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Song Study Series: Singer/Songwriters of Laurel Canyon


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From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s some of the most melodic, atmospheric, and subtly political American popular music was written by residents of, or those associated with, Laurel Canyon—including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, J. D. Souther, Judee Sill, the Mamas and the Papas, Carole King, the Eagles, Richie Furay (in Buffalo Springfield and Poco), and many more. They made music together, played songs for one another with acoustic guitars in all-night jam sessions in each other’s houses…. The music was mislabeled “soft rock” or “folk rock,” especially in the Northeast, where critics panned it as granola-infused hippie music—too “mellow” and too white. But in truth, it was an amalgam of influences that included blues, rock and roll, jazz, Latin, country and western, psychedelia, bluegrass, and folk. It certainly was a forerunner of today’s “Americana.”

— Lisa Robinson, Vanity Fair

Recognize some of these  names? The late 60s folk/rock scene is still influencing popular music today. We’ll explore some of the enduring classics from the period, as well as songs from the lesser-known acoustic pop resurgence in the 90s which sprang up - ironically enough - in the coffeehouses of the Northeast. You may not be as familiar with some of the “newer” names, but you’re gonna love ‘em. Anybody play guitar (even a little)? Bring it along! Let’s explore the world of open tunings, close harmonies, and well-crafted songs while we find our own group sound.

Mondays, 7-10pm
February 3 - March 23 (8 weeks)
Sunlight Studios
Teaching Artist and Musical Director: Michael Holland


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