Bluegrass in New York

Old-time, country and bluegrass music in the big city.

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Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center is pleased to present Rhonda Vincent and The Rage in concert Friday, April 25, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. That’s just a little ways up the road from the five boroughs- hope some of y’all might be interested. Tickets


Greg Cornell writes in to BluegrassNYC:

Hello Friends, We are very excited to be playing at this world-class music venue. If you have not seen us recently, or if you’ve never seen us, this is the show you should see. Come to think of it, if you HAVE seen us recently, you should come to this show too! Stage 1 is a very cozy, intimate space with a top-notch sound system. Come early so you get a seat at a table or at the bar, and hang out with us after. The players: Danny Rose, a co-founder of the band, will be on vocals; James Head, the handsomest banjo player in NYC and possibly New England, on banjo and vocals; Gypsy George, a South Slope musical legend, on drums. Joining us for the first time will be Alex Mallett, our South Slope pal and a gifted multi-instumentalist and singer/songwriter, on standup bass; and Jake Cutler of the bluegrass band Brooklyn Express on mandolin. And yours truly on guitar and vocals. Hope to see you on April 9. Greg

The Deep Ocean Blues, at On sale at iTunes and at

Headlined by iconic 1970s-era Psychedelic country rockers New Riders of the Purple Sage and hip-hop bluegrass phenomenon Gangstagrass, the Psychedelix Americana festival taking place at Bell House April 11th and 12th will feature Grammy-nominated mandolin virtuoso Andy Statman and all-star guitarist Scott Metzgerp.

This not-to-be-missed event will take place at Brooklyn’s beloved Bell House, in Gowanus, on Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12. 

An all star cast of Brooklyn based folk and bluegrass bands include Melody Allegra Band, Bennett Sullivan, Union Street Preservation Society, Astrograss Plays John Hartford, Your Ex-Girlfriends, Alex Mallett Band, Seth Kessel, Chris Q Murphy.

The first person to email me with the subject line “peyote” will win two tickets!

It’s that time of year again- time to get your tickets for the 6th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival, April 18th to 20th at the Bell House. Again this year the Festival is presented by The Jalopy Theatre and Down Home Radio. 

The full schedule has been published, and the bill includes such acts as Dom Flemons, the East River String Band with R. Crumb, Frank Fairfield, Hubby Jenkins, The Whiskey Spitters, Spuyten Duyval, Blindboy Paxton, Dubl Handi, the Drunken Catfish Ramblers. Other activities around the festival include a square dance, jam sessions, workshops on mandolin, banjo, fiddle and blues guitar, a handful of films, and of course the annual banjo throwing competition.

Get your tickets today.

Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters -FROM GALAX, VA! at Jalopy on Thursday, March 13th

In the mid 1980’s a group of musicians from the Galax, VA area formed a new band. This group The New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotters took their name, in part from the original Bogtrotters of the 1930’s and also because band leader Dennis Hall lives on Ballard’s Branch. Ballard’s Branch was also the home of the original Bogtrotter fiddler Uncle Eck Dunford. The Hall family were caretakers of Uncle Eck in his declining years. Like the original Bogtrotters the current band specializes in hard driving dance tunes, and mountain ballads that have been handed down to them by their predecessors. Rounding out the Bogtrotters lineup are: Eddie Bond on Fiddle, Dennis Hall on guitar, Josh Ellis with clawhammer banjo, Jesse Morris on Bass and Leon Frost on mandolin. Old time music is alive and well, and continues to attract fans of all ages. The New Ballard’s Branch Bogtrotter’s remian a leading force in carrying the traditional music of the Virginia/Carolina Blue Ridge into the new millenium.

Thursday, March 13
Show starts at 9:00
$10 cover

Couple of trad/folk shows coming up at Subculture on Bleecker Street. Get ready for St. Patty’s day with Karan Casey Band’s Irish music.

Wednesday, March 5Karan Casey Band

Karan Casey is an award-winning musician whose career spans over two decades, and former member of the Irish sensation, Solas. With over half a million albums sold, Casey is an inspiring and innovative staple within the Irish traditional and folk music world. She has released six solo records to critical acclaim from BillboardAll Music GuideUSAToday, among others. Casey has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Japan with her band (nominated for the BB Folk Awards and the Danish Grammys), plays at festivals all over the world, and performs at famous venues like the Kennedy Center and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. She plans to showcase her provocative voice on her latest record, Two More Hours, with her band at SubCulture on March 5th. | Tix: $17 in advance / $22 at the door


Thursday, March 27: John Gorka

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of what has been dubbed the ‘New Folk Movement’”, John Gorka is an award-winning, critically acclaimed artist known for his soulful baritone voice.  His sound and lyrical insight has earned him generations of devoted fans and a career that’s found him gracing the stages of PBS’ Austin City Limits, NPR’s Mountain Stage and venues worldwide.  Gorka will be performing material from his twelfth studio album,Bright Side of Down (Red House Records), at SubCulture. | Tix: $25 in advance / $30 at the door

The Seldom Scene are returning to NYC to bring their brand of bluegrass to the Highline Ballroom on March 9th. First one to email me with the subject line “Long Black Veil” wins two free tickets! Visit Highline Ballroom’s tickets page to purchase tickets.

The Scene began as a non-touring bluegrass band back in 1971 in Bethesda, Maryland. The basement jam sessions at the home of Ben Eldridge started the whole thing. Who would have thought that 40 years later, this band would have become one of the single largest contributors to the progression of bluegrass from the early days of Flatt and Scruggs and Bill Monroe to the more contemporary sounds that they founded. Bluegrass reached a second peak in popularity in the early 1970s, and the progressive bluegrass style played by The Seldom Scene was particularly popular. Original Seldom Scene mandolin player John Duffey’s stratospheric tenor anchored the group, but the vocal blend of The Scene set a new standard that attracted new audiences to what had been a niche music. Their weekly shows included bluegrass versions of country music, rock, and even classical pop. The band’s popularity soon forced them to play more than once a week—but they continued to maintain their image as being seldom seen, and on several of their early album covers were photographed with the stage lights on only their feet, or with their backs to the camera.

Seldom Scene continues to excel in the bluegrass scene and has received critical acclaim for their work. Their latest CD, Scenechronized, recorded in 2007, was nominated for a Grammy award.

More at


Recommended reading!

Saturday, February 22Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project

"Jayme Stone redefines the banjo for the player and listener alike. The two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer, and visionary musician makes music inspired by sounds from around the world, seamlessly bridging the gap between folk, jazz, afro-pop and chamber music. His current project, The Other Side of the Air, pays homage to famed folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax. This title effortlessly combines the stylings of Bahamian sea chanties, African-American a cappella singing, ancient Appalachian ballads, and Persian/Indian melodies. One thing is for sure, this is not your typical knee-slappin’ banjo revival. “ | Tix: $20 in advance / $25 at the door

It’s a Hillbilly Supergroup jam with members of the Crusty Gentlemen, The Idiot Brigade, The Spring Glen Warblers, Victoria Gardens, and The Pens. Monday 2/10 at the Cowgirl Seahorse in the South Street Seaport, 8PM.

In 2002, the M SHANGHAI STRING BAND got together in the basement of a Chinese bistro in Brooklyn to share good food and play some music. This acoustic-culinary combination was too special not to repeat, and the band (named after the restaurant) was born.  They are on to their fourth album now, 2000 pennies.

Hard to believe it’s been a dozen years- but catch M Shanghai String Band and Friends Saturday, February 1 at the Jalopy Theatre. Show starts at 9:00; $10 cover.

Learn to flatfoot with City Stompers Friday January 31st

City Stompers is Manhattan’s only school for traditional Appalachian percussive dance. Tomorrow night — Friday, January 31st — they will welcome two very special guests to the studio.

Flatfooting pro Josephine Stewart will lead class, accompanied by live music from Thomas Bailey, one of the finest musicians on the old-time and bluegrass scene of New York City.

Friday, January 31st from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Chelsea Studios 151 West 26th Street, 6th Floor.

NY Times: 

Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94

Pete Seeger- To Hear Your Banjo Play, 1947

Everly Brothers Country Music Hall of Fame Video. RIP Phil Everly.

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