The Brooklyn Country Music Festival
Freddy’s Bar
July 15-18, 2004

4 days of country music and fun

The Brooklyn Country Music Festival was created by Alex Battles (of Alex Battles’ Whisky Rebellion) to showcase the many different characters and varieties of the burgeoning Brooklyn country music scene.  The festival will be presented as a 100% free event, staged in the best live music room the city has to offer, Freddy’s Backroom. 

Thursday July 15, 2004
8pm - midnight

kings county opry Kings County Opry: Every third Thursday of the month, The Kings County Opry swings into Freddy’s Backroom with an eclectic set of genuine country music chosen by Dock Oscar of Sweet William. In July, the Kings County Opry presents the following fine artists in conjunction with the Brooklyn Country Music Festival.

The Song Circle: A simple enough idea: get four performers around a microphone and let them each do a song. Each singer plays an old tune or an original song in this intimate setting.

The Harmony Bros. return to the KCO. They were the first band to play the first show and we’re glad they are back. The music of Jerry and Charlie is in the grand tradition of brother duets a la Louvin Brothers and Everly Brothers with rich, high harmonies. Along with their golden voices, their main instruments are mandolin, guitar, and 5-string banjo. The Harmony Bros. have been around the block a few times and have been playing this kind of music since they were kids. Their repetoire includes several styles of playing: fingerpicking, straight bluegrass, country blues, flatpicking, gospel, and country western. The Harmony Brothers are sure to be a special treat, so don’t you miss ‘em.

Lil' Buck: Straight old-time Appalachian fiddle tunes single-handedly wrought by a long time veteran of the Central/Southwest Virginia tradition. “Though he knows the tunes backwards and forewards, he never takes them for granted. Supplied with exeptional talent, eclectic experience, and a deep understanding of traditional sounds, Thomas Bailey brings us music that is fully alive, and that promises to keep old-time new.” —John Murphy, Charlottesville,Virginia Bailey has enjoyed the company of many great contemporary talents. Among these are Rebby Sharp, Time Reynolds, members of Southern Culture on the Skids, The Mando Mafia, The Freight Hoppers and many more. Bailey has won many awards for his fiddle, guitar and song at numerous fiddlers' conventions in the state of Virginia and abroad. Lil’ Buck is Thomas Bailey with special guests. Expect fiddles, banjos, guitars and kickin’ Old-Time and old style country folk songs. It’s the real deal! Lil’ Buck tore up the stage the last time they played, you gotta see to believe it.

Friday July 16, 2004
9pm – 1am

prince lefty Prince Lefty and His Ramblin’ Kings: Prince Lefty grew up in New York City. He moved to Austin, Texas as a member of a rap band and came back a pedal steel player.  Upon deciding to put together an outfit to play his favorite honky tonk songs, he called his pal Dish to play bass. Dish happened to know a certain guitar playing Rick Donner with a voice like an angel. Borrowing awesome drummers from The Hold Steady, Winterville and Beetroot (most recently Jason Mills), Prince Lefty, with his Ramblin' Kings have done just that. With help from musical librarian friends, a selection of the best honky tonk music recorded over the golden era of country music has been compiled in the form of a rotating set list of about 50 tunes. Plenty of Buck, Merle and George classics as well as deep cuts by them and other lesser known artists are sure to please everyone from the wide eyed new comer to the scrutinizing traditionalist.

crevs The Crevulators formed when Mike (gtr. & vox) met Greg (bass & vox) through a mutual friend. Mike met Ross(drums & vox) thru the internet. They have been playing together since October 2003 and have performed in many venues throughout NY such as CBBG's, The Knitting Factory, Pete's Candy Store, The Baggot Inn and Hanks Saloon to name a few. Ross coined the term "Swingin'-Alt-Countrybilly" to describe the bands sound, but musical influences are diverse. Some major influences are: Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Steve Earle, The Rolling Stones, CCR, The Beatles and Los Lobos. And Greg does an uncanny Neil Diamond impersonation! Currently they are finishing a 5 song EP at Serious Business Productions Studio, located in Brooklyn, NY.

sweet william Sweet William
hails from the back woods of Brooklyn, drawing from the very roots of country music and then some. Sweet William is a band that digs deep into the roots of country music with the heart of Hank Williams, the soul of Steve Earle, and a touch of Uncle Tupelo. Listening to Sweet William you’d swear you were punching in hits from a bygone era jukebox at a forgotten truckstop. Running the gamut from honky tonk barnburners to bottom-of-the-beer-bottle weepers to alt-country rockers, Sweet William delivers high harmonies, lonesome sounds and raw-energy country songs that are sure to make believers out of the most cynical of Indy Rockers.

Saturday July 17, 2004
2pm – 1am

vince allen Vince Allen started playing music when he was ten years-old and his Mom bought his first drum set. After spending his early teenage years banging away to a radio in a basement buried deep in Atlanta, Georgia's suburbs, he played in a string of high school punk bands. Now Vince is playing venues around New York City realizing he should have done this a long time ago. Mixing acoustic guitar, pedal steel, and a jazz rhythm section with melodies rooted in traditional Southern folk and bluegrass, Vince's sound captures what is beautiful about where he comes from and what stirred him up and moved him away.

Norris: Extremely talented leader of the Ebony Hillbillies, Norris brings the heart and soul to the Brooklyn Country Music Festvial. For the 20 years, the continent of Europe was home to his gifted talents on vocals, guitar, banjo, autoharp and dulcimer. Now back in the United States, this former member of the Alphabet City Opry enlivens venues as diverse as The Rodeo Bar and The Bowery Poetry Club with his country, old timey, and Delta blues stylings. Norris' Ebony Hillbillies have recently appeared at the Encore Awards as well as the Kings County Opry.

warren malone of cutters West Hudson Three: Warren Malone has teamed up with two former members of the Alps to form Cutters. Originaly from Manchester England, Warren spent time in Ireland, before moving to San Francisco in 1993 where he played constantly for 5 great years and recorded his first album Spit n kisses which featured members of the Tori Amos band (or so I'm told). A return to England and another album Hummingbird in 2000 led to an opening spot for David Gray. Other gigs have included openings for Bert Jansch, Chip Taylor, The handsome Family, Centro-Matic and many more. He now lives in New York and has a new album Moon June Spoon available through the mail order page at  His influences include Steve Earle, Sean Hayes, Norman Blake, Doc Watson, Neal Casal, The Carter Family, Bill Monroe and so many more. “The first record I put on was Hank Williams and The Drifting Cowboys, I was 4 years old and I remember the MGM lion spinning on its yellow label.”

john pinamonti John Pinamonti: Born in LA and raised in the suburban wilds of San Antonio, TX and Portland, OR, John has been playing guitar, writing songs and trying to sing for more years than most folks can remember.  After spending 4 years on the road with African drum master Obo Addy's band (a time he refers to as "Rhythmic Grad School"), he relocated to the urban wilds of New York and has proceeded to record and perform his own brand of American roots music.  He plays in venues all over the 5 boroughs in a variety of solo and band configurations (a recent week found him in the Bronx at an Irish bar on Thursday, then a venerable pub in Brooklyn on Saturday and finally a hip little bar in the East Village on Sunday). His 3rd CD will be released presently.  Of his talents, Performing Songwriter says:  "His dead on sense of humor, no nonsense approach to lyrics and instrumentation, and his ability to wear his heart on his sleeve while staying gruff and detached make his songs prepossessing and addictive".  Finally, he is also a closet Mets fan.

bruce henderson Bruce Henderson
was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma and now resides in New York City. His two solo albums, The Wheels Roll (1997) and Beyond The Pale (1999), received wide critical praise. Extensive touring, radio play, and an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman convinced Henderson that he could achieve roughly the same level of obscurity (with considerably less effort) by ceasing recording and touring altogether. His appearance at the Brooklyn Country Music festival marks his first NYC performance since 2001.
 "With a voice as parched as the Oklahoma plain that gave him birth -- and a dark sense of humor that's every bit as dry -- singer-songwriter-guitarist Bruce Henderson builds on the strengths of his debut and makes his second album a true standout. " - Kevin R. Convey, Boston Herald "Bruce Henderson is to New York what Dwight Yoakam is to Los Angeles: a relocated son of the soil who writes about small town hearts and minds with a fresh perspective gained from big-city living." - Rolling Stone

Johnny Gill & the Sidekicks: are a classic rockabilly trio, playing the music of Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, and so forth. Populated by jazz and swing cats, these guys can play. Johnny Gill, the group's leader has played with Ray Condo and opened for Buck Owens.

brooklyn jugs Brooklyn Jugs: From the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island, the Kosciuzco Bridge to the Boardwalks of Coney Island, The Brooklyn Jugs bring you that toe tapping beat of old time blues and jug music.  The Jugs are staunch supporters of boozin', lovin' and makin' rent. The Brooklyn Jugs feature: Perfesser Zeke Leonard on guitar, kazoo, and vocals; Short Stride Clyde Everett Eubanks on washboard and vocals; Honest Mike Rutherford on washtub bass and slide whistle; Morejon Gonzalez on banjo, harp, and vocals, Longarm Terrence McCafferty on guitar and mandolin, and Charles Lips Marseilis on the jug, of course. The Brooklyn Jugs have assaulted eardrums all over Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, as well as the rest of Brooklyn and Queens, and have recently played to much acclaim at Luna Lounge.  Other recent spectacles include the Mill City River Festival (Manchester, NH) and the Sunset Music Series for the Brooklyn Waterfront Museum.  Smile when you see 'em comin'!

Alex Battles' Whisky Rebellion Alex Battles’ Whisky Rebellion: Raised on Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, Alex Battles set out to recapture the lost sense of humor in country music by writing his own original tunes.  To give his songs a proper outlet, he organized The Whisky Rebellion, which contains anywhere from 1-7 members, depending on venue constraints and the weather.  Original tunes such as "Wednesdays and Fridays," "You Broke My...," "Raining in Brooklyn," and "Hong Kong Collision" followed as Alex became a one-man Nashville, writing honky-tonk country songs in the style of his idols.  Alex Battles’ Whisky Rebellion has been gigging throughout New York City since 2001, at venues as varied as The Baggot Inn, Parkside Lounge, Rodeo Ristra, Pete's Candy Store, Lillie's Bar, and Freddy’s Backroom.   In his solo act, Alex can been seen (and heard) singing, banging on guitar, scratching on a washboard, plucking a tenor banjo, blowing a harmonica, strumming a ukulele, and sticking to his motto: "he things funny thongs."

Sunday July 18, 2004
3pm – 11pm

wisslerfamily The Wissler Family: The Wissler Family formed when Matt Wissler and Linda May Wacker began a series of drunken impromptu concerts in the Wacker living room comprised exclusively of Stevie Nicks covers.  From such auspicious beginnings, The Wissler Family has grown to include members Tim Woods and Tom Mayer, who, in turn, seek to uphold a tradition begun by scribbling lyrics on a shoe box. Influenced by such attitudes and artists as The Carter Family, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Prine and Iron Maiden, The Wissler Family fuses their traditional folk style with varying songs from all eras of both country and rock music. This raw yet fun approach to their favorite songs is at the core of The Wissler Family's unique brand of folk music.   

chelsea string band The Chelsea String Band is an old-time band based in New York City.  Band members Alan Friend, Michaela Hamilton, Dotty Moore and Rob Weinstein are multi-instrumentalists and singers, specializing in old-time tunes and songs from the Southern Appalachians as well as in contra dance tunes.  Instruments include fiddle, banjo, guitar, concertina, mandolin and anything else they can get their hands on.  Here are some comments from audience members following their very first performance: “I wish the Chelsea String Band could have played for triple the time you were allotted!”  “Wonderful music, great playing!”  “Put me on your email list so that I can know when and where you'll be performing…”   “Thank you again; your music was great!”

The American String Conspiracy arose out of jam sessions between guitarists Gary Keenan and Brian Boyles in 2003. Their idea was to form an alternative model for a band, a circle of sympathetic string musicians with a love for American songs in their various traditions—blues, country, r&b, folk, rockabilly, punk, anything that sounded good on acoustic strings. Since their debut performance as a quintet in October, 2003, ASC has regularly performed in NYC clubs, developing a body of songs (both originals and covers), a range of performing ensemble options from duo to septet, and a loyal and growing audience of fellow musicians and listeners as they carry folk traditions into the 21st Century. ASC members bring a wide range of musical and artistic experience into their collective efforts. No player has to make every rehearsal or show, and no two shows are the same, but the string band sound remains consistent as ASC picks, strums and twangs its way through songs by (among others) Stephen Foster, Fats Waller, Hank Williams, Charley Patton, Sparkle Moore, Tommy Johnson, Aretha Franklin, Jo Stafford, Cindy Lauper, Kurt Cobain, Gary Keenan, and those prolific geniuses Trad and Anon.

the flanks The Flanks: As far back as aught-two, the legendary Flanks have been playing in and around Brooklyn, converting everyone within shouting distance to belief intheir all-spit-and-no-polish country-and-blues stylings. Most of their songsare about rural life, drugs, or trying to pick up recently divorced women.Their first album will be released as soon as they write some more songs,book studio time, cut a dozen or so tracks, and find an interested recordlabel. No, it's not easy being the hardest working band in show business. That's why the Flanks don't even try. The Flanks are: Nat Bouman: double bass, Tom Bouman: voice, guitar, mandolin, banjo, Vaudeville Nick Capodice: voice, harmonica, squeezebox, kazoo, and soon Margaret Mitchell: voice, viola, Danny Mulligan: voice, guitar. "The Flanks are sort of like post-war Blind Willie McTell meets pre-A Star Is Born Kris Kristofferson meets Jimmie Rodgers without the tuberculosis. In other words, you don't want to miss them." --Sarah "Seven Plate" Almond of The Conway Twitty Death Probe. "These guys rock. Listening to the Flanks is like being seduced by a toothless carney with magic in his eyes." --Annie Wedekind, saxophonist, Rocketship Salamander

hank cash The CasHank Open Jam was created to give folks a chance to sing and play the tunes of two of country music’s greatest artists and composers, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. The jam will feature artists from the entire festival, as well as anyone else with the inclination to get up and strum and sing along.