New John McCutcheon Series Starts February 11th and Other News

Get in the mood for Valentine’s Day with a set of love songs from folk musician John McCutcheon this Saturday, Feb. 11.  It’s the first in a new series of live-online concerts, and discounted tickets are available for a four-show package.

If you caught any of McCutcheon’s online shows presented in alliance with our society  last year, you know to expect musical mastery in a warm personal style.

This Saturday’s online concert, “John McCutcheon: Love Songs!,” will begin at 4 p.m. Pacific Time.  Ticket-holders can shift to another start time using unlimited replays within 48 hours after the live show.  You can get single-show or series tickets at this page.

New McCutcheon Series

This McCutcheon series will continue on Sunday, March 19, with “The Women Who Made Me”;  on Sunday, April 16, with “Hammer Dulcimer!”; and on Saturday, May 13, with “Jackpot!”   All four begin at 4 p.m. with two days of replay availability.

The single-show standard price is $20 plus a $4.60 processing fee.  For that, click on the “Livestream Ticket” link underneath “Ticket Type.”  The four-show “series pass” is $65 plus a $14.95 processing fee.  For that option, click on the blue bar that says “View full series here.”  You can find other pricing options in the drop-down menu next to “Livestream Ticket.”  They include discounts for students or unemployed people and premiums for a family/household ticket or music supporter ticket.  A portion of the ticket revenue comes to our Pasadena Folk Music Society, which will help with expenses related to presenting in-person folk music in future months.

Romantic love may not be as common a theme for McCutcheon as conflict, seasons, children or baseball, but his 43 albums since the 1970s hold many fine love songs.  Lend an ear to Waltz ‘Round the Kitchen, about love grown familiar; Tallahassee Waltz, about a first embrace; Old People in Love, on enduring ardor; and Along Came You, about loving a grandchild.  In Saturday’s concert, he will celebrate suitors’ serenades, but also love of family, community and country.

The March 19 concert will bring songs and stories of several women who have guided McCutcheon’s music, including Jean Ritchie, Ola Belle Reed and Hazel Dickens.  He will bring some special guests to this online event.  The April 16 concert will be entirely music that McCutcheon plays on hammered dulcimer.  For a taste of his virtuosity on the instrument, listen to Leviathan.  The “Jackpot!” concert on May 13 will be a mix of old favorites plus some songs, stories and instruments he hasn’t showcased previously.

Pasadena Folk Music Society Status Update

In case online concerts aren’t what you’re seeking from our organization, which has offered more than 430 in-person concerts in the past 40 years, here’s a status update follows.

In the last couple of months, the Pasadena Folk Music Society has said goodbye to long-serving Board members Dorothy Auyong and Tom Hubbard, who have left to pursue other interests.  If you ever bought a recording or something from the merchandise table at one of our shows, you likely met one or both of them.  They did much more behind the scenes.  We thank them for their service and wish them well.  We have added six new Board members — Michael Cahill, Galen Denton, Alison Johnson, Lucy Meseberg, Jonathan Monsor, and Heather Tunis — who will join Nick Smith, Jan Tappan, and Rex Mayreis, as we work to resolve impediments to presenting live, in-person shows once again.  After one meeting together, we are very impressed with the new members and their dedication to continue the series.  Please be patient with the process, which will likely take some months.  We are all striving to bring you the same caliber of music we have presented  in the past.  If you’re on our email list, we’ll keep you posted.

Ian Tyson, 1933-2022

Ian Tyson, the great singer-songwriter from western Canada, died on Jan. 29.  An obituary in Rolling Stone included a link to his Four Strong Winds (the greatest Canadian song ever, according to one CBC Radio ranking), recorded with Sylvia Fricker in 1963 before they wed. As Ian & Sylvia, they also recorded his Someday Soon, which Judy Collins turned into a hit.  This clip has all three performing the song.  Later, Ian and Sylvia Tyson led the pioneering folk-rock-country band Great Speckled Bird. Some other great Ian Tyson songs, including Summer Wages, were included in a tribute to him on KPFK radio’s Folk Scene show on Jan. 29.  The tribute features an interview with Tom Russell, who co-wrote Navajo Rug and The Rose of San Joaquin with Ian Tyson.  A recording of that show is available through Feb. 12 on KPFK Audio Archives; select “Folk Scene” in the dropdown menu at “All Shows,” then play the Jan. 29 show, which has the Tyson tribute in its second hour.  In his later decades, Tyson concentrated on songs with Western themes, such as his The Gift (Charlie Russell), M.C. Horses and Horsethief Moon.  Much obliged, amigo.

Speaking of songs for Valentine’s Day, clap your ears onto Tyson’s Old Corrals and Sagebrush.

Some Other Listening Opportunities

You’ve probably heard about the Grammy Award winners, and maybe even the folk-oriented ones.  Bonnie Raitt not only won the overall Best Song award for her Just Like That, she also won two awards in the roots categories — Best American Roots Song (also for Just Like That) and Best Americana Performance (for Made Up Mind).  Molly Tuttle was nominated as best new artist in any type of music — a remarkable feat for any bluegrass musician, particularly one who has been putting out albums for nine years.  Jazz singer Samara Joy won that award, but Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway won the Best Bluegrass Album award for Crooked Tree. Don’t miss this terrific live performance of the title tune, with her great band, Golden Highway, featuring Jerry Douglas!  You can see all of the folk/Americana winners here.

Folk Alliance International also just had their conference and awards ceremony this past week.  You can watch it here, including a fine speech by Janis Ian 29 minutes in, followed by Jake Blunt doing a fitting version of her song, At Seventeen.  There’s also a short documentary about Josh White, followed by words and song by Josh White Jr. and some other fine performances.  Well worth watching!

Caltech has a pair of chances for you to hear a special Caltech Wind Orchestra concert in Ramo Auditorium this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m.  Find out more here.  Find out about more things going on at Caltech here.