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Scheduled Performers on Three Stages
Plus The Dance Barn and Eucalyptus Grove

Sunday, May 18th, 2008


The Main Stage

Champion Celtic violinist Jamie Laval and champion mandolinist Ashley Broder form a stunning instrumental duo rendering traditional Irish, Scottish, and Bluegrass music with hints of classical refinement and ethnic music from around the world. One of the premier Celtic performers on the international music scene today, violinist/fiddler Jamie Laval has performed for the Queen of England, on numerous movie sound tracks, the NBC Today Show, Dave Matthews' CD "Some Devil", and has received unanimous critical praise for his CD Shades of Green which is aired regularly on National Public Radio. In 2002 Jamie won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship. Ashley Broder competed regularly in fiddle contests ultimately winning the Western Open Picking Championship in 2003 and 2004. She went on to collaborate with world renowned mandolinist Mike Marshal on his method books, taught at the Mandolin Symposium in California, and played in a number of LA area bands while studying classical violin and 'cello in college. You can learn more about Jamie and Ashley at their respective Web Sites, and












San Francisco's all-gal urban old-time teardown, THE STAIRWELL SISTERS, have amassed a rowdy repertoire of timeless tunes plus a solid standing of smart, original material that is winning praise on a national level. Counter-culturalists of every generation enjoy their energetic musicianship, tight vocal arrangements and red-hot buckdancing.

In the past year The Stairwell Sisters have played festivals and tours throughout California, Colorado, the UK and the Northeast (at the invitation of Lincoln Center in New York).  Highlights include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, Celtic Connections in Glasgow, live on A Prairie Home Companion, and features in fRoots magazine and The Old Time Herald.  This May they are celebrating the release of their third CD, produced by Austin’s Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Joe Ely, etc.).

Stephanie Prausnitz (fiddle) and Evie Ladin (banjo/clogging) are steeped in the old-time repertoire, bringing tunes with just the right intensity to suit the quintet's dynamic feel. Lisa Berman's unique approach to the dobro adds a grit that walks a line through country and blues. Martha Hawthorne (bass) and Sue Sandlin (guitar/tiple) motor the band forward with their lock-step rhythm. All of the sisters sing, and they have a knack for infusing the old music with intoxicating energy and soul. Please visit their Web site at 




"Simon Pure" is cowboy slang for "the real thing." This group of six life-long musicians from Southern California met at the Agoura Hills jam in 2005 and decided they wanted to play together more often. Leader and mando player Brian Campbell says, "It started as fun, and just became family." It also became very good music. The band combines close three and four part vocal harmonies with instrumental dazzle. Please visit the band's Web site at

The Railroad Stage












Come ride with fellow travelers Fur and Steve, as they take you on a rollicking musical joyride through the back roads and highways of the West. Perfect harmonies, awesome guitar picking, and old and new-timey traveling songs are sure to please oldsters and youngsters alike. Fur Dixon is a hand-crafted songwriter and angel-voiced cowgirl. She gathers her musical influences from Gillian Welch, June and Mother Maybelle Carter, Hazel Dickens and Johnny Cash. Fur is the voice of an old friend heard across a campfire on a starry night that calls upon ghosts of another time. Steve Werner is an unrepentant, motorcycle-riding, hard-traveling folksinger. He is a flat-pickin', Travis-pickin' son of a gun and his original songs have the timeless quality of classic folk songs. He's an old-school troubadour trained in the ways of his heroes: Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Doc Watson and Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Check 'em out at their Web Site:




















"Storytelling through song" will explore the elements of telling a story through song, (beginning middle end, mood, point of view) and play examples of various styles of story songs. Stephanie's music is new and very catchy; an engaging mixture of bluegrass, folk, roots, and jazz with sophisticated lyrics and killer instrumentation set in a folky mountain vibe. Stephanie is backed by an impressive acoustic ensemble: Danny Ciarfalia (guitar and vocals), Luke Halpin (mandolin and vocals) and Brian Netzley (bass and vocals). Her illustrious band members have worked as studio musicians in Nashville, toured this country as well as others, and opened for everyone from Kenny Chesney to Merle Haggard. You can visit Stephanie and learn more at her Web site,


Nationally touring Celtic duo Jamie Laval and Ashley Broder will spend their time on the Railroad Stage explaining the historical and geographical significance of their tunes.  Their performance will be interspersed with discussions concerning their methods for arranging these ancient tunes as well as how they compose brand new tunes that somehow sound ancient.  Constantly trading unbelievable anecdotes about their fascinating life on the road, this performance will definitely be one not to miss.

Jamie and Ashley bring a lively and exciting mood to their workshops; they have been invited as instructors to several music camps, including the Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, the Swannanoah Gatherings in North Carolina, and the Kaufman Kamps in Tennessee.


"A real flair for writing . . . on a par with the best of Tom Paxton," says the CTMS Journal. Ross Altman, L.A.'s most sought-after activist folksinger, has sung with Arlo and Pete and Sam Hinton and Johnny Walker. But more than that he has sung with the very people who created the music he sings -- the folk, meaning the poor folk. He has sung -- even daily for the last dozen years -- at nursing homes, psychiatric facilities, and schools for the developmentally disabled. He has sung for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, for the homeless and homebound, for human rights groups and animal rights groups, for peace groups and environmental groups, for labor unions and outreach programs, for folk festivals and fringe festivals. Please visit Ross at his Web site,











Evie Ladin grew up playing clawhammer banjo, mostly influenced by players in the Round Peak area of Western North Carolina. She has developed a very funky style as a performer with The Stairwell Sisters and world music group Crosspulse, and will cover topics such as: playing while singing, backing up singers on old-time banjo, improving your ear-to-instrument transfer, as well as basic techniques for playing the old-time repertoire. You can learn more about Evie at her band's Web site,



The Pavilion Stage








The host of "Twang," L.A.'s only country music show on FM radio, Cowboy Nick has been a fixture on the Southern California country music scene since he was 19 years old. Over the last six years he has interviewed country legends like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Ralph Stanley, Buck Owens, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver and many others. He can always be heard playing his signature mix of Bluegrass, Cowboy & Classic Country Music every Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m. on KCSN 88.5 FM and around the world at - Arts & Roots Radio for Southern California.

Strong solid and energetic bluegrass are the trademarks of this group featuring superb instrumental leads on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and standup bass joined by magical blend of vocal harmonies. First formed in 1996, High Hills has headlined at many festivals and has shared the stage with the Dixie Chicks and Ricky Skaggs. Humor and multi-instrumental diversity make for a memorable evening. High Hills will be performing music from their latest bluegrass CD "Leaves On The River". Visit the band at their Web site,

Boiling out of the stills of L.A.'s underground is Merle Jagger, an instrumental trio ready to blaze a new trail of amped-up Country Rock with a mix of Bluegrass and Jazz for the new Western millennium. Veteran session guitarist Mark Christian, a native of Southern California orange tree ranches, has teamed up with barnyard pals Patrick Flores and Brandon Goldstein for the ultimate progressive hillbilly experiment.















The Stairwell Sisters lead you through harmony singing as popularized by the Carter Family.  We’ll discuss what harmony choices make that old-time sound, as distinct from bluegrass and other styles.  The gals will provide lyric sheets and teach parts so all can sing together.






Mike is a founding member and advisory board member for the Western Music Association. His background includes Broadcasting for KCRW and KCSN FM in Los Angeles & KBBQ in Ventura, Ca. Mike was one of three that began the McCabes Concert Series in 1969 and began performing at Topanga with the band Trailmix back in 1980. Mike and Trailmix perform traditional and contemporary Cowboy and Western Swing. Mike regularly hosts the Cowboy Music and Poetry segment at the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest


Joe Herrington is a novelist, cowboy poet and western storyteller. His stories and poems are homespun and told in the Western tradition of honor, courage and rugged characters. His stories and poems not only entertain but also prod the soul with a truer understanding of the deep values and solid character of the American Cowboy. He has been nominated three times for Cowboy Poet of the Year. Please visit Joe at his Web site,


Joyce Woodson, winner of the 2007 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, has played throughout southern California, New England and even Ireland.  She is also a founding member of the Western Music Association.

Having grown up on her family farm in the Capistrano Valley riding the tractor with her Dad, she now writes about the disappearing California landscape and her love for the land.   In her third and latest CD “If I Hadn’t Seen the West” she brings cowboy characters to life as if they’re hunkered down at the campfire beside you. Visit Joyce at her Web site or email her at:












An award-winning acoustic group currently specializing in cowboy and train songs with a lot of influence from prior musical lives!  Powerful intrumentals, smooth harmonies, and fun music! Please visit this wonderful band at their Web site,


The Dance Barn

Learn the basics of Southern Appalachian Old-Time percussive dance. Evie teaches in an easy style that gets people dancing before they know it, in a way they can immediately apply to traditional music. All ages!


The Eucalyptus Grove

"Sometimes in Tune" formed 5 years ago when Laura Garfield (fiddle) and Margee Schubert (banjo) dared each other to play in public. Joel Garfield offered his services on backup guitar -- for one hour. That first gig netted $5 in tips - enough to encourage them -- and after a few weeks the trio figured they had played long enough to be a band. A name was chosen and the lineup has never changed. The Band plays most Sunday mornings at the Studio City Farmer's Market. Please visit the band at their Web site,


The Hollow Trees are a “Folk Music for Families” group from Los Angeles who play upbeat, acoustic, Americana-style music for all ages. Inspired by bluegrass, country, swing, and folk music, they perform classic standards, strange and wonderful covers and great original songs. Come by and join the fun! Please visit their Web site at


“Uncle Butch” Hibben has been playing the saw since the early 1980s; however, he did not actually hear another saw player (sawyer) until at least five years after he developed his own style. His playing can be heard (usually in the background) at occasional concerts by the Barn Doors bluegrass band and at various festivals in the Southern California area. His floppy hat and overalls, along with his saw and wagon, often make him the subject of photographers at these events. When not playing saw, Uncle Butch can be found calling square dances and repairing computers. He lives in the Lake Mathews area of Riverside County with his wife of 27 years; he is the father of 5, the grandfather of 20, and the great-grandfather of one.


Sing along and share music from the '70's, 50's, 30's, and '90's -- 1890's that is. Gigi & Mike throw a musical party for the whole family with their lively sing-along hootenannies. They use folk songs to investigate history and storytelling, as well as share how music is written, how lives used to be lived in generations past, how musical instruments can work for kids, and how kids can tell their own stories through song.  And they'll be putting together a fun percussion band, so be ready to raise your hand to join in. Please visit their Web site at


For 26 years, the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles have been playing and performing the wonderful fiddle music of Scotland - from traditional strathspeys, reels and jigs going back to the 17th century to modern compositions. Many classic Scottish tunes that we play have made their way to the US and become Southern Fiddle style standards, including tunes like Devil's Dream (originally De'il among the Tailors) or Soldier's Joy. The group welcomes musicians playing fiddle and other instruments to add "flavor" to the vast repertoire of Scottish fiddle music. To the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles, this music is pure fun! Visit us at


Jamie Laval and Ashley Broder

"Celtic Roots and Bluegrass Innovation"

12:30 p.m.

Stairwell Sisters

"Original, Driving Old-Time"

3:20 p.m.

Simon Pure

"Bluegrass Band Extraordinaire"

5:10 p.m.

Fur Dixon and Steve Werner

"Songs of the Open Road"

Stephanie Bettman

"Storytelling Through Song"

Jamie Laval and Ashley Broder

Ross Altman

"Dangerous Songs"

Evie Ladin - Clawhammer Banjo Workshop

Cowboy Nick presents

"Twang"With The High Hills Bluegrass Band and Merle Jagger!

High Hills Bluegrass Band

Merle Jagger

The Stairwell Sisters

"Carter Family Style Harmony Singing"

Mike Mahaney and Friends

"Cowboy Music and Poetry"

Joe Herrington

"Cowboy Music and Poetry"

Joyce Woodson

"Cowboy Music and Poetry"

Trails And Rails

Clogging Workshop with Evie Ladin

Sometimes In Tune

The Hollow Trees

Learn to Play Musical Saw and Xaphoon

with Uncle Butch Hibben

Gigi and Mike:

Singalong for kids and parents

Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles

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