Santa Barbara, CA -- Marking an amazing 50 years in music, Blue Dalmatian Productions is pleased to announce a special musical event honoring blue grass great Peter Feldmann to be held at Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre on Friday, November 2 at 8 pm at the historic Lobero Theatre. Fifty Years In The Bluegrass, celebrates Feldmann's long career as a performer, collector, professor, and presenter of bluegrass, old-time, folk, and blues music in Southern California. Re-creating some of Santa Barbara's folk music history, featuring many of Peter's musical friends and associates, this one time only event will include violinists Gilles Apap and Jim Wimmer, bluesmen Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan with Alastair Greene, country and folk musicians Rick Cunha, and David Jackson (Mother's Boys), Tom Lee, David West, and Blaine Sprouse (The Very Lonesome Boys), Francine Feldmann, and three-time National Fiddle Champion Byron Berline. Representing the Appalachian string band tradition are the Gap Tooth Mountain Ramblers - “From the land of hog and hominy, possum and taters, where the whiskey’s made out of corn and the women don’t smell like talcum powder... A string band with the hairy side out,” said Feldmann who knows what he’s talking about since he’s in the group with Wimmer, Michael Mendelson and Tom Wolverton.
Each part of the show will reflect one of Peter's wide-ranging musical interests, including the folk tradition, Appalachian string band music, country blues, hillbilly music, and bluegrass. "I'll have a great bunch of fiddlers, and I'm planning to keep them busy!" notes Peter, "... we'll have lots of other instruments and some fine singers up there as well. I greatly enjoy putting musicians in different genres together, just to see what happens next. We often achieve a unique musical synergy with truly delightful results!" Interjecting little skits, stories & bits of humor into the musical landscape for the one night only program will complete the circle of fun. "If we don't see you in the future," Peter says with a sly grin, "we'll see you in the pasture!"
Arriving as an immigrant from Switzerland to Los Angeles in 1946, Peter soon discovered and was enthralled by early cowboy and country music. “It was a way for me to learn about the USA, its people and its history” notes Peter. When his family made the move to Santa Barbara in 1957, Peter found and began trying to play an old Martin guitar. Moving East in 1960, Peter encountered the new Old Town School of Folk Music on Chicago's North Side, where he first met performers such as banjoist Frank Proffitt and balladeer Horton Barker. He was soon hosting a radio show on WNUR, interviewing, photographing, and writing about folk musicians, and building his record and tape library of traditional folk recordings. Returning to Santa Barbara in 1962, Peter began by organizing Santa Barbara's first "Hootenanny," a collective gathering of folk singers, in Santa Barbara's Orpet Park. This event, with its emphasis on sharing and educating fellow citizens about the music, became a common thread in Peter's musical enterprises.
Resuming his studies at UCSB, Peter soon formed the Old Time Music Front, a student organization dedicated to "Subverting the student body to appreciate traditional folk music, bluegrass, and blues" as Peter put it. His first concert produced at UCSB featured Mance Lipscomb, a 70 year-old bluesman and songster from Navasota Texas. Shortly thereafter, Peter presented his new-found friends Mike Seeger, Tracy Schwarz, and John Cohen, The New Lost City Ramblers at the Lobero.
He began a 21 year-long stint at producing regular radio shows for half a dozen stations in Santa Barbara, including its first FM station, KRCW, located above the central plaza in the El Paseo and KTYD-FM when it was in the Granada Building. Along with Kajsa Ohman and Gene McGeorge, Peter formed one of the most definitive and seminal string bands on the West Coast, The Scragg Family, based in Mountain Drive Community, who traveled and performed across California for ten years beginning in 1962.
In 1971, Peter founded the Bluebird Cafe on Anapamu Street, a venue that quickly attained national recognition as a music club, featuring folk, country, jazz, blues, and bluegrass greats along with world music from Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Turkey, and India. Many performers made their first appearances in town at the Bluebird, which in many ways functioned as a school of music.
In the following year, Peter was asked by UCSB to create the Santa Barbara old Time Fiddlers' Convention, an event that continues to this day. For a dozen years, Peter taught banjo, guitar, and fiddle for Santa Barbara's Continuing Education department, as well as country music history classes for UCSB Extension. Founding his own record label in 1973, Peter began issuing original recordings of string band music, as well as reissue material from his 78 collection, and a series of instructional records for fiddle, banjo, and guitar.
Today, Peter continues his music enterprises, with trios based in Albuquerque and Los Angeles, as well as his four or five-piece bluegrass band, Peter Feldmann & The Very Lonesome Boys. His website BlueGrassWest.com is a central point of information regarding acoustic music in Southern California. A monthly newsletter is available for free subscription.
Tickets for 50 Years in the Blue Grass are $35 general; Students with valid ID are $25 on sale at the Lobero or online www.lobero.com. The Lobero Theatre is located in the heart of downtown at 33 E. Canon Perdido St., Santa Barbara. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday, 12pm to 5pm and two hours prior to all shows. Phone: (805)963.0761. The Lobero Theatre is wheelchair accessible and has the Assistive Listening System in place for patrons who are hard of hearing.
"...the preeminent bluegrass artist in the area!"
- John Robinson, former Executive Director, Santa Barbara Symphony
"Deft musicianship ... refreshing ... he let the songs speak for themselves... something special indeed!"
- A. Bennett, Santa Barbara News-Press.