Apr 2 2014

9th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social – Workshops!

SATURDAY, MAY 17th

All day from 12pm  – 6pm.

$20 for the day.
Please email davidbragger [at] yahoo.com for registration and questions.

Class descriptions so far.  More to come.  Workshop times and location after that!

Italian and Mexican Mandolin Styles with Paul Rangell
Paul Rangell will introduce a selection of Italian and Mexican tunes on mandolin. Emphasis will be on learning the simple melodic lines, then gaining strength with support from adjacent strings and chords. Guitarists are encouraged to join this workshop too, as we will cover the guitar chord back-up through the nimble fingers and delightful rhythm guitar playing of Emily Abbink.

Paul Rangell has been playing guitar and pursuing traditional music since a boy in the 1960s. He plays guitar in several bands, focussing on rhythmic accompaniment to fiddle music of many lands.  He also plays mandolin, violin, tenor banjo and guitarron in various configurations. Locally, you can hear him every Sunday morning at the Buttery Cafe with his family band, The Rhythm Rangellers, with The Percolators, with Adam Rose, and with Irene Herrmann in groups that specialize in selective instrumental repertoire. He is a regular at the Farmer’s Markets and plays Italian and Mexican mandolin tunes every Tuesday night at La Posta (Seabright) with his wife, Emily Abbink. He loves old-time American songs, Brother Duets, early country, Western Swing, and classic Mexican songs. He has taught many summers at The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes (Port Townsend, WA)  and Lark in the Morning (Mendocino, CA) as well as private lessons for several years on guitar, mandolin and fiddle.

•  Fiddle & Banjo Duets Workshop with Brian Vollmer & Ben Townsend
Brian Vollmer & Ben Townsend present mountain styles of playing fiddle & banjo. The workshop will examine fiddle tunes with banjo accompaniment.
Ben Townsend, of Romney, WV was introduced to the world of old-time music by Paul Roomsburg of Hampshire County West Virginia. Since learning the basics, he has studied with Riley Baugus, Ron Mullennax and Paul Brown. He was awarded a Scholarship from the Augusta Heritage Center to further his studies on the fiddle with Dave Bing of Roane County WV. As a member of both The Fox Hunt and Old Sledge, Ben has traveled across the country and around the world spreading his take on West Virginia old-time music and has shared the stage with acts varying from Ralph Stanley to the Henry Girls of County Donegal Ireland to the Taiko drummers of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Brian’s musical background started with his family. Born into parents who loved, listened and played Bluegrass and Old-Timey music, he went everywhere from festivals, shows, and “pickin’ parties” with them as a toddler, a youth, and eventually he picked up a banjo and started to perform in his father’s Bluegrass band (on the side of his punk band) when he was 14. His early banjo work (both 3-Finger and Clawhammer) was based on a week long study with extraordinary banjoists Reed Martin and Bill Keith at the same music camp. He practiced all the time back at his parent’s home in the thick woods off the Patuxent River in Howard County near Skaggsville, MD in a community known as Holiday Hills…
• Fiddle Chording or How to Play Tunes You’ve Never Heard with Tricia Spencer & Howard Rains
Tricia Spencer will teach her technique for chording fiddle tunes, an ideal method for learning tunes on the fly. Fiddle chording also allows a fiddler to focus on bowing rather than those pesky notes and opens up a new way to play old time music in jam settings. Howard Rains will provide guitar accompaniment and humorous commentary.

Spencer & Rains play old time fiddle tunes and sing old songs in the style of their home states while also exploring other American regional styles of fiddling. Both multi-instrumentalists deeply absorbed in traditional music, Howard and Tricia preserve, present, and teach old time music while at the same time making it their own. Not only do they love to play dances, festivals, and house concerts, Spencer & Rains are highly sought after as instructors and  love to teach old time music at camps, workshops, and private lessons. Have a look and a listen and enjoy!

Flatfooting with Ruth Alpert
Flatfooting is the traditional, solo percussive foot dance that goes along with Southern Appalachian Mountain Music.  Your feet are a rhythm instrument, keeping the beat for the musicians with much room for personal expression and style.  No previous dance experience is necessary.  It’s easy and fun and very aerobic!  We’ll start with basics, and add on for those who would like more complexity.

Please bring shoes that can slide, but that you won’t slide out of…. leather soles with a chunky heel, or worn out sneakers, etc.  Cowboy boots or shoes with a narrow heel might thrust your weight too far forward onto the ball of your foot.  If in doubt, bring a selection and see which work best!

Ruth Alpert has been flatfooting for 37 years.  She has taught workshops, danced with old-time Appalachian string bands, busked (street performed) in various cities in at least 6 states.   She currently is the percussion section of The Honeysuckle Possums, a local Santa Barbara all female Americana band.  

• Flatfooting 101 with Rebecca Stout
–Straight from the mountains of Appalachia this beginner friendly class introduces the student to the funny stories, history, culture, styles, steps and all-out fun of Appalachian percussive step dance. There will be demonstrations, practice sessions, questions, and music for all to enjoy. No partner or dance experience necessary! The student learns the Soldier’s March, Jimmy, Mitchell, Bowman, Leaf Shuffle, Zig Zags, Chugs, Nashville, Coleman and Buck Step and more. 2hrs.
While no special shoes are required, Rebecca recommends a shoe with a hard, slick sole, such as a man’s business shoe, penny-loafers, cowboy boots, granny-boots, oxfords or simple slippers. Flip-flops, sandals and crocs are not recommended.

Rebecca began clogging as a child in Cordele, Georgia, as part of the precision dance team The Dixieland Cloggers. She went on to spend the next three decades developing and fine-tuning her unique “Tennessee Shuffle” style of free-form flatfoot, inspired by friends, relations, masters and mentors throughout Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. Today, Rebecca teaches traditional Appalachian Flatfoot  focusing on dance as a percussive instrument.

How to Call a Square Dance with Susan Michaels
Learn how to call squares for your friends and family.  Beginners welcome.  Or just show up and get your dancing shoes on.
Susan Michaels is a teacher and a caller of traditional American dancing, especially contra dancing and square dancing. She has called and taught dances at local evenings, weekend workshops, week-long elementary school programs, week-long family camps and dance weekends throughout the U.S. and Canada.

• Carter Family Guitar with Chris Berry
Mother Maybelle Carter was one of the most influential old-time and early country guitar players. We’ll start with the “Carter Scratch” and move on to a few classic Carter Family songs and some techniques for picking up tunes on your own. Audio and video recorders welcome and encouraged. Bring a thumb pick and/or flat pick; I’ll be teaching Maybelle’s thumb-and-finger style but the technique is easily adaptable to flatpicking. (Beginners: if you can play a song in C or G then you know enough to get something out of this workshop.)

Chris Berry, a native of Long Beach, California, has been playing country blues and old-time country music on guitar and banjo for over 20 years. He learned many tunes from the late legendary Illinois/Southern California fiddler Mel Durham and plays banjo on his CD “Skillet Fork.” He has taught and played at many Los Angeles-area festivals including the California Traditional Music Society’s Summer Solstice and Equinox Festivals, the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest, and the Goleta Old-Time Fiddlers Convention. When Chris isn’t busy playing old music, watching ’60s British television or ’70s American game shows, he works as an editor and web designer.

• Old Time Crooked Fiddle Tunes and Bowing with David Bragger
This workshop is for all levels! The objective is to get the fiddler playing some incredible, crooked tunes that will rock any jam session. I’ll be drawing from a vast repertoire of Kentucky and West Virginia fiddle tunes that are crooked, rhythmic and easy to grasp. As always, my workshops emphasize the key ingredient to old time fiddle: bowing!! All workshop attendees will receive audio files of the tunes with phrase by phrase instruction. Please email davidbragger@yahoo.com for registration and questions.

David Bragger plays banjo, fiddle and mandolin in the old-time stringboard Sausage Grinder and in several local dance bands. David teaches old-time fiddle, banjo and mandolin to students of all ages and levels. He is also the host of the Old Time Tiki Parlour which showcases concerts and workshops by the best old time musicians alive, including Kirk Sutphin, Dan Gellert, Bruce Molsky, Bob Carlin, Bertram Levy, etc. His students have won awards at festivals from Topanga Fiddle Banjo Festival to Galax, Virginia.  Most importantly, he shows you how to have a foot-stomping ruckus of a good time!

 


Mar 31 2014

9th Ever LAOTS Cakewalk!

cakewalkphotographs by Georgia Junker

A Message from Katie Lou, our fearless Cakewalk Leader:

Dear Friends,

Enter the Cake Contest !!!
Generous  and wonderful people like you bring a cake to be entered in the  exciting cake contest that happens right before the cakewalk.  Cakes are judged  based on appearance only, so let your imagination  go wild! Fabulous ribbon prizes are awarded for the most beautiful, most outrageous, most original, sexiest, goofiest , strangest, most attractive cake etc.  The cakes are then played for by people who are participants in the cakewalk.

“What is a cakewalk,” you ask?
The easiest way to describe it is it’s like musical chairs but with old time music and dancing and each round there’s a cake as a prize!  Wow.
Our tradition at the Social is for all cake winners to share all the cakes won at the cake walk at a big yummy cake eating fest as one of the very best parts of the Old Time Social.  It probably is EVERYONE’S favorite part of the Social, in fact.  There is always plenty of cakes for everyone.
The Cakewalk will be on Saturday, May 17th after the family dance at 6:30 and just before the main dance at 8pm-ish!

Get your cakes to the Legion Hall no later than 5:30.  (227 N. Ave. 55) There will be signs letting you know where to bring the cakes when you arrive.

Think outside the cakebox!

For more info email Katie at katherinecroshier@sbcglobal.net.


Mar 11 2014

2014 – L.A. Old Time Social Dance Bands & Callers!

 
Saturday, May 17th, 12pm – 12am
$20 for the day (workshops included) or $10 for the Dance only.
American Legion Post 206, 227 North Avenue 55,  90042

•  Callers:

•  Bands:
Family Dance—

  • Hollywood Boll Weevils (Los Angeles)

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When Joe Wack moved to Los Angeles, he joined with his soon-to-be wife Katy Croshier under the name of the Hollywood Boll Weevils,
playing dances, parties, and street gigs for the early days of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and the opening of Universal City walk.
Katy’s fiddle and Joe’s guitar or banjo backup form the nucleus of the group, which has seen various musician friends sit in through
the years.  Joining them for the Family Dance in the Social will be fiddler extraordinaire Frank Hoppe, a frequent playing partner.

Cakewalk—

  • The Turpentine Rug Stompers (Los Angeles)

Square Dance— for full bios go here.

  • Brian Vollmer & Ben Townsend (NY & WV)
  • Spencer & Rains (KS & TX)

Mar 11 2014

2014 – L.A. Old Time Social Kick Off Party!

Thurs. 5/15, 8pm, $5 – $10 donation:

1642, 1642 Temple Ave., 90026

  • LA Bluegrass Hoppers
  • White Chocolate Drops
  • Smoggy Mountain String Band

*****

LA Bluegrass Hoppers:

HoppersThe L.A. Blue Grasshoppers, UCLA’s very own old time and bluegrass band, brings a high-energy repertoire of dance tunes and polished harmonies drawing from the high, lonesome sound of Appalachia. Comprised entirely of UCLA students, we won the Band Competition at the 2013 Topanga Valley Fiddle and Banjo festival, along with individual awards for banjo and guitar solos. Our eponymous album, L.A. Blue Grasshoppers, was recorded and produced at UCLA and is available for purchase on CDBaby and from members of the band.

*****
White Chocolate Drops:
The White Chocolate Drops are a duo of multi-instrumentalists Jonathan Shifflett and Nick Bachman. As students of old-time educator David Bragger, it wasn’t hard for them to find interests in common. The two find time to practice between Nick’s work as an animator and Jonathan’s studies in journalism.

Jonathan Shifflett: “I studied classical guitar in college and then switched to banjo ’cause I thought I wouldn’t have to try as hard…Two years later I’m still trying.” Nick Bachman: “I’m from Iowa originally, been playing for three years. But I came from a punk music background. I guess that’s all.”

The two share a love for the African-American old-time tradition and play with a historical sense of crookedness and harmonic confusion.

*****

Smoggy Mountain String Band:

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Amber Cavener (vocals): Amber was raised on old time music – her father and grandfather were both guitar players and singers from North Carolina. Family gatherings filled with music making led to a lifelong passion both for her and her brother, Jarvis Long III. Amber fronted ska, rocksteady and gypsy jazz bands before founding a traditional rockabilly group, Amber Foxx, with her husband Bobby Cavener in 2003. The group has played festivals in the U.S., England and Australia.

Bobby Cavener (upright bass): Bobby was interested in music at a young age. Guitar lessons opened him up to folk, blues and early jazz. A broken thumb made him believe music was out until a friend showed him the upright bass. Along with being a founding member of his wife’s rockabilly group, Amber Foxx, Bobby also performs with his brother-in-law’s hillbilly country band, J.W. Long & The Weyman Creek Boys.

Jarvis Long III (guitar, vocals): Jarvis has held a lifelong love of country music. In 2006, after stints of punk rock and rock and roll, Jarvis returned to his roots when he formed J.W. Long & The Weyman Creek Boys, a hillbilly country band, with his brother-in-law Bobby Cavener. Jarvis brings the rhythmic energy of his rock and roll background to his newfound passion – old time music.

Peter Linden (banjo): Peter fell in love with old time music while attending college in New York. Since moving back West, he has filled life with as much of it as he can, and with a little more sun.

Kyle McNally (fiddle, vocals): Kyle began playing the violin at an early age. After setting it down for many years, his passion for music was reignited when he moved to North Carolina and heard the sounds of old time, which he’s been playing ever since.


Feb 28 2014

2014 – L.A. Old Time Social Friday Night Concert

Fri. 5/17, 8pm, $20:**

The Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 West 24th St., 90007

**pre-sale tix available SOON.

*****

Triple Chicken Foot:

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Triple Chicken Foot is an Old Time trio playing fiddle and banjo tunes and songs in Los Angeles, California with Ben Guzmán on fiddle/mandolin, Mike Heinle on banjo and Kelly Marie Martin on guitar.  They all three sing.  For over six years, playing old time music in Los Angeles, they have performed at the Autry National Center, LACMA, The Watkins Family Hour, weddings, numerous clubs around Southern California and on NPR. They have also performed at local festivals: Goleta Fiddlers Convention, Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest and the New Los Angeles Folk Festival, up the west coast at the Portland Old Time Gathering, the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, and on the Palomino stage of the Stagecoach Festival.  Spending time with veteran players around Los Angeles and the country at many late night jams, they have been soaking up fiddle tunes and gospel songs, and have found their voice with foot stomping dance tunes, beautiful duets and three-part harmony of acapella ballads.  They haven’t played the Social in a couple of years and thought it might be high time to do so again.

**

Spencer & Rains:

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Spencer & Rains play old time music. Tricia Spencer  is a Kansas fiddler who grew up learning the tradition of old-time music from her Grandparents.  At an early age, she was perched up on some stage tapping her foot to the beat of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars.  While growing up, her free time was spent traveling to festivals and fiddling contest throughout the Midwest and hanging around listening and learning from Pete McMahan, Ceril Stinnet, Lymon Enloe, Dwight Lamb, Amos Chase, and Lucy Pierce. Tricia is a multi-instrumentalist who has studied with some of the great masters in old-time and is highly sought after as a performer, dance fiddler, and instructor. Howard Rains is a native Texas artist and fiddler living in both Austin, TX and Lawrence, KS whose twin obsessions are painting and playing traditional American fiddle music. Howard plays rare, old traditional fiddle tunes learned from friends, family and old recordings. His release “The Old Texas Fiddle” reintroduces listeners to the pre-contest styles of Texas fiddling. The New York Times has called Howard “an authority on old Texas-style fiddling.” As much known for his painting as his fiddling, Howard has painted many of great old time musicians, both living and gone.

Together, Spencer & Rains play old time fiddle tunes and sing old songs in the style of their home states while also exploring other American regional styles of fiddling. Both multi-instrumentalists deeply absorbed in traditional music, Howard and Tricia preserve, present, and teach old time music while at the same time making it their own. Not only do they love to play dances, festivals, and house concerts, Spencer & Rains are highly sought after as instructors and  love to teach old time music at camps, workshops, and private lessons. Have a look and a listen and enjoy!

*****

Brian Vollmer & Ben Townsend:

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Brian and Ben both starting playing Old-Time as teenagers, Brian in Tennessee and Ben in West Virginia. Regularly seeing each other at fiddler’s conventions and contests over the last 10 years, they’ve shared many a session. When Brian began working on his latest CD, Old-Time Music Party, Ben was a natural choice to join in. Of late, Brian and Ben have been touring the East Coast and are excited to be heading out west to play some true southern Old Time.

*****


Jan 9 2014

Save the Date for the 9th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social!

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Jan 1 2014

8th Ever LAOTS

Gorgeous poster by the multi-talented Angelina Elise!

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This year is the 8th Ever Los Angeles Old-Time Social.  May 16, 17, 18  will see concerts, workshops, parties, jams and a big square dance!  May 19th is the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest to top off the weekend!   Full day by day calendar and details below.  If you need more info, email info@oldtimeisagoodtime.com

Thurs. 5/16, 8pm, $5 – $10 donation:  Kick Off Party!

Echo Country Outpost, 1770 Glendale Blvd., 90026

  • Kurt MacInnis & Frank Hoppe (Los Angeles)
  • Emily Rose (Vancouver, BC)
  • Bob Carlin & Dan Levenson (North Carolina)

Full Kick Off details and band bios HERE!!!

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Fri. 5/17, 8pm:  Concert!**

The Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 West 24th St., 90007

**Pre-sale tix available here.

Full Concert details and band bios HERE!

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Sat. 5/18, 12-11pm, Workshops & Square Dance!

$20 for the day (workshops included) or $10 for the Dance only.
American Legion Post 206, 227 North Avenue 55,  90042

Square Dance  |   Family Dance  |  Cakewalk:
Family Dance & Cake Walk – 6:30,  Square Dance 8pm

Cake Walk Cake Baking Sign Up & Info HERE:
Contact Katy kttheflowerlady@sbcglobal.net

•  Callers:

•  Square Dance Bands:

  • Hollywood Boll Weevils (Los Angeles)
  • Sausage Grinder (Los Angeles)
  • Jesse Milnes, Emily Miller & Friends (West Virginia)

Full Square Dance band bios coming soon!

Worskshops 12 – 6pm!

Description, Times & Sign-up HERE!

  • Old Time Fiddle Tunes of West Virginia with Jesse Milnes
  • Mandolin Tunes from Italy, Mexico and New Mexico for Mandolin/Violin and Guitar with Paul Rangell and Emily Abbink
  • Old Time Fiddle Tunes of Pennsylvania and Kentucky with David Bragger
  • Two-Finger Banjo Kentucky Style with Chris Berry
  • Old Time String Band Guitar with Tom Sauber
  • Appalachian Style Percussive Dance Workshop with Ruth Alpert and Rebecca Stout
  • “One Finger Wonders” on Clawhammer Banjo with Steve Lewis
  • Harmony Singing with Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes
  • How to Call a Square Dance with Susan Michaels

Sep 16 2013

Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller – John Henry


Emily Miller and Jesse Milnes play the 8th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social, May 17, 2013, the Velaslavasay Panorama.

Produced/Edited: Ben Guzman
Cameras: Nick Weidner and Ian Arthur
Sound: Stephen Schauer


Sep 10 2013

Paul Rangell & Emily Abinnk Performing

Paul Rangell and Emily Abbink play the 8th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social, May 17, 2013, the Velaslavasay Panorama.

Produced/Edited: Ben Guzman
Cameras: Nick Weidner and Ian Arthur
Sound: Stephen Schauer


Aug 8 2013

Nov 8-10: Dare To Be Square West!

Dare To Be Square West!

L.A. is excited to be hosting Dare To Be Square West!