Country Bands Crank Up Heat In NYC

Hi folks – it’s Shannon Brown from  Trailer Radio bloggin’ at you live from NYC.

I write this with a trickle of sweat dripping down my back.  I’m not complaining, mind you, I like it hot.  After a freakishly warm winter, NYC bypassed spring and landed squarely on summer.  The sun is beating down on my right arm.  My left arm is holding it’s fourth cup of hot coffee.  I’m like a powder keg…could burst into flames at any moment.

Global warming aside, it could just be the country music scene scorching the town.  There were at least two more country bands that cropped up in recent weeks,  The Bluegrass Conspiracy and  The Boot Heel Drag.  And last weekend offered a smorgasbord of country music including  Joe Cassady and the West End Sound and a whole evening of music dubbed The Whiskey Revue at  Brooklyn Rod and Gun.  

I hadn’t been to Brooklyn Rod & Gun before…so I called my BFF, Teresa, and we headed out for an adventure.  Brooklyn Rod & Gun (59 Kent Ave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) is not just any old bar mind you; they are a private social club that opens its doors to guests who appreciate a fine night of music.  It’s tucked away on the edge of Brooklyn by the East River and if someone didn’t invite you to stop by, you’d probably never find it on your own.  It’s an intimate venue (in NYC that means real small).  Standing about 5’11” in my new summer wedges my noggin’ met the overhang on the bar and I had to be careful not to brain myself.  The place is like a hunting lodge library with a large wooden family-style table in the center of the room, bookshelves, and taxidermy on the walls and if you didn’t know you were in Brooklyn, you’d think you were down south.  In short…Tons.Of.Charm.

The Whiskey Revue is a night of old-timey and bluegrass tunes and the springtime edition brought three bands:  Matt Wissler, The Habit and my good friends, The Buddy Hollers.  The night began with Matt Wissler playing solo – just vocals and guitar. I’ve known Matt for a while, he’s a regular on the Brooklyn country scene and plays a mean guitar, but I’ve never heard him solo before.  I have to say I was impressed – his music is delightful, his personality is charming.  What’s not to love about that?

The Habit was totally new to me, never heard of them before.  Their first tune was so soft and mellow I could hear my peanut shells hitting the floor.  But that was simply a warm up to some full-blown raucous Americana with some killer harmonies by singers Will Croxton, Siobhan Glennon and Brian Mendes.  My buddy, Teresa was loving it and whispers…“Her voice reminds me of Miranda Lambert”.  The group also includes Tyler Holzer, James Pelletier and Eli Thomas.


The Buddy Hollers at Brooklyn Rod & Gun

Photo by Shannon Brown





Last, but certainly not least, my pals  The Buddy Hollers took the stage and kicked things into hillbilly overdrive just as I changed my drink from wine to whiskey.  The Buddy Hollers is Jake Calvert, Matthew Fletcher, Carin Gorrell, Eric Strickler and Chet Hartin and they never disappoint.  The energy of the group coupled with the down-home music and vocals pack a punch are always crowd pleasers.  As hosts of The Whiskey Revue, The Buddy Hollers invited all the evening’s musicians to the stage at the end of the night for a honky tonk sing-a-long that takes you to church just before the clock strikes midnight on Sunday morning.

Coming up this week… While  Trailer Radio works up some new tunes for our upcoming gigs, I’ll be singing background vocals with  Karen Hudson River Band at An Beal Bocht in the Bronx.  Karen is an honest to goodness urban country girl born and bred on Long Island and preparing to release her latest album, Sonic Bloom, in coming months.

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

~ Shannon Brown


Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.