San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society


                                                                             Nunez--very smallPoster by Brad Golden

Janelle Younger,  ' Broken Spoke Folk Show' begins at 2:06 p.m. every Saturday afternoon.
Listen in from 2 to 5pm – – 90.1 FM


Rob Kimball's show Pickin'Up the Tempo is on Tuesday night, 8 to 10 pm. He plays country, alternative folk, and other eclectic picks from Rob's own collection. "If your tastes in music just can't be pigeonholed, you'll love these two hours of surprising musical diversity every Tuesday night."


Host Glenn Horn has a keen ear for great music. Tune in for classic standards and the newest in progressive bluegrass, and related acoustic music.
Basically Bluegrass Thursday nights, 8 to 10

Music of the World's People with Jim Dee
Explore music from around the world every Sunday night from 9 to 11. Jim Dee guides you on audio adventures to locales far and near, playing traditional and contemporary international music that is both compelling and tantalizing.


With a Little Help From Our Friends


We would like to thank all our SLOfolks Fans who help us host our musicians, Kristin and Alan Cameron who have often hosted some of our SLOfolks bands in their peaceful Shanagolden Retreat B&B in Templeton.
Shanagolden is named after a little town in Limerick, Ireland. It is said to be a place of great peace and tranquility.

Shanagolden Retreat

We also want to thank Ollie & Dennis Palm,  Stanley and Carol Stearn , Rich and Chris Klingman who also host some of our musicians.
They are very much appreciated by our musicians and SLOfolks.

If you are interested in hosting some of our musicians please Email Elisabeth at:

After January 1st, 2015 please  e-mail David Arndt


 Local Music:

  Brown Bag Concerts  (free) are at noon  on the first friday of the month

Doors open at 11:45 in Wilson Hall, corner of Marsh and Morro, San Luis Obispo.  Fair Trade coffee and chocolate available.  Free.  543-5451.
Noontime concert will be in Wilson Hall, SLO First Presbyterian Church, corner of Marsh & Morro.  Free.



                                     CHANGES FOR SLOFOLKS 2015

Ted and Elisabeth will be handing over the reins of SLOfollks to David Arndt at the end of this year,  2014. 

"After ten years of running SLOfolks, we are very happy to have found a very capable and charming person to run SLOfolks."  David  has been a SLOfolks volunteer with his wife Marianne and I am sure that  many of you have already met him!
Marianne is the owner of Linnaea's Cafe where SLOfolks first began….the circle is complete!"


It has been a privilege  for me to book and promote such wonderful artists from all over the world and we are proud that SLOfolks is running smoothly with over 2000 fans on our concert announcement list. 

Thank you so much to all the SLOfolks friends who have made SLOfolks a success by coming to our concerts and telling their friends about it. 

It has been a joy for us to bring such good music to our community!


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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Jim Kimo West -small







The Arroyo Grande Village Summer Concert Series kicks off on Sunday, June 8th and continues with nine show through September 21st.  The Rotary Bandstand in the Village of Arroyo Grande will be filled with a wide variety of great music from around the Central Coast.  The Arroyo Grande Village Summer Concert Series is known for presenting the most eclectic and diverse musical offerings of all the regional summer series.  Music this summer will range from folk to blues, from 60’s rock to classic country and from bluegrass to traditional concert band music.  This free Series is presented by the Arroyo Grande Village Improvement Association and the City of Arroyo Grande Recreation Services Department.  The 2014 Series will also feature nine worthy regional nonprofit organizations and concert sponsors.


These free summer concerts are held at the Rotary Bandstand in Heritage Square Park from June through September.  The South County Historical Society's famous all beef hot dogs, Doc Burnstein’s ice cream, popcorn, drinks and more are available at the shows.  Special raffles benefitting the Featured Nonprofit Organizations and various displays will further enliven the concerts.  Music fans can also explore Heritage Square Museums, antique shops and restaurants in the historic Arroyo Grande Village.  Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs, blankets and their friends and neighbors to enjoy the afternoons under the sun!  Refer to and or call 805-473-2250 for more information on the Village Summer Concert Series and the VIA’s other community events.


2014 Village Summer Concert Series Schedule  

Series Sponsor:  Rabobank

Media Sponsors:  KSBY TV, Tolosa Press, KSMX Radio
Band:   Shadowlands  (ethereal folk pop)
Featured Non-Profit (FNP):   Central Coast Classique Bike Ride
Band:  The Probes (pop rock from the 60’s to 90’s)
FNP:  Pismo Preserve Project – SLO Land Conservancy
7/4:  (Friday)
Band:  The Village Band  (traditional, patriotic concert band)
FNP:  Arroyo Grande in Bloom
Band:  Highway One Band  (classic country quartet)
FNP:   Arroyo Grande Recreation Children’s Services
(Plus Line Dancing Club and Line Dancing Instruction)
Band:  BMSCC welcomes The Honeysuckle Possums (all female bluegrass band from Santa Barbara)
FNP:  Bluegrass Music Society of the Central Coast
Band:  Songwriters at Play Showcase  (regional singer-songwriters)
   (John Batdorf, Kat Devlin, Tim Jackson, Stephen Styles, Holly Ann Phillips and Steve Key)
FNP: The Assistance League of San Luis Obispo County
Band:  Riptide Big Band (16 piece dance band) 
FNP: Basin Street Regulars
Band:  SLO Blues Society welcomes the Lenny Blue Band
FNP:  Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival
Band:  SLOfolks concert – to be announced
FNP:  Clark Center Association







Allyson Oken 

From New York to Castoro  


SLO Folks presents Red Molly
Allyson Oken  ~ Of Vino WeeklyTempleton—
Pull up a chair, put a glass of wine in hand and hold on roving finger work, Dobro, bass and guitar along with three part harmonies are coming to Castoro Cellars in the form of Red Molly. 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18, experience the rave of New York’s folk seen Red Molly as they take the stage for their first ever concert on the Central Coast. SLO Folks president, Elisabeth Demongeot was able to procure this band after three years of diligence and hard work. She first saw this fantastic folk group play at the Kate Wolf Festival and was wowed by their unusual three part harmonies and original songs.

            “So many bands these days just do covers,” she explained. “When I look for a group to book I try to find musicians that are producing original work. About three years ago I heard about Red Molly. This all girl folk group blew me away with their unusual three part harmonies and musicianship when I saw them at the Kate Wolf Festival. Because they are a New York based band and are very well known I was hard to book them but after three years I was able to find a slot that worked with their tour dates.”

            Red Molly is made up of three extremely talented women with very different backgrounds that came together to create a very unique sound. Laurie MacAllister is first soprano and plays bass, banjo, and guitar. Then there is Abbie Gardner as second soprano she plays the Dobro and banjo. And the most resent addition to the group, Molly Venter sings alto and plays the guitar. Their harmonic choices are somewhat reminiscent of the Roche Sisters and when pared with their instrumentation their sound takes on a full guttural quality that makes people want to sing along and dance. The ladies will truly grace the stage at Castoro Cellars and are a group people should make the time to see.

            Demongeot explained that it was not only Red Molly’s sound that perked her interest but their taste in music and various influences. From James Taylor to Billie Holiday and Bonnie Raitt to Led Zeppelin these ladies find inspiration from many. Demongeot said that these were some of her favorite performers and the mere fact that they were influenced by such great music implied that they would be a good group to book.  

            “When I read about their influences in their bio I discovered that these ladies were not only talented musicians but had great taste in music,” said Demongeot. “They were all the bands that I loved and listened to when I was growing up so it perked my interest further. Everything they play is done so with great energy and passion they are anything but gloomy. They are just what SLO Folks is looking for in a band to book.” 

            SLO Folks has been bringing music from all over the world to San Luis Obispo County for the last 20 plus years. They are a non-profit organization that produces concerts about two times a month for Castoro Cellars and Coalesce Book Store. Providing musicians with some choices to play at an intimate venue, out doors and in an indoor venue that seats about 300 people. They also pay witch is rare these days most venues just ask for donations for the band where with SLO Folks most bands take about 70 percent of the door.

            Demongeot believes it is very important to support working musicians. She explained that they work so hard they should get something for their efforts. This is why SLO Folks charges a small cover of $20 per person to enjoy the music that comes to their venues. This is also they how they are able to bring big name bands to SLO County. Come out and support the talent, drink some wine and have a great time at Castoro Cellars. To find out more about Red Molly, buy tickets; see the venue and Castoro Cellars collection of wines visit  


A musical ambassador for his people
by Sarah Linn  –


Published: August 1, 2013               Oliver Mtukudzi began writing his own songs around the age of 7.

Oliver Mtukudzi sings in English as well as Nbedele and Shona, his native country’s most widely spoken languages. Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi takes on a special responsibility every time he steps onstage.

“When I perform, I also present my culture,” said Mtukudzi, who appears Saturday with his band, the Black Spirits, at Castoro Cellars in Templeton. “You don’t become an artist for yourself. You become an artist to represent your people.”

Mtukudzi, or “Tuku” as he’s known to fans, is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most prolific and successful recording artists. Over the decades, he has sought to record his home country’s struggles and successes in song — documenting everything from Zimbabwe’s bid to win independence in 1980 to the political, social and economic turmoil that has enveloped the nation since then.

“Every problem Zimbabweans face, I’m also part of,” the 60-year-old said.

A member of Zimbabwe’s Kore Kore tribe, Mtukudzi sings in English as well as Nbedele and Shona, his native country’s most widely spoken languages. His unique sound incorporates elements of South African mbaqanga, Zimbabwean pop-style jit and traditional kateke drumming.

“I share a lot of different musical styles in each song. I’m very experimental,” said Mtukudzi, adding that those diverse influences stem from “where I grew up, the way I was brought up. Because I’m Zimbabwean, it comes from that.”

Mtukudzi discovered his passion for music growing up in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.

“Around the age of 7, I was already creating my own songs and singing for my parents,” Mtukudzi said. “I really wanted to perform songs I didn’t already know.”

After releasing his first successful single in 1975, the performer teamed up with another Zimbabwean musical standout, Thomas Mapfumo, as part of the legendary Wagon Wheels. Simultaneously, he launched his solo career with the 1978 album “Ndipeiwo Zano.”

Over the years, Mtukudzi has released more than 60 albums to acclaim in Africa, Europe and North America. He’s also produced and starred in a handful of feature films.

Mtukudzi’s latest album, “Sarawoga,” deals with the death of his 21-year-old son, Sam Mtukudzi, himself a successful musician, in a car crash in 2010. The title means “to be left alone” in Shona.

“I’m saying that I was left on my own to finish this album,” Oliver Mtukudzi said, explaining that “Sarawoga,” which was released in May, began as a collaboration between father and son. “I had to record it.”

When writing songs, Mtukudzi said, he never shies away from personal or painful subjects.

“Pain, frustration, joy, education, misery — songs come out of all situations,” he said. “I only take the experiences I feel that my listener will also take personally.”

“That’s the purpose of a song,” he added. “A song must give hope, give life, heal the broken heart. It should touch the heart of the listener.”

Mtukudzi takes the same direct approach to his activism, speaking out about patriarchy, polygamy and the HIV/AIDS epidemic that claimed the lives of his brother Robert and several band members.

“I was one of the very lucky Zimbabwean artists to know about that disease before (anybody else) knew about it,” said Mtukudzi, who was approached by the World Health Organization in 1987 to write a song about HIV/AIDS, “Stay With One Woman.”

“That song took me to Switzerland, where for the first time I saw people affected and infected by (HIV/AIDS),” he said. “From then on, I understood how dangerous that disease would be.”

Mtukudzi has since written a number of songs about the subject, including “Tapera” and “Todii.” In 2012, he became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for eastern and southern Africa focusing on HIV/AIDS and youth development.

Mtukudzi intends to continue spreading his message as long as he can.

“You only run out of anything to talk about when you’re dead,” he said.


Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits
7 p.m. Saturday
Castoro Cellars, 1315 N. Bethel Road, Templeton
238-0725, www.castoro or

Reach Sarah Linn at 781-7907. Stay updated by following @shelikestowatch on Twitter.


































































































































































































































Blame Sally worships at the church of rock and roll

February 11, 2013


It’s not every day that you can see a rock and roll show in a San Luis Obispo church on a Friday night, is it?

Well this is SLO town, not exactly a live music mecca with clubs on every corner, so I’ll take what I can get. And it seemed like a cool thing, plus it’s always good to switch things up and exit your comfort zone.

Usually you get rewarded when you do and that was the case for me when I ventured out to see country folk rock outfit Blame Sally at the United Church of Christ last week.

These four ladies and one dude on bass hail from the Bay Area, where they formed the band in 2000, and seem as comfortable on stage as they might be in your kitchen hanging out and drinking wine.

And boy can these girls play.

For most of the show, the tight, cohesive quintet focused on material from their latest release in 2011, ‘Speeding Ticket and a Valentine.’ ‘Living without You’ is a driving ditty that offers a fresh, unsentimental take on breaking up. ”Bird in the Hand’ followed, a completely different but equally refreshing song in more traditional folk style, with a strong narrative, dreamy harmonies and even a surf guitar solo. How about that?

‘Countdown’ is an upbeat, sarcastic look keeping up in a superficial world. ‘Throw Me a Bone’ was a soft, soothing ballad about getting But their strongest song of the night was ‘Love is Our Religion,’ anthemic, melodic and unrecorded so forget about iTunes. You know it’s a keeper when there’s an immediate connection with a song you hear for the first time. With Blame Sally, everything comes around to love so who can argue with that.

A soulful cover of ‘Chain of Fools’ followed by a heartfelt rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Never Going Back Again’ elicited whoops and hollers from the older, mostly laid-back crowd. They threw in a tribute to Elton John, something about loving rock music (who doesn’t) and a Spanish a capella finale.

I’m telling you, the performance had more switchbacks than a curvy mountain road.

I know it’s a cliché but the whole is sometimes greater than the sum of its parts. Blame Sally confirmed this truism and confirmed their place in the independent music world as a songwriting and song playing powerhouse.

Sure, it took a while to get used to the whole rocking-in-a church-pew thing but musicians Pam, Renee, Jeri, Monica and Rob helped the crowd get into their comfort zone right from the get-go. The cool thing about Blame Sally is that they are not easily categorized, no one label quite fits. So if you have an open mind, which I try to keep when seeing a new, genre-bending act, it makes for a memorable show, if not a difficult review.

So if this particular write-up sucks, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, kudos to the San Luis Obispo Folk Muisc Society for bringing such great acts to the Central Coast. They, along with the SLO Blues Society, help keep the local scene alive and vibrant, which ain’t always easy. I’m not normally a cheerleader but whatever you fancy, get out and enjoy some live music, there’s a ton of talented if unheralded musicians out there.

Bands like Blame Sally will make you glad you did.

The next SLO Folks concert features Italian guitar virtuoso Beppe Gambetta  and Peter Ostroushko on Friday, March 1 at Coalesce Bookstore.and Castoro Cellars March 2nd.


SloFolks and Eric Andersen are featured today in The ROCK.

Article by Judy Salamacha – The Tribune

Published: Monday, Apr. 02, 2012
Updated: 10:30 pm Sunday, Apr. 01, 2012


SLOFolks, the San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society, has hosted entertainers from all over the globe — Iraq, Argentina, France, England, Canada, Australia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Africa — and across the U.S., from Appalachia to Alaska, Seattle to Boston.
“I like Leonard Bernstein’s definition of folk music,” SLOFolks President Elisabeth Demongeot explained. “He says that folk music expresses the nature of the people. Folk songs reflect something about the country and tell us about the rhythms, accents, language and ways of people.”
Demongeot and her husband, Ted Shearer, have shared leadership of SLOFolks since 2004, when Joanne Hand of Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay determined they were the best couple for the job
Fresh from producing two Seattle radio music shows, Demongeot worked with Shearer on concerts for the Seattle Folklore Society and knows a lot of musicians. They moved to Los Osos to be near their children and grandchildren.
Coming up on April 20 at Coalesce, and then at Castoro Cellars on April 21, is featured artist Eric Andersen.
“We feel honored to have him play for SLOFolks,” Demongeot said. “He first came to prominence as a performer in Greenwich Village in New York City in the early 1960s and immediately became part of the Village folk and songwriter scene along with Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Dave Van Ronk and Bob Dylan.
“He taught Joni Mitchell to play her signature open tunings,” she added. “Although we don’t intend to hit the big time with all of our performers, we know Eric was one of the best loved musicians of the ’60s. He’ll play songs celebrating his 40 years in the business.”
Recently, SLOFolks branched out to other venues.
The group was invited to Cal Poly Arts by Steve Lerian to co-host John McCutcheon.
Houston Jones performed at the United Church of Christ in San Luis Obispo.
And upcoming concerts include the Fishtank Ensemble, Gilles Apap, Baguette Quartette, Peppino and guests, and Hot Buttered Rum. Details, venues and dates are at

“We have a small but reliable group of volunteers, wonderful support from Coalesce Bookstore and Castoro Cellars, which allows us to keep the concerts affordable and available to everyone and still pay the musicians as much as we can,” Demongeot said.

“Brad Golden of Central Coast Live has done an incredible job with our posters, since Jeanie McDill, one of our most faithful volunteers, broke her arm,” she added.

“Ted and I love music, not only folk but jazz, world, classical … I’ve given my whole heart to it,” Demongeot said. “Besides SLOFolks, we love our time together enjoying the beauty of this area, bicycling, hosting musicians, going to festivals, bluegrass, local music and spending precious time with our grandchildren.”

Reach Judy Salamacha at or 801-1422.

Copyright 2012 The Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Reach Judy Salamacha at or 801-1422






























































































































































































































































































































































































Now Home Page My Times Today's Middle East

A Fabled Iraqi Instrument Thrives in Exile

"I cried that day," he told me. "And the very first thing I did afterwards was fill in a voter registration form. "My polling card arrived this morning. I picked it up and did this," he said as he mimed kissing it.
"After 40 years, I can't wait to vote freely at last."

But Rahim didn't want to be thought of as a dissident or a political activist. He's an exceptionally skilled musician, one of the world's most accomplished players of the oud – a lute-like stringed instrument whose origins date back over 5,000 years. I asked him to play for me. He obliged with a quick-paced, melancholy composition. His affinity with the instrument and the gentle, mournful sound it produced was striking. "It's much more intimate than a guitar," he explained as he strummed. "You have to hug it like you'd hug your wife or girlfriend."

As a small boy, his bond with his oud was so strong that he used to sleep with it in its carry case. His love of music won him a string of awards and a place at the Institute of Music in his native Baghdad.
But it was Rahim's passion for composing and performing that forced him into exile. He used his talent and popularity to speak out against the regime by writing songs which protested against the Iran-Iraq war.

The authorities didn't hesitate. His recordings were banned and he was thrown into prison at the mercy of Saddam's torturers. "But worst degradation was that they took my oud away," he recalled. "I'd practice playing on my wrist. It was as though I could hear the music."

After he was released from prison during the first Gulf War, Rahim fled the country using false papers. But because musicians had to declare their instruments before leaving Iraq, he had to leave the oud behind.

He went to Jordan before settling in Syria, where he met his wife and stayed for eight years. But when Iraq and Syria restored diplomatic relations in 1998, he had to leave again – this time for the USA.

The United Nations refugee agency sent him to Albuquerque, New Mexico, because they thought the desert landscape would remind him of home.
At first it seemed strange to him. It wasn't the bustling New York-style metropolis he had expected. But as he learned English and made friends, it became his favourite place in the world. Rahim's career flourished. He played with symphony orchestras in New York and teaches music at the University of New Mexico. In 2008 he was nominated for a Grammy. And like any American, he exercised his constitutional right to complain about the state of the nation. "America is a wonderful place – the country is gorgeous and the people are so open and welcoming," he said. "But Americans are very isolated. The only people around them are the Mexicans, who they treat badly, and the Canadians, who are just like them. "If I can do anything while I'm here, I'd like to help them understand other parts of the world."
I asked him how he was planning to use his first-ever free vote. The answer came back on the beat: Obama. The occupation of his homeland had been a disaster, he said:
"I had mixed feeling when Saddam was overthrown because he was such a terrible man," Rahim said. "But I also saw the devastation and the suffering that my people experienced as a result of the invasion. "When there's a snake in your house, you don't destroy the house to get rid of it. But there have been four million people displaced in Iraq, one million dead, Shia turned against Sunni. "It isn't just about Iraq. We need change at home too. Ask anyone about how the economy's affecting them. The Americans have suffered under Bush, too."
Before I left, we embraced. He made me promise never to take my right to vote for granted again.

The Bay News

Jan. 2006

The Folks Who Revived SLOFOLKS

By Judy Salamacha

The San Luis Obispo Folks Music Society is one of the longest running local organizations bringing quality live music to the Central Coast. And two recent Seattle transplants have helped keep the music playing.
“Music is something we have in common,” said Elisabeth Demongeot about her 27-year marriage to Ted Shearer. “We’re people of the world working together with other volunteers at SLOFOLKS to bring the world to the Central Coast.
SLOFOLKS is a non-profit organization with a small, but active group of volunteers, who have developed, produced and nurtured folk music performances in SLO County since the 1970s.
But after the death of promoter, Jody Ramsland in 2003, the group was in what Elisabeth called “survival meeting” mode.
The volunteers were dedicated to the music-form, but lacked leadership, until Elisabeth and Ted were convinced to jointly, take over promoting the shows.
In 2002, they moved to Los Osos soon after the birth of their first grandchild to Michael and Laurel White also of Los Osos. Elisabeth said she had a dream that her grandson, Graham, who is now four, said “I love you” and she knew she had to be close to him. They moved her 96-year-old mother with them from Seattle, where they enjoyed “a rich, folk music scene.”
Once settled, they discovered SLOFOLKS at Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay. Elisabeth used to host a couple of Seattle radio programs on KCBS and was active in the Seattle Folklore Society for about five years. She was familiar and had access to many of the folk performers. So the couple was a natural to take up the banner for SLOFOLKS.
Ted and Elisabeth just completed their first year as promoters and already have concerts booked for 2006.
In 2005, SLOFOLKS produced 20 “mostly sold-out” concerts at Coalesce Bookstore, which accommodates 60, and at Castoro Cellars, which has an audience capacity of about 325. Castoro has an indoor event center as well as an outdoor garden stage with the rows of grapes for a dramatic backdrop.
Their goal to bring worldwide talent to the Central Coast was realized. The line-up of artists in 2005 was most impressive. Celtic music group, Molly’s Revenge, kicked off 2005. The fun and lively band is also a regular at the Highland Games and other Celtic Festivals.
Mike Marshall, said to be “the world’s most accomplished acoustic guitarist” also made an appearance with SLOFOLKS.
Peter Ostroushko has received a couple of Minneapolis Music Awards for his works on the fiddle and mandolin and
Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen hail from Bennington, Vt., and have produced more than 15 CDs of contemporary and traditional folk music.
Alice Stuart was named the 2005 “Best Guitarist” by the Seattle Weekly and “2005 Best Song Writer” by the Washington Blues. And it was noted that while creating their folk art playing the guitar and woodwind instruments, Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel brought home to Seattle the Grammy in the New Age category.
Hanz Araki grew up and learned his music in Japan, but calls Seattle his home. That’s where he met the other five members in his group of Irish pub players.
Casey Neill is Brooklyn, N.Y., based, while Anne McCue is from Australia and played Vietnam.
A new group The Duhks is made up of five Canadian musicians and singers from Winnepeg, Manitoba and The Bills represented the West Coast of Canada and Western European Folk Music.
Peppino D’Agostino followed his heart to San Francisco to develop his Italian folk musician’style and Baguette Quartette performs the music of Paris from 1920-1940 popular on street corners, cafes and dance halls.
Laurence Juber performed his “finger-style guitar arrangements" of Paul McCartney’s best songs during the “Wings” era. He played guitars he manufactures himself.
Local talent also had a strong showing in 2005, with Bob and Wendy, Jill Knight, and others.
“We want to introduce talented folk musicians who may not be as well known, but have tremendous talent,” said Elisabeth. “SLOFOLKS also wants to continue to rely on a core group of dedicated volunteers.”
She made sure to credit the other loyal volunteers with their long-time support of SLOFOLKS, such as Jeanie McDill, who has been involved for 20 years. Nancy Ross is a musician and volunteer. Haila Hafley-Kluver, Glen Silloway, Laurent Bernad, Dave Baumgarten and Ron and Leslie Bearce also help regularly.
Without a budget to promote the events,” Elisabeth said, “the area media has been very helpful to let people know about our concerts and we’re getting more and more information on the website.”
Ted indicated the most difficult time is the week before a concert. They “stress,” he said, especially if it is a first-time performance since the talent typically agrees to perform for the chance to expose their art forms and sell their CDs.
Now, it’s time to focus on the future and what is already shaping into an exciting 2006 lineup.
“We’re so excited James Talley will be here Jan. 27 and 28,” said Elisabeth. “I knew of him in Seattle and tried to get him [here]. He’s finally agreed to come to the Central Coast. We want a really good showing for him. He’s a legend and the concerts are only $15. “And if anyone has a copy or knows where we can get one, we’re looking for that famous Dust Bowl painting to use as background at his concert.”
According to Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star, “Rosalyn Carter took copies of James Talley albums to the White House. President Carter even invited him to perform…B.B. King played his first Nashville recording session with Talley.
“His lucid, poetic lyrics depict universal characters whose stories offer insightful glimpses into Americana.
The 2006 schedule is booked and can be found on the SLOFOLKS Web site at: with more information, dates and sites of performances, plus links with musical highlights for both past and future performers.
Talley will perform Jan. 27 at Coalesce in Morro Bay and Jan. 28 at Castoro Cellars. Tickets are $15 and available at the bookstore and winery.

The Tribune

Posted on Thu, Jan. 26, 2006

Music for all folks

SLOFOLKS gears up for a new year with 11 scheduled artists

Sally Connell
The Tribune

The great Louis Armstrong once said, “All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.”

The San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society (SLOFOLKS)has taken that basic principle and run with it for the past 30 years, scheduling African music, contemporary jazz and classic American folk music at county venues.

This year’s slate of shows starts with James Talley, a performer billed in one Country Music Television review as “the most famous country singer and songwriter that you never heard of.” Talley will perform at Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay on Jan. 27 and Castoro Cellars in Templeton on Jan. 28.

Talley kicks off an 11-artist year for SLOFOLKS this year, while 20 musicians or groups performed in 23 SLOFOLKS concerts in 2005.

The sheer number of performances scheduled by SLOFOLKS is significant, because it was as recently as late 2004 when the three-decade-old nonprofit organization held a “survival meeting” to discuss whether it had a future.

SLOFOLKS evolved from a series of concerts held at Linnaea Phillips’ home. In the early 1980s, the organization was actually formed and Jody Ramsland led it for years, until her death in 2003. Without her leadership, members were worried about who would take on the task.

But now Elisabeth Demongeot and her husband Ted Shearer serve as president and treasurer of the organization. The two moved to the area a little over three years ago from Seattle, where they had produced folk music concerts.

Because of SLOFOLKS’ nonprofit status, ticket prices are kept relatively low: $15 for the winter concerts and $20 for the larger summer outdoor concerts at Castoro Cellars.
Representatives of both Coalesce and Castoro admit the small concerts are great ways to bring people into their businesses, although not moneymakers in their own right.

Demongeot said artists get 75 percent of the proceeds from the concert ticket sales, SLOFOLKS gets 15 percent, and the venues get the remaining 10 percent.

But the venue managers love the music.

“It’s called SLOFOLKS, but it’s not just folk music really. We had a flamenco guitarist (in November),” said Aaron Palmer, Castoro’s tasting room manager.

The inside concerts at Castoro are intimate, with about 140 to 150 people.“There’s really no bad seat, because everybody is close to the stage,” Palmer said.

At Coalesce, the concerts are even smaller, seating about 60 in the bookstore’s garden wedding chapel.

“We’ve been doing SLOFolks for so long, I don’t really remember how it started,” said Sherri Hereford, a manager at Coalesce. “All of our concerts have always been so warm and inviting.”

If you go …

The San Luis Obispo

Folk Music Society’s

2006 schedule can be found at

Information about tickets is also available through Coalesce Bookstore, Morro Bay, 772-2880, or Castoro Cellars, Templeton, 238-0725.

Who is James Talley?

Talley is often compared to folk music giant Woody Guthrie, and has recorded many albums over the past three decades. He recorded his first album in years called “Got No Bread No Milk No Money But We Sure Got a Lot of Love” for Capitol Records. That work will be reissued under Talley’s own label in February.

His songs have been covered by such musicians as Johnny Cash and Alan Jackson. Moby did a version of Talley’s three-decade-old “Evening Rain” for the soundtrack of the movie “Daredevil.” His song “Richland, Washington” about growing up near the Hanford Nuclear Plant where his father worked is considered an American classic by folk and country aficionados.

Playing small venues like Coalesce and Castoro speaks to something central about folk music, Talley said in a telephone interview from his base in Nashville.

“I think there is a lot more intimacy in small gatherings than there is in large auditoriums,” he said.

The enthusiasm of the SLOFOLKS crowd is what is bringing him to the area. “I don’t have to play anymore to make a living. I really just go where somebody wants me real bad.”

SLOFOLKS president Elisabeth Demongeot believes people will identify with Talley’s down-to-earth voice. “He’s no-frills. You can really feel who he is,” she said. “He has a lot of kindness in his voice, like Willie Nelson.”

Atascadero News

Sept. 2006

PageParagraph "SLOfolks presents last concert of summer series
BY ELLEN HOLLAND of the Atascadero News – SEPT. 13, 2006

When Los Osos resident Elisabeth Demongeot and her husband, Ted Shearer, got involved with the San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society, they had a goal in mind.
“We wanted to bring the world to the Central Coast,” Demongeot said. “I love sharing music. That’s a way for me to be part of the community.”
Two years after the couple’s involvement with SLOfolks began, Demongeot, as president, and Shearer, as treasurer, continue to devote their time and energy to numerous activities that include hanging countless posters throughout San Luis Obispo County in promotion of the wide variety of music the non-profit organization continually showcases.
SLOfolks, which began its summer concert series at Castoro Cellars in 1999, will hold the last of this year’s summer concerts when it presents the West African Highlife Band on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. The six-member group is set to perform the highlife dance hits of Ghana and Nigeria at the winery, located at 1315 N. Bethel Road in Templeton.
“Drawing from both folk traditions and modern dance elements, their rich vocal harmonies, intertwining guitars, and exciting percussion make this group unbeatable,” according to information provided by SLOfolks.
“You can’t sit still,” Demongeot said of the band’s music. “It’s really fun and I think it’s a perfect [concert] to end the summer. It’s happy music and it will get us ready for the fall.”
Aaron Palmer, tasting room manager for Castoro Cellars and member of the SLOfolks musicians committee, said holding the concerts at the winery has been a great experience.
“Our customers look forward to it and it’s nice to give back to the community,” Palmer said. “It’s inspiring really to see all these eclectic artists come through.”
SLOfolks’ concerts at Castoro Cellars will continue throughout the year, held approximately once a month in the winery’s event room. SLOfolks is also gearing up to host its first concert in Atascadero. Jamie Byrd will perform at Green Acres Lavender Farm, located at 8865 San Gabriel Road, on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.
“It just is a charming place,” Demongeot said of the farm. “You arrive there and the smell of lavender wraps around you.” Demongeot plans on continuing to cooperate with the farm’s owners, Bob Bostwick and his wife, Janice Silva, to coordinate future Atascadero events.
“We’ve always been supporters of SLOfolks,” Bostwick said and added the couple enjoys having music at their home. “It’s just a good way to help tie the farm to the arts.”
Byrd is a San Francisco-based singer and songwriter.
“She runs a full range from folk to blues,” Bostwick said and added Byrd is a fantastic song writer and piano player.
“People who’ve seen her rave about her,” Demongeot added.
According to Demongeot, SLOfolks strives to bring the music of many different cultures to the Central Coast.
“Through their music you get a feeling of the country. It’s like traveling,” Demongeot said and added she likes to present music on a global scale “because they’ve all affected each other.”
SLOfolks evolved from a series of house concerts in the late 1970s. Many of these concerts were held at the home of Linnaea Phillips, who then began to showcase concerts and monthly folk jams at her business, Linnaea’s Café.
In the early 1980s, SLOfolks was formed to manage these concerts by a small group of volunteers. Jody Ramsland, who joined to SLOfolks in 1984 and later became its president, brought even more performers and two new venues, Coalesce Bookstore in Morro Bay and Blue Note Music in San Luis Obispo. But when Ramsland passed away in 2003, SLOfolks scrambled to keep things going.
“We just felt that there was no choice, that it would go under if we didn’t take it over,” Demongeot said. “We love music and we wanted to keep our feet in the music.”
The couple moved to Los Osos from Seattle in 2002 and had attended SLOfolks concerts at Coalesce Bookstore before they got directly involved with the organization. While in Seattle, Demongeot was the host of two radio shows, “Lunch with Folks” and “The Sunlit Room.” She also produced concerts for the Seattle Folklore Music Society. As the president of SLOfolks, Demongeot is in charge of booking, promotions and updating the organization's Web site, www.slo
She started bringing musicians to local venues through connections she made through interviewing hundreds of artists on the radio “and a lot of wonderful artists had been coming already,” she said. “There were a lot of very good people that had been coming over the years and that's one of the reasons people trust SLOfolks.” Demongeot chooses the performers through an extensive selection process.“I listen to their CDs at least three times before I decide,” she said. “I really listen to them and try to give new artists a chance.”
In addition, the music committee offers its opinion on potential acts and a small core group of volunteers, including Nancy Ross, Laurent Bernard and Jeanie McDill, have committed to promote the concerts.
Tickets for the West African Highlife Band cost $20. It is recommended the tickets be purchased before the concert by calling Castoro Cellars at 238-0725 or toll free at 1-888-DAM-FINE. Tickets for Jamie Byrd concert cost $15 and are available by calling Green Acres Lavender Farm at 466-0837.
For more information on upcoming SLOfolks concerts, visit or call 528-8963





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