Folk Singer Willy Mason Returns to Rockwood Tomorrow Night

Singer/songwriter Willy Mason is coming to Rockwood Music Hall tomorrow night. TLD contributor Flora Theden caught up with him in the past few days for this preview.

Rockwood Music Hall Debuts Record Label

Screen grab from video; Robbie Gil at Rockwood Music Hall.

Screen grab from video; Robbie Gil at Rockwood Music Hall.

Ken Rockwood has launched a record label.  Eight years after opening Rockwood Music Hall on Allen Street, the independent musician turned mentor to up-and-coming talent, tells the New York Times, the move “just seems like a natural progression.”

The first album by Brooklyn-based Dumpster Hunter was released online today by Rockwood Music Hall Recordings.  Up next: drummer Mark Guiliana and songwriter Robbie Gil.  Rockwood has become a favorite venue for audiences and musicians alike because it’s an intimate space with good acoustics.  Rockwood has earned a reputation for nurturing a wide range of artists and for creating an environment where they can pursue their musical passions.

Click here for the Rockwood recordings site.


Ken’s Music Pick: The Kernal at Rockwood Music Hall

The Kernal

Is Joe Garner The Kernal, or is The Kernal Joe Garner? Truth be told, they cannot be separated.  They’re critical to each other’s existence.

If they were parts of one soulful, music-makin’ body, you could maybe view Joe as the head, and the Kernal as the guts. Or Joe as the heart, and the Kernal as the muscle. All together, they look damn sharp in a red suit. And for the last two years, all these parts have worked together to pump out a fantastic set of country-ish songs that would ultimately become the Kernal’s “HelloFarewell.”

Ken’s Music Pick: Misty Boyce at Rockwood Music Hall

Misty Boyce

Misty Boyce has been drawing comparisons to the likes of Tori Amos and Regina Spektor ever since she arrived in NYC from her southwestern hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico, by way of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Fortunately, the young songwriter is wise beyond her years, enough to disregard those comparisons and compose works that showcase her natural gifts and reflect her own personal journey and experiences.

Ken’s Music Pick: Bryan Dunn at Rockwood Music Hall

Bryan Dunn

There’s a lot that I like about songwriter Bryan Dunn’s style, and it’s not just that he’s from my hometown of Austin, TX. Although, if you discover this particular piece of trivia after hearing him play first, it does make a lot of sense. Dunn’s music does that great Texas thing — mixing pop and rock with old-school blues and country, so confidently that you’re sure he’s been surrounded by those sounds his entire life, and the life before.

Not that Dunn is all twang and grit. He certainly has a clear and equal appreciation for the” folkies” of his parents’ generation and the rockers of his own.  He’s a sharp lyricist.  Songs like “The Ballad of Emily Rose” give many a nod to the troubadour styling’s of Bob Dylan, while “You South Dakota” shows the influence of Tom Petty’s more melodic work.

Ken’s Pick: In One Wind at Rockwood Music Hall

In One Wind

In One Wind creates pop/jazz songs that sound country, and indie rock songs that sound like cinematic scores.”

I wrote that back in August, and it’s STILL true. They have a truly unique sound in an ocean of “unique sounds.” In One Wind is a fighting vessel out of Brooklyn, agile and swift, but also strong with just a bit of danger.

A regular crew of six, they’ve been known to increase their “hands on deck” by one, two or three, and firmly at the prow is the sea-beaten figurehead, Angelo Spagnulo. I call Angelo the figurehead rather than the captain of the ship, because he is less a manager who pushes and pulls at a wheel to direct things and more like a face in the spray, cutting through the waves in whatever direction they happen to be headed in.

“Mock Your World” Comes to Rockwood Music Hall Tonight and Tomorrow

“Mock Your World,” the live musical event spoofing Broadway and life in New York City, is coming to Rockwood Music Hall tonight and tomorrow night. Songwriter Andrew Byrne is the mastermind behind the naughty show, along with his co-conspirator, Lisa Rothauser. Their raunchy songs have been watched more than 250,000 times on YouTube. For more information, visit Mock Your World’s web site. If you’re feeling brave and want to attend, send an email to:


Tom Howie Celebrates Record Release With a Show at Rockwood Tonight

Musician Tom Howie, a young up-and-comer who has been compared to Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke, will be celebrating the release of his third solo album, The Right and Wrong of Everything, at Rockwood Music Hall tonight.  He’s already garnered some good reviews and clearly has some high-caliber fans (thanks to a few “groupie” parents at Earth School, who passed along this tip).  Free // 9pm // 196 Allen Street.

Weekend Music Picks

Here are musician Ken Beasley’s top music picks on the Lower East Side this weekend:

Harper Blynn will play Rockwood Music Hall

HARPER BLYNN – Friday, October 1 | 10:30pm at Rockwood Music Hall

Brooklyn’s Harper Blynn produce an extremely potent form of catchy power-pop. Their album “Loneliest Generation,” produced by David Kahne, has so many layers of harmonies, organs, and percussion toys that every listen has your head bopping to a new discovery every time.

Poundcake, With Teddy Thompson, Rocks Rockwood Music Hall

Fellow Lo-Downer, Derek Dragotis, happened to catch Teddy Thomspon and his band Poundcake at Rockwood Music Hall last night and sent us his notes from the show.  If you’ve seen something you liked lately (or didn’t like), send us your thoughts, here.

Teddy Thompson at Rockwood Music Hall last night – photo by Derek Dragotis

All the low-key hipster banter and deflection in the world can’t camouflage Teddy Thompson’s star quality or his soulful voice when he opens his mouth to sing. A true artist’s signature was quite visible throughout Mr. Thompson and bandmates’ (Jeff Hill and Ethan Eubanks) set  last night, which was completely comprised of cover tunes from the golden age of rockabilly and classic country songs from generations gone by. With a lot of casual, genuinely funny ad libs between each song, Poundcake still managed to achieve a musical sincerity that was greatly appreciated by the crowd, due in large part to Thompson’s singular voice and remarkable phrasing.