Monthly Archives: October 2016

Guitarist Chris Proctor performs at Caltech Saturday Nov. 5; Heartfelt Music & Repair Cafe tomorrow; Bluegrass Hansel & Gretel in Nov.

The Pasadena Folk Music Society welcomes back the fine American guitarist, Chris Proctor to Caltech, this Saturday, November 5 in Beckman Institute Auditorium (Little Beckman) at 8:00 PM. Chris, now living in Salt Lake City, is a great 6 and 12 string fingerstyle steel string guitarist and we’re happy to get him back in a pattern of return visits every few years. Chris’s guitar playing encompasses a range of styles, including traditional American folk, Celtic, blues and classical, but his style and fluidity is all his own. He is a fine composer of his own tunes, and he captures a wide range of emotions in his music. He also finds new dimensions in familiar songs, written by others. A good example is his version of the Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song, Ohio, in which he tackles the anger and outrage of that song, which was a response to the student killings during the Vietnam War protest at Kent State University in 1970. Chris translates the raw emotion of the original and the event itself into an instrumental piece, not through loud, crashing volume, but with compelling tension that rivets the attention of the listener throughout the piece. With all eyes on his hands, he makes it seem so easy.

Oliver Di Place wrote about Chris, “When someone says of an instrumentalist that he is a musical storyteller, I usually roll my eyes. But Chris Proctor really is a storyteller with his music. He plays with a light touch, his fingers gliding across the strings. His melodies take the listener from a definite start to finish, with an interesting plot and wonderful characterization along the way. The melody is in the top string, with counter-melodies and harmonies in the rest of the strings. The rhythm comes from the song as a whole. It all falls into place beautifully.” Seeing Chris perform is quite a treat. His telling of anecdotes about the writing of tunes gives the listener just enough background to form some images which take on life while hearing the song. His guitar playing is extraordinary. See him tackle his original composition, Hot Spot and check his web site,
Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for Caltech students and children. Call the Caltech Ticket Office Monday through Friday, 9:00AM- 4:00 PM at (626) 395-4652. You can buy tickets online for this show here and you can buy them at the door on Saturday. On December 3, we will present outstanding bluegrass with Witcher, Recupido, and Levitt, featuring the nucleus of the Witcher Brothers, Dennis Witcher and Tony Recupido, joined by the fine banjo of Dan Levitt

If we read our calendar correctly, tomorrow, Saturday, October 29 is the 5th Saturday of the month, which means we can expect John and Deanne Davis to be doing their occasional 2 hours of great recorded folk music on the radio with their show, Heartfelt Music from 6AM to 8AM on KPFK, 90.7 FM. The KPFK fund drive will be over, and their show is worth getting up at this early hour. If you can’t do that, hear them on the KPFK Audio Archives for the following 2 weeks.

Also tomorrow, Saturday, October 29 – 10:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Boys & Girls Club, 3230 E. Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena 91107, is a wonderful grassroots phenomena, the Repair Cafe Pasadena. You can bring in broken mechanical things, basic sewing/mending items, broken toys, jewelry, and their team of volunteers with special skills and tools will try to fix it for you! And they give away some free things, too. If you have special skills, you can become a volunteer. Find out more by going to the Transition Pasadena web site, and click on the video with the bicycle being repaired to get an idea of the great spirit behind this project.

Finally, the 24th Street Theater in Los Angeles (1117 West 24th Street, LA 90007, 213-745-6516) is presenting a bluegrass musical, Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass on Saturdays and Sundays through December 11. This unique version of the well-known tale features the Get Down Boys, a fine Southern California bluegrass group, and the setting is depression-era Kentucky. The show is kid-friendly and definitely bluegrass-friendly. The production is partly funded by the National Foundation for the Arts. Tickets are sold out for this weekend, but still available for other shows. Find out more here.