The Lo-Down’s CMJ Music Showcase is only four days away. We hope you’ll join us Tuesday night at Fontana’s for a great night of performances from bands with Lower East Side ties. Among the musicians taking part: indie folk/rock artist Andrew Vladeck.
Even if you don’t know his music, you know Andrew’s famous family. His great-grandfather, Baruch Charney Vladeck, was a towering figure in Lower East Side politics — and a leader of the American Socialist Party (the Vladeck Houses are named for him).
Andrew Vladeck, in the words of music critic Grayson Currin, “combines Springsteen blue-collar concerns with Steely Dan wit and austerity, rendering American aphorisms that are clever without being too clever, smart without being sewn of smarty pants.”
It’s been a busy autumn for the New York-based singer-songwriter. He’s just finished touring in support of his EP, “Passing Knowledge.” And Vladeck is almost finished with a full-length album he’s been working on with several friends.
While Vladeck has Lower East Side roots and is frequently booked in the neighborhood’s music clubs, he was not raised a city boy. After being born in Manhattan, he grew up next to a state park upstate. Later on, he continued to indulge his love for nature as a New York City park ranger. The dichotomy between urban and country life is a theme that frequently makes it into his songs.
Vladeck has had a passion for folk music since he was a kid. In an interview this week, he said the music on his new album is inspired by the folk fingerpicking that’s always been a part of his life but not his professional music repertoire. “I’ve never performed it and adapted it to a more modern format,” he said. “It’s been an awakening, an eye-opener to realize the possibilities,” he said.
Vladeck is a part of the new wave folk band the Honey Brothers, which also includes Entourage star Adrian Grenier. At the same time, he’s been exploring his literary side. The Passing Knowledge EP is accompanied by a booklet of related writings. It’s meant to be an homage to the Pocket Poet Series published by City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, especially the work of Allen Ginsberg.
One of Vladeck’s signature songs is “Living the Dream,” which was inspired by evenings hanging out on the Williamsburg pier. Take a look at this rendition (recorded far from home):
You can catch Andrew at our CMJ Music Showcase at Fontana’s Tuesday night. The event starts at 8 p.m. More information is available on The Lo-Down’s Facebook page.