Madison Square Park Hosts Free Folk, Blues, And Americana In The Park
2014 Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series Lineup Announced
Saturdays, September 13-October 4, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
New York, NY | August 5, 2014—Madison Square Park Conservancy announces the 2014 Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series, which promotes American music through free, live performances on Saturday afternoons, September 13 through October 4, 3pm to 5pm. Set against the lush fall foliage of historic Madison Square Park, the intimate Studio Series atmosphere creates a beautiful space for artists to share the tradition of their craft.
The series begins on September 13 with country singer Suzy Bogguss and Miss Tess & The Talkbacks, who fuse together saloon jazz, country swing, early rockabilly, and New Orleans second line styles. On September 20, the Park welcomes bluegrass singer Aoife O’Donovan and roots musicians Cahalen Morrisson and Eli West. Jazz musician Julian Lage, roots musician Chris Eldridge and progressive bluegrass band Front Country perform on September 27. The series ends on October 4 with folk singer Dom Flemons and western swing band The Brain Cloud. More artist information is found below.
Sq. Music: The Studio Series takes place near the Shake Shack at the southern end of the Park. Some seating and café tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All shows are rain or shine.
Madison Square Park is located between Fifth and Madison Avenues, from 23rd St to 26th St. Thanks to Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series sponsors: Kew Management, Zwicker Electric Co, Inc., NYCulture, NYSCA, WFUV 90.7FM, Ace Hotel New York, Motion Laboratories, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
2014 Studio Series Performers
September 13 – Suzy Bogguss (4pm) | Miss Tess & The Talkbacks (3pm)
September 20 – Aoife O’Donovan (4pm) | Cahalen Morrison and Eli West (3pm)
September 27 – Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge (4pm)| Front Country (3pm)
October 4 – Dom Flemons (4pm) | The Brain Cloud (3pm)
Suzy Bogguss, hailed “one of country music’s most pristine and evocative vocalists”, began her longstanding career in 1989 with a string of Top 10 singles with country radio staples such as “Outbound Plane,” “Drive South,” “Hey Cinderella,” “Letting Go” and “Aces”. Her career boasts not only more than a dozen albums (three of which went gold and one certified platinum), various television and international appearances, but also a multitude of awards such as Top New Female Vocalist (Academy of Country Music, 1989) and Traditional Folk Album – Beautiful Dreamer, The Songs Of Stephen Foster (GRAMMY, 2005). Her latest album, Lucky (2014) covers the songs of legendary country musician Merle Haggard. Bogguss innovatively takes Haggard’s songs and reinterprets them, putting her own unique mark on country classics.
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks
Miss Tess and The Talkbacks are best described as making grooving modern vintage music that nods to the traditions of saloon jazz, country swing, early rockabilly, and New Orleans second line. Citing inspiration from artists such as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Ted Hawkins, Randy Newman, and Hank Williams, Miss Tess and The Talkbacks have an eclectic “jazz-infused old-time country, swing, and rockabilly” (Pulse Magazine) sound that marries vintage charm and modern music aesthetics. They have just released The Love I Have For You, their second album on label Signature Sounds.
Aoife O’Donovan is a versatile singer who has lent her voice to a range of genres from progressive neo-bluegrass to folk rock. Her work with the band Crooked Still “brings to traditional bluegrass a diversity of talent that is simply spectacular… Familiar tunes are suddenly brand-new, engaging, infused with intensity… ” (Bluegrass Unlimited). She is also a member of the female folk group Sometymes Why who are known for their vocal intensity, sparse arrangements, and passionate lyricism. In June of 2013, O’Donovan released her first solo album Fossils, an album that, according to O’Donovan, was a long time coming. Fossils is considered time well spent, as O’Donovan crafted a beautiful, timeless record, the natural evolution of an accomplished singer and songwriter.
Cahalen Morrison and Eli West
Cahalen Morrison and Eli West are considered two of the most innovative and subtle roots musicians today… and their music draws from old folk sources, but it sounds vibrantly alive. While paying homage to classic folk, country, and bluegrass, Morrison and West put a modern spin on their compositions, making it accessible to old and new fans alike. Bluegrass Today calls their music, “an interesting mix of bluegrass and old time influences with Morrison primarily on clawhammer banjo and West playing guitar in a grassy style. The two share a passion for both musical forms, especially the sort of quirky syncopation they have in common.”
Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge
Julian Lage is an American jazz musician, guitarist, composer and arranger who was the subject of an Academy Award nominated documentary, “Jules at Eight,” and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Jazz album Grammy in 2010. Chris Eldridge is a guitarist that has been at the frontline of the acoustic music scene for over ten years. Eldridge and his band mates, Punch Brothers, have released three critically acclaimed albums, received two Grammy nominations and have toured the world. While impressive as individual artists, together their music has been called a collaborative effort founded in the roots of acoustic music, exploring the worlds of improvisation and composition.
Front Country is a progressive bluegrass band hailing from the San Francisco Bay area. They have won a multitude of music competitions such as Rockygrass band competition in Colorado (2012), Telluride (2013), and Merlefest (2013). Since 2013, they have performed nationally at Rockygrass, Old Settlers Music Festival, Wintergrass, Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival and at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco where they headlined various performances. In 2014, not only will they perform at Telluride, Summergrass, and IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, but they will also release their highly anticipated debut album, Sake of the Sound in September.
Dom Flemons, called the “American Songster” is not only a seasoned folk singer but a multi-instrumentalist (banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills) who has played live for over one million people within the past three years alone. He has performed at a variety of festivals spanning countless musical genres from the Newport Folk Festival, to Bonnaroo, to the Grand Ole Opry. Flemons’ work with the band Carolina Chocolate Drops (from which he has since departed) earned him a Grammy for the band’s 2011 album, Genuine Negro Jig, and a nomination for their most recent album, Leaving Eden, in 2012. Flemons is set to work on an untitled third solo album in which he aims to reexamine what traditional music can become.
The Brain Cloud
The Brain Cloud, consisting of Tamar Korn (vocals), Dennis Lichtman (electric mandolin, fiddle, clarinet), Skip Krevens (archtop electric guitar), Raphael McGregor (lap steel guitar), Andrew Hall (upright bass) and Kevin Dorn (drums), is a western swing band that combines the sounds of jazz (from ragtime through swing), bluegrass, Appalachian old-time fiddling, Tin Pan Alley popular songs, early country, Mississippi Delta blues, and western cowboy songs. They are described by the Wall Street Journal as an “outstanding western swing ensemble” and they have found immense success in the thriving swing dance scene in New York City. They can often be found playing in various clubs, bars and performances spaces in both Brooklyn and Manhattan in addition to concerts, festivals, and dances.