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Banjo Jims NYC Session

Charley Noble 15 Jan 10 - 01:35 PM
Charley Noble 15 Jan 10 - 05:40 PM
Charley Noble 16 Jan 10 - 08:52 AM
Ernest 16 Jan 10 - 11:25 AM
Charley Noble 16 Jan 10 - 05:21 PM
Charley Noble 17 Jan 10 - 09:36 AM
fretless 17 Jan 10 - 08:30 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 10 - 09:34 AM
Nancy King 18 Jan 10 - 09:58 AM
Trevor Thomas 18 Jan 10 - 11:35 AM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 10 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Booklynrose sans cookie 18 Jan 10 - 09:29 PM
Charley Noble 18 Jan 10 - 09:43 PM
fretless 19 Jan 10 - 09:30 AM
Charley Noble 19 Jan 10 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 01:35 PM

Some of my folk music friends have mentioned this gathering as something I have to experience while revisiting New York City. Ken Schatz is the prime organizer and evidently it has been very successful.
The location is in what I'd call East Greenwich Village and a wide range of folk music is encouraged, although primarily songs with choruses. The next event is this Sunday, beginning 7 pm, and I plan to be there. Here's a Facebook link with the pertinent details: Click here for website!

See you there!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, adrift in NYC


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 05:40 PM

Not a nibble.

Curious.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 08:52 AM

This may be one of those events that only resonates in the New York City area. Maybe mentioning the name of the venue "Banjo Jim's" in the thread title scared people here away. The actual name for the event is "Exceedingly Good Song Night" which is a bit of a mouth full and no one I talked to here called it that!

It's also true that few of the New York folk music crowd are active on Mudcat anymore to reinforce this thread.

This evening is the Chantey Sing at the Seamen's Church in the South Street Seaport area, which I also plan to attend.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble in Brooklyn


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Ernest
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 11:25 AM

Maybe it is because a lot of us are too far away from New York?

Whatever, have fun!

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 05:21 PM

Ernest-

Thanks for the nibble.

It's always important to prospect new venues for those of us who occasionally drift through NYC, and this one has a lot of potential from what I've gathered.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 09:36 AM

Well after the great turnout at the South Street chantey sing, I'll be curious who turns up for this event. Frank Woerner has promised to meet me there, and help ensure that I don't get into too much trouble.

Yesterday, my brother took me out to Staten Island to revisit Sailors Snug Harbor. It's an impressive institution that was set up in the early 19th century as a retirement home for old sailors. The old sailors are no longer in residence but the museum folks have done a great job of renovating the buildings and using them for nautical displays and community purposes. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the John Noble (no relation!) exhibit of nautical art.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, still exploring deepest darkest NYC


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: fretless
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 08:30 PM

Sailors Snug Harbor is a great place -- underutilized back when I was living in NYC, and perhaps still today. Great spot for a picnic in the summer. Should be a great venue for outdoor concerts at that time of year. No doubt chilly with the wind blowing off the water in January. Herman Melville's broother was the governor of the facility back in the 19th cent.

There is still a reasonably large contingent in NYC of people who enjoy OT and bluegrass music but I don't think, as you suggest, that many are on Mudcat. Back in the 70s and early 80s, the old Eagle Tavern on 14th Street got good turnouts for OT jams on Thursday nights and OT/BG music on Saturdays. But I haven't lived in NYC for more than a decade, and I don't know where that music hangs out nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 09:34 AM

Banjo Jim's "Exceedingly Good Song Night" may be one of NYC's best kept secrets. However, the 40 or so people there last evening certainly knew all about it and were well prepared to sing out and sing along. The next event, I believe, will be the first Sunday of February.

I successfully navigated my van from Brooklyn over to the Lower East Side, no easy task for some out-of-towners solo but I do have a Ph.D. in urban geography. No sooner had I parked the van, hitched up my backpack, when I was approached by a lovely young women, Nicoll, who invited me to join her and some friends for dinner before the event. Not seeing any threatening hulks in the shadows I shifted tack and set course for a snug berth at a nearby bistro. Already there was Heather Wood and we were soon joined by Ken Schatz and four others. It certainly made for a warm welcome.

After dinner we walked across the street to Banjo Jim's and settled in on the semi-circle of stools. It didn't take long for the space to fill up, and what surprised and delighted me was the large proportion of folks in their twenties. The theme for the evening was towns, cities, and states. No one led "My State's Name Here" but folks certainly made a good faith effort to fill in the map.

Frank Woerner led things off with "Nelson's Prayer" and things just got better and better. Most of the songs were led unaccompanied, although there was a guitar player and a concertina that filled in at times, sometimes very well and sometimes in an entirely different key.

Ken ended the session around 10 pm with "West Indies Blues" which he asked me to introduce, and I was happy to provide what I knew about family friend Ella Madison who composed the Charleston verses.

For geography I featured the Lower East Side with a rousing rendition of "A Ballad of the Old Navy" based on a World War 1 vintage poem that I've adapted for singing by Burt Franklin Jenness. The verses describe in graphic detail a spree and brawl ashore.

I had no trouble navigating back to Brooklyn. What a lovely City, and what friendly people!

This morning I need to repack the van and scuttle back through the sleet and snow to Maine.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Nancy King
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 09:58 AM

Glad you enjoyed it, Charley. I hope to make the scene myself one of these days, but I don't get to NYC very often. Also glad to hear there were a lot of young folks there -- creating a venue for younger people to enjoy traditional music has been one of Ken's goals from the outset in organizing the Exceedingly Good Song Night series. Seems to be working!

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 11:35 AM

I was in New York two years ago. I happened to hear of Banjo Jim's because I picked up a newsletter when I went on a small pilgrimage to the Mandolin Brothers shop on Staten Island. It turned out they were having a 'mandolin festival' that selfsame night. We went on the subway, which we found easy enough, and had no difficulty finding the place.

I was made to feel very welcome, everyone in the place was very friendly, (in contrast to what I'd been told about New York) and the music was excellent. I'd certainly encourage anyone living in the area, or passing through, to support the place.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 06:55 PM

Nancy-

It really is a great space, location, and a wonderful group of singers.

Thanks again for the hospitality!

I'm now back in Maine after a leisurely drive up I-95, stopping off at Chicken Little's in Mystic for lunch.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: GUEST,Booklynrose sans cookie
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 09:29 PM

The Exceedingly Good Song Night, led by Ken Schatz, is indeed an exceedingly good session for singers. The Folk Music Society of New York (aka New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club) is another source for singing, holding several informal participatory singing gatherings every month, including the Chantey Session at the Seaman's Church Institute that Charlie mentioned. See the Folk Music Society's web site at www.folkmusicny.org.
We welcome all who like to sing or play folk/roots music.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Jan 10 - 09:43 PM

Booklynrose (most likely BRooklynrose)-

Thanks for adding additional information on how to find traditional style music in the Greater New York City area. It takes a lot of hard work to nurture any of these gatherings and events.

But I'll note that there hasn't been much recent effort to publicize these events on this forum, and you and others shouldn't count on random visitors from Maine to do that work.

That being said I would encourage others from outside and inside New York City to participate in the chantey sessions at the Seamen's Church in the South Street Seaport area and Banjo Jim's folk music gatherings, and anything else that is publicized by Pine Woods Folk Music Club.

One other folk music monthly event that I haven't been able to attend is the first Wednesday gathering at the Ethical Cultural Center near Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. It's about three blocks from my brother's house and I'm still never been able to make it.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: fretless
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 09:30 AM

The Brooklyn Ethical Society used to have weekly folk programs on Friday nights (The Good Coffee House). That series started back in the 1970s. I hope the Wednesday night programs are in addition to that and not a replacement.


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Subject: RE: Banjo Jims NYC Session
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:02 AM

Fretless-

Don't know about Friday night folk programs at the Ethical Society.

Frank Woerner and Alison Kelley were the two people I know who are actively coordinating what's going on now.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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