Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Joint Was Jumpin' (Morgan O'Kane Played Grand Billiards)

For the past few years I've been going to Absolute Power gym on Grand St. near the Grand L stop. Above the gym is a massive pool hall, which is great for pool but doesn't have much else to offer. Every time I walk by that place my promoter instincts kick in and I just say, "Damn, this place would be awesome for shows and parties."

Well it appears someone finally agrees with me because Grand Billiards is under new management and the shows and parties are under way. Last night was the first of many to come. They kicked it off with a free show featuring Morgan O'Kane and Spirit Family Reunion. On top of it being free they offered up $3 PBR and Beam combos and $4 wells!

If you're not familiar with Morgan O'Kane, he plays what could be described as Appalachian folk, maybe bluegrass, maybe it what you will, it's super bad ass. It's the kind of music you can't help but stomp your feet too. You may have seen Morgan jamming on his banjo in Union Square at some point. He would have likely had a huge crowd around him. Typically he performs solo or maybe with one other person helping out.

Last night Morgan brought out a whole mob of pals. There were at least six people
performing with him on everything from guitar to the saw. He played a more upbeat set than what he's typically known for and the crowd responded by dancing up a storm. The scene was more akin to a drunken barn dance in West Virginia than a random pool hall in Brooklyn. It was a thing of beauty.

Prior to Morgan's set a rowdy country band called Spirit Family Reunion played. How in the sam hell I haven't heard of these guys before is beyond me but at least I got to see them in action last night. To say they're good would be a gross understatement. They're one of the best live country bands I've ever seen. They remind me very much of my one of my other local favorites, Forest City. It was straight up, git drunk (that's right, "git") and fight music. The crowd was hooking arms and dosey doeing like true hillbilly stompers. It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

I must say that this was one of the best shows I've been to in years. It was one of those gigs where if you didn't know any better you'd think you were far gone from New York City. That was the beauty of it. It transported you and frankly, this fella could use some good transporting. Especially to a place that with dirt cheap booze, rowdy bluegrass & country music and a bunch of rad people not afraid to get sweaty and dance a little.


***Sorry for the lack of photos, it was dark.

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