Monday, April 4, 2011

What a Corndawg!

By Meredith Deliso

It wasn’t the rich music scene or allure of Williamsburg that pulled Jonny Corndawg out of the South — he moved from Nashville to New York for a girl.

“It’s a story that’s been told a thousand times today by about a thousand different people,” said Corndawg. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”

That was a year ago. The relationship hasn’t stood the test of time, but the move may have been the best thing for the country musician.

“In Nashville, I was having a great time, but I also wasn’t getting anywhere,” said Corndawg, who’s currently working on releasing his new album, “Down on the Bikini Line.”

“In my opinion, New York doesn’t have any good country music. It’s a good trade-off — I feel they need good country music, and I feel I play good country music.”

And you can get your fill of Corndawg’s laid-back, foot-stomping sound and distinct, hilarious lyrics (just listen to the earnest, a capella “Silver Panty Liners”) during a month-long residency at Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl that kicks off tonight.

Corndawg’s played almost everywhere in the country, but he almost passed up this opportunity to kick back at his neighborhood venue.

“That room is so big, you have to get 400 people to make it look like anyone’s there at all,” said Corndawg. “It’s the kiss of death. It would be suicide.”

But since a January residency at Union Pool went well, he decided to give it a shot.

To soften the blow, he’ll also be bringing a few friends along for the ride, starting with the bands Hans Chew and the Futurebirds, as well as doing gimmicks to “trick” people into coming, including some free tickets each show and adding corn dogs to the venue’s menu in a nod to that curious name.

“Someone started calling me that when I was 16, and it never went away,” said Corndawg, né Fritz. “I tried to get rid of it, hid from it, ignored it. I made a valiant, impressive effort, and then just gone back to it. I’m going to roll with it.”

Some things should never change.

Jonny Corndawg and Friends at Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and N. 12th streets, (718) 963-3369], Mondays in April at 8 pm. Tickets $5-$7. For info, visit


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