Thursday, August 20, 2009

The New Jack Ramblers: As honky tonk as they want to be

By Junico Simino

“High octane honky tonk.”

That’s how Brooklyn-based country artist Sean Kershaw describes his band, the New Jack Ramblers.

With a new CD coming out entitled “Coney Island Cowboy,” and his weekly Sunday night gig at Hank’s Saloon in Boerum Hill where he’s been for the past eight years, Kershaw is looking to turn his love of music into a full-time career.

On August 26, Kershaw plans to release the CD, his first full-length country album, at Sideshows by the Seashore, aka the Coney Island Freak show.

“Not every song on the CD is about Coney Island,” said Kershaw of “Coney Island Cowboy.” “Brooklyn country is our theme.”

Before he wound up in Brooklyn, Kershaw, a self-described “Army brat,” has lived all over the world, from Louisiana to Germany. Along the way, he picked up many different influences.

Eventually he moved into Brooklyn, where he started doing rockabilly and began listening to more and more country music, which eventually seeped into his repertoire.

“It was original and I was one of the few doing it,” said Kershaw. “Now there are more people doing it.”

The country music scene indeed has changed dramatically from when he started playing in Brooklyn, said the musician.

“[There are] a lot more venues now in Brooklyn. The level of professionalism has risen,” Kershaw said.

It was here that Kershaw started up his first band, The Blind Pharaohs, and landed his weekly Sunday night gig at Hank’s saloon, located at 46 Third Avenue.

After a few years the Pharaohs disbanded, but Kershaw continued to play at Hank’s by himself. Eventually other artists began to join him on stage performing mostly cover songs, which is how the New Jack Ramblers formed.

“We are doing something different from everybody else,” said Kershaw of the New Jack Ramblers. “We are influenced by Johnny Cash, Merle Travis, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and all the artists on Sun Records. We don’t try to re-create anything from the past.”

When the band celebrates their new album at Sideshows by the Seashore (1208 Surf Avenue), they’ll be joined by Julia Haltigan and the Hooligans, Uncle Leon, and a host of “freaks, geeks and burlesque artists,” said Kershaw.

The night will be hosted by sideshow staple Insectavora.

The “sideshow” will be from 9 p.m. to midnight August 26. Tickets are $10 per person and all are welcome.

Kershaw and the New Jack Ramblers will also be performing at the Coney Island Rockabilly Festival on September 6 and at the Brooklyn Country Music Festival on September 18.“Coney Island Cowboy” will be available for sale on iTunes.


Nick,  August 25, 2009 at 6:31 AM  

Hard workin' boy !
See the show , buy the CD , baby needs a new pair of shoes !

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