Tag Archives: M Shanghai String Band

Update: Rodeo Bar announces shutdown

Rodeo Bar is ending its policy of free live music at the end of July.

New York’s Longest-Running Honky-Tonk to shut down at the end of July; The Eugene Chrysler Band to play the venue’s final show

UPDATE: Around 11:45 a.m. Thursday, just hours after Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? posted an item confirming that Manhattan’s Rodeo Bar was no longer booking bands, the bar posted a notice on Facebook  that it’s shutting down altogether  after July 27. This is the full post:

Dear Rodeo Bar patrons and music lovers,

We are deeply saddened to announce that after 27 years in business, Rodeo Bar and Grill is closing its doors after July 27, 2014.

Here at New York’s longest-running honky-tonk, we stayed open during some of the city’s toughest times — Hurricane Sandy, the 2003 blackout, 9/11 — but recent rent increases, combined with a changing landscape, have made it impossible for us continue.

For the past three decades, Rodeo Bar has been home to thousands of bands, and we’re proud to have helped define the country, Americana and rockabilly scene in New York City for all these years. But more than that, we were supported by an incredible community of people from New York and all over the world who helped make this bar great. We can’t thank y’all enough.

For the rest of July, we’re open every night, and the music schedule is killer — and free, as it always has been. So come on down and join us for every show, every Shiner, and every moment with the horse trailer we call home. We’re going out with our boots on.

Much Love, and Until the Buffalo Sings,

Rodeo Bar

The final show at the Rodeo has just been announced: The Eugene Chrysler Band at 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 26. The announcement promises free CDs and guest stars.

My original post appears after the jump.

Continue reading

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Guilty: Babe the Blue OX makes its best album ever

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First release from Brooklyn perennial in 15 years

We didn’t really know Babe the Blue OX in its 1990s heyday, when the band was a regular(-ish) feature on bills around New York City. We heard and appreciated some of its recordings, and were charmed by its Paul Bunyan-esque name and Barbra Streisand-ish album titles.

For whatever reason, we never saw Babe live until a couple of years ago, when the members decided to come out of accidental retirement and start playing on a semi-regular basis again.

(Full disclosure: We met and became friendly with singer-guitarist Tim Thomas through his day job as a fund-raiser for a nonprofit long before we even realized he was in Babe.)

Listen to Guilty and read more after the jump. Continue reading

M Shanghai String Band playing in Nyack

M Shanghai String Band: old-timey joy. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Acoustic country-folk collective kicks off GraceMusic’s 41st season of Great Music in a Great Space

The fantastic M Shanghai String Band brings its old-timey, joyous country folk sounds to Nyack, N.Y., to kick off the 41st season of GraceMusic on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Richard Morris steps up to the mic for a solo with M Shanghai String Band.

Visit the M Shanghai String Band MySpace page to hear samples of the band’s music.

Every member of this Brooklyn-based acoustic collective — which at times puts as many as 11 musicians onstage at once — is an accomplished musician in her or his own right. Many of them are involved in other bands, too. So when they mass their awesome talents together onstage as M Shanghai String Band, they put on a roof-raising, rollicking good show.

The band, which takes its name from the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Chinese restaurant where it began in 2002, has an old-fashioned Grand Old Opry-style performance aesthetic. Players crowd around a single mic, stepping up to take turns on leads and solos. The music, likewise, is deeply rooted in the old-fashioned American musical traditions that spawned the Opry, their repertoire includes mostly original material that deals with issues both timeless and contemporary in often humorous ways.

The band is a fan favorite at Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a hotbed of traditional music.

Don’t miss this show. Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? is a huge fan of this band. (Full disclosure: We serve on the GraceMusic board and are friends with one of the players.) Make a day of it by visiting Nyack early in the day for brunch or lunch, and then settle in for a great session of foot-stomping music in a lovely space.

We guarantee you’ll have a good time  — including the great meet-the-artists reception afterward!

4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17. GraceMusic, Grace Episcopal Church, 130 First Avenue, Nyack, N.Y. (845) 358-1297. Tickets at the door only: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for students.

Patty Hughes, Austin Hughes and Matt Schickele of M Shanghai String Band.

M Shanghai drives the Jalopy

M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on Oct. 30, 2009

M Shanghai String Band at the Jalopy Theatre. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

M Shanghai String Band is easily one of the most creative and entertaining old-timey bands in New York City. And there was no shortage of creativity when the big band (counting as many as 12 players at full strength) to the stage of the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighorhood last Friday night.

Dressed in homemade skeleton costumes, the band played to a packed house, opening for the CD release party of Kelli Rae Powell, a ukulele player. Each player has a distinct personality and all are extremely accomplished, but no one of them seems to hog the spotlight or pretends to be is irreplaceable. I’ve seen them play in various configurations, with smaller forces or at full force through the grace of guest performers, and the band personality always shines through. This is a bunch of players who really enjoy what they’re doing. The result is some of the most infectious original music you could hope to hear.(You may recognize its member from other NYC bands. MSSB has links to The Ukuladies, Babe the Blue Ox, Gloria Deluxe and even the Bang on a Can contemporary music organization.)

Guitarist-vocalists Austin Hughes and Matt Schickele (son of Peter “PDQ Bach” Schickele) and fiddle-saw-washboard player Philippa Thompson took many of the leads on Friday night. Philippa’s rendition of the Austin-penned “Bus Called Cemetery” was particularly effective for the beginning of the Halloween weekend.

MSSB has made three albums, all excellent. But the band needs to be seen live to get the full effect.

M Shanghai String Band’s next performance is at 9 pm on Nov.14, for the latest installment in its monthly Saturday-night revel in the basement of a Williamsburg Chinese restaurant from which the band took its name:   M Shanghai Den, 129 Havemeyer St. (between Grand & S.1st St.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Free admission.