On the front page of today's Arts and Leisure section, there's a photo of Sunny's Bar in Red Hook, accompanying an article about new artistic hot spots in New York. Sitting at the bar are three musicians I play with several times a week: Fred Skellenger, a mandolinist who runs the Ponkiesburg Pickin' Party, the jam I play at every week in Park Slope; Fran Leadon, the guitarist and singer who ran that jam before Fred; and Liza who plays mandolin. In the background is Nancy Hunt, and her husband Andrew's shoulder; Andy is a knockout country songwriter and Nancy a great singer. Fred's band Copper Kettle appears at Sunny's regularly, and Fran's band, the Y'all Stars, play there and at the Parkside; last Saturday night I was up till two in the morning playing at Sunny's with Fran and Charles and last night I did a gig with Kate and Lou at Sunny's..
These folks are all part of the Brooklyn trad music scene I wrote about a few days ago; I believe everyone in that picture was at the Parkside for the John Herald tribute, except perhaps for Fred.
The moral of this story is: Spend more time in bars. Especially Sunny's, which is surely the most magical indoor place in Brooklyn.
And speaking of spending time in bars: a reminder that tonight is my show at the Parkside. I've been writing up a storm, so there will be two brand-new songs, and two that have only been played out once (one at the last Orange Bear gig, the other at the infamous typhoon gig on the Upper East Side in November). There's a slight possibility that last one will be dumped in favor of an even newer song but that depends on whether I finish it today.