Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jalopy Jam

Friday night, Kathy & I drove into Brooklyn to meet our friend Steph, eat some tapas, and check out the music at a little performance space called Jalopy. The place was great -- they served coffee, beer and wine, and the performance area (the seats on the edges comfy-style, the ones in the center like pews) was one-of-a-kind. The walls were lined with odd, handmade guitars, banjos and fiddles -- made from frying pans, cigar boxes, turtle shells, and a wooden clog. A big head of some decapitated statue peers eerily into the audience.

And the music! We only heard a little bit of the first act (Hillary Hawke and Hot Owl), but I can tell you they play a great version of "The Cuckoo." But soon they were off, and the Kings County Strings took the stage. A Brooklyn bluegrass group, they had a ball with their set, playing with speed, precision and heart -- truly a treat to listen to.

After they wrapped up, they mentioned that they'd be setting up in the audience space with some of the other people in the audience, and would just jam for a while. Turns out the room was full of some amazing pickers. Kathy, Steph and I stuck around to enjoy some more music, spontaneous and warm, before braving the cold. The cluster of musicians were still playing when we left -- playing for their peers, and for the sheer exuberance the music brings.


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