The second of three free summer Concerts in the Park will feature bluegrass-fusion band Phil Salazar and The Kinfolk. The Ventura-based group will take the stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 14 at Philip Marx Central Park in downtown Tehachapi. Bring your picnic lunches and lawn chairs and enjoy an afternoon of high-energy acoustic Americana.
This concert, as well as one more featuring The Novelists scheduled for Aug. 11, are being presented by Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District in association with Fiddlers Crossing and MusicMX Entertainment. The concert series is sponsored by Lehigh Cement and Grimmway Farms.
Formerly known as The Phil Salazar Band, The Kinfolk have been playing together since 1983. While their style is mainly bluegrass, the five-piece band draws from a wealth of other genres, including folk, traditional Americana, Celtic, jazz, country and cowboy. With Salazar in charge, the show is guaranteed to be full of humor, good times and great music.
Phil Salazar is a popular teacher in Ventura. A fiddle champ, he is a teacher of many others who became fiddle champs. Salazar has recorded on his own and with his bands, including the Acousticats, and with such stars as Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kenny Loggins, Kate Wolf, Gilles Apap and many more. Bob Weir said of Salazar that “he never met a tune he couldn't instantly enhance.”
The Kinfolk include other “A” list musicians. On mandolin and guitar is former Acousticats member Tom Corbett. Corbett, who has also toured with John McEuen and many others. Bassist, Rick Borella, also a former Acousticat, has been playing around the Santa Barbara area for 40 years. Of banjo player Bill Knopf, it is said that “he has played with almost everybody and has taught the rest.” Bill Flores rounds out the band, on dobro, mandolin, guitar, steel guitar and more. He has played with a wide variety of musicians, including Wanda Jackson, Lowell Fulsom, Big Joe Turner, Rosie Flores and many more.
Phil Salazar and The Kinfolk are “not your father’s” bluegrass band. They bend and stretch the genre to create a new, free-spirited, often wild, style of their own. Mark your calendars for 2 p.m. July 14 at Philip Marx Central Park and prepare for a rollicking afternoon of “Bluegrass, Swing and Mayhem.”
Peter Cutler is an audio engineer-producer, singer and guitarist. A native of Los Angeles, he has lived in Tehachapi since 2006.