Author Archives: Peter Cutler

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

Herb

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

By HERB BENHAM, Californian columnist hbenham@bakersfield.com

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

freebo-oct

 

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 fiddlerscrossing.org, 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.

 

http://freebomusic.com/

 

 

 

 

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, CoolAlbumOfTheDay.com: “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, Folkworks.org: “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 fiddlerscrossing.org, 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

xmas-carol-zonn

 

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 fiddlerscrossing.org, 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

http://garystockdale.com/

 

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.
Tehachapi

 

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

Aireene

https://www.aireeneespiritu.com/

 

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

http://www.nicolestromsoe.com

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

http://www.dannavarro.com

 

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

http://johngorka.com/

 

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

 

FREE CONCERT IN THE PARK!!

 

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!

 

 

 

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

https://www.instagram.com/kickstompensemble/

San Diego based Edgy-Folk w/ world and punk influences.
Singing in French/English/Russian/Hebrew the Kick-Stomp Ensemble is a wild
mixture of traditional and non-traditional music that spans many cultures
and many demographics. Formerly playing together for 5+ in QUEL BORDEL,
these 4 musicians have continued with a new project that expands their
musical horizons. Together they have toured Europe & the US multiple times
and have music placed on many radio/TV shows including Breaking Amish.
In QB, they headlined sweaty, high-energy shows at House of Blues Mainstage
and The Casbah, and has performed at the Get Shamrocked festival 5 times as
well as headlined other US festivals like SD Gypsyfest and Crestone Music
Festival. The band has also opened up for Flatfoot 56, Metallachi, The Rum
Jacks, The Real McKenzies, Sprung Monkey, Magic Giant, Dublin City
Ramblers, Diego’s Umbrella and many others.

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New music more surprises for our friends at @theshamrockirishpub this Saturday #KSE #folkpunk #shamrock #livemusic

Posted by Kick-Stomp Ensemble on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

In case anyone reading this is at @farwestconference we’ll be playing at 10:30pm at room 332, 12:30am at room 338, and 1:30am at room 337. Jeah! #folkpunk #farwestconference #kickstompensemble

Posted by Kick-Stomp Ensemble on Saturday, October 13, 2018

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

http://www.firescottishband.com

 The Fire is a high energy pure-drop Scottish music band, with world class fiddling in combination with bagpipes, guitar, bodhran, whistle, and bouzouki. The group includes, International Scottish Fiddle Champion Rebecca Lomnicky, multi-instrumentalist David Brewer of the popular Celtic band Molly’s Revenge, and Adam Hendey on guitar and bouzouki.  Members of the trio have each spent copious amounts of time delving into the traditions of their respective instruments, with Rebecca and David having additionally lived and studied in both Edinburgh and the highlands of Scotland. Together, The Fire performs captivating Scottish music which bridges the gap between the fiddle and bagpipe music of Scotland—two worlds united, into a heartfelt and rousing musical experience. Between their entertaining and informative stage banter, vast array of instrument combinations and extensive repertoire, including everything from soaring slow airs to intricately arranged dance tunes, these charismatic performers will leave you on your feet with your hands together. The Fire has headlined at Celtic festivals such as The Pleasanton Scottish Highland Games, The Utah Scottish Association Highland Games, The Portland Highland Games, The Sedona Celtic Harvest Festival, The Northwest Folklife Festival, The Oregon Scottish Festival, The Yachats Celtic Music Festival, The Monterey Scottish Games and Celtic Festival, and has performed at a variety of venues throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland.

The Fire is currently based out of Santa Cruz, California, and has recorded four albums together.

 

Rebecca

 

Originally from Corvallis Oregon, Rebecca began playing classical violin and piano at age five, discovering Scottish fiddle music only a few years later. In 2005, she won the Junior Division of the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Competition, and in 2006 recorded her first CD, The Call, praised by “Dirty Linen” magazine as “technically masterful, and wonderfully melodic.” In 2009, Rebecca won the 20th Annual Glenfiddich International Scottish Fiddle Championship held at Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Scotland. The invitation only championship – seen as the Grammys of the fiddling world- is widely regarded as the most prestigious in Scottish fiddle. She has performed in Scotland, Ireland, Italy, China, and across the US, has been featured on the BBC radio show, Take the Floor, and in 2009, recorded her second CD, Inspired, with David Brewer. In 2014, Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a double major in Music and Sociocultural Anthropology. She was also awarded the 2013-2014 Ellen Gussman Adelson Prize for outstanding instrumental music performance. In addition to performing, Rebecca is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. For more about Rebecca, please visit: www.rebeccalomnicky.com

 

David 

David Brewer is a multi-instrumentalist who has toured with the Scottish super-group The Old Blind Dogs, and with Molly’s Revenge across the US, the UK, Canada, China, and Australia. He has been a special guest of the six-time Grammy winning group The Chieftains, and was a key musician for the sound track of the PBS documentary, “Andrew Jackson, Good, Evil, and the Presidency”. David, who is known for being animated and engaging on stage, compliments Rebecca’s award winning fiddling with guitar, Irish penny-whistle, and bodhran frame-drum, but primarily the Scottish bagpipes, on which he is unarguably one of the most energetic and charismatic performers of the instrument in the world today. For more about David, please visit:www.davidbrewermusic.com

 

Adam

Adam Hendey is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has performed in Ireland, the UK, and across the United States, playing and studying with members of Lúnasa, Flook, and Molly’s Revenge. Since beginning tin-whistle at thirteen years of age, Adam has dedicated himself to the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland, while also becoming well versed in other forms of popular music. On guitar and bouzouki, Adam brings an innovative contemporary approach to traditional music, with a passion informed by intense study of music theory and a diverse wealth of musical experience. In addition to performing, Adam graduated from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, with a majors in Music and Philosophy. He has just finished a masters degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying Traditional Music and specializing in guitar performance. Adam has released his debut solo album, Forward, which features appearances by both Rebecca and David. For more about Adam, please visit www.adamhendey.com

 

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

http://www.jchyke.com/

 

   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

http://danahubbard.com

 

Dana Hubbard’s been described as ”a cross between Bruce Cockburn and Jorma Kaukonen”.  He combines the socially conscious singer/songwriter with the master acoustic blues guitarist, awing people with guitar skills that defy the ear and eye.  The list of folks he’s opened for and shared the bill with span the spectrum from blues to folk to bluegrass:  Jesse Winchester, Sam Bush, David Wilcox, Greg Allman, Etta James, Little Feat, Robert Cray, Albert King, Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Ely, John Hammond, Chris Isaak, David Lindley…  Dana was born and raised on the Central Coast of California, attended UC Santa Cruz only long enough to finish an elective course on country blues, then hit the road and never looked back.

With his acoustic guitar, he busked the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco. He eventually put together his own band, The Delta Twisters which he led for over a decade in the burgeoning Blues scene playing clubs, juke-joints, biker-bars.   By the time Dana moved on to bigger venues and theatres, the guitar in hand had become electric and he began sharing the stage with legends like Albert King, James Cotton and Etta James and opening shows for artists like Greg Allman, Chris Isaak and Robert Cray. All that performance experience culminated in his first CD release, “Tummy Lust” which showcases his guitar skills as well as his songwriting.

Dana returned to the acoustic guitar as his instrument of choice with the release of his second CD “Livin’ Live”. What Dana does with the guitar, using only his hands is amazing to watch and a joy to listen to. You hear the bass and the back beat rhythm along with the melody and chords.  If you look around for his backup guitar, you won’t find one. This is Dana, performing solo.  On his third CD “The Grounds Keepers” each track is a single guitar performance with no overdubs, no re-makes. What you hear is a singer/songwriter front and center, addressing issues of environmentalism and social injustice in a voice that sometimes growls, sometimes he lilts or laughs, but he’s always got a little twinkle in his eye. He has a social activist soul with a bluesman’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).

Artist Of The Year CONCERTS IN YOUR HOME

Friday, September 27, 2019, 7:00pm, Lisa Sanders and Brown Sugar, soulful Country Blues singer-songwriter duo, $20.00

https://www.lisasanders.com/

 

Lisa Sanders is an electrifying harmonizer. Her heartfelt songs are genuine with deep meaning and conviction.  A musical style that can only be described as a soulful country blues, her genres include folk pop, gospel, rock and jazz. Writing, singing and producing from her heart in nearly every genre for over three decades, Sanders continues to make an impact in the musical world.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she began singing with her older brother Ty at an early age. The family relocated to Argentia Newfoundland, Canada where her parents encouraged music daily. Artists from Motown Records, Johnny Cash and others with a mixture of rock and classical music were key influencers in Sanders’ upbringing. Upon moving to Southern California, she signed to Cargo Earth Records and released her first album Isn’t Life Fine. After her second album Life Takes You Flying was released in 1999, Sanders went on to establish her own label Maya Jade Records in 2004. She has since released five albums from her own label:

Sanders has worked with musical legends including the Truckee Brothers, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Rait, Al Green, BB King and Babyface. Sanders continues to songwrite, produce and collaborate with artists from all over. She currently resides in San Diego as the founder of Star Woodwork by Lisa. Star Woodwork by Lisa specializes in handcrafted wooden materials into beautiful objects, structures and garden pieces.

The Lisa Sanders Band
Lisa Sanders and Karen “Brown Sugar” Hayes are a pair of electrifying, bodacious, harmonizing singers of genuine heartfelt songs. This country-bluesy duo have been performing there unique style of music for over ten years to enthusiastic fans across America. 
Lisa and Karen’s friendship began long ago when they met briefly at a high school party. Later on in life, both older and much wiser, the women met again when their kids were in the same class at school. They became the best of friends. Neither one of them realized that one day they would be a couple of moms writing and performing music all across the country. 
Karen has been singing since high school. When Lisa noticed that Karen knew all of her songs and had an amazing sense of harmony, Lisa asked Karen to join her band. They have since become a musical powerhouse. With harmonizing skills that have garnered the duo many accolades and opening spots with artist such as Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, BB King, Al Green and many more. 

Lisa Sanders and Brown Sugar are set to tour in support of their 8th CD release Shiver, nominated for San Diego Music Awards Best Pop Album. Produced and recorded by Jeff Berkley of Berkley Hart. Recorded with the Lisa Sanders Band, led by Jeff Berkley.

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

www.jackiebristow.com

 

Jackie Bristow was born and raised in Gore, a small rural community in the lower half of New Zealand’s South Island, and home to New Zealand country music’s Gold Guitar awards.  Her 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 the 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. At 17, she left high school and 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. The professional Bristow had by then immersed herself in the music of Rickie Lee Jones, Bonnie Raitt and Crowded House.

Performing was fun, but she 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 bars 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, Mark Punch, who provided her with great perspective and the musical career guidance she had been missing up until then. He will be accompanying her on lead guitar for this return show at Fiddlers Crossing.

Bristow has shared the stage with many of her musical heroes. Opening for Bonnie Raitt in New Zealand on her 2013  “Slipstream” tour was a dream-come-true. She was invited back in 2017 to join Raitt on her “Dig in Deep” tour. She has also opened for the Steve Miller Band, Foreigner as well as Tommy Emanuel Joan Oates, Joe Ely, Madeleine Peyroux, Art Garfunkel and many more.

Her live performances have captivated audiences and reviewers alike. One reviewer of her show on the Tommy Emmanuel tour wrote: “Opening for a musical giant like Emmanuel would seem a daunting task, but 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.”

She has released four albums, the latest, “Shot of Gold”, released in 2016 received critical acclaim and charted in her native New Zealand

Jackie Bristow now calls music Mecca ,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 Fall for the “down under” singer-songwriter.

 

 

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Friday, October 18, 2019, 7:00pm, Lisa Richards, Australian singer-songwriter $20

https://lisarichardsmusic.com/latest-news

Life in Australia, Austin Texas and New York City have all shaped the sounds and songs of Lisa Richards. With sharp observations, subtle humor and a ferociously sweet voice, she explores the complexities of life through a mongrel mix of folk, blues, roots and jazz……

This North Queensland native recently returning home to Australian shores after recording 5 albums, living and touring for 22 years while based in New York City and Austin Texas.

She describes her childhood in Far North Queensland as being ‘wild and unsupervised’. I was, like many young people, a victim of sexual abuse at an early age and developed depression and a love of alcohol and drugs that began when I was 6 or so. My mother had some ‘substance abuse issues’ and when I was 7 she had a car accident and a severe brain stem injury from which she never recovered. She needed fulltime care from then until her death and growing up I shared in this care from the time I was 7 until I left Townsville at 20. My brother was 2 years older and we were a tight team getting her on and off the toilet and up and down the 17 stairs in the house, preparing meals.

“There’s no doubt that my childhood has informed everything I’ve done creatively and I’ve spent a lot of years getting my head on straight and learning how to live in the world.”

With a penchant for the underdog and the outsider, she writes and performs songs on guitar in the tradition of solo singers and street performers through the ages. Her guitar playing is sparse, percussive and rhythmic and her songs tell vivid stories of longing, loss, love and hope using a rich palette of musical elements.

Lisa’s songs have appeared on CD’s alongside Adele, Nina Simone and Corinne Bailey Rae as well as being heard in film and television.

Reviewers of her work frequently comment on the unusual qualities of her voice while drawing comparisons to such diverse artists as Billie Holliday, Bjork, Cassandra Wilson, Patty Griffin and Suzanne Vega. Her 4th CD “Mad Mad Love” was downloaded 80,000 times.

Performances across the U.S. at The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks festival, Merlefest, Kerrville Folk Festival, and The Kerrville Wine and Music Festival, SXSW and CMJ among others, established her stateside while tours to The UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Australia expanded her international audience.

Lisa’s voice is distinguished by its singularity. Articulated with strength and precision, it can be girlish, tender and innocent as each word is delivered with resonant clarity. Other times it rings with hard-won experience and dark foreshadowing.

Her recent CD is her 6th independently released album, her first Australian made release, and it’s called “A Light from the Other Side”. This CD was recorded and produced in South Gippsland by Greg J Walker from Machine Translations. Greg has produced CD’s for Paul Kelly, Jess Ribiero, C.W. Stoneking and composes for film and Television.

The songs on this new CD are colored by Richards’ sudden separation and divorce after 14 years of marriage, life and music in Austin Texas. (The tsunami of change as she puts it)…her journey, losing everything, living out of a suitcase, falling in love again, surprisingly, and resettling in Canberra Australia.

**** (4 stars) SOME voices pierce your heart….. a tour de force of unflinching and honest writing with arresting arrangements based on folk, blues and European chanson styles… it makes for a strikingly original and beautiful album. David Costello Brisbane Courier Mail

Songs of longing, loss, love and hope. In the tradition of  classic songwriters, singers and street performers through the ages …from Fado to Jazz to Bluegrass to Blues. An exquisite mash up of Edith Piaf, Billie Holliday, Bjork and Patty Griffin.  She’s toured solo in the USA, Europe and Australia and been praised by music industry tastemakers.

 

 

Lisa Richards’s voice is delightfully unusual. At first it is jarring, piercing against the otherwise dulcet jazz, folk and bluesy feel emanating from her music, but slowly the timbre reveals its delicate duplicity. On the one hand Richards sounds like a sweet young girl who is trying to find her place in the world. On the other, she sounds commanding and confident. It makes for truly stimulating listening…Richards is a simple yet powerful songwriter who has beautifully encapsulated the intricacies of the human condition.Emily Ritchie   The Australian
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 1, 2019, 7:00pm, First Friday Showcase featuring Jason & Christal Wheeler, Free admission, tips encouraged

 

Before they met Jason and Christal spent several years in the musical arts. Christal enjoyed singing, acting and directing in the Susanville Best of Broadway for thirteen years and participated in many community lead choral concerts and vocal county fair events such as the local USO shows. Jason has entertained audiences both on stage as an actor and as the front man for a country/classic rock band that made a name itself in the Reno area. As a solo artist Jason has performed for over twenty years for various events including the national level in The TrueValue Country Showdown where he performed for a large audience, national television. Christal and Jason came together six years ago in both marriage and voice and have since then entertained small venue parties with the acoustic styling’s  of popular covers from across the decades as well as originals. The pair continues their love for the arts through the same outlets in their new home town of Tehachapi.

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

Kevin_Burke3

http://www.kevinburke.com/

 

Kevin Burke’s fiddle playing has been at the forefront of traditional music since the 1970’s. His far-reaching solo album, “If​ ​the​ ​Cap​ ​Fits”​ ​and his work with such distinguished performers as Arlo​ ​Guthrie​, Kate​ ​Bush​, Christy​ ​Moore​ and the Bothy Band​ ​established him as a first class musician. Never one to be restricted by geography or genre, his decades long career has seen several innovative collaborations with notable musicians of differing styles – Classical, Old Time, Bluegrass, Pop and Rock as well as the Irish Traditional music for which he is so well known. Some of the eminent players he has worked with are: Grammy winner, singer and instrumentalist Tim​ ​O’Brien​; Liam​ ​O​ ​Maonlai​, lead singer of the Hothouse Flowers; classical violinists Gilles​ ​Apap​ and Greg​ ​Ewer​; Old Time favourites, The Foghorn​ ​String​ ​Band​; renowned Irish bands Dervish​,​ ​Solas​ and Lunasa​ and his most recent recording is a collaboration with veteran Rock guitarist John​ ​Brennan​ (Poco, Chris Hillman Band and others).

Kevin has earned international acclaim in both Europe and America as a solo performer, a teacher and as a member of some of folk music’s foremost groups including the exciting Celtic​ ​Fiddle​ ​Festival​ ​and Ireland’s long admired and respected Patrick​ ​Street​. In 2007 he also set up his own record label, “Loftus​ ​Music”​, which soon developed a reputation for excellence in both its musical output and its unique eco-friendly packaging.

His contribution to music has received formal acknowledgement on both sides of the Atlantic where he has been the recipient of several awards including Ireland’s “Gradam​ ​Ceoil​” (Traditional Musician of the Year, 2016), and a National​ ​Heritage Fellowship​, the USA’s highest honor for excellence in the folk and traditional arts. (Previous National Heritage Fellows include B.B. King, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe.) Kevin has also been honoured by his adopted home state with his induction to the Oregon​ ​Music​ ​Hall​ ​of​ ​Fame​.

In 1980 Kevin settled in the USA and was performing with Bothy Band colleague Micheal​ ​O​ Domhnaill.​ Their 2 albums, “Promenade”​ and “Portland”,​ became, and still are, very influential resources for many traditional musicians.

In the mid Eighties Kevin was a founding member of two influential groups, “Open House”​ and “Patrick​ ​Street”,​ whose recordings and performances were greeted with great acclaim both in Europe and US. In the mid Nineties Kevin was a founding member of yet another successful and enduring traditional group – “The​ ​Celtic​ ​Fiddle Festival”​, this time with Johnny​ ​Cunningham​ from Scotland and Christian​ ​Lemaitre from Brittany.

Although Kevin has spent much of his life playing in a group context, he has never lost his love for solo fiddle music – the “naked fiddle” as he himself sometimes puts it. This is very evident in his live solo release, “In​ ​Concert”,​ a performance of mostly unaccompanied traditional pieces before an audience in his home town of Portland, Oregon.

Whether solo or accompanied, on record or in concert, Burke is an immensely engaging performer.

 

 

 

The​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Times​ describes Kevin as “a superior instrumentalist in any idiom……impressively virtuosic”, The​ Washington​ ​Post​ writes of his “lyrical style that is always emotionally electric”, and the Irish​ ​Times​ says that “Burke’s fiddling is one of the high spots of the current Irish musical scene”.

 

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

http://missyandersen.com/

 

Born in Detroit and living in San Diego by way of Queens, New York, Missy Andersen follows her self-titled debut with a timeless follow-up of blues going straight to the spirit and body. With her band leader/guitarist/husband Heine Andersen, she has again created a personal soundtrack for good times and the pain and joys of love.

In the Moment has 11 varied tracks including 8 originals, five of which are penned by the Andersens. Recorded with heavy hitters Bill Stuve (bass), Marty Dodson (drums), Sue Palmer (piano), Ben Moore (organ), and guest appearances by Nathan James and James Harman, the CD takes the listener down a lush musical path. Beginning with the Louis Jordan-esque “Rent Party” and ending with a gospel-tinged remake of Snooks Eaglin’s “I’ve Been Walkin’,” the disc has something for everyone. From Chicago blues to New Orleans second-line beats, slow blues and soul ballads, Memphis soul to funky Meters-like rhythms. It’s all in there and it’s easy to understand where those wide-ranging influences come from.

As a child, Missy was exposed to her parent’s extensive music collection that included soul, R&B, blues, jazz, and gospel. It didn’t matter what the genre was as her favorite songs were always the ones that told a story. Later she would discover Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, and Billie Holiday and that eventually lead her to O.V. Wright, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, James Carr, Ray Charles, Ann Peebles, and Irma Thomas.

Missy began fronting bands in her early teens, playing local venues which quickly lead to doing studio sessions and performances as a background vocalist. She continued honing her skills and moved to San Diego, California where she met Heine, a seasoned musician visiting from Denmark. They would eventually marry and form the San Diego-based band, Tell Mama. It wasn’t long before they decided to strike out on their own and immediately began touring Europe for several years, recording the debut CD’s rhythm tracks in Copenhagen between performances. The CD, Missy Andersen, was received extremely well despite having just two original songs.

Knowing that they wanted to write more original songs on the sophomore CD, Missy and Heine took what turned into a much longer than anticipated hiatus from touring to concentrate on songwriting while maintaining a heavy, local performance schedule. Their persistence paid off though and In the Moment was born. Receiving rave reviews from both critics and fans since its August 2014 release, the CD has maintained a steady appearance on four of the Roots Music Report album charts (Blues, Contemporary Blues, California, US Blues) as well as two song charts (Contemporary Blues, California) for radio play. The CD ended the year by being named one of Living Blues Radio Charts Top 50 Albums of 2014.

In October 2014, the duo won the chance to represent San Diego in the International Blues Competition in Memphis along with other blues acts from all over the world. Two months later, they were ineligible to compete because Missy received a 2015 Blues Music Award nomination in the Soul Blues Artist Female category. IBC registrants cannot appear on a final ballot of the BMAs as it is considered to be the top honor in the blues. It was the first time a contestant was disqualified since the rule was instated. Says Missy, “A BMA nomination is a good problem to have.”  Indeed.

“One of the truly great voices of our time.”
PBS Australia

“Missy Andersen proves beyond a doubt that she’s the real deal.”
Washington Blues Society Bluesletter

“…Vocal magic that lights up the night.”
Southland Blues Magazine

 

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 fiddlerscrossing.org, 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 fiddlerscrossing.com, 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

http://specialc.com

www.facebook.com/special.consensus

 

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

http://www.beppegambetta.com/

 

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 Fiddlerscrossing.com. 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

http://www.thestringrevolution.com

 

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

https://www.clintalphin.com

 

“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

https://www.grant-maloy-smith.com/

 

 

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 (www.nvf.org) 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

www.johnbatdorfmusic.com

 

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

https://www.claudiarussell.com/

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

https://www.claudianygaard.com/

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

http://www.theroughandtumble.com/

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

https://www.berkleyhart.com/

 

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 fiddlerscrossing.com or berkleyhart.com, 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

http://www.royzimmerman.com/

 

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

https://www.quittersduo.com/

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

https://www.jcandlaney.com/

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!

 

Friday, September 11, 2020, 7:00pm, Nicole Stromsoe band, Jazz, Blues R & B and more , Mountain Bible Church, 630 Maple St., Tehachapi $25.00

http://www.nicolestromsoe.com/

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.