The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival, August
          20-23, 2015 at the Bell House

The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival
at Bell House
Thursday, August 20, 2015

North of Amarillo by Brian
North of Amarillo is dedicated to reviving and reinterpreting the songs of the first ladies of country including songs and arrangements made famous by the great Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton as well as many other classic country classics. Their front-lady Kelli Scarr, a consummate songwriter in her own right, brings new life to these country classics with her energetic guitar playing and singing style. The band features the talents of Brooklyn's finest country pickers Luca Benedetti and Jason Loughlin on dueling telecasters, pedal steel extraordinaire Jonathan Lam, Scott Colberg on bass and Arthur Vint on drums. (Photo by Brian Geltner)

North of Amarillo play the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Thursday, August 20, 2015, 6pm-8pm.
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks by
                Shervin Lainez
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks is a grooving rock ‘n’ roll band rooted in swinging blues, throwback country, and rockabilly music from Brooklyn, NY. Front and center in this tight quartet is soulful songwriter and skilled guitarist, Miss Tess. She possesses a voice that is, "alternately seductive and sexy, and is a pure joy to listen to” (Pop Matters).

With multiple US tours and several releases under their belts, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks has proven to be one of the most exciting acts on the blossoming Americana scene. The band, with its self-described modern vintage sound, is currently in the studio writing and recording material for their tenth album. A sneak preview of two of their new tunes will be released as a 45 single and download in spring, 2015 on Signature Sounds Recordings (Lake Street Dive, Eilen Jewell, Chris Smither, Josh Ritter, Erin McKeown).

Miss Tess & The Talkbacks play the Main Event Hall at the Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Thursday, August 20, 2015, 8pm.
Aron Blue & the Bootleggers
Aron Blue & The Bootleggers - Aron Blue writes funny songs and likes to rock out, honkytonk style. Aron has had her songs featured on Democracy Now and Wisconsin Public Radio WIEC, and scored the documentary Loan Shark in Your Living Room for IndyVideo. Her video Never Talk to Cops was featured and linked to by the nonprofit Flex Your Rights. In 2014, she was awarded Best Couch at Couch by Couchwest! Alone and with the Bootleggers, she has performed at NYC venues like The Stone, Tonic, Goodbye Blue Monday, Jimmy’s No. 43, Otto’s Shrunken Head, Grand Victory, CultureFix, and ConArtist. She’s also performed at Montreal’s fabulous L’escalier.

"Rounding out the lineup are Aron Blue and the Bootleggers, a honky-tonk/rock hybrid. They’ve written Brooklyn-themed songs any local audience member can understand, like one with the lyric “You know the G train, it won’t take you home till you’re almost gone.” Good to know, considering the Bell House is a few blocks from the G." New York Times

Aron Blue & The Bootleggers play the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House on Thursday, August 20, 2015, 830pm.
The Brain Cloud By Ahron R.
The Brain Cloud - Born in 2010, the Brain Cloud is the brain-child of multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman. The band’s self-titled 2011 debut album captures their remarkable sound – from the inimitable vocal stylings of Tamar Korn to Lichtman’s fresh arrangements, with plenty of hot picking and hard swinging from the entire sextet.

Dennis Lichtman is a man of many musical minds, jumping genres and instruments incessantly, sometimes within one show, or even within one song. He is equally at home on mandolin, fiddle, and clarinet. He has toured the world as a traditional-jazz clarinetist, graced many a bluegrass festival stage as a fiddler, and devoted much time to the study of early 20th century Brazilian mandolin music. Along the way, he has performed and recorded with top masters in each of those genres. He is in constant demand as a session musician, arranger, and sideman in New York’s hopping music scene.

In early 2010, Lichtman joined forces with Tamar Korn, whom he had known for two years as bandmates in the old-timey jazz outfit the Cangelosi Cards. This new band’s purpose was to delve into a side of American music for which they shared a fondness, but had not fully explored in the horn-heavy Cangelosi Cards. If western swing had not been invented 75 years prior, this would have been the moment for its creation – a meeting point of bluegrass/string-band music/early country with early jazz, with loads of energy and no rules.

In addition to Lichtman and Korn, the Brain Cloud includes Skip Krevens (guitar and vocals), Raphael McGregor (steel guitar), Kevin Dorn (snare drum), and Andrew Hall (bass). Each is a masterful instrumentalist in his own right, and each brings a unique perspective, impeccable musicianship, and a distinctive voice to the mix. McGregor’s whimsical slipping and sliding, Skip’s hot licks and occasional vocal, Dorn’s air-tight pulse, and Hall’s meaty slap-bass.

The Brain Cloud plays in the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at  Bell House, Thursday, August 22, 2015, 9pm.
Jack Grace Band by Francesca
Jack Grace Band - Jack Grace’s form of experimental country art rock has been compared to everything from Frank Zappa to early Johnny Cash — or “Cole Porter meets Gene Autry” as the New York Times once wrote.

Seven album releases and tracks featured in the films Super Troopers and Beer Fest have earned Jack a growing following and a steady hum of praise. While his previous release, "Drinking Songs for Lovers," added mariachi horns inspired by his yearly pilgrimage to Tulum, Mexico,  his latest release, "Everything I Say Is A Lie", is due out in the fall and features Norah Jones and is produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel.

As Alan Young of the New York Press raved at the time, what sets Jack’s songs “apart from the rest of the country or alt-country scene is his laugh-out-loud, absurdest wit. Not only is this a great party album and a great driving album but it’s also very smart and very funny.”

Jack Grace Band plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at  Bell House, Thursday, August 20, 2015, 10pm.

Andrew Sovine by JW Photography
Andrew Sovine - I was born in Nashville, TN into a musical family. started playing guitar when I was four years old. Soon I was playing in the family band, and constantly asking my uncle to show me how to play Beatles songs. I quickly began attempting to play every instrument I could get my hands on. Eventually I added banjo, mandolin, trumpet, lap steel/dobro, and harmonica to my arsenal. I own an accordion, but you don't want to know about that.

In my teens I began playing at church, coffee shops, and the downtown bars and honky tonks in my hometown. Seeing players like Redd Volkaert, Brent Mason, and Kenny Vaughan up close at such a young age was equally humbling and inspiring. The honky tonks led to regional tours and a love/hate relationship with vans.

In 2005 I was invited to join Grammy nominated, eleven time ICM vocal group of the year The Fox Brothers on tour. The brothers liked that i could play a lot of different things and graciously feautured that every night. This included a solo trumpet performance of "Amazing Grace" that brought the crowd to their feet on most occasions.

After touring for several years with the Foxes, I went on to play on the road and in the studio with such artists as Big Kenny (Big & Rich,) Wynonna, Chase Rice, Don Gallardo, Cale Tyson, Kelsey Waldon, and Ashley McBryde to name just a few.

As of August 2014 I'm living in Brooklyn NY and digging into the music scene up here. I'm fronting a band most of the time and playing around the city at a few different clubs. There's a tremendous amount of good music up here and I'm excited to be a part of the club. Check the calendar, come on out to a show, and say hey sometime.

Andrew Sovine & Friends play the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Thursday, August 20, 2015, 1130pm.

The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival
at Bell House
Friday, August 21, 2015

Abby Hollander Band by Justin
Abby Hollander Band - Abby Hollander is a singer, bass player, and award-winning songwriter originally from Woodstock, NY. In 2013 she formed her band in Brooklyn, NY to perform her original songs in a traditional bluegrass setting. 

Ellery Marshall, from Los Angeles, provides the banjo sound that is one of the group’s trademark features. Jeff Picker, a Portland, Oregon native, plays guitar and sings harmony. The group is regularly joined by some of New York’s best fiddle players. 

All the musicians play an active role in helping Abby arrange her songs, making the band a dynamic, collaborative experience rooted equally in the time-honored sounds of bluegrass and the 21st century city they call home.

Their self-titled debut album is now available for download on iTunes and Amazon, and on CD at any of their shows.

Abby Hollander Band plays The Frontier Room at the Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at The Bell House, Friday, August 21, 2015, 6pm-8pm.
Your Ex-Girlfriends by Marc
Your Ex-Girlfriends - We are an all-girl, all-blonde country cover band based in New York City. Our weapons of choice are vocal harmonies, guitars, fiddle, piano, bass, and drums, and we cover everything from Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton to Big Mama Thornton and Little Big Town. The band has a large and devoted NYC following, and our sets are fun, charismatic, and high-energy. Your Ex-Girlfriends have played packed shows at Highline Ballroom (with Academy of Country Music's Duo of the Year Steel Magnolia!), Hill Country, Rodeo Bar, Union Hall, and the National Underground, and also play private parties and events.

Fueled by Lindsay Ryan's powerful lead vocals and spiced up with driving fiddle and electric guitar, our sound is energetically country, but with plenty of bluegrass, blues, honky tonk, and a good bit of rock and roll thrown into the mix. We treat every show like a party, and with a variety of special guests bringing ukuleles, mandolins, banjos, washboards, and even a pair of spoons, spending an evening with Your Ex-Girlfriends has never been so much fun.

Your Ex-Girlfriends play the Main Event Hall at the Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at  Bell House, Friday August 21, 2015, 8pm.
Andy Friedman by Chris Sikich
Andy Friedman is a visual artist, musician, illustrator, performance poet, and cartoonist.  He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two children.

In 2001, Friedman self-published his first collection of pencil drawings, Polaroid photographs, and poetry called Drawings & Other Failures on his own City Salvage Records label.  In 2002, Friedman left his job as the assistant to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to pursue a full-time art career.  In addition to the occasional New Yorker cartoon sale and the work he received as a freelance editorial illustrator, Friedman made the bulk of his living touring the nation's music clubs, colleges, art museum theaters, and bars with his "Slideshow Poetry” performance.  The show brought projections of the images from his book together with readings of his blues-inspired poetry and storytelling onstage.  His second book of art and poetry, Future Blues, was published in 2004.

Friedman transitioned from “Slideshow Poet” to singer-songwriter in 2006 with the release of his debut album, Taken Man, which he recorded less than a year after picking up the guitar and singing for the first time in his life.  As a musician, Friedman continued his relentless touring while meeting the demands of an illustration career that saw his work published in magazines, newspapers, and literary journals around the globe—The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, New York, The Atlantic, TIME, Newsweek, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Golf Digest, Marie Claire, Japan's Asahi Shimbun Globe, Canada's Globe & Mail, and The Times of London among them.  He fulfilled many of his illustration deadlines from hotel rooms while on tour in support of his music.  Friedman released two more albums, 2009’s Weary Things and 2011’s Laserbeams and Dreams before removing himself from the road in order to recover from a career-threatening repetitive stress injury to his drawing hand suffered as a result of overuse coupled with poor ergonomic working conditions and a general state of ill health after a decade on the road.

Andy Friedman & The Other Failures play the Frontier Room at the Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Friday, August 21, 2015, at 830pm.

Julia Haltigan by Marc McAndrews
Julia Haltigan - A blonde bombshell with a rebel spirit, Julia Haltigan embodies the classic grit and style of the Lower East Side’s insurgent nature. Clad in leather, Julia’s dominating stage presence mesmerizes crowds. She uses her booming and soulful voice to draw the audience into her seductive embrace.

Born just off the Bowery and raised on the infamous Ludlow Street, Julia Haltigan is bold and unremitting. She’s a rare native New Yorker that can be found haunting the streets of a long lost grungy Empire City. Interview Magazine agrees, saying “Julia Haltigan’s timeless voice, look and persona make her something of a period piece. Her effervescent performances are also known to entrance entire crowds”. Julia spent her childhood going to rooftop parties at the Chelsea Hotel with her dad and spending her days at the iconic Sixth Street Specials motorcycle shop where she learned to ride before most people learned to drive. Its these unique experiences growing up in NY in the ‘80’s that make up the core of the young artist she is today.

Her critically acclaimed 2012 album “My Green Heart” was followed up by her EP “Magneto”. The success of these two albums earned her a spot performing in the ASCAP Millenium showcase at the Kennedy Center. Her life-long love affair with motorcycles drew the attention of Discovery Channel’s producers who featured her on the hit show “Cafe Racer”. Julia stole the show at Chicago’s Motoblot festival, toured with The Waterboys and sang alongside Justin Townes Earle on the David Letterman Show. She’s opened for musical icons like Judy Collins and Steve Earle and has also shared the stage with Norah Jones, Montgomery Gentry, Gegory Alan Isokov, The Bogmen, Rhett Miller, Nicole Atkins, Jack Antonoff, Lonnie Holley, Cory Chisel and more.

In addition to her solo project, Julia has teamed up with Scarlett Johansson, Kendra Morris and Holly Miranda to form “the Singles” who were produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. Julia has also been moonlighting as the slinky Jessica Rabbit inspired jazz crooner ‘Vivian Fairchild’ in the off-Broadway hit “Sleep No More”.

Julia Haltigan plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Fstival at Bell House, Friday, August 21, 2015, 9pm
Gangstagrass by Michael Bush
Gangstagrass - There are only three bands that can tame a mountain lion just by playing. Gangstagrass is one of them. Gangstagrass is also the other two of them.

When you armwrestle Bigfoot, don't win. And for god's sake don't cheat.

Gangstagrass is a dirty fightin', gator wrestlin', foot stompin' bluegrass-hip-hop project of Brooklyn based producer Rench, who has spent the last decade making gritty, soulful country hip-hop music that you will actually like.

Yeah, Gangstagrass did the theme song to Justified. Yeah, Rench and T.O.N.E-z got nominated for an Emmy for it. Yeah, this is real bluegrass pickers and real emcees making music. And yeah, we do it live too. (Photo by Michael Bush)

Gangstagrass plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House on Friday, August 21, 2015 at 10pm.
Susquehanna Industrial Tool &
                Die Co.
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. is the little trio with the big hillbilly sound. Well, their name's big at the very least. And, for nearly three years now, the "SIT & Die" boys, as they're known, have been producing a quality-built "Ballads, Boogies, & Blues", as says their motto, that's made the bottles bounce on the tables of some of New York City's swellest joints. Consisting of singing accompanied by the rhythm and "take-off" guitars and doghouse bass, the boys offer up a mix of not only original compositions, but also those of Rhythm & Blues, "rock-a-billy", and Country & Western artists that they just happen to like. They do their best to really put on a show, dress sharp as a tack, and are rarely (okay, never) at a loss for words when faced with an audience. In the end, won't you kindly consider SIT & Die Co. to satisfy your most exacting hillbilly music needs?

Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. play the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Friday, August 21, 2015 at 1130pm.

The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival
at Bell House
Saturday, August 22, 2015

The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree
                at Freddy's
The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree - The first Thursday of every month at Freddy’s Bar, friends gather for The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree, a sing and stomp-along to the classic country songbook. Patrons are welcome to bring an instrument along and pick from the crowd, or learn the words to an old country song to sing from stage or from your seat.

Gary Keenan, an original CasHank-er from 2004, now hosts the evening, with assistance from Alan Lee Backer, Glenn Spivak, The Old Perfesser, Diego Britt, and Alex Battles.  Battles started The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree as a jam for folks looking to play, old, popular country songs together. The first CasHank was the final event of the 1st Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Freddy’s in 2004. From July 2004 – September 2009, Buttermilk was the home of the CasHank. During this time, the CasHank grew to resemble the band of regulars  who re-lit the fire at Freddy’s Bar in November 2011.

At it’s best, the CasHank is a group of friends gathered around a jukebox created from the simplest ingredients, memorable songs and easy chords.

The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree joins together in the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, 3pm-6pm
Bob Jones & Jon Sholle
Bob Jones is the guitar doctor, or the "Dr. Frets" of Brooklyn. He has played with Andy Statman, Flatbush Waltz, The Wretched Refuse, and on the Broadway stage.

Jon Sholle has been a performing and recording musician for over thirty years. His wide range of expertise keeps his guitar equally in demand as a jazz, rock, or bluegrass performer. Jon has appeared in and played on the soundtracks for the movies-- "The Rose" with Bette Midler (platinum-selling) and "They All Laughed" with Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Stratton.
Out of the Frying Pan is Jon’s second album for Rounder. This all-instrumental CD features David Grisman, Andy Statman, Tony Trischka and Kenny Kosek. His first Rounder album was the cult classic Catfish for Supper.

Records by Esther Phillips, Melissa Manchester, Sonny Stitt, Maria Muldaur, Kate &Anna McGarrigle and Allen Ginsberg feature Jon’s guitar playing. He also worked with composers like Carter Burwell, Gary McFarland and Miles Goodman and producers like Paul A Rothschild, Creed Taylor, and Milt Gabler.

He has appeared on the Broadway stage in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Big River". From 1984 to 1986 he was a member of the David Grisman Quartet and was featured on David's album Acousticity (#1 on Billboard Jazz chart). He has worked and recorded two albums with Chip Taylor, the hit songwriter who was responsible for "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning". Recently Jon played on the soundtrack for "The Rookie" with Dennis Quaid and co-wrote, performed and recorded the end titles for the film "Jason X".He was featured on Andy Statman's 2011 release on the Shefa label, "Old Brooklyn", playing Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Guitar (Steel), and Lap Steel Guitar.

Jon won the "World’s Champion Guitar" competition at the Union Grove NC Fiddler’s Convention in 1967 & 1968. He also compiled and wrote the liner notes for "Rounder Bluegrass Guitar".

Bob Jones & Jon Sholle play the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Saturday, August, 22, 2015, 5pm.
Terry Radigan
Terry Radigan - I grew up in Brooklyn and started playing the guitar when I was 8 compliments of my grandmothers insurance agent, Mr Frank.  When I was in my late teens i'd play at any open mic that would have me. My first "real" gig was at The Bitter End. The owner of The Bitter End, Ken Gorka, was reluctant to give me a time slot but told me I should sign up for the songwriting contest & he'd get to see my in action on the stage. The prize for winning the contest out to be a recording session with Steve Berg, a well known NYC producer. He was wonderful and made an introduction that led to my first trip to Music City.

It was an incredible education. I lived in Nashville for nearly 10 years. My mentors were folks like Harlan Howard, Billy Jo Shaver, and Owen Bradley. I got to make a record for Asylum with Brian Ahern, an incredible producer who taught me so much about production & studio well being.

I worked with some of the best songwriters and had my songs cut by artists like Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, and Trick Pony. I moved back to New York City and more cuts followed with Ashley Macissac, Anunna, and Cowboy Crush. I started to get some music placed in television and films. I continue to keep the Nashville connection and still think it's one of the best and last places to get the Brill Building rush. 

Terry Radigan plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, 6pm.
The Paisley Fields
The Paisley Fields are a country band based in city where the blue of the sky is snatched from skyscrapers. There is no doubt Brooklyn has more concrete than fields. But the band is unapologetic about pushing boundaries and seeking inspiration in the unexpected.

Singer/songwriter/pianist James Wilson is not the cowboy hat wearing, good old boy one pictures when thinking about country music. The Brooklyn resident and lead singer cuts a different kind of cowboy figure.

Wilson also happens to be a gay man.

In 2010, Wilson spent a year living in Japan and making music with his band Sora Ocean. His time living in the Japanese countryside made him realize he wanted to make a change in his life.

Back in New York, he decided to leave his former band behind and play music full time. Wilson spoke to his longtime collaborator Jessica Kimple about forming a band together, a country band.

Growing up in Iowa, Wilson listened to country musicians like Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. Kimple, a trained opera singer and an Iowa native, signed on immediately. In 2012, The Paisley Fields played their first gig. The band added Anna Volpe to the mix in 2014. Volpe is also a trained opera singer.

Though Wilson is inspired by country musicians like Parton and Cash, he wanted The Paisley Fields lyric’s to reflect the modern world, particularly his own experience of it.

The Paisley Fields’ second EP is due out in August, followed by their first full length album.

The Paisley Fields play the Frontier Room at the Brooklyn Country Music Festival at The Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, 630pm.
Lil' Mo & The Monicats
Lil' Mo & The Monicats - By 17, I was living on my own in Manhattan, and was hired as a live sound engineer at Home, an infamous NYC music bar. Musicians I worked with there influenced me and exposed me to more great American roots music, and by 19 I was in my first band, Gears, playing at CBGB's and other legendary bars and clubs. Major local music heroes like Jon Paris and Guy & Pipp Gillette turned me onto rockabilly and rootsy country music, and I spent two years soaking up George Jones like a sponge. Not long after that, I started teaching guitar at the Guitar Study Center (I still teach privately), and co-fronted The Twanglers, who cut a single for Diesel Only Records. Soon I was writing songs and formed the Monicats, just so I could swing a little harder. My time was split between dancing to Cajun and Zydeco music and recording four albums as Li’l Mo and the Monicats, co-produced and recorded by Hank Bones, my musical better half. We attracted great guest stars on the albums, like national treasure Steve Riley, Tony Trishka, Fats Kaplin, and Gary Mackey, and the Monicats live and recorded have included Skip Krevens, Bob Mastro, Jeff Somerstein, Eugene Chrysler, Drina Seay, Montana Bob Packwood, Bill Malchow, Homeboy Steve Antonakos, Dave Sonneborn, Steve Greenfield, and more. The current live combo features Skip, Eugene, and Jeff, with Drina singing harmonies as often as possible. Oh, and I learned to play bass so I could be in Drina’s own band. I also perform solo and in duos and trios. I have toured Sweden.

I have a long-time residency at the Treehouse at 2A, in the East Village, the last Sunday of every month, for which I created a singer/songwriter/players circle called The Field of Stars (originated at Banjo Jim’s), which features four artists (including myself) swapping songs, and a musical community called The Great Harmony Swap which brings together more than 30 artists to perform theme shows honoring vocalists and songwriters. The stars! The production values! A thrill a minute! Thank you, Tom Clark, for bestowing this opportunity on me.
In recent years I have felt compelled to honor in song what I consider to be New York City’s own “roots” music (which I sometimes call Urban Folk), e.g. Tin Pan Alley and the Brill Building eras of songwriting, and those instinctive musical leanings are co-existing quite comfortably with the vintage country music styles that grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. The current album, Whole Lotta Lovin’, is an aural trip from Buddy Holly-like rock to Buck Owens-y shuffles to New York Latin grooves, girl-group pop and r & b, with western swing and jive thrown in for good measure and good dancing. Always dancing.

"Boy, can she sing. Monica [Li'l Mo] is a rare triple-threat, a chanteuse who can rock and write songs that you swear you grew up with. This is the real deal, a captivating singer with soulful new material, and a voice that breathes new life into some choice classics. "
–––Bill Kirchen, Titan of the Telecaster (liner notes for the new album, Whole Lotta Lovin')

Lil' Mo & The Monicats play the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House on Saturday, August 22, 2015, 7pm
Zephanaiah & The 18 Wheelers
Zephanaiah & The 18 Wheelers - New York City's # 1 Truck Drivin' Country & Western Band
From covers of Red Simpson & Red Sovine, to original compositions by Zephaniah O'Hora & Jim Campilongo.

Zephanaiah & The 18 Wheelers play the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, 8pm.
Lindy Loo & Her Lucky
Lindy Loo & Her Lucky Fellers - Born alongside the Santa Fe Trail with no running water, the Wild West was in her blood from the beginning. At the tender age of three, Linda Hill's performing career began at the VFW Hall with a five year old neighbor, Kenny Trebbe. (Who later became Kenny Starr with a #1 Country single, Blind Man in the Bleachers) Their fathers would set them up on the bandstand while the Saturday night honky-tonk combo took a break. The duo did a perfect imitation of the Collins Kids singing "Walking the Floor" until their dads had a hatful of coins to keep them in beer for the rest of the evening. 

When the four room tar-paper family shack burned to the ground when she was ten the family which had always been poor was suddenly po'. It was time for the youngster to think seriously about how to help the family out financially, though the small cash prizes she won for various writing contests brought the family more in pride than money. She also earned a reputation at the local church around this time as a beacon of spirit when her buck dancing took over the aisles as she became full of the Lord and formed a Gospel Trio, touring churches in a three state region.

It was about this time that she started her first country western band, Lady L and the Lariats, as the lead warbler and they played just about every weekend at the private club, Cowtown. They were such a rockabilly party band that they were listed in the yellow pages under bar fixtures. As notoriety spread about Linda's "wild side" and her outrageous attire ("I had treated life as one giant costume party ever since childhood," Hill explained.) the managing editor, Lee Finch, who looked like the result of a mating between the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Michelin Man, suggest she might either want to reel her personality in or seek employment elsewhere.

Moving to New York over a decade ago, Linda Hill has made a name for herself in the world of alternative comedy and downtown theatre, hosting the "No Shame" series for two years at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, co-founding the Movie of the Month Club and starring in several of their underground films and premiering 5 separate solo character shows including Incognito Sex, Too Many Clothes and Star 69. Her characters such as blues singer, Miss Angel Drake and performance poet, Negateeva have done entire solo shows as themselves receiving recognition without the public realizing that they were in fact Linda Hill. Hill even went so far as to stage a feud with herself as Angel that the press covered for several months. 

Although she has worked with Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Father Guido Sarducci, directed emmy winner, Camryn Mannheim's solo show, "Wake Up I'm Fat!" and appeared on PBS, Cinemax and HBO as a George Carlin's discovery, to date her biggest thrill was to meet and become friends with Miss Minnie Pearl, who brought her to Nashville for the Ralph Emery show, Nashville Now.

Lindy Loo & Her Lucky Fellers play the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, at 830pm
Western Caravan featuring Thirsty
The Western Caravan featuring Thirsty Dave was formed in 1995 by guitarist Whit Smith (now with Austin-based Hot Club Of Cowtown).  This 8-piece Western Swing Orchestra has been serving up classic Country, Western Swing and Honky-Tonk standards as well as their own engaging originals to New York's  connoisseurs and homesick Texans ever since.

"The best-known, most-booked western swing band in New York.... The Caravan’s an eight-to-12-piece band—strings and horns included, as they should be—and with Texans and Oklahomans providing such key ingredients as oozing steel and that steady-beat bass. They mix Ernest Tubb with their Bob Wills, in straightforward fashion; Thirsty Dave provides the vocals. If you can find room to dance (unlikely) you may be moved to indulge (more likely)."  (Mazor) The Village Voice

The Western Caravan featuring Thirsty Dave plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at  Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, at 9pm.

The Defibulators by Jessica
The Defibulators - Described as everything from “Hee-Haw on mescaline” to “Carter Family-meets-Ramones”, The Defibulators unique brand of country has made them pioneers in the Brooklyn country music scene.

The band is currently touring on the heels of their latest LP release, Debt’ll Get’em. Co-produced with Brian Bender (Langhorne Slim, Jose James). The album is a striking, au courant take on classic country, channeling the frenetic energy of their legendary live shows into tight, punchy hooks and foot-stomping sing-alongs.

From “Pay For That Money,” a pedal steel and fiddle lament about debt, to “Let Me See That Ponytail Run,” a dreamy ode to beauty just out of reach, the album is full of gorgeous harmonies and razor-sharp wit. “Everybody’s Got a Banjo” is a biting, swamp funk-inspired nod to the instrument’s recent ubiquity (“If you don’t know how to play it, well it still looks cool”), and “Cackalacky” is the tongue-in-cheek story of an Appalachian musician who moves to New York City to make it big in roots music.

The band’s infectious energy and originality earned them a nod as one of Brooklyn’s best emerging bands in VICE Magazine, and a devoted following in a city not known for its love of country. “It’s fun to play for people who don’t think they like country music,” says singer Erin Bru. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Bug Jennings agrees, adding, “There’s something about the fast-paced, frantic, neurotic energy of New York that fuels our sound.”

Their debut album Corn Money garnered immediate critical notice from Buzzfeed to CMT, with New York Magazine raving that “[Bug] and singer Erin Bru slip into harmonies that recall the storied Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris duets,” Under the Radar hailed it as “a boozy concoction worth swigging until last call,” and PopMatters describing it as “a drunken square dance on speed.”

Call it what you will, Americana, indie honky-tonk, truckerpunk, or Brooklyn Country, the proof is in the listening. There is a unique familiarity that percolates throughout Debt’ll Get ‘Em. The reverence for traditional country forms combined with an irreverent rock and roll attitude is a trademark of the Defibs sound. Gear-grinding twang and sawing fiddles saturate songs rooted in the debt-laden and downtrodden, the moods swinging between satirical and sentimental, with unpredictable outbursts into total country chaos.

When not on the road together, The Defibulators reside in individual, non-mobile homes in Hoboken, Harlem, and Brooklyn.

The Defibulators’ Songbook has been published by Mel Bay Publications.

The Defibulators play the Main Event Hall at the Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Saturday, August 22, 2015, 10pm.

Sean KErshaw & The New Jack
Sean Kershaw & The New Jack Ramblers - A lifelong wanderer born in Baltimore and raised in a military family, Kershaw has lived overseas and all over the continental U.S. Early in his career, Kershaw embraced the road by busking throughout the country. Starting out in New Orleans, he headed west to play in Los Angeles and San Francisco, went north up to Seattle, back across to Chicago and St. Louis, and eventually settled in New York. Brooklyn-based music artist Sean Kershaw, whose swaggering, “high-octane honky-tonk” (New York Times) has thrilled and seduced audiences from New York to L.A. most recently released "The Aussie Sessions."

Recorded in Melbourne, Australia at Hailstone Studio — an apropos recording space for Kershaw’s roughhewn country-rockabilly that doubles as a greaser workshop and contains a '65 Ford pickup, shovelhead chopper and collection of vintage amps — the album comprises seven original compositions featuring a more retro rock ‘n’ roll sound than Sean’s previous musical ventures. Recorded live, Kershaw was backed by Justin Rudge on guitar, Sweet Felicia on bass and backup vocals, and Scott Bennett on drums. Paulie Bignell, who was The Aussie Sessions’ recording engineer, also contributed a guitar solo.

The Aussie Sessions is just the latest musical trek in the journey of The Coney Island Cowboy (the title of Kershaw’s acclaimed debut CD). While Kershaw’s lead vocals and rhythm guitar suggest the whisky-soaked angst of Hank Williams Sr., a gritty brand of rockabilly that drives restless boots straight to the dance floor. It was a writer for Playgirl magazine who, after listening to the single “Moonlight Eyes,” Kershaw’s most popular recording to date, observed that those same boots might sooner be kicked off and placed under a lover’s bed. Coney Island Cowboy enjoyed regular airplay in the U.S., Australia and Europe upon its release.

Sean Kershaw & The New Jack Ramblers play the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House on Saturday, August 22, 2015, 1130pm.

The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival
at Bell House
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sheriff Uncle Bob
Sheriff & The Goodtimers - "Sheriff Uncle Bob" is the host of the legendary Sheriff sessions, an accomplished singer and dobro player, leader of the Good Timers, acclaimed legend of the Alphabet City Opry at 9c, the heart and soul of bluegrass in New York City. The one, the only, Sheriff Uncle Bob.

Sheriff & The Goodtimers play in the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Sunday, August 23, 2015, 3pm-6pm.
Third Wheel Band
The Third Wheel Band is an American roots group from New York City led by Ryan Langlois and Steph Allen. Since the beginning in 2010, the band has made a name for themselves with their infectious style of feel-good old timey music. With influences ranging from bluegrass and country, to folk and talking blues, to early jazz and rock 'n' roll their sound digs deep into the past. Their original tunes carry on the traditions of the American Folk songs they include in their repertoire which they lovingly provide a fresh and modern twist to.

Every performance features a rotating guest musician (or “Third Wheel” if you will) on stage. Some of the past ‘Third Wheels’ include Zack Bruce, Doug Goldstein, Eric Lee, and Greg Barresi, who was an original founding member of the band. Known for their energetic live shows, the band has been described by The Huffington Post as "impossible not to dance to" and "New York's best hidden bluegrass treasure."

The Third Wheel Band plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at  Bell House, Sunday, August 23, 2015, 5pm.

Jan Bell & The Maybelles
Jan Bell & the Maybelles features Jan Bell on lead vocals and guitar, Rima Fand on fiddle and harmony vocals, and Tina Lama on upright bass and harmony vocals. Jan Bell is a British born multi - award winning singer songwriter with six critically acclaimed albums, including Independent Music Awards Best Alt. Country album. A featured artist in The Village Voice, The Sunday Times, Nashville Scene, New Orleans City Life, Americana UK. Jan plays both sides of the pond from 'The Real Deal' Songwriter' Masters Stage at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, to Glastonbury Festival. NYC highlights include The Woody Guthrie Archives, Joe's Pub, Highline Ballroom, River to River Festival and opening for Emmylou Harris, Odetta, Wanda Jackson, Ferron, and Steve Earle. Jan Bell & The Maybelles are currently recording an album at Acme Hall Studios in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Jan Bell & the Maybelles play the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, August 23, 2015, at 6pm.
Boo Reiners & Elena Skye of
                Demolition String Band
Demolition String Band - With a shared passion for country, rock ‘n roll, bluegrass and mountain music, Elena Skye (Chicago, IL) and Boo Reiners (Charlotte, N.C.) blur the lines between these musical styles with their NYC/Hoboken based Demolition String Band. Thrilling audiences for more than a decade now with their original material mixed with traditional and not-so-traditional songs, they’ve released five albums and toured the U.S. and Europe sharing bills with acts like The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, Joan Osborne, Ricky Skaggs, Southern Culture On The Skids, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Roger McGuinn, and many others.

As the "Elena & Boo" duo they’ve logged many miles as well. “It started out as a way to deal with rising gas prices and a sagging economy and still be able to hit the road,” says Elena Skye. “But we really enjoy playing and singing harmonies around a single mic, swapping mandolin, banjo and guitars.” Touring all over New England, the southeast, the midwest, up and down the California coast and Ireland has made their show taut, dynamic and entertaining.

The Demolition String Band appear on the September 2014 release "My Name Is New York: Ramblin' Around Woody Guthrie's Town," a three disc set which includes a historic walking guide of all the places where Guthrie lived and wrote songs during his 27 year love affair with the city. “Go Coney Island Roll, On The Sand” is the rousing DSB track with lyrics by Woody Guthrie and music by Elena Skye which appears among other new collaborations from Del McCoury Band, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Jackson Browne, Jonatha Brooke and many others. The walking tour is narrated by Nora Guthrie and includes interviews with Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Bob Dylan and others. This release comes just as "21: The Best Of Demolition String Band" hits the streets, a collection of some of the band's best material from the past five albums, sure to please fans old and new alike.

Demolition String Band plays the Frontier Room at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Sunday, August 23, 2015, 630pm.
Jen Larson
Jen Larson - I am a Brooklyn-based, bluegrass and honky-tonk singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist. I also have a deep love of jazz, blues and British and Appalachian folk ballads. From 2000-2011, I played and recorded with the bluegrass band, Straight Drive. We performed from Carnegie Hall to the Wheeling Jamboree, and shared festival stages with some of the greats, including Doyle Lawson, Jessie McReynolds, The Osborne Brothers, Ronnie Reno and Dan Paisley.

I've also had the pleasure of appearing several times on Garrison Keillor's nationally-broadcast weekly radio program, "A Prairie Home Companion." Most recently, I can be found performing in and around NYC with Miller's Crossing, a Long Island-based bluegrass group led by Marjorie Kelting, and I also perform with my own ensemble, Jen Larson & Deep River. I'm as much a fan as I am a performer, and I have a tremendous amount of respect not only for the history and accomplishments of the powerful first-generation artists who defined the genre, but also for those who carry bluegrass and American roots music forward into the 21st century.

Jen Larson plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Sunday, August 23, 2015, 7pm.
Mamie Minch
Mamie Minch is one of the youngest old-school blues guitarists and singers you've heard. She sings and plays songs of her own devising that sound like they've been stored in her old National guitar for decades. Raised on the music of John Hurt, Rev. Davis and Memphis Minnie, she can sometimes sound like her predecessors, but don't mistake her for a revivalist- she is most definitely a product of her own time. Her musicianship and writing are so singular that she establishes her own musical reality, with it's own stylistic chronology. Minch is also known as one fourth of the Roulette Sisters, and is a member of the group Midnight Hours with Jolie Holland and JC Hopkins. She has shared the stage with Smokey Hormel, Dayna Kurtz, C.W. Stoneking, and lots of other fabulous musical friends.

Mamie Minch plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, August 23, 2015, 8pm.
Ramblin' Jack Elliot
Ramblin' Jack Elliot is a National Medal of The Arts recipient for his contribution to American folk music, a five-time Grammy nominee and a two-time Grammy winner. He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.

At seventy-seven, Ramblin' Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal.  You'll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.

"Nobody I know—and I mean nobody—has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you're about to meet right now.  He's got a song and a friend for every mile behind him.  Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin' Jack Elliott." - Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969.

"His tone of voice is sharp, focused and piercing.   All that and he plays the guitar effortlessly in a fluid flat-picking perfected style.  He was a brilliant entertainer....  Most folk musicians waited for you to come to them.  Jack went out and grabbed you.....  Jack was King of the Folksingers."  - Bob Dylan,  Chronicles: Volume One

Ramblin' Jack Elliot plays the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House, Sunday, August 23, 2015 at 9pm.
Smokey's Roundup
Smokey's Round-up celebrates Western Swing with the songs of Bob Wills, Milton Brown, Cindy Walker and others. Guitarist Smokey Hormel and his red-hot band play regularly in Brooklyn.

“My introduction to Western Swing happened by chance at a young age. When I was a teenager looking to study Jazz guitar, a referral from Barney Kessell lead to the good fortune of finding one of the all time great swing guitarists, Jimmy Wyble. Jimmy taught me all about Western Swing, two-line improvisation and introduced me to the music of Charlie Christian. I listened over and over again to Charlie's recordings with the Benny Goodman sextet and traded in my Fender Stratocaster for a Gretsch ‘Jazz box.’ I bought an Arhoolie Western Swing compilation that introduced me to Milton Brown and his Brownies, and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. I dreamed of one day playing hot swing music all dressed up in cowboy duds.

Ten years later that dream came true when I joined LA band The Radio Ranch Straight-Shooters. We played music by Western Swing artists from the 40s. For a few years we opened big shows for various punk rock bands in the L.A. area. Even though I was eventually lured away from the Straight-shooters to play other kinds of music with a wide variety of artists, I always had a deep love of the music of my hero Jimmy Wyble in the back of my mind.

In 2006 in New York City I was asked to play some Western Swing for the recording of an episode of the Nickelodeon cartoon The Backyardigans. I had so much fun playing with the fiddle player Charlie Burnham on that session that I decided it was time to start my own Western Swing band. We started playing on Wednesday nights at Sunny's Tavern, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Redhook. There in the corner of an old longshoreman's bar we worked out songs by Milton Brown, Bob Wills, Cindy Walker, and others, as well as some more contemporary songs by my great friend Tracy Theilen.

These regular Smokey's Round-up gigs have become a life–saver for me. They have allowed me to keep my spirits up through hard times, and to continue the tradition of this great music that I love so much.”

Smokey's Roundup play the Main Event Hall at The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Bell House on Sunday, August 23, 2015, 11pm.

The Tenth Brooklyn Country Music Festival
at The Bell House
August 20-23, 2015
Click pictures to watch performances on YouTube!
North of Amarillo by Brian Geltner Miss Tess & The Talkbacks Aron Blue & the Bootleggers The Brain Cloud by Ahron R. Foster Jack Grace Band by Joao Castellano Andrew Sovine by JW Photograph Abby Hollander Band Your Ex Girlfriends by Marc McAndrews Andy Friedman by Chris Sikich Julia Haltigan by Marc McAndrews Gangstagrass by Michael Bush Sit & Die co CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree by Alex Battles Bob Jones and Jon Sholle Terry Radigan  The Paisley Fields Lil' Mo & The Monicats Zephanaiah O'Hora & The 18 Wheelers Linda Hill as Lindy Loo Western Caravan The Defibulators Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers Sheriff Uncle Bob with guitar Third Wheel Band Jan Bell & the Maybelles
Demolition String Band - Boo Reiners &
                    Elena Skye Jen Larson Mamie Minch by Reuben Radding
Ramblin' Jack Elliot Smokey's Roundup
 Bell House, 149 7th St., B'klyn

past Brooklyn Country Music Festivals

9th Brooklyn country Music Festival

7th Brooklyn Country Music Festival
6th Brooklyn Country Music Festival Poster

5th Brooklyn Country Music Festival

2nd brooklyn country music festival
1st Brooklyn Country Music Festival