LIC musical talent lines up for stardom

It’s been my privilege over the last two years to listen to a number of highly talented musicians playing at venues just 5 minutes from my door. Two venues, LIC bar ( and Domaine Bar a Vins ( have stood out in their offerings: with the pleasing recent addition of music at John Brown Smokehouse and at various bars and restaurants who offer some musical accompaniment to diners and drinkers.

Astoria- born graduate of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Jeanne Marie Boes ( has been heard in the LIC  music scene for a while. I’ve listened to her play  at LIC bar and . Many of her previous recordings have been covers, showing an accurate, stylish voice with good interpretations of other writers’  work. She has a strong soul voice and powerful presentation that makes you listen from the first notes.  Her latest single is, to my knowledge, her only available recording of a song she has written herself.

Jeanne Marie Boes at Webster Hall

“The One”  is a muscular, bluesy song, reminiscent of Amy Winehouse in style and, even more so in Jeanne’s vocal interpretation. This is so much an advance on previous recorded material that it’s as if she has suddenly discovered her voice as a writer and interpreter of her own songs; and had the (well guided) courage to present it on CD. The recording has been expertly self-produced with a full, driving sound that pushes Jeanne’s voice straight across a great mix of,  unbelievably, just three musicians: Jeanne on vocals and piano, and  husband and wife team (from the Queens duo “Ekra”):  Brendon Press (Guitar and bass) and Lee Press(Drums). (

Jeanne Marie(

This single deserves a lot of attention, it has “star” written all over it – so buy it (from bandcamp, or itunes) and tell your friends and catch Jeanne when she’s next playing:

May 24th, 2013 / Greenpoint Gallery Art & Music Series (Brooklyn, NY) 9PM

June 21st, 2013 / Queens Council on the Arts (Astoria, NY) 2PM

June 28th, 2013 / The Giving Tree Yoga Studio (Astoria, NY) 8PM

July 20th, 2013 / Kennedy Plaza “Women’s Day” Event (Long Beach, NY) 12PM

Jeanne plans recording a full length album when she can accumulate the funds, I’m looking forward to hearing this.

jeanne promo
Jeanne Marie Boes


In my last post I talked about some newly released, or soon to be released, albums from musicians associated with LIC Bar – Niall Connolly, Shelly Bhushan, Natalie Mishell and Anthony Mulcahy.

Anthony had his CD launch party at Rockwood Music Hall last week and showed himself to be a relaxed, highly skilled performer of his own music. He clearly has the warm regard of his band of Taryn Lounsbury (violin and vocal), Jenny Dunne (vocal), Barry Kornhauser (‘cello) and Anthony Crowder (drums), which was augmented by bass-player Brandon Wilde. Brandon produced the album and played on a couple, of tracks on the album “For my Sins” so was very familiar with the music. This was the first time that he had joined the band on stage and his professionalism shone through as he mixed his accurate, percussive bass against the more languid lines of the ‘cello. I’ve had a chance to listen to the whole album now, as well as attending the launch and am continuing to be impressed and urge you to buy it.


Jenny Dunne and Anthony Mulcahy

Anthony’s music is deceptive. Heard in the background it sounds like nice, folk-style music with clearly Celtic undertones. It’s when you get closer to the words and the way that Anthony sings them that you get a real sense of depth of this man’s appreciation of humankind in all its joy and pain, romance and tragedy. On the album he shares vocal credit with Jenny Dunne (the best singing I’ve heard from her), in solo and in harmonies that are best shown in his immediately memorable song “Soft Spoken“.  Bowed and plucked violin and ‘cello feature on tracks in ways that remind me of some of the music  that is coming out of the bluegrass fusion movement that mixes traditional Celtic/Appalachian with 21st century classical styles from artists like Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and the Kronos Quartet; listen particularly to the title track, “For My Sins“.

Anthony was initially reluctant to put the track “Cúilín” on the album, not because it is weak, more, I think, that it is a very personal and nostalgic evocation of his childhood experience on a beach where a river meets the sea in his home town. “Cúilín” paints pictures in which we, too, can recall our innocent childhood play, placing it next to “All Our Sins” of adulthood. This track epitomizes Anthony’s gift for language, making this an album deserving of frequent listening, and careful attention to his lyrics.

Anthony Mulcahy and his band at Rockwood Music Hall

Anthony Mulcahy and his band at Rockwood Music Hall

You can buy the album on:



Some stunning Jazz at Domaine Wine Bar

It never ceases to amaze me how such a small local bar, that sits just over the entrance to the 7 subway Vernon/Jackson station, on the west side, can have such hugely talented jazz musicians in a small space. Last week I caught my old favourites the Broc Hempel, Sam Trapchak, Christian Colemen Trio there the other night, playing with sax virtuoso Greg Ward III. Here’s a few pictures.

Broc Hempel and Christian Coleman

Broc Hempel and Christian Coleman

Christian Coleman and Sam Trapchak

Christian Coleman and Sam Trapchak

Greg Ward III

Greg Ward III

Christian Coleman also contributes his exceptional jazz drumming to a Happy Hour jazz session every Wednesday (5pm-7pm) at local BBQ restaurant John Brown Smokehouse ( He joins local LIC musicians Martin Kelley (Saxophone) and Diallo House (bass) plus guests as “Affinity” for sessions which can be indoors or outside, depending on the weather, in the spacious yard.

The quality of the music is great, as is the food in this casual-style smokehouse environment where you can have stylish domestic and foreign beers, plus everything  you’d expect from an establishment that has, in a short time, become judged one of New York’s best barbeque Joints. the brisket, burnt ends and ribs are superb, as are the moist cornbread and fresh salads.

John Brown Smokehouse has space, and an audience for high quality music. Tell the owners, so that it can become another LIC music venue that will benefit the residents, the businesses and the musicians.

Martin Kelley's Affinity in the Smokehouse  yard.

Martin Kelley’s Affinity in the Smokehouse yard.

Postscript from the LIC Bar – WHO relationship

Regular readers will know that LIC bar suffered in Hurricane Sandy, with the loss of musical gear. The UK rock band “The Who” came to the rescue with the purchase of new gear and the bar repaid the debt with a tribute concert. The concert raised over $7000 for The Who’s charity Teen Cancer. Last week  the cheque was presented to Roger Daltrey by Gus Rodriguez (LIC Bar music promoter) and Rob Basch (who first contacted The Who).

Rob Basch, Gus Rodriguez and Roger Daltrey

Rob Basch, Gus Rodriguez and Roger Daltrey

Last but not least a reminder about Natalie Mishell’s CD Launch at Rockwood Music Hall 2 on Allen Street Lower East Side this Thursday, May 24th, with Julie Kathryn as support.

Natalie Mishell at a Van Morrison tribute at LIC bar

Natalie Mishell at a Van Morrison tribute at LIC bar

Listen to my interview with Natalie and hear some of her music on:



Long Island City Rocks to LIC Bar tribute

Long Island City rocked on Saturday night to the sound of LIC Bar’s big “Thank You” to British rock band The Who for their donation of new equipment after hurricane Sandy flooded the bar’s basement. Tribute band “Who’s Next” treated a capacity crowd to a string of songs from nearly 50 years of music history; with hits from albums like “Tommy”and “Quadrophenia” as well as classic rock songs, including Who favourite, Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues”.

"Who's Next"

“Who’s Next”

“Who’s Next” bear uncanny resemblance to the band they have been mimicking for the past 15 years. They performed with all the trademark gestures of The Who in their late 60’s and ‘70s heyday, before the death of their drummer Keith Moon and well before the more recent passing of bass player John Entwistle. So this was a trip back to a time when a fair number of the audience would have stood in line, bought the albums and absorbed the words of songs; singing along last night as the band rocked the house down with hits like “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Sing Together (with the band)”.

(For me I have to admit to a sense of excitement, seeing the band members walking around before the show, a kind of suspended reality that this could actually have been The Who as I remember them in the early days, playing my local church hall in Harrow and calling themselves the “High Numbers”.)

Capacity Crowd under the Marquee

Capacity Crowd under the Marquee


Godfrey Townsend

Godfrey Townsend

A real treat as a support act was singer guitarist Godfrey Townsend; once again a superb interpreter of classic tracks; with songs by artists like Eric Clapton, the Beatles, Jack Bruce (in whose band he played) and Dave Mason. This was a solo performance with Townsend (no relation and different spelling) displaying his mastery of a repertoire that is rooted in the blues, with expert guitar picking and an easy, confident style. Townsend played with John Entwistle in his band and in homage to the night’s theme played a few Who songs, giving them an individual spin that contrasted well with the intensity and theater of the band to come.

Long Island Music Hall of Fame - DJ and producer Denis McNamara

Long Island Music Hall of Fame – DJ and producer Denis McNamara

The evening was MC’d by legendary WLIR DJ and long time stalwart of The Who, Denis McNamara. He took the stage for the raffle draw, along with LIC Bar music impresario Gus Rodriguez, and LIC Bar regular Rob Basch, who first contacted The Who after their Sandy concert at the Barclays Center. The occasion was also graced by an appearance from local council member and music fan, Jimmy van Bramer. One lucky patron walked away with no less than 3 raffle prizes, including the headline Gibson SG guitar, signed by Pete Townshend.

Winner of the signed Gibson SG - Albert Short of Long Island City

Winner of the signed Gibson SG – Albert Short of Long Island City

Teen Cancer America, The Who’s official charity, will benefit from $7000 from the night!

Rob Basch and Gus Rodriguez

Rob Basch and Gus Rodriguez – the energy behind a great night!

Thanks are due to all the sponsors who provided support, equipment and raffle prizes:

The Who (

Gibson Guitars New York (

Universal Music (

Parnell’s Restaurant (

Alobar (

El Ay Si restaurant (

Manducatis Rustica Restuarant (

Bobby Vans Steakhouse (

Pranavah Yoga (

Domaine Wine Bar (

Molly Pitchers Alehouse (


Radeberger Pilsner, Heineken, Guinness and Brooklyn Brewery

And those others who gave their  gifts anonymously.

Brian Porter - Owner, LIC Bar

Brian Porter – Owner, LIC Bar

Who Tribute Concert at LIC Bar!

LIC Bar to host Who tribute band in charity fundraiser

US premier Who tribute band “Who’s Next” will fill LIC Bar on Saturday February 23rd with a gig that says “Thank You” to the THE WHO  for donating sound equipment to the bar after the loss of 1000s of dollars worth of equipment in Hurricane Sandy. The gig will raise money for the WHO’s official charity The Teenage Cancer Trust ( Tickets will cost $20 and 100% of the net proceeds will go to the charity. Raffle prizes offered by a whole range of donors will include a Gibson SG guitar autographed by PETE TOWNSHEND ( , a Shure microphone signed by ROGER DALTREY, Signed CDs, promo posters, restaurant vouchers (,,, , a bicycle, Yoga classes (, tickets for the Nets and Wicked on Broadway; and wine (


“Who’s Next” uncannily even look like the band in their earlier days, when they were Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon and John Entwhistle. They are acknowledged as the TOP US Who tribute band and have been wowing audiences since 1999. They have even performed Who concert after parties and in 2001 were joined on stage by the late John Entwhistle. (check out

Also playing is New York guitar maestro Godfrey Townsend (no relation, different spelling), well known for his collaborations with the John Entwistle Band, “Cream” bassman Jack Bruce and the Eric Clapton birthday tributes at BB Kings.

Local legend Silbin Sandovar will play for the afterparty, backed by the LIC Bar Allstars featuring guitarist Danny Mackane and Kevin O’Leary.

The gig runs from 8-11pm, Tickets ($20) are available from LIC Bar website

Watch out for surprise guests!!

The Backbeat

Local music-lover and LIC Bar regular Rob Basch describes how he started a process which ended up in LIC Bar receiving replacement equipment and this gig developing.

” We all knew what had happened to LIC Bar in Hurricane Sandy, Gus Rodriguez was trying to put together some fundraisers to replace the lost equipment. In November I went to The Who’s concert in Brooklyn and read that they were also  doing the 12.12.12 concert at Madison Square Garden for victims of Hurricane Sandy and thought – they’re in town, let me see if I can invite them to LIC Bar to do a show; why not? So I went on their website and used their email system to write to Roger and Pete saying “It was a great show, I saw you were doing the 12.12 show and really appreciate the help that you are giving. I live in Long Island City and we have a great little music bar that was damaged in the storm and I wondered if you’d stop by and do a little gig at the bar. “We usually give artists two drinks tickets but if you guys  show up we could probably get you three”,  I said, not expecting an answer. But I get this email back, from Simon Townshend, Pete’s brother, who was part of the band playing second guitar, saying “I saw your email, the boys would really like to help out we really feel bad for the people  affected by Sandy and we’ll see what we can do to help”.

A couple of days later I get an email back from the guy who runs their  website, Rob Lee, based in London saying:  “I’ve been talking to the lads and unfortunately they’re unable to play but I’ve contacted Bob Pridden their long-time sound manager who is going to get in touch with a few of their sound suppliers to see what they can do to replace what you have lost.”

Another week goes by and I get a couple of phone calls, one from Shure microphones and the other from Peavey, who make amplification equipment both saying that Roger Daltrey had called and wanted to see if they could help out. A bunch of emails went back and forth for a couple of weeks and basically they sent us a bunch of microphones and a new PA and amplification system.

Coincidently Simon Townshend was playing at the Port Washington library in December, close to where I work and I was able to go and say thank you to him in person. Now we are able to give an even bigger thank you through the benefit concert on Febraury 23rd.”

See also:

LIC Bar will erect a tent over their courtyard, with the Carriage House taking on its   summer role of stage. Bar owner Brian Porter is excited at the prospect of putting the Bar very much on the Map as the foremost music venue in Long Island City.

Brian Porter

Brian Porter

NOTE: The 7 Line is suspended this Weekend and Vernon /Jackson Station  will be closed.

If you are coming by subway use the E and get out at 23rd Street/Ely/Court Square., or the G to 21st Street.

court sq to lic bar

Who cares about LIC Bar — The Who do!!

Gus Rodriguez, delighted to unpack a box from Shure electronics that contained an assortment of their best vocal, instrumental and percussion microphones.

Gus Rodriguez, delighted to unpack a box from Shure electronics that contained an assortment of their best vocal, instrumental and percussion microphones.

LIC music curator Gus Rodriguez was delighted this week to open the first consignment of sound gear to be donated to LIC Bar by British rock band “The Who” following the destruction of the bar’s equipment in the flooding from hurricane Sandy. LIC Bar’s cellar was flooded to a depth of 8 feet on the night of the highest tides, destroying bar stock, office equipment, appliances etc; and also sound and musical equipment stored there for the bar’s regular music nights. Drums, a keyboards and PA gear were lost and the bar has relied on borrowed equipment for its four-nights-a-week shows whilst trying to raise funds for replacements. Gus is looking forward to receiving a new Peavey PA system in the next consignment of gear and described how the gift came to be made:
“LIC Bar regular patron and music lover Robert Basch heard about what happened in the hurricane, was going to their concert in Brooklyn and had this idea to reach out to The Who and tell them of our plight, wondering if they might take time to put on a show here. Doggone it, he got through to them and was told that, although they couldn’t do a show they would do the next best thing and  donate replacement gear. Today’s delivery is proof of the band’s generosity. Although we still hope that Roger Daltrey or Pete Townshend might still show up we can’t bank on it; although this is New York and strange things do happen!”

As a band that started in the pubs of North London and progressed to the stages of the world The Who have shown that they still respect venues like LIC Bar, from which new music will be generated and stars will be born.

The Who outside the Railway Hotel, Wealdstone, Harrow, North London

The Who outside the Railway Hotel, Wealdstone, Harrow, North London

The Who are no strangers to lost and damaged equipment. As leader of an aggressive and exciting band in the 1960s and 70s guitarist Pete Townshend would regularly smash his guitar and amplifier; and their drummer, the late Keith Moon, placed fireworks in his kit to create explosive endings to the band’s stage shows. The band is older now, with two of the original members no longer with us; so their offer of new equipment to a little bar in Long Island City came as a welcome gesture, glowing with wonderful irony.

LIC residents Andy Stack and Tania Elizabeth at LIC Bar

LIC residents Andy Stack and Tania Elizabeth at LIC Bar

(this is an extended version of an article originally published in, please support this excellent local news blog by reading and clicking on the advertisers).