I will not be reviewing any of the shows that I post on this website because I've never been good at analyzing beyond a simple "I like it" or "it's not my thing". All I ever really ask of music is that it brings something to the table. I'll leave the critiquing and dissection to others that are better at it than I.

Thanks always to the bands/artists for the great music and for allowing me to do this.

Where the Heather Don’t Grow CD Release Party – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI

I love seeing these guys, but sobriety never really seems to be an option at their shows.

Black Jake and The Carnies’ first album, Where the Heather Don’t Grow, had been brewing for a long time before being released upon the world this past spring. The release party was appropriately festive, complete with games and prizes. The band refers to their sound as “Crabgrass”, a unique blend of bluegrass, punk and americana that draws in fans from all across the spectrum – from skeptical hipsters to leather-clad bikers, middle-aged parents to teenage punks. This set here features five songs that didn’t appear on the new CD and their cover of Lita Ford’s 1988 hit ‘Kiss Me Deadly’.

Black Jake and The Carnies features Black Jake on banjo and vocals, Gus Wallace on fiddle, Zach Pollock playing mandolin, Joe Cooter on acoustic bass, B.P. Weatherwax on electric guitar Billy “The Kingpin” LaLonde beatin’ the skins & scrapin’ the washboard and Caleb Lee Johnson handling the various percussive and traditional Appalachian instruments as well as backing vocals. Besides the upcoming shows, listen for them tomorrow night on WCBN Ann Arbor’s Local Music Show (88.3 FM between 9PM and midnight) and September 12th on WDET’s Detroit Today (101.9 FM between 10AM and Noon – expect them to be on starting around 11:30).

Black Jake & The Carnies – Official Site, MySpace Page
Next show: August 23, 2008 – The Elbow Room, Ypsilanti, MI – 9:00 PM
Download the show: FLAC or MP3

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Listen to “Happy Easter to Ya” from this show.

One Response to “Black Jake & The Carnies – 2008-05-17”

  1. Mark Wallace (Gus)

    Wayne! It’s Mark from the Carnies. Hey, I’m working with Trinity House Theater in Livonia and we’re trying to setup some sort of a live recording system to document the shows. Probably just a L/R stereo system, but what do you recommend for hardware, microphones, and software? You probably know more about this than just about anyone I’ve met, so I’m curious what you think. Maybe sometime you could come out and see a show with me and we could look at options. Emial back. Your site is terrific! Mark

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