The Odds Were Good


CLIFF WESTFALL

"Hot damn. I don’t know who the hell Cliff Westfall is or where he’s been hiding out for so many years, but he just released a hot shit country record that will whip the pants off of most others released this year and many from years prior, and get you making room on your list of favorite artists...You will not be able to get enough of Baby You Win, and it will continue to impress you at every turn." -Saving Country Music

New York-based country songwriter Cliff Westfall writes songs about heartache, loss, addiction... you know, funny songs. Or he can turn on a dime and dive headlong into a sentimental weeper. The Kentucky native delivers with a mixture of wit and bravado that, for Westfall, is central to what country music is all about. On his album Baby You Win, he assembled a crew of some of New York’s best musicians to explore a new idea of Americana, drawing inspiration from sources often forgotten by the current country scene. 

“I feel like the humor of people like Roger Miller, Don Gibson, and Del Reeves is neglected nowadays,” Westfall says. “A lot of current country music makes you want to ask, ‘Hey, does anybody remember laughter?’ And you know, it’s not really anything against what anyone else is doing, it’s just that the ability to laugh at your troubles seems to have gotten lost.” The songs on Baby You Win are bitingly acerbic, dependent on the twisty puns, bittersweet humor, and turns of phrase that used to define country music. Westfall’s a true son of Kentucky and an honest student of the genre, but refuses to be constrained by its definitions. He cites Chuck Berry as his favorite lyricist, arguing that some of Berry’s songs were much closer to their country cousins than lines of race and genre might have suggested. This is Americana outside the box, made by an artist gleefully rifling through the dusty record bins of American roots music and converting them into something new. 

Friday, February 28th at Berlin
25 Avenue A (under 2A), New York City
Doors at 8PM. 21+ with ID.

Get Back Up!


THE ROCKSTEADY 7

The Rocksteady 7 is an influential American ska and jazz band from NYC. Founded in 1997, the core of the group has consisted of tenor saxophonist and band leader David Hillyard (The Slackers) and legendary percussionist Larry McDonald (Lee "Scratch" Perry, Gil Scott-Heron). In live performances, they are supported by a rotating cast of top shelf nyc musicians. Given reggae's globally reaching influence, the Rocksteady 7 holds true to the genre's roots and the self-described "Jamaican Jazz" sound combines ska, rocksteady and reggae with extended jazz improvisation, intricate melodies, and complex harmonies. The group incorporates many diverse elements of world music with rocksteady rhythms, including ska, jazz, calypso, as well as early African and American jazz influences.

Saturday, January 25th at The Gutter
200 North 14th Street, Brooklyn U.S.A.
Doors at 9PM. $10 cover. 21+ with ID.

Keep It Moving


The Brought Low are an outer borough, boogie-rocking power trio the have been bringing the serious rock-action since 1999. This is their first area show in nearly a year.

Duffy's Cut Is a Philadelphia rock'n''roll band inspired by '60s British invasion and sweet soul music, with a tough bootboy edge. The band Is made up of ex-members of The Boils, Super Hi-Five, Bad Idea, Cranked Up! and Violent Society.

The High Stride, featuring folks you know from other boss NYC-area bands, play no bullshit maximum R&B. This is their debut show!

Friday, December 20th at The Gutter
200 North 14th Street, Brooklyn U.S.A.
Doors at 8PM. $10 cover. 21+ with ID.

Wax On Tap


The Darkest Day(s) of the year with the Kings County Brewers Collective and DJ Terry Dactyl. Special guest DJ Mr. Lee (Going In Style Sound System) steps in for Yana 'Lil Jerk — expect serious soul, ska and Latin sounds!

Thursday, December 19th at KCBC
381 Troutman Street, Brooklyn U.S.A.
7-11pm. No cover! 21 + with ID.

Holding On With Both Hands


Modern Needs is a listening and dance party with special guest DJs and monthly musical themes, held at Banter bar, located in scenic Brooklyn U.S.A. The December edition features Modern Needs host and boss DJ Mr. Lee (Going In Style Sound System) and special guest Kurtis Powers (The Face Radio/BQE Records) spinning top-flight soulful sounds until the wee small hours!

Saturday, December 7th at Banter
132 Havemeyer, Brooklyn U.S.A.
Kicks off at 10PM... No cover!