Sunday Snaps – Minstrels of Greenpoint

There are a few things that just make you stop dead in your tracks and smile. Maybe you’re even in a hurry, rushing along down the street, and then that wondrous sound comes to your ears – a voice and some sweet strums of an instrument playing a favorite song of yours. I’ve always thought musicians are to a neighborhood what fish are to a stream – an indicator of health and liveliness. If you can walk around for a whole day and not see anyone walking down the sidewalk carrying an instrument or sharing a song, you might want to think twice about what that says about the creative vitality of the place. Luckily for us, Greenpoint is full of musicians, and so today’s photo essay honors these minstrels and everyday suppliers of soul.

jack
I found Jack Simchak breaking in a new guitar of his in McCarren Park. He was playing some beautiful classical guitar arpeggiations, which fit the feeling of a gorgeous late October day perfectly. Check out Jack’s project, Resident Electric.

lenna
I encountered Lenna on her way to teach cello to kids at PS 110, The Monitor School. Lenna often busks around the neighborhood and also plays Music Off McGolrick. Check out her project Meaner Pencil, which is the beautiful work of a singing cellist.
joe
Joe was sitting in McGolrick Park singing old country tunes a la Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. He made my day by playing two Hank Williams songs for me on request, including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, and “Cold, Cold Heart”.
girls-singing-2
I met Danielle and Kayla walking up Guernsey street on their way back from a gig at Pete’s Candy Store. They played a beautiful version of their own original song, “Wee Baby Moon” for me on the spot. It was folky and beautiful.
max-kubis
I met Max walking up Manhattan Avenue on his way to a rehearsal.
golden-drum-guy
Mike lives and performs at the Golden Drum (97 Green St.), a cultural center that teaches sacred traditions. He plays a wide variety of music from many cultures, including a lot of Native American music.
music-circle
This photo actually comes from earlier this summer, I believe July. While I strictly try to only include photos from each week for Sunday Snaps, I felt this all-out jam session that I witnessed at the corner of Greenpoint Ave. and Franklin St. fit the spirit of this photo essay so perfectly that it had to be included.

 

About Erik Keithley

Originally from just north of Baltimore, Erik became enchanted with the country-tinged outlaw folk of Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark while studying journalism in North Carolina. As a direct result, he moved to Austin as soon as he could, where he saw a lot of music, recorded a little of his own, and honed a strong appreciation for brisket, New Orleans, and a generally slower and more inquisitive approach to life. Having just moved to Greenpoint from Austin, Erik aims to explore the mellow charms of his beloved new neighborhood with the same quietly searching eyes.

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