Brooklyn Country Music Festival Day One

Alex Battles Presents

Brooklyn Country Music Festival Day One

Jack Grace Band, The Brain Cloud, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks, Andrew Sovine, The Paisley Fields, North Of Amarillo

Thursday · August 20, 2015

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm


Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Brooklyn Country Music Festival Day One
Brooklyn Country Music Festival Day One
The 10th Brooklyn Country Music Festival at The Bell House. A four day event hosted by Alex Battles and Linda Hill with DJ Honky Tonk Radio Girl.
Jack Grace Band
Jack Grace Band
Jack'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.

Five 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. His most recent release, Drinking Songs for Lovers, features some fine country numbers, but he added mariachi horns to give them a Latin flavor, inspired by his yearly pilgrimage to Tulum, Mexico, where he likes to write songs on the beach. His previous album was a bossa nova-influenced country concept album called The Martini Cowboy.

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."

Kevin Canfield, writing for the New York Times, once exclaimed, "Make no mistake: Jack Grace is an old-fashioned country musician." Except that he isn't. His band rocks too hard to be country. And the band members come from all walks of life: jazz, rock, country and, well, other. Bassist, vocalist and wife Daria (Melomane, Pre-war Ponies) keeps the rhythm going with the rotating drummers, Russ Meissner, Jason "J-Bird" Bowman and Bruce Martin (Tom Tom Club). Horns are provided by J. Walter Hawkes, Rob Henke and "Tuba Joe" Exley.
The Brain Cloud
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.
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
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).

Their most recent release, The Love I Have For You, (2013 Signature Sounds Recordings) features six covers and one new original, and pays homage to some of Tess's favorite singers and songwriters including Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Ted Hawkins, Randy Newman, and Hank Williams. The album was produced by Miss Tess & The Talkbacks and recorded and mixed by Devin Greenwood (Norah Jones, Anais Mitchell, Amos Lee) in Brooklyn, NY. "Each artist we covered has held a special place in the history of our lives, as well as in the history of American music," says Miss Tess. "These folks are all musical giants who dedicated their lives to music, and for that I hold them in the highest esteem."

Miss Tess & the Talkbacks have won fans from New York City to New Orleans and Alabama to Alaska. Over the years they have shared the stage with the likes of Lake Street Dive, NRBQ, The Holmes Brothers, Eilen Jewell, and Todd Snider. The band has graced stages at Blissfest, Cayamo, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Floydfest, Ossippee Valley Music Festival, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, Burlington Jazz Festival, and Green River Festival. Miss Tess's music has been heard from coast to coast on taste maker programs such as XM/Sirius's The Loft, NPR's Folk Alley, Santa Cruz's KPIG and Boston's WUMB.

Miss Tess grew up in Maryland, where she took piano lessons at an early age. She went to college in Baltimore, intending to be a graphic artist. While there, she dabbled in guitar, but it wasn't until the end of her studies that she began taking it seriously. Once she became more confident as a musician, she started studying jazz and writing songs. Miss Tess then put together her first band. Having grown up listening to her parents' bands playing big band swing, folk, country and dixieland music, these rootsy styles came naturally to her.

After a move to Boston, Miss Tess took a few classes at Berklee College of Music and formed a new band with a few fellow jazz students. Miss Tess quickly established herself as a songwriter and performer in the storied Boston music scene, playing regularly at local clubs. Over four years she won a Boston Music Award, and was nominated several other times in the Folk and Jazz categories. Miss Tess later moved to Brooklyn and has been there for almost five years. She has since developed her sound to include more classic country, rockabilly and vintage rock 'n' roll.

"Nashville meets chic." -- Village Voice

"I don't know of anyone else right now touring in the Americana scene that has such an eclectic, jazzy, old school and interesting vibe. There's an authenticity present in Miss Tess' music. It is not contrived, not too far a stretch for the skeptical imagination. She is real. And she is rare." -- No Depression
Andrew Sovine
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.
The Paisley Fields
The Paisley Fields
"Headlights hitting us like two suns, as we crawled out of the water caught in the middle of our love/Laughing, running through the night, your hand caught mine, and we almost floated up above that endless countryside" croons singer/songwriter/pianist James Wilson, on "Windows Fogged up in Your Pickup Truck." The song is on the debut EP for Brooklyn-based alt-country band, The Paisley Fields.

With lyrics like these, it is easy to see why James is a two time ASCAP songwriters' award winner. The Paisley Fields award-winning sound is rounded out with mezzo soprano Jessica Kimple. Jessica has performed in operas throughout the world including the famed Metropolitan Opera House. The band's drummer, Rob Knopper, is a percussionist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He recently received a GRAMMY for Best Opera Recording for his work with the Met. Rob is also an accomplished ragtime xylophone player. Guitarist and sound engineer Joe Kimple is finishing his degree in music production and engineering at the McNally Smith College of Music. Joe has also done sound engineering for acclaimed hip hop artist P.O.S.

The Paisley Fields plays a mix of country, blues, and rock, drawing inspiration from musicians as varied as Dolly Parton, Tori Amos, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen.

"We are at once country, bohemian, and post-modern musicians," James states. "We are inspired by current artists, but are also deeply inspired by the music we grew up with in the Midwest, as well as musicians from the 50s and 60s."

Growing up in a one stop light town, James grew to love country music at a young age. His last musical incarnation as post punk musician Frightened Cellar was a much darker, more introspective endeavor. For James, The Paisley Fields represents both a return to his rural roots and a maturing of his sound.

The proof is in the music. Though the band is less than a year old, The Paisley Fields has completed two tours and were named one of the top 10 country bands in New York City.
North Of Amarillo
North Of Amarillo
Inspired by the music of Emmylou Harris & The Hot Band, this NYC collective pays tribute to her classic songs and arrangements along with a mix of originals and other country favorites. North of Amarillo features some of NY's most in demand musicians including Kelli Scarr on Vocals, Luca Benedetti and Jason Loughlin on Telecaster Guitars, Jonny Lam on Pedal Steel Guitar, Scott Colberg on Bass and Arthur Vint on drums.
Venue Information:
The Bell House
149 7th Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11215