Tag Archives: Jackson Browne

FAR-West 2016: Best of the West Awards

FAR-West 2016 Conference LogoKC Cafe Radio’s live coverage from the 2016 Folk Alliance Region West music conference continued on Saturday, October 15, with an event that celebrated folk music’s finest in the great West.  This year’s Best of the West (BOTW) honorees were legendary songwriter/performer Danny O’Keefe music educator Peter McCracken with the Centrum Foundation, and the Seattle Folklore Society.

Danny O'Keefe (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)

Danny O’Keefe (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)

Danny O’Keefe, the FAR-West BOTW Performer Honoree, has released a string of albums since the early 70s that have cemented his reputation as one of the best songwriters of his generation. Although casual fans remember him best for his Top Ten hit, “Goodtime Charlie’s Got the Blues,” or Jackson Browne’s version of “The Road” on his classic Running on Empty album, his story didn’t end in the 70s. He has continued to record the occasional brilliant album and recently returned with “Light Leaves the West,” released in September 2015. Danny’s songs have been recorded by a veritable Who’s Who of legendary artists over the past thirty-plus years including Elvis Presley, Cab Calloway, Charlie Rich, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Earl Klugh, Chris Hillman, Conway Twitty, Leon Russell, Dwight Yoakum and Jerry Lee Lewis among many others. He has also shared his knowledge and experience with students and other musicians through classes and workshops that he has presented throughout the West for more than thirty years. As a prime mover in the Songbird Foundation, Danny has taken an active role in successfully preserving habitats for Western Songbirds and has selflessly held numerous benefit concerts in support of the environment, Native American rights, and other key social issues. For over four decades, Danny O’Keefe and his music have been a source of inspiration and delight for colleagues and fans throughout the world.

Danny O’Keefe joins previous Best of the West Performer Honorees Cris Williamson, Barbara Dane, Chris Hillman, Eric Lowen & Dan Navarro, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, The Kingston Trio, Joe Craven, John McEuen, Laurie Lewis, and Barry McGuire.

Peter McCracken (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)

Peter McCracken (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)

Peter McCracken and the Centrum Foundation were the BOTW Ambassador Honorees. The Centrum Foundation of Port Townsend, WA, is a unique arts education and advocacy program that promotes creative experiences that change lives through intergenerational workshops, bringing together aspiring and master artists to foster creativity, provide mentorship, and build community. Peter McCracken has long been an integral part of this inspiring organization, serving in many capacities over the years including Arts Program Manager and Traditional Arts Program Manager. Peter has established and led the Foundation’s Country Blues, Voice Works, and Ukulele programs and has organized many other short, themed, focused workshops. In 1992 he started the Blues Workshop and Festival and in 2000 he led the initial curatorial project for Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes Preservation and Stabilization. As a visionary and administrator, Peter McCracken has influenced and inspired thousands of musicians from the western states and around the world through his brilliant leadership.

Peter McCracken and the Centrum Foundation join previous Best of the West Ambassador Honorees Russ & Julie Paris, Cassandra Flipper and Bread and Roses, Ed Pearl and the Ash Grove Foundation, Roz & Howard Larman, Steve Baker, Clark & Elaine Weissman, Mike McCormick, Bob Stane, Cloud Moss, Phil & Vivian Williams and Chris Strachwitz.

Seattle Folklore Society (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)

Seattle Folklore Society (Photo: Jeanette Lundgren)

Seattle Folklore Society received an Organizational Achievement Award in recognition of 50 years of service to preserve and foster awareness and appreciation of folk and traditional arts in the Seattle area. A non-profit folk organization, founded in 1966, SFS has one of the largest and most stable memberships in the country. They produce folk music concerts, dances, song circles, camps and a newsletter. Many members are active concertgoers, dancers and players of the acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, ukulele and other folk instruments. The award was presented by Victory Music founder and Ancient Victorys president, Chris Lunn.

Listen to the ceremony here:

Part 1:

Download Part 1 here: Best of the West Awards Ceremony, Part 1

Part 2:

Download Part 2 here: Best of the West Awards Ceremony, Part 2

Joellen Lapidus: Pioneer of Contemporary Dulcimer

joellen_lapidusJoellen Lapidus is one of the pioneers of contemporary mountain dulcimer playing, songwriting, and instrument construction and is the author of the dulcimer instruction book “Lapidus on Dulcimer”. Joellen blends the Appalachian, Indian, Arabic, jazz, classical, and pop musical styles to give the dulcimer a new range of rhythmic, melodic, and tuning possibilities.

As a dulcimer maker, her work influenced many of the dulcimer builders of the 70’s and 80’s. Her instruments were known for their innovative shapes and exquisite soundhole and peghead inlay work. She introduced the dulcimer to Joni Mitchell and made three instruments for her between 1968 and 1976. She has also made instruments for David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Wendy Waldman and Garth Hudson. The March 2004 concert, recorded on her album, Joellen Lapidus In Concert, marked her first performance in over 10 years.

Joellen teaches dulcimer in West Los Angeles. She has also returned to her original musical loves – the clarinet and the accordion. She performs with the band “Extreme Klezmer Makeover” and with violinist Yvette Devereaux.  Joellen’s newest album is called Dulcimer Music for the Pelican Ballet.

Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Joellen, about her unique dulcimer influences, her musical upbringing living in New York, and how her musical horizons broadened as she traveled across the United States.  They also talk at length about her unique dulcimer instrument creations, and the inspiration behind Pelican Ballet.

Listen To the Interview Here:

Downlad the interview here: Interview: Joellen Lapidus, 5/10/2016.

Music from Joellen Lapidus on KC Cafe Radio:

Roger Street Friedman Debuts With “The Waiting Sky”

Roger Street FriedmanLong Island born and Brooklyn based Roger Street Friedman was born into a creative household. His father was an artist, his mother was a writer, and his two older brothers were budding guitarists. Everyone was passionate about music. At 18 Friedman left home to join the rock band The Walk as their bassist, recruited by veteran producer and engineer Michael Wright (who previously had worked with megastars Foreigner). Friedman’s band mates were considerably older and as a teenager he just didn’t gel with them. “I was an immature kid, I didn’t understand the work and dedication it took to be good at music,” Friedman says. He took off to Colorado and ended up skiing for a few years. He then spent the next twenty-eight years in a fulfilling career but wandering aimlessly in and out of musical pursuits until the loss of his parents, and an unexpected blessing, awoke the music within.

Friedman and his wife had been previously told they wouldn’t be able to conceive. Seven years ago they got pregnant and the bliss and awe of the gift of new life inspired Friedman to write his first complete song in years, “the Miracle Is You.” When his newborn’s babysitter suggested he record his next song, “Fiberglass Buddha,” in her husband’s home studio he had a huge epiphany. “Being in that studio, my world went from black and white to color. I made the decision to move my life in that direction again,” he says.

Friedman’s aesthetic is a diverse blend of folk, blues, R&B, rock n’ roll, and country. He’s been favorably compared to Jackson Browne, Peter Gabriel, The Dead, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Joan Armatrading. His songwriting is concise and powerfully introspective, intimate, and filled with warmth.

Friedman’s debut album, The Waiting Sky was recorded by Felix McTeigue at a number of studios in Brooklyn, NY including, Saltlands Studio, Strangeweather, 802 Media Group (McTeigue’s facility) and Friedman’s home studio. “The songs emphasize life, loss, and having children, and Felix understood that,” Friedman says. McTeigue also understood the type of subtle and sophisticated band interplay needed to dynamically match each song’s powerful poignancy. In addition to Friedman’s live Rhythm section of Jim Toscano and Lee Marvin and stellar background vocalist Grace McLean, McTeigue augmented the sessions with such A-list players as Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), Byron Isaacs (Levon Helm) ,Tony Leone (Ollabelle), Jason Crosby (Susan Tedeschi, Phil Lesh) Dawn Landes (Hem), and up and coming folk duo, Ari and Mia (who are in fact Friedman’s nieces). There are also appearances by Roger’s two older brothers. David on harmonica and Lev on background vocals.

Recently Friedman took some time out of his busy recording schedule to talk with KC Cafe radio Music Director Kathy Forste via Skype. They talked about the events in his life that inspired the songs on The Waiting Sky, the contributions that life, family and circumstances make in the creation of music as an art form, and what is instore for him in his new musical future.

Listen to the interview here:

Music by Roger Street Friedman on KC Cafe Radio

Roger Street Friedman - The Waiting Sky Roger Street Friedman – The Waiting SkyRequest this album