If you’re planning to hear Scottish troubadours Jim and Susie Malcolm at Caltech this Saturday evening, Jan. 27, you can postpone celebrating the 265th birthday of poet Robert Burns this Thursday. The Malcolms fervently sing lyrics by Burns, Scotland’s national poet. You’ll also hear their own compositions and other songs old and new.
Jim Malcolm accompanies the duo’s strong voices and vibrant harmonies with well-honed guitar playing and a harmonica style that can sound like a concertina. Besides bringing new verve to old songs, the Malcolms’ showcase some top-notch modern songwriting. Examples on their latest album include The Final Trawl, by Archie Fisher, and Auld Toon Shuffle, by Rod Paterson.
Tickets for the concert are $25 each, or $10 for Caltech students and anyone age 16 or younger. A $4 service charge per ticket applies to online orders and by phone from the Caltech Ticket Office (626-395-4652), which is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. There’s no service charge for in person ticket purchases at the Keith Spalding Building, 1200 California Blvd. If tickets are still available Saturday evening, they will be for sale at the door, for purchase by cash or check only, with no service charge. Our most recent concert sold out, so some people who arrived intending to buy tickets at the door could not attend. A few dozen tickets for the Malcolms’ concert are still available as of today. We recommend purchasing online.
Venue and Parking
Beckman Institute Auditorium is inside the rectangular Beckman Institute building at 400 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena, just west of the larger, round Beckman Auditorium. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. in lots to the east and west of Michigan Avenue a block south of Del Mar Boulevard and also in two parking structures on the west side of Wilson in the first block south of Del Mar.
A different event will be in the big Beckman Auditorium the same evening, so the closer parking lots might fill early. Because of that event, the ticket office will be handling online sales of tickets for the Malcolms’ concert until about 5 p.m. on Saturday, unlike the usual cut-off of Friday evening.
A Radio Treat: Jim Malcolm from 2002
A recorded KPFK radio show from 2002 features Jim Malcolm performing several fine songs and the late Howard Larman interviewing him. KPFK’s FolkScene show just reran that treat on Sunday, which made it available online for two weeks. You can listen to it on the KPFK Audio Archives. (Choose “Folk Scene” from the “All Shows” dropdown menu, then select the Jan. 21 show. The Malcolm interview starts at the top of the second hour.) Malcolm was already an accomplished singer-songwriter 22 years ago and he talks with Larman about joining the Old Blind Dogs band in 1999. Catch Malcolm displaying his skill in songwriting, as well as singing and guitar-playing, in his Road to New York, inspired by his first impressions of fall foliage of the U.S. Northeast.