Songmakers Corner at Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest

I want to sincerely thank all the wonderful Songmakers who served as hoot leaders, entertainers and performers at the 2017 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest. And thank you to all those I am not mentioning because I may not remember or I may not have been aware of all who were there—You were being supportive in one way or another—you know who you are!

Thanks to our President Steve Berman (great Harp playing Prez!) and first lady songbird and fiddler Sandy Lessner for bringing and handing out flyers, being friendly (a great Songmaker trait) and making sure our Banner got put up!

We started the morning at 9:00 AM with multi-instrumentalist Bill Dempsey and Friends. Thanks for doing such a professional job, Bill, with nifty music (and getting there on time, staking our claim to that shady spot!) At 10:00 AM we got to hear Jim Friery and Ben Griffes, newcomers to our “stage.” They did a lot of great sing-a-longs and kept the crowd happy and involved. Next we had the ever popular crowd-pleasing, upbeat duo of Simon Lucas and Dana Charette. The Harmonistas haven’t performed since 2015, but they rocked the house as usual–Gigi, you rocked it too! Next came TJ Zeiler & Steve Linsky of Horse Play….but wait, I think all of Horse Play were there in full glorious swing! Dana Charette (and help from Harmonista friends and others) took the stage at 2:00 PM getting the crowd going with his French and his Russian…..Bravo Boris! The ever elegant Gemini (Bruce Farwell and Renata Decher) pleased the crowd with well-enjoyed sing-a-longs and a sparklingly (new word?) fun set. At 4:00 PM Ric LaShever was our last but not least soloist (with a little help from friends) with his soulful renditions of rootsy, bluesy tunes. Thanks to one and all for making it a great (but HOT!) day.

We’ll be doing this next year, Goddess willing.
Louise Dobbs
(Your Topanga lady aka Songmakers’ Treasurer and Badge procurer)

PS….if you want to be part of this great tradition, let me know NOW (or soon). Help generate publicity and do some recruiting for your favorite music club. Always fun! Sometimes warm but often comfortable! Always lots of music. We always have a number of musicians/singers competing in the contest, too!
More Topanga Contest info at:

Take a look at some Songmakers at Topanga in previous years:
2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015