Chris Hillman, a founding member of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band among many other respected groups over a half-century career, and Ash Grove founder Ed Pearl are being saluted as Best of the West honorees at the four-day Folk Alliance Region-West conference through Sunday in Irvine.
Hillman will perform Saturday with longtime collaborator and frequent bandmate Herb Pedersen on the second of two evenings of showcase performances by area folk musicians including singer-songwriters Tracy Newman & the Reinforcements, Vance Gilbert and Houston & Jones. Friday’s bill will include Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Review, Red Moon Road, Gary Stockdale and Gypsy Soul.
Pearl is being recognized for the pivotal role the Ash Grove played in the burgeoning folk scene from its opening in 1958 through the early 1970s, during which it hosted Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, the Weavers, Willie Dixon and many other folk, blues and country musicians.
Much of the conference is open only to registered attendees, but the concerts are open to the public. Tickets are $10 and available through Brown Paper Tickets. The event is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Irvine Hotel. Friday's and Saturday’s official showcases will be in the Grand Ballroom.
This is the 10th FAR-West Conference put on by the organization as part of its mission to “[Create] community among musicians, presenters, non-commercial radio broadcasters, support and educational organizations that seek to raise the visibility and expand the influence of folk and acoustic music in the West.”
[For the Record, 5:39 p.m. PDT, Oct. 10: A previous version of this post used the name Tracy Newman & the Replacements.]
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