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

Apr 13 2013

8th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social



All the info you need to know about the 8th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social is HERE or click the poster!

Apr 2 2012

The 7th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social

The poster is done!  Everything is set!  Time to start planning your 3 day Old Time Vacation!

All the info about the Social, by day, bands, workshops etc is here.

Mar 15 2012

Appalachian Voices Presentation 3/25 3pm

Mar 10 2012

L.A. Old Time Social Concert

Fri. 5/18, 8pm, $15:**

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

**pre-sale tix available HERE.


Modal Tease String Band

Modal Tease String Band has been playing old tunes for new times since 2009. We grew out of the Los Angeles old time music scene, where folks meet regularly to jam and share tunes “around the campfire.” Our
penchant for modal tunes brought us together, and our fascination with obscure, crooked fiddle and banjo tunes sealed the deal. While rooted in and respectful of old time traditions, we’re flexible, adventurous, and versatile. If it feels old, is foot-tappingly addictive, musically interesting, or begs for tight vocal harmonies, odds are we want to perform it. And so our motto is Music From Appalachia and Beyond.

Modal Tease is made up of Belinda Thom on the Devil’s Box (fiddle), Cliff Latimer on mandolin, Jim Hamilton on clawhammer banjo, Lawrence Ullman on standup bass, and Stephen Schauer on guitar. Recently, they won awards at the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Competition and the GoletaOld-Time Fiddlers Convention. In December 2011, they released their first CD, Aggravatin’ Beauty.

Belinda Thom has played her grandpa’s violin most of her life. In college, it became her fiddle — “a violin with attitude” — returning full-circle to her grandpa’s heritage. The Bubba George String Band gave her a taste, but it was 20 years of dabbling in blues, jazz, folk, and computer music before she met folks in L.A.who named the old time sound and shared its traditions with her. Belinda is raising her family, teaching fiddle, transcribing old recordings, and performing.

Cliff Latimer grew up in Detroit and was playing guitar in rock bands by age 13. Always a fan of the mandolin in country music, he picked one up around 15 years ago and never looked back. Cliff played bluegrass with L.A. bands The Spikedrivers and The Homebillies before being swept away by the archaic, modal sound of old time music. Cliff teaches Motion Picture Sound Design at the Cinema Schools of both USC and Loyola Marymount.

Jim Hamilton grew up with folk and bluegrass music in Texas. He first heard old time in 1999 while on a pilgrimage in West Virginia, where he fell in love with this music and promptly moved over to “the dark side.” He bought an open back banjo, gave up bluegrass, and has ever since immersed himself in this tradition. Jim goes back annually to attend his favorite workshop, Allegheny Echoes, in West Virginia, where he always brings back new gems for the band to play.

Stephen Schauer was raised in a place known to folks in the area as Kentuckiana. He played guitar as a kid, picking up mandolin and texas style tenor guitar while living in Seattle and Dallas. In Seattle, champion fiddler Pete Martin introduced him to the extraordinary music of Benny and Jerry Thomasson. Since then, he’s completely immersed himself in the rich and broad history of old time music, recently joining Modal Tease on guitar.

Having misspent his youth performing Renaissance and Baroque music on period brass and woodwind instruments, Lawrence Ullman underwent a wicked mid-life crisis and took up clawhammer banjo after his brother gave him “O Brother Where Art Thou”. Although he still manages to frail some banjo at old-time jams, he gravitated to the upright bass after an instrument originally purchased for his teen daughter to play in middle school became available.


The Driftwood Singers:

The Driftwood Singers unassumingly take the stage and sing songs that could have been written ages ago but were more likely written in the last few weeks.  Just barely in their 20′s The Driftwood Singers are prolific writers immersed in the folk tradition building on songs and stories that at their heart are observations of the human condition in all it’s gruesome variations and beautiful splendor.Constantly on the road since beginning the band nearly two years ago at the age of 19, playing all over the country and Canada, The Driftwood Singers are quite a surprising contrast to what one might expect from two kids born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles.   They prove that one can love the Carter Family and traditional music and still be firmly in the present with songs as vibrant and alive as any we’ve heard and an attitude that embraces the anti-elitist and DIY ethos of the punks we love

Their debut, 5-song EP, Look! beautifully exemplifies their determination. After experimenting with some big studios and becoming frustrated with the intervals of multi-tracking and the stale output of Protools, they decided one night to pare everything down to its stark essence and begin recording it on a Sony Walkman which they did by laying it on their living room table and pressing record.  What’s captured is the immediacy of their performances and what they call  “the transparency of sound”.

How can you go wrong with songs of death and hope, murder and love, lechery and splendor, transcendence and cruelty and all points in between! We’re looking forward to being a part The Driftwood Singers story as it winds it’s way through the hills, hollers, canyons and caves out of the shadows of the blue ridge mountains of Pocahontas, West Virginia to wide open starlit skies of Joshua Tree, California.


The Iron Leg Boys:

The Iron Leg Boys, from eastern and central West Virginia, play old-style string band music and fiddle tunes unique to their home state.  Since forming more than ten years ago, the group has played cakewalks, family reunions, house dances, weddings, flatfoot contests, concerts and bar gigs across the state.  They have appeared on the Augusta and Clifftop stages, and the November release of their long-awaited first recording has helped expose the band, along with a unique repertoire of West Virginia fiddle tunes, to a wider audience.

Andy FitzGibbon of Elkins, Ben Townsend of Jones Spring, and Matt Metz of Harpers Ferry handle fiddle, banjo, and guitar duties respectively.  For the L. A. Old Time Social, Matthew McElroy of Athens, Ohio, (who is, conveniently, also named Matt) will take over guitar duties.


Feb 27 2012

L.A. Old Time Social Kick Off Party!

Thurs. 5/17, 8pm, $5 – $10 donation:

Echo Country Outpost, 1770 Glendale Blvd., 90026

  • Thomas Angell & Mike Lewinski
  • Snake Oil Stranglers
  • Cliff Wagner


Thomas Angell & Mike Lewinski:

Thomas Angell and Mike Lewinski met at a late night, whiskey driven session at the 2010 Golden Old Time Campout, in Booneville, CA. Since then, these two California natives have cut their teeth in dancehalls, BART stations and on street corners throughout the greater Bay Area. They play whatever they can get their heads around, but their fretless banjo and high powered fiddling combination trends towards their spiritual mentors: the late Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham. Round Peak may have been a departure point for the two but you can expect to hear traces of Haley, Stamper, Hammons, and even some Dock Boggs, when they hit the stage as a duo at 2012′s Los Angeles Old Time Social.


Snake Oil Stranglers

The Snake Oil Stranglers bring the Old Time hurt with piping hot dance tunes from North Carolina and Tennessee.  Using the power of song, Nick Bachman, Josh Orkin, Chris Berry, Jeff Bandy, and David Bragger attempt to conjure up the ghosts and ghouls of fiddlers past right before your very eyes.


Cliff Wagner & The Old #7

Cliff Wagner hails from Greenwood, Mississippi and has been playing music since he was eleven years old.  A brilliant mix between traditional, blues, and country, he is skilled on guitar, fiddle and banjo.  He and his band, the Old Number 7, have been a staple in the Los Angeles music scene since 2005.  He has recorded 6 albums, solo and with the band, and was featured on America’s Next Top Band.  For the LA Old Time Social Cliff will be playing a special duet set just for us!

Jan 31 2012

7th Ever LAOTS


This year is the 7th Ever Los Angeles Old-Time Social.  May 17, 18, 19  will see concerts, workshops, parties, jams and a big square dance!  May 20th 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

Thurs. 5/17, 8pm, $5 – $10 donation:  Kick Off Party!

Echo Country Outpost, 1770 Glendale Blvd., 90026

Full Kick Off details and band bios here.


Fri. 5/18, 8pm, $15:  Concert!**

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

**Pre-sale tix available here.

Full Concert details and band bios here.


Sat. 5/19, 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

Worskshops Description & Sign-up HERE.

Cake Walk Cake Baking Sign Up & Info here:
Contact Katy

•  Callers:

•  Square Dance Bands:

Full Square Dance band bios here.

Workshops 1pm – 6pm:

Description & Sign-up HERE.

  • West Virginia Fiddle Repertoire with Andy Fitzgibbons
  • Incredible Fiddle Jam Tunes from Virginia and Kentucky with David Bragger
  • Incredible Banjo Jam Tunes from Virginia and Kentucky with David Bragger
  • Rhythm and Chord Patterns for the Guitar in Old-Time Music with Tom Sauber
  • Square Dance Calling with Susan Michaels
  • Shape Note Singing with Jessica Catron
  • Clogging with Ruth Alpert

Jan 29 2012

Save the Date! 7th Ever L.A. Old Time Social!

May 26 2011

Shape Note Singing Workshop @ LAOTS

Jessica Catron leads the Shape Note Signing workshop at the 6th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social @ Nomad Studios.

May 5 2011

L.A. Old Time Social Workshops

Sat. 5/19 1:00pm – 6:00pm:

American Legion Hall Post 206, Highland Park, 227 N. Ave. 55 90042

$20 for the day (workshops & dance included)

Please email for registration & questions.



Clogging with Ruth Alpert from 5 – 6 pm:
Don’t have a partner to promenade but still feel like shaking your tailfeather?  Learn how to freestyle Appalachian-style with the phenomenal Ruth Alpert.

Raised in New York City, Ruth has been studying and performing dance since 1956, attending such prestigious schools as George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet and The Merce Cunningham School. Ruth graduated from Bard College with a major in dance and was part of the post modern scene in Soho in the 1970s. She is also an Appalachian freestyle clogger, which – along with improvisational theatre – she has performed regularly.
Please email for registration & questions.

West Virginia Fiddle Repertoire with Andy Fitzgibbons 1 -2 pm:
I learned to play West Virginia fiddle tunes in the old style from Lester McCumbers, Melvin Wine, Ralph Roberts, Murrell Hamrick, and other residents of central West Virginia.  My workshop will present a repertoire of rare and unusual tunes and bowing styles unique to the region, as well as discussing the background of the tunes and the fiddlers who played them.  Rather than teaching a whole tune, note-for-note, I will instead use several tunes to illustrate the bow, fingering, and timing techniques that are integral to West Virginia fiddle music.   Any level is welcome, and recording devices are encouraged.  Please email for registration & questions.

Clawhammer Banjo of West Virginia and Tenessee with Ben Townsend 2 – 3 pm:
In this workshop Ben focuses on Central West Virginia banjo.

West Virginia native Ben Townsend grew up amidst Hampshire County’s rich musical heritage. At a young age he learned to play banjo and guitar in the old-time way. Encouraged by such local fiddlers as Paul Roomsburg, Joe Herrmann and Israel Welch he has gone on to amass a great catalog of traditional fiddle tunes, banjo pieces and songs. While in college at Shepherd University Ben used his summers to study banjo from stalwarts such as Riley Bogus and Jimmy Costa at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. Apon graduation, again with the help of the Heritage Center’s apprenticeship program, he went on to study the traditional fiddle styles of Central West Virginia and Kentucky from Dave Bing of Roan County, WV and John Harrod of Owen County, Kentucky. Having spent time learning both banjo and fiddle in the styles of both West Virginia and Kentucky, Ben’s knowledge is not quick to run out.

While traveling and learning traditional music, Ben also took the time to join The Fox Hunt, a string band from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He is also a member of a more traditional string band called the Iron Leg Boys with fiddler Andy Fitzgibbon and guitarist Matt Metz.  Please email for registration & questions.

Shapenote Singing with Jessica Catron 2 – 3 pm:
Shape note singing is a uniquely American tradition dating back to the late 18th century that brings communities together to sing polyphonic hymns and anthems. It is a proudly inclusive and democratic part of our shared cultural heritage, designed to facilitate congregational singing.  You are invited to come learn as well as participate in this unique, alternative musical language.   No prior singing experience or musical knowledge is necessary.  The music is easy, the sound is joyously resonant, and all voices and ages are welcome — a willingness to sing is the only requirement!  Please email for registration & questions.

Incredible Fiddle Jam Tunes from Virginia and Kentucky with David Bragger 4 – 5pm:
This workshop is for all levels! The objective is to get the fiddler playing some incredible tunes that will rock any jam session. I’ll be drawing from a vast repertoire of Kentucky and Virginia jam tunes that are fun, rhythmic and easy to grasp. I will also be teaching these exact tunes in a clawhammer banjo workshop entitled “Incredible Banjo Jam Tunes from Virginia and Kentucky.” Fiddlers and banjoists can rejoice and play them together afterwards at the Social or at the numerous jams in Los Angeles and beyond! Please email for registration & questions.

Incredible Banjo Jam Tunes from Virginia and Kentucky with David Bragger 5 – 6pm:
This workshop is for all levels! The objective is to get the banjo player playing some incredible tunes that will rock any jam session. I’ll be drawing from a vast repertoire of Kentucky and Virginia jam tunes that are fun, rhythmic and easy to grasp. I will also be teaching these exact tunes in a fiddle workshop entitled “Incredible Fiddle Jam Tunes from Virginia and Kentucky.” Banjoists and fiddlers can rejoice and play them together afterwards at the Social or at the numerous jams in Los Angeles and beyond!

As always I will provide audio recordings of the workshop tunes with detailed instruction and variations for all the attendees. This way, beginners will have a chance to work through the basics and the more advanced banjo players will have variations including drop-thumbs, rakes, syncopations, etc. Please reserve your spot!

David Bragger plays banjo, fiddle and mandolin in the old-time jugband Sausage Grinder and in several local dance bands. David teaches old-time fiddle, banjo and mandolin to students of all ages and levels. 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! Please email for registration & questions.

Rhythm and Chord Patterns for the Guitar in Old-Time Music with Tom Sauber from 3 – 4pm:
Before the guitar entered the old-time ensemble in the early 20th century, the fiddle and banjo supplied the melody, rhythm and lots of droning.   The addition of the guitar added something new to the mix -  bass notes and chords -  while augmenting the rhythm.  We’ll look at 4 rhythm patterns (right hand) that can support and add to the energy of the lead instruments.   Chords for  fiddle and banjo music are usually implied, at best, and are often totally absent.  That doesn’t mean you have to play just one chord.  We’ll look at a few tunes to see what chord patterns can work and why; also how chord choices can complement the melody as opposed to slavishly following it.  Plus, we’ll briefly review the chord numbering system, something every guitar player should know.  Please email for registration & questions.

Square Dance Calling with Susan Michaels from  3 – 5 pm:
Learn how to call squares for your friends and family.  Beginners welcome.  Please email mike@triplechickenfoot.comfor registration & questions.  Or just show up and get your dancing shoes on.

Clogging with Ruth Alpert from 5 – 6 pm:
Please email for registration & questions.