That’s What Banshee Said

On Saturday, August 22, 2015 at 7:30pm, San Diego Folk Heritage is happy to host the touring Celtic band Banshee in the Kitchen. The all ages event will take place at San Dieguito United Methodist Church (170 Calle Magdalena Encinitas, CA  92024). Admission is $15 for members and $18 standard – tickets are available at the door or online.

Banshee in the Kitchen-San Diego Folk Heritage

About Banshee in the Kitchen: Banshee in the Kitchen play Celtic music with eclectic skill and merry abandon. Touring and recording since 2002, this group has delighted audiences in festivals, theaters, living rooms and countless other venues from New York to Los Angeles, and as far as Japan. They take traditional Celtic tunes, find the sweet spot between old and new, stirring it all up with trademark playfulness and musicality they term “banshee-fying.” On stage, National Champion hammered dulcimer player Brenda Hunter (fiddle, hammered dulcimer) and Jill Egland (flute, accordion, whistle) trade off inspired flights of lead and counter melody over dynamic backing by Kat Edmonson (six and twelve-string guitar, bouzouki) and Kris Weber (bass). No strangers to the microphone, the three trade off lead and backing vocals on a choice selection of songs, as well as jocular commentary in between.

Behind the Name: In a happy coincidence of co-location, Jill, Brenda and then-guitarist Mary Tulin met years ago in that hotbed of Celtic music, Bakersfield, California. Brenda and Jill moved to town first, and met at local musical gatherings, yet joined different bands. Mary arrived soon after and joined Jill’s band, and later (finally!) so did Brenda. The three discovered a strong musical and personal synergy, and were soon off on their own. The name came easily. Brenda wanted to be in a band called Banshee. Jill liked the feminist ring of Barefoot in the Kitchen. Mary offered, “How about Banshee in the Kitchen?” And so they were. When Mary’s doctor husband retired in 2009, the two headed to the wilds of Washington State. Just when Brenda and Jill thought all was lost, Kat, who had taken dulcimer lessons from Brenda, mentioned she played guitar, and… well… you just don’t mess around with providence. She was in.

Kat Edmonson
Kat Edmonson

Behind the Music: San Diego Folk Heritage had the opportunity to chat with Kat Edmonson, asking her to list three interesting non-musical facts about herself and the group. She shared:

1. Both Jill and Brenda lived in Indonesia at one time (though not at the same time) and speak the language. 

2. I used to drive heavy equipment in Arizona, carpentry in Wyoming, and had a brief time of doing stunt work for commercials and television in Hollywood.

3. Everyone has been married at one time except Jill, who stubbornly refuses too. All of us Banshees have little Banshees (sons and daughters).

For more information about our upcoming concert, please visit our upcoming event page. Looking forward to seeing you all in Encinitas this weekend! 

Additional links:
Media Kit

Songs I Wish I Wrote: Brian Davies of The Sonoran Dogs


San Diego Folk Heritage is looking forward to hosting Arizona-based bluegrass band The Sonoran Dogs on Saturday, July 11 at San Dieguito United Methodist Church.

We’re always interested in learning about a bands inspirations and aspirations, so we invited band member Brian Davies (bass/vocals) to share a few songs he wishes he penned. Enjoy!



I once heard that “Margaritaville” is played on the radio somewhere in the US every minute and a half. Just think of the royalties…

One of the greatest songs ever written is Woody Guthrie’s, “This Land Is Your Land.” It will go on forever as a mainstay folk tune.

“The Times They Are a Changing” by Bob Dylan, is as poignant today as it was in the 60’s. Great tunes! Wish I had penned them all.

Hope to see you all in Encinitas for a great evening of bluegrass music with The Sonoran Dogs. Click here for more info and tickets!

Four Play with The Dustbowl Revival’s Z. Lupetin

We had 4 questions for The Dustbowl Revival’s founder Zachary Lupetin. He had 4 answers. Lupetin and his Venice Beach-based band of merry men/women are headed to San Diego this Friday, April 3rd to perform at Templar’s Hall in Poway. This energetic young roots/jazz collective was named LA Weekly’s “Best Live Band” so we’re definitely looking forward to a barn-burner!

1.I see from your press page that many media outlets have used some fun descriptive words and metaphors to convey the essence of your band and your music. Now I’d like to hear how you describe The Dustbowl Revival.
I would describe The Dustbowl Revival as a brass band and a string band who had a baby. It’s a great confluence of roots music sounds that have been forged through five straight years of playing on the road.

2. Your tour schedule is packed! What’s one city/country you’ve never played in but would love to?
We have never played in Austin or New Orleans – love to make the pilgrimage down there soon.

3. Is there any song that has been banned for life in the tour van?
We try and avoid any smooth jazz in the van at all times.

4. It’s been a while since you’ve played in San Diego – what can first-time attendees expect from your award-winning live shows?
Our show in San Diego will showcase some of our newest material we are passionate about now – we never make a set list the same twice so it’s a discovery process we play with the audience.

THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL “RIVERBOAT QUEEN” from The Dustbowl Revival on Vimeo.

San Diego friends, we hope you’ll join San Diego Folk Heritage in welcoming The Dustbowl Revival to our Poway Stage for a wonderful evening of live music. For tickets and information, please visit Full Press Release:

Catching Up with John McCutcheon

It took everything we had not to name this blog “McCatchin’ up with McCutcheon.” Everything! But since we are true professionals, we showed some restraint. We will not show restraint, however, when it comes to our excitement in welcoming the incredible John McCutcheon back to San Diego on Saturday March 21st for a performance at San Dieguito United Methodist Chuch in Encinitas, CA!

John has graced us with his stories and songs many times, developing a strong fan base in San Diego. We took a moment to ask him about his upcoming performance.

What might die-hard John McCutcheon fans find familiar or comforting about next week’s performance in Encinitas? What might they find different or unique about the new album you will be previewing?
One thing different is that, for 30 years, I’ve always come in January. So the weather will be a little nicer. I’m always packing a new quiver of songs and stories, everything from childhood remembrances to musings on the day’s news. This year you all will be one of the very first concerts I’ll be doing supporting a brand new album. The SDFH audiences know my debt to those who’ve come before me. I learned from some of the great musicians of Appalachian music. Without them I’d simply be another white guy with a guitar. But I was also mentored by many of the greats of contemporary American folk music, Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, Tom Paxton, and more. Many, though thankfully not all of them, are gone now. But they learned from those before them…and I’ve been honoring those writers and musicians, as well.

Back in 2012 I released an album celebrating Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday. 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the death of Joe Hill…the “I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night..” Joe Hill. He was a songwriter for the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World, at the turn of the 20th century. Mastered the art of writing parodies of popular songs to be used in labor struggles. Woody learned from him. Dylan and Seeger from Woody. I learned from all of them. And this year I’m releasing Joe Hill’s Last Will to honor this songwriting pioneer and, not incidentally, show how many of the things ordinary people and workers were dealing with a century ago are still relevant today.

So, lots of new stories and songs, a new album, but still my usual arsenal of instruments and guaranteed good time.

For those handful of San Diego folk music lovers who perhaps haven’t yet heard your music, please give them the “John McCutcheon 101” crash course…List 5 of your songs you’d suggest they check out to get a sense of your journey as a songwriter.
Someone once described my shows as a mini-folk festival: a half dozen different instruments (fiddle, banjo, guitar, hammer dulcimer, piano, autoharp), singer-songwriter, traditionalist, political commentator, storyteller, stand-up comedian, song leader, keeper of the flame. It’s hard to compare it to anything or anyone because I’ve forged a pretty unique route over the past 40+ years. Songs? All of these should be available on Youtube…

And they were! 

Christmas in the Trenches

Kindergarten Wall


Pretty Boy Floyd

Not in My Name

We hope you’ll join us in Encinitas on March 21st! Visit here for more information and tickets!

Under the Influence with Sidewinder’s Bruce Huntington

Just two days until our next San Diego Folk Heritage concert at Templar’s Hall in Poway, featuring Americana roots band Sidewinder w/ Los Angeles-based Rodger Maxwell opening. We had a chance to speak with Sidewinder’s own Bruce Huntington about his musical influences. Here’s what he had to say:

What artist or song was your greatest influence when you first started making music (and why)?
Although it is difficult to pinpoint one single songwriter, the name that pops to my mind is Bob Dylan. Nice melodies, but wonderful pictures always painted in his songs. Dylan knows how to draw in the listener with his words. I never tire of his songs.

What artist or song currently influences you (and why)?
I really like Tom Russell‘s ability to tell a story. He is perhaps my biggest influence these days. I recently wrote a song, “The First of Goliad” that is reminiscent of the Tom Russell style and full of religious concepts. Tom Russell can just about make any subject matter interesting and compelling. He is amazing! Ian Tyson, who co-composed songs with Tom Russell, is a close second. A crazy song that Tom Russell wrote that I love is “Tonight We Ride.” I don’t know where his ideas come from.

San Diego Folk Heritage invites you to witness the ways Bruce’s musical influences come through in his performance with Sidewinder this Friday in Poway!

Concert Information:
San Diego Folk Heritage Presents
Sidewinder w/ Rodger Maxwell
Friday, February 27th – 7:30pm
$18 ($15 members)
Templar’s Hall – Poway Park
Tickets online or at door

Getting Emotional with Happy Traum

Greetings, Folk Heritage friends! We just wrapped up a lovely show last Friday with Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley in Poway, and we’re now gearing up for another performance on Friday, January 30th at Templar’s Hall with acclaimed American folk musician Happy Traum. San Diego’s own Chris Clarke will open the show. Tickets are available at the door or online.

Playing off Happy’s name, we asked him a few emotionally-driven questions about his personal and musical journey.

You were an active participant during the Greenwich Village folk days of the 50s/60s. What is one of your happiest memories from that era?
My first day, as a teen-aged novice guitarist/folksinger, finding my way to Washington Square on a sunny Sunday afternoon and finding a park filled with like-minded players from all over the city jamming on guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins and other acoustic instruments. They were playing bluegrass, folksongs, blues, ragtime, calypso, old-time and every other genre of “folk music” you could think of. It was the start of many trips to the Village over there next decade.

What angers you about today’s politics?
The hardened attitudes and intolerance for other’s viewpoints. Left or Right, we need to find common ground.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
My wife and I are avid table tennis players and enthusiasts.

In addition to performing, you are an accomplished writer and instructor. How do you handle the stress of multi-tasking?
It’s not stressful if you love what you’re doing and feel fulfilled and lucky to be able to do what you like. I’m challenged and invigorated by what I do, not stressed.

As the music industry limps along in the digital age, is there anything that worries you about the industry now compared to earlier years?
I’m optimistic because I see so many people still making music together “the old-fashioned way.” There may be more front porch pickers, local bands, open mics, jam sessions, song circles and other musical communication going on than ever before. Digital delivery means more access, even though it may mean less monetary income. Still, musicians are finding a way to make a living and get their music out to others.

What song gives you the most joy to perform live?
I always love to play Bob Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain.” It never comes out the same way twice.

Your friend and fellow musician Bob Dylan certainly has a way with words. What is one of the most amusing things he ever said to you?

He once told me (this was back in the late Sixties) that Perry Como was the greatest living singer. I thought it was amusing at the time, but he was very serious and meant it.

You’ve traveled extensively throughout the world. What do you love the most about visiting a new city?
First, finding where the good food is and then meeting musically like-minded people, who are seemingly everywhere. It’s through them that I discover things I need to know about a new city.

We hope you’ll join us on January 30 for Happy’s performance. As an added bonus, Happy will be teaching a guitar workshop on Sunday, February 1, also at Templar’s Hall in Poway. For more information on both events, please visit