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.
July 15, 2004
8pm - midnight
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.
July 16, 2004
9pm – 1am
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.
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
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.
July 17, 2004
2pm – 1am
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.
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 www.glitterhouse.com.
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: 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 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
"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: 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: 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."
July 18, 2004
3pm – 11pm
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.
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
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,
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.