The Defibulators, described alternately as “Hee-Haw on mescaline” and “CBGB-meets-Grand Ole Opry,” will release Debt’ll Get’em,’ the follow up to their acclaimed 2009 debut ‘Corn Money,’ on August 27th. Recorded in Woodstock with D. James Goodwin and Eli Walker and Brooklyn with co-producer Brian Bender (Langhorne Slim, Jose James), the album is an au courant, urban take on classic country, channeling the frenetic energy of their legendary live shows into tight, punchy hooks and foot-stomping sing-alongs.
From “Pay For That Money,” a pedal steel and fiddle lament about debt, to “Ponytail Run,” a dreamy ode to beauty just out of reach, the album is full of gorgeous harmonies and razor-sharp wit. “Everybody’s Got a Banjo” is a biting, 70′s swamp funk-inspired nod to the instrument’s recent ubiquity (“If you don’t know how to play it, well it still looks cool”), and “Cackalacky” is the tongue-in-cheek story of an Appalachian musician who moves to New York City to make it big in roots music.
The band’s boundless energy and infectious sense of joy onstage earned them a nod as one of Brooklyn’s best emerging bands in Vice Magazine, and a devoted following in a city not known for its love of country. “It’s most fun to play for people who don’t think they like country music,” says singer Erin Bru. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Bug Jennings agrees, adding, “There’s something about the fast-paced, frantic, neurotic energy of New York that makes our style work.”
The band garnered immediate critical notice for their debut in 2009, with New York Magazine raving that “[Bug] and singer Erin Bru slip into harmonies that recall the storied Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris duets,” Under the Radar hailing it as “a boozy concoction worth swigging until last call,” and Pop Matters describing it as “a drunken square dance on speed.”
Trius joined the Hondonian Army at a young age and quickly rose to the rank of General. During his military career circucmstances conspired to see him stranded on Earth. Soon after landing, Trius heard music for the first time and immediately fell in love. Soon after he started playing the banjo and decided that he liked it quite fine here on Earth.
Kevin spent his formative years working at his family's Space-Worm ranch on Hondo before he too crash-landed on Earth. After some initial hostility, Trius and Kevin got along famously and soon thereafter formed FUTURE FOLK.
FUTURE FOLK, consisting of General Trius and the Mighty Kevin, come from a distant planet called Hondo.
Since they relocated to Earth they have taken up music as their main vocation, playing at venues in and around New York for over six years. In addition to attracting the attention of the police, their acoustical antics are the subject of a feature film, "The History of Future Folk".
Tall Tall Trees
Mike Savino is not your grandaddy's banjo player, and Tall Tall Trees is definitely not your average indie-folk outfit from NYC. Savino has released two records on his own start-up label Good Neighbor Records, Tall Tall Trees (2009), and moment (2012), and has toured extensively, mystifying audiences with his innovative banjo technique. Whether performing with a full band or solo, Savino runs his instrument, dubbed by fans as the "banjotron", through a slab of effects and loopers, bowing, drumming, and strumming out multi-textured arrangements on the fly to support his lyrically driven songs. Most recently, Tall Tall Trees has been touring the US and Canada collaborating with beatboxing violinist, and of Montreal alum, Kishi Bashi. Savino is currently working on a third record which he is expecting to release in 2014.
"Bearded man sings songs, violates banjo" - CMJ
Dubl Handi is Hilary Hawke, Ernie Vega and Brian Geltner, named after the Washboard company from the 1800's. Dubl Handi is pronounced, Double Handy, just spelled different. In the tradition of folk music around the world rhythmic groove is a pervasive thread. Dubl Handi uses percussion, guitar, drums, and banjo to play songs from appalachian region of the Northeast States.
Bennett Sullivan is a professional banjo player and guitarist performing, teaching, writing, and recording music in Brooklyn, NY. He hails from the rolling hills of North Carolina, where he studied with banjo masters Craig Smith and Jens Kruger. For a brief period of time after high school, Bennett performed on Carnival Cruise Lines as a guitarist in the showband, then attended the New School for Jazz in New York City. Bennett left the New School in 2010, to pursue the NYC music scene. He has performed with bands such as the Birdhive Boys, Six Deadly Venoms, Astrograss, the Tres Amigos, Brianna Thomas, Sam Reider, Rana Santacruz, PartyFolk, The Broken Stares, The Dive Bar Dukes and several others.
Currently, Bennett is working on his solo project, which features original bluegrass music performed by virtuosic musicians. The band is Rob Hecht on fiddle, Ross Martin on guitar, and Pat Falco on bass.
DJ Becky Birmingham (The Honky-Tonk Radio Girl)
Rebecca Birmingham, born and raised in New Jersey, runs a radio show on WNYU called Honky Tonk Radio Girl spinning classic country vinyl