LISTEN: The Freewheeling, Foot-Stomping Dust Busters

The Brooklyn string band brings it all back home

(Ryan Reed)
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Having grown up in New York and been interested in this stuff since high school in the late ’90s, from my perspective, the scene in New York is just so much better than it was then. There's a number of great performers and people collaborating and playing together from different generations. And there's a venue for it now, which is this place called the Jalopy Theatre that's in Red Hook, Brooklyn. So, that's wonderful that there's all these people who are interested in the music and there's a place for them to meet and play together.

In 2009, I started the Brooklyn Folk Festival and we're in our fifth year next year. Just last year I got hired by the New York City Parks Department to produce the Washington Square Park Folk Festival, which will have its second year this year in September. Things are cooking, we've got the theater, folk festivals, and lots of other stuff. It's quite exciting.

Why do you think this album will appeal to audiences today?

People from the past are speaking the same language we speak today and speaking to issues that are universal. And it gives you a direct connection to a previous era and people that you've never met. There's a lot of sustenance there for people to dig into. On top of that, it's just great fun music to put on in the car when you're driving around or listen to at home.

About Leah Binkovitz
Leah Binkovitz

Leah Binkovitz is a Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow at Washington Post and NPR. Previously, she was a contributing writer and editorial intern for the At the Smithsonian section of Smithsonian magazine.

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