out “Concerts in the Park” with a bang!




Sunday, July 14, 2019, 2:00pm, “Concerts in the Park”, Phil Salazar and The Kinfolk, FREE concert at Philip Marx Central Park, Tehachapi,presented by TVRPD in association with Fiddlers Crossing, Lehigh Cement and MusicMX Entertainment


The second of three free Summer “Concerts in the Park” will feature Bluegrass-Fusion band, Phil Salazar and The Kinfolk. The Ventura-based group will take the stage at Philip Marx Central Park in downtown Tehachapi on Sunday, July 14 at 2pm. Bring your picnic lunches and lawn chairs and enjoy an afternoon of high-energy acoustic Americana.

This concert, as well as one more featuring The Novelists scheduled for August 11 are being presented by Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District (TVRPD) in association with Fiddlers Crossing and MusicMX Entertainment. The concert series is sponsored by Lehigh Cement and Grimmway Farms.

Formerly known as The Phil Salazar Band, The Kinfolk have been playing together since 1983. While their style is mainly Bluegrass, the five-piece band draws from a wealth of other genres, including folk, traditional Americana, Celtic, Jazz, Country and Cowboy. With Salazar in charge, the show is guaranteed to be full of humor, good times and great music.

Phil Salazar is a popular teacher in Ventura, CA. A fiddle champ, he is a teacher of many others who became fiddle champs. Phil has recorded on his own and with his Bands, included the Acousticats, and with such stars as Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kenny Loggins, Kate Wolf, Gilles Apap, and many more. Bob Weir said of  Salazar that “he never met a tune he couldn’t instantly enhance.”
The Kinfolk include other “A” list musicians. On mandolin and guitar is former Acousticats member Tom Corbett Corbett has also toured with John McEuen and many others.Bassist Rick Borella, also a former Acousticat, has been playing around the Santa Barbara area for 40 years. Of Banjo player Bill Knopf, it is said that “he has played with almost everybody and has taught the rest.” Bill Flores rounds out the band, on dobro, mandolin, guitar, steel guitar and more. He has played with a wide variety of musicians, including Wanda Jackson, Lowell Fulsom, Big Joe Turner, Rosie Flores and many more.

Phil Salazar and The Kinfolk are “not your father’s” Bluegrass band. They bend and stretch the genre to create a new, free-spirited, often wild, style of their own. Mark your calendars for July 14 at 2pm in Philip Marx Central Park and prepare for a rollicking afternoon of “Bluegrass, Swing and Mayhem”!




Saturday, July 27, 2019, 7:00pm The Kick Stomp Ensemble, (aka Quel Bordel) “Edgy folk with world and punk influences” $20.00

Summer is the time for fun and travel, and the Kick-Stomp Ensemble should bring plenty of both when they bring their wild mixture of edgy folk, punk and world music to Fiddlers Crossing on Saturday, July 27.  The travel, of course, will be a musical journey throughout the world — spanning many cultures, traditions and languages. This eclectic quartet will even take us to a cantina in a galaxy far, far away, playing a popular tune on the banjo. Be prepared, however, for a world slightly twisted and perhaps even upside down!

The band was formed in 2013, when a Ukrainian and two Filipino brothers joined forces in San Diego with a punk rock drummer. Under the name, Quel Bordel, and with a slightly different configuration, these young musicians have toured Europe and the United States multiple times, and played numerous festivals.

As Kick-Stomp Ensemble, the group consists of Jake Skolnick, guitar and vocals, Aaron de la Rosa, banjo, guitar and vocals, Allen de la Rosa, bass guitar and Nick Sitar, drums.

The Kick-Stomp Ensemble is ready to rev up a little mid-summer madness at Fiddlers Crossing.

Tickets may be purchased at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barbershop, or online at For reservations, call (661) 823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included.  The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. sharp.



Sunday, August 11, 2019,2:00pm, “Concerts in the Park”, featuring The Novelists, Indie Folk-Pop, FREE concert at Philip Marx Central Park, Tehachapi,presented by TVRPD in association with Fiddlers Crossing, Lehigh Cement and MusicMX Entertainment


The third and final show in this Summer’s “Concerts in the Park” series will feature Indie folk-pop-rock band, The Novelists. The Reno, Nevada-based group will take the stage at Philip Marx Central Park in downtown Tehachapi on Sunday, August 11 at 2pm.

The concert is being presented by Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District (TVRPD) in association with Fiddlers Crossing and MusicMX Entertainment and is sponsored by Lehigh Cement and Grimmway Farms.

The Novelists are aptly named. “A lot of what we do tends to be story songs or soundtrack songs, where it’s either a story itself or it’s setting the mood for a scene of some sort,” keyboardist Eric Andersen says. “It tends to be a theme that sort of naturally comes up.”

Strong vocals with thick harmonies combined with masterful arrangements and musicianship are other standout qualities of the band. These are immediately evident in their original material as well as their highly original takes on some familiar songs by iconic artists including Toto, Tears For Fears, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, Genesis and more.

The quartet consists of Joel Ackerson (acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, and vocals), Eric Andersen (keyboards and vocals), Dave Strawn (bass and vocals) and Greg Lewis (drums and vocals). The members have been playing together in one combination or another going back a decade, having grown up in the busy Reno music scene. They have released two albums and an EP since 2012.

The Novelists songs and performances are marked by intensity and emotional honesty.
Daryl Stuermer, of  Genesis, says of The Novelists, “this is a band with lots of heart”.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 11 at 2pm in Philip Marx Central Park!
Bring your picnic lunches and lawn chairs and enjoy an afternoon of vivid musical storytelling with The Novelists.


Friday, August 23, 2019, 7:00pm, The Fire, “Blazing Scottish Music”,Mountain Bible Church, 630 Maple St., Tehachapi, $25.00

Fiddlers Crossing has presented a wide range of acoustically-based music styles since its opening in 2010. From traditional folk to contemporary Americana, bluegrass, acoustic blues, old-time American dance music, singer-songwriters to jazz and even world-punk, with the recent appearance of Kick Stomp Ensemble. One of the mainstays of the venue has also been Celtic music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and many other areas in Europe and parts of Canada. The music, with its driving rhythms, irresistible melodies and obvious passion, mesmerizes audiences everywhere. In keeping with Fiddlers Crossing’s policy of bringing to Tehachapi the best this musical genre has to offer, the venue will present The Fire, a Santa Cruz-based trio that performs, what they call, “Blazing Scottish music”. The group will perform on Friday, August 23, at 7pm at Mountain Bible Church, located at 630 Maple St. in Tehachapi.

Those who have attended any of the “Winterdance” concerts presented locally every December since 2014, will immediately recognize David Brewer, the high-energy, virtuoso bagpiper , flute, whistle and bodhran player of the group, Molly’s Revenge, featured in that show. He has toured with Scottish super-group Old Blind Dogs and the aforementioned Molly’s Revenge across the U.S, The U.K., Canada, China and Australia. He’s been a special guest of the six-time Grammy award winning group The Chieftains, and was a key musician for the sound track of the PBS documentary, “Andrew Jackson, Good, Evil, and the Presidency’.

Playing fiddle in The Fire is Rebecca Lomnicky. Originally from Corvallis, Oregon, Rebecca began playing classical violin and piano at age five, discovering Scottish fiddle music a few years later. She’s won numerous Scottish fiddle competitions over the past 14 years and recorded her first CD, “The Call”, back in 2006, which Dirty Linen Magazine called “technically masterful and wonderfully melodic”. In 2014, she graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a double major in music and socio-cultural anthropology and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Providing the rhythmic backbone on guitar and bouzouki, is Adam Hendey, a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has performed in Ireland, across the U.K. and U.S.. He’s played and studies with members of Lunasa, Flook and Molly’s Revenge. Hendey graduated from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon with majors in music and philosophy and has recently attained a masters degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying traditional music and specializing in guitar performance.

The Fire has performed their “Blazing Scottish Music” on stages throughout the U.S, the U.K and Ireland. On August 23, they will ignite in Tehachapi.



Friday, September 6, 2019, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase, featuring J.C. Hyke, Country singer-songwriter, Free admission, tips for the performer encouraged


   J.C. Hyke is a singer songwriter who now lives in Santa Clarita, CA.   J.C. has a rich, traditional country voice and plays acoustic rhythm guitar.  He has a fantastic repertoire of original music and a highly acclaimed debut album.  J.C. and his band “The Gambling Scarecrows” opened for 2 major country acts, Brad Paisley and Montgomery Gentry, while living in the Seattle area from ’04 – ’09.

     Born in Dallas, Texas, and then moving to Pasadena, CA, he spent most of his childhood taking piano lessons and playing sports. At the age of 20, he learned to play acoustic guitar, and soon after learning his first 3 chords, he wrote his first song.  He has been fine tuning his craft ever since and truly loves country music.

     He moved to Nashville in September 2001, to take his career to the next level as a songwriter and as a recording artist.  J.C. took classes, workshops, and studied with some of music row’s best writers and producers.  His style is new traditional country, in the likes of George Strait, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, and Kenny Chesney. He has been a member of the Songwriters Guild of America, the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, and ASCAP.  He performed in Nashville at the world famous Blue Bird Café, The Broken Spoke, Legends, The Hall of Fame Lounge, and The Boardwalk Café.

      JC ‘s debut album Fallin‘ was recorded mostly in Nashville with top music row musicians.  He has released the following singles since his debut album:  “The Tip Jar Song” (2012),  which has become a fan favorite in bar rooms around the country. “White Picket Fence” (2013)  was played worldwide on over 300 radio stations.  The new single is “Your Heart’s in Good Hands” (July 2016).  This is JC’s first ballad released as a single and it’s a beautiful romantic, slow dancing song.

        JC has two wonderful adult daughters, Shelby & Kylie.  He is now married to his wife Marissa and they have a handsome little son Jaxon (age 3 ),  and a beautiful daughter Lyla (age 1).

        He continues writing and pitching his songs to music row, and TV/Film.   JC  performs live around Southern California, and is making new loyal fans whenever he plays his original music.

Saturday, September 14, 2019, 7:00pm, Dana Hubbard, Blues-influenced singer-songwriter $20.00

The Blues comes in numerous shades, and Fiddlers Crossing has presented many of them over the years. Dana Hubbard occupies one shade all by himself. He will be in concert at Fiddlers Crossing, Saturday, September 14, at 7 p.m. This will be his second appearance at the downtown venue.

Hubbard is a master of the blues guitar. Using a slide on his little finger, he gets more sounds out of one guitar and two hands than seems humanly possible.  Hubbard has won award after award in the blues genre. He has performed with or opened with some of the greats of blues, jazz and folk, including, Sam Bush, David Wilcox, Greg Allman, Etta James, David Lindley and Little Feat.

Hubbard is a native Californian, born and raised on the Central Coast. He attended UC Santa Cruz only long enough to finish an elective course on country blues. Then, he hit the road and never looked back.  He started the way many acoustic musicians start, by busking on the streets, in his case Berkeley and San Francisco. Eventually, he put together his own band, The Delta Twisters, playing blues clubs for more than a decade. He moved on to an electric guitar for a while, playing bigger venues and theaters.

He returned to the acoustic guitar with his second album and is a virtual one-man band on the instrument. Hubbard’s guitar playing has been called “amazing to watch and a joy to listen to.” You hear the bass and the backbeat rhythm along with the melody and chords, and look around in vain for his backup guitar player. He does all this while singing his own songs, often addressing social or environmental issues with a twinkle in his eye and a blues man’s grin.



“…a cross between Bruce Cockburn and Jorma Kaukonen.” 
Andre de Channes, host of “Thursday Night Live” -KRSH 95.9 FM Santa Rosa, CA

First Place Winner TELLURIDE BLUES & BREWS FESTIVAL Acoustic Competition (Colorado, 2009)

First Place Winner INDIE INTERNATIONAL Songwriting Contest-Folk/Acoustic (Spring/Summer 2009)

First Place Winner AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL-Musician Showcase (California, 2010).

Honorable Mention WOODYFEST Songwriting Contest (Oklahoma, 2012).


Friday, September 27, 2019, 7:00pm, Lisa Sanders and Brown Sugar, soulful country blues, folk, Americana duo, $20.00

Summer is ending and Fall is in the air, as the expression goes. While Summer is always full of fun and excitement, the Autumn season seems to encourage a bit more personal reflection and soul-searching as the year winds down. Accordingly, Fiddlers Crossing’s concert schedule for the end of September and October will reflect the mood of the season with a series of singer-songwriters, each having their own unique approach. The first concert, on Friday, September 27, features   Lisa Sanders and Karen “Brown Sugar” Hayes, with their blend of soulful country-blues, folk, gospel and Americana.

Sanders spent some of her childhood in Philadelphia before the family moved to California. She has appeared in Tehachapi once before, in a special BeeKay concert, “ Night of The Lisas”, produced Gary Mazzola in 2009.

She knew she wanted to be a songwriter at the age of 14, though it wouldn’t become a reality for ten more years.

“I thought I might like to be a dental assistant,” she says, laughing. “I hated it!”

She tried a number of other jobs — fast food, grocery store, windshield repair, bartender, door-to-door sales, landscaping, and woodworking – but finally decided to pursue her dream of songwriting. She began to write and perform in the San Diego area, where she now lives.
“I started listening to music from a very early age”, says Sanders. “We had Motown records and always had music on. Music has always been something that stops me, wherever I am.”

Still, for Sanders, the urge to perform her songs for an audience was slow in coming.

“I loved to write but I didn’t think I was a good singer, and I was extremely shy. But I found that when I opened my mouth to sing, people felt what I was singing about.  It was about what I was saying and how I was saying it.  I took that lesson from Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. They aren’t exceptional singers, but they have voices that people listen to.”
She started performing at Java Joe’s in San Diego, where singer-songwriters Jewel, Jason Mraz and Steve Poltz all started. Her first CD, “Isn’t Life Fine” was released in 1997, with seven more in the years since.  A new one, “Daughters of the Rising Tide” is expected in 2020.
Sanders first met Karen “Brown Sugar” Hayes back in high school. Later in life they met again when their children were in the same class in school. They became best friends. Neither one of them realized then that one day they would be a “couple of moms writing together and performing all across the country.” They have since become a musical powerhouse, opening for Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, BB King, Al Green and many others.
Lisa Sanders and “Brown Sugar” are a compelling duo on stage. The songs are honest, direct and aimed straight for the heart.  Sanders’s textured vocals are full of life experience. Hayes’s well-chosen and soulful harmonies add further depth and intensity. Her on-stage relationship with Sanders adds humor and some spice to the show. As one reviewer put it, Hayes “has large, mischievous eyes that suggest she knows something she’s not telling.”

On performing together Sanders says, “She is my muse. Having Karen sing with me is like heaven.”


Friday, October 4, 2019, 7:00pm, Jackie Bristow, singer-songwriter with Mark Punch, guitar $20.00

Last July, Fiddlers Crossing was visited by its first performers from “down under”. Singer songwriter Jackie Bristow from Gore, New Zealand accompanied by guitarist, Mark Punch from Sydney, Australia played to a packed house at the downtown music venue. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that the duo was immediately booked for a return performance on Friday, October 4 of this year.

Jackie Bristow’s singing career began at the age of eight, when she took a shine to church hymns at St. Mary’s Primary School, inspired by her music teacher Walter Hailes.  Encouraged by their grandmother, piano teacher Molly Scully, Jackie and her younger sister Katrina entered Gore’s Gold Guitar awards as children. By the time she was 11, the duo was sweeping up a string of awards in various categories. By the age of 14, the “Bristow Sisters” were gigging regularly throughout the South Island. Around this time, she began to mine her parents’ record collection, discovering classic songs from Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt and even “Solid Gold Hits”!

Bristow began to write her own songs, a secret passion that would remain hidden from the world for the next seven years. After high school, she enrolled in the Invercargill Polytechnic Music School, where she hooked up with local musicians. She spent the next 18 months singing regularly in pop and cover bands all around New Zealand. She had, by then, immersed herself in the music of Rickie Lee Jones, Bonnie Raitt and Crowded House.

Performing was fun, but Bristow could no longer ignore the desire to write and perform her own material, which had been growing steadily since leaving Invercargill in 1994. She went to Sydney, Australia, where she gradually wrote, recorded and performed her original songs, playing late-night bar gigs to empty rooms, saving pennies and working as a nanny to make ends meet. It was in Sydney that she met her, now longtime, friend, guitarist-producer Mark Punch, who provided her with great perspective and the musical career guidance she had been missing up until then.

Bristow has shared the stage with many of her musical heroes, including Bonnie Raitt, The Steve Miller Band, Foreigner, John Oates, Joe Ely, Madeleine Peyroux, Tommy Emanuel and more.

Her performances have captivated audiences and reviewers alike. One reviewer of her show on the Tommy Emmanuel tour wrote: “Bristow was relaxed as her soulfully-seductive melodies reverberated within the auditorium. Her beautiful voice and earnest songs resonated with the audience, and they applauded her eagerly. Near the end of the show, Bristow joined Emmanuel on stage for an amazing duet that received a standing ovation.”

Jackie Bristow now calls Nashville, Tennessee home. She tours the U.S as well as New Zealand and other countries regularly. Fiddlers Crossing will be just one stop of many this year for the “down under” singer-songwriter.



Friday, November 8, 2019, 7:00pm, Kevin Burke, Irish master fiddler, $30.00 Mountain Bible Church, 630 Maple St., Tehachapi

Fiddlers Crossing is proud to present Irish master fiddler Kevin Burke on Friday, November 8, in Mountain Bible church.

When the concert’s engineer, Peter Cutler, asked Burke’s agent what kind of back-up musicians would be playing with him, he was told:

“When you’re Kevin Burke, you don’t need any back-up!”

The concert will be comprised of one man with a fiddle, alone on the stage, completely filling the air with some of the best Irish fiddle playing you’re likely to hear in your lifetime.  Kevin Burke’s sparkling, highly ornamented and lyrical Sligo-style of Irish fiddle has earned him a reputation as one of the finest, most influential players in traditional music today.

Burke grew up in London and studied classical violin from the age of eight, He spent much of his youth in the local Irish pubs with his parents, listening to rural musicians play traditional music. His violin teacher encouraged him to explore all genres of music. On frequent visits to relatives in Ireland, he immersed himself in the Sligo fiddling style. By the age of 13, he was playing in local Irish groups. He eventually played in a duo with Christie Moore of Planxty, and in 1976, joined the internationally renowned Bothy Band.

A chance meeting with Arlo Guthrie in a County Clare pub led him to come to America and play on Guthrie’s album, “Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys.”

Throughout the 1980s, he toured and recorded with guitarist Micheal O’Domhnaill and the influential band Patrick Street, as well as his own critically acclaimed group Open House. Kevin is now a highly sought-after session and touring musician, and is a member of Tim O’Brien’s Crossings ensemble.

Thirty years ago, Burke visited Portland, OR, on the advice of Hoyt Axton. He has lived there ever since. In 2002, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor given in the United States for folk and traditional arts.

To student fiddlers, Burke is also known for his outstanding Instructional book/cd/dvds on the Homespun label.  While acknowledging that his playing is based on the Sligo style of playing, combined with the driving rhythm of Donegal fiddling and the lyricism of County Clare, he also says he has been influenced by many musical genres outside of Irish traditional music. But his style is all his own. For example, at the concert, listen to the strong backbeat he gives with an upbow, instead of the usual downbow, to every third eighth-note in many of his reels, or how he emphasizes the strong beat by digging in on adjacent open strings.

Clearly, Keven Burke doesn’t need any other instrument to back him up!

Friday, December 6, 2019, 7:00pm, Missy Andersen and Her One Man Band, Blues, Soul, Jazz, R & B, Gospel $20.00

Christmas presents come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are not opened until the “big day”, while others, thankfully, arrive early. Fiddlers Crossing has one of the latter on Friday, December 6.  What would normally be the venue’s regular First Friday Showcase will, instead, be a concert by San Diego based blues, soul, jazz, R & B and gospel singer Missy Andersen and “Her One Man Band”, otherwise known as her husband, Heine Andersen, on guitar.

Born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Queens, New York, Missy Andersen’s parents had an extensive music collection that included lots of soul, R&B, blues, jazz, and gospel. She says her first real memory of singing is at age six, when her mother entered her in a child talent contest and practiced with her after school every day.  “Singing would always be my friend,” she says, “and I would turn to it whenever I needed to express something I couldn’t find the words to say.”

 Andersen particularly loved listening to songs that told stories like those by Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, The Staples Singers and Teddy Pendergrass. Along the way she also discovered the music of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, and Billie Holiday, which led her, in turn, to O.V. Wright, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, James Carr, Ray Charles, Ann Peebles, and Irma Thomas. Like most successful singers, she started out trying to sound like the artists she loved. After working her craft, and accumulating invaluable professional experience, her own voice emerged.

Her first real experience in the music business was while in her teens, with the rap single “Be For Real” under the name Denyce “Flip” Isaac. This led to opening for Cissy Houston, fronting local bands, and doing studio sessions as a background vocalist.

After moving to San Diego, she met local blues man Earl Thomas in the late ’90s and became one of his Juke Joint Jezebelles, a gospel, blues, and soul vocal quartet. Touring the U.S. and Europe the band shared the stage with Ray Charles, B.B. King, Robert Cray, John Hammond, Kenny Neal, and the Meters.

After fronting the local band Tell Mama, Andersen released a self-titled solo album on Main Squeeze Records. The same label released her album In the Moment in 2014. That CD was nominated for two Blues Blast Music Awards (Best Soul Blues Album, Best Female Blues Artist. She was also a 2016 Blues Awards nominee for Best Soul/Blues Female Artist.

Heine Andersen, originally from Denmark but steeped in American Roots music, has toured extensively in both Europe and North America. Noted for his polyrhythmic acoustic guitar style, he plays lead and rhythm as well as bass lines simultaneously. With eyes closed, a listener would swear there were at least three musicians on the stage. Add Missy Andersen’s expressive, soulful vocal delivery, humorous storytelling and charismatic stage presence and a truly incomparable concert experience is the result.

 Peter Merrett of PBS, Australia, calls Missy Andersen “One of the truly great voices of our time”. The Washington Blues Society calls her, simply, “The real deal”. Fiddlers Crossing, here in Tehachapi, calls her an early Christmas gift, not to be missed!



Friday, December 13, and Saturday, December 14, 2019, 7:00pm, “A Christmas Carol”, dramatic reading by Alex Zonn, $12.00


A Tehachapi Christmas tradition is returning to Fiddlers Crossing. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” read by Tehachapi’s own Alex Zonn, will be presented twice at the venue this month, on Friday, December 13, at 7:00 pm and Saturday, December 14, at 7:00 pm.

First published in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” is the story of a bitter old miser named Ebeneezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit from the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. It has delighted audiences in theatrical and film adaptations for well over a century.
Alex Zonn is well known to Tehachapi audiences, having appeared in a number of Tehachapi Community Theater productions including “The Lion in Winter,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and the fully staged production of  “A Christmas Carol.” He has also directed some of TCT’s productions. He is an accomplished actor and voiceover artist with many credits to his name.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased online at, or at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, or Lucky’s Barbershop. To reserve tickets or pay by phone, call 661-823-9994. Tickets to the readings are $12, and as always, coffee and goodies are included.  Doors open for each show at 6:30pm


Sunday, December 22, 2019, 2:00 and 7:00pm, “Winterdance” with Molly’s Revenge, guest vocalist Amelia Hogan and dancers from The Lyons Academy of Irish Dance $25.00, adults, $15.00, students, presented at The BeeKay Theatre, 110 S. Green St., Tehachapi


“Winterdance,” a Celtic Christmas celebration, will return to Tehachapi for two performances in the BeeKay Theatre on Sunday, December 22. The concert has been a sell-out the last four years. As in the past years, two performances will be presented, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students.

The core of the concert is the traditional Celtic trio, Molly’s Revenge. They will again be joined by  guest vocalist Amelia Hogan, along with Irish dancers in an evening of music, song and dance associated with the festive season. The performance will include Christmas songs both old and new, all played with a Celtic twist, as well as selections from the band’s holiday album.

Molly’s Revenge is a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band complete with bagpipes, whistle, fiddle, guitar, mandola, and bodhran, to guarantee a rousing afternoon for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. They have performed at many of the top folk festivals and performing arts events in the USA, as well as at prestigious events in Scotland, Australia and China.

The band is comprised of a trio of Californians in love with Celtic music. David Brewer plays whistle and four types of bagpipes. He studied in Scotland under the tutelage of some of the best pipers in the world. His unique style of playing has earned him a reputation as one of the most accomplished pipers on the West Coast.

John Weed is a classically trained violinist who switched to playing Irish fiddle about 15 years ago. He has lived in Ireland, teaching workshops in Irish fiddle — to the Irish! He studied with master fiddlers in County Donegal and hones his skills there annually.

Stuart Mason has been collecting and performing traditional music for over 30 years. He has appeared on stage from Ireland to China performing Celtic, old-time, bluegrass, and his own  compositions, which have won awards from the West Coast Songwriters Association. He also  leads workshops and classes in traditional music techniques at music festivals and camps.  Mason and Weed previous played Fiddlers Crossing with Kenny Blackwell as old-time trio Little Black Train.

Amelia Hogan sings traditional, Irish, Scottish, British, American and contemporary folk music with lilting grace and subtle power. She transports you with a spell into another time and place, where the beansidhe (banshee) cries and lovers embrace. Haunting melodies, stirring passion, and evocative storytelling are what you’ll find with Amelia’s music.

If you have seen Winterdance, you will certainly want to revisit this fantastic Celtic Christmas Celebration. If you haven’t, you won’t want to miss it this year, so be sure to get your tickets early. Because nothing says “Christmas” like bagpipes – plus fiddles, guitars, bodhrans, whistles, singers and dancers in a brilliant Celtic spirit!

The BeeKay Theatre is at 110 S. Green Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased online at, at Mountain Music during Wednesday Open Mic Nights, as well as at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barbershop. To reserve tickets or pay by phone, call 661-823-9994 and leave your name and the number of tickets requested. Tickets to the concert are $25 for adults and $15 for students.  The concert times are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Doors open one-half hour ahead.



Friday, January 3, 2020, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase featuring The Invocations, Free admission, tips encouraged


The Invocations are a trio focused on uplifting, inspirational and heartfelt compositions drenched in the folk traditions of the Britsh Isles and America, made up of members Bob Schetter, Marilyn Owen and Shane Bruce, all singer-songwriters in their own right. Whether it be their own songs, or re-worked material from some of the master Folk artists, they feature rich three part harmonies and creative arrangements.

Bob Schetter is well-known here in Tehachapi for his guitar work and increasingly creative songwriting. He led a blues band in the ’90’s, when he was know as “Little Red”. He’s placed at the Topanga Fiddle and Banjo Competition three years running for singing, flat-picking, finger-style guitar and  accompaniment of harmonica great, Ken Lieboff.

Marilyn Owen has been a performer of her own songs and an acting coach since her teens. Today, she inspires audiences with her amazingly warm and rich vocal ability. Her life’s work is currently focused on the value of creativity and paths to capture one’s own spirit.

Shane Bruce is an accomplished singer-songwriter, having been signed to Warner Bros. records during his New York years. His music is lyrical and dramatically performed. He is currently involved in political action and supporting positive paths for youth.

From time to time, The Invocations expand to include Ken Lieboff and local Tehachapi great, Bumpy Worthington.

Saturday, January 11, 2020, 7pm, Out of The Blue, acoustic band, $20.00


The acoustic band, Out of the Blue, will be returning to Tehachapi Saturday, January 11, 2020, to perform at Fiddlers Crossing. Guitarist and vocalist Pat Seamount was a Tehachapi resident for many years, and was known for her poignant interpretations of the songs of Kate Wolf in the group, Handmade. Now based in the Kern river Valley, Pat and her husband, mandolin player Michael Gallagher, formed Out of the Blue in 2003. Terry Harris was added on dobro in 2005 and Kris Wilber came on board to play bass in 2008. All four musicians have all been playing most of their lives. Their concerts are a lively mix of folk, old time, bluegrass, country, rock and roll, jazz and their own compositions. Out of the Blue was always hit when they performed at Mama Hillybeans, at Concerts in the Park and Fiddlers Crossing.


Sunday, January 26, 2020, 3:00pm, The Special Consensus, Bluegrass band extraordinaire, BeeKay Theatre, 110 S. Green St., Tehachapi, $25.00


The Special Consensus is a bluegrass band that has achieved a contemporary sound in their four decades of performing, making their music a modern classic. Band leader and founder Greg Cahill is a recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and Special Consensus has received five awards from the IBMA and two Grammy nominations.

Special Consensus’ sound is grounded in a deep appreciation and understanding of bluegrass music; the infectious band sound reminds people of the past while utilizing the innovations of today.  With the foundation of Greg’s unique banjo playing style, Rick Faris (guitar), Nick Dumas (mandolin), and Dan Eubanks (bass) effortlessly support each other and consistently maintain their bluegrass center whether they’re playing a jazz-tinged instrumental or a song from their award-winning John Denver tribute album while consistently maintaining their bluegrass center. These four talented vocalists and instrumentalists follow their creative desires without straying too far from their roots.

Rivers and Roads, the band’s 19th recording, was nominated for a 2019 Grammy, received five 2018 IBMA nominations, and was awarded Album of the Year. The tune “Squirrel Hunters” from that recording received the Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year award.

Rivers and Roads captures the energy of a live Special C show. Just listen to Rick’s high, emotional singing, Nick’s fluid mandolin providing the formidable counter to Greg’s driving banjo and Dan holding everything together on the bass with his bluegrass, country, and jazz experience. Their voices blend seamlessly. International tours have brought the band to Canada, Europe, South America, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The band has appeared on National Public Radio, The Nashville Network, the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and in concert with symphony orchestras nationwide.

Dedicated to preserving their craft as well as keeping it fresh, in 1984 Special Consensus initiated the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program, to introduce bluegrass music to students in schools across the country and in several foreign lands.

Special C’s continued success is a testament to their adaptability and contemporary appeal. The band records for Compass Records and proudly celebrates its 44th anniversary in 2019.



Friday, February 7, 2020, 7:00pm, Beppe Gambetta, Acoustic guitarist/singer, $20.00


It may be named “Fiddlers Crossing,” but the small venue in downtown Tehachapi also features some of the world’s finest acoustic guitarists in its concert schedules. On Friday, February 7, the audience will be treated to a touch of Italy when Beppe Gambetta returns to the stage. Gambetta is considered one of the finest flatpicking guitarists on any continent, playing, according to Acoustic Guitar magazine, a “virtual United Nations of influences: Italian, Ukrainian, Appalachian, Sardinian, Celtic.”

Born in Genoa, Italy, Gambetta fell in love with American Roots music when he first heard Doc Watson play.  He began his career playing in a classical orchestra for plectrum instruments, but crossed over to American music when he founded the Italian Bluegrass band, Red Wine.  In 1988 he launched his solo career. After eleven CDs, several instructional DVDs on the Homespun label, as well as teaching books, he has become known as one of the true master innovators of the acoustic guitar.

Gambetta still lives in his native Genoa, but spends part of the year in North America. He has played numerous festivals, and in prestigious halls such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He has appeared on All Things considered and other radio shows, and has collaborated with many other top-flight musicians such as Tony Trishka, Dan Crary and Tony McManus.

In his guitar technique, there are echoes of Doc Watson as well as Moravian and other folk music. Gambetta incorporates intricate cross-picking patterns, open tunings, and fluid slides up and down the neck of the guitar.

In his concerts, Gambetta alternates his flashy guitar pieces with songs in Italian or English. He brings to his playing and singing an intimate sense of emotions, along with his Italian charm and humour. He doesn’t rely solely on his high level of technical excellence, but is not afraid to show his innermost feelings in a playful way, always exploring and innovating while staying firmly rooted in musical tradition.

Oh, and he cooks, too.

Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased next door at Mountain Music, at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barbershop, or online through Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included.  The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


Friday, February 21, 2020, 7:00pm, The String Revolution, virtuoso guitar quartet, Mountain Bible Church, 630 Maple St., Tehachapi, $25.00


Based in Los Angeles, California, The String Revolution is comprised of four professional guitar players who are virtuosos and create distinctive sounds with their guitars: mimicking percussion, special effects, melodic grooves, bass lines, and more. They share a passion for many different musical styles and guitar techniques which has given The String Revolution a unique sound. This is evident in their studio recordings and live shows. A clear dedication and hard work ethic for the project brought The String Revolution together.

The band includes former Randy Rhoads student Janet Robin (recently named “Top 50 Acoustic Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine, 2017), who is also an acclaimed touring guitarist with the likes of Lindsey Buckingham, Meredith Brooks, Air Supply and many more, award winning Austrian nylon-string guitarist Markus Illko, Swiss multi-credited producer, songwriter, and guitarist Daniel Schwarz, and underground LA fav indie artist/guitarist Art Zavala Jr. They released their first EP “Stringborn” in 2016 to rave reviews and jam-packed shows, and their newest CD, “Red Drops” is set for release in 2019. Both records were mixed and mastered by Grammy nominated Matt Hyde, known for his work with guitarists, Rodrigo y Gabriela. The String Revolution’s cover version of “Billie Jean” reached the Top 10 Spotify LA Instrumental Charts and has over 150,000 plays. ”Stringborn” was also included on the 2017 Grammy Entry Ballot.

The band has been selling out local LA and California regional music clubs, house concerts, and festivals including The Hotel Cafe, The Mint, Genghis Cohen, Laguna Beach Arts Festival, NAMM Headquarters and many more, and will soon embark on international touring. Their shows include original compositions as well as memorable covers arranged in fresh and surprising ways utilizing their expert guitar skills. With entertaining guitar chops, exceptional musicianship, and an international background, The String Revolution is no doubt a new and unique force in the world of music and guitar performance.





Friday, March 6, 2020, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase featuring Clint Alphin, singer-songwriter, Free admission, tips encouraged


“Clint Alphin writes and sings from the heart, always mindful of his rich southern roots.”

— Jeni Hankins – Original Appalachian Folk Artist

Folk, Bluegrass, and Country music fill the hearts of every local in the southern states. With, its rich acoustic instrumentation and rich vocal harmonies, the music is honest, pure and natural. This tradition is what laid the foundation for Clint Alphin’s music and words to reach and move audiences around the US and the world.

Hailing from North Carolina, Clint has drawn inspiration from his home state’s heroes. “There is so much great music that has come out of North Carolina,” Alphin says. “James Taylor is perhaps my biggest influence; his phrasing and harmonic melodies are what have inspired me to first write songs.”

Clint moved to Nashville, TN in 2003 and has released an EP and three full-length studio albums since then. His latest, “Postmodern Man,” was released in 2015. It was produced by Neilson Hubbard.

Telluride Troubadour Winner – 2017

Fresh Grass Festival Singer-Songwriter Award Finalist -2018 

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase – 2018

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist – 2017

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Honorable Mention – 2017

Kerrville New Folk Finalist – 2015, 2018

Telluride Troubadour Finalist – 2013, 2015

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Finalist – 2014


Friday. March 13, 2020, 7:00pm, Grant Maloy Smith, American Roots singer-songwriter, $20.00



Hailing from Florida’s panhandle, Grant Maloy Smith® is a singer/songwriter of AMERICAN ROOTS music – an artful blend of country, bluegrass, and folk music. In addition to being a Billboard Top 10 recording artist, he is also the winner of Best Americana Artist by the Indie Music Channel, and two Grammy certificates, awarded in 2017. He performs frequently in southern Appalachia: Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia – however he has performed everywhere from the Troubadour in Los Angeles to Carnegie Hall in New York, and most places in between. He has also played in Europe, including a recent tour in northern Italy. Equally at home as a solo artist and with his Nashville band, Grant is an engaging performer who delights audiences with his southern humor and passion.

His most recent album “Dust Bowl – American Stories” spent 17 weeks on the Billboard charts, including eleven weeks in the TOP 10 of the Americana/Folk Album Sales Chart, and reached as high as #12 on the Country Album Sales Chart, and #2 on the Heatseekers Chart (across all genres). The album continues to earn rave reviews, like this one from NO DEPRESSION, the bible of American Roots music: “Grant’s ability to capture the heartland in his music is amazing … he has written A heartland masterpiece … lyrics and music as potent as Woody Guthrie … sent chills down my spine … bound to become a classic … A reminder of the darker period of Bob Dylan, and it’s that good, that memorable…”

In 2018 his charming Christmas song “Fly Possum Fly” (featuring county singing sensation EmiSunshine) was both a radio single and a children’s book. Grant added book festivals and book signings to his itinerary, which continues now as a second book in the series will be published in the Spring of 2019. His next single, “Man Of Steel” has been selected by the National Veterans Foundation ( as their official theme song.

Grant Maloy Smith is a member of the CMA, AMA, NARAS (The Grammys®) and is the co-founder of the Indie Collaborative, a group of more than 2000 independent musicians and music industry professionals. He is affiliated with BMI, and his music is distributed by Sony Orchard.



Friday, March 27, 2020, 7:00pm, John Batdorf, singer-songwriter, $20.00


John Batdorf is a singer-songwriter solo artist and one half of Las Vegas Rock and Roll Hall Of Famers folk-rock duo Batdorf & Rodney. He’s also a successful film and TV composer, session vocalist, and inspirational musician in the substance recovery community.

In his five-decade career, he’s worked with icons such as Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Clive Davis, Roger Birnbaum, Adele, James Horner, Jimmie Haskell, Bill Conti, Bob Ezrin, Tom Werman, Bill Halverson, America, Rod Stewart, Dave Mason, Donna Summer, Dwight Yoakum, David Lee Roth, and Motley Crüe, plus many others. In the realm of film and TV incidental music, he’s lent his voice and compositional skills to beloved shows such as Tom and Jerry Kids, Garfield and Friends, Touched By An Angel, Promised Land, and Doctor, Doctor, and Book of Days. Most recently Wham Bam, a hit by John’s band Silver in 1976 is now part of the soundtrack to Guardians Of The Galaxy ll. With legendary Utah-based singer, composer, and filmmaker, Michael McLean, under, Batdorf & McLean, he’s launched a unique substance abuse survival platform, and released the CD Soundtrax2Recovery.

Batdorf has also released new music collaboratively with his old partner Mark Rodney and James Lee Stanley. Since 2004, he’s released seven solo albums on his own imprint, BATMAC MUSIC. His just released CD,  Me And My Guitar is a handpicked stellar seventeen song  collection of unplugged, rearranged and  completely re-imagined material John has recorded over the last forty seven years.

Friday, April 10, 2020, 7:00pm, Claudia Russell & Bruce Kaplan, “Fine Folk Music”, $20.00

Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan traverse a wide Americana landscape, stopping at wondrous musical landmarks along the way, tipping their hat to bluegrass bands, blues divas, jazz cats, Village folkies, and singing cowboys. Lesser performers might stumble or sound fake, but driven by Claudia’s expressive voice and distinctive guitar style, it all comes together beautifully.

Claudia has a knack for crafting tightly written songs that carry you to the sweet spots of youth and the autumn colors of growing older. Kaplan’s melodic accompaniment, on mandolin and electric guitar, is spot-on. All of this is served up with a generous helping of homespun humor and shaggy dog stories, making for a heartfelt and humorous evening of deeply engaging music.

Indeed, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote “Russell has a voice that was born for folk music – she breaks hearts.” Russell has won numerous other accolades including Best New Artist from WUMB FM in Boston, Best Musician in the East Bay Express Reader’s Poll, 2x Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Finalist, and high praise in Sing Out, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Boston Globe. Paul Zollo, senior editor of American Songwriter magazine, called her latest CD, All Our Luck Is Changing, “a masterpiece.”

Russell and Kaplan have toured across the country, performing at the Boston Folk Festival, the New Bedford Folk Festival, Black Hawk Folk Festival, and concert appearances at major venues such as McCabe’s, Club Passim, The Turning Point, and more than a half dozen appearances at the Freight & Salvage.

The duo’s many live on-air radio performances include West Coast Live, Roz and Howard Larman’s FolkScene, KPFA’s Dead to the World, WUMB’s Live at Noon, Folk Stage with Rich Warren, KUNI’s Live From Studio One, The Morning Show on Minnesota Public Radio as well as appearances on WORT, KCBX, KSUN and numerous other stations. Claudia and Bruce were interviewed by Robert Siegel for All Things Considered on what would have been her father’s 100th birthday. He (Val Rosing) was a British dance band singer best known as the vocalist on the original 1930s recordings of classics such as Teddy Bears Picnic and Try A Little Tenderness.

 Before starting her solo career, Claudia was a member of BMG recording artists Maggie’s Farm – performing around the country, including Farm Aid where she shared the stage with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. She was also one third of the Life Is Grand Band, an award-winning vocal trio with Jill Freeman and Laura Zambo. Their 1990 FastFolk recording has been added to the Smithsonian/Folkways collection, making them a bona fide national treasure!

Kaplan has played in bands most of his life, starting in the world of New Wave music in such bands as the The Young Adults, The Allison MacLeod Band, The Toasters, Annyland, and The Tearjerkers, where he met Russell backstage on a shared bill. That was 1988. Russell and Kaplan were married in 1990 and will celebrate their 25th Anniversary this year – by getting on a plane for their East Coast tour.

“Making music is our favorite thing to do, and we put a lot of love into it.” says Kaplan. “But playing in a band with one’s spouse is not without its hazards. Some couples argue about sex or money. We argue about song keys, set lists, and ‘who stole my capo?’  But all in all, we’re very lucky to have found each other.”

Friday, April 24, 2020, 7:00pm, Claudia Nygaard, singer-songwriter, storyteller $20.00

With a voice as warm and smooth as amber honey and impressive for both its power and intimacy,
Claudia Nygaard delivers songs that are heartfelt,
humorous, scrappy, and sensual. And so are the stories in
between them. She is a captivating storyteller, with a twinkle in her eye that makes everyone in the audience think
she is sharing a secret with them alone. Emotionally fearless, she shares her deepest sorrows with a rare
vulnerability and tenderness one moment, then a quick wit
and an outlandish, irreverent sense of humor the next.
Claudia tours tirelessly, and has torn up the highways of all
50 states and performed in 9 foreign countries. She has
appeared at over 200 fairs & festivals, including numrerous
times at the Kerrville Folk Festival. She has also been an
emerging artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in New
York. Her large fan base has recently supported her with
a $25,000 kickstarter and she is now in the studio recording her next release (Jan 2019) “Lucky Girl”, with Neilson
Hubbard producing. Neilson has just been nominated for
Album of the year by the Americana Music Association.
As a salaried staff songwriter on Nashville’s Music Row,
Nygaard learned her craft well. Her last CD “Let The Storm
Roll In” rose to #1 on the Cashbox Roots/Country chart
and #8 on the Folk DJ chart. Two of the songs, “Georgia
Boy” and “J.C.” won the Kerrville, TX Folk Festival “New
Folk” songwriting competition for her, but they weren’t the
only songs that radio took a liking to. EVERY song on the
album received airplay. “Storm” was also highly praised by
the press. It received five stars from Americana benchmark
magazine “Maverick”, and legendary folk music magazine
“Sing Out” claimed the songs “rival the likes of Guy Clark
or Ian Tyson”.

Friday, May 1, 2020, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase, featuring The Rough and Tumble, “Dumpster Folk, Thriftstore Americana” duo, Free admission, tips encouraged

The Rough & Tumble are as easy to detect as a stray dog on your doorstep– and as difficult to send home.  The dumpster-folk, thriftstore-Americana duo, consisting of Mallory Graham & Scott Tyler, have been hobbling around the country in their 16’ camper since 2015.  They picked up a couple of actual strays along the way– two 100lb dogs, Puddle & Magpie Mae– and have been making themselves at home in living rooms, bars, theaters, and festivals across the country.

Even at their start in 2011, The Rough & Tumble are collectors.  Trinkets, instruments, stories shoved in cupholders, and scraps of paper sticking out of old books they never planned to read, the duo couldn’t resist filling their pockets with tiny things that may be useful down the road.  Until they hit the road. Limited in space, The Rough & Tumble are a new kind of collector: songwriting with illustration, and arranging each song with a menagerie of instruments, ranging from acoustic guitars to mailbox snares to a banjulele.  “Their Americana music is restorative, their performance highly entertaining, their orchestra of unusual instruments intriguing, and… jokes and stories are worthy of an HBO special.” (Linda Bolton, Cozy Cabin House Concerts).

The stray folkies are as industrious as they are scrappy, releasing five EPs and two albums in their 8 years.  The Rough & Tumble’s 2018 release We Made Ourselves a Home When We Didn’t Know, brought the listener to the road and the road to their home, an album “as cozy, comfortable and inviting as a well-worn couch.” (Bill Kopp, Mountain Xpress).  This is in addition to their weekly livecast, a monthly blog, a Cook & Color Book, a food blog, 2018 SERFA Official Showcase Artist, and playing upwards of 150 shows a year.



Friday, May 8, 2020, 7:00pm, Berkley Hart, Folk singer-songwriter duo, $20.00


Storytelling in music is as old as melody. Although today’s pop music tends to focus more on  “beats” than ballads,  musical storytelling is still alive and well in acoustic music. Over the last seven years, Fiddlers Crossing has been bringing some of the best musical storytellers to Tehachapi.

Berkley Hart, returning for theirfourth appearance in the venue May 8, is certainly in the top tier of musical storytellers. The combination of Kerrville New Folk Songwriter Award winner, Jeff Berkley, and stand-out wordsmith, Calman Hart, creates a pairing that has become one of the premier acoustic duos touring the country.

Each song they present is a little slice of contemporary life, like a little movie. It’s storytelling at its best and most succinct, whether told from the point of view of the family dog, or a single father consoling his heartbroken daughter after a disastrous prom date. The ups and downs of life are explored in their six CDs, with the piercing twists of observation in their lyrics accompanied by stunning harmonies and virtuosic guitar playing. Their live show is laced with comedy and their obvious camaraderie.

Hailing from San Diego, both Berkley and Hart emerged from the Southern California coffeehouse circuit, each building sizeable followings of their own before joining forces. As a duo for more than twelve years now, they have become fixtures on the folk circuit, making appearances at the Kerrville Folk Festival, as well as playing some of folk’s most prestigious venues.

To see a slice of the world through the eyes of these masterful storytellers, visit or, and then join them live at Fiddlers Crossing on May 8.





Saturday, May 30, 2020, 7:00pm, Honey Whiskey Trio, vocal harmony group, $20.00


Three lovely, brilliant young women, singing folk, gospel and bluegrass songs through a jazz-infused filter, with stunning harmonies and body percussion – this is Honey Whiskey Trio. These three graduates of the esteemed Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State Long Beach have been enchanting audiences wherever they have performed.  They will bring their honey harmonies back to Fiddlers Crossing on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at 7 p.m., and fans of vocal music will want to be there.

The Honey Whiskey Trio explores harmony in unique ways, in songs from folk and  bluegrass to gospel, and any melody that catches their ear. They consider themselves “storytellers in song,” with roots in vocal jazz. They all sang at different times in Long Beach State’s award-winning vocal jazz ensemble, Pacific Standard Time. This foundation in jazz gives Honey Whiskey Trio the flexibility to adjust their tone and style to fit the mood of the song. Actual instrumentation is minimal—just an occasional guitar or mandolin. They mostly augment their gorgeous voices with foot stomping and body percussion.

Honey Whiskey Trio was formed 2012 and began winning national awards in vocal harmony competitions after only five months together.  They have gone on to be headliners at numerous A cappella and other festivals around the country. John Neal, Harmony Sweepstakes executive producer, calls them, “One of the most talented vocal harmony groups performing today.”

The trio of  Courtney Gasque Politano, Ann Louise Jeffries Thaiss, and Christina Wilson all have degrees in music, but have varied family backgrounds.

Courtney Politano grew up on a horse farm in Vermont, in a musical family. When they weren’t riding, someone was always practicing, she says. She earned her BA in music education and French horn from Indiana University, and MA in vocal jazz at Bob Cole. She teaches music in a local school as well as privately.

Ann Louise Thaiss hails from Virginia. She moved to Long Beach in 2008 to get her Bachelor’s in vocal performance.  She is a member of Vox Femina Los Angeles, as well as the Honeys. She teaches preschool music as well as private voice and piano.

The third Honey, Christina Wilson, is a Southern California native from the Inland Empire. Like the others, she holds a Bachelors in vocal performance and jazz from Bob Cole. She has sung with the Pacific Chorale, Vox Femina and the Honeys. She is part of the vocal faculty at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, and teaches with her fellow Honeys in their community outreach programs. A skilled composer and arranger, she has written pieces for school vocal ensembles that are performed throughout the United States.

For a truly “harmonious” and enchanting evening, join Honey Whiskey Trio at Fiddlers Crossing on May 30, 2020.


Saturday, June 20, 2020, 7:00pm, Roy Zimmerman, political satirist, $25.00


On Saturday, June 20, 2020, Fiddlers Crossing will present popular satirist Roy Zimmerman in his fifith appearance in Tehachapi. Zimmerman played to sold-out crowds at Mama Hillybeans several years ago, and a couple of times at Fiddlers Crossing.

Zimmerman finds just about everything and everyone funny in one way or another. As a satirist in the vein of Tom Lehrer, but with a decidedly more political point of view, his “funny songs about ignorance, war and greed” skewer our major politicians and celebrities, as well as highlight absurdities in the issues of the day.

Among his many credits and satirical endeavors, Zimmerman was the founder of the comedy folk quartet, The Foremen, a group that toured extensively in the 1990s, playing the nation’s major folk venues, and as he says, “a lot of fancy Progressive benefits.”  They also performed at  Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival, under an overpass in the rain.  Zimmerman wrote over five hours of satire for the group. “We never did it all at once,” he reports, “but we kept it ready in case we had to filibuster.”



Saturday, July 25, 2020, 7:00pm, The Quitters, “High Octane Americana” $20.00

As the late George Harrison once said in one of his best-known songs, “All Things Must Pass”. As great as they were, The Beatles went their separate ways in 1970. Each went on to have solo careers and play with other musicians. Artists need change once in a while to expand their horizons. So it is with Glenn Houston and Stevie Coyle, known collectively as The Quitters. The “High Octane Americana” duo will be returning to  Fiddlers Crossing on Saturday July 25 at 7pm.

Both men were founding members of The Waybacks, a very popular San Francisco-based Americana band formed back in 1998 that was, and still is, extremely popular on the festival circuit and at premier venues around the country. Stevie Coyle played rhythm guitar and sang with the band until 2007. Glenn Houston was the lead guitarist through 1999. In 2001 he joined Travis Jones, Chris Kee, Peter Tucker and Henry Salvia to create Houston Jones, like the Waybacks, a very popular West coast Americana band. The band twice played Mama Hillybean’s, here in Tehachapi, between 2007 and 2009.  Houston and Travis Jones played Fiddlers Crossing as a duo in 2015.

Glenn Houston has been voted Best Guitarist by the Northern California Bluegrass Society and has also won a Bay Area Music Award as a founding member of Hearts on Fire. He has shared the stage with the likes of Emmy-Lou Harris, Merle Haggard, The David Grisman Quintet, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, to name a few. Originally from New Jersey, his influences range from Albert King and Michael Bloomfield to Doc Watson and James Burton. These influences show in his well- balanced mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar. His classical music background includes choral vocal performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and The Boston Symphony. In recent years, he has performed and recorded with Grammy winner Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and blues legends Mark Naftalin and Nick Gravenites in tribute to blues great Michael Bloomfield.

Stevie Coyle grew up in Southern California with music all around him. His father owned a Spanish-language radio station and brought home all the records that didn’t fit the format to his son. At a tender age he was listening to The Ventures’ “Guitar Freakout”, “The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett”, even “Alvin and the Chipmunks Play the Beatles Hits”. It also didn’t hurt that string-meister David Lindley (lead guitarist for Jackson Browne in the 1970’s) played in a bluegrass band that rehearsed next door and gave Stevie his first lessons or that his grandmother was a pianist in the heyday of vaudeville and that his mother played in mandolin orchestras in the 1920’s. In high school he started fingerpicking his guitar, influenced by the first Hot Tuna album.  In addition to his work with The Waybacks, he has also worked closely over the past 25 years, with musical satirist, Roy Zimmerman, including the Folk tribute parody band, The Foremen and comedy duo, The Reagan Brothers. Coyle spent time in folk duos, The Frontmen and The Back Room boys before co-founding The Waybacks in 1998. He’s also acted in TV shows such as Cheers, The Young and The Restless, not to mention many commercials. In short, Stevie Coyle has been one busy guy over the years. Now, having retired from The Waybacks, he has teamed with his old friend, Glenn Houston to form, appropriately enough, The Quitters.

Like Lennon and McCartney, Harrison and Starr, Glenn Houston and Stevie Coyle each left their respective bands, after many years, to join each other onstage. It’s often said “Every ending is a new beginning”. While the departure of each signaled the end of a musical era, the pairing of Houston and Coyle is the beginning of a new and exciting one for them and, certainly, for audiences everywhere. The Quitters will join us here, at Fiddlers Crossing, on July 25 and it is sure to be an evening to be remembered.



Friday, August 21, 2020, 7:00pm, JC and Laney, Acoustic Folk-Rock singer-songwriter duo, $20.00

The logo for the duo, JC & Laney reads, “Heart ‘n’ Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.” That’s the perfect summary for this dynamic musical duo who will return to the stage at Fiddlers Crossing on Friday, August 21.

JC & Laney are high-energy entertainers, with improvised banter, signature harmonies and memorable songs that run the gamut between folk, blues, pop, rock and comedy. Together they write, sing harmony and perform their own compositions, with two voices and one guitar. As fitting Valentine’s Day, some of their songs will tug at your heartstrings.

They have recorded CDs, and two of their songs were on the ballot for the Grammy Awards last year. JC & Laney CDs are regularly played on  Pandora, Spotify, and dozens of other internet radio stations, and have had many of their songs picked up by touring artists throughout Europe and the US.

JC Scott, from Long Island, NY, cut his teeth in front of crowds during the Classic Rock Era, playing guitar and singing with such musicians as Arlo Guthrie, Lindsay Buckingham, Kenny Loggins, Chuck Berry and Weird Al Yancovic. Before meeting Laney in 2009, he had already written and recorded five solo CDs.

            Laney Greynolds has been using her powerhouse of a voice to sing traditional country, gospel and rock music since she could breathe.  She has recorded with many artists in her career, as well as being the lead singer and driving force of the classic rock band Saddletramp.

Together, JC & Laney now perform more than 100 times a year throughout the West Coast states, at house concerts, state fairs, festivals and venues such as Fiddlers Crossing.       The emotional delivery of their original style of acoustic folk-rock-Americana music will leave you feeling you have found some new best friends. In fact, if you happen to be in Flagstaff, AZ, in the summer, where they are café performers, just remind them you heard them in Tehachapi at Fiddlers Crossing and they will treat you as their best friends!