Escape From New York

“I lived in New York for a while. But I’m a hothead. I wasn’t well-suited for the temperament of that town.” Tom Waits

As much as I despise mainstream country radio how could I stay in a city where there was not one terrestrial country music station? Since the demise of Y-107 on 2001 there has been no country music radio station in the New York City. New York City is country music`s second-largest sales market. I mean it’s a format that would result in a frikkin ATM machine for ratings and ads! 

Truth be told my wife finished school at about the time I had enough of 8 million people that can’t walk on a sidewalk in an orderly fashion or restaurant help that yell at you when you order . Some people call it urban charm, I call it social masochism.

It’s true many things about New York set me on edge, but I will miss some of it and it me and my family will always consider it our other home. I started this blog in New York City in part because I was a displaced Texan and was forced to define myself in contrast to the dominating East Coast environment I found myself living in. I also discovered artists that showed me that country music had as much fire and passion as anything coming from rap, punk or metal camps as well as cleaning most pop and singer/songwriter clocks. As a goodbye I want to mention some of the artists, organizations and places that helped my hang onto my Southern bred sanity while in the land of the Yankees and ever present scent of urine.

The Bowery Ballroom where I caught my last New York show, a sold-out Toadies performance that was as chaotic and brilliant as any show I had seen with the band in Dallas. Joe’s Pub where I was fortunate enough to see the late, great Porter Wagoner accompanied by Marty Stuart just before their collaboration “The Wagonmaster” was released. I also was able to see Wagoner and Stuart at Madison Square Garden when they opened for the White Stripes. Carnegie Hall where I saw George Jones with Kris Kristofferson opening the show and Irving Plaza where I also saw many fine performances. Special attention sent to Rockwood Music Hall and the National Underground for keeping Americana and roots muisc alive and thriving in the East Village.

 For Southerners much comfort come from what you put in your mouth, thanks to Hill Country Barbecue (also a great place to catch a show), Daisy May’s Barbecue and Brother Jimmy’s Barbecue. For Mexican food my respect goes to Arriba Arriba and the Rodeo Bar (another great place to catch a show.)

The bands, artists and fans are way to numerous to mention and I would leave out some great folks. Suffice it to say that there are many, many real country and roots music fans in Gotham. Keep the hillbilly flag flying ’til I get back kids, ya hear?

Now I’m in Texas again and readying myself and my family for out new home in San Fransisco. If anyone knows of great places to see live music, great artists I need to check out, and eat great ‘cue or Tex-Mex in the Bay Area give me a shout.

5 Replies to “Escape From New York”

  1. Hey Baron!

    I may be heading to Hank’s in McKinney on the 4th to catch Jackson Taylor. Email me if you are interested in meeting up before heading to the left-coast…

    Good Luck!!

  2. b-diddy! sux we missed catching up before you split, but i’m sure we’ll hang again at some point.

    enjoy the fresh air.


  3. Hey Kelly. I’m with the Fam all 4th but might hit Double Wide in Dallas on the 5th. I’ll be in the Dallas area for a good bit of July.

    S – Since you’re the reining MC of NC I know you have obligations. No sweat. Drop a line and visit when you can. The love is always here.

  4. The Fillmore and The Independent in San Francisco get many of the americana/alt country acts in SF. There’s the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. My favorite is the Little Fox down in Redwood City. Very intimate.

    If you find any good BBQ out here, you’ll have to let me know. (Although, I’m from KC so have a different view on “good” than a Texan.) Good Mexican…as the saying goes, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some. Typically the smaller taquerias are best.

  5. Shawn, thanks for the tips. I’ve heard good things about Ironwood BBQ in Outer Richmond but I’ll believe it when I taste it.

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