November-December 2016

The Season of the Tiki

By David Bragger

Old-Time Tiki ParlourLife in the Tiki Parlour can be bustling with excitement at times. This is one of those times. We’ve had two CD release parties, an old-time festival and an extra special release in its final stages.

Our most recent release is The Spotted Pony by Spencer & Rains. FolkWorks’ reviewer Pat MacSwyney wrote a wonderful piece on it recently. Tricia Spencer and Howard Rains recorded two sessions at the Tiki Parlour over the period of a year. The Spotted Pony showcases the eccentric tunes and beautiful songs that they have become world renown for performing. These two have done more for preserving early Texas music and obscure Midwest music than anybody I know of currently. In September, I participated in the Berkeley Old-Time Music Convention where Howard and Tricia were performing. We had a CD/DVD Set release party/jam on the campus of UC Berkeley. Their adoring fans, with fiddles in hand, were requesting many of these obscure tunes that Howard and Tricia have shed light on over the years. It was a beautiful interactive way to celebrate a release! Mark Your Calendars: Spencer & Rains will be performing in Los Angeles on February 11th!! More info coming soon!

Also, as part of this new season of Tiki Parlour performances, I’m proud to announce that we’re bringing out…drum roll please…the Foghorn String Band on January 19th!!!!! The hardest working band in old-time rarely make it to Los Angeles. This is a serious do-not-miss show. Tickets are now available HERE.

After major scheduling conflicts and some unforeseen health issues, 82-year old Creole accordionist Joe Fontenot is back on his feet. Earlier in the year we released his debut CD L’Echo À Travers Le Clos and just a week ago we celebrated the release with a performance and Cajun dance. Joe’s musical buddies, bandmates and family were all there to celebrate this momentous occasion. Old-time master and SoCal local Tom Sauber even joined the stage for a few numbers. Sausage Grinder’s Susan Platz and I joined Mr. Joe for a couple Creole classics, Cherokee Waltz and Blues a Bebe. Here are a few photos from the event.

Bragger and Platz at Joe Fontenot party
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As our readers know, last month was the Santa Barbara Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention. I was asked to be its artistic director. I had two months to organize the talent, workshops, jams, the contest and breathe life back into the festival. It was a major success. Talented bands from all over California performed at the event including The Salt Martians, The Darling Brothers, Echo Mountain, Sausage Grinder, festival founder Peter Feldmann, Thompsonia and Meredith Axelrod! We had an instrument petting zoo for the curious to try out authentic old-time instruments. It was a wonderful return to its old-time roots! Check out the slideshow!

Allegra Thompson
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Last year, I had the pleasure of recording North Carolina’s Trevor & Travis Stuart for a fiddle/banjo duet CD/DVD set. In a shocking turn of events, Trevor passed away earlier this year. It rocked the entire old-time community in ways I’ve never seen before. Trevor will be missed by so many and will always be remembered as one of the sweetest souls in our old-time music community. We are currently finishing up this amazing set of duets by these powerhouse twins of old-time music. Trevor and Travis made a real impact on many of us in Los Angeles during their visit. It brings back many memories as I sit here editing the footage. I can’t wait to share it all with you.

David Bragger is a Los Angeles-based instructor and player of old time fiddle and banjo music. He also photographs, films, and collects the lore of traditional artists, from puppeteers in Myanmar to fiddlers of Appalachia The Old Time Tiki Parlour


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