by Josef Woodard

GUITARLINGTON NEWS: Heads are still spinning
and hearts are still warm from last week’s Arlington visitation of
the titanic Jeff Beck. On that night, Beck — 62 and rocking better,
or more musically, than ever — seemed like the greatest electric
guitarist on earth, not because of gymnastic overkill, but sonic
poetry through deft handling of aspects and nuances of his
instrument (and amp). Another hot guitar night at the Arlington
went down last year when Warren Haynes brought his band Gov’t Mule
to the venue’s faux villa. The band returns to the Arlington on
Sunday, and any admirer of riffy, tasteful, sassy, and bluesy
new-rock music should be there. Haynes may still be better known as
the guitarist for the Allman Brothers, but his own band is making
awesome music in its own stylistic corner: Gov’t Mule’s latest CD,
High & Mighty, is astonishingly good and balanced, not just
another release as an excuse to tour. Beefy-voiced and
nimble-fingered, Haynes writes the kind of riff-based blues-rock
songs (with plenty of harmonic twists) you could associate with
English bluesy pub-arena rockers of old, like Savoy Brown, Humble
Pie, Deep Purple, and Blodwyn Pig, but with more Southern-rooted
cred. Haynes plays guitar with controlled might, but recognizes the
importance of the song above all. Gov’t Mule is onto something
special, and the band’s live shows sizzle, especially in a
picturesque venue like the Arlington.

aficionados — you know who you are — are in for a treat, and have a
good excuse to head down to L.A. The Skirball Cultural Center’s
world music concert series focuses on the great, unjustly maligned
instrument. The series opened grandly last week with the Los
Angeles debut of wondrous Finnish accordionist Maria Kalaniemi and
trio. Kalaniemi’s luminous set, by turns contemporary and
folkloric, included bolskas, wedding marches, polkas, and a dreamy
impressionistic piece suggesting Scandinavian Euro-jazz. Some may
know Kalaniemi as a member of the amazing (and international)
ensemble, Accordion Tribe, which joins wily virtuosos Guy Klucevsek
(U.S.), Otto Lechner (Austria), Bratko Bibicˇ (Slovenia), and Lars
Hollmer (Sweden). No self-respecting accordion fan should be
without at least one of their three albums. The Skirball’s series
includes Cuartetango, with bandoneonist Hector del Curto, on
Wednesday, November 1; and a visit by the great Argentine-born Dino
Saluzzi early next year.

L.A. LOGBOOK: On the subject of reasons to head
south on the 101, this Sunday night at the Ford Amphitheatre we’ll
hear a rare double-bill of Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman, solo
and duet. These veteran free-thinking saxists (and other
instruments, to suit the impulses) hail from the Art Ensemble of
Chicago: surely one of the greatest, most adventurous, and just
plain enjoyable groups in jazz history (no matter what conning
neo-cons say). The Art Ensemble has changed with the passing of
Lester Bowie and Malachi Favors, but a new incarnation is lively
and worth hearing, as on their new release Non-Cognitive Aspects of
the City: Live at Iridium (Pi).

pleasure in Santa Barbara — well, Goleta — quite like the Fiddlers’
Convention, which befalls the time-twisting property of the Stow
House each October. On the lawns surrounding the vintage house,
old-timey music tickles the air for a dense, happy day, both in
impromptu jams that gather like clumps of musical molecules, and on
official stages. It’s a world of fiddles, banjos, flat-picked
guitars, mandolins, and singin’ — all about down-home musical
Americana. Pickers are invited to be part of the friendly
competition, and the rest of us listeners can bask in the rustic
splendor on the lawns, or take a stroll down to Lake Los Carneros
and pretend that the area isn’t likely doomed to eventual
mini-mallification. The event, taking place all day Sunday, October
8, is 35 years old, making it a rare long-standing Santa Barbara
tradition that has sailed through all the changes wrought on the
area since 1970. Visit (Got e?


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