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March 2009 Archives

March 31, 2009

Another Great Night at Jalopy

Sunday night at Jalopy was a mini-festival, starting off with the 20s and 30s blues of the Second Fiddles, continuing with more old-time blues from Eric and Suzy Thompson, and wrapping up with Del Rey's blazing guitar, salty humor and fiery blues. She also played a series of old blues with Suzy Thompson, whose gutbucket singing and blues fiddling went perfectly with Del's resonator fireworks.

March 27, 2009

Uh, Hiya

Hello everyone. We're a little late this week, but just under the wire for the weekend.

Blue Harvest plays the Good Coffeehouse tonight in Park Slope. Down the hill at at Sunny's, three Ohioans who now live in Brooklyn, known as Mattison, will play what Tone describes as "AM gold with southern Ohio twang." Meanwhile across the river at Banjo Jim's, Jonah and Jordan attempt to hit the musical-joke jackpot with Weapons Of Mass Irritation, a band made of up of two banjos and an accordion. All they need is a harmonica......

Speaking of Ohioans, Jamie Lyn may have moved away but she won't let a few hundred miles stand in the way of the Honky Tonk Angels. She'll be back in Brooklyn on Saturday night, at Freddy's, with a great lineup of bands. Our gain, Ah Hiya's loss.

All the usual jams are happening, although I'm told the Monday night jam at the Underground (on the Upper West Side) is no more. I don't get that far into the outer boroughs, so if anyone has further information please let me know.

As always, check the calendar for complete details, or sign up to receive the newsletter by email.

March 20, 2009

The Kings County Opry

Last night's Opry was a blast, with a great song circle featuring Hilary Hawke, Andrew Schmidt and of course Dock Oscar. A night of furious fiddling followed, with Kari Denis joined by a fiddle player I didn't know, but who was amazing, in Old Time Amatum, the new (and so far unspellable) name of the band formerly known as Briar Patch. But under any name they're great fun. Jared Engel's bass playing was completely over the top. Kings County Strings followed, with special guest John Fletcher on banjo. A good time was had by all.

March 19, 2009

In Memory Of Richie Shulberg (Citizen Kafka), and In Celebration Of Our Community

This has been a hard couple of weeks. We had to say goodbye this week to Richie Shulberg, the great Citizen Kafka. What amazed me about Richie was the outpourings of memories and love from many different communities -- the old-time and bluegrass world, the WBAI and independent radio world, the science fiction community. I didn't know him well but every time I met him or saw him perform he bowled me over with his wit and intelligence and exuberance and knowledge. If you didn't know him, I'm not the one to ask. Check out the Facebook page that's been put up for him:

We also lost Rick Altman this week. I never met him, but he took over the Folklore Center when Izzy Young moved to Europe in the early 1970s. Many of us are too young to have ever even visited that store; I know it from reading biographies of Bob Dylan and hearing many stories over the years. Richie and Rick and Bob and others we've lost were important connectors and community builders, as well as musicians and fans. They knew that music isn't just something you do with an instrument, it's something you do with your life. It's not about learning riffs, it's about connecting to people and building things that can last you a lifetime.

Many of the people who lived through the tremendous growth of traditional music in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s remarked on how the community we've created here over the last few years resembles what they remembered happening back then. Let's all do everything we can to keep that spirit of community alive. I think that is the best way to remember these wonderful people and to celebrate their lives.

So as I said last week, let's get out there and play music and see our friends play music and be part of all of this. In 25 years when everyone is reminiscing about these days, you don't want to be hearing it all and thinking, "Gee, I guess I should have played more music and gone to more shows." Enjoy some music and have a drink in memory of the friends we've lost and in celebration of the friends we are so fortunate to have around us.

March 12, 2009

Bob Guida, RIP

Some very sad news today. Bob Guida, the great blues guitarist and singer, a jovial and powerful presence in the Brooklyn music scene for decades, died last night. Shlomo says he was onstage getting ready for a gig. "Bob loved performing and making people happy with his wonderful music and singing," Shlomo said. "It was Bob's fondest wish that when his time came, he would be able to take his leave of this world while on stage. And yesterday his wish was granted. He will be sorely missed."

Eli Smith interviewed Bob along with fellow Otis Brother Pat Conte last year. You can see video of the interview and follow a bunch of great links at the Down Home Radio site. Also, many of his friends have been commenting on the blog post I wrote about him on my personal blog. There are some wonderful reminiscences there.

March 5, 2009

John Cephas, 1930-2009

Cephas & Wiggins
Originally uploaded by kenf225
Piedmont blues guitarist John Cephas died yesterday. He was a gentle man, a wonderful musician, and a born educator. I saw him play many times and took a guitar class with him at the Augusta Heritage Festival in 2003.

Continue reading "John Cephas, 1930-2009" »


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