Brooklyn Country Music
proudly presents...


The 6th Annual Brooklyn Country Music Festival

Thursday, September 17 - Saturday, September 19, 2009
@ Southpaw
, 125 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Southpaw in Brooklyn

in partnership with

poster designed by Jackson's Design Shop

main photo above by Katie Kovach

Tickets available at

 Get your 3-day pass here.

 Thursday Tickets     Friday Tickets     Saturday Tickets

Thursday, Sept 17
Kings County Opry

Friday, Sept 18
Footstompin' Friday

Saturday, Sept 19
Giant Saturday

(Thursday @ midnight)

"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

(Friday @ midnight)

"Sounds like a honky tonk damn good time stomping your feel outside with BBQ and dancing. They play in groups from 20-30 which explains the richness and fullness in sound. They are Delta Blues from the big city and feel authentic in their gathering. Employing organ, harmonica, french horn, accordion, trombone, and banjo they bring back the “early” sounds of the Delta Blues and its effective and effervescent.
-Austin Daze

(Saturday @ 11pm)

"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

(Thursday @ 11pm)

"Hard-tack country originals that bear the mark of a true artist." -The New Yorker

"Andy Friedman is writing some unforgettable songs."

"One of country and roots music's smartest and deepest talents."
-Slant Magazine

Jack Grace Band

(Friday @ 11pm)

"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

(Saturday @ 10pm)

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!

(Saturday @ 9pm)

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

(Thursday @ 10pm)

"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

(Friday @ 10pm)

"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

(Saturday @ 8pm)

Milton’s latest CD Grand Hotel was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams) and engineer Tom Tucker (Prince, Mavis Staples).

“The one-named folksinger knows what he’s doing.”

- NPR 

“A soulful blend of literate, street-smart NYC folk and free-wheelin’ Texas troubadour-styled alt-country.”
- Blurt Magazine

(Saturday @ 7pm)

Based in Jersey City, The Lonesome Prairie Dogs are described by local tastemaker as, "JC country legends," who play, "driving energetic rockabilly - influenced country for fans of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash." For the BCMF, the LPD's will also be joined by their frequent collaborators, The Lonesome Horns, led by trumpeter Jordan McLean.

Alana Amram &
The Rough Gems

(Thursday @ 9pm)

"Local songwriter Alana Amram—daughter of Beat music icon David Amram—plays graceful, intelligent country-pop. She’s got a clear, arresting voice and a gift for quirky romantic imagery."

-Time Out NY

(Friday @ 9pm)

Julia's songs have an antique, Americana-pop feel. Her lyrics create a collage of imagery,  heartache, yearning and lust, to motorcycles, fake tattoos and viruses. At times her powerful, sultry voice booms above her six-piece band, The Hooligans, while at other times she showcases her sexy, heart-melting side.  She puts you out like a Lucky cigarette in an ice cream cone.

Jan Bell &
The Cheap Dates

(Saturday @ 6pm)

"We just love the Maybelles -- memorable songs, great spirit, lovely and lilting harmonies -- plus they're just plain fun! It's gre

that are willing to explore new territory. I love the instrumental combination, the old-time real country feel, the close harmonies and the sprightly fiddle playing. I think you all are onto something big.
Dave Higgs - Nashville Public Radio - Bluegrass Breakdown

Dock Oscar &
The Ambassadors
of Love

(Saturday @ 5pm)

This here is a down-home-style string band. Putting together the finest aspects of the folk music of yore: Murder Ballads, Gospel, Fiddle Breakdowns, Tight Harmony Duets and Bluegrass Standards.

Dock Oscar (of Sweet William) is pleased as punch to be playing with these original songs (that sound timeless) to warped bluegrass versions of 70's pop hits to gospel and forgotten old nuggets.


(Thursday @ 8pm)

A native New Yorker, Sammo is a blues/rock artist based in Brooklyn. He is the 2008 Winner of the WNYC Songwriting Contest. His album "Vagabondage" was released this year.

The Wicked Messengers

(Friday @ 8pm)

The Wicked Messengers are a Queens-based alt-country band. Their music has been released on the Diesel Only compilation Rig Rock in their previous incarnation as The Twanglers.

The Havens

(Saturday @ 4pm)

A Brooklyn-based quartet whose original songs are performed with an unabashedly twangy string-band sound that owes as much to the Weavers’ pristine harmonizing as to the Carter Family’s rough-hewn country warbling.

Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues

(outside on Saturday)

The Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues plays in the New York City Subways as a part of the MUNY (Music Under New York) program, sponsored by the MTA. The Brotherhood is composed of elements of the former jug bands, Brooklyn Jugs and Jug Free America.

DJ Jesus

(all night Thursday)

Best known for his work at the Blah Blah Lounge (2001-2003) and at the Loreley (2004-2005).

(all night Friday)

The Honky Tonk Radio Girl spins classic country every Thursday night at 8pm on WNYU FM 89.1 in New York City.

Todd-O-Phonic Todd

(Saturday evening)

Todd-O-Phonic Todd has been a DJ on WFMU for at least 10 years. He developed the Todd-O-Phonic Todd persona prior to his first WFMU fill-in as a homage to the fast-talking disc-jockeys of yore, and in specific Jerry "The Geator With The Heater" Blavatt (pictured above).

(late night Saturday)

Former member of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, wacky music enthusiast extraordinaire, Monsieur LeBec once ate a cheese sandwich made by Herbie Hancock.

With your hosts...

Shafer Hall & Alex Battles

Shafer Hall is from Texas. He is the world's Texiest poet. You will love him.

Alex Battles started this whole thing in 2004. He writes songs.
You will wonder what his deal is. Often.

The 6th Annual Brooklyn Country Music Festival
September 17-19, 2009
@ Southpaw
125 5th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Admission: $10 a day
Limited number of $25 3-day passes available on Ticketweb

Thursday, September 17, 2009
8pm Sammo (sack'n'soul)
9pm Alana Amram & The Rough Gems (country folk)
10pm Sean Kershaw & The New Jack Ramblers (hi-octane honky tonk)
11pm Andy Friedman & The Golden Winners (art country)
mid The Defibulators (whackabilly)

Friday, September 18, 2009
8pm The Wicked Messengers (woodstock twangadelica)
9pm Julia Haltigan & The Hooligans (antique pop-americana)
10pm M Shanghai String Band (eclectic acoustic folk/bluegrass)
11pm Jack Grace Band (New York's legendary "martini cowboy")
mid The Woes (soulful Delta Blues)

with WNYU DJ Honky Tonk Radio Girl

Saturday, September 19, 2009
4pm The Havens (twangy string band)
5pm Dock Oscar & The Ambassadors of Love (full pedal string band)

6pm Jan Bell & The Cheap Dates (americana old-time Country)
7pm The Lonesome Prairie Dogs (rockabilly)
8pm Milton (alt country)

9pm The Flanks (country jug band)
10pm Jessica Rose & The High Life (sweetheart of the R train)
11pm Alex Battles & The Whisky Rebellion (Brooklyn country)
with WFMU DJ Todd-O-Phonic Todd
and Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues playing outside Southpaw all afternoon!

All three days hosted by Alex Battles & Shafer Hall
A note on "line dancing"

Contrary to the title of this article, there will be no formal line dancing at the Brooklyn Country Music Festival. Apparently there was a  misunderstanding between the reporter and the editor.

I'm sure at some point or another folks will simultaneously break into some line dances they know, but it won't be coordinated from the stage.  Sorry for the confusion, folks. In the meantime, please feel free to check out the New York Metropolitan Country Music Association for all your line dancing needs.

very truly yours,
-Alex Battles, founder of the BCMF

  Alex Battles founded the Brooklyn Country Music Festival in 2004 to promote the borough's burgeoning original music scene. Now in its sixth 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    2008

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