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March 2008 Archives

March 31, 2008

Special Monday Newsletter

Susan Batkin got back to us about the new Monday jam at Paddy Reilly's. It's the second and fourth Monday of the month, so the next one will be on April 14. She says, "You should attend this meetup if you play: banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle or bass. This is a SLOW JAM -- meant for advanced beginning and intermediate players." You can read more here:


Melody also wanted to plug the Greensky Bluegrass Band, a Michigan band that will be at the Parkside tonight at 8. They're "nice boys, Telluride Festival winners and all that," she says. Formed in 2000, they did in fact win the Festival Band Competition at Telluride in 2006, and have shared bills with Ralph Stanley, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, Sam Bush and King Wilkie. Stop by and let them know what kind of bluegrass fans we have in NYC.

Tomorrow night Kari Denis and Rob Hecht will be doing a fiddle duo show at Rockwood, 7pm. Also tomorrow, Lindy Loo and Cell Block Seven will be at the Rodeo Bar at 10.

Jonah Bruno's South Slope String Band will be at Bar BQ in Park Slope on Wednesday, from about 8:30 to 11 or so, and Jonah will also be playing Shel Silverstein tunes with Astrograss For Kids at the Donnell Library on Saturday at 2:30, celebrating Shel's first poetry collection. Details on this and everything else are below in the calendar.

Lots of stuff going on later in the week, most notably Adam Nash's Bluegrass Saturday Night, four great bands at Banjo Jim's starting at 7pm: The Eversole Family Band, Vincent Cross and Good Company, Brad Einhorn's new project, Kings County Strings (not just a store, but also a band!), and All Night Cooking. Let's make sure to get out and support this new event.

As always please let us know what's going on so we can feature it here. Send your gig notices, myspace bulletins, facebook posts and carrier pigeons to pickin@ponkiesburg.com by Wednesday for inclusion. In addition to this email newsletter, these updates and more are published on our blog, the Ponkiesblog. See below for details.

Continue reading "Special Monday Newsletter" »

Back at the Brazen Head

Back at the Brazen Head
Originally uploaded by kenf225
The Pickin' Party unexpectedly returned to the Brazen Head this past Sunday, since Kili was closed. For those who don't remember, the Brazen Head was where the Pickin' Party started, way back at the end of the last century. (Yes, it started in 2000, which was indeed the last year of the 20th Century.)

Attendance was smaller than usual, and apologies to anyone who came to Kili and found no one there, but it was great to be back in our old home. As Fran said, "The old energy was definitely there." Even Kendra, who was the Sunday bartender back in the day, came by. (She's going to be doing a comedy performance there on Tuesday night, by the way.)

We'll have an announcement about the location of next week's jam in Wednesday's newsletter.
Full size photos below.

Continue reading "Back at the Brazen Head" »

March 26, 2008

Mandolins Gone Wild

The Pickin' Party is back this week after our spring break -- you shoulda seen it. Mandolins Gone Wild. It's not a pretty sight. But you can drink and sing it off your mind at any number of places this week, including the CashHank tomorrow night, Sunny's on Saturday, and of course Kili on Sunday. (Or Paddy Reilly's if you prefer the outer boroughs.)

Keep an eye out for Tom Petty's new album with Mudcrutch, his band before the Heartbreakers. It's coming out in late April, recorded live in the studio, and includes Benmont Tench and Mike Campell, as well as original band members Randall Marsh and Tom Leadon, whose older brother was in the Eagles and whose youngest brother has been known to frequent Brooklyn jams now and again.

And speaking of new albums, Copper Kettle's new album, "Poison On Your Mind," is now available on CD Baby: http://cdbaby.com/cd/copperkettle2

On the radio, Carol Beaugard will be interviewing Bill Evans, saxophonist and leader of Soulgrass, on her show, Lonesome Pine RFD, on WFDU, 89.1, Friday at 10:15 am, followed by an interview with Wayne Bledsoe, editor of Bluegrass Now.

As always please let us know what's going on so we can feature it here. Send your gig notices, myspace bulletins, facebook posts and carrier pigeons to pickin@ponkiesburg.com by Wednesday for inclusion. In addition to this email newsletter, these updates and more are published on our blog, the Ponkiesblog. See below for details.

Continue reading "Mandolins Gone Wild" »

sunny saturdays

yes there is a jam at sunnys this saturday 3/29 253 conover st 718 625 8211 www.sunnysredhook.com the woes are friday 3/28 at 10 pm. Thursday 3/27 is the cashank at buttermilk and whiskey rebellion opens for junior brown at maxwells in hoboken monday 3/31 more information about both at www.whiskyrebellion.com Jalopy has a country blues jam every thursday at 930 pm and this weeks roots and ruckus on wednesdays features citizen kafka www.jalopy.biz Copper kettle has a new cd "poison on your mind" available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/copperkettle2 The Havens thats ami, rachael, katie and beth have their first gig friday 3/28 at 8pm at 136 milton st in greenpoint more dates at www.myspace.com/thehavensbrooklyn John pinamonte is at hill country saturd ay 3/29 at 10pm www.hillcountryny.com Fresh baked is at the ace of clubs friday 3/28 at 9pm www.myspace.com/freshbakedbluegrass they are also at banjo jims on saturday 4/12 its theyre 3rd anniversary and dougs birthday too 9pm also. Sue Batkin has a new jam at paddy reillys on mondays, its basically aimed at the beginner to intermediate crowd or those just learning another instrument or of special importance those willing to be supportive of beginners. Sue can be reached at sbatkin@earthlink.net or 646 373 9920.

March 23, 2008

Stars and Vipers

The Y'All Stars
Miz Liz and the Vipers
Great double bill last night at Googies, with Miz Liz and the Vipers followed by The Y'All Stars.

For some inexplicable reason I haven't seen Liz's band before, but they're outstanding, sounding like a more countrified Roulette Sisters. Her singing just keeps getting better and she's put together a great band that works well together. Mike Pasternak sang a couple as well, and shared solo duties with Bruno Bruzzese on fiddle and Jane Galla on dobro (and sass, according to Liz). And Brett Ladin took too few solos while holding it all together on rhythm along with the inimitable Walt Wells on bass.

The Y'All Stars followed with two great sets of harmonies, blazing playing, and jokes about an alleged pre-show rehearsal. But if it happened, it didn't put them off their game at all. Ben and Diane tore the place up as usual, Charles and Fran gave us the their beautiful harmonies on songs ranging from heartbreaking to depressing, even managing to get the sequence of suicides right in "Katie Dear." Diane sang a few and Nancy Polstein came out from behind the snare for a duet with Fran.

More Photos....

March 21, 2008

No Pickin' Party This Week!

Special update: There will be no Ponkiesburg Pickin' Party this week, because of the Easter holiday. We'll be back on Sunday the 31st. Once again:


Goodbye Baggot Inn

You may have heard the sad news that yet another New York City music venue is disappearing under the weight of rising commercial rents -- the building housing the Baggot Inn has been sold and the lease is not being renewed. But fear not, the Wednesday night sessions will continue. According to Trip Henderson,

Sheriff Uncle Bob Saidenberg and I have been working with the owners of the Baggot since the days when the session was held at Jack Dempsie's. This is actually the third location for our session which now in its tenth year. We are already in the process of finding a new home. Either Bob or I will report back once we've selected the new joint.

If anyone has a suggestion of a bar in downtown Manhattan that can play host to at least two simultaneous sessions please write me. The bar does great business with us so this will not be a hardship to the lucky venue that will play host.

So, it's sad to see such a renowned club disappear, but change is the nature of this place, and for everyone who moves out of town someone else moves in. And the picking will continue.

March 19, 2008


The Wednesday newsletter is coming out on Wednesday this week. In time to remind you that the Wahoo String Band is playing tonight in the East Village -- this is a rare reunion of a great old-time band with Harry Bolick, Brian Slattery and Joseph Dejarnette. They'll be at Old Devil Moon at 12th St and Avenue A.

Tomorrow night, Thursday, is the Kings County Opry at Freddy's, with Nick Beaudoing, Vincent Cross and Good Company, and the song circle with Sammo, Matt Wissler and Dock Oscar.

Friday night Rob Hecht's Hechtograss plays the Bowery Ballroom, Norden Bombsight (not sure who he is but he got rich during the war, I believe) is at Sunny's, and Smokey Hormel is at Bar Bes. (He's also at Sunny's every Wednesday at 9.)

Saturday's a big night with Hogzilla at Southpaw, the Y'All Stars at Googies, and Michael Daves at Jalopy. Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy is also at the Baggott Inn the same night. And of course we'll be jamming at Sunny's.

Rob Hecht is back again on Monday, this time at the Parkside, and there's a special treat on Tuesday as the Honky Tonk Angels descend on Galapagos. Jamie Lynn and the Red Tail Hawk Band, Corrie Beth, Jessica Rose and the High Life, and Hogzilla, along with special non-angel guest Sean Kershaw. Also on Tuesday Rob Hecht is at Banjo Jim's and Trip Henderson and the Second Fiddles are at the Rodeo Bar. This is New York, folks, too much to do on a Tuesday! Gotta love it.

As always please let us know what's going on so we can feature it here. Send your gig notices, myspace bulletins, facebook posts and carrier pigeons to pickin@ponkiesburg.com by Wednesday for inclusion.

Continue reading "Wahoo!" »

March 18, 2008

Andy Statman at Bar Bes

Brad Einhorn caught Andy Statman at Bar Bes on Monday night, and posted some great videos to YouTube. See below.

Continue reading "Andy Statman at Bar Bes" »

March 16, 2008

The Joy Of Jalopy

Geoff and Lynette

I went down last night to Jalopy to see Raoul Otis and the Blue Serenaders, Bob Guida's band that, according to bandmate Peter Kohmann, allows him to play all the songs that don't fit into the shows he does with Pat Conte as The Otis Brothers.

The show was fantastic, a wide range of songs (old blues, pop tunes, Hank Williams, Brenda Lee, Gillian Welch) driven by Bob's outstanding voice and the wonderfully understated playing of Peter on guitar, Steve Uhrik on fiddle and Mike Saccolitti on bass. And I got some great photos.

But at one point Geoff and Lynette, the owners of Jalopy, started dancing in the back, and that's perhaps the moment I remember best.They love this music, that's why they own the place, that's why we're all able to go down and listen or play at a room that sounds so wonderful and where the bands and musicians feel so well-loved. Dance on, both of you, and thank you for bringing your love of music to all of us.

More photos.

sunny saturdays

Yes there is a jam at sunnys this saturday 9pmish 3/22/08 253 conover st www.sunnysredhook.com 718 6258211 where norden bombsight plays 3/21 THE WOES RETURN 3/28 mud brothers 4/4 and the ragpickers 4/11. Smokey hormel continues his wednesday night western round up residency 9pm. There is a brand new jam forming its monday nites at paddy reillys www.paddyreillys.com its a fish of a different color because its aimed at beginners. Im sure most of you remember when you first started playing and how intimidated you were by other established musicians so if you are just starting out or can be patient and supportive to people who are just starting out than paddy reillys on mondays the woman who is hosting is sue and as soon as i get more information from her (like times and where to get in touch) i will pass it along. Somewhere in brooklyn, reportedly in williamsburg somewhere, another jam has started, contact me at gsmojo@aol.com if you have more information about that and speaking of new jams every wednesday at 730pm at vin rouge 5th ave and 17 st in park slope bill duke 917 859 5397 or see the calendar that ken ficara has slaved for so many countless thankless misspent hours sweating over a hot noxious deafening keyboard in the dark dreary stygian vastness's of datadom to keep everyone informed. Meanwhile back at jalopy thursday nites at 930 is the old new jam that really doesnt rate the descriptive adjective (remember them?) "new" anymore. The third birthday of fresh baked is celebrated at banjo jims www.banjojims.com 4/12/08 9pm its also dougs birthday and hes celebrating that as well. Copperkettle band announces the release of their new cd "poison on your mind" available at www.copperkettleband.com and only the finest of cd stores.

March 14, 2008

Rare Treats: Blues and Old-Time This Week

Sorry this one is so late, but I spent two days at a conference in Hershey, PA, and it took a few days to recover from the chocolate overdose. But that's all cleared up and there's a lot going on for the weekend.

The Second Fiddles are at Bar Bes tonight, and as always Lennie's eclectic jam is happening tonight. Bob Guida's alter ego Raoul Otis will be at Jalopy tomorrow night with Steve Uhrik, Peter Kohman and Mike Saccolitti -- a pretty stellar lineup. Hogzilla is at the Parkside on Monday night and remember there's always good bluegrass there on Monday nights.

On Wednesday we have a rare old-time treat -- Harry Bolick brings his Wahoo String Band to Old Devil Moon in Manhattan. Great "new-timey" music as he calls it (lots of original tunes) with Brian Slattery and Joseph Dejarnette (aka Joe Bass). More great fiddling on Friday night when Rob Hecht plays the Bowery Ballroom. He'll also be at Two Boots on St Patrick's Day.

As always please let us know what's going on so we can feature it here. Send your gig notices, myspace bulletins, facebook posts and carrier pigeons to pickin@ponkiesburg.com by Wednesday for inclusion.

Continue reading "Rare Treats: Blues and Old-Time This Week" »

March 9, 2008

sunny saturdays

yes there is a jam at sunnys this saturday 3/15/08 9pmish 253 conover st 718 625 8211 www.sunnysredhook.com and there is a new decor in the back room this time by andrew zarou opening friday march 14 at 8pm with the walker street orphans playing at 10pm. Smokey hormel continues his wednesday night western roundup residency at 9pm and upcoming on friday at sunnys 3/21 norden bombsite 3/28 the woes 4/4 the mud brothers 4/6 book reading 4/11 the rag pickers. Norman savitt is at the everything goes book cafe 3/15/08 8pm 208 bay st staten island http://www.well.com/user/ganas/etgstores/bookcafe/events.html Every thursday country blues jam at jalopy 930 pm www.jalopy.biz there is a new wednesday nite ja 730pm at vin rouge 5th avenue near 17th st see kens calendar for more information and check out his link list for m ore information than that. There is a new jam somewhere in wiliamsburg. People interested in joe beasley sacred harp music should contact brenda pena at 718 793 2848 cause my timely announcements about these events are proving to be historical in nature

March 6, 2008

Dance All (Friday) Night

Hello, and welcome to another week of Ponkiesburg Pickin'. It's the first Thursday of the month which means there's an old-time jam at Freddy's tonight. It's only once a month so get out there and play. You can also catch Blue Harvest at the Parkside, and there's the weekly jam at Jalopy as well.

Friday's a big night. Dance All Night, a new old-time band featuring Kari Denis on fiddle, Adam Buchwald on banjo, and more, will be playing at Jalopy, followed by Copper Kettle. Kari says they're going to play "Old-time, bluegrass, originals -- "lively and beautiful music that will make you want to stomp your feet and get up and dance." Meanwhile the Ebony Hillbillies and Michael Daves will be playing at Banjo Jim's.

Over the weekend we'll have the usual jams. Sunday night Rob Hecht's new band, Hechtograss, is playing at the Highline Ballroom. Well worth catching! On Monday night Jason Cade will be at Bar BQ with Fran Leadon and Jonah Bruno, while Copper Kettle plays the Parkside. And at Banjo Jim's, the reeds will be very free indeed with the New York Harmonica Ensemble, featuring Trip Henderson, Miguel Weissman, Randy Weinstein and Marcus Milius, with special guest Emily Eagen.

Teri Ann McLean wants you all to know that she's DJing on a new Internet radio station dedicated to bluegrass (http://www.bluegrassmix.com/) every Wednesday from 4-6, featuring a different NYC area band every week. They've got music 24 hours a day with live DJs for 20 of those hours.

And Brad Einhorn's new business has its web site up and running at http://www.kingscountystrings.com -- stop by and browse his collection of guitars and mandolins and other instruments of stringdom.

As always please let us know what's going on so we can feature it here. Send your gig notices, myspace bulletins, facebook posts and carrier pigeons to pickin@ponkiesburg.com by Wednesday for inclusion.

Continue reading "Dance All (Friday) Night" »


March 2008

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