Deli man Ziggy Gruber dishes out Spring Valley recipes deep in the heart of Texas

Deli man Ziggy Gruber, right. (Cohen Media Group)


Third-generation deli man Ziggy Gruber never set out to star in a movie — all he wanted to do was help keep the kosher deli tradition alive.

David Ziegfeld Gruber — who caught the deli bug 38 years ago at his family’s Spring Valley restaurant, Cresthill Kosher Deli — possesses an oversized personality, the gift of gab and an unquestioning love of the hearty fare that sustained his ancestors.
Those characteristics helped propel him into the lead of “Deli Man,” a culture-and-cuisine documentary released on DVD earlier this month.
Gruber talked with me about his Rockland County roots in an interview published Saturday in The Journal News and online at lohud.com. Go here to read the full article

Hamell on Trial is guilty — of speaking his mind

Ed Hamell, ordinary suburban single dad by day, is a ferocious punk-folk singer-songwriter who goes by Hammell on Trial. He has a new album, “The Happiest Man in The World. ”(Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

Ed Hamell, ordinary suburban single dad by day, is a ferocious punk-folk singer-songwriter who goes by Hammell on Trial. (Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

I had the great pleasure a few weeks ago of spending an hour or two at lunch with Ed Hamell, a unique singer-songwriter I’ve admired for many years. He’s a doting dad by day who’s been living quietly in Ossining while unleashing his raw, punk-influenced songs on the road.

He’s on the road at the moment, and should be in Las Vegas getting ready for a live album recording session at Southwestern Recording Studios on Thursday. He’s waxing all new material that he feels really good about.

“I think its going to be my toughest, most uncompromising stuff yet,” he tells me. “It’s about the decline and fall of America.”

Heady stuff, indeed.

His next show near home is scheduled for Aug. 7, when he appears on a bill with Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez at Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, New York. Doors open at 5 p.m., with the show at 9. Tickets are $15.$25 and available by tapping or clicking here.

Meanwhile, here’s a taste of our conversation:

Offstage, he’s Detroit’s dad, a regular guy — albeit an unusually outgoing one.

Onstage, as Hammell on Trial, he’s a sweaty, Red Bull-fueled ball of energy, singing his highly opinionated lyrics loudly while bashing away furiously on an amplified pre-war Gibson acoustic guitar. He even does what he calls a “face solo,” shaking his head wildly from side-to-side, relaxing his facial muscles to achieve a thoroughly comical, rubbery effect.

Read the full interview on lohud.com. TAP OR CLICK HERE NOW.

 

Singer-Songwriter Jamie Block’s independent film gets East Coast premiere in Brooklyn next week

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

When I met Jamie Block for the first time, back in 2013, the onetime anti-folk singer-songwriter he was on the comeback trail. The longtime Rockland County resident had gotten through a difficult time in his life. By his own account, he had hit bottom and found his way up again before releasing the impressive “Whitecaps on the Hudson,” his first album in seven years.

His effort to promote that album led to a relationship with Brooklyn filmmaker Onur Turkel, which at first apparently was intended to produce some music videos. But things blossomed and what resulted is a full-length comedy, “Abby Singer/Songwriter,”  starring Block, daughters Johanna and Sophie, and the filmmaker. And you’ll be able to see it here in the New York City area for the first time next week.

I’ve seen clips, which are quite funny, but haven’t seen the finished product yet. So here’s a description of it from a film festive website:

A comedy with real heart, Abby Singer, Songwriter tells the tale of a filmmaker and a musician who meet and start working together in a union that at times seems the most ill-fated creative partnership in history. Luckily for us, it’s also one of the funniest, as terrible music video ideas come to life, recurring jokes land perfectly and don’t hold back on political correctness and the film builds layer upon layer of character driven conundrums to form its perfect NYC-set universe. Featuring real-life musician Jamie Block and real-life director Onur Tukel playing fictionalized versions of themselves, the film is a throwback to great independent films as a unique story and structure pay off in spades. As Jamie tries to survive Onur and make a real connection with his daughters he must also face the prospect that the two things are becoming increasingly, hilariously intertwined.

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INTERVIEW: Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett join Orleans & Friends at Tarrytown Music Hall Friday night

Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett (Photo by Emily Spires

Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett (Photo by Emily Spires

Throwback Thursday’s got nothing on Friday night’s lineup at Tarrytown Music Hall.

The acoustic duo of Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat, the legendary rootsy band that’s been going strong since 1969, opens the evening for New York’s own Orleans, which formed in Ithaca in 1972.

That’s four decades of rock ‘n roll!

These artists will be doing a string of shows together in the coming weeks.

The Music Hall gig is “the first show we’ve ever done with them,” Barrere tells Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? by phone from his Los Angeles-area home. “This’ll be an interesting soiree.”

“John Hall [Orleans’ frontman] and I have been swapping mp3s of different songs and stuff, and I think they’ll probably play a couple with us,” Barrere says. “Fred and I will do our usual acoustic opening set and we’ll get a little help on a couple of songs. And then they’ll do their set and we’ll probably jump in at the end of theirs. So it’ll be kinda cool.”

While the two acts haven’t played live together before, Barrere notes that he and Tackett share some history with Hall, who was a Democrat who represented the Hudson Valley’s 19th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011.

“John played on the original recording of [Little Feat’s] ‘All That You Dream,'” way back in 1910 or something like that,” Barrere says with a laugh.

Barrere and Tackett share a lot more history than that, though.

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Don’t miss Condo Fucks (you know who they are), Antietam and Speed the Plough at Cake Shop – with ticket link

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Don’t risk missing this show: Read through to the jump for a link to advance-sale tickets

Cake Shop is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month by hosting shows featuring artists who have played the tiny but influential underground (literally and figuratively) Lower East Side club during that decade.

While most Cake Shop shows, including the #CS10 anniversary specials, are pay-at-the-door affairs, it seems that management made a wise choice to provide advance sale tickets for the gig on Friday, May 22, featuring Condo Fucks, a “Connecticut” band whose fictional bio offers clues for the uninitiated:

Eschewing such Condo Fucks originals as ‘Fuckin’ Gary Sandy’ and ‘Let’s Get Rid Of New Haven’, the trio – Georgia Condo (drums), Kid Condo (guitar), and James McNew (bass) – instead tear through covers of The Small Faces, Richard Hell, Beach Boys, Electric Eels, Troggs, Flaming Groovies and Slade classics in the style that previously won them so much acclaim from the Nutmeg State’s music journalists and radio programmers all those years ago.

Still not sure who these musicians are? You haven’t been paying attention. So shame on you. Continue reading

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run': Born in Rockland

BorntorunIt’s been 40 years since Bruce Springsteen unleashed “Born to Run” on the world. Robert Brum of The Journal News/louhd.com talks to some of the people involved in the iconic recording’s creation at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, a place, as Brum puts it, “away from the time and financial constraints of the New York City studios.”

Read Brum’s wonderful piece by tapping or clicking here. There’s also a photo gallery here and a video here and a sidebar about 914 Sound Studios here.

 

From hip hop to Microsoft

Bruce Jackson says that, no matter his job title, his personal goal has always been helping people. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Bruce Jackson says that, no matter his job title, his personal goal has always been helping people. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Bruce Jackson used to rub elbows with hip hop figures like Heavy D, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Now he’s a corporate lawyer for Microsoft. The Mount Vernon, New York, man spent some time sharing his story with me for The Journal News/lohud.com. Check out the full interview by tapping or clicking here. Or pick up a copy of Tuesday’s edition of The Journal News at a newsstand.