Alex Battles presents...

5th Annual Brooklyn Country Music Festival


Metalbelly and John crowd

The big finale.

To everyone who came, saw, danced, fiddled, sang along, whooped, hollered and cheered,

Thank you.

The 5th Annual Brooklyn Country Music Festival featured some of New York City's best original country music acts. Over two nights, it was attended by over 700 people. I have never seen a more devoted fan base. Thank you for your love. Keep following these bands. Keep on writing songs. Keep on jamming. Keep on singing. Keep on dancing.

I can't wait to see you all next year.

your organizer,

Alex Battles

Alex Battles

PS: All of the above photos by Katie Kovach!
Alex Battles presents the 5th Annual
Brooklyn Country
Music Festival

in association with absolutely no one.

September 19, 2008
Day 1 @ Southpaw

September 20, 2008
Day 2 @ Southpaw

Andy Friedman &
The Other Failures

 "The erudite redneck"
- Boston Globe

"A veritable hoe down of cynical lyrics and tongue in cheek humour."
-Americana UK

The Flanks

"The Flanks just blew my mind . . . One of the most wonderful shows I've ever seen."  
— Brooklyn Vegan

Alex Battles &
The Whisky Rebellion


"Brilliant. Lowbrow."
- New York Magazine

"Here is a man who stands up and delivers with an effortlessness that will leave most audience's jaws planted firmly to the spit and sawdust floorboards beneath them. Picture a buoyant, jovial 'Man in Black' and you'd be somewhere close to the levels of intensity packed in to a Whiskey Rebellion live performance."
- Rebel Spirit Music

Jack Grace Band

"NYC someday will brag about its great legends of country music, that's right we said country, and among those names will be the engaging, hardworking, witty, and schmoozin' and boozin' Grace."
- Village Voice

"His prized possession is a 1947 Gibson acoustic guitar, autographed by his heroes, the country star Merle Haggard and the bluegrass legend Doc Watson.  Make no mistake: Jack Grace is an old-fashioned country musician."
– New York Times

Brownbird Rudy Relic
"Incredible...the best new traditional bluesman on the scene today!"
- Roots Review Magazine

"Three Words: Amazing. Amazing. Amazing."
- BluesBeat

The Defibulators

"No yee-haws or any other hoots or yawps were held back...Like a hoedown band from a Warner Brothers cartoon, they played raucous and slightly surreal 'whackabilly"
-The New York Times

Jessica Rose &
The High Life

The champagne of bands! With a sound from classic honky tonk to jumpin' rockabilly, Jessica Rose and her country crooning will be sure to melt your heart!

Sean Kershaw &
The New Jack Ramblers

"Honkytonk Brooklyn style is what this genre needs. Put on your cowboy boots (or take them off) for our favorite love song 'Moonlight Eyes'"
- Playgirl 

"They call their music 'hi-octane honkytonk' and that sounds just about right. Mr Kershaw's energy carries the show."
- NY Times

The Newton Gang

"Rooted firmly in the stealth-outlaw tradition of their 1920s namesake, The Newton Gang sneaks up on the listener like a good Kentucky Bourbon—mellow on the intake, but fueled by a strong, soulful kick that’ll leave you sprawled in a corner at closing time, pining for the redneck childhood you never had."


M Shanghai String Band

"Absolutely timeless music...the most joyous musical celebration of the year"
-Albany Times-Union

"Vigourous, heartfelt, acoustic country with all the fixins!"
-Time Out New York

Dock Oscar &
The Ambassadors
of Love


Both days will be hosted by

the one and only Shafer Hall
who will be reading on Saturday afternoon!

Both days will be DJed by

WNYU's Honky Tonk Radio Girl!
The 5th Annual
Brooklyn Country Music Festival
@ Southpaw

Friday Sept 19, 2008

7pm: Doors open.
WNYU DJ Honky Tonk Radio Girl

8pm: The Newton Gang

9pm: Brownbird Rudy Relic

930pm: The Defibulators

1030pm: The Flanks

1130pm: Andy Friedman & The Other Failures

Admission: $10
(advance tickets)

125 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11215

The 5th Annual
Brooklyn Country Music Festival
@ Southpaw

Saturday Sept 20, 2008

5pm: Doors open.
WNYU DJ Honky Tonk Radio Girl

530pm Shafer Hall

6pm: Dock Oscar & The Ambassadors of Love

7pm: M Shanghai String Band

8pm: Sean Kershaw & The New Jack Ramblers

9pm: Jessica Rose & The High Life

10pm: Jack Grace Band

11pm: Alex Battles & The Whisky Rebellion
featuring Sammo

Admission: $10
(advance tickets)

125 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11215


  Alex Battles founded the Brooklyn Country Music Festival in 2004 to promote the borough's burgeoning original music scene. Now in its fifth installment, the Brooklyn Country Music Festival has always highlighted New York City's finest country songwriters.

   Living in the top-40-country-radio-free zone of New York City allows local country musicians and songwriters to create music in a sonic vacuum. Consider it a new outlaw movement, if you will. The performers certainly do.

Previous years:

2004    2005    2006    2007

For further information, please contact Alex Battles:

Crain's New York Business
Village Voice

No Depression
Last year, Brooklyn saw the birth of three country music events: The Brooklyn Country Music Festival, The Kings County Opry, and the CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree. These events struck a chord with fans as far away as Connecticut. They loved the stark edgy music of the bands, many of whom were influenced by country singers of the 1940s and 1950s.

-Tommy Fernandez, Crain's New York

The Brooklyn Country Music Festival hosted 40 bands over eight days, none getting paid more than what organizer and songwriter Alex Battles collected in a basket after each set. When you're playing country and bluegrass in New York City, however, it's hard to expect much more. "We play for free beer and girls who smile at us," says Battles, a tireless organizer who performs under the name Whisky Rebellion.For Battles — an Ohio transplant who's been in New York for 10 years — "Brooklyn Country" is a sort of subgenre, a music for Midwestern transplants, steeped in the '70s but with a punk ethos, grimier than the musicianship of the Village bluegrass circles.

- Kurt Gottschalk, Village Voice
As with most unlikely renaissances, Brooklyn's current Cash - Hank - Hag - Buck - Willie fixation has it its core an unlikely anti-hero. In this case it's Alex Battles, a 33-year-old singer, banjo-picker, and music publishing staffer. Battles, who began his New York musical career in a Lower East Side comedy club playing the Village People's "In the Navy" on the banjo, says the reason an event like the Cash birthday bash became a destination for both musicians as well as hipsters is simple: "Everybody loves Johnny Cash."

-Robert Baird, No Depression