Mark McDermott

Songs from the windshield: The roadgoing of James McMurtry 

Songs from the windshield: The roadgoing of James McMurtry 

By Mark McDermott I was living in a candy warehouse in South San Francisco when I first heard James McMurtry. It was 1996, and I was hiding out, trying to kick the dangerous habit of the Alaska fisheries, where I’d spent the previous five years barely not dying on a daily basis, yet addicted to […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Leftover Salmon plays Hermosa Beach

by Whitney Youngs In 1985, guitarist and singer Vince Herman relocated to Boulder, Colo., from Morgantown, W. Va., and spent his first night in town attending a Left Hand String Band show, where he met its frontman, mandolinist and singer Drew Emmitt. This serendipitous encounter undeniably shaped their musical careers, as the two men, along […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Tim Reynolds’ endless tour arrives in Hermosa Beach

Tim Reynolds’ endless tour arrives in Hermosa Beach

by Whitney Youngs Born in Germany, guitarist Tim Reynolds lived out his formative years in a religiously conservative household in the Missourian city of St. Louis. His foray into guitar playing represented a musical revolution in his own bedroom. “[The conservative upbringing] made me a rebellious player,” Reynolds said. While on tour in the late-1970s, […]

 Easy Reader Staff

The return of Garrick Rawlings

The return of Garrick Rawlings

by Whitney Youngs Back in the 1970s, signals of rock radio stations never made made the airwaves in the small town of Sturgis, Michigan, where guitarist and singer Garrick Rawlings grew up. Rawlings, instead, was exposed to rock music in a rather unconventional way. “My favorite uncle, George, flipped cars,” Rawlings said. “He had a […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Robbie Krieger’s fire is still lit [MUSIC PREVIEW]

Robbie Krieger’s fire is still lit [MUSIC PREVIEW]

by Esther Kang In the late 60s, a four-piece rock band based out of Venice Beach took the world by storm. The Doors, named after Aldous Huxley’s 1954 book “The Doors of Perception,”epitomized the psychedelic-blues-infused rock ‘n’ roll of its time, with charismatic poet-turned-frontman Jim Morrison at the helm of the prolific project. The Doors […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Abrakadabra to put a spell on The Standing Room

Abrakadabra to put a spell on The Standing Room

by Whitney Youngs Abrakadabra, a band known for its infectious grooves and indelible melodies, has been a fixture in the South Bay music scene since its formation in 1981. Like all groups, Abrakadabra’s expansive sound, borrowing from the genres of  jazz and salsa to reggae and island sounds, mirror the complementary musical influences of its […]

 Mark McDermott

Maps: How Lisa Ritchie followed her songs west and what she found [MUSIC PREVIEW]

Maps: How Lisa Ritchie followed her songs west and what she found [MUSIC PREVIEW]

by Mark McDermott  It’s a curious enterprise, the making of songs, and how those songs can sometimes become vessels that take their makers far beyond their known horizons for reasons that even they don’t quite understand. Lisa Ritchie started making songs as a ten-year-old girl in the tiny town of Dexter, Michigan singing quietly in […]

 Easy Reader Staff

MUSIC PREVIEW – Iron Butterfly lands in Hermosa Beach

MUSIC PREVIEW – Iron Butterfly lands in Hermosa Beach

One of the more mundane memories Michael Green, member of the band Iron Butterfly, recollects of Hollywood in the late-1960s happened at the record store, Wallichs Music City, on Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. “I remember going into the store and spending hours at a time there,” he recalls. “You could pull any record it […]

 Bondo Wyszpolski

Sitting in with Old Friends

Sitting in with Old Friends

Jazz pianist Bob Mamet plays Saint Rocke on Saturday evening It’s good to have Bob Mamet back in town. The accomplished jazz pianist was born and raised in Chicago, where he returned nearly five years ago after spending 30 years in L.A., with 10 of those here in the South Bay. Happily, he’s missed us, […]

 Easy Reader Staff

The Spirit of John Fahey: three of the famed Takoma Seven guitar masters come to Hermosa Beach

The Spirit of John Fahey:  three of the famed Takoma Seven guitar masters come to Hermosa Beach

by Whitney Youngs In 1959, fingerstyle guitarist and composer John Fahey founded Takoma Records by pressing 100 copies of an album from a recording at St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in Adelphi, Maryland. Fahey funded the release of “Blind Joe Death” with the saved wages from his gas station attendant job and a loan […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Just an American girl: Cindy Alexander performs at Saint Rocke

by Whitney Youngs In the face of new technology, some musicians find their careers lost at sea among the vast expanse of the Internet. With the advent of music-streaming sites like Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal, some artists find navigating the music industry’s uncharted waters daunting. Singer/songwriter Cindy Alexander, however, recognizes the futility in the […]

 Easy Reader Staff

Asia American Symphony launches season

Asia American Symphony launches season

“My approach to classical music has always had elements of jazz to it, and that’s just because it’s where I come from,” explains pianist and composer David Benoit on his role as music director and conductor of the Asia America Symphony Association. The history of the Asia America Symphony Association (AASA) dates back to 1961 […]

 Easy Reader Staff

MUSIC PREVIEW – Nitty gritty dirt man

The legendary John McEuen plays Live at the Lounge In 2009, musician John McEuen produced comedian Steve Martin’s “The Crow: New Songs for a Five-String Banjo,” a record that earned the two men a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. Students of Garden Grove High School and retail clerks at Disneyland in the 1960s, they shared […]

 Special Contributor

Time To Come Home: The Southern California Slack Key Festival brings Hawai’i to the mainland through hula and ki ho’alu

by Jennifer Passaro When Kawika Kahiapo sings, it is the depth in his voice you notice first. Not the song. Not the slack key guitar. Not even the ocean playing in the background. Kahiapo’s first notes usher a prayer into the world. This is not an unusual occurrence for a singer/songwriter, but unusual enough in […]

 Bondo Wyszpolski

Santa’s Dark Companion

Santa’s Dark Companion

Krammpstein does Rammstein at Alpine Village by Bondo Wyszpolski Saint Nicholas, better known as St. Nick and better still as Santa Claus, knows who’s been naughty or nice, and good children are amply rewarded with train sets or a collector’s edition of Barbie dolls. But what about bad children? More familiar to German-speaking countries than […]