News & Rambling

News & Rambling

Johnny Cash Birthday Bash at littlefield, February 24 & 25, 2017

Johnny Cash Birthday Bash at Littlefield starring Alex Battles & The Whisky Rebellion.

The Johnny Cash Birthday Bash will be at Littlefield on Friday, February 24, 2017 and Saturday, February 25, 2017.

Since 2005, Alex Battles has hosted an annual celebration of the Man In Black. Joined by his band, The Whisky Rebellion, Battles sings a calvalcade of favorites including “Big River”, “Folsom Prison Blues“, “Ring of Fire“, “Jackson”, “I Walk The Line”, “I’ve Been Everywhere“, “One Piece at a Time”, “I Still Miss Someone”, “Daddy Sang Bass“, and many, many more!

Tickets to this event are now available for online purchase.

Johnny Cash Birthday Bash
Friday, February 24, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
littlefield
622 Degraw Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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Have Fun Writing Songs at Jalopy School of Music, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Have Fun Writing Songs starts Tuesday, November 1, at the Jalopy Theatre & School of MusicHave Fun Writing Songs with Alex Battles
Tuesdays at 7pm

November 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd
In this course, students will learn the songwriting theories of local songwriter Alex Battles. Each week, students will discuss their favorite music followed by a session in which they will create some of their own. The only musical requirement for this class is the stated desire to sing an original song to another person. Students will be welcome – but not required – to share their creations with each other in subsequent weeks.
Each week, students will be required to bring a writing implement they enjoy utilizing, as well as a paper tablet or notebook of their choosing. Musical instruments of any type – other than the human voice – are not necessary for this course. After the first week, students will be welcome –but not required – to bring instruments for self-accompaniment of newly created works.
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10th Brooklyn Country Music Festival, August 20-23, 2015 at Bell House

The 10th Brooklyn Country Music FestivalThe 10th Brooklyn Country Music Festival presents four days of country and bluegrass music Homegrown in New York City on August 20-23, 2015 at The Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn, New York.

Legendary folk musician Ramblin’ Jack Elliot will headline the show on Sunday, August 23, 2015, following a set by Brooklyn’s own Mamie Minch. Over two dozen bands will join in the festivities over four days which will be hosted by festival organizer Alex Battles & and comedienne Linda Hill.

The Brooklyn Country Music Festival has seen nine installments at venues such as Freddy’s Bar, Southpaw, Hank’s Saloon, and Jalopy. This will be the first Brooklyn Country Music Festival at The Bell House.

Pick a day and bring your friends! Tickets start at just $15 for Thursday and Friday! Four day passes just $50!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

North of Amarillo / Miss Tess & The Talkbacks / The Paisley Fields / The Brain Cloud / Jack Grace Band / Andrew Sovine & Friends

Friday, August 21, 2015

Julia Haltigan / Your Ex-Girlfriends / Aron Blue & The Bootleggers / Andy Friedman & The Other Failures / Gangstagrass / Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die C0.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree / Bob Jones & Jon Sholle / Terry Radigan / Lil’ Mo & the Monicats / Zephaniah & the 18 Wheelers / Lindy Loo & Her Lucky Fellers / Western Caravan featuring Thirsty Dave / The Defibulators / Sean Kershaw & The New Jack Ramblers

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sheriff & The Goodtimers / Third Wheel Band / Jan Bell & the Maybelles / Demolition String Band / Abby Hollander Band / Mamie Minch / Ramblin’ Jack Elliot

The Bell House is located at 149 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Tickets are on sale now at The Bell House.

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The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree, First Thursday of Every Month at Freddy’s

The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree, First Thursday of Every Month at Freddy's Bar

 

The first Thursday of every month at Freddy’s Bar, friends gather for The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree, a sing and stomp-along to the classic country songbook. Patrons are welcome to bring an instrument along and pick from the crowd, or learn the words to an old country song to sing from stage or from your seat.

Alex Battles started The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree as a jam for folks looking to play, old, popular country songs together. The first CasHank was the final event of the 1st Brooklyn Country Music Festival at Freddy’s in 2004. From July 2004 – September 2009, Buttermilk was the home of the CasHank. During this time, the CasHank grew to resemble the band of regulars  who re-lit the fire at Freddy’s Bar in November 2011. Gary Keenan, an original CasHank-er from 2004, now hosts the evening, with assistance from Alan Lee Backer, Glenn Spivak, The Old Perfesser, Diego Britt, and Alex Battles.

At it’s best, the CasHank is a group of friends gathered around a jukebox created from the simplest ingredients, memorable songs and easy chords.

The CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree

First Thursday of Every Month

Freddy’s Bar

627 5th Avenue., Brooklyn, NY

February 5, 2015 / March 5, 2015 / April 2, 2015 / May 7, 2015

June 4, 2015 / July 2, 2015 / August 6, 2015 / September 3, 2015

October 1, 2015 / November 5, 2015 / December 3, 2015 / January 7, 2016

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The “wood block” song & The NPR Tiny Desk Contest. #tinydeskcontest

NPR has just informed me that my song “wood block” is an official entrant into Tiny Desk Contest. I am obviously thrilled to be involved. They have asked that I post a little more about the song. I am glad to oblige here.

In December, I received a message from a friend telling me about the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. I promised to do her proud. I set about recording various new songs I’ve written this year, just to test them out and see how they’d sound. At the end of the session, I decided to try out “wood block”, a song I’d been working on for awhile, but never performed or recorded in it’s entirety.

I started writing “wood block” because it just seems so unnecessary that people still kill each other in this day and age. It frustrated me that it was so hard to write a song that would just chill everyone out and say, hey, that’s not nice. Let’s be nice. We’re all just people, and in some way, we all really like each other. We’re all being shown a million things every day that promise to make our lives better. For some reason, the thought just popped into my head, “What if everyone just needs a wood block?”

I write songs in various ways. Occasionally, I’m lucky enough to write three verses and a chorus in one shot and be done with it. But, in many cases, I find a translation which occurs between the head and the pen, where the head’s honesty fights the pen’s cleverness for the truth of the song. I always try to focus on that fact that I write songs because I want to remember something about that moment in time. What I remember of what I’ve written is what matters. That’s what ends up becoming the song. I often like to think of songs as pieces of pottery in the kiln of your heart. You fire them, you glaze them, you fire them again, then one day you’re drinking coffee out of them. When they’re useful, they’re songs.

“Wood block” took shape over two months. For awhile, it was just a little melody I’d find myself singing. Then I’d share bits of it with friends. It was such a personal song, that I didn’t even want to write any of it down until I was sure I knew where it was headed. I wanted to let my memory write the song, because my memory would be on the hook for singing it again if anyone were to ask.

After reviewing my footage from the day’s recording, I found the “wood block” song had the most I wanted to say and remember about being a part of the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. There was only one problem. Since I hadn’t dreamed I’d be using the take, I’d left my unsightly bedhead showing. Through the magic of the Ken Burns effect on iMovie, I was able crop out most of it and still pan down to show the desk where my typewriter sits. I’m very glad it was accepted into the NPR Tiny Desk Contest. I would like to thank my friend Susanna for telling me about the contest and the folks at NPR for helping me to get this song out to the world.

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Copyright 2014 Alex Battles.