Goleta Old-Time Jamboree #2

The Goleta Old-Time Jamboree and 39th Annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival will again present Honeysuckle Possums and Little Black Train on Sunday, April 11 at the Live Oak Unitarian Fellowship Hall (not the sanctuary) in Goleta. The Goleta Old-Time Jamboree is an all-ages community music event that combines a pot luck Sunday luncheon, an open old-time jam session for one hour, and then a double bill concert. The first one was held in February and was considered a success by organizers, who expect the Jamboree to become a regular event.

Little Black Train
Little Black Train

With an all-star lineup of veteran string wizards Kenny Blackwell (mandolin), John Weed (fiddle), and Stuart Mason (guitar and mandola), Little Black Train will perform vintage fiddle tunes and old-time songs from their new release “Little Black Train.” From Depression-era gospel to Appalachian and and Celtic dance tunes, they explore the roots of bluegrass that date back to the nineteenth century and earlier. They employ the time-honored “folk process” to combine new words and melodies with traditional songs from sources such as the Carter Family, Doc Boggs, and Charlie Pool. The new record also includes fiddle tunes from archival sources in West Virginia, Ireland, and Scotland.

The Honeysuckle Possums are Susan Reeves, Nicola Gordon, Rebecca Troon, Lisa Macker, and Ruth Alpert. Collectively they play guitar, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, bass, mandolin, tin whistle, and strum stick. The Honeysuckle Possums reach a state of collective musical bliss while playing old-time, original and bluegrass songs and tunes, and then share that slice of heaven. Unconditional love, support and a lot of laughter are a big piece of the pie. Possum audience members are likely to laugh, sing, dance, clap along, and take home a big grin!

The Live Oak Unitarian Fellowship Hall is located at 820 North Fairview Avenue, Goleta, CA 93117. Live Oak’s campus, formerly a 1906 farmhouse situated on an avocado orchard, is now a welcoming, homey cluster of buildings, fruit trees, and patios. The concert begins at 2:00 PM with pot luck luncheon and open jam starting at 1:00 PM. No tickets are required but suggested donation is $10 at the door. Bring a dish to share for the pot luck luncheon. The event is sponsored by the 39th Annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival, to be held Sunday, October 10, 2010. Call 805-534-9021 for more information.

Press Contact:
Stuart Mason (stu@helmintoller.com)

New CD from Little Black Train

NATIVE HOME RECORDS ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF “LITTLE BLACK TRAIN” FROM KENNY BLACKWELL, JOHN WEED AND STUART MASON

Little Black Train
Little Black Train

What do you get when you mash up a virtuosic bluegrass mandolinist, a traditional Irish fiddler, and an old-timey songster? Native Home Music announces the release of “Little Black Train” from Kenny Blackwell, John Weed, and Stuart Mason. From Depression-era gospel to Appalachian and Celtic dance tunes, they dig up the roots of bluegrass that traveled to America from Ireland and Scotland in the 19th century. Avid practitioners of the time-honored folk process, these boys combine new words and melodies with traditional songs from sources such as the Carter Family, Doc Boggs, and Charlie Poole. The new record also includes fiddle tunes from archival sources in West Virginia, Ireland, and Scotland. Spanning holler, hoedown and ballad, thirteen tracks alternate 50-50 between instrumentals and songs, all recorded direct to stereo studio mics without multitracking.

Mandolinist Kenny Blackwell, who studied with the legendary Jethro Burns, has been a fixture in the West Coast bluegrass scene since the late ’80s. He is known for his extensive studio work on various projects, as well as his collaborations with progressive fiddler Richard Greene and his membership in the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, a legendary California bluegrass outfit.

An accomplished fiddler across genres, John Weed has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the traditional styles of Clare and Donegal.  The result is an old-time Irish fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, swing, and other American music. A classically trained violinist, John leverages his understanding of the instrument to coax emotion from every tune.

Guitarist Stuart Mason is known for his authentic vocals, melodic mandola, and inability to hold his whiskey. A native of West Virginia, Stuart has won awards for traditional singing (Goleta Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention), mandola (Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest), and songwriting (West Coast Songwriter’s Association). In 2009 his song “Devil’s Box” from solo release “Appalachian Bride” was selected from among 286 entries to appear on the first New Times Music Awards Compilation CD.

LISTEN: Little Black Train

CONTACT: Stuart Mason (stu@helmintoller.com)

Goleta Old-Time Jamboree

The Goleta Old-Time Jamboree and 39th Annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival will present Honeysuckle Possums and Little Black Train on Sunday, February 28 at the Live Oak Unitarian Fellowship Hall (not the sanctuary) in Goleta. The Goleta Old-Time Jamboree is an all-ages community music event that emphasizes the socially unifying aspect of traditional music by combining a pot luck Sunday luncheon, an open old-time jam session for one hour, and then a double bill concert.

With an all-star lineup of veteran string wizards Kenny Blackwell (mandolin), John Weed (fiddle), and Stuart Mason (guitar and mandola), Little Black Train will perform vintage fiddle tunes and old-time songs from their new release “Little Black Train.” From Depression-era gospel to Appalachian and and Celtic dance tunes, they explore the roots of bluegrass that date back to the nineteenth century and earlier. They employ the time-honored “folk process” to combine new words and melodies with traditional songs from sources such as the Carter Family, Doc Boggs, and Charlie Pool. The new record also includes fiddle tunes from archival sources in West Virginia, Ireland, and Scotland.

Honeysuckle Possums
Honeysuckle Possums

The Honeysuckle Possums are Susan Reeves, Nicola Gordon, Rebecca Troon, Lisa Macker, and Ruth Alpert. Collectively they play guitar, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, bass, mandolin, tin whistle, and strum stick. The Honeysuckle Possums reach a state of collective musical bliss while playing old-time, original and bluegrass songs and tunes, and then share that slice of heaven. Unconditional love, support and a lot of laughter are a big piece of the pie. Possum audience members are likely to laugh, sing, dance, clap along, and take home a big grin!

The Live Oak Unitarian Fellowship Hall is located at 820 North Fairview Avenue, Goleta, CA 93117. Live Oak’s campus, formerly a 1906 farmhouse situated on an avocado orchard, is now a welcoming, homey cluster of buildings, fruit trees, and patios. The concert begins at 2:00 PM with pot luck luncheon and open jam starting at 1:00 PM. No tickets are required but suggested donation is $10 at the door. Bring a dish to share for the pot luck luncheon. The event is sponsored by the 39th Annual Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention and Festival, to be held Sunday, October 10, 2010. Call 805-534-9021 for more information.

Little Black Train CD Release Party

Little Black Train: The Roots of Bluegrass.
Little Black Train: The Roots of Bluegrass.

Old-time bluegrass band Little Black Train will be performing at a CD release party on Saturday, February 6 at the Red Barn in Los Osos. In the tradition of the golden age of radio, they will also perform live on KCBX 90.1 FM at about 3:00 PM, during Song Town with Sonnie Brown. Listeners outside the area can hear the broadcast streaming live at http://www.kcbx.org.

LISTEN: Take Your Leg Off Mine

With an all-star lineup of veteran string wizards Kenny Blackwell, John Weed, and Stuart Mason (and a surprise guest or two), the band will perform vintage fiddle tunes and old-time songs from their new release “Little Black Train.”  From Depression-era gospel to Appalachian and and Celtic dance tunes, they explore the roots of bluegrass that date back to the nineteenth century and earlier. They employ the time-honored “folk process” to combine new words and melodies with traditional songs from sources such as the Carter Family, Doc Boggs, and Bob Dylan. The new record also includes fiddle tunes from archival sources in West Virginia, Ireland, and Scotland.

LISTEN: Lady Hamilton Dalrymple’s Strathspey, The Old Falls of Richmond

The Red Barn Community Music Series is a monthly concert series showcasing local, regional, and national musicians performing old time, bluegrass, swing, Celtic, blues, and other forms of acoustic roots music. The Red Barn is located at 2180 Palisades Ave in Los Osos. The show begins at 7:00 PM with pot luck supper and pot luck band starting at 6:00 PM. No tickets are required but suggested donation is $10 at the door. BYOB and a dish to share for the pot luck supper. More info: 805-528-4530.

Central Coast Americana Festival

Central Coast Americana Festival

Little Black Train will perform at the First Annual Central Coast Americana Festival on Sunday January 17, 2010 from 5-8 PM at Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo.

Come get a taste of American music and Central Coast cuisine at the First Annual Central Coast Americana Festival presented by the Boutique Hotel Collection. From January 14-17, we will feature a variety of culinary, cultural and musical events at five different venues around the beautiful Central Coast. For a full schedule of events, go to http://sloamericanafestival.com.

Among many others, scheduled folk/Americana bands include the Jody Mulgrew Trio, Whiskey Chimp, Little Black Train, Kenny Blackwell and Dorian Michael, and Bob & Wendy. A portion of the proceeds from The Americana Festival 2010 (including all CD sales) go to The Hospice of San Luis Obispo County Supportive Music Program.

Little Black Train

Little Black Train
Little Black Train

Little Black Train is an exciting new project for Central Coast acoustic wizards John Weed (fiddle), Kenny Blackwell (mandolin), and Stuart Mason (guitar). Named after a traditional Carter Family gospel song, the group fuses old-time Americana with Celtic and original pieces to produce a crowd-pleasing mix of “oldternative” bluegrass music. Weed and Mason are both members of international touring Celtic band Molly’s Revenge. Both have performed at festivals in China, Scotland, Ireland, and many of the United States, while Kenny tours regularly with guitarist Dorian Michael.

Little Black Train

Mandolinist Kenny Blackwell, who studied with the legendary Jethro Burns, has been a fixture in the West Coast bluegrass scene since the late ’80s. He is known for his extensive studio work on various projects, as well as his collaborations with progressive fiddler Richard Greene and his membership in the Laurel Canyon Ramblers, a legendary California bluegrass outfit.

An accomplished fiddler across genres, John Weed has lived in Ireland and immersed himself in the traditional styles of Clare and Donegal.  The result is an old-time Irish fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, swing, and other American music. A classically trained violinist, John leverages his understanding of the instrument to wrestle every last bit of tone and emotion from each piece he performs.

Guitarist Stuart Mason is known for his authentic vocals, melodic mandola, and inability to hold his whiskey. A native of West Virginia, Stuart has won awards for traditional singing (Goleta Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention), mandola (Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest), and songwriting (West Coast Songwriter’s Association).  In July a song from his solo release “Appalachian Bride” was selected from among 286 entries to appear on the first New Times Music Awards Compilation CD.

Live Tracks with John Weed

John Weed and Stuart Mason played a concert at Painted Sky Studios in Cambria, California on November 9, 2008, when these live tracks were recorded. Enjoy!

LISTEN: The Abbey Set (MP3)

LISTEN: Kenny Wagoner (MP3)

LISTEN: The Old Bush Set (MP3)

Stuart Mason and John Weed
Stuart Mason and John Weed

A classically trained violinist, John Weed leverages his understanding of the instrument to wrestle every last bit of tone and emotion from each piece he performs. Stuart Mason is known for his strong, rhythmic guitar backup style using both standard and alternate tunings, and his “oldternative” songs are deeply rooted in the mountain tradition.

John Weed began his classical training on violin at the age of nine, and immediately fell in love with the instrument. Doors opened up when he went to Ireland for the first time, and as the result of a chance meeting with legendary Clare flute player Bill McNamara, John returned to Ireland the following summer to study and perform with Bill for six months. He returns annually to Ireland to recharge his batteries. The result is an authentic, rooted Irish fiddling style that compliments his forays into bluegrass, swing, and American old-time music.