Monday, February 8, 2016

8TH ANNUAL BROOKLYN FOLK FESTIVAL GOES ALL OUT WITH BIGGEST DIVERSITY OF BANDS, WORKSHOPS, CONTESTS, JAM SESSIONS TO DATE

FESTIVAL PLANS AMBITIOUS PROGRAM INCLUDING JERRON BLIND BOY PAXTON, MICHAEL HURLEY, SPIRIT FAMILY REUNION, GAIDA, FREEDOM SONGS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, ED SANDERS AND STEVE TAYLOR (OF THE FUGS) AND MORE

FESTIVAL ADDS 2ND STAGE ALLOWING FOR 40+ DIFFERENT PERFORMANCES

SYRIAN, COLOMBIAN, MEXICAN, ETHIOPAN MUSIC ADDED TO FOLK FESTIVAL, WHICH HAS SOLD OUT EVERY YEAR

Celebrating folk music from near and far, the Brooklyn Folk Festival showcases 30 bands, workshops, film screenings, dances and contests. Syrian vocalist Gaida will bring her band to the festival, country blues and songster multi-instrumentalist Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, folk legend and songwriter Michael Hurley, folk group Spirit Family Reunion and Ed Sanders and Steve Taylor (of the Fugs) are among the performers at this year's Festival, held from April 8th-10th.

Spotify playlist

This year the Brooklyn Folk Festival also seeks to highlight the role of culture in social and political activist movements.  Towards this end there will be several special performances and presentations: Veteran activist Mattie Jones will teach freedom songs of the Civil Rights Movement.  Hailing from Louisville, KY Ms. Jones has been involved in the Civil Rights Movement since the 1950’s when she marched with Martin Luther King Jr., worked to register voters, desegregate schools and public places, worked to free Angela Davis and against apartheid in South Africa, among many other struggles.  She would like to impart the songs and lessons from her life of activism to young people.  Puppeteers will perform a piece regarding climate change and we will also be presenting bands from Syria and Colombia, to highlight the cultures of two countries that have been much on people’s minds as part of the war on terror and the war on drugs.

The 8th annual festival has sold out every year, will remain at it’s new home, St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, in Brooklyn Heights where its world-famous stained-glass windows will frame the stage. The Festival is a co-production of The Jalopy Theatre and Down Home Radio. The three-day event has grown in attendance and scope each year. The festival’s partnership with St. Ann's allows for a main stage inside the church, room for food, drink and vendors, a second stage and new this year, additional rooms for workshops and film screenings. Adding to the festivities, the Festival features the World Famous Banjo Toss Contest "(as featured in Associated Press last year), a family-friendly square dance, a new Saturday night swing dance, a Sunday kid’s concert and several open jam sessions.  There will also be workshops in shape-note singing, building instruments from found objects and Mississippi fiddle tunes, among others.

Tickets will go on sale today.

“The folk music of any place always has more heart and soul than corporate, mass produced music,” said folk fest performer Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton. “The Brooklyn Folk Festival will make 'the peoples music' [folk music] more accessible to the people of New York.  I enjoy playing the Brooklyn Folk Festival for the good music, good times, good people with whom I get to make music and the good people that I make music for.”

As an international city, New York is home to legendary musicians from around the world.  Abay Mengiste of Ethiopia will play the krar – an ancient lyre related to the biblical King David’s harp.  Syrian vocalist Gaida will bring her band and incredible voice to the festival this year.

"This 8th annual Brooklyn Folk Festival promises to be a truly special event as we expand the scope of the programming," Eli Smith, founder and co-host of the Festival, said. "This year we expect a powerful array of sounds, with music from a huge diversity of genres including gospel, blues, old time music, traditional Syrian, Mexican, Colombian and Ethiopian music, trad jazz, song writers, jug band music and more!

The venue, St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1844. An important example of Gothic Revival architecture in America, the richly ornamented church is notable for its elaborately vaulted roof and window tracery. Before it was removed in 1906, its spire was the most visible landmark in Brooklyn and was used by ship captains to navigate the harbor. The Festival will take place in the main hall of the church, with workshops, film screenings and the square dance in the side hall. Food, drink and retail vendors will be on site.

The performances are separated into daytime and evening shows, day passes and a full-festival three-day pass. All workshops, film screenings, and the square dance are included in the price of admission.

FULL SCHEDULE

Friday
8:00PM Meredith Axelrod - Blues, Ragtime and Country music
8:45PM The Four o’clock Flowers – Blues, Folk, Gospel and early Jazz
9:30PM Michael Hurley - Legendary folk musician, needs no introduction!
10:15PM Special Guest!!
11:00PM Special Guest!!!
11:45pm Clifton Hicks – Old time banjo and ballads from Georgia!

Saturday Afternoon
12:45pm TBA
1:30PM Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues – Jug band music, original and traditional
2:15PM Happy Valley Pals – Oldtime string band from Durham, NC
3:00PM Willy Gantrim – Blues, Folk, Country and original songs
3:45PM Rafe & Clelia Stefanini – Fiddle and banjo music
4:30PM Rayna Gellert (of Uncle Earl) – Old time songs and tunes, original songs
5:15PM Piedmont Bluz – Country Blues guitar, harmonica, washboard
6:00PM Gaida – Syrian vocalist with her band, traditional Arabic maqams and more
6:45PM Mick & Evan Kinney- Amazing old time string band from the great state of Georgia!

Saturday
WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES:
2PM Ukulele workshop
3PM Mississippi Fiddle Tunes workshop
4PM Build Your Own DIY Found Object Instruments with Zeke and Special guest!! Good for kids 6+!
4PM Oldtime Jam Session
5PM Blues guitar workshop
6PM Harmonica Contest!!!
8PM Skalopy – Jalopy’s own Ska band!
10PM Swing Dance!! Featuring music by Jessy Carolina and the Holy Crow Jazz Band!
Saturday Evening
7:45PM Ed Sanders & Steve Taylor (of the Fugs) – Songs and poems with music
8:30PM Feral Foster – Original and Folk songs
9:15PM Spirit Family Reunion – Original and Folk songs
10pm Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton - Blues, Old Time and Ragtime Music
10:45 Roy Williams & The Human Hands – Gypsy jazz, country and more!
11:30PM Radio Jarocho - Son Jarocho from Veracruz, Mexico
Sunday Afternoon
2:00PM Family Concert
3PM Rayna Gellert and Tim Eriksen: Songs for Sonya- Old-Time Ballads in honor of Sonya Cohen Cramer
3:45PM Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement with activist and singer Mattie Jones
4:30PM Dubl Handi – Oldtime banjo and folk songs
5:15PM Down Hill Strugglers with John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers) – Oldtime string band
6PM Bulla En El Barrio – Afro-Columbian percussion and vocal band, exploring new and classic Bailes Cantados of Bullerengue
Sunday Evening
7PM Wyndham Baird – Folk, Blues and Country songs with guitar, piano and harmonica
7:45PM East River String Band – Country Blues and Oldtime music
8:30PM Abay Mengiste - Ethiopian krar (lyre, like King David’s harp from the Bible) music
9:15PM The Whiskey Spitters - Jugband, Ragtime, Oldtime, the Jalopy house band!
9:45PM Special Guest!!

Sunday
WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES:
1PM BANJO TOSS COMPETITION!!!
2PM Shape-note Singing with Tim Eriksen
2:30PM Banjo workshop
3PM Oldtime Jam
4PM Sam Wilson’s puppet show!
4PM Oldtime Jam Session
6PM Square Dance!! With the Happy Valley Pals!

Passes and Tickets are available at www.brooklynfolkfest.com/tickets
3-Day Pass: $85
Saturday All Day Pass: $35
Sunday All Day Pass: $35

Friday Evening, 8pm-12:30am: $25
Saturday Afternoon, 1pm-7:30pm: $25
Saturday Evening, 8pm-12:15am: $25
Sunday Afternoon, 2pm-6:45pm: $25
Sunday Evening, 7pm-10:45pm: $20

* The venue has seating for everyone.  Seating assignments are on a first come first serve basis.
* These prices do not include service fees.
* All events including workshops and film screenings are included in ticket price
* St. Ann's Church and Parish Hall are wheelchair accessible.  If you are in a wheelchair and would like to take a workshop please email Lynette@Jalopy.biz

Thursday, January 28, 2016

WINTERPILLS STRETCH THE CANVAS IN MOST EXPANSIVE SOUNDING ALBUM TO DATE ‘LOVE SONGS’ (MARCH 18 / SIGNATURE SOUNDS), CO-PRODUCED WITH JUSTIN PIZZOFERRATO (DINOSAUR JR, THE PIXIES, SPEEDY ORTIZ)

“I don’t know why Winterpills aren’t one of the most cherished pop bands in the world.”
- Jonathan Lethem, Rolling Stone

“****… The songs are mists and pastels, dense with instruments and Philip Price and Flora Reed's harmonies, yet at the same time serene… as evocative as dreams.   -MOJO


From slurry, fuzzy guitar to strings, Winterpills signature melodies see their most expansive sounds to date on ‘Love Songs,’ out March 18 on Signature Sounds. Reminiscent of the best of the Elephant 6’s works, ‘Love Songs came together in collaboration with co-producer Justin Pizzoferrato, who has manned the dials for Dinosaur Jr., The Pixies, Lou Barlow, Speedy Ortiz, Parquet Courts, Lou Barlow, and And the Kids. From strings to trumpets; large-scale harmonies to harmonica, Winterpills has never sounded this big before, masterfully building from a whisper to a torrent.

Winterpills explores love of the idea of love, love of unrealized love, love of the dead, love of family secrets, love of the concept of eternal return, love of ideas, and love of celebrity. "At first the thought of calling it Love Songs was intended as a whimsical nod to the other million albums of the same title," principle songwriter Philip Price says, "but then casting that light on the existing songs made them jump into stark relief: they were all love songs after all, though arriving at that place through strange portals and unused back roads." “A New England Deluge” builds to a feverish pitch before abruptly stopping. “Wanderer White” kicks off as a low-fi dirge before moving into ‘90s indie rock territory. “Celia Johnson” is inspired by David Lean’s “Brief Encounter,” positing a middle class British housewife’s story of stepping out of her comfort zone. “He Grew a Wall” identifies with a local musician following his suicide, using a modded Casiotone as an orchestra.

Recorded during the band’s 10th anniversary, ‘Love Songs’ is also an appropriate title for a band led by musical soulmates and husband/wife Philip Price and Flora Reed. Based in and inspired by western Massachusetts’ fertile scene, Reed and Price’s voices are always the core of Winterpills’ music and provide incredible chemistry and lift in tandem. Over the past decade and half-dozen stellar albums, Winterpills has established a reputation for smart indie pop, prompting comparisons to Elliott Smith, Low, and Big Star.

In addition, Winterpills’ self-titled debut will be reissued this spring on vinyl for the first time. Tour dates will also be announced shortly.