Recent Stories

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    Musical identity update: a new anthem for Bakersfield?

    By JOE MATTHEWS, Zocolo Public Square
    Wednesday, Jan 28 2015 03:01 PM

    The "Bakersfield Sound" -- inland California's answer to Nashville country music -- traces its roots to the dusty streets of the Great Depression, when Okies headed West to find work in the oil fields. Buck Owens, a figurehead of the scene, gave the Kern County city its anthem, "The Streets of Bakersfield," in 1973. The defiant opening lines, as penned by Homer Joy: "I came here looking for something I couldn't find anywhere else."

    That song and the music scene it belonged to were so distinctive, and remain so influential, that the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville only just closed the exhibition "The Bakersfield Sound" after almost three years on display. Bakersfield still remains a magnet for people looking for new...

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    An opera greatest hits package at CSUB

    It will be a few years before CSUB will present another full-length opera; in the meantime, students are learning their craft by performing in scenes from time-honored classics to daring new works. Current students will be joined by...

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    CESAREO GARASA: Meet the new Grant Langston

    It's the same venue only different, and he's the same artist -- but also kind of different: A slightly darker version of good-time roots country artist Grant Langston returns to Bakersfield on Saturday. Langston introduced himself to...

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    Not rock opera but rock AND opera for student

    Opera singer by day, rock singer by night. Courtney Sangis thinks that's her formula for success. Sangis, 19, studies music at CSUB, majoring in voice. That means she studies classical technique and repertoire -- the music of Bach and...

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    Boy-oh-Boyd: Singer on fire

    Call it kismet, country style: Playing in Bakersfield one day apart are reigning "Voice" champ Craig Wayne Boyd and Travis Tritt, one of Boyd's biggest musical influences. In fact, it was Boyd's rollicking version of "The Whiskey Ain't...

  6. Noted guitarist to play

    The fifth season of Cal State Bakersfield's guitar arts concert series ends with a performance from Anton Baranov. The 2013 winner of the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition, Baranov will present his...

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    MATT MUNOZ: Ruby remains a Bakersfield gem

    Honed by years of performing, Kama Ruby's talent for charming audiences has served the popular Bakersfield chanteuse well. The singer, whose voice sets the mood for an evening of elegance and romance, will showcase her latest CD release,...

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    Of octaves and oatmeal: Meet Lauren Shera

    What a topsy-turvy time for music and musicians, when wildly talented singer-songwriters like Lauren Shera are willing to sell anything, sacrifice anything and play anywhere. Her dedication comes through, whether it's selling organic...

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    Does sound remain the same?

    The Bakersfield Sound has been called a raw, stripped down, trebly concoction, but those adjectives more accurately describe the deliberate earnestness of Buck Owens' music than the more graceful and nuanced work of Merle Haggard, its...

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    ... with Liberty and opera for all

    Before the lights go down and the show starts, local opera fans attending the Metropolitan Opera's "The Merry Widow" at Edwards Cinema this weekend will get to see one song performed live -- very live, sung from inside the theater -- by...

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    CESAREO GARASA: It's Texas two-step time at Palace

    The Texas-based Randy Rogers Band isn't one of those outfits intent on examining the human condition in great depth. They're the guys who showed up to the party with a fiddle and acoustic guitars, asking where you keep the red Solo cups....

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    MATT MUNOZ: Go and banjo at bluegrass festival

    There will be no strings left unstrung when the Great 48 bluegrass jam picks its way back to the DoubleTree Hotel this weekend. Now in its sixth year, the popular four-day festival will stick to its tradition of non-stop music and jamming...

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    CESAREO GARASA: Best musical event of '14 was ...

    The story of 2014 for me was Wall Street Alley Fest, a pulled-together-at-the-last-minute music juggernaut that featured 15 acts in a tight space that somehow managed to be the most cohesive, successful and fun events I have seen in this...

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