A Sunday in the City: The Scratcher, The Weal and Woe, and Thee Shambels
Hi folks – it’s Shannon Brown from Trailer Radio bloggin’ at you live from NYC. And I’m a-gonna give you a peek into our country music landscape as seen through the false eyelashes of a hillbilly in Gotham.
Being a WV native, the number one question people ask me is “Why did you come to NYC?” with a tone that suggests I was bumped my head and arrived here by mistake. Fact is, I love this town because you can get anything you want here. You can even get country music in a wide variety of flavors.
Sunday night was the perfect example. I got a manicure (nails painted black, very goth) in the West Village, had a little sushi in the East Village, and then I went to an Irish pub called The Scratcher (209 East 5th Street near Bowery) for some country music by The Weal and Woe and Thee Shambels.
This was my first time at The Scratcher, which has an acoustic live music series on Sunday nights. The place has a comfy, friendly atmosphere, and I should say they make a bomb-ass cosmopolitan. What struck me is the respect The Scratcher gives musicians. They actually ask the crowd to be quiet and pay courteous attention as the bands are performing; a rarity in a town that seems to thrive on noise. One young lady chowing down on takeout pizza and clearly high on mozzarella got too loud and was politely shushed by management. I tipped them extra for that.
I’ve seen Thee Shambels a few times before – but The Weal and Woe was new to me. And what a delight they are: a 4-person group that plays vintage country/hillbilly music with fiddle, lap steel and tasty harmony singing! I personally dig old-timey country music ala Loretta Lynn, The Carter Family, Buck Owens and the like, and this is exactly the type of music they played. They were so good I bought their new EP called The One To Blame, which was produced by Emmy-nominated artist Rench from the band, Gangstagrass. Learn more about The Weal and Woe at www.thewealandwoe.com.
Photo by Shannon Brown
Thee Shambels is fronted by a buddy of mine, Neville Elder, a British transplant who came all the way from across the pond to bring NYC his own brand of klezmer, folk and Americana…but with a dark and humorous twist. Their website describes it best: “Brooklyn based Thee Shambels tell stories full of heartbreak and longing, runaway junkies and cannibalism on the trail. “ Every time I see Thee Shambels, they knock my socks off, especially with my fave tune “Jenny Come Back” from their EP titled Jenny’s Waltz, available for your instant gratification at www.shambels.com.
In other news…my band Trailer Radio is going to be performing at the John Brown Smokehouse in Astoria, Queens on Tuesday 4/10 & Tuesday 5/8 from 7:00-9:00pm. John Brown’s offers some of the best BBQ to ever pass Yankee lips, and we’re going to play two acoustic sets. If you’re in town, please join us for some amazing brisket and free entertainment! Details are available at www.trailerradio.com.
So that’s the skinny from the city. If you’re a country artist in NYC, a regional artist travelling through, or just someone wanting to say hello please shoot me an email at email@example.com.
~ Shannon Brown
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Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.