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June 2008 Archives

June 25, 2008

Under the Stars and Elsewhere

Tonight, the usual collection of weekly events -- the Sheriff's Good Time Jam at the Grizzly Pear, Roots & Ruckus at Jalopy, the Angel Band Jam at Vin Rouge, Franglais at Bar Reis, and Will Scott and Wylie Wirth at 68 Jay Street. Tonight is also Smokey Hormel's last Wednesday at Sunny's for a while, and Reckon So is at the Rodeo Bar.

Tomorrow night, you have a great choice of events, some outside. Thufferin Thuccotash, Thlomo Pethtcoe'th band, will play traditional music for thocializing and danthing under the thtars, at Cobble Hill Park. It's almost a Brooklyn roots-music supergroup, featuring not only Shlomo but Trip Henderson, Bob Jones, Peter Kohman and Peter Ford on the single-string box bass.

Tomorrow is the last Thursday of the month, so there will be a CasHank in Park Slope at Buttermilk. A few blocks up Fifth Avenue, John Pinamonti and a few other bands will be at Southpaw for Burrow Magazine's launch party. Burrow (www.burrowmag.com) is a new arts and literary publication based in Brooklyn. Admission is $15 but you get a copy of the magazine so you can support literature, the arts, and music all at once. Meanwhile in Manhattan, the Jones Street Boys kick off a monthly celebration of roots music at the Housing Works Bookstore. It's a great store and a cause well worth supporting, and bring your instruments, because there will be a jam afterwards. And the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Dixie Hummingbirds will be playing in Prospect Park. Whatever you choose to do, afterwards you can catch Rob, Tuey, Ross and Jim playing their no-doubt-amazing Hectograss at Rockwood.

Got all that? And it's not even the weekend yet. Friday night, Jonah and Jordan and the South Slope String Band will be at Freddy's, and Mamie Minch does a midnight show at Barbes. Andy Mullen plays at Spike Hill in Williamsburg; we had a GREAT time on Monday night so come on down and square dance and yell "Good luck!"

Saturday is curiously quiet so far, but there will be jamming at Sunny's and brunch at Nolita House. On Sunday, Jonah Bruno will join Fresh Baked at Nolita House, and from there it's just a block or so to National Underground, where Jamie Lyn will be playing from 3-6.

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.

Honky Tonk Angels

Jamie Lyn brought a great collection of country women to Banjo Jim's last night, with her own Red Tail Hawk Band, Monica (Li'l Mo) Passin playing new songs of all sorts with just electric guitar for accompaniment (along with a few guests including Bill from behind the bar on mandolin), and Melody Berger and Cat Wagon. I missed the opening and closing act but it looked like a solid six hours or so of great music.

See the complete set of photos.

June 23, 2008

Make Music New York

Sean Kershaw
Originally uploaded by kenf225
Saturday was just about as good a day as you could ask for, with mild sunny weather and musicians on every street corner. I did a three-borough bike tour, from Gowanus to Dumbo to the Upper West Side to Long Island City to Williamsburg, along the way catching Sean Kershaw and Jamie Lyn, and Jen Larson with Tony Delillo. Of course, I also missed a lot of good music too but that was pretty much inevitable. But it was the kind of day that really makes me appreciate New York City.

Happy Birthday, Edith

Edith brought goodies and, most importantly, her singing voice, to the Saturday night jam at Sunny's last weekend, to celebrate her birthday. Chocolate-covered almonds and garlic-stuffed olives (which, in the lighting back there, look disturbingly identical) were in attendance, along with a great selection of pickers. Those willing to brave the crowd and the heat had a great time.

See the complete set of photos.

June 20, 2008

New Fans For the Opry

Last night's Kings County Opry was a good one, and thanks to Jamie Lyn's hard work with popsicle sticks, paper and rubber cement, everyone had a fan -- which were quite a blessing on a June night in Freddy's.

The song circle featured AJ Bender's tales of love, loss and marijuana, Joshua Sanders's high-energy originals and covers, and Ebie Carter and Dock Oscar with some great harmonies.

Sufferin' Succotash, a late addition to the schedule, was next with a typically raucous set on as many instruments as Shlomo can carry, with the addition of Emily Eagen on uke, whistling and vocals, and new memeber Spiff Weigand on bass, watching Dr. Frets for the chords and playing fantastically.

Good Greasy and Baked closed out the night -- a project of Cardigan Dan the Singing Psychologist and Banjo-Man, along with Jen Sirey and Gina Samardge, a multiinstrumentalist who's probably the first human theremin to play Freddy's. Joined by Hannah Baker on fiddle and "the ubiquitous" Charlie Shaw on bass and guitar, plus guest appearances by Trip and Emily, they did a great set of old-time tunes and the odd cover or two. (Very odd.)

See the complete set of photos.

June 16, 2008

Kings County Strings at Wind Gap

Brad and team spent a few days working hard at Wind Gap, slaving away under the hot sun playing bluegrass on some nice Martins and a couple of beautiful handmade guitars. (All of which were hurriedly packed back into Reggie and Kari's car when the thunderstorms hit.) The festival was small and mellow, with something of a focus on mandolin -- Frank Wakefield doing a pretty humorous workshop, a performance by Jesse McReynolds and a big mandolin set on Saturday night. (And KCS made an appearance on the Mandolin Cafe as well.)

June 14, 2008

Blowing From Wind Gap

Greetings from Wind Gap, where we have been happy to inform people that yes, Brooklyn does have bluegrass. A quick update:

Tonight's Y'all Stars show at Googie's is, to quote Fran, their LAST SHOW TIL LATE AUGUST! So if you'd like to see them before the legendary dog days, tonight's the night. Plus, they're preceded by Whistlin' Rufus, featuring the "better than average" harmonica playing of Trip Henderson, the award-winning whistling of Emily Eagen, along with Spiff Weigand and Chris Murphy. Trip says it's "the best harmonica/ukulele/fiddle/guitar/whistling/banjo/jew's-harp/mandolin/bass/vocal harmony group I know of," and we wouldn't doubt it.

June 6, 2008

Back To the Normal Time

Sorry for the confusion if you came to the jam at noon last week. But we're back to our normal time this week, although I'll be hosting in place of Brad, who'll either still be at Wind Gap, or recovering from it.

If you won't be at the festival this weekend you won't lack for good music. Smokey Hormel is at Barbes on Friday night (and at Sunny's tonight), Alex Battles is at Hill Country, and Mamie Minch will be playing a midnight show every Friday in June at Barbes.

Saturday, the Y'all Stars are at Googies, Peter Stampfel (ex-Holy Modal Rounders) is at Jalopy, and John Pinamonti is at Freddy's. And on Sunday you have two brunch choices, Dock Oscar at Superfine and Fresh Baked at Nolita House. Fresh Baked is also at Abilene on Tuesday night.

June 4, 2008

Time Changed: This Sunday Only

The Pickin' Party will start early this Sunday to coincide with the Art Walk -- Kili will open at noon, and we'll jam from then until about 3 p.m. This change is for Sunday, June 8, only.

Bluebirds, Happiness and Plunking

This Sunday, June 8, you have two rare and wonderful opportunities at once, or rather, in close succession. Jen Larson, Fran Leadon, and Charles Puckette get together *maybe* twice a year, and sing trio harmonies that will knock your socks off. They're now calling themselves the Bluebirds of Happiness, no doubt in reference to the joyful songs of melancholy, misery and loss (not to speak of the odd double suicide) that they favor. That alone would be a must-see, but they're opening for the Plunk Brothers. That's Bob Jones, Dr. Frets himself, veteran of you don't want to know how many stages, and Boo Reiners, of the Demolition String Band. They're both top-notch guitarists, and they get together (not often enough) and do a set of standards by people like Doc Watson, the Delmore Brothers, and the like. The playing is just unbelievable and the fun they're having is infectious. You need to be at Jalopy on Sunday to see this. Really.

Much more below, or see the calendar for the latest updates.

Continue reading "Bluebirds, Happiness and Plunking" »


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