Meet the acts:
Thursday, December 16, 2004
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. Each installment of the KCO kicks off with 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. This installment will feature Warren Malone, Alice Stopkoski, Pablo Conrad and Dock Oscar.
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.
River Alexander's Mad Jazz Hatters serve up the musical magic of medicene shows, house parties and fish fries, straight from yesteryear. Summoning forth a vibrant blend of old timey, early jazz, vaudeville, blues, pop and rural gutbucket soul, the MAD JAZZ HATTERS bring the teens, 20's and 30's back to life. Crooning and gritty vocals, violin, guitars, clarinet, chromatic harmonica, jew's harp, kazoo, wash-board and wash-tub bass come together in a wonderful place where soulful rural sensibility and big city style harmonize and make musical magic.
Friday, December 17, 2004
The 12th Street Playboys are a NYC-based band that plays the traditional Cajun music of Southwest Louisiana. Nick Beaudoing, Henry Hample, and Kevin Anthony started playing together at a Cajun music workshop in Louisiana in April 2004. By some bizarre coincidence, Nick and Henry live right across East 12th Street from each other. NICK BEAUDOING (accordion, guitar, vocals) fronts NYC's honky tonk troubadours, the Doc Marshalls. Their debut record, "No Kind of Life," is due out in January. HENRY HAMPLE (fiddle, vocals) plays with two other Cajun bands, the Connecticut-based Back Porch Rockers and the NYC-based Bosco Stompers. KEVIN ANTHONY (guitar, fiddle) fronts NYC country/honkytonk The Smith Family & plays fiddle/bass with Bosco Stompers & The Wissler Family
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. is the little trio with the big hillbilly sound. For just over two years now, the "SIT & Die" boys, as they're known, have been producing quality-built "ballads, boogies, & blues", as says their motto, in a lively hillbilly style that's made the bottles bounce on the tables of some of New York City's swellest joins. Consisting of singing accompanied by rhythm and "take-off" electrified guitars and the beat of the doghouse bass, the boys offer up a mix of both original compositions and those of Rhythm & Blues, "rock-a-billy" and Country & Western artists that they just happen to like. They do their best to really put on a show, dress sharp as a tack, and are rarely (okay, never) at a loss for words when faced with an audience. In the end, won't you kindly consider Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. to satisfy you most exacting hillbilly music needs?
The WIYOS avoid playing the old-time songs as academic "museum pieces," instead choosing to add their own voices to the old tunes by way of unique arrangements and intense, dynamic performance energy. The old-time spirit of The WIYOS mirrors that of the vaudeville medicine shows of the 1920’s and 30’s, when black and white musical traditions mixed often and genre distinctions didn’t exist between blues and country, ragtime and gospel, or swing and hillbilly music. The WIYOS draw from all of these idioms and their music is as representative of the Blue Ridge Mountains as it is of New York City or Paris; mixing the more sophisticated sounds of Django Reinhardt, Fats Waller, the Mills Brothers and Jelly Roll Morton with the unrefined country fervor of Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Sonny Terry and Doc Watson. Promoter Gary Erwin of the Budweiser Lowcountry Blues Bash, summarized The WIYOS' music as: "Great vintage blues and spellbinding original compositions." Since The WIYOS began touring full-time in February 2003, they have been selected to perform for Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series and were awarded first prize at the James River Blues Society Competition. Having honed their show on the streets as well as the stage, The WIYOS make music that will transport you back to an era when performers where skilled visual entertainers as well as accomplished songwriters and instrumentalists. During their short time together, they have already played a wide range of notable listening rooms, concert halls and festivals throughout the country, in the process opening shows or sharing bills with Maria Muldaur, The Asylum Street Spankers, Tab Benoit, Del McCoury, Bob Margolin, Gary Primich, Duke Robillard, Robinella & The CC Stringband, The Howard Fishman Quartet and Paul Curreri."The WIYOS are way too good to open for my band EVER again."
--Wammo, frontman and founder of the Asylum Street Spankers
Friday, December 17, 2004
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. For the Brooklyn Winter Hoedown, The American String Conspiracy will be playing a special set of string band arrangements of Christmas Carols.
Uncle Leon and the Alibis Once in a while an act comes along that is so unsavory in its content, so Neanderthal in its execution, so basely moronic in its very existence that, like a grisly collision between a circus train and a prison bus, it becomes an unintentional freak show, at once alluring and horrific, hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Such is the case with Uncle Leon, a bald, creepy-crooning never-was who obviously took his Mojo Nixon albums a little too seriously. His backing band is pretty good, but unless you’re the sort of dive-bar creep who enjoys gutter-quality, brick-handed meditations on the alleged joys of big butts, monster trucks, or drinking booze, avoid this degenerate at all costs.
The Fandanglers Formed in the bowels of Coney Island 13 years ago, the Fandanglers are 5 Brooklyn cowpunks who believe country music can save your soul. Raised by Freaks of the Coney Island side shows, singer/guitarist "Pecos" Pete pieced together this ragtag outfit using Coney Island's finest yet surprisingly little-known country players: Li'l Jess had long been known as the "Loretta Lynn" of the Brighton Beach Recreational Center for her stellar pipes and live performances. Earl Haggard and Eddie Chopsticks were working day jobs at Nathan's Hot Dogs and were heralded as the hottest honky-tonk rhythm section south of Avenue X. Last but not least, an escaped con who Pecos nursed back to health after a terrible roller coaster injury, Billy "the Villain" joined the group and adds the steel guitar squeal. After a decade of slaving away on the boardwalk for tips and breadcrumbs, the Fandanglers have brought their brand of Texas twang to the big city....
Bill Carney's Jug Addicts apply the twinning principal utilized by Ornette Coleman's early 60s groups and the Max Roach's Double Quartet to the jug band idiom. The result is a particularly robust and raucous jug band sound free of any archival obsessiveness. Comprised of jug band veterans culled from the Don't Look Now Jug Band, MetroPolecats, and Pork Chop, the Jug Addicts' repertoire draws from early jazz, tin pan alley, ragtime, and string band music, along with the classic jug band canon. Their cd, "Cynthia's Kitchen" was produced by so-called Sixth Stroke, JP Bowersock, the NYC rock band's guru and sensei.
And your host...
The Whisky Rebellion: The Whisky Rebellion is Alex Battles. Raised on the Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, Alex set out to recapture the sense of humor in classic country music by writing his own tunes on his grandfather's tenor banjo. He then organized The Whisky Rebellion, which contains anywhere from 1-7 members, depending on venue constraints and the weather. Alex is also the founder and host of The Brooklyn Country Music Festival, JugFest, and the monthly CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree. The Whisky Rebellion is based out of Brooklyn, NY.