Brooklyn Folk Festival 2017!

The Jalopy Theatre & School of Music, together with Down Home Radio is proud to announce the 2017 Brooklyn Folk Festival!

Get your ticket now! at: www.brooklynfolkfest.com/tickets

We have a great festival coming up for you this year.
For more information visit: www.BrooklynFolkFest.com

Here is the schedule:

Friday April 28th

Main Stage
8pm – Ukrainian Village Voices – Rural Ukrainian vocal music
8:45pm – Jim Kweskin – Jug band, blues and folk songs
9:30pm – Thunderbird American Indian Dancers – Songs and dances from the Mohawk, Hopi, Winnebago and other traditions.
10:15pm – Anna & Elizabeth – Old time songs and ballads
11pm – Feral Foster – Original and folk songs
11:45pm – Tennessee Stiff Legs – Western swing band, from Tennessee! First time in NY!

Parish Hall Stage
8:45pm – Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse blues piano from St. Louis, MO
9:30pm – Cole Quest & the City Pickers – Bluegrass songs and tunes
10:15pm – The Freakniks – Original and traditional music, from LA, CA!
11pm – Skalopy – Jalopy’s in-house ska band!

Workshop Room
9pm – Topical Songs and Ballads

Saturday April 29th

Afternoon Concerts

Main Stage
Noon – Jalopy Jr. Recital
12:45pm – Fada – Traditional French music from the Occitan region
1:30pm – Martha Burns – Old time songs and ballads, from the mountains and range!
2:15pm – Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues
3pm – Spitzer Space Telescope – original and traditional old-time fiddle tunes, English/Irish ballads and sea shanties.
3:45pm – Peter Stampfel & the Ether Frolic Mob – “Paleo Hillbilly Rock meets Great American Songbook and does dirty things together”
4:30 – Pat Conte – Blues, gospel and old time songs and tunes
5:15pm – Bill & the Belles – Oldtime, early Country and popular songs and tunes!
6pm – Amythyst Kiah – Traditional and original blues and folk songs from Johnson City, TN, first NY appearance!

Parish Hall Stage
Noon – Old Time Slow Jam with Hilary Hawke
1:30pm – Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse blues piano from St. Louis, MO
2:15pm – The Hay Rollers – Bluegrass songs and tunes!
4:30 – “Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People” with Mat Callahan & Yvonne Moore – Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication or Lomax, Seeger and Guthrie influential and classic book!
5:30 – Ethan Leinwand – Barrelhouse blues piano from St. Louis, MO
6pm – Harmonica Contest – Who is the best harp player in NYC!?!?

Workshop Room

2pm – DIY Instrument building
3pm – FILM: The Mountain Music Project – Exploring similarities between Southern Appalachians music and that of the Nepali musician caste in the Himalayas.
4pm – Panel discussion TBA
5pm – Old time banjo workshop with Hilary Hawke
6pm – Puppet show!

Evening Concerts

Main Stage
7:15pm – Thomas McCarthy – Traditional songs and ballads from the Irish Traveler community. First American festival appearance!
8pm – Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton – Blues, old time and folk songs on guitar, banjo and fiddle
8:45pm – Willie Watson – Folk songs and ballads on guitar and banjo
9:30pm – Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir – Wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and Earth loving evangelist sermonizing.
10:45pm TBA

Parish Hall Stage
7pm – Main Squeeze Orchestra – All female accordion orchestra!
8pm – Salsa Dance with the Willy Martinez Band

Sunday April 30th

Afternoon Concerts

Main Stage
2pm – Family Sing-a-long
2:30pm – Deedle Deedle Dees – Fun kids music, with themes from history!!
3:15pm – Preachin’ in the Wilderness – Blues and folk songs
4pm – The Down Hill Strugglers with John Cohen – Old time string band
4:45pm – Meredith Axelrod – Blues and folk songs
5:30pm – Queen Esther – Traditional and original songs
6:15pm – Locust Honey String Band – String band, all the way from Tennessee!

Parish Hall Stage
2pm – Old Time Jam Session with Hilary Hawke
3:15pm – Gotham Jazzmen – Traditional Jazz
4:30pm – The Jalopy Choir – Singing Balkan vocal music!
5:30pm – Square Dance with the 5-Mile String Band!
6:30pm – The Whiskey Spitters – Jalopy’s own in-house string band!

Workshop Room
3pm – Harmonica workshop with Seth Shumate (all the way from Arkansas!)
4pm – FILM: Shake ‘Em On Down – Documentary film about legendary blues musician Mississippi Fred McDowell, includes Q&A with filmmaker Scott Baretta.
5:30pm – 10pm – Special art installation and performance with Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Elizabeth LaPrelle and Tim Eriksen.

1PM SPECIAL EVENT: THE BANJO TOSS

This event is held off-site.
Please assemble at the corner of Smith and 9th Street at 1pm, we will then have a parade to the banjo tossing arena!

Evening Concerts

Main Stage
7:15pm – TBA
8pm – The Last Poets – Radical poetry with music, the roots of rap from NYC
8:45pm – Jay Gandhi – Indian classical and folk music
9:30pm – Eva Salina & Peter Stan – Balkan music
10:15pm – TBA

Parish Hall Stage
7:15pm – The Horse-Eyed Men – Original and traditional songs

Workshop Room
5:30pm – 10pm – Special art installation and performance with Anna Roberts-Gevalt, Elizabeth LaPrelle and Tim Eriksen.

Live From the DNC Protests in Philly

Earlier this week Ernesto Gomez and I traveled to Philadelphia to attend and to cover the protests at the Democratic National Convention.  I made the audio piece included here and took some photos.  Ernesto took many photos as well as some great video:

My audio piece combines interviews with protesters and activists, sounds of the protests and music from musicians marching in the demonstrations. It is meant to convey what it was like being there.

We attended marches protesting climate change, in support of Bernie Sanders and against war and racism.  We also attended and covered the Socialist Convergence which was happening alongside the DNC protests.  This convergence brought together activists in order to strategize about how to build on the momentum generated by the Sanders campaign.

All of our photos can be seen at: This Link

– Eli Smith

If you are having trouble with the podcast audio player above, please use this player:


These masks represent the faces of people killed in U.S. drone strikes.

Washington Square Park Folk Festival – Comin’ Up!

Look out for the Washington Square Park Folk Festival! Comin’ up!  Free and open to the public!
www.WSPFolkFest.com

Saturday Sept. 24th

1pm Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues
1:45pm Ali Dineen
2:30pm Feral Foster
3:15pm The Tillers
4pm Bulla en el Barrio

Sunday Sept. 25th

1pm The Freakniks
1:45pm Kenny Kosek
2:30pm Julia Patinella
3:15pm The Down Hill Strugglers w/ John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers
4pm Square Dance w/ Alex Kramer Calling

Hope to see you there!
– Eli

Short Film: The 78s That Saved Folk Music


“Eli Smith, founder of the Brooklyn Folk Festival, sits down with record collector John Heneghan to discuss an eccentric experimental filmmaker named Harry Smith whose obsession with 78 rpm records helped save American folk music.”

Here is a new short film, “The 78s That Saved Folk Music”, that Charlie Hoxie of Brooklyn cable channel BRIC TV made with me a few months ago, exploring the legacy of the Anthology of American Folk Music, compiled by Harry Smith and released on Folkways Records back in 1952.  While “folk music” does not need saving necessarily, and Harry Smith is only one part of that story, his Anthology remains so good! and so important as a part of history and as a resource today.

Check it out!!

Read the rest of this entry »

8th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival: April 8th-10th, 2016!

The 8th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival is almost here!
40+ great bands and performances!
Get your tickets now!!
www.BrooklynFolkFest.com

SCHEDULE
Friday Evening Concerts
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 Frank Fairfield and Tom Marion – American and Italian string music and songs
11:00PM Extra Special Guest!!!  Who will it be?
11:45PM Clifton Hicks– Old time banjo and ballads from Georgia!
 
Saturday Afternoon Concerts
12:45PM Pistol Packin’ Mamas – String band blues and rags from Tennessee to the Tex- Mex border. Comin’ all the way from New Orleans, LA!
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 Mick & Evan Kinney- Amazing old time string band from the great state of Georgia!
6:45PM Gaida– Syrian vocalist with her band, traditional Arabic maqams and  more
 
Saturday Evening Concerts
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
10:00PM Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton – Blues, Old Time and Ragtime Music
10:45PM Roy Williams & The Human Hands – Gypsy jazz, country and more!
11:30PM Radio Jarocho – Son Jarocho from Veracruz, Mexico
 
Saturday
WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES:

Parish Hall:
3:00PM New Topical Songs performance (Songs from the News!)
4:00PM Oldtime Jam Session
5:00PM Lariat Tricks and Cowboy Songs with Cowboy Ernie Sites!
6:00PM Harmonica Contest!!! Read the rest of this entry »

Roots n’ Ruckus Fest! Celebrating 10 Years!

Feral Foster has been hosting his Roots n Ruckus folk music variety show for 10 years!  It’s an amazing show and to me is the heart of the folk music scene here in New York City.  It takes place every Wednesday from 9pm till late at the Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Feral has organized a 10th anniversary festival featuring 40+ bands, great music Wednesday-Saturday at the Jalopy.  This festival is bringing back many of the original performers from this scene as well as numbers of performers and bands that have played the show over the years.

As always, Roots n Ruckus is FREE! No cover… Check it out!

Re-Start Jalopy Records! Lost Train Blues!

Please help us out by supporting the Kickstarter fundraising campaign!  Before November 13th!!
CLICK HERE to donate!

JALOPY RECORDS PARTNERS WITH MISSISSIPPI RECORDS TO RELEASE “Lost Train Blues” – CELEBRATING ALAN LOMAX’S 100TH BIRTHDAY WITH NEVER BEFORE ISSUED FIELD RECORDINGS

Brooklyn’s Jalopy Records has rebooted their homegrown folk music record label with a brand new release, “Lost Train Blues: John & Alan Lomax and the Early Folk Music Collections at the Library of Congress.” Help us produce and manufacture this album AND get the ball rolling on a bright, new future for the Jalopy Records label!

Jalopy Records has partnered with well known Oregon based vinyl label Mississippi Records to manufacture and distribute this and future releases. Jalopy Records is the record label of the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, a grass roots cultural center for traditional music, located in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The record features 22 selections from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, 13 of them have never been issued before. The record includes work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo and fiddle music and Native American vocal music. These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress, now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them with the context of other important early field workers.

The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci. Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro making for the best possible audio fidelity.

5th Annual Washington Square Park Folk Festival!

The Washington Square Park Folk Festival is coming’ right up!  It’s free and open to the public and should be once again a wonderful event in out in the park.  Come if you can!  www.WSPFolkFest.com for more information!

7th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival: April 17th-19th, 2015!

Hey folks – The 7th Annual Brooklyn Folk Festival is on it’s way!  Get your tickets now!

 

April 17th-19th at our amazing new venue, St. Ann’s Church, centrally located in Brooklyn Heights!  Here’s a photo of the venue:

Complete 30 band lineup below! PLUS! Workshops, film screenings, and the BANJO TOSS competition!


CLICK HERE for tickets
, or visit www.BrooklynFolkFest.com

Brought to you by Down Home Radio Show and the Jalopy Theatre…

SCHEDULE

Friday April 17th:

8:00PM Jackson Lynch – Blues guitar, old time fiddle and banjo breakdowns, songs and ballads
8:45PM Horse Eyed Men – Original folk/country outer-space music
9:30PM Michael Hurley – Legendary folk musician, needs no introduction!
10:15PM Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton – Country blues, fiddle and banjo
11:00PM Terry Waldo’s Rum House Band – Legendary early Jazz and Ragtime pianist with his band
11:45PM Feral Foster and His Band – Excellent songwriting based solidly in Blues, Folk, Gospel and Balkan music

Saturday April 18th: Afternoon Concerts Read the rest of this entry »

A World Made By God and By Hand



A World Made By God and By Hand

A Review of “Ogg Land: The Rediscovered Photographs of C.I. Ogg” by Kathryn Freeman
Review written by Eli Smith.  This article will appear in print form in the forthcoming issue of “The Quiet American.”

To view selected Ogg photos in high resolution CLICK HERE, and visit The Photography of Coley Ogg facebook page.  To purchase “Ogg Land” CLICK HERE.

C.I. “Pa” Ogg (1855-1950) was the main photographer in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but he is only today starting to receive his due.  “Ogg Land: The Rediscovered Photographs of C.I. Ogg,” lovingly compiled by his great granddaughter Kathryn Freeman, offers an amazing look into the old ways of the mountain frontier.

In her introduction, Kathryn Freeman writes, “In the summer of 1992 I made a promise to my mother that I would try to create a book of my great grandfather’s old photos, I set out to learn all that I could about the man that was our beloved “Pa Ogg.”  After two decades of searching, my knowledge and archive have grown considerably… Pa Ogg’s work tells the story of Appalachia’s dramatic transformation from a farming economy to an industrial one.  His photographs were widely published, from the late 19th century, right up to the present, but nearly always unattributed.  He was an early photographer lost to history, a documentarian who made ‘art.’  The work is old, but it depicts a way of living that is far older than the photos themselves.”

As the fertile lands of Virginia and other states to the East became settled and accounted for, poor homesteaders, in search of their own stake, were forced to make the dangerous passage through the Cumberland Gap and other mountain passes to claim rugged land deep in the Appalachian interior.  Many were soldiers in the revolutionary war that received homestead land grants in return for their service in Washington’s army.  This book of photographs records the original mountaineer way of life in its final era.

This first volume of Pa Ogg’s work focuses on his beautiful documentation of the natural world and truly rural way of life in E. Kentucky from when he started making photographs around 1880 through the early 20th century.  Ogg’s photographic record preserves the reality of subsistence farming and hunting that had existed for 100 or even 200 years in the mountains, but was soon to be obliterated as people were convinced or coerced into a turn towards a coal mining economy, which now forms the basis of the region’s identity.

C.I. Ogg was unable to read or write, and was known to be modest man who did not like to “sign” his Read the rest of this entry »