Two Boots Presents Americana Jamboree
Housing Works’ Bookstore Café (126 Crosby St., Manhattan)
A boot-stompin’, down-home edition of our happy hour, featuring music from Odetta Hartman, Toot Sweet!, and the Cricket Tell the Weather. Plus our regular Friday Night Happy Hour specials and pizza. Presented by Two Boots pizza, Americana Jamboree is the first Friday of every month.
For a band that includes vocals, accordion, ukulele, bass, clarinet and percussion, one would expect a lineup of more than just two musicians. But Mary Spencer Knapp and Benjamin Marx, two halves of the new Brooklyn-based duo Toot Sweet!, are extraordinarily versatile performers who bring a wide range of talents and repertoire to all of their performances. Both alums of the Bard College music program, this pair showcases Greek folk tunes, French chansons, 60s soul music and originals by Ms. Knapp with an authenticity, virtuosity and sincerity that is sure to delight any crowd.
Based in the northeast, Cricket Tell the Weather is an acoustic string band featuring adventurous songwriting and authentic interpretations of the bluegrass and old-time repertoire, with tight vocal harmonies and impressive instrumental chops to boot. In 2011, fiddler Andrea Asprelli and guitarist Jason Borisoff were awarded first place in the Podunk Bluegrass Songwriting Competition for their co-written song “Remington”, a story of industrial collapse set to progressive acoustic textures. They have since received a Mayor’s Grant from the Bridgeport Arts & Cultural Council for the song’s recording and archival in the Bridgeport Public Library. Brought together through a shared love of bluegrass and old-time music, each member introduces a fresh musical perspective to the band’s sound, merging rock, jazz, classical, folk, and progressive acoustic influences. On the five-string banjo, Doug Goldstein’s pulse, warm tone, and inventive cascading lines contrast mandolinist Dan Tressler’s intuitive and soulful rhythmic sense, and at just 18, bassist Hans Bilger contributes a groove and musical breadth that belies his age. The quintet’s voice carries a new spirit that explores a century of influences, owing as much to the traditions that inspired bluegrass to the journey that follows.
Odetta Hartman plays violin, guitar, and mandolin – and sings songs about greek legends, wanderlust, planting peaches, writing letters and meeting cowboys.